HC Deb 11 February 1914 vol 58 cc159-60

I desire to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies a question of which I have given him private notice, namely, whether there is any truth in the statement that Lord Gladstone has resigned?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Harcourt)

It is true that Lord Gladstone will cease to be Governor-General of South Africa after the conclusion of the present Session of the South African Parliament, about June next. Lord Gladstone's desire to be relieved of his post is due entirely to domestic reasons. He communicated his wish to me early in last year, but consented, on the urgent pressure of His Majesty's Government, to postpone his resignation till May or June next. An official announcement would have been made in the Press last week, but I postponed it in order that I might make it clear in the House of Commons that Lord Gladstone's approaching retirement has no relation whatever to recent events in South Africa, and to state that Lord Gladstone has to-day, as he has had throughout, the full and complete confidence of His Majesty's Government, who deeply regret, on every ground, the necessity for his retirement. I might have postponed the announcement to a later date,, but I felt it was hardly fair to Lord Gladstone, as later publication might lead to the impression that it was the result of criticism within or outside Parliament. The official announcement will accordingly be made to-morrow.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether his successor has yet been appointed?


I think the name of the Governor-General designate of South Africa will be announced within a day or two.