HC Deb 16 December 1878 vol 243 cc858-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether there was any truth in the statement made in a Reuter's telegram, published that morning, to the effect that Sir Bartle Frere had addressed an ultimatum to the King of the Zulus; and, if so, whether the right hon. Gentleman could give any information as to the nature of that ultimatum?


asked, If there was no truth in the report, what were the present relations between the King of the Zulus and the Government of South Africa?


The present state of our relations with the Zulus is undoubtedly threatening, but not, I hope, quite of the nature that might be assumed from the telegram which has been referred to by the hon. Member. The last telegram which I received from Sir Bartle Frere was as follows, dated November 19:— We have desired Cetywayo to summon his councillors and send proper persons to receive the award regarding the disputed territory, and further communications regarding our future relations. That, I think, must be the message which is described in The Times telegram of November 26 as an ultimatum. So far from bearing the character ordinarily attached to that term, I think there is good reason to hope that it may lead to a peaceful settlement of the questions at issue; but this, of course, greatly depends on the disposition of the Zulu King.