HC Deb 31 March 1879 vol 245 cc20-127


Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [27th March], That this House, while willing to support Her Majesty's Government in all necessary measures for defending the possessions of Her Majesty in South Africa, regrets that the ultimatum which was calculated to produce immediate war should have been presented to the Zulu King without authority from the responsible advisers of the Crown, and that an offensive war should have been commenced without imperative and pressing necessity or adequate preparation; and this House further regrets that after the censure passed upon the High Commissioner by Her Majesty's Government in the Despatch of the 19th day of March 1879, the conduct of affairs in South Africa should be retained in his hands."—(Sir Charles W. Dilke.)

And which Amendment was, At the end of the Question, to add the words "and that a war of invasion was undertaken with insufficient forces, notwithstanding the full information in the possession of Her Majesty's Government of the strength of the Zulu Army, and the warnings which they had received from Sir Bartle Frere and Lord Chelmsford that hostilities were unavoidable."—(Colonel Mure.)

Question again proposed, "That those words be there added."

Debate resumed.


said, that the issue which was in the hands of the House, and to which he desired to address himself more especially, was whether Her Majesty's Government were or were not deserving of censure for not having recalled Sir Bartle Frere? The Government had admitted the gravity of the circumstances by having themselves censured the High Commissioner for the action he had taken in the prosecution of his policy as regarded the Ultimatum; but they retained him in his important position, although they were not prepared to defend that policy itself. He held that the Government must be blamed for not having recalled Sir Bartle Frere, whose policy they were not prepared, on the one hand, to condemn, or, on the other, to defend. Whilst, however, arraigning Her Majesty's Government for not having arrived at a conclusion as to the policy of the High Commissioner, he must at once make a very great admission. He admitted that in their hesitation, in their reluctance to form any judgment upon the policy of Sir Bartle Frere, in their desire, as far as possible, to put off the moment of decision, they were not sinners above all Galileans. They desired to defer decision until something more made it inevitable; whereas those who supported the Resolution be- lieved that the honour and interests of the country required that he should be recalled immediately. The policy of the Government was very much like the conduct of a great number of hon. Members of the House and of a very large proportion of the inhabitants of this country, who for a long time were willing to lot the High Commissioner follow out his own course, and who might have been still willing to let him alone, but for what must be called a preventible accident. In the remarks which he proposed to address to the House, he would not enter into the question which, in his opinion, had been obtruded into the debate—he was not going to discuss the cause of the disaster at Isandlana. He would not presume to condemn the General, whose defence was not yet in their hands. Still less would he pretend to pass judgment upon those who were dead, and could never speak for themselves; and he very deeply regretted that a large—he could scarcely say a generous—construction of the words of the Motion should have been held to justify the introduction into the debate of a subject the discussion of which ought never to have formed part of it. With regard to Sir Bartle Frere, it was clear that up to the last moment—indeed, until the disaster occurred—the Government were willing to withhold their judgment upon the action of the Lord High Commissioner, as they still withheld their judgment upon his policy". In his extraordinary despatch of the 23rd of January, the Colonial Secretary expressed a little surprise—a very faint surprise—at this action; but he went on to say that the High Commissioner was on the spot, that he probably knew more of the whole subject than they did at home, and that they should continue to trust him in the future as they had before. He should like to hear from some right hon. Gentleman opposite an explanation of that despatch. There was another reason why he refrained, personally, from fixing upon the Government the extreme censure to which they might be exposed. They were not committed to any approval of the policy of Sir Bartle Frere. They distinctly refrained from approval, as they had from condemnation. It was not, of course, the position a Government ought to occupy; but still it was a position which he should remember in that debate, because it left it open to him to hope that some Members of the Government, by seriously considering the policy of the High Commissioner, by realizing the end to which be was hurrying the country, might find reason to condemn it, and might resolve to abandon it—which they would hesitate to do if they felt that it was entirely pressed home to them. For his part, he was willing and desirous of giving them every opportunity of retreating from a position which was certainly damaging to them, but which was much more damaging to the honour and interests of the country. The question which he wished to examine was one which preceded the disaster at Isandlana, and might, perhaps, survive the extinction of the present Zulu polity, and it was the only question of interest to them as regarded the future; and he was glad to think that his observations would be shortened, owing to the able and exhaustive speeches of his hon. "Friend the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke) and of the hon. Baronet the Member for Midhurst (Sir Henry Holland), the latter of which was more impressive, because it was evident that it was delivered from an enforced conviction which compelled the speaker to separate, although with great reluctance, from his Party. In dealing with this question it was necessary to refer to the situation in South Africa when Sir Bartle Frere first went out as Lord High Commissioner. At that time Confederation had been resolved upon, and the Transvaal was on the point of being annexed. The Government had determined to reverse a policy which for more than a quarter of a century bad given us peace in South Africa. That policy had been one of strict limitation of our responsibilities and of our dominions. The force of circumstances had compelled the Government of the day to review our position in that part of the world as far back as 1852, and they resolved that our possessions and responsibilities should be limited to Cape Colony and Natal, and they recognized the independence of the Orange Free State and of the Transvaal Republic. They saw that by so recognizing the independence of these two States they interposed between our possessions and the barbarism of Central Africa free and independent communities, to some extent civilized, however rude in their government and policy. Well, that policy, so adopted, was acted upon for nearly 30 years, when Her Majesty's Government resolved to abandon it. He had never protested, and did not then protest, against the admissibility of the principle on which the Transvaal was annexed. He was ready to allow that where a State contiguous to our own was so badly governed as to be a source of danger to ourselves, we might be justified in annexing it, and thus suppressing its independence and controlling its destiny. He was not prepared to contend that the annexation of the Transvaal was inadmissible in principle on the grounds which were put forward in justification of that step. Nor had he ever pretended that the Boers were immaculate in their dealings with their neighbours, or perfect in their self-government. But the notion that all the characteristics of European States should be found among rude farmers, severed from European thought and influence, whose literature was confined to the Bible—almost to the Old Testament—was, he maintained, an extravagant one. Neither history nor the knowledge of human nature justified a demand for highly-civilized qualities in such a community as the Boers. He had, however, contended, and still contended, that in spite of the defects of the Transvaal Republic we bad no ground for the annexation of that territory, as the defects that existed did not constitute a sufficient reason, and as the annexation increased our responsibilities and exposed us to certain and immediate danger. We had taken upon ourselves the government of a country which we could not control on account of the extent of the territory, the sparse-ness of the population, and because the inhabitants were irreconcilably hostile to our dominion. Moreover, by doing so, we had exposed ourselves to the assumption of every border quarrel in which the Boers might have been engaged, seeing that by the annexation we made the Boers part of ourselves. In fact, we took over the responsibilities of the Boers without receiving from them any assurance of help, should we become involved in their disputes. These were the reasons why he opposed the annexation of the Transvaal, from which he believed that all our subse- quent difficulties were derived. He did not say that those difficulties were the necessary consequences of the annexation, for time after time a locus pani-tentia had been presented to the Government; but he hold that they were the natural consequences of the policy which had been followed. The Zulu War was only one episode of our bad South African policy, and of the dangers to which that policy might be destined to load. In referring to the annexation of the Transvaal, he would shortly bring to the recollection of the House the specific grounds upon which the annexation was based. The Transvaal Republic had entered into a war with Secocœni, a war which we denounced as arising out of an unjustifiable encroachment, and because it was conducted with circumstances of unparalleled ferocity and cruelty through the employment of Swazi auxiliaries. Lastly, we had declared that imminent danger arose from that war, because, after being engaged in it, the Transvaal Forces were not successful and were obliged to retire. A peace had, indeed, been patched up before the annexation, and had, perhaps, precipitated it. It was argued, however, that the Transvaal Republic were unable to cope successfully with that war. Then there had been a war imminent between Cete-wayo and the Transvaal Republic—a war which we had denounced as a war of aggression, and of which we had said, that if it did break out, it would result in disaster to the Transvaal Republic, and would expose ourselves to danger, and possibly to ruin. He would have to prove that this country, having annexed the Transvaal Republic, had taken up the bad work it had had in hand, and that it had almost irresistibly taken it up. This, perhaps, could scarcely be helped; it was almost a necessary consequence of the transactions that had taken place, and thus we had, he was going to say, stultified ourselves, but we had done worse than that—we had dishonoured ourselves, by showing in our conduct towards these Native Border Chiefs every fault for which we had denounced the Transvaal Republic, and which we had put forward as adequate reasons for suppressing that Republic. Sir Theophilus Shepstone had long been trusted as an Administrator in South Africa, and it was a remarkable thing that he was still so trusted now. For 20 years he had been Secretary for Native Affairs in South Africa, when there arose a difficulty with Langalibalele—a difficulty in which it was thought that he had acted quite wrongly, and he had come over here to justify his conduct. Before that occurrence he had behaved extremely well in his position; but in that business he seemed to have taken a course which one would have thought would have caused all confidence in him to be forfeited. He laid every justification of his course before Lord Carnarvon, and as he (Mr. Courtney) might have to refer to Lord Carnarvon before he had done, and might not be able to express any very high estimate either of his prescience or of his power, he was very glad to be able at this stage to pay a tribute of respect to his courage in this matter. Lord Carnarvon had looked into it very carefully, and having formed a conclusion which he (Mr. Courtney) believed to be thoroughly right, had stood to that conclusion in spite of every temptation to swerve from it, and nothing could do Lord Carnarvon more credit than the determination with which he had adhered to it. Yet it was remarkable that Sir Theophilus Shepstone had acquired such an influence over Lord Carnarvon that, after he had been adjudged wrong, he should have been sent out to South Africa to deal almost as he himself might think fit with the independent Republics existing there. His conduct in relation to the annexation of the Transvaal had been, at the outset, marred by two faults. He had gone out, and had neglected the conditions upon which his powers were issued. He had been told to satisfy himself that the people of the Transvaal themselves desired the annexation, and to obtain the concurrence of the Lord High Commissioner; but he had never obtained either the assent of the High Commissioner, or the consent of the people of the Transvaal. Although it was given out at the time that the latter were delighted with this annexation, he did not suppose there was a man in the House, and certainly not a man in the Cape, who thought so now. The evidence was complete and crushing that the people of the Transvaal had absolutely resisted the idea of annexation. It was a most extraordinary thing that an Agent who I had shown such a want of discretion in the case of Langalibalele, and such a disregard of orders in connection with the annexation of the Transvaal, should still be retained in his post. The matter might, perhaps, be explained by the fact that a good deal of ignorance as to these South African affairs existed at home; and it was so very convenient, in the Colonial Office and elsewhere, to get hold of a man whom they believed to know everything about it, that they would not let him go, except under the direst necessity. Sir Theophilns Shepstone was thought to know everything about South Africa, and so, though he had acted wrongly again and again, he was still supported. What had been the conduct of Sir Theophilus Shepstone since the annexation? One of the grounds for annexation was the war waged by the Boers against Secocœni. If the annexation had, indeed, been permitted for the purposes and with the objects by which it was justified, if we had taken the place of the Government which we had denounced as pursuing a bad policy, surely the first thing Sir Theophilus Shepstone ought to have done would have been to represent the altered aspect of affairs to Secocœni, and say to him—"Our predecessors, the Government of the Transvaal, were perfectly unjustified in their attacks upon you; the peace that has been made is not a just one, and we will, therefore, remit the fine exacted from you and restore you to the condition which existed before the outbreak of hostilities." We denounced the Transvaal Republic for making the war; but Sir Theophilus Shepstone, instead of making friends with Secocceni, insisted upon the payment of the fine of 1,000 head of cattle which he had agreed to pay the Boers; and, as a consequence, the war, which had actually come to an end, broke out afresh, and was at the present moment simply suspended, only to be resumed when circumstances were favourable for the conduct of warlike operations. Speaking the other evening, the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Colonies described this as a new war; but it was only an old war resumed, for if the Papers on the subject which had been written by Sir Theophilus Shepstone were read, it would be found that he regarded hostilities as simply suspended. Aninter-tribal dispute had, indeed, arisen outside what we had held to be the true frontier of the Transvaal, and this was followed by the re-opening of the war, now suspended, but to be resumed at the earliest convenient moment. It was clear Sir Theophilus Shepstone from the first had determined to re-open the war. He had written that the peace was "in every respect unsatisfactory, humiliating, and damaging to the power of the Transvaal." Lord Chelmsford, moreover, had not regarded the present war as new. He had stated that "the legacy of trouble handed down from the former Government had demanded the presence of Colonel Rowlands." Much had been said as to the history of the war with Cetewayo, but little as to that with Secocœni. One thing was, however, abundantly clear—namely, that in both struggles our Forces had been compelled to retire after making a first attack, and that only renewed hostilities in greater force could give any hope of permanent success to our arms. The explanation of all this was that Sir Theophilus Shepstone had not the courage to take a straightforward course. Knowing that the Boers were most strongly opposed to British rule in the territory affected, he thought the only way of conciliating them was for us to take up their quarrels as the price of the transfer. Thus the injustice and wrong committed by the Boers was, so to speak, perpetuated. Had it not been, in fact, that Sir Theophilus Shepstone feared the resentment of the Boers, he might, at the outset of the transfer, have adopted a generous course. But the first wrong had brought on the second, and this was the almost inevitable result of Sir Theophilus Shop-stone's policy. Then as to Cetewayo. What might have been expected after we took over the Transvaal? Up to the time of the annexation Sir Theophilus Shepstone had been a constant friend and ally of the Zulus. He had visited Cetewayo again and again, and had always declared that the claim of the King to the contested lands was right; but after the annexation of the Transvaal his tone entirely changed. He made no concessions, as he ought to have done, to Cetewayo of the lands to which his right had previously been admitted, and he became, in fact, a participator in the injustice of the Boers, whom, having first pronounced entirely in the wrong, he now found to be just as clearly in the right. It was clear that Cetewayo and the Zulus had to be coerced in order to make the Boers loyal. There was another point which deserved a passing comment. In the course of former difficulties our officials at the Cape, and among them Sir Theophilus Shepstone, denounced the Dutch for employing the Swazis as auxiliaries, on the ground that their conduct in war was most shocking and barbarous; but it was now found that we were anxious to employ these people against Cetewayo, and that the only complaint to be made against them was that they showed no particular readiness to serve, and were not likely to come in as auxiliaries until the first success had been achieved by the Imperial Armies. That first success had not been gained; and it would be matter for congratulation if this country were spared the dishonour of having these bloodthirsty Swazis as her allies. He would only say a word respecting the award of the Commissioners. That award was in favour of Cetewayo. But when the award was finally issued, it was found to assign the Sovereignty only of the disputed land to Cetewayo, subject, moreover, to the reservation by Sir Bartle Frere, that no act of Sovereignty in the land in dispute by Cetewayo should be exercised without the consent, and under the control, of the President who was to take up his abode in Cetowayo's Kingdom. At the same time, the award reserved to the Boers all their farms, thus depriving Cetewayo of all beneficial interest whatever. First, therefore, the Sovereignty only was given, and then this mere Sovereignty was controlled; and this was done, as Sir Bartle Frere explained, to teach the Zulu King the distinction between Sovereignty and rights of occupancy. He was inclined to think that the only lesson which Cetewayo would learn from this was, that there was no law like— The good old rule, the simple plan, That they should take who have the power, And they should keep who can. Let him say a few words upon the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary. While dealing with this question, the right hon. Gentleman was pleased to be somewhat sarcastic upon two hon. Members on that side of the House, the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke), and the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain), because of their refusal to admit the justification of the reservation of the rights of the Boer settlers. It was said that it was very extraordinary that the two hon. Members were very much disposed to protect Irish tenants in South Ireland, but not the rights of the Boer settlers in South Africa. It appeared to him (Mr. Courtney) that the reasoning of the Colonial Secretary had a good deal of simplicity about it. One thing was clear from this reasoning—the Colonial Secretary represented the two cases as parallel. [SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH: No.] If not parallel, what was the point of the sarcasm levelled at the hon. Members? The right hon. Gentleman seemed to have been unconscious that his argument told against himself. He stood confessed guilty of inconsistency. He had not heard that the right hon. Gentleman was so very strong in his defence of the occupancy of Irish tenants; but if he was strong in the case of the Boers in South Africa, why not support the tenants in South Ireland?


explained that his contention was that the rights of the Boers were infinitely stronger than those to which he alluded elsewhere.


