CONDITIONS IN CONGO STATE
Explained by Beigian Consul.--Charges of Misrule and Cruelty Unfounded.
Hon. E. Sumner Mansfield '68, Belgian Consul in Boston, delivered an interesting and convincing lecture last evening on "The Congo Question" in the Living Room of the Union. As an introduction to his lecture, Mr. Mansfield gave a detailed account of the history of the Congo Free State. In 1876 King Leopold caused the formation of the International African Association which immediately sent an expedition to the east coast of Africa.
Turning then to the main part of the lecture, Mr. Mansfield said that it is the system of taxation which has caused the great amount of really unjust criticism. In order to maintain education, religion, and an the efficient government the natives have been taxed forty hours of work per month, for which they were paid the usual wages. In enforcing this there naturally have been isolated instances of cruelty and oppression, but it was a false report on the part of the British Consul of the Congo Free State that gave rise to the late accusations of misrule.
In conclusion, Mr. Mansfield admitted that the proper method of taxation had not yet been reached but reaffirmed that most of the criticisms of the means employed to effect taxation were entirely false.