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South Africa—The Zulu War—Sir Bartle Frere

Volume 244: debated on Tuesday 25 March 1879

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rose to move the Resolution of which he had given Notice—

"That this House, while willing to support Her Majesty's Government in all necessary measures for defending the possessions of Her Majesty in South Africa, regrets that the ultimatum which was calculated to produce immediate war should have been presented to the Zulu King without authority from the responsible advisers of the Crown, and that an offensive war should have been commenced without imperative and pressing necessity or adequate preparation; and the House regrets that after the censure passed upon the High Commissioner by Her Majesty's Government in the despatch of the 19th of March 1879, the conduct of affairs in South Africa should be retained in his hands."
The noble Marquess said: My Lords, when I placed my Resolution upon the Notice Paper in its original form, I did so with two objects. In the first place, it seemed to me that the circumstances under which we had become involved in a war with the Zulu nation were such as to make it desirable that Parliament should have an opportunity of expressing its opinion with regard to them; and, in the second place, I desired further to elicit from Her Majesty's Government, whose utterances up to that time on the subject had, perhaps, not been very distinct, some clear and unambiguous opinion with regard to those circumstances. Since I gave that Notice, however, Papers have been laid before Parliament, in which the conclusions of Her Majesty's Government with reference to those circumstances are clearly set forth. When I became aware of the nature of those conclusions—when I learned that Her Majesty's Government had publicly censured Sir Bartle Frere for the policy he had pursued, in a manner which, disguise it as you may, will be regarded in this country and in the Colonies as a withdrawal of Her Majesty's Government's confidence from the High Commissioner—I felt that I had no alternative but to alter the terms of my Motion, and to invite your Lordships, not only to concur in the censure which Her Majesty's Government have passed upon the High Commissioner, but also to affirm that your Lordships regretted that, after the censure passed upon that officer, the conduct of affairs in South Africa should be left in his hands. I was surprised when I learned that my Motion, as it originally stood, was to be met by an Amendment from the noble Viscount opposite (Viscount Cranbrook) which, if it meant anything, meant that, while all others were to be at liberty to record their judgment on the affairs of South Africa, the House of Lords alone was not to express its opinion upon them. I was not less surprised when I learned that my Motion, as amended, was to be met in another way—an Amendment the signification of which appears to me to be that Her Majesty's Government on the 25th of March entirely disagreed from the opinions which they had expressed on this subject on the 19th of the same month. My Lords, there is one part of my Resolution to which I hope that the negative of the noble Viscount will not apply. No arguments are necessary in order to induce your Lordships to agree with me in affirming that we are willing to support Her Majesty's Government in all necessary measures for defending the possessions of Her Majesty in South Africa. Fortunately, our apprehensions for the safety of Her Majesty's subjects in that part of the Dominions are not so grave as they were a few weeks ago. The heroic resistance offered by our sol- diers, even when overwhelmed by numbers, and the gallantry displayed by a small body of our men at Rorke's Drift, are so conspicuous, that it now seems improbable that the enemy, whatever might have been their intention formerly, will attempt to cross the British Frontier. Nevertheless, it is impossible not to feel that the condition of affairs in South Africa is a most serious one; and till that condition has been altered, till the disaster which has befallen us has been repaired, till public confidence has been restored amongst our Colonists, it will be necessary for Her Majesty's Government to relax no efforts in order to place their safety beyond dispute. In making those efforts Her Majesty's Government will receive the cordial support of all parties. I will pass at once from this subject, with regard to which there is no controversy, to the other matters involved in my Resolution. My Lords, so much has appeared in the numerous Blue Books which your Lordships have had an opportunity of reading with regard to the early history of our relations with the Zulus, that I do not propose to detain the House long with reference to that subject. Your Lordships are aware that at the beginning of the present century the Zulus are described as having been "a petty tribe of small account among their little neighbours;" their power was consolidated by two bloodthirsty Chiefs whose names were still bye-words in the South African Colonies. The second of those Chieftains was succeeded by a milder-mannered Monarch named Panda, who was upon the throne when, in 1840, the English took over the Colony of Natal. Some years before the death of Panda, Cetewayo, the present Ruler of Zululand, had virtually become supreme; and upon Panda's death, in 1873, he appealed to the English to recognize him as Panda's successor, and