§ MR. T. H. COCHRANE (Ayrshire, N.) rose and asked leave of the House to Move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of calling attention to a definite matter of urgent public importance—namely, the Convention concluded by Her Majesty with the Government of the South African Republic relative to the affairs of Swaziland, a copy of which had just been laid on the Table.
§ [The pleasure of the House not having been signified, Mr. Speaker called on those Members who supported the Motion to rise in their places, and not less than 40 Members having accordingly risen]
§ MR. COCHRANE,
who said, he fully realised the responsibility of the course he was taking in moving the Adjournment, but he knew this was a question of great interest to Members on both sides of the House, and it was a question, distinctly urgent, because there was at the moment, on the borders of Swazi-land, an army assembled with the purpose of invading that country, and forcing the Swazi nation to accept the terms of a Convention, taking away their independence which had been recognised and guaranteed by this country He asked a question of the Under Secretary for the Colonial Office the other day in reference to the assembling of these troops, and the answer given by the hon. Gentleman was, that he thought there were troops assembled on the borders of Swazi-land under General Joubert. But this was a matter the Colonial Office should do more than think about, and there should be full and accurate information. The public Press stated, as a fact, the assembling of this Force, and the position was one of great gravity, demanding the attention of the House. On the one side of the border line was a half-disciplined Army collected from all parts of the Transvaal, and on the other side was a warlike race of native inhabitants who had been our allies for years and had bravely distinguished themselves fighting by the side of British troops. The position was one of momentous importance, for, at any time, this half-disciplined Army of the South African Republic might cross the Border, 1065 and at once a war would wage of a character that would be deplored by every member of the House. The brave Swazi people would be fighting for what we recognise as the most important right a nation can cherish—their independence; and, on the other hand, the troops of the Republic would be endeavouring to thrust on these people by the point of the bayonet a foreign constitution in the form of a Convention, against which the Swazis had taken every possible means to protest. The hon. Gentleman thought the troops were there; but the House had a right to learn from the Colonial Office if the forces of the Republic were assembled on the frontier, and for what purpose. It could not be for review purposes or to attract and interest the Natives; no, their business was to force the Convention on the Swazi nation. Had Her Majesty's Government given consent to these proceedings? The Under Secretary for the Colonies, in the Debate upon the Address, said the parties to the Conventions of 1881 and 1884 recognised the Swaziland question as one of mutual concern, and that neither party could interfere forcibly in Swaziland without the consent of the other. Had Her Majesty's Government given consent to this invasion of Swaziland? If so he did not know what word he could use to adequately describe the breach of faith thereby committed towards the tribe to whom Her Majesty's Government had given a pledge to maintain their independence. If they had not given consent, then what steps did Her Majesty's Government propose to take to prevent the South African Republic troops from invading Swaziland? That invasion would be a breach of the Convention under which the Republic possessed self-government. To make the position clear it would be necessary to go back to 1881. In that year a settlement of Transvaal territory took place, and in that settlement Her Majesty's Commissioner guaranteed on and after August 8th, 1881, on behalf of Her Majesty, complete self-government, subject to the suzerainty of Her Majesty, her heirs, and successors, to the inhabitants of the Transvaal territory. Then followed terms and conditions, reservations and limitations. This agreement, which gave self-government to the South African Republic, at the same time in 1066 Article XXIV., recognised the independence of Swaziland and the boundary of Swazi territory. That was perfectly clear. But from somewhere an argument had been hunted up that the Swazis were not parties to this Convention of 1881; but that was but a poor horse to ride off upon. There was no doubt that, as would be found in the Blue Books upon which he founded his remarks, this Convention was explained to the Swazis. On September 5th, 1881, an interview took place between Sir Evelyn Wood and the Swazi King. Mr. Rudolf acted as interpreter, and notes were taken by Major Fraser. Sir Evelyn Wood read and explained the Convention, explained the suzerainty of the Queen, and pointed out that the Convention guaranteed the independence of the Swazi nation and maintained the boundary line. He informed the King that the British Government desired only the good of the Swazi nation, and that their friendship should continue; that the Government trusted the King would rule with justice, and his people prosper. When this statement had been interpreted to the King the latter replied—I thank you for leaving me independent to rule my people, and I will always consider myself your child.
