HC Deb 03 June 1886 vol 306 cc829-30
MR. BADEN-POWELL (Liverpool, Kirkdale)

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether it has been decided to remove the Chief Montsioa and his tribe to a Location; whether the Land Commission is allotting lands, hitherto owned and cultivated by this Tribe of Barolongs, as farms to Europeans; whether a strong appeal from the Chief Moutsioa against such action has reached the Colonial Office; whether such action is in accordance with the Treaty made with Montsioa in May 1884, the Order in Council of January 27th 1885, proclaiming British jurisdiction, or the Despatch of the Secretary of State of 13th August 1885, giving the terms of final annexation; and, whether a European township, in which spirituous liquors are sold, has been established immediately adjoining Mafeking, contrary to the wishes of the Native rulers, who have long and successfully resisted the introduction of alcoholic liquors into their country?


The Land Commission of Bechuanaland has not yet come to any decision as to the settlement of the land question in Montsioa's or any other part of the Barolong territory. I am informed that so far as they have gone at present the awards of the Land Commission have given general satisfaction, both to the Natives and to the White people. A translation of a letter from Montsioa has been forwarded by the Rev. John Mackenzie, to Earl Granville; but that letter contains a protest not against any action actually taken, but against the action which he is informed by White people is about to be taken against him, obviously a very different thing. Under these circumstances, the fourth Question does not seem to arise; but even if it did, I do not see what precise bearing the documents cited by the hon. Member would have upon it. I am informed by Sir Hercules Robinson that extensive buildings had been commenced at Mafeking by Europeans, who had previously obtained the permission of Montsioa to build there; but, that Chief having requested that they might be removed, a new township has been laid out about two miles from Mafeking up the Molopo River, to which these Europeans are now moving. With regard to the sale of spirituous liquors at Mafeking, I have no express information; but the township will, of course, be subject to the laws and regulations for the government of British Bechuanaland which, while permitting the sale of spirituous liquous by licensed persons under certain conditions, prohibit, under severe penalties, the sale of "any wine or spirituous or partly spirituous liquors in any quantity whatever" to any Native. We have received no precise information on the subject of any interference by the Commission with Montsioa's territory; but, as the hon. Member is aware, the Commissioners are expressly enjoined to have regard to the rights of the Native Chiefs and their tribes.