HC Deb 16 December 1878 vol 243 cc855-6

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he can inform the House when the Arbitration on the subject of the boundary between the Transvaal and Zululand will be completed; and, whether it is true that Colonel Wood crossed the disputed territory with a military force before the question of ownership had been settled?


The subject which is generally known as the boundary dispute between the Transvaal and Zululand was referred to thro a Commissioners, appointed by Sir Henry Bulwer, who were directed to hold an inquiry on the spot and report the facts of the case, but not to make any award or arbitration with respect to it. Their Report was sent to Sir Bartle Frere, who is now in Natal, the principal object of his visit there being to arrive at a decision upon this matter; and I understand that he has already informed Cetywayo that he is prepared to communicate that decision to him. I believe that the action taken by Colonel Wood was to the following effect:—The settlers at Luneburg, a place north of the Pongolo River, to which it does not appear that the Zulu King has any right whatever, and which is outside the disputed territory inquired into by the Boundary Commission, were reported to have received notice to quit their farms from a Zulu Chief. Colonel Wood took a small body of Her Majesty's troops to Luneberg for their protection, and in doing so may have crossed the territory which is now the subject of arbitration. I believe he acted on his own responsibility; but so far as the accounts which have yet reached me enable me to judge, I do not see how he could have taken any other course consistently with his duty.