Sir Evelyn Wood
said: "We wish you to remain independent and prosperous." Surely that established with absolute clearness the fact that the Convention of 1881 declared the independence of Swaziland. To ride off on any such pretext as that the Swazis were not a party to the Convention might be a stroke of diplomacy of which he had no experience, but he asserted it was not common honesty. The Convention of 1884 contained the same article which he had quoted from the Convention of 1881, and again the independence of the Swazis was fully recognised. In the next Convention—the Convention of 1890—the independence of the Swazis was still more strongly mentioned, for it declared that—no inroad on that independence shall be allowed even with the consent of the Swazi Government—he called special attention to these words—and without the consent both of Her Majesty's Government and the Government of the Smith African Republic.1067 That Convention was still further strengthened by a letter, dated December 1st, 1892, from Lord Ripon (who had just come into Office) to Sir Henry Loch, in which the Secretary for the Colonies stated that any Treaty or Proclamation with the Swazi nation should, before it came into operation, be submitted for the Queen's approval.The Government will further require to be Satisfied,continued Lord Ripon,That the consent of the Swazi nation has been effectively and intelligently given.It was said by the Government that in all their actions in this matter they were but following in the footsteps of their predecessors in Office. He challenged them to produce from the Blue Book, issued on the question, a single passage in support of that statement. He maintained that the predecessors of the Government in Office would not for one moment have allowed the Convention of 1894 to be carried out. Up to 1893 the Government had shown every desire to deal in perfect fairness with the Swazis. But in 1893 a great change took place, and the Government which professed to be so strongly in favour of self-government all round was willing to take away Home Rule from the Swazi nation. There was a long correspondence between the Home Government and the Ministers of the Transvaal Republic; and Sir Henry Loch was sent out in the June of that year to endeavour to obtain the consent of the Swazis to give away their independence. But that consent could not be got from the Swazis; and nothing showed so strongly their antipathy to Boer rule than the fact that those savages had sent a deputation to England so many miles across the seas to lay their case before Her Majesty. The cruel way in which the natives were treated by many of the Boers was a matter of notoriety to every newspaper reader. The Boer system of apprenticeship was nearly akin to slavery, and was alone sufficient to make the Swazis resist any attempt to place them under Boer domination. There were two courses open to the Government. They could have assumed the responsibility of the government of the country. The Swazis had offered their allegiance to 1068 the British Crown; out of 750 Europeans in the country 450 were British; the country was rich in minerals, and the trade was almost entirely in British hands. There was, therefore, every inducement to the Government to take over the administration of the country. But if the Government did not adopt that course, they should have continued in the joint administration. That would at least have given them the power to protect the natives from injustice, but in the course the Government had taken it was impossible that any adequate protection could be given to the natives. He thought there was little doubt that the Swazis would bitterly resent this attempt to force upon them a Government which they had strong reasons to object to; and if there should be a war between the South African Republic and the Swazis, the result would be such as the House would abundantly deplore. He therefore felt justified in bringing this very important matter under the notice of the House.
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. SYDNEY BUXTON, Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
said, he did not propose to follow the hon. Gentleman at any great length, especially as the hon. Gentleman had not the courtesy to give him any more notice of his intention to raise the question than by a letter which was only delivered to him during question time. At any rate, he felt that, having regard to the present position of affairs, it would not be consistent with the public interest to go at any length or in any detail into matters. The hon. Gentleman asked for information in reference to the position of the Transvaal Republic to Swaziland at the present moment. The information which the Government had from Sir Henry Loch was to the effect that he believed the carrying out of the Convention of 1894 was taking place on peaceful lines, and was likely to continue to take place on peaceful lines, and that the only thing calculated to disturb that peaceful condition of affairs was the raising at the present time of some of the questions to which the hon. Gentleman had referred in the course of his speech. It was, therefore, simply on the ground of public interest that he declined to discuss the part of the hon. Gentleman's speech 1069 which dealt with the action the Government might take in regard to the attitude of the Transvaal and the attitude of Swaziland. Perhaps, however, it would be courteous to the hon. Gentleman to say a few words in regard to the other portion of his speech. During the Debate on the Address he, speaking at considerable length, endeavoured to explain to