HC Deb 20 October 1899 vol 77 cc375-6
MR. J. P. SMITH (Lanark, Partick)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he will have maps of the seat of war in Africa put into the Tea Room.


A set of maps of the seat of military operations has been placed in the Tea Room.

SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N. E.)

May I ask whether my right hon. friend can give the House the latest information about the engagement in Natal?


I begin with the information we have received, to-day. There is a despatch dated Ladysmith, 6.35 this morning, as follows— Following from General Symons, Glencoe Camp, dated 5.30a.m. to-day—'Bigui's Boers shelling camp with big guns. Troops moving out.' Again— Ladysmith (Natal), 8.35 a.m., October 20. Following from General Symons, Glencoe camp, dated 7.40 a.m. to-day—'Boers attacked camp this morning at 5 o'clock. Fighting still going on. Reported strength about 9,000.' Another telegram is as follows— Ladysmith, 10.35. From Glencoe:—'Enemy's artillery silenced. Dublin Fusiliers and King's Royal Rifles are going over the hill.' At 10.45 there was telegraphed— King's Royal Rifles and Dublin Fusiliers are attacking the hill on which the Boers had their artillery. They are within 300 yards of the position and are advancing under cover of our artillery at about 2,000 yards range. The scouts report 9,000 Boers are advancing from Hattingspruit. The 13th Battery and the Leicester Regiment have gone to meet them. The next telegram will cause universal regret. It is— 11.20—General Symons has been wounded at 10 a.m. I have no further despatches, but I have made arrangements by which, with the leave of the House, I may communicate to the House any further intelligence which may reach the War Office in the course of the afternoon.