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Dominica (Disturbance)

Volume 244: debated on Wednesday 12 November 1930

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, seeing that disturbances have taken place in Dominica, in which a certain number of Caribs have either lost their lives or have been injured, he can make any statement as to the causes of these disturbances and the action taken in the matter?

I have been asked to reply to this question. The disturbance in Dominica to which the hon. Member refers arose from the smuggling into the Carib quarter of contraband rum and tobacco from the French Islands. Resistance was offered to the local police who endeavoured to seize the smuggled goods and to arrest offenders. The police were attacked by the Caribs with sticks, stones and firearms, and were ultimately compelled to fire on their attackers in self-defence. Three policemen were shot and others injured. Five Caribs were wounded, two of whom died of their wounds. The police were forced to withdraw, but eventually, with the assistance of a party of marines landed from his Majesty's Ship "Delhi," succeeded in effecting arrests. Legal proceedings have been instituted.