the House the position, as the Government understood it, in reference to the so-called independence of the Swazis, which the hon. Gentleman also raised on that occasion. He then pointed out to the House that the independence of the Swazis—that was to say, their absolute independence as a nation and their absolute freedom from interference by the British Government or by the Transvaal Republic—had never been recognised by the British Government and had never been conceded by any Convention. The independence that was recognised and the independence that was guaranteed was in this sense—that the two contracting parties, both of which were deeply interested in the future of the country, agreed that they would mutually arrange from interference in that country without the consent of the other. That was the independence that was intended in 1881; that was the independence which was continued in 1884, and that was the independence that was further agreed to in 1890. He would like to know from the hon. Gentleman himself what he meant exactly by the independence of the Swazis which the Government had in any way encroached upon. This should be remembered that—assuming the independence of the Swazis had been guaranteed, as the hon. Member said, but which the Government did not at all believe to be the case—the position had gradually and absolutely altered since that time. During the last 10 years the two Powers had encroached on this independence, and the right of interference of the two Powers in the affairs of Swaziland had become so great that, even if the independence of the Swazis had been guaranteed in 1881, at all events it had not been we who had interfered with or broken that independence; that independence had disappeared by the proper joint action of the Transvaal and England. 1070 He must point out that if independence had been guaranted, and even if those encroachments had not been made by Great Britain and the Transvaal, the Swazis themselves had practically, by the concessions and agreements made by their late King, given away all that was valuable in their own independence; and, therefore, it was not the fact that you could say that at, the present time or years ago the Swazis had any real independence as a nation, so that they retained any powers or administrative rights which they could exercise over their own country.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said, he had endeavoured to point out to the hon. Gentleman behind him that the Transvaal and the British Government, in different conventions, and especially under the Convention of 1890, which was entered into by the late Government, had practically taken away almost entirely the administration of Swaziland, and to that extent independence had practically disappeared. Therefore, in the first place, he denied that the independence of Swaziland was ever guaranteed to the Swazis; secondly, he said that, even if it had been guaranteed, successive British Governments had so far encroached on that independence that it had practically disappeared; and, thirdly, even if that had not taken place their independence had been given away by the Swazis themselves. The hon. Member asked why the Government carried out the Conventions of 1893 and 1894, and in reply he had endeavoured to explain the historic aspect of the matter. When the present Government came into Office they did not wantonly raise this question. They found the position such that they were bound to come to terms with the Transvaal in consequence of promises made by previous successive Governments. Taking the matter as it then stood, the Government did what they believed to be the best for the Swazis themselves. The only British interests 1071 in that part of the country, taking into account the interests the Transvaal Government had acquired, were the interests of the Natives. Those interests the Government had greatly at heart; those interests they had endeavoured to protect; and he believed the only alternative they had before them was the alternative they had accepted and had carried through. The hon. Gentleman behind him said there was no guarantee that the Convention would be properly carried out.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said, he believed they had reserved to the Swazis all those powers, all that independence which they themselves had not given away; and the Government believed that under this Convention they would be undoubtedly secure in that independence and in the exercise of those powers. They had taken means, by the appointment of a British Consul in Swaziland, to observe the action of the Transvaal Government, to see that the Convention was properly carried out. Under that Convention they had retained to the Swazis their native rights and tribal independence, and had secured to them the land and agricultural rights in their possession. They had appointed a Consul to see that this Convention was properly carried out, although he was bound to say that Her Majesty's Government had no reason to believe that the South African Republic did not intend to carry out the Convention in the spirit and in the letter. [Sir E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT: "Oh!"] The Government believed, taking the position as they found it, taking into account the action of the, British Government and of the, Transvaal Government, and taking into account what the Swazis themselves had done, that they had done their best to preserve those rights of the Swazis which still remained; they are not ashamed of the Convention, and they believed it, on the whole, to be the best they could have done for the Swazis.
§ SIR J. E. GORST (Cambridge University)
said, the hon. Gentleman had made it exceedingly difficult for anyone to take part in the Debate, because he had remarked that discussion might interfere with the peaceable settlement of the affairs of Swaziland. Therefore, In he 1072 would address himself to the question with that warning in his mind, and he would say nothing that would increase the, difficulty of the Government or of the High Commissioner in South Africa in their endeavours to maintain the peace in Swaziland. It did not appear that either this or a former discussion had enabled the Government to realise the expectations which the Swazis entertained of the protection to which they were entitled from the British Government. It must be remembered that in 1881, when, the Transvaal State was revived after the Transvaal War, the resuscitation of that power caused great alarm to the native tribes round the Transvaal territory. We took every precaution we could to prevent the interference of the Transvaal State with the surrounding native tribes. By the first article of the Convention, the Government of the Transvaal State undertook strictly to adhere to denned boundaries and to prevent any of its inhabitants from encroaching on the land beyond the frontier. That was what was called a guarantee, and it had proved to be wholly inoperative. The moment after that Convention was signed the inhabitants of the Transvaal began to encroach upon the natives all round the Transvaal. This House would remember that it often interfered on behalf of the natives to the west of the Transvaal; but there was no State near the Transvaal which had more reason to fear the new Boer Government than the Swazis had, because they had assembled in arms to assist Great Britain in the Transvaal war. Sir E. Wood thought it necessary to go down and see these Swazis, and in a dispatch which he sent home he said his object was to reassure the King as to his position in relation to the Government of the Transvaal State, to point out to him that in the frontier agreed upon as the boundary of that State his independence had been fully recognised, to satisfy him that interests had been carefully guarded by the Convention, and to indicate to him the line of conduct he was to adopt. Sir E. Wood went down with this object, which he stated to be his main object; he held with the Swazi King the conversation which had been quoted; and the Under Secretary did not, appear to 1073 attach to it anything like the importance he ought to do. It must be admitted that the Swazis had a strong claim to our protection on their independence, and that we were under obligations to that people, of which it was quite impossible to divest ourselves. We ought not to try to do it, because the influence of the British Government depended very largely upon the impression prevailing in all parts of the world that Great Britain would keep her promises, and that the British Government was a Government to be trusted. Nothing was more calculated to shake our dominion in South Africa and in other parts of the world than that the idea should get abroad that we were anxious to avail ourselves of technicalities and of legal quibbles for the purpose of divesting ourselves of any responsibilities we had undertaken. It did not facilitate the solution of difficulties that the representative of the Government had endeavoured to minimise the responsibilities which undoubtedly we had incurred towards these people. It was true that some precaution was taken in 1884, when the Transvaal State was turned into the South African Republic, and stipulations were made that it should not interfere beyond its own borders; and what the hon. Gentleman had said about the continued interference of the South African Republic in the affairs of Swaziland had been a dereliction of that solemn Convention. The hon. Gentleman shook his head; but, he must remind him that by the Convention of 1884, the Government of the South African Republic pledged itself, while strictly adhering to the boundaries defined in the first article of the Convention, to do its utmost to prevent any of its inhabitants from encroaching upon the land beyond the boundaries. That was an engagement, as far as one could be given, that the South African Republic would not interfere in Swaziland and the surrounding countries. It was absurd for the Government to throw the whole blame for the present state of things on the unfortunate Swazis. The contention of the Government was that the Swazis' own acts had rendered it impossible to protect them. He would like to call the attention of the House to the way in which the concessions had been obtained. His point was that we 1074 were so far responsible for those concessions that it did not lie in our mouth, to make them an excuse for saying that we could not help the Swazis. In a Report on Swaziland made by Sir Francis de Winton in 1890, it was stated—The late King and Council have parted, not only with all their territory, but with rights which could only belong to the Government of the country, to a lot of adventurers whose sole object is to make money. It is quite true that the Swazi king and his countrymen did not understand the nature of these concessions, but it is equally true that they signed the documents and received the money for them. It is said that some of these concessions have been purchased by the Government of the Transvaal.If any were purchased by the Government of the Transvaal, whether that Government were within their legal rights or not, they were breaking the stipulations and guarantees of the convention they had previously entered into; and if the English Government allowed these concessions to come into the hands of the Transvaal Government they could not afterwards turn round and say to the Swazis that it was their own act that had rendered their protection impossible. Another point was that these concessions were made prior to the Convention of 1890; but in 1890, after these concessions had been made, and after, according to the present attitude of the Secretary for the Colonies, it had become impossible to protect the Swazis any longer, we entered into a Convention by which the independence of Swaziland was guaranteed. The Under Secretary had referred several times to the conduct of the late Government, and to their promise to reconsider the Convention of 1890. What was that promise?Her Majesty's Government are prepared to consider such questions as the Government of the South African Republic may bring before them, with the desire to meet the wishes of the South