§ MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushclffie)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he can inform the House of the number of camps of concentration formed by the military authorities in South Africa; where they are situated; what is the approximate number of men, women, and children confined in each; what is the nature of the shelter erected; whether the system of diminished rations for the women and children whose husbands and fathers have not yet surrendered is still in practice with the sanction of His Majesty's Government; whether records of the births and deaths in these camps have been and are accurately preserved; what provision exists at each camp for the medical attendance and nursing of the sick; and what arrangements have been made for the education of the children confined in the camps.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
It is not possible within the limits of a reply to a question to give all the detailed information required, and, further, such information as has reached me at present is confined to the Transvaal. These camps and numbers of refugees, so far as we are aware, are as follows:—Barberton, 703; Heidelberg, 1,307; Irene, 1,497; Johannesburg, 5,487; Klerksdorp, 456; Middelburg, 977; Potchefstroom, 5,373; Standerton, 1,342; Vereeniging, 661; Volksrust, 2,068; Mafeking, 800–20,671. There are also 434 self-supporting refugees. The nature of the shelter varies according to the locality, solid buildings being used where possible. All refugees were placed 896 on the same scale of rations on 27th February. Every provision has been made for medical attendance, and the education of the children is being conducted in sheds or marquees according to the accommodation. Sir Alfred Milner is giving his personal attention to improving the conditions of life in these camps. Records of births and deaths are preserved, and I have telegraphed for figures.
§ MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomeryshire)
Are not the children Dutch-speaking children, and is the education given in English?
§ [No answer was returned.]
§ MR. BRODRICK
I asked Lord Kitchener for a general Report on the whole of the camps, and he has sent me what he could get before the last mail. I hope to get more.
§ MR. HAVILAND BURKE (King's County, Tullamore)
Is the wholesale deportation of non-combatants in a State admittedly, prior to the war, a free, sovereign and independent State—
§ * MR. SPEAKER
If the hon. Member persists in standing up after I have risen to call him to order, I shall have to call serious attention to his conduct.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
If the hon. Member tells me that he was not aware that there was any such rule I shall accept his statement.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he can state the number of Boer women and children detained in camps by the British authorities, and what the death rate has been amongst them since they were brought into camps from their homes.