HC Deb 26 March 1895 vol 32 cc169-70
SIR E. ASHMEAD - BARTLETT (Sheffield, Eccleshall)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Her Majesty's Government have been officially informed by Her Majesty's representative in Swaziland that the Swazis have accepted the administration of the Boer agent over the Swazi people; and whether he will explain what is the meaning of the statement that the Organic Proclamation no longer existed?


I have already informed the House that we have learnt through the High Commissioner, who, of course, receives his information direct from the British representative in Swaziland, that on March 18th, the South African Republic Commissioners met the King, Queen, and Swazi representatives, and that the meeting passed off peaceably and satisfactorily, the position of the King as Paramount Chief being officially recognised by the South African Republic. It may be assumed, therefore, that the Swazi King and people have peaceably acquiesced in the administration of the South African Republic. The Organic Proclamation was never more than a draft proclamation; and the Swazis declining to sign it, it was never brought into existence.


Why, then, did Colonel Martin, Her Majesty's representative, in his interview with the Swazi Queen Regent, King and Council on February 13, urge them to sign the Organic Proclamation, and why did the Queen and young King then positively refuse to sign it; whether a compromise has since been effected; and whether there is now any actual and practical Boer administration of Swaziland?


I have already said that the information we have received is to the effect that the Transvaal representatives met the representatives of the Swazis, and had an amicable arrangement. We have, therefore, assumed that Swaziland has peaceably acquiesced to the terms of the Boer Government, which has now a representative in the country.