African Republic as far as possible with due regard to European and native rights.All, therefore, that the Government when they came into office were pledged to do was to reconsider the Convention of 1890 "with due regard to native rights." There was no pledge to give up native rights. He had not a word to say against the original design of Lord Ripon. Lord Ripon found that the existing state of things in Swaziland was most inconvenient, and that it was most desirable 1075 to put an end to it; but he protested in, the most solemn manner when he first addressed the Prime Minister of the Cape, at the time the negotiations with the South African Republic were begun that nothing should be done, not only unless the Swazi people consented, but also unless Her Majesty's Government were convinced that they gave an intelligent and reasonable consent. Thus he acted in exactly the same manner as Lord Knutsford, reserving specifically clearly, and positively native rights, and making the consent of the Swazis a condition precedent to the washes of the South African Republic being carried out. The Convention of 1893 was made on those lines, and in that Convention the right of the Swazis to consent or not to consent was most specifically reserved The utmost possible pressure had been put upon the Swazis by Her Majesty's Government to induce them to accept the organic proclamations. Sir Henri Loch, in a message, after pointing out all the advantages of the Organic Proclamation and using every argument he could to induce them to accept it, said—It is therefore the duty of the Swazi Queen Regent to sign the Proclamation, which I direct her to do at once, or, say, within six weeks of the return of the deputation.Yet, in spite of all that had been done and could be done by Her Majesty's Government, that which Lord Ripon declared in 1892 to be a condition precedent to the gratification of the wishes of the South African Republic had no been fulfilled. But there was another circumstance in this matter to which he thought the attention of the House ought to be directed, and that was the extraordinary ratification of the abortive Convention of 1893, which was executed by the Government of the South African Republic. That Convention had to be ratified by the Volksraad before it came into operation. This was the ratification, and he asked the attention of the House to it because the Government had notice of it:—The First Volksraad having taken note o the Convention agreed to on November 8, 1893, between the South African Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; having in view Article 12 of the said Convention, wherein it is provided that tin ratification must take place on or before June 30, 1894; seeing with regret that Her 1076 Majesty's Government has up to the present been unwilling to agree to conditions by which the just claims and rights of this Republic will be acknowledged; considering that it is desirable once more to make public that the approving of the Convention cannot be considered as a relinquishment of the claims and rights which the Republic possess to territory situated to the east of that belonging to the Republic, and expressly reserving to itself those claims and rights as was done by the ratification of, the Convention of 1890; abiding by everything that was said in that ratification; being convinced that no other solution of this long-delayed Swazi question can be arrived at than the total incorporation of Swaziland into the Republic; considering that the intention to arrive at this is evident from Clauses 6 and 7 of the Convention; considering also that incorporation must logically follow from the granting of the franchise to certain persons in Swaziland; regarding the present Convention as a further transitory measure, and still trusting in the promises of Her Majesty's Government, resolves to ratify the said Convention, and to instruct the Government to negotiate further with Her Majesty's Government in the spirit of this Resolution.So Her Majesty's Government had notice in that ratification that the Volksraad only intended the agreement to be a transitory measure, which was finally to lead to the total incorporation of Swazi-land into the South African Republic. Had that notice ever been withdrawn? [Mr. BUXTON remarked, that a protest had been made against, it.] The protest was this:—In discussing these affairs with President Kruger, you (Sir Henry Loch) should state plainly that the conditional ratification given by the Volksraad to the Convention of 1893 has made an unfavourable impression on the minds of Her Majesty's Government; unless those conditions are withdrawn it will be necessary to make a formal declaration on the part of Her Majesty's Government that they in no respect accept them.Had that formal declaration been made? He supposed not, because the ratification I had never been withdrawn. Then had the Convention of 1894 been ratified by the Volksraad? If so, had it been ratified simply, or only in the same way as the Convention of 1893? Had it the same rider appended to it? The Government could not divest themselves of their responsibilities in this matter. Whether technically bound or not, they were undoubtedly morally bound to do their utmost to protect the unfortunate Swazis. [Mr BUXTON: Hear, hear.] The Swazis could not be said to have made it impossible by their concessions for Her Majesty's Government to protect them, 1077 because those concessions were made when we were to a certain extent responsible for the administration of the country and for the advice given to the King, and because these concessions were made before the Convention of 1890, in which the Government still upheld the independence of Swaziland. He trusted, therefore, that the Government would do all in their power to preserve the Swazis from the horrors of an armed invasion by the South African Republic. The forbearance which had always been shown to the Government and the inhabitants of the Transvaal, notwithstanding the successive inroads which they had made upon the territories of the neighbouring tribes, in violation of the stipulations of the Conventions of 1891 and 1894, gave us a very strong claim upon that Government, and we might well ask them to abstain from any course which would be incompatible with the honour of this country and which would disappoint the expectations which we had raised in the minds of the natives. The House of Commons ought to urge the Government to take steps to induce the Government of the South African Republic to abstain from violence, and not to brusquer the situation.
