§ MR. LAWRENCE (Liverpool, Abercromby)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, having regard to the importance of the territories of Zanbana and M'Begisa on the future of Swaziland and the newly-annexed portion of Amatongaland, Her Majesty's Government will act on the advice given by Sir Charles Mitchell, Governor of Zululand in 1889 [C. 6200], and annex the said territories, or otherwise prevent 1272 foreign influence obtaining control over the Lebombo Mountains?
*THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. J. W. LOWTHER,) (who replied) Cumberland, Penrith
My right hon. Friend (Baron H. de Worms), who is unavoidably absent, has asked me to say, in view of the provisions of the Swaziland Convention, that Her Majesty's Government do not consider it open to them to entertain a proposal to annex the territories of these chiefs. They are not aware that any foreign influence is obtaining control over the Lebombo Mountains, and are fully alive to the importance of preventing such a result.
§ MR. LAWRENCE
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Her Majesty's Government intend to facilitate the construction of a harbour and railway from Sordwana Point to the Swaziland, frontier under the concessions granted by native chiefs to Colonel Coope; and whether Her Majesty's Government will lay upon the Table the whole of the Correspondence which has taken place in reference to Colonel Coope's concessions between the Governor of Zululand, the Colonial Office, the Mapootaland Syndicate, Mr. Van Laun, and others interested in the scheme, from the year 1888 up to the present time, including the recommendations from the following Chambers of Commerce—namely, London, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Liverpool, and Sheffield?
*MR. J. W. LOWTHER (who replied)
The Secretary of State has referred for the consideration of the High Commissioner in South Africa and the Governor of Zululand the question whether permission can be granted for laying a railway between Sordwana Bay and the western limit of British Zulu territory. If they report favourably the permission will be granted by the Zululand Government, and will not be a concession from the local chiefs. The Correspondence referred to in the second part of the question is incomplete, and the Secretary of State cannot undertake at present to lay it before Parliament.
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether, before any such concession is granted, communication will be made with the Powers having authority over the neighbouring territory?
Perhaps the hon. Member will give notice of that question to the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies.