HC Deb 09 May 1881 vol 261 cc31-2

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether the Transvaal State will be in "full Colonial relations with this Country;" or, whether the relations between this Country and the Transvaal will be conducted through the Foreign Office, and not through the Colonial Office?


Sir, in answer to this Question as to the words "full Colonial relations with this country," which are put in inverted commas, I wish to say I never stated or implied that the Transvaal under the new condition of things, when settled, would be in full Colonial relations with this country. I do not think that that would be an accurate description, so far as I am able to form an opinion. With regard to the Question whether the relations between this country and the Transvaal will be conducted through the Foreign Office, and not through the Colonial Office, I have to say that the practice in South Africa, even with regard to a purely Foreign State—for example, the Orange Free State—has been to conduct the relations through the Colonial Office. Instructions have been given to the Royal Commissioners on this subject to the following effect:—As regards communication with Foreign Governments, it will probably be found that the Transvaal Government should correspond on such matters with Her Majesty's Government through the President of the High Commission.


asked, whether the words "full Colonial relation with this country" have not been applied to the state of certain countries whose condition is to be that of the Transvaal with regard to Great Britain?


said, that the noble Earl had completely mistaken the bearing of his argument. His argument was, that as there were States in full Colonial relation with this country where the Queen did not appoint the Governor, à fortiori it could not be requisite that we should appoint a Governor in a State like the Transvaal.