expressed a wish that a representative of the English Government should attend the ceremonies which were about to take place. At that time, certain so-called promises were exacted from Cetewayo with regard to his future conduct as King of the Zulus. I briefly recapitulate these facts, because I wish to dwell particularly upon two points touching our relations at that time with the Zulu people. The Zulus were always a military nation. Within a few years of their first consolidation as a nation, they were described as being a compact military machine; and I believe I am right in saying that, from those days down to the present time, the genius and the traditions of the people have been essentially military. That is one point which I particularly desire that your Lordships should bear in mind. The next point that I wish to impress upon your Lordships is that throughout the tendency of the Zulu people has been to loan rather towards than away from their English neighbours. The principle of that allegiance was never very clearly defined. It did not rest upon the assertion of superior might on the one hand, nor upon the acknowledgment of it upon the other—but it rested upon a vague feeling on the part of the Zulus that they had nothing to fear from us as long as they treated us with consideration, and that they had a good deal to fear from us if they failed to do so. Such was the position of affairs in Zululand until a very short time ago; and as lately as 1876 the Zulu King was described by Sir Henry Bulwer as inclined to draw more closely still, if possible, the ties which bound him to the English people. But immediately after that date, a complete change appears to have taken place in the demeamour of the Zulu Sovereign towards us. His attitude became defiant, his military preparations increased, a general feeling of insecurity spread throughout those parts of the Colony which border upon his dominions; and it was confidently predicted that the moment was at hand when a general rising of the Black population of South Africa might be expected. What was the explanation of this change in the attitude of the Zulus? I have heard only one suggestion in explanation of it, and that is that this change is to be attributed to the annexation by this country of the territory known as the Transvaal Republic. I do not desire, at the present moment, to discuss the policy of that annexation; but I wish to point out to the House what the results of that annexation have been. In the first place, it has altered the estimation in which the English nation had hitherto been held by the Zulus. We had till that time been regarded by them as disinterested neighbours without ideas of our own aggrandizement; the annexation of the Transvaal placed us at once upon the level of those Dutch Colonists whose encroachments had rendered them the objects of the bitter hatred of their Zulu neighbours. Another result of the annexation was that we found ourselves obliged to move a considerable body of troops up to the very confines of the Zulu territory. It is not very unnatural that a suspicious Sovereign like the Zulu King may have regarded with alarm the fact that his powerful neighbours were gradually encircling him; that their troops were stationed close to his Frontiers; and that they were placing themselves, in regard to a dispute to which I shall presently refer, in the shoes of his hereditary enemies, the Dutch Boers. But besides the general charges made against Cetewayo, there were other occurrences for which he was held responsible, and which disquieted the mind of the High Commissioner and his colleagues. In the first place, his conduct towards the Christian converts within his kingdom was such as to attract attention. The number of Christian victims who incurred the displeasure of Cetewayo is, I believe, very much exaggerated; and, as far as I am aware, the cruelty of the Monarch extended, not only to Christian converts, but to all classes and ranks of his subjects. Still, no doubt, the missionaries found that their work did not progress in his dominions; many of them left the Zulu Kingdom in disgust, and from apprehension for their personal safety. Cetewayo made no secret of his belief that a "Christian Zulu" was another expression for a "spoiled Zulu." Again, in the autumn of 1878, it happened that two of the wives of a Chief having fled from their lord, and having crossed the British Frontier, they were pursued by the sons of Sirayo and re-captured, and eventually, I believe, met with a fate which, under such circumstances, is not unusual in a country in which there are no Courts of Law. Then another so-called outrage was committed upon the persons of two civil engineers named Smith and Leighton. These officers were surprised by a party of Zulus, and, so far as I can learn, were deprived not of life and limb, but of their pipes and pocket-handkerchiefs, and then allowed to return in safety. I touch briefly upon these so-called Zulu outrages, because all I would insist upon in regard to them is this—that two views, a very indulgent view on the one hand, and a very exaggerated and severe view on the other, were taken of them, and that the High Commissioner leant throughout in the latter direction. Such being the relations of the English and the Zulus, I would ask your Lordships, what was the obvious policy for our representatives in South Africa to pursue? Was it their policy to defer a collision or to precipitate it? I submit that their policy