§ MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he can say what has been the effect of Lord Roberts's proclamation of annexation of the Orange Free State on the status of the inhabitants; and whether any such inhabitants found fighting with arms in their possession will be treated as prisoners of war or as rebels.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
The effect of Lord Roberts's proclamation of annexation was that the inhabitants of the Orange Free State became British subjects. Lord Roberts had undertaken by his proclamations to the burghers of the Orange Free State that those desisting from hostility and found staying in their homes and quietly pursuing their ordinary occupations would not be made to suffer in their persons or property on account of their having taken up arms in obedience to the order of their Government. The treatment of all other persons, may, I think, be safely left to Lord Roberts.