HL Deb 12 March 1880 vol 251 cc899-902

said, that, owing to an accident a Question which he had placed on the Notice Paper of the previous day, and which he had then postponed, did not appear on the Paper of to-day. He, however, asked the permission of the House to now put it, as he believed his noble Friend the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies had expected it to appear on the Paper, and was prepared to answer it. Their Lordships were aware that one of the main conditions of the settlement of Zululand was that the Chiefs should deliver up the arms, not only of the Native troops, but those also which had been taken out from our troops. He was not able to find by any Reports in the Blue Books that this condition had been observed. He desired to know whether those arms had been, or were in process, of being delivered up? Nothing so much impressed upon the Native African mind the fact of being beaten as the having to deliver up arms. He understood that none of the Martini-Henry rifles, but only old muskets had been given up. The Colony of Natal had a great future before it, if it was left in peace; but it was impossible to regard the state of the Colony as secure so long as the Zulus were left in possession of arms which they had proved themselves so thoroughly capable of using. Furthermore, he wished to point out that the British authorities at the Cape had not received anything like the number of King's cattle said by Sir Garnet Wolseley to be in possession of Cetewayo during the war and confiscated to us by the terms of the settlement. He had mentioned the name of Mr. John Dunn more particularly because it was understood that that person had considerable influence over the Natives, and that his word was accepted amongst them as law. The Government must look to him to keep to the terms of the Treaty he had entered into, and to use his influence with the Chiefs to do the same. He did not wish to say anything against Mr. John Dunn, who was an able man; but he put the question to their Lordships, whether it was a good thing for Zululand that a person possessing the peculiar views of Mr. Dunn should have been put in the country to represent the White man and Her Majesty's Government? Wherever the influence of the White man was felt it should be accompanied by at least the outward sign of Christianity. It unfortunately happened, however, that Mr. Dunn had matrimonial tendencies which did not find acceptance in this country either in quality or in quantity. It was said that he held with plurality of wives. Mr. Dunn also spoke disrespectfully of the Book on which the religion of Christianity was founded, and he had impeded the introduction of missionaries into Zululand. As for Natal, all that was required for the development of the great natural resources of that Colony was European honesty and European civilization. The noble Viscount concluded by asking the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether any report has been been received from the British Resident in Zulu-land stating the number of guns, Martini-Henry rifles, and other war like stores, as well as of the late King's cattle, that have been delivered up in conformity with the conditions of peace; and whether the new Chiefs of Zululand, including Mr. John Dunn, are and will be held responsible for the fulfilment of those conditions?


drew attention to the fact that the noble Viscount's Question not being on the Paper for that evening, it was not in accordance with the Rules of their Lordships' House that the noble Viscount should have put that Question, and in doing so made some interesting observations on an important subject, the introduction of which in that way was likely to lead to a debate.


, in reply, said, that the irregularity to which the noble (Earl Granville) had called attention had originated with him. On the previous evening his noble Friend (Viscount Sidmouth) asked him to inform the Clerk at the Table that he would put his Question that day. He forgot to do so in time to have the Question entered on the Paper. His noble Friend said he had seen no Reports of any surrender of arms in Zululand; but if he would turn to page 258 of the Blue Book he would find this passage in a despatch from Sir Garnet Wolseley— Firearms have been surrendered by the people to the number of about 5,000—as large a proportion as I expected with any certainty to obtain. The total number owned before the war by the people is estimated by those best informed in the matter at 8,000. Even if we allow, for an under-estimate in this number, we have, I think, when counting the arms that have been lost or destroyed in action and destroyed by our patrols, received fully half the number in the country. That account was sent on the 30th of September, and received here on the 9th of October. In a despatch received on the 25th of October it was stated that several small quantities of arms had been sent in. The condition to which his noble Friend had referred was in these terms— I will not import or allow to be imported into my territory, by any person upon any pretence or for any object whatsoever, any arms or ammunition from any part whatsoever, or any goods or merchandise by the sea coast of Zulu-land, without the express sanction of the Resident of the division in which my territory is situated; and I will not encourage, or promote, or take part in, or countenance in any way whatsoever, the importation into any part of Zululand of arms or ammunition from any part whatsoever, or of goods or merchandise by the sea coast of Zululand, without such sanction; and I will confiscate and hand over to the Natal Government all arms and ammunition and goods and merchandise so imported into my territory; and I will punish by fine or other sufficient punishment any person guilty of or concerned in such unsanctioned importation, and any person found possessing arms, or ammunition, or goods, or merchandise knowingly obtained thereby. That condition was signed by all the Chiefs, including John Dunn. The instructions to the British Resident in reference to those matters were— In dealing with the Chiefs, you will impress upon them that all the King's cattle now belong to the British Government, and must be handed over to you. Any of these cattle received by you should be sent to the senior Commissariat officer at Maritzburg. All the guns in the hands of the people also belong to the British Government. The Chiefs have promised to surrender these guns, and they must surrender them quickly, if they wish to stand well with the British Government. There was no Report since the 25th of October from the authorities—from the Lieutenant Governor, or the High Commissioner—but Her Majesty's Government presumed that the operation of restoring the arms was being carried out. The Colonial Office had written to Sir Garnet Wolseley for a Report of all the arms delivered up to the latest period. There was no Report as to the delivering up of cattle.