HC Deb 02 January 1894 vol 20 cc648-50
MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has observed a telegram published in the newspapers, in which it is said that the Chief Khama, on being blamed by Mr. Rhodes for deserting with his forces Major Goold-Adams and his columns, stated that his men disagreed with the methods of warfare pursued by their white allies; whether he will take steps to find out what were the methods of warfare to which this African Chief objected; whether the Major Goold-Adams in command of the Imperial Bechuanaland Police Force is the same gentleman whose name is on the list of the shareholders of the South Africa Chartered Company; whether his attention has been called to a speech of Mr. Rhodes, a précis of which has been telegraphed home and has appeared in the newspapers, in which Mr. Rhodes said that the volunteers are to be allowed to select 3,000 morgen of land in Matabeleland, and that the rest of the land is to be sold; and to a further telegram stating that these volunteers are already seeking to sell their farms for from £40 to £60; will he explain why this disposal of the land in Matabeleland has been announced, in view of the assurances given that no such disposal should take place before the Colonial Office has decided upon the position and rights (if any) of the Company in Matabeleland; whether he has observed that apparently the occupation of Buluwayo by the invading forces of the Company has been followed by possession of that capital; and whether it is to be understood that the rights of the Matabele to land possessed by them in the late capital of their country have been extinguished by the occupation?


As regards the first two questions, I have seen the telegram referred to. If such a conversation took place, we shall receive the report of it by post, and we shall then see what Khama did say, and inquiry will, if necessary, be made. As regards the third question, Major Goold-Adams is the gentleman of that name who appears in the list of original shareholders of the British South Africa Company. It was, I need hardly say, not known to the Secretary of State that this officer of the police was interested in the Company. When an allegation to that effect was made, Lord Knutsford inquired into the matter, and the answer, which was received after the change of Government, showed that the allegation was true, and when the present Secretary of State was invited to approve the appointment of Major Goold-Adams to the command of the force, his Lordship laid it down as a condition that he should part with his shares, but it appeared that he had already done so voluntarily. With regard to the last four paragraphs of the question, I may say that Sir Henry Loch warns us by telegraph that such statements as those alleged to have been made must be accepted with great reserve. He assures us that no towns have been marked out, but that merely the position of future townships has been discussed; and that there has been no appropriation of land, but men returning to Mashonaland are allowed to select positions for farms subject to Sir Henry Loch's future approval; and I would again point out that, after all the wants of the natives as peaceable tribes have been amply supplied, there will be a large surplusage of land for colonisation. It is clearly understood that all these questions, as well as those of administration, are dependent on future arrangements to be discussed between Sir Henry Loch and Mr. Rhodes, and which are (o be submitted for the approval of Her Majesty's Government.


Do I understand from my hon. Friend that the settlement will be based upon taking away from everyone who is supposed to have any land everything beyond what he wants for his own requirements and giving it to somebody else?


No, Sir. I have already stated more than once that we will take care that in any settlement the just claims of the natives are carefully and generously responded to, and we shall take care that, so far as they are concerned in regard to cattle, water, and land, they are amply secured not only in all, but in more than all, that is necessary for them.


Then I do understand that no native is to have more land—whatever he may possess now and whatever his title may be—than is necessary for him. Will that be applied to England?

[No answer was given.]