said, suppose it was held that the rights of the Boers were stronger. It was a matter of principle, and whether these rights were stronger or weaker did not matter. The Colonial Secretary had, however, quite misunderstood his hon. Friends. They had never said the Boers were entitled to no protection. It was said that right and justice required that the rights of the Boers should be respected. He was not given to flattering the House; but one thing he should never hesitate to anticipate from it, and that was the most exact appreciation of the rights of property; and he believed in this instance there was not a Member present but must feel, as his hon. Friends contended, that the rights conceded to the Dutch Boers ought to have been protected, but protected at the cost of the Transvaal Government—that was, at the cost of ourselves—instead of at the cost of Cete- wayo. There was a dispute between the two Governments as to particular lands. The conclusion was come to that they belonged to Cotewayo; but, in the meantime, a wrongful owner put in certain tenants, who might be bonâ fide settlers. Let them go to the Government that put them in and get compensation. The whole award was tainted by a grievous injustice. What was the secret of this award? Why, it was this—Sir Theophilus Shepstone and Sir Bartle Frere both knew quite well that if the Boers were to be ousted it was impossible to retain the Transvaal, and it was this untenable circumstance which was the secret of all our wrong-doing; and if they wanted to know why we were at war with Secocœni, why we were employing the brutal Swazis, why Sir Bartle Frere violated right and justice, the secret was always this—he wanted to appease the Boers of the Transvaal. And yet they were not loyal. The Boers resisted intrusion; but in order to reconcile them to our authority wrong had been done to Secocœni, and would be done to Cetewayo. Next, one or two words as to the Ultimatum sent to Cetewayo. He had not heard any hon. Member say, nor had he heard any reference elsewhere, to a circumstance connected with this case which appeared to him to be very material and well worth considering. It was this—What was the relation in which women were regarded towards men throughout the whole of Zululand, and, indeed, wherever Zulu laws prevailed—that was to say, in Natal itself? There had been a discussion in this House last July on the Native law in Natal. It came out then that in Natal itself, among the Natives, and in Zululand also, the principle subsisting between the sexes was this—that every woman was the property of some one man. When a man grew to man's estate he invested his earnings in women; he was the owner of so many. They were his working agents, they did all his work; they were his estate, and in the case of a man by some extraordinary process becoming bankrupt, the schedule of his estate consisted of so many women, and at the death of a man the women were parted as the inheritance which belonged to him. A woman could have no independent existence as a member of the community; and that was carried to such an extent that in Natal a question arising as to a matter which would otherwise have been a crime committed against a woman, the case was quashed, on the ground that the woman was the property of the man who had perpetrated the act attempted to be made the subject of indictment. That prevailed in our own Colony of Natal, and the object of the discussion last July was to induce the Colonial Secretary to modify that law in Natal. If the Government had realized this relation between the sexes, then the pursuit of the women who ran away in our territory by the sons of Sirayo, and their re-capture, would have been seen to be nothing more in the eyes of the Zulus than the pursuit of two runaway colts. And if that was kept in mind, the House would understand what was admitted in this Correspondence—that over and over again such claims had been acceded to, and women had been taken back from one side to the other as property—lost, stolen, or strayed. He did not defend it for a moment; but, in issuing an Ultimatum of peace or war, to put this matter in the forefront, ignoring the relation of the sexes in the Colony, was to do a thing which might please people at home, but he could not conceive how Sir Bartle Frere could be ignorant of the weakness and unsubstantial character of that part of his case. Then, as to the Army and character of Cetewayo; there was one point which ought to be cleared up. Was that Army a menace? He did not know what hon. Members meant by menace. Did they understand by it that it was a danger or a threat? That the Zulu Army was a power he admitted; but that it was a menace was a declaration for which there was not a scrap of evidence. These things were thought about and spoken of in a wonderfully loose way. For instance, the General Officer Commanding, in a despatch to the Secretary of State for War, dated October 27, said— It appears doubtful whether these measures are the result, of the King's uneasiness on hearing of the movements of the Imperial troops from Maritzburg to Newcastle, and from Utrecht to Luneburg, and are to be regarded as only measures of precaution against attack, or if it be part of a concerted plan of offensive action against the Imperial Government. On the same day the same General Commanding forwarded to Sir Bartle Frere a Memorandum, in which he said— The assembly of a large number of Zulu regiments at the King's kraal must undoubtedly be considered as a menace either to Natal or to the Transvaal. Yet he had just said it was doubtful whether it was a menace or not. Again, within a week the General Commanding writes— The news received from Zululand does not modify in any way the opinion I expressed last week that the movements of Cetewayo's Army may be for either defence or attack. Yet we are told that this was a menace; and, indeed, people often spoke of it as if a danger and a menace meant the same thing. Whether it were realty a menace depended upon the character of Cetewayo, and on this point there was some evidence which deserved attention. Language of insult and passion had been reported by Native messengers to Sir Henry Bulwer as having been used by Cetewayo. The report, it should be observed, was made by Native messengers who went to Cetewayo and came back again. Most of the communications from Cetewayo were made by his own messengers who were received by the Government of Natal; or else the communications were made by himself to Englishmen who went to him, or to Mr. John Dunn, our Resident there. In the case of Langalibalele, the origin of all the mischief that had happened was traced to the misrepresentation of Langalibalele's action and language by a Native messenger; and possibly this message of Cetewayo might also have been distorted. There was another circumstance which stared in the face everybody who read the Blue Book. Our resident magistrate on the Border suggested that rum might be very much to blame for the message. It was possible that the language of Cetewayo was the language of a man who was in his cups. He did not deny that the words of a drunken man were dangerous if he possessed uncontrolled authority. It had been assumed, in spite of all the authorities, that Cetewayo had uncontrolled power in Zululand. He had nothing of the kind. The polity of Zululand was not a civilized polity, but it was an artificial and a well-developed polity; and there were rules of government in Zululand now as there were among the Germans and Gauls in the days of the Romans—rules which well deserved the consideration of philo- sophic historians. It appeared from the Blue Book that Cetewayo, even if he had the will, did not possess the power to carry out the threats which were imputed to him. Mr. Shepstone, not Sir Theophilus, writing on the subject, on November 26th, said that Cetewayo had excited the indignation of many leading men in the Zulu nation; for it appeared he had received and replied to messages of importance without the slightest reference to a single Chief, so that the message of which so much had been made—a message probably mis-translated—was a message which he had given without the assistance of any one of his privy councillors, and did not at all represent the feeling of the Zulu nation. This question did not turn upon words, for we had something much more substantial. What had been the conduct of Cetewayo? If Cetewayo had been the terrible and treacherous enemy which he had been described to be, he would have been long ago at Natal, because Natal at one time had been denuded of troops and open to invasion, while his Force was as powerful as it was to-day, and yet not one single Zulu warrior had crossed the Tugela River. Again, what had been the conduct of Cetewayo in the dispute about the land? Last Christmas 12 months news came from the Cape that we must necessarily go to war with Cetewayo about this disputed land. Shortly afterwards, he (Mr. Courtney) sent a letter to The Times to the following effect:— It is not at all necessary that we should go to war if the slightest care is taken. Cetewayo is willing to refer the dispute to a Commission of Englishmen—one Englishman to be appointed by himself, one by the Transvaal Government, and the third to be chosen between the two. To their decision he would bow. That, he thought, was a reasonable proposition which a peace-loving Government should have seized upon. But the arbitration did not go so far as that, because, in the end, Cetewayo accepted the decision of a Commission appointed entirely by ourselves, saying, when he heard of its appointment, "that a load had been lifted off his heart." Was it possible, then, to sustain the argument that Cetewayo was bloodthirsty, treacherous, and cruel, and that he would, at the same time, gladly consent to refer his claims against this country to a Commission nominated by his enemies? The accusation bore with it its own contradiction. Much had been said about the "washing of spears;" but he thought it would be highly desirable to invent a process by which the brains of men could be washed with a weak solution of common sense. If we, with all our power, could not alter the law as to the relation of the sexes in our territory of Natal, how could we send an Ultimatum to this King and say that he must within 30 days entirely re-cast the Zulu military system and polity? He asked the Government what end they had in view? They were withholding their judgment in this matter. How long would they withhold their judgment? He thought the time was come when they might decide whether Sir Bartle Frere was pursuing a right policy or not. He supposed that the war would be prosecuted, and that peace would not be accorded to Cetewayo. He supposed the Zulu power would be broken. If half the Zulus were slain, we should have to accept government over the remainder—about 100,000 in number. But the Government said they would not annex. What, then, would they do? Already we had 300,000 Natives in Natal, and we could not manage them. Did they think they could establish peace in Zululand and reconcile additional hundreds of thousands to their rule? Again, was it not said that as soon as the sickly season was over, and their present business was done, they were going to fight Secocoeni? That would be a harder nut for them to crack even than subjugating Cetewayo. The people were not only powerful, but the country was difficult to traverse, and one portion of the year it would be impossible to conduct military operations there, and yet that war would be the immediate sequel of this. Then, what were they going to do with the Transvaal? Nobody now pretended that any appreciable section of the people of the Transvaal were reconciled, or likely to be reconciled, to our rule. The people of the Transvaal had their virtues as well as their vices, and among the former was an indestructible love of freedom and independence. They would not submit to us. They went forth from the Cape because they would not submit. We pursued them and sought to make them submit, and we had to give up the attempt. We had now taken them back, but still they would not submit to us. Inheriting the spirit which animated their forefathers at the siege of Leyden, they had carried into the wilderness that love of liberty, and that thirst for independence which originated in the swamps of Holland. If the policy begun by Sir Theophilus Shepstone, and followed by Sir Bartle Frere, were persisted in, we had trouble on trouble before us. We should next have the Swazis to deal with—a fierce race—and at every step we advanced we should meet with a new tribe and new difficulties. He had yet to give the most monstrous illustration of Sir Bartle Frere's policy. He referred to a despatch from Sir Bartle Frere written last May, but not sent over till July, and which reached here in August, when people were out of town, officials scattered, and counsel difficult. In that despatch Sir Bartle Frere inclosed Papers containing information as to a journey undertaken in June, 1876, by Mr. A. Bailey, Colonial Surveyor of Griqualand West, into the country between the Transvaal and the Zambesi, with the view of facilitating a steady supply of free labour to the Kimberley Mines. That was a suspicious project; but the despatch went on to say that copies of Mr. Bailey's Beports had been forwarded to Sir Theophilus Shepstone; that a certain time must elapse before he could pay much attention to the tribes between the Transvaal and the deserts beyond, but it would be seen that they were all the more or less anxious to be under the British flag; that the Report strongly confirmed the impression left by Mr. Palgrave's account of the country further back; that it would be found necessary, sooner or later, to extend the British dominion or Protectorate in some form or other over all the tribes between the Orange River and Lake N'gami, and the longer it was delayed the more troublesome the operation would become. The inclosure in the same despatch continued— To declare such a Protectorate as I have suggested appears to be a large scheme of annexation; but it is not so in reality. It is simply an authoritative declaration of facts already recognized by every petty Chief between the Orange River and the Southern limit of the Portuguese territory, that the Sovereign of England is the Great Chief, the displeasure of whose smallest official is more to be dreaded than the wrath of powerful Native Chieftains, who habitually protects the weak against the power, ful aggressor and loves to maintain peace. That despatch was followed by a Minute from Sir Theophilus Shepstoneu, who agreed in spirit with Sir Bartle Frere. Those gentlemen were arcades ambo—what the one suggested the other echoed. Sir Bartle Frere, in pursuance of that scheme, was to send two Agents northwards to see the Chiefs of the various tribes who were anxious to come under British protection. The credentials given to these Agents—Captain Patterson and Mr. Sargeaunt—by Sir Theophilus Shepstone stated that they were sent by him by direction of Her Majesty's High Commissioner, the Governor of the Cape, on a mission to the country of those Chiefs, to make inquiry into the complaints of certain traders and others respecting their treatment in the Matabele country and other matters. The letter of introduction further said— Trade is the exchange of things produced in one country for thing's produced in another, and if this exchange is properly carried out both parties receive advantage; but goodwill and a full understanding between the exchanging parties are necessary. No country or people can thrive unless peace and effective government can be assured, while trade languishes and dies in the presence of insecurity and disturbance. That would have been an admirable sentence about the mutual benefits of trade to send out to Lord Lorne to be communicated to the Canadian Ministry. But how a Native African Chief was to discover in it any invitation to put himself under the protection of England he failed to understand. But how was that suggested Protectorate overall the tribes between the Orange River and Lake N'gami received by the Secretary of State for the Colonies? That Minister's reply to Sir Bartle Frere's despatch was dated September 21, and it began by saying that he had read the Papers forwarded to him with interest, and by expressing approval of the action taken in sending the mission to the country of the Chiefs Khama and Lobengula. It then proceeded— With regard to the larger question, which is discussed at length in your despatch, and in that from Sir Theophilus Shepstone, of which you inclose a copy, as to the extension of British protection over the tribes situated to the North of and outside the limits of Her Majesty's possessions in South Africa, you have undoubtedly urged strong reasons in favour of the establishment of some kind of control over these Native Tribes in their relations one to another and to Europeans. But before expressing any definite opinion on a matter of such importance, I should be glad to receive some further explanations as to the details of the system which you desire to recommend. I should wish to know, for example, whether you would propose that such Residents should be appointed and paid by the Imperial or Colonial Government, and to whom they should be responsible? What would be their precise duties, with what tribes should they be placed, and how would their authority be enforced? On these, and other points connected with the practical operation of the scheme, I shall be glad to receive those fuller explanations which you will doubtless be better able to furnish when Captain Patterson and Mr. Sargeaunt shall have returned from their mission. Did the House know the sequel of that business? Those men never would return. Whether they met their death by treachery or by accident, by poison or by violence, was a thing that was unknown, and that probably would remain unknown for ever. The evidence was uncertain and contradictory. Only this much was known—that they went forth in the fashion he had described, and that they would never again come back from the wilderness where they had found a nameless grave. But what did Her Majesty's Government propose to do in that matter? There was no indication in the Blue Book that they had arrived at any decision on that proposal to extend the British Protectorate from the Orange River to Lake N'gami. They were bound to come to some decision, and to inform the House as to whether the policy of Sir Bartle Frere had their assent or not. The House had been told that it did not know what manner of man the High Commissioner was, and that he had twice received the honour of a Vote of Thanks from Parliament. One would fancy, from the way in which that fact had been dwelt upon by the Colonial Secretary and the Secretary of State for War, that to receive the thanks of Parliament was a species of canonization that at least carried with it the grace of impeccability. Not know what manner of man that was! It was to be hoped that one result of that debate would be that not only every Member of that House, but every man in England would know what manner of man Sir Bartle Frere was. The High Commissioner went forth attempting to extend our authority on all kinds of pretences, with all kinds of iniquity and dishonour, and with a perpetual disregard of our interest, which he yet affected to promote. He hoped that Her Ma- jesty's Government would be forced to arrive at some decision on this subject. And what should that decision be? He ventured to say that they ought to go back to the good old policy which they had abandoned two years ago. Let Her Majesty's Government confess the truth. The scheme of Confederation in South Africa was a foolish "fad." It had been attributed to Lord Carnarvon, in "another place," that he had originated and carried out the scheme of Confederation in our North American Colonies; but that noble Lord had no more to do with the concoction of the scheme than the hall porter at the Colonial Office had. That scheme had originated with the Brown-Macdonald Ministry in Canada, and it was fully debated and elaborated in the spring of 1866 in the debates in the Canadian Parliament. It was originated, conceived, and executed in Canada, and it was merely a vain and a feeble ambition on the part of Lord Carnarvon that led him to take up Confederation and apply it to other countries whose circumstances were totally unfavourable to it, and whose people were unfriendly to its reception. He (Mr. Courtney) did not say that the policy of Confederation might not, perhaps, be some day applicable to the South African Colonies; but, at present, all the necessary elements for carrying out that policy there were wanting. He, therefore, urged Her Majesty's Government to abandon altogether their vain attempt to force those Colonies of South Africa to Confederation, to undo the foolish act which they had done in annexing the Transvaal, and to restore to that territory the independence of which they had deprived it. Was that a difficult thing to do, or was it feared that such an act would reflect dishonour upon this country? In his opinion, it was the keeping of the Transvaal that was dishonourable and difficult. Sir Theophilus Shepstone had declared that that annexation had been accomplished with the free consent of the inhabitants of the territory. But it was now clear that the inhabitants of the State had not consented to that annexation; and therefore in annexing it, we had been misled, overreached, and deluded. If we had the courage of our convictions, our future in South Africa would be full of promise, and we should inaugurate a period of order, peace, and moderation in that part of the world. If we restored the Transvaal to independence, we should interpose a barrier between ourselves and Secocoeni; and by making the restoration of its independence subject to the condition that an equitable boundary line should be drawn between it and the dominions of the Zulu King, we should be able to approach Cetewayo with a better grace, and should be able to re-establish peaceful relations with him. He was entitled to make this recommendation to Her Majesty's Government, because by acting upon it they would only be reverting to the courageous policy of their Predecessors. It was in pursuance of that policy that Lord Hampton recognized, in 1852, the independence of the Transvaal, which was afterwards followed by the recognition of the Orange Free State. The Conservatives of that date were fully alive to the foolishness of the present policy. The Conservatism of those days was a Conservatism of moderation and of self-respect—it certainly was not one of bluster, either in its foreign, or in its Colonial relations. But the Conservative Party had not then at its head a Prime Minister whose policy was that of "adventures for the adventurous," nor a Foreign Secretary whose motto was De I'audace, et encore de I'audace, et toujours de Vaudace. He asked the Government to act as their Predecessors did, and give to the Transvaal that freedom which the Government of 1852 bestowed on that Colony; to undo the policy of Sir Bartle Frere, which could only result in the expenditure of our blood and money in the wilds of South Africa; to withdraw that man, and to replace him by one who would carry out a policy of moderation and peace.


said, that there was a strange contrast between the tone with which the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Courtney) commenced, and that with which he concluded, his impassioned harangue, and he was almost tempted to reverse, in his case, the attribute of the month of March, inasmuch as he had come in like a lamb and gone out like a hon. When he mentioned the Resolution at the commencement of his speech, he spoke in terms of moderation with regard to the policy of Her Majesty's Government, observing that there was much to be said on both sides; but towards its close, the real meaning of the attack which they had to meet came out in bold colours when he made a violent personal attack upon the Prime Minister and upon the noble Marquess the Foreign Secretary. The whole meaning of this Resolution was now clear, and he (Viscount Sandon) was glad it had been made so. Hon. Members opposite, however, had learnt something by experience. This was only one more of their long procession of attempted Votes of Censure upon Her Majesty's Government; but it had been kept in with more caution than in former days. They had tried to pass a Vote of Censure upon Her Majesty's Government when they took a course that had prevented the Mediterranean Sea from becoming subject to one great Power, and when they adopted a resolute policy in India, and they had received warnings from the country right and left which had compelled them to be cautious what they were about. Hon. Members opposite could not have forgotten that at the end of five years the Government majority of the House was unbroken and unimpaired; that constituency after constituency, which had been appealed to, perhaps, more often during the present Parliament than any other, had given their support to the Government; and that the only question that could arise was, whether the Government had gained or had lost one or two votes in consequence of those appeals. The policy of Her Majesty's Government had been approved at the recent Norfolk Election. Hon. Members opposite had, however, learnt their lesson, and therefore they had framed this very cautious Resolution, which, although it meant a great deal, appeared on its surface to be very harmless. It was very right and wise that hon. Members opposite should be cautious. The hon. Member for Liskeard had a perfect right to raise the question of the annexation of the Transvaal; but most of those who sat opposite could scarcely do so with good grace, inasmuch as the annexation of that State was one of those acts which had received the assent of the two great political Parties in that House, and it had only been objected to by some few hon. Members sitting below the Gangway who were perfectly consistent in opposing it now. In 1877, before Sir Bartle Frere's time, the right hon. Member for Sandwich (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) said— The annexation was absolutely necessary for the security, not only of the British Possessions, but of all European settlers in South Africa."—[3 Hansard, ccxxxv. 995.] Again, the right hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) said— He approved that annexation. He believed it to have been an absolute necessity. He was convinced that if the annexation had not been effected there would have been utter anarchy in an enormous district, and that until it was made there was the greatest possible danger of a most bloody and destructive war. The White population of the Transvaal were bringing on a most dangerous war, in which, in all probability, they would have been defeated, and very nearly destroyed. Some might say that they ought to have been left to take the consequences. Practically, however, this country could not have suffered that result."—[Ibid. 1758.] The two sides of the House were fully committed to the annexation of the Transvaal; and, that being so, what came of the stress which the hon. Member for Liskeard put upon that point? The whole gist of his argument was to show that every evil consequence that had befallen us in the Cape, and from which we were now suffering, had followed from the annexation of the Transvaal. He said it was a bad work, and everything that followed had been but its necessary consequence. His words went so far as to throw the blame for what had occurred as much upon hon. Gentleman opposite and the House at large, as upon any officer who was out there now. The hon. Gentleman then adopted a most extraordinary argument. He proceeded to point out a series of evils that had followed from the annexation, ending up with the injustice that had been done to Cetewayo. But in each case the hon. Gentleman had begged the question. He then went on to put the whole blame of these iniquities upon Sir Bartle Frere. That was a most extraordinary argument. He said, as a matter of fact, that the whole House was blamable for the annexation; that all the evils resulted from the annexation; and yet he attempted to throw the whole blame of the offences upon Sir Bartle Frere. Had he not forgotten one point? All these evils came from the annexation; but Sir Bartle Frere did not go out till after the annexation; yet still, said the hon. Member, Sir Bartle Frere was guilty of all. The hon. Member's argument was one of the most startling he (Viscount Sandon) had ever heard. When the hon. Gentleman talked about "washing the insides of their he ads with common sense," he would be a little wiser if he applied some process of that kind to himself. He would now come to the points that were really before the House. Let them consider for one moment the Resolution upon which they had to vote. They were too apt sometimes to forget the question that was actually before them. The Resolution began with a very remarkable Preamble— That this House, while willing to support Her Majesty's Government in all necessary measures for defending the possessions of Her Majesty in South Africa. That was surely the crowning humiliation of the Liberal Party. They felt themselves obliged to give an assurance that they were willing to support Her Majesty's Government in all necessary measures for the defence of South Africa. That brought him back once more to what he had said before—namely, that the Liberal Party had learnt a lesson. They were aware that their treatment of external questions was looked upon with much suspicion by the country. He could therefore well understand, humiliating though he thought it was, why they had put this Preamble to the Resolution. The first points of the Resolution that followed were, of course, almost truisms, except the suggestion as to inadequate preparation. Everyone was aware that Her Majesty's Government had found fault with the High Commissioner for sending an Ultimatum which might have had, and which, perhaps, had had, the effect of precipitating war without referring to them for permission, and, no doubt, that was an important act. But then they came to the closing paragraph of the Resolution, which deserved particular attention— And this House further regrets that, after the censure passed upon the High Commissioner by Her Majesty's Government in the despatch of the 19th day of March 1879, the conduct of affairs in South Africa should be retained in his hands. This simply expressed an opinion that, after the censure passed on him with regard to the Ultimatum by the Government, the High Commissioner ought to have been recalled. But the House would remember that the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke) went far beyond that. The hon. Baronet's speech was one the ability of which everyone had acknowledged; but he (Viscount Sandon) thought that, in recalling the pleasure with which they had listened to it, they ought to bear in mind that it was really the speech of an able counsel for the prosecution in a criminal case, and not the speech of a statesman weighing in a calm and careful manner the character of a public officer. As the speech of a counsel he acknowledged its ability; but as the speech of a statesman, who ought to look on both sides of the case, he could not give it the same commendation. In listening to that speech, he had come to this conclusion—that the hon. Baronet had run through all the Blue Books with care, and with a pair of scissors had snipped out every passage he could find that bore in favour of the views he entertained of Sir Bartle Frere's delinquencies, and had put aside every passage that told in support of Sir Bartle Frere's own case. He should like to consider the proposals the hon. Baronet had put before them. They were two in number; the first was a comparatively simple matter, as it merely concerned the point of view taken up in the words of the Resolution itself. It was simply this—that the Governor ought to be withdrawn, because the Government had censured him; but after this followed an attack of much wider scope. The hon. Baronet's first point came simply to this—that you must not censure a Governor without recalling him. The hon. Baronet further attempted to show that the censure was of a nature so damaging to the High Commissioner's usefulness as to make his recall necessary. This was the whole scope of the attack, so far as it was contained in the words of the Resolution. Now, with regard to this matter, it was not the duty of Her Majesty's Government to think of the punishment of a Governor at such a time. They had to consider what was for the good of the Public Service generally; what was likely to promote the good government of the Colony in the future; what was for the good of the Empire at large in the future. The Government held strongly that a Governor might be censured even upon a grave question without his recall becoming necessary, and that the act of the High Commissioner did not demand a recall. He would not, however, dwell at present upon these two points, but would pass to the most important charges which were contained in the speech of the hon. Baronet, but not in the words of the Resolution. He quite agreed that if the hon. Baronet had proved his points they would go far to justify his views. But he believed they would find that his attack broke down at its chief points. The hon. Baronet's first charge was that, although. Sir Bartle Frere had found South Africa peaceful, wars and rumours of wars were now everywhere prevalent, and that, therefore, his government was bad. Now, these were pure matters of fact. Was it true, or was it not, that when Sir Bartle Frere went to South Africa there was peace, and that all these wars had followed on his rule? He held that it was not true, and that everybody who examined the matter would find that the whole state of the native population had been growing more and more critical. Governor Wodehouse, writing to Lord Granville from Capo Town in 1870, had said— I must assure your Lordship that the native population in Natal, in Caffreland, in Basutoland, and in this Colony must be viewed as one mass as regards all questions in which the interests of Natives or Europeans are widely opposed; and he concluded thus— It is quite possible that any great disaster in one quarter might cause a general excitement of which it would be difficult to foresee the issue. This was evidence that the whole Native question had to be taken as hanging together. And then, too, hon. Gentlemen had surely not forgotten that there had been a great change in South Africa during the last few years? Some people seemed to think it was a mere small ordinary Colony; but it was a country very nearly the size of France and Germany put together. It had a population of nearly 2,000,000 Blacks and 300,000 Whites, and an enormous Frontier bounded by all sorts of barbarous tribes. In this vast territory there had been a great change since the year 1870 or there about. The discovery of diamonds and of gold, and the consequent spread of railways, had induced the natives to flock to the diggings. There they had grown wealthy, and the riches they had acquired had, to a large extent, been spent in the purchase of firearms. The whole condition of the territory had absolutely changed within the last 10 years. To speak of the state of things that existed when Sir Bartle Frere went out as a "condition of peace" was a most ludicrous assertion. These were the actual facts; but as he had observed some expresions of doubt among hon. Gentlemen opposite, he would quote, in support of his statements, an authority in whom hon. Gentlemen opposite placed the greatest possible reliance. He would read an extract from the oft-repeated letter of Sir Henry Bulwer's, written before Sir Bartle Frere arrived in South Africa. Sir Henry Bulwer said— It is evident, if the information that has reached us is correct—and there is no reason to doubt its correctness—that Cetewayo has not only been preparing for war, but that he has been sounding the way with the view to a combination of the native races against the White men.…That messages have been, passing on the subject between Cetewayo and other Native Chiefs there can be little doubt. This letter was dated November 2, 1876, and there was another letter from the same authority containing similar information. This showed the disturbed condition of the natives in our district; and he thought, therefore, the hon. Baronet's statement that South Africa was peaceful before Sir Bartle Frere arrived absolutely and entirely broke down. Then came the question, what was the attitude of the natives before the war was begun? On that point the assertion of the hon. Member opposite was, after all, an ipse dixit that was all but unconfirmed. Hon. Members on that side of the House would probably not concur in the view taken by Lord Chelmsford, who had written that— Looking to the state of the native mind generally it was now much perturbed, and an invasion was far more imminent now than it had been for many years. That was also the estimate formed by Sir Bartle Frere as to the condition of things in Natal. The House might take the evidence of Colonel Lanyon, a distinguished soldier, on the same point. He said that— Much of our trouble had been brought about by the evil influence of Cetewayo. The support he gave to Secocœni had a bad effect everywhere. But for the precautions taken, there would have been a terrible war of races. Then there was the missionary, the rev. J. Mackenzie, who had added his testimony to that of the others. For some time past," he said, "there had been on the part of all the native Tribes a strong and increasing feeling of antagonism to the White man. Colonel Lanyon had also given it as his opinion that the object of the natives was to exterminate the Europeans. He spoke of the evil influence of the Chief, and had said that "evidence was forthcoming to show that his emissaries had been fostering mischief on all sides." the opinion, then, of Sir Bartle Frere was corroborated by evidence that might fairly be called overwhelming; but he wished to cite, in conclusion, a portion of a despatch, dated June 10th, 1878, in which Sir Theophilus Shepstone had written to the Colonial Secretary as follows:— The feeling of antagonism that has so suddenly sprung up among the Coloured Tribes in South Africa to the White man, and which seems to be spreading, is, I think, a direct result of this trade (in guns); the acquisition of firearms has been to the native the acquisition of strength and confidence, hence the present state of affairs between the races. Now, all the opinions he had quoted went to show that, whatever might be the merits of Sir Bartle Freve'a policy to the natives, his estimate of the danger was by no means exaggerated. Then they bad been told that Sir Bartle Frere had acted in direct opposition to the very best of his advisers; and they heard from hon. Gentlemen opposite that Sir Henry Bulwer was one of the wisest of men and knew affairs in South Africa better than anyone else, and that, if he had been acting alone in dealing with the difficulty, nothing of the kind that had happened would have occurred. The hon. Member for Liskeard had followed in exactly the same strain, and had endeavoured to show that there was no authority whatever for the action of the High Commissioner. He was sorry to trouble the House by reading; but the question whether Sir Bartle Frere was not properly supported was of such importance that he desired at once to set it at rest. The contention of hon. Members opposite was that Sir Henry Bulwer, Bishop Colenso, and others were adverse to an aggressive policy. Evidently, if he could prove that was not so, he would be able to derive one of his strongest arguments from the opinions of men whose convictions, though slow to change, had at last altered. Now, Sir Henry Bulwer had written, in a Minute addressed to the Colonial Office— I beg to express my concurrence generally in the conclusions of the High Commissioner and in the terms which he proposes to lay down. It must be admitted that the time has now come for placing the relations between the Zulus and the British Government upon some more decided and more satisfactory footing, Assuming the minor questions to be settled, the state of the Zulu nation will remain as unsatisfactory as ever, and the conditions of the country as perilous to the peace of South Africa as they now are. I fully concur in his views, that we have the right and are bound to interfere in the government of the Zulu country both for the safety of the British countries in the neighbourhood and for the safety of the Zulu people themselves. In the measures proposed by the High Commissioner he has not gone, in my opinion, beyond what is necessary to secure the objects in view—the better government of the Zulu people and the security of British territory from constant danger. The following were the words of Bishop Colenso:— However, I said that I hoped and believed that Cetewayo would agree to these demands (relating to Sirayo and the surveyors), and I expressed my cordial assent to the main points of the message—namely, those requiring the disbanding of the military force and an entire change in the marriage system, as being, though measures of coercion, yet such as a great Christian Power had the right and the duty of enforcing upon a neighbouring savage nation like the Zulus, brought into close relations with itself, whose King had been installed at their own request by the representative of the natal Government, and to whom a signal proof of generosity and good faith had been given in the award (dated December 27), as was set forth emphatically in the forefront of the message itself. The only other testimony with which he would trouble the House was that of Lord Chelmsford, who had said— There is no doubt in my mind but that the guarantees demanded (in the Ultimatum) are absolutely necessary for the future peace of South Africa. It was tolerably clear that the assertion that Sir Bartle Frere was unsupported could not possibly be maintained. He utterly denied, therefore, that the hon. Gentleman had made good the wider ground he had taken up when he had made charges that went far beyond the words of the Resolution. With regard to the words of the Resolution, he would only remark that he could not under- stand why the proposition should be made that a Governor, censured for a fault that implied no incapacity, no weakness, no moral turpitude, but only over-great zeal for the protection of those committed to his charge, should be recalled from his post. Why, it must be remembered that in that very despatch in which the censure was conveyed something in the nature of a compliment was implied in the request that he should remain High Commissioner, a request that would not have been made except to a man of rare and valuable ability. Could it be argued that the fact of his declaring war on the Zulus absolutely unfitted him to rule? He could not imagine that anyone would say so, however unwise he might think the High Commissioner's policy. The hon. Baronet should remember that that distinguished man—for distinguished man he was—had before his eyes, more vividly than anyone else, the fear of a general Native rising. He had seen in India all the horrors of a rising of Blacks against White men; he had spent weeks and months of anxiety when it seemed impossible that the British rule in India should be maintained, and the fact that he had been an eyewitness of the terrible events of the Mutiny to some extent explained the reasons for the course he had judged to be best for the safety, the honour, and the property of the White races in South Africa. Every allowance ought to be made for a distinguished man who was doing his utmost to triumph over the circumstances in which he was placed; but, granted that they should recall him, would that alone content hon. Members opposite? Did they not know that if he were recalled, the return home of his brother in authority (Lord Chelmsford) would be equally demanded? If they recalled Sir Bartle Frere, could they retain at his post that noble-minded man, Lord Chelmsford? That point, he was sorry to say, had been sometimes treated in a very off-hand manner; most hon. Members would regret the fact, and would agree with him that the case of Lord Chelmsford was no part of the present debate. Lord Chelmsford had been denounced in language that was much to be regretted. If a stranger had entered the House, and heard the hon. Baronet shouting at the top of his voice, "Blood and money! blood and money!" he would have thought he was listening to a highwayman in a melodrama, rather than that the House was discussing the conduct of a British General in the field who had just suffered a great disaster. He grieved that the question was treated in that way. Insinuations had even been made, than which he could conceive none more baseless or more unfair, that the General was guilty of inhumanity towards the wounded. Such was the injustice to which Lord Chelmsford had been treated. If the High Commissioner were to be recalled, Lord Chelmsford would probably resign, and the House would easily imagine the effect of recalling suddenly the two principal authorities in South Africa. They had to look steadily to the future; they had to look to the settling, if possible, on a peaceful basis, the government of these incongruous tribes; they had, if possible, to avoid a future enormous charge on the British ratepayer of he aping battalion after battalion upon the shores of South Africa; they had to see that the feelings of the natives towards them should be injured as little as possible, and that no passion for revenge should spring up in the minds of the Whites against the Blacks. What would be this effect of carrying the motion of the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea? Two leading spirits in South Africa would be taken away, though they knew more about the country, the popular assemblies, and the character of the principal people, as well as of the natives, than probably any other persons in the world. He had, he thought, shown that the charges which had been made against Sir Bartle Frere had broken down, so that he stood again before the public in the light of a man of no ordinary capacity, who had mastered great and terrific obstacles, and who had rallied men round him at the Cape to a greater extent than any Governor had done for years past. Sir Bartle Frere stood out, with all the decorations, which he had so well merited, emblazoned on his breast, as a man still to be trusted more than anyone else, even by right hon. Gentlemen opposite. They it was who had placed him in Bombay, who had put him on the Council of India, and who had allotted to him the duty of suppressing slavery in Zanzibar; and they could hardly fail to see that now, after his services in South Africa, he was probably the man who could best help the country over the difficulties of the future in that quarter. His hon. and learned Friend the member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt) smiled at that statement. The hon. and learned Gentleman was very apt to smile; but he (Viscount Sandon) would ask him, did the finger of the public point to any other man to take the place of Sir Bartle Frere? Was the whole secret of the speech of the right hon. Baronet the member for Tamworth (Sir Robert Peel) this—that, when hon. Gentlemen opposite came into power, their finger would be put upon him as the man who was to go out to govern South Africa in the place of Sir Bartle Frere? If that were the reason of the chuckling that he saw on the front Opposition Bench, he might, in detecting it, have touched the source of a dark and curious intrigue. But, be that as it might, the position of the Government with regard to the Resolution was that they accepted the whole responsibility of the course which they had taken. They had not only privately, but publicly, informed Sir Bartle Frere of the great mistake which they thought he had committed in assuming the Prerogative of the Crown in declaring war. From that position they had not drawn back; but they entirely denied that, looking at the interests of the Public Service, they had acted wrongly in not recalling the High Commissioner. Looking solely to the benefits of the Public Service, the Government had come to the conclusion, in the exercise of the great responsibility that rested upon them, that Sir Bartle Frere was the very best man, under the circumstances, to bring to a happy issue the terrible condition of affairs in South Africa, not only for the moment, but also for the more distant future. They shrank not from this responsibility; they accepted it; but what they said to hon. Gentlemen opposite was—"Do not rob us of the responsibility; fix it upon us as much as you like; but if, by your vote, you recall Sir Bartle Frere, do not then expect us to take the responsibility of administering affairs in South Africa." they all knew that the national pride had been hurt by a disaster to which they had long been unaccustomed, and that the national he art had been saddened by the terrible loss of so many gallant fellows; but disasters of this kind, after all, had their good side. They stirred up all the highest virtues of the nation, for the moment the news of the catastrophe at Isandlana reached this country, hundreds of officers and men came forward and offered to take the places of those who had so gallantly fallen. These heroic deeds had awakened the spark of valour, and enkindled in many hearts a determination to sacrifice the comforts of home life, in order to uphold the honour of their country. Let not hon. Gentlemen opposite be behindhand in the good example of the sacrifice of their Party feelings on an important occasion like that. Party feelings were good in their way, and were most useful and necessary in their Parliamentary government; but surely that was the moment to make the sacrifice even of Party feelings, and to determine that nothing should induce them, at such a time, to trample upon the fair fame and upon the noble feelings of men who were serving their country in distant Colonies. Instead of that, he hoped they would rally round those men, and give them that support which only those who had been in far countries knew how to value. Though they might have made mistakes, let them support them in the belief that they had honestly, truly, and ably tried to do their duty to their country and their Queen.


