§ MR. LEAKE (Lancashire, S.E., Radcliffe)
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he has read the Letter, dated 15th July 1885, addressed by Sir Hercules Robinson to the late Secretary of State for the Colonies, and inclosing Correspondence extending over the years 1884 and 1885, between the High Commissioner of the Cape Colony, the President of the Orange Free State, the Resident Commissioner in Basutoland, the Attorney General of the Cape Colony, and Mr. Van der Wath, on the subject of a horse forcibly taken from Van der Wath so far back as the month of November 1883 by one Bereng Letsea, and claimed as his own beast which had been lost, whereas it had been bought 457 out of a district pound in the Orange Free State by Van der Wath; whether any reply was sent to the Letter of Sir Hercules Robinson by the late Secretary of State for the Colonies, to whom he had referred the matter for instructions, or has been sent by the present Secretary of State; whether this horse case, which the the High Authorities of Cape Colony, the Orange Free State, and Basutoland had not been able to settle on the spot, has been settled by the interposition of the late or the present Secretary of State for the Colonies; and, whether he can suggest any loss complicated and dilatory method of administering the affairs of Basutoland than would appear to exist at present?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. OSBORNE MORGAN): (Denbighshire, E.)
I have read the letter of Sir Hercules Robinson, inclosing correspondence extending over the years 1884 and 1885, on the subject of the horse forcibly taken from Van der Wath so far back as November, 1883, by one Bereng Letsea, which does not seem to have been a very valuable animal, as his outside price was only £10 5s. No reply to this letter was sent by the late or present Secretary of State for the Colonies; but no doubt the case formed one of the subjects of discussion at the interview which took place between Sir Hercules Robinson and the President of the Orange Free State at Bloemfontein last November, and as the matter has not been mentioned in any subsequent despatch, I am in hopes that it has been settled without the interposition of the late or present Secretary of State. But Sir Hercules Robinson is about to visit England very shortly, and if my hon. Friend thinks it worth while to pursue the matter further, I may be able, after communicating with him, to throw some further light upon the subject. With regard to the last part of the Question, no doubt the difficulties of administering a country like Basutoland are great; but I cannot suggest any bettor mode of dealing with such matters as those to which the Question refers than to leave them to be settled by Colonel Clarke, the Resident Commissioner in Basutoland, who has discharged his duties with ability and tact, and to the entire satisfaction of Her Majesty's Government.