HC Deb 12 February 1878 vol 237 cc1533-4

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he has received information that Mr. Frank J. Colenso and Dr. Walter Smith have been appointed by Cetywayo, the Zulu King, his agents in Natal to communicate with the British authorities; and, whether, having regard to the desirability of establishing direct diplomatic relations with the Zulus, Her Majesty's Government will consent to recognize Messrs Colenso and Smith as Cetywayo's agents?


I have received information that letters have been addressed by Messrs. Colenso and Smith to Sir Henry Bulwer and Sir Theophilus Shepstone, in which they, being British subjects, claim to be recognized by the Governments of Natal and the Transvaal as agents of the Zulu King. But it appears at least doubtful whether any such appointment has been made by Cetywayo himself, as communications recently received from him in the ordinary way make no mention of anything of the kind; and, in any event, I think there are obvious objections to the recognition of persons in the position of these gentlemen, who are, I believe, practising lawyers in the Colony of Natal, without any special connection with the Zulus, as diplomatic agents from an independent Native King to the Colonial Government under which they live.