§ SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies a (Question, of which I have given him private notice—namely, whether the Government have received information confirming the reports that serious disturbances have occurred in Swaziland, that large numbers of armed Boers have entered that country, that the King and his principal chiefs have been obliged to retire to the mountains; and what steps the Government intend to take to secure the rights of the Swazis under the Convention of 1894?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES
The notice of the honourable Gentleman's Question only reached me a very short time ago, and I must again ask him to be good enough in these cases to give me longer notice. In the meantime, I may state that a fight occurred on the 9th of April amongst the natives themselves, at the Royal Kraal, during which the chief Induna was killed. The King has himself admitted that this was done by his orders, but has not yet explained his reasons. I am informed that the resident white population are alarmed, and that the Transvaal Government are largely increasing the police. They are justified under the Convention in taking measures for the preservation of order in the country, and, so far, no occasion has arisen for the intervention of Her Majesty's Government.
§ SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
Will the right honourable Gentleman be so good as to make inquiries whether the statements in my Question are correct or not?