§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether certain officers commanding British troops in Natal have instigated or encouraged the Zulu Kaffirs to form bands for the purpose of raiding the Vryheid district of the Transvaal and driving off the cattle there from; whether this has been done with the permission or cognisance of the highest military authorities in Natal; whether armed Zulu bands have in fact raided the Vryheid district, plundering non-combatants and driving off thousands of head of cattle, a percentage of which they have been allowed to retain for themselves: whether the Prime Minister of Natal has repeatedly protested to the military authorities, both directly and through the Administrator, against the action of the officers who have pursued the policy above referred to, and has pointed out the extreme danger of exciting the predatory instincts of the Zulus, and of increasing the bitterness of feeling among sections of the white population; whether, if such proceedings as those above referred to are now going on, orders will forthwith be issued to stop them; and whether he will obtain, and present to Parliament the correspondence which has passed on this subject between the Natal Ministry, the Administrator of Natal, and the military authorities in Natal 1446 and also between Mr. Brunner, member of the Legislative Assembly of Natal for the Zululand Province, and the Prime Minister of the Colony of Natal.
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. BRODRICK, Surrey, Guildford)
I have received the following telegram from Lord Kitchener, dated 11th May—Hearing that the Governor of Natal was anxious about native question, when General French's forces were approaching the Zulu frontier, I sent the following telegram, addressed to Governor of Natal and repeated to-General French and General Officer Commanding Natal. Begins:—'I think that though armed Zulus should protect their frontier and force any Boers entering Zululand to surrender to the nearest magistrate; this should be carried out under the direction of the Resident magistrate, and the chiefs should not be given encouragement to take the matter into their own hands. Unarmed natives may be employed under the direct control of Colonel Bottomley or of his officers outside Zululand to collect and; bring in cattle. I should be glad to know if these views have the concurrence of your Ministers. I have repeated this to Generals French and Hildyard, and have no doubt that they will take any necessary action to prevent possible divergence.'—Ends. These orders have not been at any time changed, and though reports have been received of native raids over frontier as well as of Boer raids into Zululand, the former have in no case had military support or authorisation. These reports have mostly emanated from Boer sources, and have not been substantiated, and most probably were much exaggerated.The correspondence for which the right hon. Gentleman asks has not been, received by the Colonial Office. The question of publication will be considered when it is received.
§ *MR. BRODRICK
As regards the second paragraph, I said the Zulu chiefs had not been allowed to take the matter into their own hands. They are only allowed to protect their own frontier and collect cattle under the direction of British officers.