TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
Sir, — One point stands out in M. Renkin's speech amid those denials of outrage which are traditional with Belgian statesmen, whether defending the old Congo or the new. It lies in the sentence, "He would have to ask for the levy of a new contingent of labourers to the works on the Great Lakes." Here is the forced labour of which Mr. Morrison talked. And what happens when the native refuses to be forced or endeavours to escape back to his family ? Is this consistent with that "moral and material regeneration of the natives" which we are pledged to guarantee ? Are we still after 18 years of complicity to look on and see our wards - or what is left of them — treated as slaves ? I have just been reading the Belgian Congo debates of 1903, 1905, 1907. Always the same phrases there, always the same official softness and public gullibility here !
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE.
Picadilly Hotel, Piccadilly and Regent Street, London, W.