§ MR. HEDDERWICK
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether in 1898 manœuvres of the garrison of Natal took place in the area bounded on the south by Estcourt and on the north by Dundee; whether in the course of these manœuvres the country was surveyed for military purposes by officers detailed for that object; whether the position of the drifts or fords, the nature of the banks of the river, and the advantages for attack and defence afforded by the locality were noted by these officers in their surveys; whether the reports of their surveys were accompanied by sketches and photographs; whether General Buller and his staff were furnished with copies of these surveys, sketches, and photographs; and whether there is any foundation for the statement that the British generals were supplied with no maps on an adequate scale of the country in which they were required to operate.
§ * MR. WYNDHAM
Manœuvres took place in 1898 as far as the Biggarsberg on the north and southward along the Ladysmith-Colenso road. Excepting a rough sketch of this road, no survey was made. The map which the Intelligence 263 Department had made in 1896 was used. Beyond this map—on a scale of four miles to the inch—there is no topographical survey of Natal, the making of which would be a question for the Colonial Government. None of the sketches, photographs, &c., mentioned in the question were received. Ninety-six thousand sheets of the four-miles-to-an-inch map have been sent to South Africa, besides large numbers of special maps and plans of localities of military importance. Provision has also been made for the reproduction locally of maps and sketches made by officers on the spot during the war.
§ * MR. WYNDHAM
As my answer shows, maps of the frontier were made. The military map on a large scale does not extend far into Natal, but it covers the ground north of Ladysmith.
§ MR. RADCLIFFE COOKE (Hereford)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to a statement to the effect that some time back the Intelligence Department of the War Office made an exact survey of the territory north of the Tugela River, that the officers engaged in the survey sent in their figures and details to the Department, where they were pigeon-holed and nothing more known of them; and whether, on the advice of Sir Thomas Holditch, R.E., late head of the Field Survey Department in India, two engineer officers, Captain Close and Captain Jackson, with a staff of men, have now been sent out to South Africa to survey this part of Natal.
§ * MR. WYNDHAM
A survey of Natal north of the Tugela River was made by officers of the Intelligence Department in 1896, and was printed by that Department and issued to the forces in South Africa. A copy of this map, which is on a scale of one inch to a mile, was sent to the Tea Room of the House of Commons on 20th October. Three engineer officers, experts in topographical surveying and map reproduction, have been sent to South Africa, but not for the purpose of surveying this part of Natal, which, as explained above, has already been mapped. Sir Thomas Holditch was not consulted, 264 nor did he tender any advice to the Secretary of State. He wrote a letter to The Times after the foregoing measures had been taken or initiated.