HC Deb 20 February 1877 vol 232 cc734-5

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, If he will state what progress has been made in the recent negotiations between the Home Government and Governments of the Cape Colonies towards confederation; if he will inform the House the nature of the instructions given to Sir Theophilus Shepstone with reference to his mission to the Transvaal Republic; and, if the Government have considered the desirability of annexing, by negotiation or otherwise, the Transvaal Settlements?


Sir, the Secretary of State has transmitted to each of the States and Colonies concerned a copy of the draft Bill which he has prepared for enabling the confederation of the Colonies and States in South Africa to be effected, and he is awaiting the expression of their opinion on the measure. Sir Theophilus Shepstone was directed to inquire into the causes which brought about the war between Sococoeni and the Transvaal, to render all good offices with the view of putting an end to it, to confer with Her Majesty's High Commissioner, and to take such steps as may be necessary for the promotion of British interests and the protection of Her Majesty's possessions in South Africa. Her Majesty's Government are of opinion that it would be greatly to the interest of the Transvaal Republic, as well as the British Colonies, that the Republic should come under the British flag, and Lord Carnarvon has invited the opinion of the President upon the draft Bill for the Confederation of the South African Colonies and States, of which the Republic would form a part.