HC Deb 14 April 1896 vol 39 cc891-2

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, (1) whether any steps have been taken to ascertain if the uprising, of the Natives in Matabeleland has been due to anything in the relations that have been established between them and the Chartered Company of South Africa that may have acted injuriously to the Natives, or may be deemed by them to have so acted, with a view to put an end to the present unfortunate state of things in that country, by the offer of the removal of all legitimate grievances; and, (2) whether the 200 Soudanese that are stated to have arrived in Matabeleland were brought there by the Chartered Company; and, if so, with what object?


Up to the present time I have no reason to believe that the rising in Matabeleland is due to any mismanagement by the Chartered Company. Of course, our present object and desire is to put down the rising as quickly as possible. ["Hear, hear!"] As soon as that is done I shall instruct Sir Richard Martin to make a full Report on the causes of the rising. I have at present no information in regard to the second part of the Question; but I have directed an inquiry to be made by the High Commissioner on the subject. In the meantime I would say that the British Vice-Consul at Beira, of whom we have made inquiries, stated that Mr. Rhodes was only accompanied by his secretary and his servant.


Does the right hon. Gentleman know whether these are Dervishes? [Laughter.]


I do not know whether they exist at all.

*SIR C. DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

Is it not probable that these 200 black Soudanese said to have landed at Beira for the South Africa Company, are the 200 black Soudanese who landed at Mombasa about whom questions have been previously asked in the last few weeks?


It is perfectly impossible for me to say who they are. I see in the newspapers that Mr. Rhodes is accompanied by 200 Soudanese. I inquire of the British Vice-Consul at Beira, and he has no information of them.