HC Deb 31 July 1890 vol 347 cc1352-3

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the Hon. Cecil Rhodes, the new Premier of the Cape Colony, has given notice of a Motion in the House of Assembly, that that House regretted that the Cape Government had not been consulted with regard to the Anglo-German Agreement, as far as it concerned the territory south of the Zambesi, and that the Cape Colony ought to have a voice in any subsequent agreement regarding such territory; whether it is true that no intimation was given to the Cape Government until the terms of the Concession to Germany of the territory stretching to the Upper Zambesi were settled; and whether, in any future negotiations involving cessions of territory or "spheres of influence," which affect the interests of British Colonies, a proper opportunity will be given to the authorities of such colonies to lay their views before Her Majesty's Government, in time for them to be fairly considered, before such negotiations are completed?


I beg also to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is now in a position to state what was the nature of the communications that passed between the Home Government and the Government at the Cape with reference to the matters dealt with in the Anglo-German Agreement, and more particularly with reference to those portions of the Agreement which concerned the territory south of the Zambesi?


Her Majesty's Government have seen the report of Mr. Rhodes's notice of Motion in the newspapers. Communications in respect of Walfisch Bay and Damaraland passed with the Cape Ministers before the Anglo-German Agreement was signed. The High Commissioner also made various communications to Her Majesty's Government, relating to the retention of Lake Ngami and the keeping open of the route northwards. Her Majesty's Government can give no such general pledge as the hon. Member for East Northampton proposes in the third paragraph of his question; but it may be assumed that every opportunity which is possible will be given to the colonies directly affected by international negotiations to lay their views before Her Majesty's Government?