HC Deb 29 June 1893 vol 14 cc353-4
MR. HOPWOOD (Lancashire, S. E., Middleton)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Her Majesty's Government has received confirmation of reports in The Cape Times, to the effect that, on 12th or 13th April last, the kraal of the Hottentot Chief Hendrik Wisbooi, living under German protection in Damaraland, was surprised by about 200 German troops, and that, in the absence of the fighting males, eight old men and 78 women and children were slaughtered; and whether Her Majesty's Government sanctions the continuance of the arrangement by which German officials are allowed to convoy unlimited quantities of arms and ammunition through Walfisch Bay for use in the interior, while the supply of weapons of self-defence is prohibited to the Natives?


Perhaps I may be allowed to answer this question. Reports have reached Her Majesty's Government giving contradictory versions of the occurrence. They agree as to the surprise of the fort, and as to the fact that some women were killed in the attack; but the German Report in other respects differs materially from that given by the Hottentots. No arrangement exists of the nature referred to in the latter part of the question. The German forces entrusted with the maintenance of order in the Protectorate must, from the nature of the coast, ordinarily laud their arms and ammu- nition at Walfisch Bay. Whenever such necessity arises the German Government applies for a special permit, which has, as a matter of international courtesy, been accorded.