said, he hoped the House would be indulgent whilst he offered a few remarks on behalf of a distinguished statesman, with whom he had long been intimate, and with whom he had served in trying times. Knowing well by experience the great qualities he possessed, and the fair right he had earned for high office in England, he regretted that his friend, Sir Bartle Frere, accepted the offer made to him to go out to South Africa as Governor of the Cape and High Commissioner; but he went out on the urgent request of Lord Carnarvon and the then Secretary of State for India, now the Foreign Secretary. He regretted it, because no man had ever come away from the Governorship of the Cape of Good Hope without having suffered in reputation; the only exception might be Sir Henry Pottinger, who only evaded the difficulties he saw arising by taking up his appointment as Governor of Madras. He therefore felt alarmed lest, when Sir Bartle Frere went out thither, that in the complications of that Colony he would lose some of that great reputation which he had earned in India and elsewhere; but Sir Bartle Frere told him (Sir George Balfour) that he could not resist the urgent entreaties which had been, made to him on public grounds to go out. The interests of the Indian territories were stated to be deeply involved in the good government of the Cape, and as an Indian statesman he was bound to aid in establishing that Colony on a sound basis. At that time affairs appeared to be in that condition which merely needed the wise rule of so experienced an administrator. But that expectation was very different from the reality. When he reached South Africa, he found a Ministry in Office putting forward pretensions which no one contemplated without alarm, and claiming rights and privileges dangerous to the object for which the Cape was mainly intended. These he satisfactorily settled. Next, did Sir Bartle Frere go out to make war and annex territory? No, he went out to carry into effect the policy of Confederation. He went to do that which the people of England had long demanded should be done—namely, to insist that the people of South Africa should defend themselves, instead of calling upon this country to defend the m, as well as expend the millions of the less well-to-do people in the United Kingdom. Every Governor before him had shirked this question of self-defence; but heat once set about doing what others had failed in. This was a question of vital importance to the people of this country. On a recent occasion he had asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make up a statement of the outlay at the Cape and in Africa for military services, but was informed that it could not be done. Well, he (Sir George Balfour) had made a calculation that, since the time of Lord Glenelg, South Africa had cost this country £40,000,000, and considering the vast extent to which the calls for troops had been carried during the last 40 years, it was now the great object to throw the burden of military government upon the Colonists. No doubt, the war with the Zulu King was deeply to be regretted, and no one could do so more than Sir Bartle Frere; but they ought, before they condemned Sir Bartle Frere in regard to his policy, to consider the cause of it, and that he went forth to carry out the instructions of the Colonial Office, which had led to this war. They were told that Sir Bartle Frere had excited the Black races against our rule; but that was not the case, for there was not only no evidence in support of that statement in the Papers presented to Parliament, but, on the contrary, every effort had been used by Sir Bartle Frere to bring to an end the war with Natives which he had found going on on arriving at his government. The present war with Zululand was one that had its origin long before Sir Bartle Frere arrived. So entirely was this the case, that he thought the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke) could have made as good a speech in defence of Sir Bartle Frere as he had done against him. He deeply regretted that the Colonial Minister had not brought forward this fact more distinctly. The Correspondence in his own Office would show that the very policy which Sir Bartle Frere was pursuing was not his own policy, but a policy which had been initiated by the Office of which the right hon. Gentleman was the head. Not to go further back than 1875, he could refer to extract after extract from despatches from that date, written by the last. Governor of the Cape, Sir Henry Barkly, and by Sir Henry Bulwer, the Lieutenant Governor of Natal, showing that our relations with the Black races were in the most dangerous position, and especially so as regarded the Chief of the Zulus. Therefore, it ill became those who attacked Sir Bartle Frere to do so under the belief that Sir Henry Bulwer had never brought under the notice of the Colonial Office our dangerous position in that respect. As to Sir Bartle Frere's having created a policy of annexation, that also was unjust. Lord Carnarvon wrote to Sir Henry Barkly in September, 1876, to the effect that an increased section of the people in the Transvaal desired to come under British rule; that Secocœni wished to place his country under the Queen's protection; and that Cetewayo was inclined to the same course; and yet no allusion to these views of the Colonial Minister who appointed Sir Bartle Frere was made by the present head of the Colonial Office. The hon. Member for Midhurst (Sir Henry Holland) spoke in such a tone as to suggest that the annexation of the Transvaal was in some degree connected with Sir Bartle Frere; but that annexation was finished before Sir Bartle Frere arrived there. That annexation was brought about by the policy of Lord Carnarvon, he (Sir George Balfour) believed, under a mistaken idea with regard to the feelings of all the inhabitants being in favour of annexation to the British Crown; and Sir Theophilus Shepstone was the officer who, under Lord Carnarvon's special and personal directions, carried out that annexation. To that annexation they might safely attribute all their present difficulties—prior to that, the language and bearing of the Zulu King was subdued; but from the moment of that annexation the feeling and the manner of Cetewayo, and of the whole Zulu nation, towards the British became entirely changed. No one could study the later Papers without coming to the conclusion that Cetewayo, before Sir Bartle Frere's interference with Natal and the Frontier of Zululand, expressed a desire to go to war with England, and Sir Bartle Frere warned the Colonial Office that our power in that part of the world was thereby liable to be attacked at any time. Then came the arbitration about the disputed Border lands, and with regard to it Sir Bartle Frere had also been blamed. But that was, again, another injustice. The claims of the Zulu King had been for many years known to the Colonial Office. Sir Benjamin Pine had reported fully thereon, and so also had Sir Henry Bulwer, as well as Sir Henry Barkly. It was remarkable that, although Sir Henry Bulwer had been repeatedly requested to undertake that arbitration, he urged his reluctance to do so, and intimated that it would be far better to intrust that work to Sir Bartle Frere. Sir Bartle Frere, with that noble indifference to self which he had shown on so many occasions, undertook the difficult and invidious task which Sir Henry Bulwer should have carried out. It had been said that Sir Bartle Frere, in his arbitration, acted favourably towards the Boers; but there was nothing in the Papers presented to Parliament to support that assertion. He (Sir George Balfour) could confidently assert that, whatever Sir Bartle Frere decided, no man could have decided with a stronger feeling of what was just and fair than he did. It ought therefore to be known, and the Government should say, that after his long and varied experience as an upright administrator, his decision ought to be accepted as just; and, no doubt, he was quite right in doing what he had done in that matter. With regard to the Ultimatum to the Zulu King, which the Government said ought not to have been sent without their authority, he thought Sir Bartle Frere was fully justified in acting upon his own judgment, if he considered the circumstances pressing and the course he took a right one. He had not been able to find in the whole mass of Correspondence before the House any prohibition from the Colonial Office which would have prevented him from doing so, between the occurrence of the one solitary instance two or three years ago when Lord Carnarvon pointed out that we were at war in other parts of Africa and advised our Representative there not to enter upon hostilities with Zululand, and the issue by the present Colonial Secretary of his letter of the 21st of November, 1878—a communication which did not reach Sir Bartle Frere until after the Ultimatum had been despatched and the war had practically commenced. The point to which the question came was this—was it prudent, as a simple act of discretion on the part of our Commissioner, to enter into the present struggle; or would it have been better in the personal interests of Sir Bartle Frere to have earnestly demanded more troops, and remained on the defensive, at a great cost to the people of England, and thus waited till the Colonial Office had decided? That was a matter on which there might be different opinions; but, for his own part, he held that, as everyone was agreed that a war was inevitable, to have stood merely upon the defensive, in a country having a Frontier of 300 miles exposed to the Zulus, would have been one of the greatest military blunders which could have been committed. Therefore an offensive war, which would fix the Army of the Zulus to the points where we attacked, was a wise and judicious measure. While he thus stood up for Sir Bartle Frere in defending him from unjust attacks for applying remedies for great dangers which he had not created, he was certainly of opinion that this policy of annexation, carried out in different parts of the world, was dangerous in the extreme. It was not that we could not annex territory with advantage to the people who inhabited it; but when we found, as in the case now before the House, that a man like Sir Bartle Frere did not give satisfaction to a number of hon. Members because he acted, where others before him had, prudently for themselves, allowed our affairs to drift into war, then able men like Sir Bartle Frere would not accept of office which entailed disgrace and censure. It might also be, if we went on extending our dominions as we had been doing of late years, that we would find ourselves in the position of not being able to get men fit to govern and to administer our extensive territories. But it was unjust to father on Sir Bartle Frere all the responsibility for this war, for both the naval and Military Commanders on the spot—Commodore Sullivan and Lord Chelmsford—were agreed that a defensive war was an impossibility, and an offensive war a necessity. He could not help thinking that the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Colonies might have abstained in his speech from refusing to accept the responsibility which the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea, from his point of view, had put upon Sir Bartle Frere in reference to that part of the Ultimatum which referred to the missionaries. The right hon. Gentleman would even have done well if he had left that objection alone. It was a part of the recognized policy of the Colonial Office ever since the time of Lord Glenelg to encourage missionary enterprize. Lord Grey, in his 12th letter addressed to Lord Russell, distinctly stated that missionaries were one of the great means of civilizing the people; and Lord Carnarvon said that no one was more desirous than he was of the success of missionaries in South Africa, and he would give them every support. Therefore, it was part of the Colonial Office policy, if we had any Colonial policy at all, that missionaries should be used in aid of administration. But it was utterly useless to expose the inconsistencies of the Colonial Office. Was there any Home Office more detested a few years ago than the Colonial Office, or any that had made so many mistakes? Had not the Colonial Office frequently changed its policy? Had it not driven both the Cape and Canada into rebellion? Therefore, when he saw the Colonial Office praised for anything, he would, say—"Let us look to the past, and then we may judge of the future." he (Sir George Balfour) regretted that the Colonial Secretary had given a rebuke to Sir Bartle Frere, because, in doing so, he gave an opportunity for the attacks of those who were only too anxious to assail the ministry, even through Sir Bartle Frere. The Colonial Office had quietly and almost willingly permitted our affairs to be so entangled as to leave our Commissioner in South Africa in a most trying and difficult position, and in that event he was, in his opinion, perfectly wise and right in saying—"I refuse to wait until such time as the Zulu people make an inroad upon Natal territory." No doubt, the Forces were too few for this great operation; but that was the fault of the Cabinet. The fact was that the Government had been unable to give that support to the High Commissioner which he was justly entitled to expect, because, to have done so, would have exposed themselves to attacks for their own previous shortcomings. Holding these opinions, he could not support the Government in their action, neither could he, after what he had said, go into the Lobby with the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea; and, therefore, he would feel it to be his duty not to vote at all, for he would not throw discredit on one who had rendered such services to his country as Sir Bartle Frere, and who had now suffered for the mismanagement of the Colonial Office.


said, he was very glad that Her Majesty's Government intended to meet with a direct negative the Resolution of the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke). An acquaintance with Lord Chelmsford of nearly 30 years led him to concur in every word that was said respecting that Commander by his hon. and gallant Friend the member for Westminster (Sir Charles Russell). He might be allowed to quote the language of Sir Bartle Frere when appointing Lord Chelmsford temporary Resident in Zululand. He said— There are few officers, I think, in Her Majesty's Service who combine so much judgment and temper with the firmness and clearness of perception essential to the discharge of such duties at such a juncture. Like the hon. and gallant General who had just sat down (Sir George Balfour), he could not concur in the condemnation which had been passed on Sir Bartle Frere. A careful study of the Blue Books had convinced him that his policy, though seemingly aggressive, was in reality essentially defensive in its character. There was ample evidence to show that a weak and vacillating policy on the part of the High Commissioner would have brought invasion on Natal, and entailed upon us disasters infinitely greater than that which they had had to deplore. In order rightly to appreciate the policy of Sir Bartle Frere in dealing with the Zulus, it was necessary to bear in mind the relations formerly subsisting between that race and the Dutch Colonists, as well as the consequent obligations imposed upon the British Government when it assumed, in the first instance, the Sovereignty of Natal, and subsequently proclaimed the annexation of the Transvaal. They must remember that the European inhabitants of South Africa were for the most part originally Dutch, a people driven from pillar to post, and in many instances, it would appear, treated by us with grievous injustice. Lord Carnarvon, speaking of that people in "another place" two years ago, said that— When he recalled the history of the Dutch States, he owned that he did so with regret. He thought with regret of those communities going out into the wilderness, being alienated from English feeling and English policy—alienated, too, under the sense of injustice and wrong. In the course of this debate much had been said in favour of Cetewayo and the Zulus; but—with the exception, perhaps, of the hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Courtney)—not one word of sympathy had been expressed with the Dutch, of whom Sir Henry Bulwer, an authority whom hon. Gentlemen opposite would respect, had said that they were the real pioneers of European Colonization in South Africa. They had borne the burden and the heat of the day. The right hon. Baronet the member for Tamworth (Sir Robert Peel) had mentioned that Sir Harry Smith was recalled because his conduct was not satisfactory to the Duke of Wellington. The war he was waging was not against the Zulus, but against the Dutch, and what had been once might be again. Sir Bartle Frere observed that if we were to have real security against Native aggression, our rule must be acquiesced in by the White population of the Transvaal. All evidence went to show that the Zulus were not independent at the time that Natal came into our hands in 1843, after which came, at long intervals, the two important missions of Sir Theophilus Shepstone. These visits were attended with the utmost danger, and on one occasion he was surrounded by 3,000 savages, who were vanquished by his coolness and courage. He regretted that such depreciatory language should have been applied to him by the hon. Member for Liskeard; and in doing so, the hon. Member bad done scant justice indeed to his courage and daring. He was surprised that the hon. Baronet the member for Midhurst (Sir Henry Holland) should think too much stress had been laid on what occurred at the Coronation of Cetewayo, for Sir Theophilus Shepstone had written the propositions down, and to every one he received a hearty assent, the King afterwards proclaiming them as new laws, which were gladly received by the people. Sir Henry Bulwer admitted that there was a distinct promise on the part of Cetewayo to abandon indiscriminate bloodshed and putting to death without trial, and that Cetewayo had broken the promises so made to us and to the Zulu people. The Lieutenant Governor of Natal at the time, Sir Benjamin Pine, reported that Sir Theophilus Shepstone had succeeded in inducing the King to alter the fundamental laws in such a manner as to check cruelty and the arbitrary and capricious exercise of the power of shedding blood. Sir Bartle Frere refused to believe that these solemn proceedings were to be regarded as a farce, although it was true that as soon as Sir Theophilus Shepstone's back was turned the King threw all his promises to the wind, and ordered a hecatomb of the young women, because they did not fancy the elderly warriors whom the King had selected as their husbands; and Sir Henry Barkly remonstrated against it. For the last 38 years the Zulus had been subject either to the Dutch Government or to ours, and Sir Henry Bulwer himself admitted that we should have been justified, if we thought it necessary, in deposing Cetewayo, and putting someone else in his room. The hon. Member for Midhurst accused Sir Bartle Frere of whittling down the award of the Boundary Commission, and not presenting it without great deliberation; but surely he was justified in acting with deliberation before handing over to the Zulus land which, in any case, had been supposed to belong to the Dutch, and which was, in fact, at that time occupied by them. He (Colonel Alexander) denied altogether that Sir Bartle Frere had done his best to whittle down the award. His despatches proved the very opposite to this. On November 16th he wrote to the Secretary of State for the Colonies— I propose that, as regards territorial jurisdiction, the verdict of the Boundary Commissioners he accepted unaltered. But the fact was, the hon. Baronet the member for Midhurst, like Bishop Colenso, took Sir Bartle Frere to task for not at the same time dispossessing the Dutch farmers, who for long had occupied those lands; but he (Colonel Alexander) thought the answer made by Sir Bartle Frere to Bishop Colenso with reference to this subject was perfectly unanswerable. He said— We must teach the Zulus what many Europeans have ignored—the difference between Sovereign and private rights. It is (he says) the want of this distinction between Sovereign and private rights which has, in my opinion, caused most of the aggressive wars in South Africa between the Black people and White. But the High Commissioner went further than this. The Germans did not insist upon the French population leaving Alsace and Lorraine; and, having recommended that the rights of the Zulu occupants of land on British territory should be respected, he demanded that a similar consideration should be shown to Dutch, English, German, and other farmers who had settled upon the lands which were about, under the Boundary Commissioners' award, to be ceded to the Zulus. He would remind hon. Members that, so far back as the 8th of July, some Zulus had penetrated into British territory and carried off two Zulu women who had taken refuge there, and that, though reparation was demanded, reparation was always refused. Was no notice to be taken of that violation of British territory by the Zulus, simply because the award of the High Commissioner had not been confirmed? The hon. Baronet the member for Midhurst had treated this violation of British territory as a very light thing. He had said that Cetewayo had made a semi-apology, and that he had, moreover, offered compensation. Well, this was the first time he (Colonel Alexander) had heard that a semi-apology would be considered sufficient for a violation of British territory. To his own mind, a semi-apology seemed worse than no apology at all. And what had been the compensation offered by Cetewayo? A sum of £50. It appeared he had borrowed £ 100 from Mr. John Dunn, had offered £50 as compensation, and had put the balance into his pocket. He (Colonel Alexander) was not in the least sorry for Mr. John Dunn, because it was proved that, as a paid agent of the natal Government, he had been instrumental in importing arms and ammunition and handing them over to the Zulus. The hon. Member for Gates head (Mr. James) had attributed to rum many of the evils in Zululand; but many ought also to be attributed to the baneful influence of Mr. John Dunn. The right hon. Baronet the member for Tamworth (Sir Robert Feel) had complained that Cetewayo had had only 20 days given him for consideration; but the House should remember that Sir Henry Bulwor, who had been so much lauded by hon. Gentlemen opposite, had never asked for more than 30 days, and that was because Cetewayo had not had days for consideration, but months. We must concur with Sir Bartle Frere when, in speaking of this outrage, he insisted that we were bound to let every Kaffir sleep as securely within British dominions as we slept ourselves, and that if offenders were not given up, we were bound to put forth our whole power to enforce compliance with our demands. What fault could be found with that surpassed his comprehension. What hon. Members could find to censure in Sir Bartle Frere's conduct he (Colonel Alexander) was at a loss to imagine. Had Sir Bartle Frere taken any other course than the one he did, he would have lamentably failed in his duty. The hon. Member for Midhurst had said that the policy of Sir Bartle Frere might be summed up as annexation to please the Dutch; but there was no evidence in the Blue Books to show that he contemplated annexation at all. On the contrary, in a very remarkable despatch of the 14th of December, he pointed out the fallacy of the belief entertained by some that it was impossible to improve our relations with the Zulus by any process short of annexation. The main ground on which he based his action was the important one of self-preservation. No one, he pointed out, could sleep within a day's run of the Zulu Border except by sufferance of the Zulu King; and Sir Henry Bulwer, who had been praised over and over again in this discussion, had concurred with Sir Bartle Frere as to the necessity for doing something. On that point there was no marked divergence between Sir Henry Bulwer and the High Commissioner. The Resolution before the House asked them to condemn the action of one of their most distinguished servants, and because he was of opinion that the Resolution, if adopted, would drive out of the Service strong self-reliant Administrators, and would fill it with pliable and plastic officials, he was glad that the Government would not meet it, as they had previously proposed, with the Previous Question, but with a decided and emphatic "No."


