§ SIR ELLIS ASHMEAD-BARTLETT (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, (1) whether Her Majesty's Government have established British rule over 399 the districts between Swaziland and Tongaland, and have established a British protectorate over Tongaland up to Portuguese territory; and (2) whether the Boer Government have protested against these acts?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. SYDNEY BUXTON,) Tower Hamlets, Poplar
For a long time past the little territories of the chiefs Mdhlaleni, Sambaan, and Umhegesa and others lying to the North-west of Zululand have been distinctly within the sphere of British influence. It has lately appeared that a state of affairs was growing up there which was calculated to produce serious difficulties in the future, and which rendered it necessary to establish a more effective form of administration; and Her Majesty's Government have therefore desired to place these little territories under the Governor of Zululand. As regards the position of the South African Republic in the matter, I would point out that under Article II. of the London Convention of 1884, the South African Republic is expressly prohibited from encroaching on these territories; and, under Article IV., from making treaties with the chiefs except with the consent of Her Majesty's Government. This assent has never been given, and, indeed, has been more than once expressly withheld. Under the Convention of 1890 the South African Republic were granted liberty, under certain specified conditions, and within strictly limited areas, to negotiate with the respective chiefs in order to acquire land sufficient to enable them to make a railway running from the Transvaal, through Swaziland to the sea. These rights were, however, not exercised, and they lapsed last year with the lapsing of the Convention of 1890. I would wish to state, in conclusion, that the action now being taken by Her Majesty's Government is not in any sense of the term dictated by unfriendly or unneighbourly feelings towards the South African Republic.
§ SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
The hon. Gentleman has not replied to the last paragraph of my question, and I should also like to ask him whether it it is intended that Zululand should be incorporated in Natal?
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
The South African Republic have made a 400 remonstrance in this matter, which has been received. As regards the incorporation of Zululand in Naval, that is a large question, and if the hon. Gentleman wants to know the present position of affairs he must give notice.
§ SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
Do we understand that Her Majesty's Government intend to adhere fully to the proclamation issued by the Governor of Zululand?
§ [No answer was given.]