HC Deb 22 February 1904 vol 130 cc556-7

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the telegram sent to him by Lord Milner, in regard to an offer from a Boer to contest with General Botha the Chinese issue in the Transvaal in any district, was paid for out of either the money of the taxpayer in this country or of the taxpayer in the Transvaal, and if so, which; whether, if paid for out of public moneys, General Botha and the other Boer leaders who are opposed to the introduction of Chinese labour will be afforded the same financial facilities to transmit to him their views on questions before Parliament; and whether he has replied to the protest of the Boer leaders, and, if so, will he lay that reply upon the Table of the House.


The letter from Mr. Van Rensburg referred to was, as I understand, telegraphed at the expense of the Transvaal Government just as was the letter from the Boer leaders published with my reply in Cd. 1899. It must be left to Lord Milner to judge what documents are of sufficient importance to justify him in transmitting them to the Secretary of State for his information.


I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has noticed that the last Paper circulated from the Transvaal contained ten pages of extracts from nine South African newspapers; whether any of this newspaper matter was telegraphed, and, if so, what was the cost of doing so; and whether he will consider the desirability of directing that Colonial Governors should not swell their despatches by the inclusion of such extracts from the Press.


The newspaper matter in question was not telegraphed. I am not prepared to give any such general direction as is suggested.