§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
I wish to ask the Government, Whether they can give the House any information with reference to the proceedings in the Transvaal?
Sir, the intelligence that Sir Evelyn Wood has arrived at an arrangement with the Boers, and that the Boers have substantially accepted the conditions of Her Majesty's Government, is correct. The Papers will now be presented forthwith, and they will exhibit the course which has been taken with respect to the arrangement made by Sir Evelyn Wood, which, of course, he had to refer home. But it may be convenient, in the meantime, that I should give, without professing to quote textually, the main propositions of the arrangement. They are these—first, the suzerainty of the Queen over the Transvaal is acknowledged; next, complete self-government is promised to the Boers; thirdly, the control over foreign relations is reserved; fourthly, there is to be a Resident at the future capital; fifthly, the Royal Commission will consist of Sir Hercules Robinson, Sir Evelyn Wood, and Sir Henry de Villiers, Chief Justice of the Cape; 1660 sixthly, the Commissioners are to consider the provisions for the protection of Native interests, and arrangements as to Frontier affairs; seventhly, they are also to consider the question whether any and what portion of the Transvaal territory eastward, within certain limits, should be severed from the Transvaal; eighthly, the Boors withdraw from Laing's Nek and disperse to their homes; ninthly, British garrisons remain in the Transvaal until the final settlement; and, tenthly, the Boers having engaged as above, Sir Evelyn Wood promises them not to advance nor to send warlike stores into the Transvaal.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
I should like to know from the right hon. Gentleman what is meant by the expression, "control of foreign affairs reserved." Does it mean reserved for settlement by the Commission, or is it to be taken out and reserved for the Crown?
The words I have cited are those contained in the telegram which we have received. I may say, however, that I do not entertain the smallest doubt as to their meaning. They mean that the settlement of foreign relations will be reserved entirely to the Crown and the British Government.
§ SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT
Do I understand that the Boers have not laid down their arms, but are to be allowed to retire to their homes carrying their arms with them?
The terms demanded by Her Majesty's Government were the withdrawal of the forces and the dispersion of the Boers to their homes. As to the delivering up of their arms, we have never sought to impose any such condition.
§ MR. J. R. YORKE
The right hon. Gentleman used the word "suzerainty." Is that term to be considered as synonymous with the word "Sovereignty," or are we to draw a distinction between the two expressions?
The word "suzerainty," I believe, in modern times, is perfectly well known to International Law. It is, undoubtedly, quite distinct from Sovereignty, while it has marked relations to Sovereignty. It would not, I think, be convenient for me to presume to give a legal decision, nor would I attempt to go further than the general 1661 statement I have made; but I should wish hon. Gentlemen to reserve their judgment until they have had an opportunity of considering the matter from the documents which will be laid on the Table. I quoted "suzerainty," because it is the word the Government have advisedly used in their communications with the Boers, and which will be incorporated in the settlement.
§ LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL
Are we to understand by the expression made use of in the telegram which the Prime Minister has read that the relations of the British Crown to the Transvaal will be analogous to those of the Sultan of Turkey with Eastern Roumelia?
The relations will be so far analogous that the relations of suzerainty will be maintained in both cases; but I cannot say that we have adopted the Eastern Roumelian Constitution.