HC Deb 17 May 1887 vol 315 cc254-5
SIR RICHARD TEMPLE (Worcester, Evesham)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the Zulus requested the British Government to defend them against the Boers; and whether they have prayed to be placed under the protection of British Sovereignty?


I am glad the hon. Baronet has asked this Question, as it enables me to explain my short reply of yesterday, from which it might have been supposed that this Sovereignty had been suddenly sprung upon the Zulus. Zululand came under the paramount authority of Her Majesty at the end of the war in 1879, and that fact was fully recognized by the Zulus. The Zulu Chiefs, frightened at the encroachments of the Boers, whom some of them had invited into Zululand, did ask us to defend them. We undertook to negotiate with the new Republic, which had been recognized by the late Government, and a line of boundary has been settled. On February 8th, the Chiefs were informed by Mr. Osborn that British protection, carrying with it the supreme authority of Her Majesty's Government, was to be extended to Eastern Zululand. I telegraphed on February 12th for information as to the feeling of the Zulus, and received an answer on the 14th, giving Mr. Osborn's opinion that the majority of the Chiefs, including Umnyamana, would gladly accede, that the people would be specially glad of British rule, the only obstacle being the opposition of Ndabuko. Again, on the 15th, I received a telegram from Sir Arthur Havelock, stating that Mr. Os-born had just telegraphed to him that a favourable answer had been received from Dinizulu and Ndabuko, as well as the other Chiefs, with regard to the agreement. Then, and not till then, Her Majesty's Government approved of Mr. Osborn's action.