10 JUNE 1911, Page 15



Sru,—In July last you permitted me, on behalf of The Anti- Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society, to draw the atten- tion of your readers to the important step which was being taken by the Government in sending out Consul-General Casement to Putumayo to investigate the reported cruelties committed on native Indians on rubber plantations in the Putumayo Amazon valley, under the control of a British syndicate. We now learn, from the reply of the Under-Secretary for Foreign .Affairs to a question in the House of Commons on the 31st ult., that Mr. Casement's report has been received, and fully confirms the information as to the ill-treatment of the natives. The Peruvian Government have expressed to our Government their determination to put an end to the present state of things, and the Government is in correspondence with the company, who are considering plans of reform. It is said that the visit of Mr. Casement and of the company's Commission has greatly improved the condition of the Indians, and it is hoped that the improvement may last until the reforms have been introduced. Many of the chief criminals have fled the country, and the Peruvian Government are endeavouring to effect their capture, although the inacces- sibility of the country and the long distances render this a difficult task. I venture to point to the course of this matter as a signal proof of the need for such a Society as ours, with- out which it is difficult to see how this terrible story of cruel wrongs committed on a helpless native people in a remote region of South America could have been brought to the notice of the authorities in such a way as to secure the full investi- gation which has now happily been made, and which, it is hoped, will lead to effective reforms being introduced.—I am,