§ MR. ONSLOW
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether the object of Dr. Jorissen's visit to this Country is to induce Her Majesty's Government to consent to an alteration in the boundary line fixed by the recent Transvaal Commission; or to assure Her Majesty's Government that the Boer Government would take more determined steps than heretofore to prevent subjects of the Transvaal and others from making raids into Native territory adjoining that country; or to prevail upon Her Majesty's Government to modify any portion of the Convention; and, if not for any of these reasons, if he could inform the House of the precise object of the recent interview between Dr. Jorissen and Her Majesty's Government?
Sir, I have made inquiry at the Colonial Office, and I find the state of the case is this. Dr. Jorissen is, properly speaking, on a visit of an unofficial and personal character, not to this country, but to Holland. He has come here upon his way, and is, likewise, I understand, to return here and stay for a short time. He has had an interview with Lord Derby, in which he entered generally upon the question relating to the state of things in Bechuana-land, and in which Lord Derby understood him to state that the Chiefs had made peace amongst themselves, and that quiet was being established. This I am not giving officially; I only mention it as a fact of interest reported to me, on which we have no official information. Dr. Jorissen also said he proposed, on his return, to explain fully his views upon the position of things in the Transvaal, which Lord Derby would be very glad to hear. Dr. Jorissen has no mission from the Transvaal Government, and, as had been intimated to the hon. Member on a previous occasion, if he had, it would have been his duty, in the first place, to refer it to the High Commissioner, who is expected in this coun- 78 try shortly, and who will have an opportunity of advising the Government on anything which Dr. Jorissen may express. The hon. Member will see that I have no power of describing the object of the visit, nor am I in a position to afford more definite information as regards it.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, are we to understand that Dr. Jorissen will not enter into communication with the Dutch or any other foreign Government?
I cannot say that. He is here upon his own private affairs, and I do not think we have any title to expect from him an engagement upon that subject. I understood it to be an unofficial private visit to Europe, with no official mission of any kind to any Government.
§ MR. ONSLOW
said, he wished to remind the Prime Minister that, in January last, Lord Derby laid it down most distinctly that if the Boer Government wished to make any change in the Transvaal Convention, they must make their application through the Resident.
Sir, that is not inconsistent with what I said, because it might be expedient that any application should come through the Resident. What is strictly laid down in the Convention is that, in regard to communications with foreign Powers, the Transvaal State will correspond with Her Majesty's Government, through the British Resident or the High Commissioner; so that it does not touch any question of communication with the British Government.