HL Deb 31 July 1888 vol 329 cc935-6

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the Government are in possession of any information showing that the Chief Usibebu has been in any way to blame for the outbreak in Zululand; and, if not, whether the Government will take steps to protect him and the loyal Zulus from further attacks by the Usutus? He further wished to know what would be done in Zululand after the disloyal Chiefs had been conquered?


I can hardly at this time enter upon the general question which has been raised by the concluding observations of the noble Earl, and with reference to what should be done in Zululand when Dinuzulu and Undabuko have been conquered. I think it would be unwise for me, even if I were able, to offer a decided opinion. So far, however, as I can judge, there is no reason to doubt that the general principle upon which the Government have acted is sound—namely, that within tribal limits as much as possible the authority should be left to the Chiefs of tribes, but that all intertribal disputes or quarrels or difficulties should be referred to, and settled by, Her Majesty's Representative. As to what arrangements should be made subsequently, whether it would be better to remove Dinuzulu and Undabuko from Zululand, or to leave them there with shorn powers, I cannot give any opinion at present. I may, however, inform the noble Lord that I hope very soon soon to present Papers to Parliament which will practically answer the first part of his Question, and will show, I think, that the Chief Usibebu had not been to blame for the last outbreak in Zululand, unless it were that his return had increased the distrust and suspicion of Dinuzulu and Undabuko. The truth was that Dinuzulu had from the time Sovereignty was declared over Zululand, in May, 1887, shown a sullen resistance to British authority which had lately broken out into active hostility, whereas Usibebu was not restored until November, 1887. In August, 1887, Dinuzulu had made complaints that the promise that he should succeed his father Cetewayo was broken—a promise which I need hardly say was never made—and that we had handed over part of Zululand to the Boers—the fact being that we had saved a large part of Zululand to the Zulus over which they had given power to the Boers when they called the Boers in to aid them against Usibebu. We declared Sovereignty in the interest of the Zulus, and we shall maintain it in their interest. In January, 1888, Dinuzulu complained that Usibebu and his followers had taken grain from Usutu kraals in his location. In Usibebu's absence some Usutus had established themselves in that location, and this, on Usibebu's return, gave rise to some difficulties. But in March, 1888, Dinuzulu's messenger had an interview with Sir Arthur Havelock, and they were fully assured that compensation should be paid for all grain which could be shown to have been taken by Usibebu; that the value of the growing crops, which they could not be allowed to go in and reap, should be assessed and paid to them, and that the boundary should be revised. These promises have been fulfilled, so far as it lay in the power of the Government to do so; but, in May, Dinuzulu declined the compensation. In that month, also, he made raids on friendly Usutu Chiefs, Umnyamana and Siwetu, and it was not until June 23, after effective resistance had been made by him to our police and troops, that he attacked Usibebu in his location. This statement confirms, I think, the view that Usibebu is not to blame for the outbreak. With reference to the second part of the Question, the noble Earl will see that the steps the Government are taking to put down the two rebellious Chiefs mentioned, and to secure that peace and order which are absolutely necessary for the interests and welfare of the Zulus, are, undoubtedly, steps in the direction of protecting Usibebu and the loyal Chiefs from further attacks by the hostile Usutu Chiefs. House adjourned at Nine o'clock, till Thursday next, a quarter past Ten o'clock,