§ SIR G. BADEN-POWELL (Liverpool, Kirkdale),
thought the Under Secretary for the Colonies might, without injuring the interests of the Swazis or of this nation, reply to two questions which he wished to put. Having witnessed attacks upon natives, and knowing that the accompanying incidents were the burning of villages and the slaughter of women and children, he could not but feel great sympathy for a native race when he heard that an armed force was collecting on their frontier for the purpose of invasion. He wished to know whether the present Government had endeavoured in any way to obtain practical, material safeguards for the protection of the Swazis. The safeguards on which we were supposed to rely in the past had one by one disappeared. The suzerainty over the Transvaal had gone, and the independence of the Swazis had gone, and he did not see what was to prevent an incorporation of Swaziland in the Transvaal after a Boer invasion. Then the Government of this country had made 1078 no attempt to assert our rights in connection with the administration of the affairs of Swaziland. Why had we transferred all our rights to the other partner concerned in the question? In the correspondence a reason was given, and it was said that we were debarred from annexing Swaziland by our Treaty obligations. But how was it that the South African Republic was not debarred by its obligations from annexing the country? There was a great deal more that required explanation, but the subject could not be dealt with adequately in a hurried, sudden, and partial debate. While deprecating, therefore, the method which had been employed to bring this most important matter before their attention, he hoped that the Government would consent to throw some additional light on the points to which he had referred.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (SIR W. HARCOURT, Derby)
I join the hon. Member in deprecating the continuance of this discussion. What the Under Secretary has said is perfectly true, namely, that what is said in this House may tend to prevent a peaceful solution of this question. The object of the Government is, that this question should be peacefully settled, and that we should not be involved in a conflict in this matter at all, for that would be a most serious evil, perhaps one of the most serious evils that could befall South Africa. My opinion, therefore, is, that everyone ought to endeavour to contribute to a solution of that character. To encourage either party to take any action which would prevent a peaceful solution and cause a conflict would be to incur grave responsibility. The hon. Member very properly asks what the object of the Government is. Their desire, as is shown in the convention, is to preserve the native rights. As a guarantee of that, the Government have appointed an English Consul to be present to carry out the safeguards which have been introduced into the Convention. That shows what is the object of the Government in the matter; and I, with a great sense of responsibility, would say to the House that if it is their desire, as I am sure it must be their desire, to prevent armed conflict in Africa in this matter, the more reserve is exercised at this moment and upon 1079 this occasion the better. In that sense I appeal to the House not to continue this discussion.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (Manchester, E.)
After what has right hon. Gentleman we will have no choice, I think, but to take the advice which, on his responsibility as a Minister and Leader of the House, he has given to us upon this question. I confess I abstain from criticising the course which the Government have taken with great reluctance. I should especially like to press the Government a little more upon the safeguards which they say they have provided for the Swazis. I should like to ask whether, and how far, they think the sending of a Consul, whose only method of action is to send despatches to the Home Government, is likely to be effective. But as the House is told that any rash word from us may precipitate conflict where conflict may otherwise be avoided, we have no choice but to leave the responsibility where, after all, it must finally rest—namely, with Her Majesty's Government; and to reserve any criticism, and it may be censure, until a period when, I fear, it will be too late, or may be too late, for the protection of those whose interests we have at heart. Should that unhappy contingency arise, we shall be able to say that we, at all events, are not to blame for any evil consequences that may ensue from the policy which Her Majesty's Government have on their responsibility undertaken.
§ MR. COCHRANE,
in view of the statement of the responsible Minister of the Crown—although, he said, the object of the Motion was to avoid danger—asked leave to withdraw his Motion.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.