HC Deb 30 May 1865 vol 179 cc1105-7

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, What is the understanding between the Home Government and Colonics possessing Representative Institutions as to the defence of those Colonies in the event of any future war? This was a subject of great importance, and he hoped he should obtain a satisfactory answer, for he found that the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope had persuaded or compelled the Kaffirs to occupy and colonize some territory on the other side of the River Kei. This was an act totally unconnected with the Colonial Legislature—it was not their policy and they had nothing to do with it. In reply to a Question he asked the right hon. Gentleman last night, he said that the responsibility of defending the Capo Colony had fallen on this country, and that the colony contributed very little to the expenses of that defence. The light hon. Gentleman also said that the Governor in offering a settlement to the Kaffirs was acting under instructions from homo, and that it involved no complications and no possibilities likely to lead to war. He was glad to hoar that, but some of the colonists were of a different opinion—they thought it would lead to war, and some of them were no doubt anxious it should. But the policy of this country with regard to the colonies ought to be such as would throw all the responsibility of such complications upon the Colonial Legislature, which held to the Queen only a nominal allegiance, and did not acknowledge the control of this House. They must all recollect that they already had had several disastrous affairs in the Cape Colony, and that the last Kaffir war was exceedingly burdensome to this country, was conducted with unheard-of cruelties on the part of the natives, and cost a great deal of money, the expenditure of which was of no benefit except to contractors. Under such circumstances as these, considering the disinterested position in which we stood as between the Natives and the colonists, we ought to take care that if war did arise the colonists should be bound to bear the whole burden of it, and that if we give any help it should be of a voluntary character instead of being cast upon us by the policy of our own Governor. He hoped that some understanding had been clearly laid down between the colony and the mother country as to the future. They heard a good deal of the loyalty of the colonists, but he appreciated that sort of loyalty which would stand the test of taxation.


said, he was sorry his hon. Friend was not satisfied with the explanation which he gave last night, and the more so as be appeared to have entirely misunderstood one of the propositions contained in that explanation. His hon. Friend seemed to have understood that he laid down as a proposition that the expenses of any future Kaffir wars should be defrayed mainly by this country, and that the colony should bear but a small proportion of them. What he stated was much to the contrary. When his hon. Friend put his Question to him last evening, he (Mr. Cardwell) referred his hon. Friend to the papers laid on the table during the present Session, showing that the Governor, acting under instructions from home, had been taking those measures best calculated to prevent the risk of a Kaffir war by limiting our possessions to the Kei, and by offering to the Kaffirs territory for settlement there, and thus giving them cause for contentment, and diminishing the risk of war. His hon. Friend must also know that in the course of the present Session an Act of Parliament had been passed for the purpose of including the Territory of British Kaffraria within the Territory of the Cape Colony, one of the reasons adduced for which was that it would be more natural to call upon the Cape Colony to contribute a fair share of the expenditure under the new arrangement than under the old. He was not prepared to agree with his hon. Friend that, as a matter of course, the placing of Native affairs more and more under the control of representative institutions in which the Natives had no share, was the best means of preventing these difficulties with the Natives. That must be a matter of judgment under all the I circumstances. If his hon. Friend would refer to the papers laid upon the table during the present Session, he would see that it had been the earnest desire, both of the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope and the Home Government, to avoid all extension of territory, to choose that frontier best calculated to avert risk of war, and the most easily defensible in the case of war, and to make those friendly arrangements with the Kaffir tribes which would give them just cause of contentment and peace.


inquired whether, in the event of the Motion for the adjournment of the House being agreed to, the noble Lord at the head of the Government would undertake to keep a House during the remainder of the night, as there were several very important Motions on the Notice Paper?