HL Deb 07 May 1885 vol 297 cc1813-4

said, that he wished to ask the noble Earl the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the information respecting the two engagements which were reported in the papers was accurate; and, whether the noble Earl was in a position to give the House any further information as to what had taken place in Canada between the insurgents and the Colonial troops?


My Lords, I shall be happy to lay before your Lordships the information which I have received. One telegram is from the Marquess of Lansdowne, the Governor General, in these words, received at the Colonial Office, 2.25 A.M. May 7:— Colonel Otter has fought successful engagement with Indians west of Battleford. Middleton resumes advance against Riel tomorrow. Another telegram, which has been addressed by Sir John Macdonald to Sir Charles Tupper, has been communicated to me, and it gives rather fuller details— Ottawa, May 7, 1885.—Otter's command attacked Poundmaker on Sunday, and demolished his camp. Our losses eight killed, 15 wounded. Indian loss, fully 100 killed and wounded.


said, he would like to know what all that was going on was about; and whether the Indians, who were contending for something, deserved relief or not? He thought that many persons were totally ignorant of the cause of the rebellion.


The Government of Canada is responsible for the internal administration of its own affairs, and the question of the relations between the Government of Canada and the Indian tribes is not one which has come, or can come, before the Colonial Office, except, of course, in the exceedingly improbable event of the Canadian Government not being able to deal with the insurrection by means of its own resources. The question, therefore, is not one on which I can give any authoritative information; but, if I may give such information as I have received, I believe that the Canadian Government themselves are very much in the same perplexity as the noble Earl at the Table as to what the real causes of this movement are.

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