HC Deb 03 March 1881 vol 259 c145

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he can, without detriment to the public service, inform the House of the latest authentic intelligence received at the War Office respecting the provisioning of Pretoria, Potchefstroom, and Wakenstroom, and also if in the opinion of military authorities at home, it is deemed to be absolutely necessary for Sir Evelyn Wood to risk an early advance in order to relieve those garrisons; or whether it is intended as far as practicable to restrict further operations until the arrival of General Sir F. Roberts?


Surely my hon. Friend must be aware that I could not, with due regard to the interests of the Public Service, state to the House, and through the House to the Boers, what is the condition of the beleaguered garrisons in the Transvaal. I have given to the House at this Table, and I have sent to the newspapers, all the information upon subjects of this kind which I think proper to communicate. If my hon. Friend would look at the morning papers he would see that with respect to Pretoria provisions were in abundance. As to the latter part of his Question, I am still more surprised that he should think of putting it to me.