HC Deb 30 August 1886 vol 308 cc784-5
MR. DILLWYN (Swansea Town)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the Pondos have recently submitted to Her Majesty's High Commissioner at the Cape proposals for the settlement of all their differences with the Government of the Cape Colony; whether they have offered, if necessary, to refer certain questions to arbitration; and, what steps Sir Hercules Robinson has taken to arrive at an understanding with the authorities of Pondoland?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

The proposals for the settlement of the differences with the Pondos were, in fact, claims for the St. John's River country and for the control of the Xesibes or their country. These could not be entertained, as both of these countries have already been apart of the Capo Colony, and, indeed, the abandonment of the Xesibes after the promises made to them would have been impossible. Her Majesty's Government do not know of any offer to go to "arbitration"—a term hardly applicable to South African Native territories under the supervision of the High Commissioner. But they are always ready to consider the representations of the Pondos, through the High Commissioner. As their claim cannot be entertained Sir Hercules Robinson has, with the concurrence of the Cape Government, offered to consider with the Pondos whether they should have money compensation for any losses they may have sustained by the Proclamation of 1878. They have hitherto refused to negotiate on this basis; but it is hoped that they and their European advisers may eventually entertain this offer.