§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, considering that his first Amendment upon the Transvaal Debate contained the statement that the Transvaal Government were unable to restrain certain destructive agencies in Bechuana-land, and that he has now withdrawn the distinct assertion, which for more than three weeks formed an essential part of the Government statement of fact upon which they relied for a Vote of Confidence from the House, he will place the House, before the Debate is resumed, in possession of the now facts which have caused the Government to change their opinions during the last three weeks on the vital question of the good faith of the Boer Government?
Sir, this Question of the noble Lord has, I think, 87 been put in some misapprehension of the facts of the case. As I understand them, there is no change of opinion whatever on the part of the Government respecting the good faith of the Transvaal Government; but, as it has been represented to me that the words used in the Motion tended to imply an opinion of the good faith of that Government, it would be better, perhaps, that that subject should not be introduced at all. It is no part of the case before us, as we view it, to make any charge against the good faith of the Transvaal Government. I do not think we have evidence warranting the discussion of the question, and therefore we shall not do it, if we make the suggested change in the Motion, the question at issue not being affected in any way by this change. In the opinion of the Government, the Motion referred to by the noble Lord is no Vote of Confidence in the slightest degree, but rather in the nature of an indication of the desire of the House, and in the nature of a direction from the House to the Government. It is no Vote of Confidence; it implies no approbation, and says nothing which can be so construed.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies a Question, of which he had given him private Notice, As to what interpretation the Government put upon the words of the Amendment of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, as to the making of adequate provision for the Bechuana Chiefs?
§ MR. EVELYN ASHLEY
said, he could only refer the right hon. Gentleman to an answer which he gave quite recently on the subject to the hon. Member for Kendal (Mr. Cropper). To that answer he could add nothing.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
Was it the fact that adequate provision was to be made for the Chiefs alone, and not for the people?
§ MR. EVELYN ASHLEY,
in reply, said, the only communication they had sent had reference to the Chiefs, and their immediate followers.
§ MR. CROPPER
asked, what were the penalties incurred for the sale and transport of powder from the Colonies to Bechuanaland?
said, he desired to qualify a portion of the answer he gave to the hon. Member for Guildford (Mr. Onslow) with reference to the Transvaal. He implied the opinion that if Dr. Jorissen had come as representing the Transvaal Government, he could not have made his application direct, but through the High Commissioner. He wished to withdraw that assertion, and to express no opinion upon it.