§ SIR BRAMPTON GURDON (Norfolk, N.)
To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any official information to the effect that, on the 10th instant, after his military operations against Gobizembi's tribe in Natal, Colonel Leuchars levied a fine of 1,200 cattle and 3,500 sheep and goats, and deprived the tribe of part of its location as a punishment for resistance to the poll tax; whether this and similar action in other districts of Natal has been authorised by His Majesty's Government; whether the disturbed portions of Natal are in a state of war, warranting Colonel Leuchars' alleged warning to the tribesmen that, although the voice of the supreme chief had spoken through the guns, they had not felt his bite; and, if so, over what part of Natal this state of war prevails; and whether His Majesty's Government is satisfied that, in the arrangements now in progress for enforcing payment of the poll tax, there is no danger of provoking further disturbances.
(Answered by Mr. Churchill.) 1. The Secretary of State has no official information to this effect. 2. The action has not been authorised by His Majesty's Government. 3 and 4. Owing to the native disturbances the Natal Ministers advised the Governor to place the whole of the Colony under martial law. 5. His Majesty's Government do not feel that they can with advantage interfere with the responsible Government of Natal in dealing with the situation.