§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether he has any further information in regard to affairs in Matabeleland?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
Yes, Sir, we have received two telegrams from Sir H. Robinson, and I am sorry to say that the position of things is not so favourable. The first is dated March 30, and was received at 9.30 p.m. yesterday:—Nicholson telegraphs from Buluwayo this morning that Selous engaged Matabele at second stage on Tuli road and was expected in this morning. Matabele massing on Matoppo Hills, and communications with south in danger. One month's supplies in Buluwayo. Gifford brought in 36 men, one woman, one child. Following 525 bodies identified. In Inceza district, Cunningham's family, one old man, two women, and one boy of 15, also one old man, name uncertain and cause. At Ingwani, Surveyor Fitzpatrick and Burden. A patrol was attacked on Inyami road 20 miles to the north-east of Buluwayo this morning, and two men wounded. Natives seem well supplied with guns. Local Secretary of British South Africa Company here has been instructed by Mr. Duncan to arrange for raising 500 men.The second is dated March 31, and was received at 8.35 this morning:—Following telegram received from Nicholson. Begins:—Buluwayo, March 30, 2.30 p.m. There are plenty of men for local defence, but are short of arms. The country all round outside a radius of 15 miles seems to be in insurrection. A large force reported on Kami river to north-west of here. Selous found Matabele in force in Matoppo Hills near Tuli road, 22 miles south-west the second and third stage. Mules from here have moved up to first stage. A strong patrol, 60 men, has gone to bring in mail in coach from Tuli, due this evening. Mail from here not starting to-morrow morning. Afraid it is big business. A strong force will be required to settle the Matoppo district.
§ MR. E. H. HULSE (Salisbury)
Can the right hon. Gentleman inform the House whether Mr. Rhodes has arrived at Buluwayo?
§ MR. W. ALLEN (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, if troops are required from the Cape to put down the rising, the Chartered Company will be required to pay for them? [Cries of "Oh!"]
§ MR. J. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S,)
Can the right hon. Gentleman say exactly what available forces there are in the country?
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
I have no exact information. There is, of course, the Rhodesia Horse. As to the native police, the first reports were to the effect that the whole of them had rebelled and joined the insurgents; and a later report contradicted that, and stated that only small bodies of them had joined the insurgents. But, at the same time, I judge from the telegrams that not-much reliance is to be placed on the native police, because large bodies of them have been disarmed. Men are moving up quickly; and I hope the force will now be sufficient.