HL Deb 06 May 1881 vol 260 c1928

, seeing the Colonial Secretary in his place, wished to say a word with regard to the Transvaal, although he could hardly expect a reply. Whether or not, he could not refrain from making a suggestion to the noble Lord. After the defenders of Potchefstroom had surrendered, the Boers stated that they would return the arms taken, and allow the garrison to be replaced; but, although half a regiment had been detached for the purpose, it had not yet reached the citadel, the arms had not yet been restored, and there was an avowed determination—so far as popular rumour could justify the assertion—on the part of the Boers to prevent that restoration. He was aware of the unwillingness of Her Majesty's Government to interfere with the discretion of the Colonial officials; but he thought this was an occasion when the Government would do well to take steps to support the garrison by a strong column of troops.


My Lords, I must point out to my noble Friend that it is rather inconvenient to introduce a matter of considerable interest without regular Notice. I do not, at the present moment, feel disposed to enter into the subject further than to say that we have every confidence in Sir Evelyn Wood, who will take whatever military precautions may be necessary and adapted to the occasion.