§ MR. OSBORNE MORGAN (Denbighshire, E.)
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, 'Whether he can give to the House any authentic and detailed information respecting the encounter alleged to have recently taken place between the British troops and Natives in Zululand; and, whether he can state the number and composition of the British Forces at present serving in Zululand, or under orders to proceed to that country?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Sir JOHN GORST) (Chatham)
(who replied) said: In reply to the right hon. and learned Gentleman's first Question I will read the telegram received on the 3rd instant from the Governor of Natal—Tshingana having collected insurgent bands at Hlopekulu, near White Umvalosi River, has been raiding and plundering loyal natives. It became necessary to dislodge him before advance to Ceza, 2nd July. Police with native and Basuto levies with support of troops advanced to Hlopekulu, found Usutus in strong position, from which they at once opened fire. Usutus dispersed with heavy loss after six hours' fighting. About 1,000 cattle captured. Casualties on our side—killed, Lieutenant Briscoe, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; Trent, leader of native levy; and three police and Basutos; wounded, eight Basutos; losses among native levies not yet 433 ascertained. Tshingana supposed to have escaped.As far as is at present known the number and composition of the British Forces now in Zululand are as follows:—Regulars—300 Cavalry, 120 Mounted Infantry, 440 Infantry, two light guns, and two Gatling guns. Zulu Carbineers, 25 mounted and 135 foot. Basutos, mounted, 200 to 250. Native levies, number not stated. The reinforcements which have landed from the Cape are 677 Royal Scots and 21 Artillerymen.
§ MR. OSBORNE MORGAN
In which of the three Divisions into which Zululand was divided in 1877 have these encounters taken place?
§ SIR JOHN GORST
Well, I am not sure; I believe it is in the North-East; but if the right hon. and learned Member will put it down on the Paper I will inquire.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
I should not like to commit myself to statements about Zulu genealogies without Notice.
§ MR. W. REDMOND (Fermanagh, N.)
I should like to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, whether, in view of the serious hostilities which have broken out in Zululand and the great likelihood of British troops being engaged in a very serious war, the Government will give a day in order that this matter may be discussed?
§ THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
I do not know whether I ought to answer this Question without Notice; but I can say at once that it is quite impossible for the Government to give a day for the consideration of this Question. An opportunity of discussing it will be afforded in the course of the next 24 hours on the Report of the Colonial Office Vote. But I ought to say that the Government have no reason whatever to apprehend that there will be a serious war, such as the hon. Member seems to suggest. On the contrary, the Government hope that this affair, which we deplore, will be settled very speedily indeed.