said, that as the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite (Colonel Alexander) had defended the policy of Sir Bartle Frere whilst the Government had censured it, he ought, in consistency, to vote for the motion. It was a total misapprehension of the Resolution before the House to treat it as it had been treated by many hon. Members, to wander over Blue Books, to keep hon. Members talking about annexation, about Zululand, about the number of wives a man in Zululand was to have, and whether the young women objected to old husbands or not. If they wandered on over all that sort of rubbish they would not be able to divide that night, and perhaps not until next week. The question before the House was a simple and short one. Her Majesty's Government had censured, in the strongest language, the thorough-going policy adopted by their own Governor, Sir Bartle Frere, a policy worthy of the times of Charles I., a policy which had thrown the whole of Africa into confusion, brought disaster upon English soldiers, and placed the Government in a position of difficulty and danger. At the same time, whilst censuring Sir Bartle Frere, they had refused to recall him; and they had failed, in his (Mr. Synan's) opinion, to give any adequate explanation of such a decision. Was Sir Bartle Frere to be left in his post? If they were to say that no other suitable Commissioner could be obtained, then there might be some reason for their policy; but meanwhile he could take no other course than to support the Resolution of the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke). There had been no concealment by Sir Bartle Frere of his policy before he published his Ultimatum. He went out to South Africa determined to carry out a policy of his own, not only in regard to civil, but in regard to religious and moral matters, and he never concealed from the Colonial Secretary in his despatches that his object was to disturb the Zulus and disarm the other tribes. The Chief Commissioner carried his policy with a high hand, and when he announced to the Secretary of State his intention of sending an Ultimatum to Cetewayo if he did not comply with his terms, the Secretary of State refrained from writing even one single bold despatch, telling him he was on no account to send an Ultimatum and thus offer provocation. At length Sir Bartle Frere acted up to his threat and sent the Ultimatum, which was of a most unrighteous character, unreasonable in its conditions, and one we should never have dared to send to a civilized nation. Down to the disaster at Isandlana the Government pursued an ambiguous policy. They never wrote firmly to Sir Bartle Frere, because they thought it possible he might be successful. They played a waiting race, and it had turned out badly. The Colonial Secretary seemed, in fact, to have been afraid of Sir Bartle Frere, and so allowed him to proceed to measures which, as it had proved, had led to a most disastrous result, while being itself devoid of any moral justification. When the disaster occurred at Isandlana, the Government felt that they had placed themselves in a false position. The duty of a generous, high-minded Government, after all that had occurred, would have been to sustain their Commissioner; but, instead of doing so, they issued a despatch denouncing him in every sense, and yet not replacing him. It was a shabby and impolitic course to condemn Sir Bartle Frere in the language they had done, and then to stand at the last moment on a technical and abstract proposition that they could not recall him. He wondered how hon. Gentlemen opposite could persist in giving their support to a policy which the Government itself had condemned, and condemned in the most emphatic language. To maintain the Chief Commissioner in the position he occupied after his conduct in it had been so strongly condemned was almost to invite a repetition of the disaster which had fallen on our arms. The policy of the Government was one of meanness and trickery—he might almost say of baseness and degradation. Sir Bartle Frere ought to feel insulted, and throw up the whole matter as an offended man, and in that case our position would be worse than it was. The Government had got into a dilemma, for they ought either to have recalled Sir Bartle Frere, or else not to have censured him in the severe terms they had done. Prom that dilemma nothing could rescue them, except, for a time, the votes of the Tory Party, which, by so supporting them, would fall to a lower level than he (Mr. Synan) had ever thought it would.


thought the Government were quite able to defend themselves, and all that he should do was to attempt to defend the High Commissioner. Although the speech of the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke) was a very able one, he much regretted its tone. If the hon. Baronet had known Sir Bartle Frere as well as he (Mr. A. Mills) did, he would never have charged him with miserable petty cavillings, or with an intention to mislead the House of Commons by some expressions in his despatches about "washing spears." In fact, the charge of the hon. Baronet against the High Commissioner was decidedly unfair, as it was evident from the despatches that he had done everything he could to prevent a war, and it was not until he was absolutely obliged that he sent his Ultimatum, and until he felt that the policy of the Zulu King was such as immediately to endanger the safety of the Colony of Natal. Sir Bartle Frere had also been charged with acting in opposition to the judgment of Sir Henry Bulwer and Sir Theophilus Shepstone. He, however, hold that the despatches proved that both those gentlemen, far from disagreeing with the High Commissioner, were entirely in accord with him in his policy towards the Zulus. He entirely agreed with that portion of the speech delivered by the hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Courtney), in which he alluded to the annexation of the Transvaal. He (Mr. A. Mills) could not help feeling that that act was a most unfortunate one on our part, and one deeply to be regretted. In annexing the Transvaal we had annexed the territory of a country in whose treasury there was about 12s. 6d., and which was involved in liabilities amounting to more than £100,000, and whose financial difficulties were by no means the only ones which it had to contend against. It was certain, whether the policy of annexing the Transvaal was right or wrong, that Sir Bartle Frere was not responsible for it, it being perfectly well known that the Commission which, in 1875, gave Sir Theophilus Shepstone power to annex the Transvaal, was dated seven or eight months before Sir Bartle Frere was sent out to Africa; and it was most unjust and unfair, therefore, to introduce the subject of the annexation of the Transvaal into the debate to the detriment of Sir Bartle Frere. At the same time, he could not help thinking that the power to annex the Transvaal, given to Sir Theophilus Shepstone by Lord Carnarvon, was given most unwisely; Sir Bartle Frere was bound to follow up what had already been done by Sir Theophilus Shepstone under his commission, and he ought not, therefore, to have been held responsible. A most remarkable feature of the discussion that had occurred in the House was this—that, while the High Commissioner had been condemned in terms of the greatest severity, the utmost tenderness was shown to the barbarian Potentate the King of the Zulus. It had been said, in palliation of the conduct of Cetewayo, that when he wrote a most defiant despatch to the High Commissioner he had had too much rum. When hon. Gentlemen were asked to entertain such an excuse as that, they would remember what was thought of a plea of drunkenness in this country. A more serious offence than the insolent despatch to Sir Bartle Frere was the raid made by the sons of Sirayo when they captured the two women in the police kraal in British territory. It was said that people would indulge in such conduct now and then; but that was hardly a sufficient excuse for the way in which the sons of Sirayo acted on the particular occasion to which reference was made. It appeared from the evidence of the police-constable at the kraal, that on Wednesday evening, July 24, one of the wives of Sirayo came to the kraal, and that on the following morning two Natives on horseback approached the kraal from one direction, while 16 others approached it from another; that they surrounded the kraal, having been joined by a number of Zulus on foot, and demanded the woman who had entered the kraal on the preceding day; that they were told that the ground they were on was Government ground; that they pushed the seven men in charge aside; that the brother of Sirayo dragged the woman out of the hut; and that other Zulus seized her and knocked out her front teeth, and that while they dragged her on the ground several Zulus stood, ready to stab the Government officers in case they should interfere. He had alluded to these details, because he feared that many hon. Gentlemen had not studied the Blue Books containing them with great care relatively to other events of a strongly similar character. He wondered at it the more, when he remembered the indignation which was expressed some time ago in regard to the Fugitive Slave Circular; and as he held that the one outrage was as great as the other, he was at a loss to understand how there should have been so much sympathy shown by the Opposition concerning the one, and none whatever exhibited in regard to the other. He thought that the gentlemen who took such an active part in the agitation respecting the Slave Circular should certainly be consistent, and rouse themselves, and express their indignation at the outrages perpetrated by the barbarous Potentate of Zululand. What would they have said if a difficulty had arisen from the fact that a slaved how had boarded a British man-of-war and taken from on board of her two slaves who had found refuge there? The case was precisely similar to that of the myrmidons of a drunken and savage King taking two women from the kraal and killing them; but this last was regarded as a light and trifling matter. He was not to be understood, however, as altogether approving of the present status quo in South Africa, for he had no sort of approval for the policy of annexation which had been pursued of late years in that country, and he hoped the Government would draw from the existing state of things the useful moral that in future it would be unwise to allow any such motives to actuate their conduct of affairs. He also regretted that some difficulties should have arisen about the organization of some of the mounted South African Forces which were formerly very useful, and which did not want to trouble much about a commissariat, seeing that they could go for several days carrying their own supplies and stores with them. It was very desirable that these Forces should be reorganized under a good system, since it would save a great deal of money, and would teach the Colonists to depend mainly upon themselves for their protection. He could not help thinking also that the Home Government would do well to discourage our Colonists from relying entirely on Imperial troops in carrying on their internal and Frontier wars. They should be taught, as was recommended by a Committee of the House in 1861, that Imperial troops should be employed for the protection of the Colonists only in contingencies arising from Imperial policy—a plan which had been followed by the most excellent results in New Zealand, where, in consequence, there had been for several years unbroken peace. As regarded the motion, in justice and fairness to a noble and distinguished man—Sir Bartle Frere—who was an esteemed friend of his own, and in the interests of all who had to serve the Crown in distant Colonies, he would heartily vote against it, if only for the purpose of securing in our Colonies the services of men so distinguished as Sir Bartle Frere, against whom the proposal of the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke) was directed, to the prejudice, not only of all the representatives of the Crown abroad, but of the best interests of our Colonial Empire.


who had the following Notice upon the Paper:— As an Amendment to Sir Charles Dilke's Resolution, to move, That the ultimatum presented to the Zulu King by Sir Bartle Frere was unjustifiable; and that this House condemns the conduct of Her Majesty's Government in not recalling Sir Bartle Frere from the Government of the South African Colonies, and in declining to take proper measures to terminate the war waged by him against an unoffending people, said, that the noble Lord the member for Liverpool (Viscount Sandon) had referred to the possibility of rebellion in South Africa, and had grown eloquent in depicting the horrors of a rising of the Black population against the White. The noble Lord omitted, however, to notice one thing, and that was that if they wanted to be on good terms with the Black population of South Africa, they must treat them as if they were a White population, and that justice was as much due to them as to the civilized race. The speech of the hon. Member who had just sat down (Mr. A. Mills) had not enlightened the House very much on the question at issue arising out of the affairs at South Africa. He (Mr. O'Connor Power), in common with the hon. Gentleman, was opposed to the policy of aggression and annexation by which right hon. Gentlemen had so successfully appealed to the vanity of their countrymen, and he thought they must feel indebted to the mover and Seconder of the Resolution for the speeches which they had delivered on this subject; but the Resolution itself did not raise the great issue involved in the question which it purported to deal with. That issue was, whether the war against the Zulus was a just or an unjust war. No one who had read the history of this question could doubt that the war was unjust, and that the Queen's Representative in South Africa had, by declaring war against an unoffending people, outraged the liberty of nations and committed a crime against humanity. The speeches made by the mover and Seconder of the Resolution went directly to establish that proposition; but it was nowhere to be found in the Resolution. The Resolution was couched in very ambiguous terms. They were asked, in the first place, to declare that they were "willing to support Her Majesty's Government in all necessary measures for defending the possessions of Her Majesty in South Africa." Now, if they asked Sir Bartle Frere what was his policy in South Africa, he would tell them that it was to defend the possessions of Her Majesty. He noticed the phrase, "necessary measures," which the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke) might consider the saving clause. But they were not discussing an abstract question. The Resolution only expressed Regret that the ultimatum, which was calculated to produce immediate war, should have been presented to the Zulu King without authority from the responsible Advisers of the Crown. In his (Mr. O'Connor Power's) humble opinion, it was a small matter whether the Ultimatum was sent with or without authority, compared with the question whether it should have been sent at all or not; but that was the very question upon which the Resolution expressed no opinion whatever, and the question he had to put to the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea was this—Was the Ultimatum a necessary measure; and if it was not, why did he not say so in the Resolution? He was, however, not at a loss to account for the course which the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea pursued. The charges made as to the want of sufficient military preparation, and as to the quarrel between the Government and Sir Bartle Frere, were quite beside the main issue, and he regretted that the language of the hon. Baronet's speech had no counterpart in the terms of his Resolution. The noble Lord the member for Liverpool had told the House that both Parties in the House were responsible for the annexation of the Transvaal. Bach Party in its turn had pursued this policy of annexation in South Africa, and, therefore, the hon. Member was not free to bring forward a Resolution condemning the policy of the Government; for although there might be degrees of responsibility as between one Party and the other, the accusation tu quoque might be used by either of the two. If the Resolution was intended to express the views of independent Members below the Gangway on that side of the House, he (Mr. O'Connor Power) should indeed hope that it would speak for the cause of liberty and justice; but he knew that it was intended rather to represent the views of the Gentlemen on the front Opposition Bench who might be called upon at any time to carry on the government of the country; and it was, therefore, considered desirable that they should be free to pursue, at some future period, the policy of their opponents; while, on the other hand, their irresponsible supporters enjoyed the luxury of denouncing that policy to their heart's content. The appetite for conquest and plunder had undoubtedly been excited by the foreign policy of the Government; and it would be hazardous for the hon. Baronet, or any English politician, to resist too strongly, the brutal craving which "Jingoism" had impressed on the English public mind. But surely an Irish Representative, whose country had felt throughout centuries of her history the evil effects of an aggressive Imperalism, might candidly utter the sentiments appropriate to this occasion. He then had to declare his thorough detestation of English policy in South Africa, and as it had been pursued towards weak and unarmed nations. The re never was a crime committed against God or man which had not been deliberately perpetrated as a piece of State policy in the building up of the British Empire, and these crimes and their perpetrators had always found apologists in England. When Sir Theophilus Shepstone laid violent hands on the Transvaal Republic, a shout of approval arose from the English Press because his violence was successful. Those of them who protested against the acts of the usurper in that House were howled down, and the memory of the crime would have been forgotten in the success which attended its accomplishment, but for the events which had recently taken place. The war was unprovoked and unpatriotic, and he could not but regret that the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea had not openly and directly condemned it, and drawn with him into the Lobby 50 or 60 hon. Members who were not afraid to declare their verdict, instead of so framing his Resolution that it would catch the Opposition Leaders and their followers. As to the Zulu King, he had observed what was going on in the Transvaal; he saw that it was being annexed against the protests of the Boers; and he would have been a fool to trust the English. He did not want to be annexed, and when he received the insulting Ultimatum of the High Commissioner, he did what every man of spirit and patriotism would have done under similar circumstances. He rejected the unjust and imperious demands, which he could not concede without dishonour, and, refusing to be the sceptred slave of an English Governor, resolved bravely to fight in defence of his native land. If England acted with justice to Native races, we should not hear of these wars and rumours of wars, and the trade of the country would not be paralyzed as it was at the present time. As to the Amendment, he had placed it upon the Paper as expressing what he believed to be the true feeling of the Irish people on the subject, as well as the views of a large portion of the English nation. He did not, however, intend to move it, because his countrymen, who sat around him, thought it would be unwise to do so, as tending to cause confusion as to the decision of the House on the question, and that a more effective check might be given to the policy of the Government by an united vote in support of the Resolution of censure proposed by the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea. He thought, however, that if English Liberalism had anything in it which could sympathize with struggling freedom, it would not content itself with the Resolution which the hon. Baronet had placed upon the Paper, but would go farther, and record an earnest protest against the combined cruelty and hypocrisy of the policy pursued in South Africa, a policy which could not count a single triumph save at the sacrifice of the rights of the brave and the free.


said, that the present war was very similar to the one that happened in New Zealand, and confirmed the impression held by many that the presence of a number of the Imperial troops in a Colony invariably engendered a war fever. There were always persons who were anxious to employ the Imperial troops in coercing the native Tribes. There were a great many people who liked the commissariat expenditure, and who failed to see that the money which was spent was a very poor return for the destitution and misery which was brought on a Colony by a war. There were other people who felt that some day or other they would go to war with the natives, and the question for them was whether they should have that war at once, with the assistance of the Imperial troops, or whether they would wait for a few years and wage it without the assistance of the Home Government. Under these circumstances, the Governor of a Colony was the person who ought to consider the Imperial interests; but he (Mr. Gorst) feared that he looked to those people about him and was influenced by their opinions, and did not follow the hesitating advice which he received from Downing Street, the result being that, almost invariably, he ended, in a time of excitement, by becoming the victim of the prevailing epidemic. He had also learned how utterly untrustworthy the information was which came from the Colony, and he had seen in the course of this debate Blue Books treated as if they were Holy Writ. He believed that the Papers before them contained only a very small part of the truth—only that part which it was convenient to the War Party to make known to the Colony. The whole of the native story was unheard. He further learned how utterly impotent the Government at home was to check the war feeling in a Colony. The case of Zululand was nothing more than the old story over again; and he did not think he had heard any speaker yet, not even the Colonial Secretary himself, support the policy of the Home Government. The re was, no doubt, some difficulty in doing it, because it was necessary to censure Sir Fartle Frere, and, at the same time, to be cautious in the censure so as not to raise the question why he had not been recalled. The Government were between Scylla and Charybdis. The re had been a war fever in the Colony of Natal; but he did not think Sir Bartle Frere had ever caught it so long as he remained in Cape Town. Lord Chelmsford was the first person who caught it, and he wrote a despatch to Sir Bartle Frere, telling him of the existence of a strong war feeling in Natal, and expressing his opinion that war with the Zulus would become necessary. It was worthy of notice that Sir Bartle Frere, in sending home Lord Chelmsford's despatch, did so without observation. At the same time, he asked for reinforcements not for the purpose of making war on the Zulus, but for the purpose of putting down a possible rising of the Zulus in Natal and the Transvaal. The answer of Her Majesty's Government on 17th October was an absolute refusal to send any reinforcements whatever, and at that time the Government could not do more to discourage war. That communication was the only communication which Sir Bartle Frere had when he sent in his Ultimatum. The next despatch from Her Majesty's Government was that of 21st November, in which it was distinctly stated that although they sent out two regiments to the Cape, they were not disposed to furnish the means for a campaign or conquest, but only for preserving the lives and property of the Colonists. That implied that the High Commissioner was told to avoid war with the King of the Zulus; but yet the troops were used for that very purpose. Now, the fate of that despatch was remarkable, because he could not find any acknowledgment of it in the Blue Book, and yet Sir Bartle Frere must have received that despatch at a very critical moment—between the time he sent the Ultimatum and the time Lord Chelmsford marched into the country. He should like to know why that despatch did not stop Sir Bartle Frere from beginning the war? Up to that point the Government had done as much as they could to prevent the breaking out of war. The Government had done everything at home to prevent the war; but, with the knowledge of all the facts, he blamed them for writing the despatch of the 21st of November, in which they approved of what they had before disapproved, and if it had not been for the disaster at Isandlana, they would never have heard of any censure of Sir Bartle Frere, although one or two crotchety Members below the Gangway on both sides of the House might have protested against that cruelty and injustice, and inquired what necessity there was for it. If our Army had been successful, and the Zulu King had been subdued, and peace obtained at a comparatively small expenditure of blood and treasure, Her Majesty's Government, like others who had gone before them, would have condoned the act of the High Commissioner, and the House would not have heard a breath of censure on the Government. One good result had followed this unfortunate war, and that was that the attention of the House of Commons and the country had been attracted to the vicious system, of our Colonial Government, whereby these wars appeared periodically to occur. The Government had to consider what course they would take when they became aware of the facts, and they could do no other than condemn the action of Sir Bartle Frere. He attached very little importance to the Ultimatum sent by Sir Bartle Frere to Cetewayo, except as an expression of the views of the High Commissioner himself at the time he entered upon the war. Such Ultimatums were not so much intended for the native Kings to whom they were sent as for the House of Commons, with a view to the justification of hostilities. As a proof of this he would remind hon. Members of the Ultimatum in the new Zealand War, which was not sent out until after the war had actually commenced. A greater reproof than the one contained in the despatch of the 19th March could not have been passed upon the conduct of a public officer than that passed upon Sir Bartle Frere; but it was somewhat inconsistent, because, if the circumstances were not so urgent as to require immediate war, it could not have been right to go to war at all. The Resolution, as first put on the Paper, aimed far more at the system than the persons, and that he should have supported most cordially, and then an addition was made to it which, it was said, amounted to a censure on Her Majesty's Government, and, because of that, hon. Members were asked to negative the earlier part of the Resolution, which was a mere echo of the words used by Her Majesty's Government in their own despatch. To vote for the Resolution would be to vote for a Vote of Censure on the Government, and to negative it would be to negative what was his most earnest and fervent belief; and, therefore, he had to look more narrowly into the Resolution, and, having done so, he could not see that it was a Vote of Censure on the Government, but it was one, no doubt, on Sir Bartle Frere, and if passed by a majority of that House it must lead to Sir Bartle Frere's resignation; but he had no wish to condemn him. But if the Resolution was carried, would Her Majesty's Government resign? He did not think that they would. He was sure they ought not, because the Resolution as it then stood simply expressed a feeling common to most hon. Members, and that the vast majority of the people would regret that Her Majesty's Government should have found themselves in a position to be obliged to pass such a censure on a public servant that must drive him from his post. He would assume that the real reason given for not recalling Sir Bartle Frere was that given by Her Majesty's Government, that there was no person of sufficient administrative ability to take his place; but, at the same time, he was sorry that the country was reduced to so low an ebb. He had given the subject a most conscientious consideration, and feeling assured that, although the Resolution if carried might lead to the resignation of Sir Bartle Frere, it would do no harm to Her Majesty's Government, he should vote for it. At the same time, he wished to declare that he had no desire to censure Sir Bartle Frere, and, also, that he had no desire to censure Her Majesty's Government; because he thought they had only done what previous Governments had done over and over again, and what their opponents would have done if they had been sitting in their places; but he wished to enter a protest against a course of action which was calculated to involve the country periodically in ignoble wars.


