asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies a Question of which he had given private Notice—namely, Whether, in regard to the battles now going on on the Western Frontier of the Transvaal, he was yet 627 satisfied that the attacks on the Chief Montsioa were by the Boers, and not by the Natives; whether any communication had been received on the subject of the attacks from the Transvaal Government, or the British Resident in the Transvaal; and what steps the Government proposed to take to protect that Chief from the vengeance of the Boers?
§ MR. COURTNEY
We have no intelligence beyond what has been received from Reuter's agency, and we can, therefore, say nothing authoritatively as to the composition of the attacking or defending Forces. We still believe that it was a Native force with a Boer contingent, rather than a Boer force with a Native contingent, that attacked Montsioa. What has happened appears to be a sequel to the events of the 20th and 21st of January. On hearing of them a telegram was sent on the 11th of February to Mr. Hudson, through Sir Hercules Robinson, to urge the Transvaal Government to take effectual steps to maintain the neutrality of Transvaal territory, and to prevent their burghers from encroaching on Native territory beyond the Frontier; and we have learnt that before the receipt of this the Commandant General had been despatched to the Frontier with a small police force to enforce the proclamation of neutrality the Government had previously issued.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
said, he should like to know whether there was any truth in the statement to the effect that a large commando was being raised in the Transvaal territory for the purpose of taking some revenge upon these Natives?
§ MR. COURTNEY
said, he had explained that the Government had no intelligence beyond what had appeared in the papers; and, therefore, they were not in a position to say whether there was any truth in it.