HC Deb 09 April 1877 vol 233 cc770-1

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he can give any information as to the progress of the Mission to the South African Republic; and, whether there is any truth in the statement that Her Majesty's Commissioner, Sir Theophilus Shepstone, has warned the Government at Pretoria that, failing an arrangement for Confederation,it would be necessary to annex the territory of the Republic to Her Majesty's South African Colonies?


Sir, there is no official information which can at this moment be given to the House, but from private communications received at the Colonial Office there is reason to believe that Sir Theophilus Shepstone has pointed out to the Government of the Transvaal the hopeless condition of anarchy into which the Rupublic has fallen and the imminent risks of further outbreaks on the part of the Native tribes, involving the greatest danger not only to the whole White population of the Transvaal, but to the peace of Her Majesty's Possessions in South Africa—a danger which would become very imminent if he were to return, leaving the Government of the Republic in no safer and stronger position than at present. Her Majesty's Governmant have no desere to interfere in the internal administration of the Transvaal, if the authorities are able to defend themselves and to maintain order; but failing this, Sir Theophilus Shepstone may obviously be compelled, for the protection of the lives of British subjects, both in the Republic and the neighbouring Colonies, to call in the aid of Her Majesty's troops now stationed for the purposes of public security on the frontier of Natal.