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Volume 181: debated on Monday 19 August 1907

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I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the circumstances under which the Hottentot chief Morenga is in the neighbourhood of the German border.

From what took place at an interview with the German Consul-General early in June it appeared possible that Morenga would agree to surrender himself on the terms offered to him. He was warned later that he was not to proceed to German South-west Africa without notice to the German authorities through the Cape Government, and orders were given at the same time, the middle of June, that a watch should be kept on his movements. Morenga succeeded in crossing the frontier on 13th August, with the police in pursuit. The Secretary of State is waiting full information as to the circumstances in which Morenga was able to make good his passage.

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any assurances have been given by His Majesty's Government to the German Government with reference to the Herrero leader, Morenga; and, if so, what is the nature of such assurances.

(Mr. RUNCIMAN, Dewsbury; for Sir EDWARD GREY)

The German Government were informed on the 9th instant of the communication made by the Government of the Cape of Good Hope to Morenga through the resident magistrate at Upington to the following effect: that the uncertainty of his movements and his presence near the German border were a cause of anxiety and disturbance, that he must immediately select a locality away from the German frontier and approved of by the local authorities at which he was to take up his permanent residence, and that failing compliance he would be deported from the Colony. Unfortunately, since these assurances were given a telegram has been received from the Cape Government reporting that Morenga has eluded the vigilance of the local authorities, and crossed the German frontier on the 13th instant. Immediately on the receipt of the news, the Cape Government telegraphed to the local authorities that asylum could no longer be given to Morenga within British territory. And they have informed the German authorities that every possible assistance will be rendered to them in their endeavours to capture Morenga. A subsequent telegram states that the circumstances connected with the inroad are forming the subject of careful investigation. His Majesty's Government very much regret the trouble and disturbance of the peace which has been caused by the occurrence, and trust that everything in the power of the British authorities will be done to stop the consequences of it.