should have been to defer a collision as long as possible. And I will tell you why I think so. The moment appears to me to have been a very unpropitious one for us to attempt a struggle with the Zulu nation. In the first place, affairs within our own boundaries were not in an altogether satisfactory condition. Then an attempt had been made to establish a Confederation of the South African Colonies. That attempt had broken down. An attempt had been made to form a Colonial Force, which had been only partially successful. Besides, we had two little wars in the South African Colonies which must have produced a very unsettled effect on the White population; and finally, by the annexation of the Transvaal, we had very much enlarged the area over which we were open to attack without any corresponding addition to our defensive strength. On the other hand, the moment was one that must have suited the Zulus exactly. They had a highly-organized and drilled army. Their only weak point was that the stern military despotism of Cetewayo had produced a great tension, and that there was within the State a considerable section of the subjects of the King who would gladly have seized a favourable opportunity for liberating themselves from his severe rule. Under these circumstances, an English invasion was a godsend to the military party in Zululand. It was sure to produce the one result Cetewayo desired by rallying all parties around the King. This was precisely what occurred. There was another reason why the moment was an unpropitious one for us. When we took over the Transvaal there was an old standing quarrel between the Zulus and the Dutch residents in the Transvaal territory. There was a tract of country south of the Pongolo River to which a claim had been laid by both the Dutch and the Zulus, and an arbitration had been invited by Cetewayo. When we became masters of the Transvaal Cetewayo did not decline an arbitration. The award of the Commissioners was placed in the hands of the High Commissioner in June, 1878. This was an opportunity of convincing the Zulus of our desire to live on friendly and equitable terms with them. The award having been communicated to them, we could have waited to see whether it produced the desired effects, and meantime have taken any steps which might have seemed necessary to increase our strength for defensive purposes. What was the course pursued by the High Commissioner? In the first place—although he received the award in the month of June, lie kept it for six months in his pigeon-hole; and, in the second place, when he did communicate it, it had assumed a shape in which I doubt whether its authors would have recognized their offspring. It was no longer a message of peace, but a declaration of war. I will ask leave to call your Lordships' attention to the terms embodied in the award. In the first place, the rights of the Dutch settlers in the disputed territory were reserved to the exclusion of the rights of the Zulu Sovereign. That territory appears to have been singularly favoured by nature, and to have been particularly valuable for grazing purposes. The first condition attached to the award had the effect of explaining to the Zulus that, although in theory the territory was to be given back to them, nevertheless somebody else was to have the enjoyment of the land. The second condition was that the King was to fulfil to the letter the promises he was supposed to have made on the occasion of his installation. With regard to those promises, I should like to quote the opinion of an important witness—the Colonial Secretary—who said that it would appear that the power of imposing obligations on the Zulus relating to their internal government, which Sir Theophilus Shepstone seemed to have claimed on Cetewayo's coronation, was rather a concession to his personal influence than a recognition by the Zulus of the authority of the Government of Natal. It seems clear that these informal promises were not considered by the Government at the time as promises on the exact performance of which they were entitled to insist. The third condition was that the authors of those so-called outrages to which I have referred should be surrendered. With regard to this, I will only say that Sir Henry Bulwer's opinion is that a national reparation would have been preferable to a personal one, and more easily obtained than that on which the High Commissioner insisted. The fourth condition was that the Zulu King should disband his Army. My Lords, was not such a condition as this likely to shipwreck the negotiations? The Zulu Army was the pride and plaything of this savage despot, and to ask him to disband his well-armed and well-drilled battalions was to demand a concession he could not have made. The next reservation was that he should recall the missionaries who had left his country. Now, on turning to the Papers, I find that the noble Earl opposite, who was lately Colonial Secretary (the Earl of Carnarvon), had distinctly explained to the Natal Government that it was not our desire to insist on the recall of the missionaries to the dominions of Cetewayo. I should like to read your Lordships a few words of the noble Earl's. He says—
"I request that you will cause the missionaries to understand distinctly that Her Majesty's Government cannot undertake to compel the King to continue to maintain the missionaries in Zululand, and it is desirable for them to understand that they cannot be supported there with armed forces."
