HC Deb 15 March 1883 vol 277 cc565-6

I trust that the House will permit me to state the course which I intend to take with regard to the Motion which stands in my name in reference to the policy of the Government in the Transvaal. Having considered the statements that were made on behalf of the Government in both Houses on Tuesday, I should have felt it necessary, in any event, materially to modify the terms of that Motion. I have also had to consider, in view of the discouraging replies of the Prime Minister to me, and the fact that the adjourned debate to-morrow will probably extend very far beyond the issues raised by the Motion of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Chatham (Mr. Gorst), how it may be possible for me to obtain means for bringing on any Motion which I may desire to move. Well, Sir, what I am anxious to do is to elicit the judgment of the House upon what appeal's to me to be the real and whole question at issue; and I wish to do that, as far as possible, in accordance with the convenience of the House, which would not be consulted by any unnecessary repetition of debate. Therefore, what I propose is this. To the Motion of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Chatham—which I fear I cannot myself support—an Amendment has been moved by the hon. Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Cartwright); and, in the event of that Amendment becoming a substantive Motion, I shall propose to leave out all the words after the word "Transvaal," in the third line of that Notice, and to insert other words in their place. The Motion, as I propose to amend it, will then read thus— That in view of the very grave complications that must attend intervention in the affairs of the Native population of the Western Frontier of the Transvaal after the policy adopted by Her Majesty's Government in 1881, and the serious consequences which are to be apprehended from the failure of Her Majesty's Government to give any practical effect to stipulations made in the name of the British Nation to guard the interests of Native tribes, this House regrets that Her Majesty's Government should, by the Convention of 1881, have committed this country to engagements which they are not prepared to fulfil.