HC Deb 01 March 1881 vol 258 c1949

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether any orders were given to restrain the Army in the Transvaal from advancing until the result of the negotiations with the Boers was known?


Sir, Her Majesty's Government regret that they are still unable, consistently with due regard for the public interest, to make any statement to Parliament as to the communications between the Boer leaders and the late Sir George Colley, or as to instructions given to Sir George Colley in reference to those communications. This is the more necessary, as, in consequence of Sir George Colley's lamented death, we are not quite certain of the exact position of those communications. I must, therefore, ask the House to excuse me if I do not reply to the Question of my hon. Friend.


wished to ask a further Question. The hon. Baronet had asked whether orders were given to restrain the Army in the Transvaal from advancing. He wished to ask whether we had any Army at all in the Transvaal, for he had reason to believe that all these military operations took place in Natal.


Both Mount Prospect and Laing's Nek are in Natal; but, on the other hand, we have, unfortunately, garrisons of considerable strength shut up in the Transvaal.