said, he could relieve the hon. and learned Member who had just resumed his seat (Mr. Gorst) from his apprehension that Her Majesty's Government would resign if the Resolution of the hon. Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke) was carried, because Her Majesty's Government had laid down a principle that it was not the duty of any servant of the Crown, although he might have received the severest censure, to resign; and it was, therefore, clearly not the duty of the Government to resign if this Vote of Censure was carried, even if it were far more severe than it was. He could also sympathize with the hon. and learned Member in his surprise that the noble Lord the President of the Board of Trade should have said to-night that they could not find any man of equal administrative ability to replace Sir Bartle Frere, and should have appealed to them—he might almost say to himself (Sir William Harcourt) personally—to say who should be put in his place. He thought, indeed, the noble Lord had went so far as to use the word intrigue, and to say that the front Bench were engaged in an intrigue to supplant Sir Bartle Frere in order to put in his place the right hon. Baronet the member for Tamworth. If it were necessary to disavow any combination of that sort he would do it frankly, and the more so as he was told the right hon. Baronet was going to vote with Her Majesty's Government to-night. [Sir ROBERT PEEL: No, I am not.] But they did not desire to interfere with Her Majesty's Government's right of selecting officers for the Public Service, because they had observed that when Her Majesty's Government bad got public affairs into an irretrievable mess, they always filled up the vacant appointments from the Liberal Benches, and, therefore, when the next High Commissioner was appointed for South Africa—and he hoped it might be soon—he was certain Her Majesty's Government would make as admirable a selection as they had made on recent occasions. They had been waiting for some time to hear what the answer of the Government was to the motion, but they had not heard it yet; and this, he said, even after listening to the speech of the noble Lord the President of the Board of Trade. His noble Friend had been unusually testy to-night for a man of his good humour; but he had a very bad case, and so found it difficult to make a good speech. It was, however, impossible to repress a smile at some of his arguments, as when he told them that one of the reasons for retaining Sir Bartle Frere at his post was that his breast was covered with decorations. He (Sir William Harcourt) understood the Government were prepared to say this—"We have blamed Sir Bartle Frere for one thing, and for one thing only—for making war without leave." That he entirely disputed. He would remind the House what the questions were on which the Government had condemned Sir Bartle Frere; and he ventured to say there was not one single important question involved in the politics in South Africa upon which Her Majesty's Government had not denounced, repudiated, and condemned his judgment. This was the point he wished to bring under the attention of the House. It was unnecessary for him to go into details, because the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea, in his luminous and exhaustive speech, had bound in an unbroken chain the evidence of the misconduct and misjudgment of Sir Bartle Frere. The noble Lord the President of the Board of Trade had said they could not touch the question of the annexation of the Transvaal, because they had themselves been consenting parties to it. The noble Lord made out the whole point of the charge against Sir Bartle Frere to be connected with the Transvaal. But the charge was one equally valid in the minds of those who approved and of those who disapproved of the annexation. Those who approved the annexation, in common with himself, thought it was a necessary measure in consequence of the state of things which the unjust encroachments of the Boers had produced by exasperating the feelings of the Zulus, and their opinion was that the English Government were going to take the place of the Boers, not to conduct themselves as the Boers had done, but to behave in exactly an opposite manner. They thought the business of the English Government would be to redress the wrong the Boers had inflicted on the Zulus. Their charge against Sir Bartle Frere was that he perverted the whole objects of the annexation; that he had made himself the partizan of the Boers; and that, instead of conciliating the Zulus by justice, he aggravated them by bringing the power of England to support the encroachments, oppressions, and wrongs inflicted by the Boers. That was their case, and the noble Lord was entirely mistaken in saying that they must not touch the question of the Transvaal. Sir Bartle Frere said himself— The exasperation of the Zulus was produced entirely by the annexation of the Transvaal. This was in a despatch of November 5. He continued— The Zulus believed that we were an unencroaching Power; that we were well inclined to see justice done to them especially in their relations with the Transvaal, whose Government, owing to its habits of encroachment, they regarded as hostile to the native races. A great change has been made in the feelings both of the Zulus and of the Boers since the annexation. Why? Because the Zulus found we were following in the footsteps of, and doing the same thing the Boers had been doing. What was the proper remedy? It was to have done instant justice to the Zulus; to have set on foot without delay that arbitration which Sir Bartle Frere delayed by every form of obstruction, chicane, and quibble. What did Cetewayo complain of? He said, more than once, Sir Bartle Frere was hiding the message of peace which had come from beyond the seas, and the right hon. Baronet the Colonial Secretary said he was right in so saying. [Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH: No, no!] he would not take up the time of the House by turning up the Blue Book; but he was perfectly certain that in a despatch—he thought it was the despatch of the 17th of October—the Government referred to these very words of Cetewayo's, and urged Sir Bartle Frere to send in the award, because he thought there was some grounds for the complaint. Sir Bartle Frere delayed the award, as they all knew, and Sir Henry Bulwer remonstrated; and all this time Sir Bartle Frere was advancing these Scriptural arguments to which the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea had referred—that the Boers had the title of the Children of Israel, a much better title than the Children of Israel could pretend to. That was an awkward argument for the Government. What would Conservative landlords and M.P.'s say to the English Boer who should tell them that the land was theirs on a better title than the conveyances by which they held? He had never read such rubbish in his life as Sir Bartle Frere's arguments against the rights of the Zulus in these lands. They were arguments which would disqualify a man who might urge them for the office of parish beadle, let alone that of High Commissioner. Ultimately, he had to concede the award. But how did he concede it? With conditions the most unjust that were ever appended to an act of restitution. He said he would give back the lands on the condition that the men who were wrongfully occupying should not be disturbed, and an English Resident was to be appointed in order to see that they were not disturbed. He (Sir William Harcourt) wondered the Colonial Secretary had had the courage to refer to Irish land. Were they going to have an English Resident established in Ireland to see that no tenant should be disturbed in his holding by the landlord for non-payment of rent or other lawful reason? What was the meaning of such extraordinary conduct on the part of Sir Bartle Frere? They knew it, from Sir Bartle Frere's own words. He said— The acquiescence of the majority of the Boors in annexation depends directly on our success with the Zulus. That was the secret of the whole thing. To borrow one of Sir Bartle Frere's own Scriptural illustrations, it might be said that when the High. Commissioner Nathan was sent to give back the ewe lamb taken by David, he went and delivered an ultimatum to Naboth—that was the nature of the arbitration of Sir Bartle Frere. He asked again, had Her Majesty's Government themselves much confidence in Sir Bartle Frere? They said that although he had offended in one point they trusted him in everything else. Did they? The noble Lord the President of the Board of Trade had said that night that Sir Bartle Frere had seen the mutiny in India, and knew that Natal was going to be invaded, and, therefore, he took instant measures to prevent the occurrence of such a calamity. But what was the view which Her Majesty's Government had taken of the subject at the time? On the 10th of September Sir Bartle Frere asked for more troops. If the Government trusted their High Commissioner on any matter, it would be on a point so vital to the defence of the Colony as the number of troops required. But what did the Government do in reply to this demand from this man of ability, experience, and judgment, who they said knew more about the Cape of Good Hope than anybody else, and whom it was impossible to replace? Why, they said—"Her Majesty's Government are not prepared to comply with your request for reinforcements." Was that the way for the Government to display their confidence in their High Commissioner? He put Her Majesty's Government in this dilemma—if Sir Bartle Frere was a man of sound judgment, ability, and knowledge, what was their own conduct in refusing to send him the troops he asked for? But if the Government were right in not sending the troops, then Sir Bartle Frere was a man whose judgment could not be trusted. Sir Bartle Frere, in a subsequent despatch, expressed the greatest surprise at the distrust with which the Government appeared to listen to him, and said— I do not know what you mean when you say you have received no information to justify you in sending troops. I have been giving you information all these 12 mouths which ought to have satisfied you that the troops asked for were necessary. The Colonial Secretary said the other night that he did not hear of the Ultimatum until December 11. He was mistaken in that. [Sir MICHAEL HICKS BEACH: What I referred to was no hint of an aggressive policy.] He thought the right hon. Baronet had forgotten it. No doubt, the news of a regular Ultimatum was only sent on the 5th November, which would reach the Colonial Office about the 11th of December; and it was in a despatch of the 30th September that the formidable word "Ultimatum" first appeared. Sir Bartle Frere said in that despatch that, unless the men concerned in the case of Sirayo were given up, it would be necessary to send to the Zulu King an Ultimatum which must put an end to pacific relations with our neighbours. Was not that, he asked, a full and distinct intimation of an aggressive policy? It appeared to have escaped the attention of the Colonial Secretary. It would be observed that Sir Henry Bulwer, who had originally demanded the surrender of the men, said he would have been satisfied with taking a fine, a fine which was to be levied on the whole nation, and not upon an individual only. The Ultimatum was framed on the 14th of October last, but it was not sent home—that was part of the misconduct he attributed to Sir Bartle Frere. It was not until a month afterwards that he thought right to communicate its purport to the Home Government. Her Majesty's Government waited three weeks after receiving Sir Bartle Frere's despatch, and did not make up their minds to send troops. What sort of confidence was that? And when they did make up their minds to send troops, they said to him—"You are not to employ these troops for the purpose for which you asked for them." That appeared to him the fullest proof of want of confidence that they could show towards a public servant such as their High Commissioner. Taking another point, a difference of opinion arose between Sir Bartle Frere and the Home Government on the question whether the missionaries within the territory of the Native Tribes should be supported by the sword. He did not quarrel with the decision of Her Majesty's Government on the point, because it was just and proper; but they again showed the utmost distrust of his judgment, for they were obliged to tell their High Commissioner that he was entirely wrong in reference to the most material question that could affect the relations between Black and White men. Then there was the case of the Coronation promises. The Colonial Secretary had declined to accept Sir Bartle Frere's view of those promises, and declared that he put the matter entirely too high, and that the enforcement of those promises was a duty which they were not, and ought not, to undertake. But on this point also Her Majesty's Government and Sir Bartle Frere were directly opposed in opinion. He now came to the greatest question of all—namely, that of annexation. Did Sir Bartle Frere contemplate annexation? If they looked at his latest despatch after the Isandlana disaster—the despatch dated the 3rd February—they would there find the whole scheme for making a profit out of the matter by taxation. Therefore, it was clear that he had adopted, in its integrity and entirety, the principle of annexation which they condemned. Again, he asked, what was their opinion of the judgment of that man, who, upon every practical point affecting policy in South Africa, had come to one conclusion while they arrived at another? Look at his conduct in June. He wrote telling Sir Henry Bulwer that they would be invaded in Natal, and Sir Henry Bulwer, being the Governor of Natal, was very much surprised at such a statement, and said that the only danger he could see was that troops should be sent into Natal, and thus cause Cetewayo to suspect that they did not want to play fair with him. Sir Bartle Frere, however, did send the troops, and then, as Sir Henry Bulwer had predicted, took place the collection of the Zulu troops which were called "hunting parties." What could be the confidence of the Government in this man? He knew the Government disapproved of his proposal, and that they had refused him the troops he asked for. He said himself—"The force at our disposal is not as large as we think necessary;" and then, after the Government had refused to send him more troops, he delivered the Ultimatum, which led to immediate war. And that was the man of ability, wisdom, and judgment, who, they said, was to be approved in the control of South African affairs. He (Sir William Harcourt) never heard of a man so condemned by his own acts and by the judgment of the Government who sustained him. Having said all these things in his despatches of September and December, then came the great disaster of Isandlana, and he found himself called upon to account for his not having waited for more troops. He replied— I took the best advice that was available. I consulted all the people who knew best, and they told me that the Zulus would never resist at all. What were they to say of the judgment and consistency of such a man? Look, again, at his style; look at the temper, at the dignity of his despatches! For example, there was the despatch of December 2, which he (Sir William Harcourt) was ashamed to see laid upon the Table—it was so unlike what they were accustomed to see in the writings of English Ministers. He alluded to the despatch in which Sir Bartle Frere indulged in a denunciation of an array of "celibate man-slayers," and talked, about celibate soldiers as if he were on a Protestant platform denouncing the celibacy of the clergy. He had always understood that soldiers, as a general rule, were unmarried, and as to their being man-slayers, that was an epithet which applied to most of the Armies of the world. When he looked at the temper, at the want of fairness, at the want of directness, at the want of dignity, by which those despatches were characterized—when he looked at the evident determination to make out a foregone case from first to last—he must say he thought they were amongst the least creditable Papers which had ever been laid upon the Table of the House. He would give one sentence as a sample. Sir Bartle Frere found it was not very consistent with his view of the case that Cetewayo with 40,000 men did not invade Natal when they were engaged in a struggle with the Basutos; and how did their High Commissioner account for it? He said— I can give no reason, save the half-hearted-ness of a suspicious barbarian, disgusted with his not having taken advantage of the many favourable opportunities which have presented themselves in our difficulties during the last 18 months. How could they deal with a man who put such an interpretation even upon the friendly acts of his neighbour? He (Sir William Harcourt) said Her Majesty's Government had not trusted Sir Bartle Frere. They had condemned his judgment on every material point. Their distrust was shown most completely in their last despatch. Was there ever any servant of the British Crown in such a position and at such a distance from their communications as Sir Bartle Frere was, whom they would have tied and fettered down as they had tied and fettered down their Commissioner in South Africa? He had been told that he was not to make peace; that he was not to enter into any terms before they were first submitted for approval at home. That despatch showed one of two things—either that that was the rule which he ought to have followed originally—and then how grossly he had offended—or, if it were not, that they were imposing conditions upon him because of their distrust of his judgment and discretion. What was the meaning of that disobedience on the part of Sir Bartle Frere? What was the meaning of the contempt with which he had treated Her Majesty's Government—a contempt to which he (Sir William Harcourt) believed no Administration had ever been exposed before? In his opinion, it arose from the feeble action of the Government themselves. Throughout the whole of these transactions it was perfectly plain that the Government had had no policy of their own. They had differed from Sir Bartle Frere in many things he had suggested, and he (Sir William Harcourt) thought they had been right in doing so; but they had had no positive, no constructive policy whatsoever with reference to South Africa. For that reason, the policy of Sir Bartle Frere had prevailed against the feeble remonstrances of Her Majesty's Government. He had read the despatches of the Colonial Secretary, and he thought they were admirable. They were exactly the writings of one of those well-meaning men who were never able to give effect to their intentions. In a single sentence he thought he could paraphrase them pretty accurately thus—"My dear Sir Bartle Frere; I cannot think you are right. Indeed, I think you are very wrong; but then, after all, I feel you know a great deal better than I do. I hope you won't do what you are going to do; but if you do, I hope it will turn out well." That was the policy of Her Majesty's Government. The Colonial Secretary controlling Sir Bartle Frere! They might as well put a boy four years old on the back of a pulling-horse, and tell him not to rush his fences. The British Empire resembled the chariot of the Sun, that made the circle of the globe and passed through all the signs of the Ecliptic; but whether it was to carry with it benignant warmth and life, or devasting flame, depended on the character of the hands that controlled the coursers; and he thought they had seen a little of what had happened to the chariot of the British Empire in the hands of the Gloucestershire Phæton, who had set the world on fire in South Africa, and of whom it might possibly be said— Nee scit qua sit iter, nec si sciat imperat illis. The Government had no policy, and Sir Bartle Frere had not the right one. Even now the despatches of the Government contained no distinctive policy. They had not made up their minds as to whether Sir Bartle Frere was right or wrong. But if they had not done so, Sir Bartle Frere had made up his mind on the point a long time ago; and so long as the Government were in that unhappy molluscous state of mind on the subject, things in South Africa would go on pretty much as hitherto. But the Government said—"Oh, we have censured Sir Bartle Frere!" When did they censure him? His offence was complete on the 12th of December, and they know all the circumstances of it when they sent out the despatch of the 23rd of January, expressing surprise that he had not waited for their consent before sending the Ultimatum. On February 12, more despatches were received, and still no censure was expressed. On March 6, all the documents now in their possession were in the hands of the Government, who did not even then, in the despatch of that date, censure Sir Bartle Frere; but he wished to know why they did not then do so? The fact was, his hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea had put down his Reso- lution on the Notice Paper on that day; the Cabinet met the next day, and the censure of Sir Bartle Frere appeared the day after. That was the history of the censure of the High Commissioner. The censure was sufficient, argued the noble Lord the President of the Board of Trade, because censure ought to depend on the gravity of the offence. The gravity of the offence! What offence in the world, he should like to know, was there graver than that a man, on his own authority, should embark the country in a war, in which, if the Government had been allowed time to consider the question, we should never have been involved? But now people said that, having entered upon the war, we must go on with it. Why, that was the very reason why the Government ought most condignly to visit with reprobation the conduct of the man who got them into such a state of affairs, and who had thereby obliged them to go on with that war. He should like to know how, in the future, any other Governor, or Governor General, or High Commissioner, who, in spite of the Government, made war, was to be dismissed from his position? Might he not turn round and say—"You did not dismiss Sir Bartie Frere; how dare you pronounce the offence I have committed to be of a graver character than his?" But he had a still more serious question to ask before he sat down, and it was whether the censure passed upon Sir Bartle Frere by the Government was a bonâ fide censure, or merely a Parliamentary manœuvre? His right hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth the other night reminded the House that there was a commentary on that censure, which threw upon it a good deal of light. It was said that the objects of the war should not be too minutely criticized, for that wars in South Africa were not to be justified on the same grounds which would be considered necessary in Europe. The House had been told that we had imposed the Empire of England, by means of a handful of men, on vast multitudes of human beings, by acting on a principle which had been enunciated in another crisis—boldness, boldness, boldness. It had been stated that Sir Bartle Frere had improved—that was the word—and extended his Indian experience; and that, although he might have exhibited a courage verging on rashness, yet that was the manner in which our Empire grew. Such was the commentary on the censure passed by the Government on the High Commissioner; but what, he would ask, was the meaning of that language? It might, he thought, be conveyed in a very well known phrase—"Guilty, but do it again." It meant—"Never mind the Parliamentary censure. We found an awkward Resolution put down on the Notice Paper by the Member for Chelsea, and we were obliged to embody this censure in our despatch; but yours, nevertheless, are the right principles by which the Empire of England has grown—boldness, boldness, boldness; by all means let us have the courage that borders on rashness." The House would recollect the story of the battle of Navarino, when Her Majesty's Government, having occasion to notice it in their despatches as an untoward event, it was always supposed that another despatch had gone out from an illustrious quarter in the laconic form, "Go it, Ned." Now, so far as he understood it, it seemed to him that in this matter the Government, while breathing censure in their despatches, really meant, "Go it, Bartle." That was the real meaning of the speeches. He thought Sir Bartle Frere thoroughly understood this underground railway, this sort of intimation as to what the censure of the despatch really meant. There was, he might add, a very significant sentence in one of the despatches—that of November 5—in which, to tempt the English Government to send him more troops, the High Commissioner informed the Government that any troops which they might then send out might, in a few months, pass on to India, improved in organization and training; and that they would arrive in ample time for service on the North-Western Frontier. Now what, he should like to ask, did that sentence moan? Why, it meant—"Send me troops, I will wash their spears; I will blood their hands, and I will then send them a grand tour of annexation round the world, all the better for their South African tour." That was the intimation with which Sir Bartle Frere conveyed his request for troops. These were not the things that a nation had to look to in a matter of this kind. They said they did not mean this. He dared say they did not. They said they would stop, but they could not stop. They told them they were going to stop it at the Frontier in Afghanistan, but they had not done so. When once they began in that course, it was not them but their pro-Consuls who determined the policy of the country. When he listened to such language as that which he heard from the political Conservative Danton who presided over Her Majesty's Foreign Office, who told them, in the language of 1793, to make war upon the rights of everybody all over the world, it seemed to him that they had no prospect of peace for their country, and that they were encouraging their pro-Consuls to do the very thing which they condemned them for doing; and he asked them whether the course they were taking that night would control the policy of aggression in South Africa or anywhere else? They promised them repose in South Africa. How were they going to got it? They promised them repose in India. What had become of it? They told them they had not sent an Ultimatum to Burmah. He dared say they had not, but could they be sure that no one else had? They told them they had given them peace with honour; but it was a peace which had to be supported by an expedition. In his opinion, the outlook was very dark in South Africa, as it was elsewhere. They had chosen their path in South Africa, and they were drifting on without a policy and without a compass, and they had at the helm a pilot whose judgment they had condemned at every point in that difficult navigation. They had discredited the authorities by the censure they had passed upon them, and they must take the responsibility of the course which they had not approved, but which they were determined to support, and upon them would fall all the burden of the trouble which had come, which was yet to come—of the blood which had been shed, and of the blood which, he feared, would yet be shed. Their course was perfectly clear. They, by this Resolution, would condemn the conduct of the man who had brought them and the nation into the situation which they now found themselves. They refused to accept the consequences of his policy and of his conduct, and they would free their consciences that night from the intolerable burden of a policy which had brought them sorrow, shame, and dis- aster, and which would bring them neither advantage nor honour in success.


