HL Deb 13 March 1865 vol 177 cc1531-2

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


in moving the second reading of this Bill, the object of which was to annex the Territories of British Kaffraria to the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, said, the circumstances which had rendered the measure necessary were fully detailed in the papers which had been presented to Parliament on the subject. Up to the year 1847, the North-Eastern boundary of Cape Colony was at the Great Fish River. In that year, in consequence of the disturbances occasioned by the Kaffirs, Sir Harry Smith thought it expedient for the safety of the colony to annex the district lying between the Great Fish River and the Keiskamma; and in 1848 a further district up to the Rivers Kei and Bashee was annexed. In 1860 the whole district between the Keiskamma and the Kei was erected into a separate Crown colony under the name of British Kaffraria; the country between the Kei and the Bashee, remaining an unoccupied country under British dominion. It was a colony of a very peculiar character having no Legislature whatever, but the Governor combined in his own person all legislative and all Executive functions. It was, in fact, simply a military dependency, having no value except as a frontier. Last year, however, there were anticipations of further disturbances with the Kaffirs. Happily, this alarm proved unfounded; but it had forced on the Government the propriety of considering what was the value to this country of this territory. It appeared to the Government that the Territory between the Kei and the Baahee was of no value whatever; that it constituted a source of danger rather than a source of security, and the Government had come to the resolution that it should be abandoned. There remained, therefore, only the very small Territory of British Kaffraria—too small to constitute itself a British colony, too small to provide for its own Government. Under these circumstances the natural course was to annex it to the Cape of Good Hope, and place it under the same Government. The Bill provided that in the event of the Legislature of the Cape of Good Hope themselves determining to take the course of annexing this military district them- selves, the Act would become inoperative beyond the first clause; but if they should hesitate to adopt that course the Governor would be enabled, by his own authority, to annex the district to the Cape.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2ª."—(The Lord Privy Seal.)


said, that in his opinion the measure was likely to be in some respects very useful; but he would remind the House that however far we might extend our frontier in the colony we should still have to defend it. He hoped, he might add, that the Secretary for the Colonies would carry out the principle of making them pay for themselves.


approved of the proposed annexation, but thought that it should, as far as possible, take place with the consent of the colony. He fully concurred in the view expressed by his noble Friend (Lord Lyveden) that it was desirable our colonies should contribute to their own defence.


in reply, said, that the compulsory provision was the essence of the Bill for the Governor had written home that he could not be sure of carrying it through the Legislature under the influences which might be brought to bear against it. The Territory was a piece of waste neutral ground between the colony and Kaffraria; and the Imperial Government had no interest beyond the defence of the colonists. The Bill, it was true, did not give any alternative as to the annexation; but it did give to Cape Colony an alternative as to the details of the measure, and they might regulate the conditions under which they would admit the inhabitants of the Territory to the privileges of their own constitution. The Imperial Government would no longer be responsible for maintaining the exclusive possession of this military frontier; but, at the same time, he quite agreed they could not leave the colonists to their own resources.

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2ª and committed.