§ MR. THOMAS BAYLEY (Derby, Chesterfield)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, (1) if he can furnish the House with the number of natives shot and hanged as spies in Buluwayo and the neighbourhood; (2) whether, before they were executed, any form of trial was held; and (3) whether the responsibility of the military operations there carried on rests with the War Office or with the Chartered Company?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
I am unable to answer positively the first and second paragraphs of the Question, but I have no doubt that any spies taken were tried 1327 as usual in war by some form of Court-martial. The responsibility for all military operations rests with Sir F. Carrington, who is an Imperial officer appointed by the Secretary of State for War.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
I think the House will see that great harm may result from interfering too much with military operations conducted at a distance. [Cheers.] I have every confidence in the humanity both of Sir R. Martin and Sir F. Carrington, and, therefore, I do not propose to make immediate inquiry, though I should be happy to do so when the difficulty is removed. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. HENRY LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
Would these executions only take place after the Courts-martial have decided against the prisoners and the decisions have been confirmed by the Imperial authorities?
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
I have no doubt that every execution of the kind has the authority of Sir F. Carrington. ["Hear, hear!"] Subsequently, the right hon. Gentleman said—Since I answered the Question of the hon. Member for Chesterfield I have received a telegram which bears indirectly upon the matter, and which, with the permission of the House, I will read. It is as follows:—Carrington has issued following order (Begins) General officer commanding desires it to be distinctly understood by all ranks under his command that during the continuance of hostile operations against the rebels, clemency is to be shown to the wounded. Women and children are not to be injured, and prisoners are to be taken wherever possible. Offiers commanding will be held responsible for this order being strictly carried out.'[Cheers.]