I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the three men shot at De Aar on the 19th instant by sentence of a military court, confirmed by Lord Kitchener, for alleged treason and murder in connection with the wrecking of a train near Taaibosch, and the two men who were sentenced by the same military court to five years penal servitude for the same alleged offence, were thus punished in connection with the wrecking of a coal train near Taaibosch on Monday, 18th February, which train was also carrying Kaffirs, horses, and men of the 29th Imperial Yeomanry Company; whether any one or more of these men were among the eight Boer prisoners of war reported to have been taken by the rescuing force on that occasion; whether any one or more of them were local Dutch farmers who had failed to give warning of the contemplated train-wrecking to the British military authorities; whether any evidence was produced to show that they could have otherwise prevented the train-wrecking; and whether the proceedings of the military court are on record, and can be produced for the information of this House.
I have no further information beyond what I gave the I hon. Member last Friday†
† See page 847.
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he can possibly give me a straight answer to a straight question?
Order, order! That is a very improper observation to make.
And a very unreasonable thing to expect.