said, it was not his intention to trouble the House at any great length; but as the Resolution before the House did not correspond to the enormity of the offence this country had to consider, he would make a few remarks in regard to the important issues which were raised. Looking at all the circumstances of the case, he was prepared to give his vote to the Resolution which had been proposed by the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke). At the same time, he almost felt strongly for Sir Bartle Frere. Had he succeeded, he would not have been labouring under the present censure. He heartily agreed with the hon. and learned Member for the City of Oxford (Sir William Harcourt), in regard to what he described as the utterly absurd and untenable objections of Sir Bartle Frere to the Sovereignty of the Zulu Monarch; but they could not be more untenable than the objections to the Transvaal policy, which was ratified by the leading Members of the Liberal Party two years ago. The debate that night would terminate in a vote in favour of the Government, fur too many interests were bound up with the maintenance in power of the present Administration for any chance of a vote being taken on the merits of the question. There were too many reforms to be opposed in England, too many reforms to be opposed in Ireland, for any hon. Members who supported the existing abuses to be tempted by any consideration to unseat a Government which was the protector of all those abuses. He would not go over the ground which had been traversed by able speakers who sat on this side of the House, and by some speakers, to their honour be it said, who sat on the other side; but he would ask the House to bear with him for a few moments while he ventured to call attention to some abuses in the South African policy of the Government, which were likely to continue long after the decision on the present question had been determined, and long after the dispute had been settled with the Zulu King and the Zulu nation. There were other territories in Africa which this policy also affected. When they resolved upon oppressing a race, merely because its colour differed from their own, there were no limits to aggression. The greed and lust of power which had brought them to the Tugela could bring them to the Zambesi. Her Majesty's Government had censured Sir Bartle Frere; but they had only censured him because he had been unsuccessful. Again and again in the course of last year, and on previous occasions, he (Mr. O'Donnell) had brought before the Government authentic accounts of oppression in South Africa, and had called attention to the policy which was driving Native Tribes into rebellion; but all the reply he got was that the accounts were incredible, and that Sir Bartle Frere was a high-minded citizen, who had served the State, and, above all, that he was a good man. Until Sir Bartle Frere failed, the Government had not a fault to find with him. What was the policy he carried out, with the full sanction of the Government? It was a policy which was of the worst possible kind and of a most inhuman character, the policy of the most aggressive and annexationist of European Colonists in South Africa. He could, if he chose, quote many instances from the Blue Books to show that, under the British flag and in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, there had been committed, as a regular portion of warfare, acts which would excite universal horror if they had been committed by Bashi-Bazouks. Village-burning had been carried on systematically; and not only were the guilty members of a tribe punished, but even where, as in the case of the Gaikas, only a portion of the tribe rose against us, the whole tribe was punished. In extracts chosen from the reports of missionaries with the view of impressing public opinion in this country, they found it confessed that innocent persons had been driven from their homes by the torch and the bayonet. All the confiscated land went to swell the land reserve at the disposal of the South African Government, which itself was in the hands of the landjobbers of South Africa. They could not speak to a man of experience and standing come home from South Africa who would not tell them by name officials of the Government mixed up with these land operations. The work of so-called civilization in South Africa seemed to be carried out with an unscrupulous cruelty, such as was a dis- grace to any nation. Compulsory servitude and practical slavery accompanied the march of the British Armies in the Colonies. He would not delay the House; but he was obliged to refer to two or three extracts in the very imperfect Papers which had been presented to Parliament, just to give a sample of how the work of the Government was carried on in South Africa. This appeared to be the kind of procedure which took place. A battle occurred very often, the tribe avoiding the fight as long as possible, and the men were then driven off. Property was seized, the cattle was divided amongst the troops and the Volunteers, and especially the Volunteers. In fact, Sir Arthur Cunynghame, the late Lieutenant Governor and Commander-in-Chief in Africa, had himself to say, when speaking of the Volunteers, that "those heroes fought for cattle and not for country." The pages of the Blue Book were pages of shame not to be excelled in the history of any country, no matter how ruthless, no matter how degraded. Here was another instance of how the principle worked. In a despatch from Colonel Bellairs, commanding the Eastern Frontier, there was an account of some operations which, it was stated, had been brought to a successful termination. The despatch said— The successful operations resulted in the complete dispersion of the enemy and the capture of enormous herds of their cattle. The right column came up with some Kaffirs in the hush, and they made no stand, and were quickly dislodged. What a record of British valour! But this colonel was evidently a humane soldier, for he put in his despatch the following— I desire to point out that the condition of the women and children is most deplorahle—left by the rebels to shift by themselves. But why were they left to shift for themselves? Simply because if the men had remained they would have been shot, The despatch went on— Their habitations burned, their meal-pits destroyed, and their cattle captured. And by whom? By English soldiers. He had letters written by men at least as good as Sir Bartle Frere, by philanthropists who had in many a country of the world done their utmost—and often he was happy to say with success—to remedy the horrors of opera- tions like those of the present Government. Gentlemen told him of the way in which hundreds and thousands of Native women and children were deprived of their food, and land, and natural protectors, and were hired out as apprentices and enslaved to the Colonial farmers. There was a positive competition among the Colonial farmers for the services of these poor serfs, and several parts of the Blue Books were literally unctuous with descriptions of the good which must accrue to the poor Native children from being taken from their own families and placed in the bosom of Europeans. No doubt, many of them had been tempted to shed sentimental cheers over the separation of Negro families in the United States of America; but, to its honour, the great Republic beyond the Atlantic had swept away for ever the stain of slavery; and behold it now rising again on the African Continent under the protection of Her Majesty's Government, and under the disguise of indenture and apprentice! One of the many reasons given for dealing with the Boers was that they were addicted to kidnapping. It now appeared that Her Majesty's Government were the lawful successors of the Boers. He did not think he had been wrong in venturing to introduce these matters into the debate. Now, the upshot of these proceedings in South Africa, if the present Government policy was to continue, and if the party of aggression was to be still further encouraged and fostered, would be, disguise it as they might, the practical establishment of a Slave State in South Africa. They dared not elevate these conquered and ground-down millions of Blacks; they dared not give them the franchise or arms, because they knew they would be outnumbered. They were bribing the Whites by giving them unlimited power over the Native races, and there could be no triumph that would be more fatal to the policy and prestige of this country and Empire. He regretted that he could not, on the present occasion, go more fully into this matter; but he had confidence that there would still be many independent Members on both sides, and many crotchety Members on both sides, who would continue to be sufficiently independent and sufficiently determined to pursue the subject amid all the vicissitudes of Parliamentary Party warfare, and who would keep steadily in view the cause of humanity, and neither for the English flag, nor the Dutch flag, nor for any other flag would permit the system of steady oppression of weaker races, which appeared to have been the main object of the British Government, especially since the accession of the present Advisers of Her Majesty.


said, he felt he owed an apology to the House for entreating their attention for a few minutes, because the opinions he held with regard to the conduct of Sir Bartle Frere were not hold by the majority of the House. It was not within his province to defend the language of the Government despatches against the attacks of the hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt); but when the hon. and learned Member proceeded to say that the Government had not made up their minds as to whether Sir Bartle Frere was wrong, and that they were encouraging their pro-Consuls in every part of the world to do the very same thing, he must be permitted to say that was not strictly accurate. The Government not only pointed out that Sir Bartle Frere was wrong, but that he was very wrong indeed, and on that ground the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman fell entirely to the ground. The hon. and learned Member expressed a hope that a new High Commissioner would shortly replace Sir Bartle Frere. He could not share that hope, any more than he was able to join in the grave indictment against Sir Bartle Frere, which he pointed out was mainly contained in the speech of the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke). He had listened to that speech with close attention, and if it were not presumption, he would venture to say that his speech on that occasion was probably the ablest of all the able speeches he had delivered in that House. But, in his humble opinion, that speech was also marked throughout by one great and fatal defect—the spirit of uncompromising and bitter animosity against Sir Bartle Frere. He said he ought at once to be recalled; but he must be permitted to point out that if one tithe of the charges brought against him were true, recall would be a punishment quite inadequate for one so guilty as the High Commissioner. What was the charge brought against him? That he had entered on an unjust, a wanton, and unnecessary war; that he was determined to go on with that war; he was so intent on war, that he was even more anxious than Cetewayo himself to "wash his spears" in blood. He regretted, indeed, to hear that observation fall from the hon. Baronet. He said he had withheld from the Government what he ought not to have withheld, and communicated to them what he ought to have withheld. He thought he had said almost enough of the indictment brought against Sir Bartle Frere. The hon. and learned Member for Oxford had indulged in cavils, quibbles, and chicane against him. He would not refer to the want of temper, coolness, judgment, dignity, calmness, charged against Sir Bartle Frere. To those who knew him it would sound strange indeed to hear such charges. Be it his task to endeavour to the utmost of his ability to defend an absent man, an able, courageous English gentleman, placed in a position of the utmost danger and difficulty, and one, moreover, of exceptional responsibility, which even yet many hon. Members had failed to estimate rightly. He had been most unfairly and cruelly aspersed, and was still, if ever he was, entitled to confidence, and was as undeserving of the censure the Government had passed as of that this House was asked to pass. When he left England for the Cape it was entirely against his own convenience and wishes, and at no small self-sacrifice; he was actuated by a sense of public duty, and when he arrived at the Cape, it was with no predisposition in favour of the course he had since so persistently pursued. On the contrary, at that time, and afterwards when he arrived at the Frontier, Sir Bartle Frere, like many in this House, had possessed imperfect information, and, as he had told us, was incredulous as to the existence of any common hostile feeling among the Native Tribes towards the White man. After his arrival, being a man of great natural intelligence and perception, quickened by experience in all parts of the world, and animated by an integrity of purpose which would not suffer him for a moment to resist conclusions forced upon him by overwhelming evidence, he became gradually and surely convinced, on his arrival at the Frontier, that there was a widespread understanding among the Native Tribes that the time had arrived when the domination of the Black race by the White race must be overturned, and that Cetewayo, as King of the most powerful of the Kaffir Tribes, was the head and spirit of this movement. That opinion was shared by every authority at the Cape—Sir Henry Bulwer, Sir Theophilus Shepstone, and others. Under such circumstances, was it surprising that an Ultimatum was formulated and sent to the Zulu King, the central point of which was that the Army must be disbanded and the military system broken up, without which all authorities agreed that peace could never be secured? It had been asked whether it was right to send the Ultimatum at all, and whether it was right to send it without the sanction of the Government? On both points Sir Bartle Frere was right. On the first he was supported by all the authorities at the Cape, including Sir Henry Bulwer, for whom the hon. Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke) and the right hon. Member for Tamworth (Sir Robert Peel) had expressed high admiration. All concurred that the breaking up of the Army and of the military system was absolutely essential to the securing of permanent tranquillity. If the hon. and junior Member for Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain) could be transported to Natal, he would perhaps take a different view of what he called pedantic obstinacy, and would share the opinion that this condition was essential, and sooner or later must have been enforced. That by itself would not exonerate Sir Bartle Frere from the charge of undue precipitation; but let the House consider the reasons he had given for it. Asked why he had apparently disregarded the anxiety of the Government to avert war, he said it was impossible to countenance delay without incurring greater danger than was to be encountered at once. The sole answer of the Government to Sir Bartle Frere's despatches was that they were unable to find anything in the documents he had submitted to justify his views; but in dealing with a savage nation it was impossible to employ documents, as Sir Bartle Frere had himself pointed out. If documents, however, were not forthcoming, there was a mass of assertions and opinions on the part of Sir Bartle Frere and his subordinates which were presumably well-founded, and which no hon. Member so far had satisfactorily disproved. Who, in fact, was the more likely to be right, the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea in the House, or Sir Bartle Frere in South Africa, with all the information it was possible to obtain before him and with the assistance of experienced officials in the Colony? But for the unhappy accident, or mistake, or disaster—whichever they pleased to call it—of Isandlana, no censure, he ventured to think, would have been passed on Sir Bartle Frere; and feeling it incumbent on him, while he had voice and power, to defend the men who, in positions of exceptional difficulty, were not afraid to take upon themselves a great responsibility at any cost and at any sacrifice, he declined to endorse the censure which the Government had already passed, and would resist to the utmost the censure which the House was now asked to pass upon Sir Bartle Frere.


