HC Deb 24 May 1875 vol 224 cc794-5

In reply to Mr. EVELYN ASHLEY,


said: Sir, I am sorry to say that a slight disturbance did occur in Griqualand West. The circumstances were these—An Ordinance of the Cape Government of the date of 1853, which is in operation in the Province prohibits the sale or transfer of arms or ammunition among private persons without a permit being first obtained from the Government. In consequence of it being discovered that this ordinance was being systematically evaded, proceedings were instituted against a dealer, who was convicted and fined £50, with an alternative of three months' imprisonment in default of payment. The fine not being paid, the defendant was arrested, which resulted in a threatening attitude being assumed by the diggers, who largely outnumbered the small local police force at the disposal of the authorities. The affair was however, eventually arranged by a cheque being handed in for the amount of the fine, it being understood that it would not be made use of until after an opportunity had been offered of a review of the case by way of appeal in the ordinary course. No troops have been sent, not, as I have heard it stated in some quarters, on account of any difficulties attending their transport, but because in the opinion of Sir Henry Barkly there was no necessity for their despatch.