These seem to be wise words, and I regret they were not acted on by the High Commissioner. The last condition insisted on was that there should be a Resident at the Court of Cetewayo, whose duties were to be to watch over the fulfilment of the coronation promises, to tell the King when he might call out the Army and when he might not, and to watch over the interests of the missionaries. My Lords, the noble Earl the Prime Minister has lately, in two or three of his diplomatic appointments, shown that he could be superior to Party ties. But I hope that when the noble Earl comes to fill the appointment of Resident at the Court of Cetewayo he will reserve the appointment for one of his own supporters. Such were the terms of Sir Bartle Frere's Ultimatum. Now, my Lords, I should like to ask your Lordships this question—Were they intended to be accepted or not? For my own part, I can come to no other conclusion than that these terms involved a declaration of war. It is true that the High Commissioner, writing some time afterwards, asks triumphantly "whether conciliation and compromise can go further than this." My Lords, where was the conciliation and where was the compromise? My Lords, the High Commissioner had been warned, first by Sir Theophilus Shepstone and then by Sir Henry Bulwer, that these terms would not be accepted; but he was deaf to their warning, and, accordingly, that came to pass which they and everyone else must have anticipated—the terms were shown to the Zulu Envoys (who, it is said, belonged to the Peace Party); but they shook their heads when they read the conditions, and departed without holding out any hope that the King would entertain them. I have given your Lordships already some reasons why, in my opinion, it was unwise for the High Commissioner to precipitate the collision. I will now give another reason. The terms imposed amounted to a declaration of war, and the war was an offensive one. I know it is not always easy to distinguish in cases of this kind between that which is offensive and that which is defensive. It may sometimes be necessary, when there is reason to expect that your enemy is going to strike you, to anticipate him and strike him first. But do not imagine that this was merely a case of occupying vantage ground in the enemy's country. That may have been the original idea present to Sir Bartle Frere's mind, for, writing in December, he says—
"It has been asked, why place the troops in such positions on the Zulu border? The object of doing so is to prevent the risk of the repetition by the Zulus of their old habit of making devastating attacks."
That is practically saying that the British troops had been moved over the Frontier for defensive purposes. But this idea was soon lost sight of. What, my Lords, was really the purpose with which the troops were moved? I will ask your Lordships to turn to the despatch of January 16, in which Lord Chelmsford explains that he had encountered difficulties owing to the state of the roads, and that it was impossible at that season to make any rapid advance into "the heart of Zululand." He said that "a modification of the plan of the campaign will be necessary;" but he considered his original idea of "driving the Zulus as far as possible to the North-Eastern part of their country" still sound, because the columns could "clear and subjugate" the country between the Buffalo and Tegula Rivers. There, my Lords, you have the real purpose of the expedition. It was not the purpose of taking up two or three strong positions on the other side of the British Frontiers for the purposes of defence that war was contemplated, but a war of invasion, having for its object the dispersion of the Zulus to their further border, and, according to Sir Bartle Frere's own words, used in his despatch of January 27, "defeating the armies and putting down the military strength of the Zulus." If these, my Lords, are "defensive" operations, what, I should like to know, are "offensive" ones? That being the case, the war being, as I have shown your Lordships, one of invasion and subjugation, the question arises how far the preparations of the High Commissioner were adequate? Now, in September, the High Commissioner wrote to the Colonial Office asking for reinforcements, on the ground that the "concessions" he was about to make should appear as the gift of a superior Power; and he explained that the whole force at the disposal of Lord Chelmsford was less than Sir Garnet Wolseley had considered necessary for the defence of the Colony against a Zulu outbreak even before our responsibility was extended by the transfer of the Transvaal. Those reinforcements, however, were refused by Her Majesty's Government; and, in spite of the refusal, Sir Bartle Frere—knowing that our Forces were less than Sir Garnet Wolseley considered necessary, even for merely defensive purposes, and before the Transvaal was transferred—sent the ultimatum to the Zulu King. He acknowledged receipt of the Colonial Secretary's despatch, refusing the reinforcements, on the 10th of December, and in acknowledging it he makes the terrible confession that he was about to embark this country in hostilities against the Zulu nation with means which, in his own judgment, were insufficient for the successful prosecution of the war. Here are his own words—
"The force we have now at or disposal is not as large as we thought necessary, though we have called up every available company in South Africa, and anticipated all the suggestions contained in the last paragraph of your Despatch now replied to.
