§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he is now able to announce to the House the course which Her Majesty's Government intend to pursue with respect to the Transvaal?
In answer to this Question, what I have to say is this. We have at the present time upon the Votes an important Motion to be proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Chatham (Mr. Gorst), in relation to the policy pursued, and to be pursued, on the Western Frontier of the Transvaal. We have considered our course with regard to that Motion, and shall be fully prepared to state it to-morrow, when the debate comes on. Besides that Motion, there is a general Motion to be proposed by the right hon. Gentleman himself (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach), embracing, perhaps, the subject-matter of the hon. and learned Gentleman's Motion, and likewise the general subject. When the right hon. Gentleman places on the Notice Paper the terms of his Motion, it will then be our duty, in like manner, to give it our best consideration, and we shall be prepared to state our views to the House upon it; but, certainly, I am not prepared to make any statement at the present moment, even if I had Notice, with regard to a Motion of the character and tendency and terms of which I know nothing.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
My Question is in reference to the policy which the Government intend to pursue; but, of course, I do not press it at present after the answer of the right hon. Gentleman. At the commencement of the Session I gave Notice of my intention to move a Resolution on the general subject, and the terms of it are as follows:—That the policy adopted by Her Majesty's Government in the Transvaal has failed to secure the observance of the obligations undertaken by the Boers in the Convention of 1S81, and to provide for the due discharge of the re- 218 sponsibilities of this country with regard to the Native tribes.I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will afford me facilities for the discussion of the Motion on an early day after Easter? I will repeat the Question to-morrow, if it will be more convenient. With regard to the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Chatham, it appears to me that as that Motion relates to one part of this question, and occupies but the second place on the Notice Paper, it is quite impossible that either a sufficient discussion could be had or a satisfactory decision arrived at to-morrow on the whole question of the policy in the Transvaal.
Of course, it is not for me to enter into the question as between the right hon. Gentleman and his Colleagues round him and hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, who have different Motions under their charge on this question, which do not appear to be in perfect concert with one another. I have no concern with that matter; but my duty is to look to the regularity of Business in the House; and I am bound to say that, until I see what progress we make in the debate to-morrow night, which I suppose will come on, I shall not be able to make any declaration on the subject of the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. RITCHIE,
after the statement of the Prime Minister, wished to ask the hon. and learned Member for Chatham whether, in the circumstances, he would proceed with his Motion?
I have had no Notice whatever of this Question; but if my hon. Friend will repeat it to-morrow I shall be happy to give him an answer.