I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether it is proposed to withdraw the whole of the troops from British Honduras at the end of April; (2) what provision has been made for the protection of life and property on the withdrawal of the troops; (3) whether it is proposed to re-establish the constabulary on the same footing as the force which mutinied a few months ago, and was disbanded after all their demands had been granted; and (4) whether the Government will take steps to establish telegraphic communication with Jamaica or some other depôt for Her Majesty's forces.
Last January the Colonial Government was informed that the Imperial troops could not be retained for any length of time, and that the reorganisation of their local force must be at once proceeded with. It is now arranged that half the troops will be withdrawn on the 30th instant, and the remainder on July 31. This will give ample time within which the Colonial Government can re-organise their local force, and place it on a satisfactory basis. As regards the last question, it would no doubt be advantageous if British Honduras were in telegraphic communication with Jamaica or elsewhere; but we do not see our way at present to carry through any such scheme, involving, as it would, a very heavy expenditure.
asked the hon. Gentleman to be good enough to answer the third paragraph of the question.
said, that only half of the constabulary mutinied; the other half were perfectly loyal, and behaved very well during the time of difficulty. He was not at the present moment in a position to say on what lines re-organisation would proceed.