HC Deb 03 March 1882 vol 267 cc126-9

(3.) £1,500, Colonies, Grants in Aid.

(4.) Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £4,356, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1882, for Expenses connected with the Transvaal and Zululand.


said, he should move that this Vote be reduced by the sum of £670, being the amount charged on account of salary, staff, and office expenses of the Resident in Zululand. He thought it had been conclusively proved that the position of the Resident in Zululand was worse than a sinecure. The present occupant of the office did no good whatever to the Native population, and his presence seemed only calculated to support the mischievous action of such unworthy characters as John Dunn. The so-called "settlement" in Zululand was simply a system of internecine war and mutual extermination carried on by the miserable nominees whom they had set up in that country. He had not seen the slightest trace of any beneficent action on the part of the Resident there; but he by no means wished to bring any charge of inefficiency or ineffectiveness against the Gentleman who happened to occupy the post. It was quite possible that the circumstances in which he was placed, and the very nature of the position, rendered him absolutely incapable of doing any good. His objection was taken to the office of Resident itself, which, in his opinion, was not calculated to promote in any way the well-being of the Native races, and was, on the contrary, a mere badge of irritating interference—a mere continuation of the wicked policy introduced into Zululand by Sir Bartle Frere, which had been condemned by the Liberal Party, and which it was astonishing that they should now support, seeing that they had it in their power to change the state of affairs. The Residents in Zululand had not prevented any of the struggles that had taken place between the Native Tribes, although he (Mr. O'Donnell) believed that on one occasion he had tried to do so; the reward of his interference being that he was obliged to fly from the wrath he had provoked on both sides. His presence in Zululand was only a sort of pledge that they would continue to support the evil system they had introduced there; and he expected it would hereafter be proved that a much larger number of murders and outrages of every kind had been perpetrated under the nominal supervision of the British Resident, than had occurred during the whole period of Cetewayo's much-abused reign. He hoped the hon. Gentleman who represented the Colonial Department would offer some explanations on this subject. He recollected that the hon. Gentleman had on former occasions given the Irish Party some assistance in defending the cause of the Natives of South Africa, whose rights he was, doubtless, still interested in preserving.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £3,686, he granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during-the year ending on the 31st day of March 1882, for Expenses connected with the Transvaal and Zululand."—(Mr. O'Donnell.)


reminded the hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. O'Donnell) that the question relating to Zululand would be raised on the Motion which stood on the Paper in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Chatham (Mr. Gorst). He should strongly support that Motion when it came before the House; but he thought the hon. Member for Dungarvan would do well to consider that, whatever might be thought of the position of affairs in Zululand, it was very important that Her Majesty's Government should have reliable information as to what was passing in that country. That being the case, he did not see how the Vote could, with propriety, be reduced; and he would suggest that it would be better to discuss the question of the Resident on the Motion to which he had alluded, rather than that the Committee should divide at so late an hour of the morning, on the question of an amount which, after all, must be given to the Government; because it was clear that, under any circumstances, the representation of this country in Zululand would involve a certain amount of expense.


said, he hoped the Motion of the hon. Member for Dungarvan would not be pressed. With respect to the position of the Resident in Zulu-land, he was willing to agree with the hon. Member that it was certainly one open to serious consideration. The Resident was without any authority, his office being simply to act as adviser, and, being in that position, he was not quite so useless as the hon. Member seemed to think. He was engaged in giving advice to the Natives, which was intended to prevent struggles taking place between the different Tribes; and upon some occasions he had been successful, although upon others he had failed. It was part of the instructions given to Sir Henry Bulwer, who had gone out to Natal, that he should ascertain and report to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in the fullest and most accurate manner, what were the sentiments and wishes of the people of Zululand themselves; and the future settlement of that country must greatly depend upon the answers received from the Native Chiefs.


said, he was satisfied with the explanations of the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, so far as they went, and was willing, with the permission of the Committee, to withdraw his Motion for the reduction of the Vote.


asked if the instructions referred to by the hon. Gentleman opposite were, that inquiry should be made of the Zulu Chiefs as to whether they wanted their King back again?


It is not put exactly in that way.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed to.