HC Deb 27 June 1879 vol 247 cc837-8

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether, as the Cape Mounted Yeomanry are not in any way under the Secretary of State for War, they are under the Commander-in- Chief, or under what military commander they are acting; and, whether the Secretary of State for the Colonies exercises control over the Mounted Yeomanry, and if he has inquired whether the statement has any foundation that Colonel Brabant, with a detachment of these men, threw explosive dynamite and fired cannon into a cave occupied by Basutos and their women and children?


Sir, the Cape Mounted Yeomanry are under the command of the Commander-in-Chief of the Colonial Forces of the Cape. That officer is, of course, controlled by the responsible Ministers of the Colony. The operations in Basutoland have been undertaken solely by the Cape Government, and the pay of the Force does not in any way come out of the fund voted by this House. I should expect to receive—indeed, I have received—some despatches from Sir Bartle Frere, the Governor of Cape Colony, detailing some of the occurrences of this war; but nothing relating to the employment of dynamite under the circumstances mentioned. If I thought for a moment there was any necessity to do so, I should forward a remonstrance to the Cape Government; and if there was any case calling for inquiry, I should direct such inquiry to be made. But I have neither the right nor the wish to interfere with individual officers in the service of the Cape Government.