Sir, there are still, no doubt, a large number of hon. Members who desire to speak upon this question; but considering that, whatever reasonable length the debate might be protracted to, there would still remain unheard a great number of hon. Members, who take a deep interest in the question, and who, perhaps, are well entitled to be heard, it will be, I believe, for the general convenience of the House that we should endeavour to bring this debate to a conclusion tonight. For my part, I shall endeavour not to protract what observations I have to make, in order that we may the sooner arrive at our decision. I wish to advert to one or two points, merely for the purpose of mentioning them and passing them by. Nearly all the speakers who have taken part in the discussion have referred to the question of the military conduct of the campaign. I regret that that subject should have been introduced into this debate, although you, Sir, have ruled that its introduction was not irrelevant, but covered by the terms of the Resolution and the Amendment. That brings me to the Amendment of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Renfrewshire (Colonel Mure), which is the question now before the House. I trust that when my hon. and gallant Friend sees that we are not discussing the military question, but the general question of policy, he will comply with the disposition and wish of the House and he willing to withdraw his Amendment, so that we may take issue upon the question of the policy pursued by the High Commissioner and by Her Majesty's Government. It has been maintained by one or two speakers that the military question was raised not alone by the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Member, but by the Resolution of the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke). It has been held that the words—"The House regrets that the war should have been commenced without adequate military preparations"—convey a censure upon the Government for not having made adequate preparations for this war. I believe I am right in saying that such was not at all the intention of my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea in inserting those words in his Resolution; and certainly it never occurred to my mind that those words inferred a censure upon Her Majesty's Government. It does indeed appear to us that the war, having been commenced without adequate preparation, constitutes a very grave portion of the indictment which can be maintained against Sir Bartle Frere. We think that is one of the circumstances which ought to be taken into the consideration of the House in judging his conduct; but it certainly never occurred to us that those words which appear in the Resolution of my hon. Friend conveyed any censure upon Her Majesty's Government for not making adequate preparation for a war which we are willing to admit they never expected to occur. Therefore, I may say that a great part of the speech of my right hon. and gallant Friend the Secretary of State for War, which was devoted to prove that the Government had made adequate preparations, appears to me not entirely relevant to the question; for the charge has never been made, so far as I am aware, that the Government was to blame in that respect. But, Sir, passing from that topic, I wish to say one word as to the terms of the Motion, and the addition that has been made to it. The House will remember that a considerable time ago the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea placed upon the Paper a Notice of Motion with regard to what has taken place in South Africa. That Motion was postponed from time to time, pending the production of further Papers, until it was announced by the Government that hon. Members were in possession of all the information they could give them on the subject. It then became necessary for all of us to consider what course to take on this question. I was aware that my hon. Friend had given great attention to this subject and was well informed upon it, and that he would be likely to bring it before the House in as full and ample a manner—if not in a more full and adequate manner—than any hon. Member on this side of the House. I therefore suggested to him one or two alterations which would make his Resolution entirely in accordance with my views. He accepted them on that understanding. I was willing to leave the matter in the hands of my hon. Friend. I am sure it will be the opinion of the House that in better hands it could not have been left, and considering the length of time over which his narrative extended, a more succinct statement than his could not, I think, have been made. Well, Sir, that is the history of the Resolution up to a certain point. But after the publication of the last despatches, we found that Her Majesty's Government took a view of the conduct of the High Commissioner, which was, in all essential points, identical with that taken upon this side of the House, and to which my hon. Friend is now asking your assent. But it became apparent that there was this difference between our views and those of the Government—that whereas we had thought that if the House should be induced to agree with the Motion of my hon. Friend, there could be but one result—namely, either the recall or resignation of Sir Bartle Frere, we found Her Majesty's Government entirely agreeing with us upon the premises of the Resolution, but differing as to the conclusions. We thought the conclusion to be so obvious that it was unnecessary to be set forth in the Resolution; but when we found the view taken by the Government, it became necessary for us to add to the Resolution an expression of opinion in favour of the result which we considered must inevitably follow from the premises. Therefore, not with any desire to censure Her Majesty's Government, but only with the object of expressing the conclusion to which we thought the House must he drawn, we made the addition to the Motion of my hon. Friend. I am quite willing to admit that Her Majesty's Government have had a very difficult and very perplexing task to deal with. I am quite willing to admit that this war is not one which they ever had any reason to expect, and that it is one which, probably, is as disagreeable to them as it is to everyone else. I am quite certain of the fact that, under certain circumstances, Her Majesty's Government were not anxious for another war. I believe that even for the present Government one war—one little war, as it is called—I refer to the war in Asia—was probably sufficient; at all events, at a time when the affairs of Europe, especially in the East, cannot be considered as altogether settled. I do not know whether, under other circumstances, Her Majesty's Government might have been so averse from prosecuting this war; there are certainly some circumstances which would have given it a certain recommendation. We know that Her Majesty's Government are extremely anxious upon the subject of a scientific Frontier. The Frontier at Natal may possibly agree with these views, although I believe exception has been taken to that Frontier. The Frontier of the Transvaal, however, as everyone knows, cannot be said to possess an entirely scientific character; and, therefore, I should not have been surprised if, under other circumstances, the Government had desired, even at the expense of a small war, to rectify that Frontier. However strongly Her Majesty's Government may now speak and write about the policy of annexation in South Africa, we have the authority of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Colonies for believing that even at a very recent date that policy was not one which presented itself to Her Majesty's Government in be very unfavourable a light. The right hon. Gentleman, speaking on the 19th January at Stroud, made use of some very remarkable expressions, which I trust the House will allow me to read. He was speaking upon the question of the depression of trade in England, and he said— We have been undersold by America and other countries. During the last few years more has been done to explore the Dark Continent of Africa than during the preceding century. The policy of Her Majesty's Government has been, I will venture to say—and I speak with some knowledge on this point—to develop our Colonies in a way which no previous Government thought it their duty to do, and we have endeavoured, and will endeavour, to extend British influence and British work throughout the Dark Continent. My Predecessor (Lord Carnarvon), of whose ability and work I must always speak with respect, inaugurated that policy by the necessary step of annexation in South Africa. I sincerely wish that he had seen his way to carry out the same policy in other quarters of the globe. Well, Sir, if those were the views of the Colonial Secretary, I think it is not difficult to imagine that at a more convenient season he might, with a view to the development of British commerce in South Africa, have been able to work more harmoniously with Sir Bartle Frere than he has been on this occasion. I have no doubt that the military regulations and the character of the Government of King Cetewayo are as great obstacles to the progress of British trade in South Africa as they are to the progress of missionary enterprize. I think that, under more favourable circumstances, we might have seen the right hon. Gentleman protecting the British merchant, Sir Bartle Frere casting his ægis over the British missionary, and both co-operating with the Dutch Boers and extending the benefits of trade and religious instruction and cultivation over the whole regions of Southern Africa. But I am quite willing to admit that, under the present circumstances, the war was probably one which was extremely inconvenient to the Government. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt) has referred to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that he had no hint of the aggressive intentions of Sir Bartle Frere until December 11th. That, Sir, is not a statement which I have the slightest hesitation in admitting, for what must be taken to be a hint of aggressive intentions is entirely a question of the impression conveyed to his mind by certain circumstances, and it is impossible for another to judge what impression is actually conveyed to his mind. But I must say that the despatch quoted by my hon. and learned Friend was one which would have had the effect of giving the idea of aggressive intentions to a mind otherwise consti- tuted than that of my right hon. Friend, and I should like to remind the House of a Paper recently published by the War Office—that of the 1st September, 1878—which contains a memorandum sent by Lord Chelmsford to the War Office, in which he detailed his plans in the event of an invasion of Zululand. That is a circumstance which I should have thought might have conveyed to the mind of the right hon. Gentleman some hint of the aggressive intentions of Sir Bartle Frere. But if the House holds the opinion that the Government can establish their case that they knew nothing of the aggressive intentions of Sir Bartle Frere, it appears to me to establish a new charge against the High Commissioner in addition to all the others urged against him. If that be true, I am afraid that Sir Bartle Frere must be held to be guilty, not only of rashness and precipitation, but of deliberately keeping the Government ignorant of his intentions. I cannot but think that a careful perusal of the Papers will conclusively show that Sir Bartle Frere had formed aggressive intentions very long before December 11th. In August of last year Sir Bartle Frere had formed his opinion, as is shown in a Minute of that date addressed to Sir Henry Bulwer. In subsequent communications, Lieutenant General Thesiger explained the arrangements he intended to make in view of a contemplated invasion of Zululand. That appears to me most distinctively and conclusively to show that, in August last, the High Commissioner had formed very clear and distinctly aggressive intentions towards Zululand, and if he did not impart those views to the Government, he must be charged with wilfully keeping them in ignorance. There is another charge which must be made against Sir Bartle Frere. It has been argued that the utmost that can be said for the High Commissioner is that he acted without authority, and not contrary to the orders of the Government, and that the Government themselves have censured him only for not delaying until he had had time to receive instructions from them. The conduct of the High Commissioner appears to me to be more open to the charge of disobedience to orders he received from home, than to that of mere precipitancy and undue haste. In the despatches of September 10th and September 30th, which were in the hands of the Government on the 30th of November, Sir Bartle Frere gives a general outline of his views on the condition of affairs in Natal and Zulu-land. I do not find that in subsequent despatches he does anything but add to the views which he expressed in those despatches, and that he only furnishes additional evidence, and amplifies the views he had more shortly stated before. In fact, the opinion formed by the High Commissioner, and the case he has presented, is fully set forth in the despatches of September 10th and September 30th. Those despatches, it should be remembered, were addressed to the Government before he undertook any operations at all. The answer to the despatch of September 10th was contained in a despatch from the right hon. Gentleman of the 17th of October, and consisted of a refusal to send the troops for which Sir Bartle Frere had asked, together with an expression of opinion that by exercise of prudence and forbearance the difficulties on the Zulu Frontier might be solved. What was the answer of the Government to the despatch of September 30th, in which the High Commissioner still further enforced his views? It was not answered until the 12th November, when the Government had decided to send out reinforcements, and Sir Bartle Frere had decided to dispatch his Ultimatum to King Cetewayo, although he was admonished that prudence was alone necessary to avert the danger which was impending. All that he knew from the Government was that he would not have the reinforcements he asked for. That is a point which the House must bear in mind in judging the proceedings of Sir Bartle Frere. When he presented that Ultimatum, he was not in possession of the resources with which he ultimately undertook the invasion of Zululand, and at that time he had not any reasonable hope that he would be in possession of them. All that he had were Forces sufficient for the defence of Natal, and not Forces sufficient for the purposes of invasion. It must add very greatly to the presumption of rashness and recklessness on his part that he undertook to send an Ultimatum which he must have known would result in war, at a time when the Forces at his disposal was the minimum required, according to his own opinion, for the defence of Natal. It is the defence of Sir Bartle Frere that he took the responsibility on himself, and that his conduct ought for that reason to be pardoned. But he did far more than that. He not only acted without instructions, but he acted in direct opposition to every instruction which, up to that time, he had received from the Government. I must say I cannot help wondering at the tameness and submissiveness with which the Government had seemed disposed to treat an act of defiance and direct disobedience to their orders so flagrant as that which I have pointed out. The time, however, arrived when the Government knew—if they did not know it earlier—of what Sir Bartle Frere had really done. On December 19th they received information of the terms intended to be proposed by him, and on the 2nd of January they heard that in the event of non-acceptance of those terms an advance into Zululand would be necessary. On the 23rd of January, the right hon. Gentleman delivered his judgment on the information, so far as he had it at that time. That despatch has already been described. It does not appear to me to be a despatch calculated to create very great enthusiasm, either in the minds of the supporters or of the opponents of Sir Bartle Frere. The right hon. Gentleman said that the Government were not altogether unprepared for the information given them; that they did not think he would have acted so hastily; that they did not perceive the necessity for his action; but that as he had done what he had he hoped it would all turn out very well. It appears to me that, at that time, although the idea had not fully developed, it had occurred to the Government that, perhaps, circumstances might arise which would render it quite unnecessary for them to give any opinion on the subject at all. It may be said that, at that time, the Government did not know everything; and, no doubt, they did expect, at that time, that the High Commissioner would send home evidence more convincing than he had hitherto been able to do to show the necessity of the step he had taken. He has been unable to do this, after waiting two months longer, during which Sir Bartle Frere has sent home every scrap of evidence which can be collected to support the view and the policy he has undertaken. The House ought also to remember—though I do not for one moment impute any unfairness or any bias in the information sent home—that, in the main, we have only one side of the question presented to us. The despatches are chiefly from the High Commissioner; they chiefly contain evidence which he thinks necessary to send, and every despatch is accompanied by the comments of the High Commissioner himself. Therefore, the case is presented in the most favourable way to the High Commissioner, although I do not for one moment impute to him that he dreamed of suppressing any information which might have told in the other direction. Having received these voluminous despatches—and surely more voluminous despatches were never fired in succession at the Colonial Office—the Government found that their decision could no longer be delayed. The noble Lord opposite (Viscount Sandon) told us something of what he believed to be the secret history of the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea. If the noble Lord assumes to be in the secrets of the Opposition, it is surely not more unreasonable that we should venture to make a guess at the secrets of the Cabinet. I do not think it is very difficult to form some opinion of the manner in which that despatch of the 19th of March came to be written. Probably one day the right hon. Gentleman came down to the Cabinet with a pile of Blue Books, and said that he had no more Papers to produce to the House of Commons. The Motion of my hon. Friend was still on the Paper, Questions were continually being asked, the debate must soon come on, and it was necessary for the Government to make up its mind before the debate whether they were going to support the High Commissioner, or were going to renounce and disavow his conduct. Probably the first Member of the Cabinet to speak was the noble Marquess the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He probably reminded the Cabinet, as he has since reminded us in "another place," of the policy of boldness, and he probably added that, as Sir Bartle Frere had shown that great quality of a Colonial Governor, he must be supported. He may perhaps have mentioned, at the same time, that Sir Bartle Frere was the author and the great exponent of his policy in India, and that he, therefore, must not be thrown over by the Government. Then, probably, another Member of the Cabinet—most probably a Member of the House of Commons—pointed out that a policy of annexation and a policy of war was not quite so popular in the country, or oven in the House of Commons itself, as it had been a short time ago—that it would be rather difficult to defend everything the High Commissioner had done; and that it was possible that even the large majority the Government had of late commanded might be somewhat shaken if an attack were made on the Government for supporting entirely and completely the conduct of Sir Bartle Frere, I imagine that shortly after this the Prime Minister himself would interpose, and with that sagacity and ingenuity which has been cultivated by a long experience in this House of Party warfare, would suggest that it was quite unnecessary that an opinion should be given on the conduct of the High Commissioner at all. He probably suggested that the right hon. Gentleman had hit upon the right line in his despatch of January 23. He probably said—"It is quite clear that Sir Bartle Frere has committed a fault, He ought to have consulted you before he made war, and you can censure him for that. That will be quite enough for the House of Commons. It will be quite satisfied with that; it will not look at anything more than that; and it will not be necessary for us to express an opinion on the policy itself at all. If it turns out well, why, then we shall have all the credit and honour of having supported the High Commissioner in his bold and successful policy." In this way the despatch of the 19th of March was probably prepared. A censure, and a very severe censure, was passed upon the precipitation, the breach of discipline committed by the High Commissioner; but no opinion whatever was expressed on the policy which he had pursued. Now, the point which I wish to bring before the notice of the House is not the breach of discipline, but the policy itself. That is the point before us, and that is the point upon which the House and the country want to know the opinion of Her Majesty's Government. There is no mistake or difficulty about under- standing this policy. It is a very clear policy. It has been explained by the High Commissioner in about 15 or 20 despatches of extreme length, supported by every scrap of evidence which he could send home. Whatever our opinion about his other qualities, I must say of his literary ability there can be no question. They are beyond doubt. No man can for a single moment have a doubt, or the slightest pretence of a doubt, as to what his policy was. It was the presentation of an Ultimatum to the Zulu King, containing a great variety of terms; and it was a threat of immediate war in the event of the non-acceptance, pure and simple, of that Ultimatum. What the Government have not told us, what they have not told Sir Bartle Frere or the Colonies, what they have not told Parliament, and what they have not told the country, is whether they did sanction and did approve then, and do sanction and do approve now, that policy, and whether they are prepared to support it. It is not necessary that they should decide on the justice or the expediency of every one of the terms contained in the Ultimatum. What they had to do is what Sir Bartle Frere did—to look at the Ultimatum as a whole, to decide for themselves, and to tell Parliament what they had decided, whether they thought the terms contained in that Ultimatum were as a whole so just, so wise, and so urgently and immediately necessary, that they were terms which ought to be enforced at the cost of immediate war. That is the question which it seems to me the Government, in justice to the High Commissioner, in justice to the Colony, and in justice to Parliament, were bound to answer; but which up to this moment, so far as I know, has received no answer whatever. I am not going, at this hour of the night, to discuss in detail the terms of the Ultimatum. They have received full and adequate discussion in the House. The Government, neither in the despatches nor in this debate, so far as I have been able to ascertain, have given any clear statement as to their opinion upon the justice of the individual terms. As I have pointed out, it is not necessary to give a decision as to the expediency of every one of the terms. What we have to do is to look at them as a whole. Some of them certainly seem to me of a very remarkable character. The Go- vernment have given no opinion upon them. They have taken up this Ultimatum, and they have looked at it on this side and on that; they have examined the terms one after another; they have discarded some, they cannot approve some, they regret some. There may be a good deal said, there appears, about some, while as to some they have said nothing at all. But it is very difficult indeed to find out what is their general opinion of these terms presented to Cetewayo by Sir Bartle Frere. Some of them seem to me to be of an extraordinary character. As to the confirmation of the Dutch settlers in the disputed territory to be made over to Cetewayo, that has been discussed at great length; but the only defence I have heard made for it is that the right hon. Gentleman seems to think this has something to do with fixity of tenure in Ireland—to which, apparently, he has become a convert—and that there is a precedent in the Administration of Lord Kimberley. As I am informed, however, the proceedings of Lord Kimberley in the case of West Griqualand are not at all similar to these. There the Government had full power to make what conditions they pleased as to the existing settlers. That territory was ceded to us voluntarily by the Native Chief, Waterpoor, and the Government were to make what terms they pleased as to the settlers they found there. But, in this case, the High Commissioner had no right in justice to make any conditions whatever as to the terms which might be proposed with regard to the retrocession of the territory, to which his Commission had just decided the Government of the Transvaal or our Government never had had any right whatever. Therefore, there is no relation whatever between the two cases. As to the disbandment of the Zulu Army, unless it was the deliberate intention of the High Commissioner to provoke immediate hostilities, it is impossible to conceive a more extraordinary proposition. No doubt, the standing Army of the Zulu King was a great evil, and was a menace to the peace and security of the Frontier of Natal. But all standing Armies are, in the opinion of most of us here, a great evil, and yet we are not in the habit of presenting an Ultimatum to every nation that keeps an Army on foot, calling upon it to disband its standing Army within a month. It has been said that Sir Henry Bulwer and Bishop Colenso ultimately came round to the views entertained by the High Commissioner. I am not in a position, and it is not incumbent upon me, to make any comments upon the conduct of Sir Henry Bulwer. I must say, however, that, so far as I have seen, his despatches during these proceedings are despatches of very great moderation, and are apparently marked by very great common sense; and it does appear to me that Sir Henry Bulwer, a man of calm and deliberative judgment, was at first entirely opposed to the course the High Commissioner has taken. How he suddenly became converted, as it appears he was, to sending the Ultimatum, it is not possible for me to explain, and I do not think it is necessary that I should do so. Probably it was a case of a very able man, having extremely strong and impetuous views on this subject, overbearing all opposition. It appears to me that Sir Henry Bulwer, having to be the instrument and the agent of the policy of the High Commisssioner, who was his official superior, retired from the contest, although, in fact, even when in the act of retiring, in the very despatch or minute, in which he expresses his general acquiescence with the view of his superior, he still argues in detail against almost every one of his proposals. But the most singular part of this affair is that the Government are so anxious to obtain the approval of others to the policy of the High Commissioner, though they do not venture to give him their own, that they are not satisfied with quoting Sir Henry Bulwer as a convert to the policy of the High Commissioner, but they also declare Bishop Colenso is a convert. I believe that there is a despatch from Bishop Colenso, in which some general expression of approbation such as is quoted from Sir Henry Bulwer may be found. But a letter from Bishop Colenso has been published, which is not, I believe, in the Blue Books, dated February, very different in expression. Writing to Sir Bartle Frere, he says— You spoke of Cetewayo's conduct in not having averted war, but the course of action pursued by your Excellency towards him made it simply impossible for him to avert war, and, indeed, the language of your despatch to Sir Henry Bulwer of January 26, 1878, and the accompanying telegram, read in the light of subsequent events, very plainly foreshadows a course of action which shows that the Zulu King was already prejudged. I cannot feel that this question is of little or trifling importance. To my own mind, it is a question which vitally concerns our character as Christian people, whether or not we have determined to subjugate or annex the Zulu country without regard to the right or wrong of the case; but with the view to ulterior objects considered to be desirable for the Zulus as well as ourselves, I am bound, as an honest man, to say that while, of course, I approve of the main objects aimed at, and considering that they are such as a powerful Christian nation like ourselves has a right and a duty to enforce, if not to lay, upon our poor neighbours, yet I do not see my way to justify the manner in which our demands have been made, or the steps by which it had been sought to enforce them, the killing of many hundred Zulus, the taking of thousands of their cattle, and the greater miseries to come after, both for them and for us, and all for the sake of the safety and welfare of the Zulu people, to whom the Queen's Government wishes well. If that is the witness whom the noble Lord opposite is so proud of having secured, I congratulate him upon his acquisition. I do not intend to go further into this question of terms. I think we might have expected, in the course of this debate, to hear whether the Government approve them or not. As I have said, however, they have done nothing but examine them, look at them, and never tell us whether they think them just or unjust. It appears from some speeches that have been delivered that some Members think too great leniency has been shown to Sir Bartle Frere, considering the fault he has committed. I think, Sir, that, in one sense, the punishment which has been inflicted upon him is a great deal too heavy for any man, whatever his fault, to bear. It is when we look at the position of the High Commissioner, at the difficulties—the tremendous difficulties by which he is surrounded, that we should doubt whether that punishment is at all inadequate. What are the difficulties? They have been described this evening. We have this war upon our hands; there is a danger that the Colony of Natal itself may be invaded. The people of Durban are actually prepared for the invasion of the Zulus. We have a suspended war upon the Frontier of the Transvaal; we have the Native Tribes in a state of agitation and disaffection, our newly annexed Dutch subjects in a state of almost open rebellion; we have, as the latest accounts show, discontent and grumbling amongst the whole of the European population. The High Commissioner has, in fact, every element of difficulty and danger to contend with in his task. At this moment, in the face of difficulties such as these, having, as he thinks he enjoys, the consciousness of possessing the most complete confidence of the Government which employ s him, and of the Parliament and of the people at home, in the proper execution of his duty amongst these difficulties he receives two despatches from the Government in which, without a syllable of approval of any step he has taken, he is severely censured for what is called a breach of discipline, but what really amounts to a disavowal of his whole policy. At the same time, he is told, in reference to his future conduct, that he has so completely lost the confidence of his employers that they cannot allow him to take a single step by himself; but that, in every particular connected with the future management of his affairs, he is to avoid acting on his own responsibility, and is to refer home for instructions. Looked at in this sense, I cannot conceive a heavier punishment. Yet, in spite of this treatment, he is told it is his duty to remain where he is, and that he is to face, with his hands tied, these tremendous difficulties and responsibilities. But although, in this sense, I think the punishment is one too heavy to be inflicted upon any man, in my opinion, for the purpose of instruction and correction, and for the prevention of similar conduct by similarly placed individuals in the future, I must say I think the punishment is inadequate. We have heard a great deal in these debates about the word responsibility. It sometimes seems to me, in discussing questions of this kind, that we use the term, responsibility until we almost seem to forget and lose the sense of the word. What is the meaning of the responsibility of the Government and of the High Commissioner? What is the responsibility of the Government? It is responsible for the conduct of these affairs, and can only be discharged from that responsibility by obtaining the approval of Parliament to the policy which has been pursued, or else by proving to Parliament that they have themselves been misled and deceived, and by disavowing their agent who has so deceived them. What is the responsibility of the High Commissioner? That is a responsibility which can only be discharged by the Government adopting fully and entirely his policy, and making themselves responsible for it. But none of these things have happened. Although war had been made, in the opinion of most men unnecessarily, without the sanction of the Government, without the knowledge of Parliament, and without adequate preparation—still no one is to be held responsible. The Government are not to be held responsible, because they knew nothing until it was too late, and were not kept sufficiently informed by their officer in South Africa. The High Commissioner is not to be held responsible, because, although he committed all these errors, and the Government will not undertake all his policy, because he has had the courage and boldness to undertake and defend that for which he is not to be called to account. Something has been said about the desire of some people in the country to find a victim. I believe that the country is perfectly willing to forgive, if necessary, these faults, which may reasonably be considered as faults only of judgment, and the result of too much zeal. But it is impossible for the country to forgive if it does not know who is to be held responsible. What the country does want is not a victim, but clearly to understand amongst all this mystification who is to be held responsible. It wants clearly to understand, when events have occurred which have unnecessarily, in the opinion of most of us, brought discredit upon the British name, who it is that has done these things, and whether the blame for them is to be attributed to the Government under whose management they have taken place, or to the agents who have actually committed such deeds? I, for one, under all the circumstances of this case—whatever may be the result of the Division upon the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea—am glad that he had submitted it to the House.


The noble Lord has concluded his speech by asking who is to be held responsible for what has taken place, and is now occurring in South Africa? I rise, without a moment's delay, to inform the noble Lord that it is Her Majesty's Government. We do not cast the responsibility upon our agents. We assume and claim for ourselves the right to be tried and judged upon the case, and we stand here between Sir Bartle Frere and Parliament. Let it then be clearly understood what will be the meaning and effect of this vote, which the House is now invited to give. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Chatham (Mr. Gorst) says that it is, in his opinion, possible and right that he should join in this vote not for the purpose of casting any censure upon the Government, but for the object of expressing an abstract opinion upon an important question of policy and disapprobation of the conduct of Sir Bartle Frere. I am quite sure that my hon. and learned Friend spoke sincerely, when he told us that though the effect of his vote might not be to place the Government in a minority, still he regarded himself as being under the same responsibility, with respect to the vote he was about to give, as if it should have that effect. That is a doctrine we all ought to uphold—that no man should give a vote upon any occasion in this House, unless he be prepared to take the consequences of that vote. Now, let us clearly understand what our position is. A charge is brought against Sir Bartle Frere, and a charge is brought against the Government. There are two parts to this Resolution. We have heard something of the history of the Resolution, and how the second part came to be added to the first. We must regard them now as they stand together. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London (Mr. Lowe) the other night said, in his trenchant manner, that the Government had, in the first place, accepted and adopted the policy expressed in the Motion, as it originally stood, of the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea, and that they had, in fact, passed a Vote of Censure, or at least what was equivalent to the censure that the hon. Baronet proposed to cast upon Sir Bartle Frere. But, said the right hon. Gentleman, when you saw that the censure was proposed by a Member of the Opposition, you proposed to move the Previous Question and to shut Parliament out from doing that which you yourselves were prepared to do, in order that you might secure to yourselves what he calls a "monopoly of abuse." But it is a wholly different thing for an Administrative Government to express and record its opinion and to give instructions to its own agents abroad, and for the House of Commons or for Parliament to pronounce an opinion in the nature of a censure upon such agents. The effect is quite different, because it will be observed that the censure which the Government thought it necessary to convey to Sir Bartle Frere was accompanied by an expression of continued confidence in his ability to conduct affairs in South Africa; whereas the censure proposed by the Motion of the hon Member for Chelsea contains no such qualification. Therefore, it is not the case that we desire a "monopoly of abuse," but that we desire to exercise for ourselves that which it is our right and duty to exercise—a power of expressing our disapprobation of certain parts of his conduct, and, at the same time, to stand between him and the censure proposed by the hon. Baronet. There is no disguising the matter; when we hear of the attacks made upon Sir Bartle Frere, and are asked whether we approve of his policy or not—of course, to a certain extent, we do not approve of it. We are bound by the expressions contained in the despatches we have written, not precisely under the circumstances which the noble Lord's imagination has suggested to him, but still under circumstances of responsibility. Conscious of our own responsibility in this very important matter, we have expressed to Sir Bartle Frere our disapproval of some portions of his conduct. We have thought that his conduct was of a nature which demanded of us an expression of our opinion for his guidance and for his reproof. But we have not thought it sufficient to outweigh the many considerations which we felt required that we should continue his services in South Africa. That is a simple account of the position which the Government have really taken. We do not approve of all that Sir Bartle Frere has done. We thought that what he had done was sufficient to call for a reproof; but what was still more important and necessary, we thought that it was sufficient for us to give a caution and warning for the future. We did not think his conduct of a character which demanded our taking the extreme step of recalling him. It is said that Sir Bartle Frere was guilty of a very grave offence in entering upon the war without the assent of the Government. It is perfectly true that engaging in an unnecessary war is certainly a most grave offence, and Her Majesty's Government were of opinion that the necessity had not yet been proved to their satisfaction. But we are very far from saying that Sir Bartle Frere was not satisfied in his own mind that it was necessary. We are not satisfied on that point, and we think it necessary to express to Sir Bartle Frere our regret that he should have undertaken a step of that great importance without previously consulting Her Majesty's Government. But if it is said that Sir Bartle Frere was guilty of that course of conduct which the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea attributes to him—namely, that all the time he was carrying out negotiations and superintending the proceedings of the Boundary Commission, and was carrying on the other business to which attention has been drawn—that all this time he was insincere in what he appeared to be doing, and was working to bring about a war of aggression against the Zulu, I deny altogether that there is any justification for the charge. Now, Sir, what were the circumstances under which Sir Bartle Frere was sent out to South Africa, and what were the circumstances under which he was invested with what has been referred to more than once as a very peculiar amount of authority in the affairs of that Colony? The circumstances were exceedingly peculiar. The condition of South Africa at the time Sir Bartle Frere was sent out, and for some little time before, was most complicated, serious, and difficult. I well remember the great anxiety which my noble Friend (Lord Carnarvon), when Secretary of State for the Colonies, felt as to the condition of South Africa. I have frequently heard my noble Friend express in confidence his views upon the great complication of the problem. What was the problem? You had then a large and overwhelming mass of Natives, comprised partly within European settlements and partly in territories belonging to themselves. Among them you had several communities of European descent, some belonging to England, and some to other nations; and there were difficulties, jealousies, and misunderstandings between these communities and between some of them and the Native Tribes. There was the want of a common policy with regard to the Natives which led to extreme danger. The object of the Government at that time was, and has ever since been, to bring about such a state of affairs in South Africa as might involve, I do not say necessarily Confederation, but Union, with a good understanding amongst the various European States as to the policy which they should pursue towards the Natives, because, obviously, nothing could be more disastrous than that one State should be pursuing an aggressive policy towards the Natives, whilst another should be allowing arms to be supplied freely to them; that another should be holding aloof from its neighbours; that there should be a want of cordiality and understanding; and, at the same time, that provocation should be given to the Native Tribes which those who gave it were not powerful enough to enforce. Our object was to bring about an understanding, and probably a Confederation, of European States in that part of the world. When Sir Bartle Frere was sent out, it was after a considerable step had been taken in the annexation of the Transvaal. He was sent out after that step had been taken on the ground that the Transvaal was an element of very great danger under its existing Government, because, on the one hand, it was provocative to the Zulus, its neighbours, by its aggressive land policy and other matters connected with its internal proceedings; while, on the other, it was not strong enough to hold its own against the Zulus, and it had met with a very alarming reverse. Under these circumstances, the territory was annexed, with the general assent of this House and the country at large, although, as has been truly said by the hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Courtney), he and others at the time protested against the course, and he is perfectly justified, if he please, in now stigmatising the course taken as a mistake. But that step was taken with no desire of aggrandisement on the part of this country, but solely for the purpose of self-preservation, and as a measure to conduce to the prosperity of the European States and to the benefit of the Native Tribes. It was taken with a view to stop any further collision or any future wars with the Zulus or other Native Tribes. Sir Bartle Erere went out with large powers in order to bring about that Confederation which had hitherto been impossible. There were these difficulties in regard to Confederation—You had to satisfy the Cape Colonists, you had to satisfy the Dutch, you had to satisfy the Transvaal, which had just been annexed, and you had to take care to make proper arrangements to preserve the impression of superiority on the part of the White races over the Native races in order to hold the Natives in check, although you wished to preserve an entirely friendly and non-aggressive attitude towards them. That was the policy which Sir Bartle Frere was directed to pursue. No doubt, it was one of a most difficult character; for one of the first things he had to do after having brought about an improved state of things in Cape Colony which had hitherto been found impossible, and after having got over some of the first difficulties, was to see what could be done with regard to this question between the Transvaal and Zululand. He had to meet this question of the boundary between those two countries, which has been the cause of so much alarm and collision. That was a very difficult and complicated question, although one that it was most necessary to settle. It had two sides to it. Hon. Members have spoken as if there was only one side to that question, as if the Zulus were all right and the Dutch Boers were altogether to be set aside, as if they were to be treated as an abomination, whose very name should be regarded as conclusive evidence that where their interests and rights were concerned, to do them justice would be an absurdity. That is the tone that has been used throughout this debate; anyone would have expected that the whole history of this unfortunate collision had been that Sir Bartle Frere was endeavouring, in carrying through the annexation of the Transvaal, to keep the Dutch in good humour at the expense of the Zulus. That I believe to be, in the minds of many hon. Gentlemen, a fair description of the case; but I do not think that it is a true description. It is said that, in order to keep the Dutch in good humour, we threw over our whole previous policy, and disappointed the Zulus in what they had formerly been led to expect to receive from them. That is not the case, and these assertions are not true. What is true is this—That, when the Transvaal came under our administration, it was the duty of the Adminis- trators—Sir Theophilus Shepstone and Sir Bartle Frere—to see justice done to those under our rule; and I am convinced that anyone reading these Papers fairly, and endeavouring to look at the subject with an unbiassed mind, will see that there is a good deal more in the case that renders it necessary that there should be more delay in the discussion of these matters than one was led to expect from the statements of the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea. Nothing could be more able—nothing could be more consistent and logical—than the case made out by the hon. Baronet; but it is easy to make such a case if you confine yourself to statements taken from the Papers and put together to support a charge against Sir Bartle Frere throughout, arriving at an end, but not the end to be had in view. I think if anyone will read those despatches in a fair spirit, and consider what was our position, and the obligations on the Ruler of the Transvaal, he will see that the hon. Baronet's is by no means a complete and perfect description of the case. We are told that when the award was made Sir Bartle Frere took away the whole value of it by making stipulations as to the private rights of the settlers who had already planted themselves in the land. He did; and it was necessary for him to consider the position of those who had a share in this territory. He remembered, no doubt, what had been done in Griqualand West, a few years ago, when conditions were made for the settlers there similar to those proposed to be made for the settlers in this territory. He desired that those who had expended their capital and labour in improving the soil, in planting and building upon it, who had occupied it for years, and had originally taken it under circumstances which rendered it exceedingly doubtful to whom it belonged, and whether they had not as good a claim to it as anybody else, should not be ousted at once and deprived of all the improvements they had made. That was one of the grounds, and there were others to which it is unnecessary for me to refer in detail. They were put together when Sir Bartle Frere was communicating the award to the Zulus—an award which was upon the whole very much in their favour, and he then took the opportunity to make certain other demands. Were those demands which he had or had not a right to make? I do not say that they were all of equal importance. I agree that there were demands, such as those relating to the engineers, which it was not desirable to put in a communication of this importance. But, with regard to some of those demands, I think that we have heard some very extraordinary language in this House. The hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Courtney) laughed a good deal about the complaints that were made—he was rather severe upon them—against Cetewayo, concerning the recapture of two women who had taken refuge in British territory, and who were taken by force into Zululand, and put to death. We are accustomed to hear the hon. Member for Liskeard in the character of a champion of women's rights. It seems that women's rights are all very well in the latitude of England; but when you come to the latitude of South Africa, women are only property, and these sons of Sirayo were guilty only of going after their own property, in two women who were no more to them than a couple of colts. Language of this sort is hardly consistent with the feelings of Englishmen. We have heard very severe language applied to Sir Bartle Frere and the Dutch; but when we come to speak of Cetewayo he is painted as an angel. Everything that is startling in his proceedings is explained away in the most amiable manner. We hear something about his wishing to "wash his spears," and that his great complaint against the English Government was that they would not allow him to wash his spears. But what said the hon. Member for Chelsea? "'Wash his spears!' What harm is there in that? He did not mean to 'wash his spears' in the blood of Englishmen, but only in the blood of Swazis. What harm is there in that?" Then we heard something about his massacring a number of young women, whose offence was that they declined to marry his soldiers; and, if I rightly understood the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea, he thought it a sufficient excuse for this that Cetewayo had no prisons, and that he was entitled to massacre people whom he regarded as criminals because he had no prisons in which to put them. We have also heard the same kind of language with regard to the missionaries. We are told that we have nothing to do with supporting the missionaries. I agree that we ought not to support missionaries at the sword's point; but to hear that Cetewayo put to death Native converts to Christianity does not incline one to regard him as a very agreeable neighbour. Then we are told that we have no right to interfere in the internal affairs of Zululand. No right to interfere in the internal affairs of Zululand! But the internal affairs of your neighbours may have a very serious bearing on your own safety, and it may be proper, and absolutely necessary, for you to take steps to insure your own safety. Cases are not unknown in which European Powers have called upon other Powers to dismantle fortresses, to limit the number of their Armies, and otherwise have interfered in the internal affairs of their neighbours. Surely, then, nothing is more reasonable than to call upon a savage of the character of Cetewayo—a brave and noble savage in one sense, I grant you, but, as a neighbour, open to considerable objections—to do likewise. Cetewayo had chosen to take certain oaths on his Coronation, which were in the nature of a Treaty or understanding between him and the authorities; but these were entirely violated and put aside. But this is all laughed at, and we are told that we must not expect him to keep his word. When we come, however, to the question as to whether there was any justification for the course taken by Sir Bartle Frere, we are told that Cetewayo gave perfectly satisfactory assurances, and that we ought to believe his word; but if we cannot believe a man's word at the time of his own Coronation, I do not know when we are to believe him. Under these circumstances, I think we must admit this—that the case of Sir Bartle Frere is by no means so entirely a bad one as is assumed. I do not say that he was justified in his act. I believe, in taking the step he did, and in sending that Ultimatum at the time he did, he made a grave mistake. I think it would have been far better, far wiser, far more proper, that he should have referred home to Her Majesty's Government for instructions before he took the step so extremely likely—as we see, and as he now confesses—to precipitate war. He committed an error in judgment in that respect. It is one in which we have thought it our duty to reprove him; because, if it is intended that he should remain at the head of affairs there, it is necessary that he should have a caution, and instructions for his guidance in the future. When we have admitted all that, you have not disposed of the case at all. You have not disposed of the case as to how you are to deal in the future with all the great and important matters identified with the question—and on that we have no indication from right hon. Gentlemen opposite. The hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt) told us that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies was like Phaeton, unable to hold in his horses. But the hon. and learned Member appears to me to be snatching at the reins, thinking he could manage them better himself. He did not, however, give us the slightest indication of the direction in which he would drive. We have only had one clear definition as to the direction we should follow, and that was a very clear one. It came from the hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Courtney), and the policy recommended by him was perfectly intelligible; but what I want to know is, whether it is the policy of those who want to take our places. He says—"Abandon Confederation, and withdraw from the Transvaal." Well, if that policy is accepted, we shall, at least, know where we are. If the hon. Member put it to the vote, I do not know that he would carry a sufficient number of Members into the Lobby with him to carry it. I wish hon. Members to consider whether that is really a policy which they would wish carried into effect. Do hon. Members think that is a step which will get us out of confusion in South Africa, or is it not rather one which will get us again into confusion at the Cape? If hon. Members believe that they are to be got out of confusion by a policy of that sort, they must be more sanguine than I am. My strong belief and conviction is that if we are to take up the policy recommended by the hon. Member for Liskeard, we shall probably have to follow it out very much further, and have to withdraw as an Imperial Power from South Africa altogether. The probability would be that we should have to leave the Colonies to manage their own Native policy, and I doubt very much indeed whether it would be safe, or in accordance with the feelings of this country, that the Colonies should be allowed to pursue a totally independent course. The hon. and learned Member for Chatham (Mr. Gorst) has alluded to New Zealand, and he appears to look at South Africa in a somewhat similar light, whereas the cases are entirely different. In New Zealand we have but one European Power—and that our own—and a body of Natives who are constantly diminishing rather than rapidly increasing as in South Africa. In South Africa you have again a variety of European States, not under the same system of Government, jealous of one another, and a formidable body of Natives always bearing down upon you from the far distant regions. Under these circumstances, you require very great care indeed in the policy you propose to carry out. [Ironical cheers.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite may express ironical cheers; but we think that the question is one of very great difficulty in dealing with, and feeling it to be so, we have been anxious, in the first place, not unduly to pass judgment and censure upon the action of the man whom we had selected on account of the high character which he bore, and the remarkable abilities he displayed—whom we had intrusted with very unusual powers, and who was obliged to act very much more upon his own personal responsibility than is ordinarily the case, because he is separated from us by so great a distance. Well, when details came home and we were not able to fool satisfaction, we delayed our decision on his policy—and we thought we were right in delaying as long as possible—in the hope of receiving fuller explanations; but when we saw the whole facts before us we did not shrink from the unpleasant task of reproving him, a task, which has exposed us to considerable criticism. But we have gone further than this. We are taunted with the fact that we have laid down no policy of our own. Well, I should think that most hon. Members who take an interest in the question had at least read the despatch of the 20th of March, in which are laid down with as much distinctness as the circumstances permit all the general lines of the policy which Her Majesty's Government desire to see adopted. This seems to amuse the hon. and learned Member for Oxford very much; but we have spoken most distinctly and clearly against any annexation, and we reiterated then the desire we have always expressed for Confederation, if it can be obtained. We have pointed out that the system of duly authorized agents to reside in the Zulu country would seem desirable in order to protect the rights of British subjects, and we have added that the Government would like to see the institution of such regulations as would leave the Zulus the power of protecting themselves against neighbouring tribes, and, at the same time, lead to the discontinuance of their present military system. There are other points on which we have laid down pretty clearly the general lines on which we wish a settlement to be arrived at. But a short time back the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Oxford told us that we had tied and fettered the hands of Sir Bartle Frere in an unusual and most objectionable manner. Now, however, we are told that we have done nothing, and have laid down no policy at all. There certainly does seem to be considerable confusion on this point, and I am bound to say that those who are attacking the Government are probably a little uncertain as to the hand with which they ought to strike—whether they are to censure the Government for finding fault with Sir Bartle Frere, to censure the Government for not recalling him, or to pass a censure upon the Government for not laying down a South African policy, or for laying down too much of a policy. Altogether they are in a great difficulty. The great point, however, seems to be that Sir Bartle Frere is to be well abused and handsomely censured. Those are the real points in this Motion, and they are supported by every kind of argument and every kind of illustration. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Oxford went to the length of telling us that Sir Bartle Frere, in sending an Ultimatum to Cetewayo was like Nathan or Ahab—I could not quite make out which—sending to Naboth desiring him to give up his ewe lamb. [A laugh.] I am really not sure as to the names used in the illustration of the hon. and learned Gentleman, and I must say that arguments of the kind are very difficult to deal with. I have no wish to detain the House longer; but I would, before resuming my seat, ask hon. Members to consider the very great gravity of the question upon which they are asked to decide. It is a question upon which our future Colonial government hangs to a very great extent, and we must ask ourselves whether we are or are not to change our Colonial policy. If the House is not satisfied with the principles on which Her Majesty's Government have conducted our Colonial policy it is right in displacing us, and placing in power those who are ready to adopt a different system; but in the name of common sense I would ask that before you dismiss us and place others in our place, you should ask them not to tell you negatively that they found fault with us, but that they have formulated their own opinions, and are ready to express them clearly before the House and the country.


