HC Deb 18 February 1879 vol 243 c1409

asked the Surveyor General of the Ordnance, If his attention has been drawn to the Despatch of Lord Chelmsford to the Secretary of State for War, dated 25th November 1878, reporting that he was unable to mobilise the Natal Native Contingent owing to his demands for camp equipment not having been complied with; and if he will state the reason of the delay in complying with such demands?


Yes, Sir, my attention has been drawn to the matter in question, and with the permission of the House I will state what actually occurred. A telegram was received from Lord Chelmsford on 4th August as follows:—"No more supplies are required at present to be sent to Cape Colony or Natal." Acting upon this telegram, the outstanding orders for camp equipment were not executed; but the precaution was taken at the same time to so inform Lord Chelmsford. He telegraphed back on October 26 that his previous telegram referred to commissariat supplies only. The demands for camp equipment, which had been previously cancelled, were immediately ordered to be complied with, and the supplies were despatched to Natal with as little delay as possible.

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