HC Deb 14 March 1881 vol 259 c914

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he is correctly reported to have said at Oxford, that the proposal for an armistice after the defeat at Lang's Nek came from the Boer side?


Yes, Sir; the report seems substantially correct. What I actually said was this—that we had been obliged to give rather cautious answers in Parliament to Questions about the armistice, because Ministers replying to Questions in Parliament are expected to be rigidly accurate, and not to go one inch beyond the documents which they have in their hands; that, however, at a festive gathering, one was not bound to be so rigidly accurate, and that I had no hesitation in saying there what I do not think I should have been justified in saying in the House of Commons, that, as far as my opinion went, based on the best study I could give to the telegrams, I had no doubt that the first suggestion of the armistice came from the Boers.