said, he wished to explain the vote he was about to give. [Cries of "Divide!"] If he were not able to give his reasons, he could not vote with the Government on this occasion. He should vote against the Resolution of his hon. Friend opposite because it was a censure on Sir Bartle Frere; but if he were to vote with the Government without explaining that vote, it might be supposed that he approved of the course they had taken. He did not think Sir Bartle Frere deserved the censure bestowed upon him by the Government. He voted, not only against the censure of the Opposition, but against that passed by the Government on Sir Bartle Frere in the course they had taken.


said, he was not in the House when his noble Friend the Member for the Radnor Boroughs (the Marquess of Hartington) asked him to withdraw his Amendment, but, of course, he could have no objection to comply with the request of his noble Friend; but he wished the House clearly to understand that he considered that Her Majesty's Government had in no way met the charge contained in the rider he had ventured to add to the Resolution of the hon. Member for Chelsea.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Main Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 246; Noes 306; Majority 60.

Acland, Sir T. D. Dundas, hon. J. C.
Allen, W. S. Earp, T.
Amory, Sir J. H. Edge, S. R.
Anderson, G. Egerton, Adm. hon. F.
Backhouse, E. Errington, G.
Barclay, A. C. Evans, T. W.
Barclay, J. W. Fawcett, H.
Barran, J. Ferguson, R.
Bass, A. Fitzmaurice, Lord E.
Bass, H. Fitzwilliam, h n. W. J.
Baxter, rt. hon. W. E. Fletcher, I.
Bazley, Sir T. Foljambe, F. J. S.
Beaumont, Colonel F. Forster, Sir C.
Beaumont, W. B. Forster, rt. hon. W. E.
Biddulph, M. Fothergill, R.
Biggar, J. G. Fry, L.
Blake, T. Gladstone, Rt. hon. W. E.
Blennerhassett, R. P. Gladstone, W. H.
Brady, J. Goldsmid, Sir J.
Brassey, H. A. Gordon, Lord D.
Brassey, T. Gordon, Sir A.
Briggs, W. E. Gorst, J. E.
Bright, Jacob Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Bright, rt. hon. J. Gourley, E. T.
Bristowe, S. B. Gower, hon. E. F. L.
Brogden, A. Grant, A.
Brooks, M. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Brown, A. H. Hankey, T.
Brown, J. C. Harcourt, Sir W. V.
Bruce, Lord C. Harrison, C.
Burt, T. Harrison, J. F.
Cameron, C. Hartington, Marq. of
Campbell, Lord C. Havelock, Sir H.
Campbell-Bannerman, H. Hayter, Sir A. D.
Henry, M.
Carington, hn. Col. W. Herbert, H. A.
Cartwright, W. C. Herschell, F.
Cave, T. Hibbert, J. T.
Cavendish, Lord F. C. Hill, T. R.
Chadwick, D. Holland, Sir H. T.
Chamberlain, J. Holland, S.
Chambers, Sir T. Holms, J.
Childers, rt. hn. H. C. E. Holms, W.
Cholmeley, Sir H. Hopwood, C. H.
Clarke, J. C. Howard, hon. C.
Clifford, C. C. Howard, E. S.
Cogan, rt. hn. W. H. F. Hughes, W. B.
Cole, H. T. Hutchinson, J. D.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Ingram, W. J.
Collins, E. Jackson, Sir H. M.
Colman, J. J. James, Sir H.
Colthurst, Col. D. la Z. James, W. H.
Conyngham, Lord F. Jenkins, D. J.
Corbett, J. Jenkins, E.
Cotes, C. C. Johnstone, Sir H.
Courtauld, G. Kay-Shuttleworth, Sir U.
Courtney, L. H.
Cowan, J. Kenealy, Dr.
Cowen, J. Kingscote, Colonel
Cowper, hon. H. F. Knatchbull-Hugessen, rt. hon. E.
Cross, J. K.
Dalway, M. R. Laing, S.
Davies, D. Laverton, A.
Davies, R. Law, rt. hon. H.
Dease, E. Lawson, Sir W.
Delahunty, J. Leatham, E. A.
Dilke, Sir C. W. Leeman, G.
Dillwyn, L. L. Lefevre, G. J. S.
Dodds, J. Leith, J. F.
Dodson, rt. hon. J. G. Lloyd, M.
Duff, R. W. Locke, J.
Lowe, rt. hon. R. Rashleigh, Sir C.
Lush, Dr. Rathbone, W.
Lusk, Sir A. Richard, H.
Macdonald, A. Roberts, J.
Macduff, Viscount Robertson, H.
Mackintosh, C. F Russell, Lord A.
M'Arthur, A. Rylands, P.
M'Clure, Sir T. St. Aubyn, Sir J.
M'Kenna, Sir J. N. Samuda, J. D'A.
M'Lagan, P. Samuelson, B.
M'Laren, D. Samuelson, H.
Maitland, W. F. Seely, C.
Marjoribanks, Sir D. C. Shaw, W.
Marling, S. S. Sheil, E.
Martin, P. Sheridan, H. B.
Massey, r t. hon. W. N. Sherlock, Serjeant D.
Meldon, C. H. Simon, Serjeant J.
Mellor, T. W. Sinclair, Sir J. G T.
Middleton, Sir A. E. Smith, E.
Milbank, F. A. Stafford, Marquess of
Monk, C. J. Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.
Montagu, rt. hn. Lord R. Stevenson, J. C.
Moore, A. Stewart, J.
Morgan, G. O. Stuart, Col. J. F. D. C.
Morley, S. Sullivan, A. M.
Mundella, A. J. Swanston, A.
Muntz, P. H. Synan, E. J.
Mure, Colonel W. Talbot, C. R. M.
Murphy, N. D. Tavistock, Marquess of
Noel, E. Taylor, D.
Nolan, Major Taylor, P. A.
Norwood, C. M. Tracy, hon. F. S. A. Hanbury-
O'Beirne, Major F.
O'Brien, Sir P. Trevelyun, G. O.
O'Byrne, W. R. Villiers, r t. hon. C. P.
O'Clery, K. Vivian, A. P.
O'Conor, D. M. Vivian, H. H.
O'Conor Don, The Waddy, S. D.
O'Donnell, F. H. Walter, J.
O'Sullivan, W. H. Waterlow, Sir S. H.
Otway, A. J. Wedderburn, Sir D.
Palmer, C. M. Weguelin, T. M.
Palmer, G. Whitbread, S.
Parker, C. S. Whitwell, J.
Parnell, C. S, Whitworth, B.
Peel, A. W. Williams, B. T.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Williams, W.
Pennington, F. Wilson, C.
Perkins, Sir F. Wilson, I.
Philips, R. N. Wilson, Sir M.
Playfair, rt. hon. L. Yeaman, J.
Portman, hon. W. H. B. Young, A. W.
Potter, T. B.
Price, W. E. TELLERS.
Ralli, P. Adam, rt. hn. W. P.
Ramsay, J. Kensington, Lord
Agnew, R. V. Barne, F. S t. J. N.
Alexander, Colonel Barrington, Viscount
Allcroft, J. D. Barttelot, Sir W. B.
Allsopp, C. Bates, E.
Anstruther, Sir W. Bateson, Sir T.
Arbuthnot. Lt.-Col. G. Beach, rt. hon. Sir M. H.
Archdale, W. H. Beach, W. W. B.
Arkwright, A. P. Bective, Earl of
Arkwright, F. Benett-Stanford, V. F.
Ashbury, J. L. Bentinck, rt. hon. G. C.
Astley, Sir J. D. Beresford, Lord C.
Bagge, Sir W. Beresford, G. De la P.
Bailey, Sir J. R. Beresford, Colonel M.
Balfour, A. J. Birkbeck, E.
Baring, T. C. Birley, H.
Blackburne, Col. J. I. Foster, W. H.
Boord, T. W. Fraser, Sir W. A.
Bourke, hon. R. Fremantle, hon. T. F.
Bourne, Colonel J. Freshfield, C. K.
Bousfield, Col. N. G. P. Gallwey, Sir W. P.
Bowen, J. B. Galway, Viscount
Bowyer, Sir G. Gardner, J. T. Agg-
Brise, Colonel R. Garfit, T.
Broadley, W. H. H. Garnier, J. C.
Brooke, Lord Gathorne-Hardy, hn. A.
Brooks, W. C. Gathorne-Hardy, hn. S.
Bruce, hn. T. Gibson, rt. hon. E.
Brymer, W. E. Giffard, Sir H. S.
Bulwer, J. R. Giles, A.
Burghley, Lord Gilpin, Sir R. T.
Burrell, Sir W. W. Goddard, A. L.
Buxton, Sir R. J. Gooch, Sir D.
Cameron, D. Gordon, W.
Campbell, C. Gore-Langton, W. S.
Castlereagh, Viscount Goulding, W.
Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G. Grantham, W.
Chaplin, Colonel E. Greenall, Sir G.
Chaplin, H. Gregory, G. B.
Charley, W. T. Hall, A. W.
Christie, W. L. Halsey, T. F.
Churchill, Lord R. Hamilton, Lord C. J.
Clive, Col. hon. G. W. Hamilton, right hon. Lord G.
Close, M. C.
Clowes, S. W. Hamilton, Marquess of
Cobbold, T. C. Hamilton, hon. R. B.
Cochrane, A. D. W. R. B. Hamond, C. F.
Cole, Col. hon. H. A. Hanbury, R. W.
Coope, O. E. Harcourt, E. W.
Cordes, T. Hardcastle, E.
Corry, hon. H. W. L. Harvey, Sir R. B.
Corry, J. P. Hay, rt. hn. Sir J. C. D.
Cotton, W. J. R. Heath, R.
Crichton, Viscount Helmsley, Viscount
Cross, rt. hon. R. A. Herbert, hon. S.
Cubitt, G. Heygate, W. U.
Cuninghame, Sir W. Hick, J.
Cust, H. C. Hicks, E.
Dalkeith, Earl of Hildyard, T. B. T.
Dalrymple, C. Hill, A. S.
Davenport, W. B. Holford, J. P. G.
Deedes, W. Holker, Sir J.
Denison, C. B. Holmesdale, Viscount
Denison, W. B. Holt, J. M.
Denison, W. E. Home, Captain
Dickson, Major A. G. Hood, Capt. hn. A. W. A. N.
Digby, Col. hon. E.
Douglas, Sir G. Hope, A. J. B. B.
Dyott, Colonel R. Hubbard, E.
Eaton, H. W. Isaac, S.
Edmonstone, Admiral Sir W. Jervis, Col. H. J. W.
Johnson, J. G.
Egerton, hon. A. F. Johnstone, H.
Egerton, Sir P. G. Johnstone, Sir F.
Egerton, hon. W. Jolliffe, hon. S.
Elcho, Lord Jones, J.
Elliot, Sir G. Kavanagh, A. Mac M.
Elliot, G. W. Kennard, Col. E. H.
Elphinstone, Sir J. D. H. Kennaway, Sir J. H.
Emlyn, Viscount King-Harman, E. R.
Estcourt, G. S. Knightley, Sir R.
Ewart, W. Lacon, Sir E. H K.
Ewing, A. O. Lawrence, Sir T.
Fellowes, E. Learmonth, A.
Finch, G. H. Lechmere, Sir E. A. H.
Floyer, J. Lee, Major V.
Folkestone, Viscount Legard, Sir C.
Forester, C. T. W. Legh, W. J.
Forsyth, W. Leighton, Sir B.
Leighton, S. Roebuck, rt. hn. J. A.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Round, J.
Leslie, Sir J. Russell, Sir C.
Lewis, O. Ryder, G. R.
Lewisham, Viscount Salt, T.
Lindsay, Col. R. L. Sanderson, T. K.
Lindsay, Lord Sandon, Viscount
Lloyd, S. Sclater-Booth, right hon. G.
Lloyd, T. E.
Lopes, Sir M. Scott, Lord H.
Lowther, hon. W. Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J.
Lowther, rt. hon. J.
Macartney, J. W. E. Severne, J. E.
Mac Iyer, D. Shirley, S. E.
M'Garel-Hogg, Sir J. Shute, General C. C.
Makins, Colonel W. T. Sidebottom, T. H.
Mandeville, Viscount Simonds, W. B.
Manners, rt. hn. Lord J. Smith, A.
March, Earl of Smith, F. C.
Marten, A. G. Smith, S. G.
Master, T. W. C. Smith, rt. hn. W. H.
Merewether, C. G. Smollett, P. B.
Miles, Sir P. J. W. Somerset, Lord H. R. C.
Mills, A. Spinks, Serjeant F. L.
Mills, Sir C. H. Stanhope, hon. E.
Monckton, E. Stanhope, W. T. W. S.
Montgomerie, R. Stanley, rt. hn. Col. F.
Montgomery, Sir G. G. Starkic, J. P. C.
Moore, S. Steere, L.
Moray, Col. H. D. Stewart, M. J.
Morgan, hon. F. Storer, G.
Morris, G. Sykes, C.
Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R. Talbot, J. G.
Muncaster, Lord Taylor, r t. hon. Col.
Naghten, Lt.-Col. A. R. Tennant, R.
Newdegate, C. N. Thornhill, T.
Newport, Viscount Thwaites, D.
Noel, rt. hon. G. J. Thynne, Lord H. F.
North, Colonel J. S. Tollemache, hon. W.F.
Northcote, rt. hon. Sir S. H. Torr, J.
Tottenham, Colonel
O'Neill, hon. E. Tremayne, A.
Onslow, D. Tremayne, J.
Paget, R. H. Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill-
Palk, Sir L. Turnor, E.
Parker, Lt.-Col. W. Wait, W. K.
Pell, A. Walker, O. O.
Pemberton, E. L. Walker, T. E.
Pennant, hon. G. Wallace, Sir R.
Peploe, Major D. P. Walsh, hon. A.
Percy, Earl Warburton, P. E.
Phipps, P. Watkin, Sir E. W.
Plunket, hon. D. R. Watney, J.
Plunkett, hon. R. Watson, r t. hon. W.
Polhill-Turner, Capt. F. C. Welby-Gregory, Sir W.
Wellesley, Colonel H.
Powell, W. Wells, E.
Praed, C. T. Wethered, T. O.
Praed, H. B. Wheelhouse, W. S. J.
Price, Captain Wilmot, Sir H.
Puleston, J. H. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Raikes, H. C. Woodd, B. T.
Read, C. S. Wroughton, P.
Rendlesham, Lord Wyndham, hon. P.
Repton, G. W. Wynn, C. W. W.
Ridley, E. Yarmouth, Earl of
Ridley, Sir M. W. Yorke, J. R.
Ripley, H. W. TELLERS.
Ritchie, C. T. Dyke, Sir W. H.
Rodwell, B. B. H. Winn, R.

House adjourned at a quarter after Two o'clock.