HC Deb 06 April 1897 vol 48 cc621-2

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can give the House any information as to the recent disturbances at Krugersdorp, and especially as to the insults addressed to the British Uitlanders by Officers of the Transvaal Government and by other Boers whether telegrams containing information and complaints from the injured Uitlanders have been stopped by the Boer Government; and whether Her Majesty's Government will take steps to see that the Uitlanders, who are already deprived of the right of public meeting and of their independent Press, are not prevented also from using the telegraph?


On March 30 the British Agent at Pretoria telegraphed to the High Commissioner:— Regret to have to report a most painful incident which occurred at race meeting at Krugersdorp on March 27, and which has been brought to my notice officially by witnesses who were present, when a police officer of South African Republic, and wearing uniform of that Republic, permitted himself publicly to make, use of language which I must decline to repeat, in connection with the name of Her Majesty the Queen. I have, to-day addressed Note to Government of South African Republic representing occurrence. In my Note I stated that I feel sure His Honour the President will regret incident as deeply as I do, and that I place matter unreservedly in his hands, feeling confident that he will deal with it in a manner that will be satisfactory to Her Majesty's Government, and will restore mutual good feeling between His Honour's citizens and subjects of Her Majesty. I shall inform you of reply of Government. On the 1st inst. I received the following additional message from Lord Rosmead:— British Agent at Pretoria reports Government of South African Republic have provisionally suspended police officer referred to, and promised that matter shall be proceeded with in such manner as circumstances appear to require. And yesterday I received the following further telegram from Lord Rosmead:— British Agent at Pretoria reports President of South African Republic has personally expressed regret at incident, and said that the matter was being investigated. I have no information as to telegrams being stopped by the Government of the South African Republic.


Has the right hon. Gentleman any information as to the assaults which are reported to have been committed on British subjects, some of whom are said to have been considerably injured, on the same occasion?


No, Sir.

CAPTAIN BETHELL () York, E.R., Holderness

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies if Sir A. Milner will have instructions to visit Pretoria and confer with President Kruger on the matters at issue between this country and the South African Republic.


It would be premature for me to make any statement as to whether or when such a conference is probable.