HC Deb 14 June 1906 vol 158 cc1134-5
MR. MYER (Lambeth, N.)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if he can state how many outrages, causing death or personal injury to Europeans, had been committed by the natives in Natal during the twelve months preceding the attempt on the part of the Natal authorities to enforce payment of the poll tax; and whether this Government, in view of the loss of life, both native and white, occasioned by the pursuit of the natives, will take any steps to put an end to the conflict.


There is no information in the Colonial Office as to outrages by natives on Europeans in Natal during the period referred to. It is not true that the poll tax has been the only, or indeed the principal, cause of the present native doubles. The tax is levied on about 115,000 persons, of whom about 30,000 are Europeans, 25,000 Indians and 60,000 natives of Natal, mostly young unmarried men working in the European settlements and not assessable to the hut tax. The collection appears to be proceeding smoothly in all parts of the country outside the limited districts affected by the Bambata rebellion, and all except about £15,000 has already been received at the Treasury. His Majesty's Government would welcome the termination of native disturbances in Natal. But it is obvious that the only possible end to the conflict must be found in the restoration of peace and order, for which the Colonial Government are responsible.