HC Deb 29 March 1897 vol 47 cc1559-60

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, having regard to the telegram addressed to him on Friday last by Mr. Anderson, President of the so-called South African League, he has been apprised of the unrepresentative character of the League in question; whether he is aware that telegrams couched in ultra-patriotic language are persistently communicated to the London Press from South African sources for the purpose of furthering speculative operations upon the Stock Exchange; and whether he will consider the advisability of refusing to give publicity, and therefore authority, to telegrams addressed to the Colonial Office, which cannot but tend to intensify the irritation still existing amongst the Dutch population of South Africa as a result of the Jameson Raid?


There were two telegrams—one from Mr. Anderson and the other from the President of the South African League. I believe that that League represents the views of a large number of the inhabitants of South Africa. The answer is in the negative. I have no reason to believe that the telegrams in question were communicated with any such purpose. They were sent in reply to statements made by a witness before the Select Committee, who had given evidence in respect of the views of the people of Cape Colony, and it was necessary to give the witness an opportunity of answering them.


The right hon. Gentleman has not answered my Question in the terms of the question. I did not say these particular telegrams were sent for speculative purposes. I said telegrams are persistently sent for such purposes, and asked him whether, in the case of telegrams of that character, he would refuse to take notice of them.


The question which the hon. Gentleman asked me could only have had reference to these two telegrams; and it is only in connection with those two telegrams that he asked this question. Certainly I do not think there is the slightest ground for the insinuation conveyed in the question. With regard to the question as to whether any telegrams have been sent for such purposes, I do not know anything about it, and certainly I am not aware that any such telegrams have been sent to the Colonial Office.