"But in the absence of reinforcements we must do our best with such means as we have, and if devotion to Her Majesty's service can compensate for deficient numbers I have no fear for the result."
And yet, in the face of this admission, he writes in his last despatch that there was
"No reason whatever for supposing that the force at our disposal was too small for the task attempted."
My Lords, the High Commissioner's mind was made up from the first. He never hesitated; he was determined that there should be war, and sooner than recede from his purpose he did not shrink from hostilities even when he must have known the risk which they involved. Sir Bartle Frere's mind was made up: what was the mind of Her Majesty's Government? It would be impossible, within reasonable limits, to follow all the Correspondence that passed between the Colonial Office and the High Commissioner; but I will remind your Lordships that, in the spring and summer of last year, the Government received from the High Commissioner a series of most alarming despatches, to the effect that, in his opinion, a collision between the English and the Zulus could not be delayed; that things were going from bad to worse; and that it was absolutely necessary that something should be done. These despatches were received by Her Majesty's Government, and, as far as I am able to discover, they were acknowledged almost without comment. During all those months I cannot find a word suggesting that Her Majesty's Government had a policy of their own in this matter. The High Commissioner had a policy, and I am sorry to say that I think it was a wrong one—but the Government had none. In the autumn his despatches became more urgent still, and he made an appeal for reinforcements. My Lords, Her Majesty's Government refused that appeal. I can only arrive at one conclusion with regard to that refusal. The reason why Her Majesty's Government would not trust the High Commissioner with more troops was because they were beginning to be afraid of the use to which he was likely to put them. They were afraid to put a knife in his hand, for fear he might cut his fingers with it. But what were the terms of the refusal? They told the High Commissioner to approach the Zulus in the spirit of forbearance and compromise—that all the information they had received justified the hope that they would so be able to avert the serious evil of a war with Cetewayo, and that they could not but think that the forces that had been given would suffice to meet any emergency that might arise. What was the use of telling Sir Bartle Frere to exercise forbearance? He had told Her Majesty's Government over and over again that, as far as his opinion went, the time for forbearance had gone by. Her Majesty's Government should have trusted the High Commissioner, or have recalled him. On the 1st of November a still more urgent appeal arrived—so urgent, that this time Her Majesty's Government would not take the responsibility of refusing it. They sent reinforcements; but they sent them with another caution—namely, that the troops should not furnish the means for a campaign of invasion, but should be used for protection to the lives and property of the Colonists. The Government, it would seem, my Lords, had become suspicious; and their apprehensions were justified by the event. On the 19th November they learnt for the first time that the boundary line was to be communicated to the King in the shape of an Ultimatum; they learnt something of it, but they did not the whole, because, by an unfortunate accident, the inclosures did not accompany the despatches as they ought to have done; but they learnt that one of the conditions had reference to a British Resident being at Cetewayo's head-quarters and another the disbanding of the Zulu Army. Her Majesty's Government approved, on the whole, Sir Bartle Frere's action; and the Colonial Secretary wrote to him that, so far as they were able to judge, his action in the matter met the requirements of the case with which he was authorized to deal. The revelations were not, however complete till the 2nd of January, when Her Majesty's Government were in full possession of what had been done by the High Commissioner. At that time the Ultimatum had been nearly three weeks in the hands of the Zulu King, and only 10 days afterwards the English forces crossed the Tugela River. Even then the Secretary of State for the Colonies was not alarmed at what had been done, though he expressed his regret that the High Commissioner should have given an answer that precluded him from communicating with Her Majesty's Government. The Secretary of State for the Colonies, in his despatch, said that he did not desire to question the policy adopted. I do not know if Her Majesty's Government wish to adhere to that opinion. The Government appear to have been a long time making up their minds. The words I have referred to were written on the 23rd January, the facts having come to their knowledge on the 2nd. On the 23rd, after three weeks' time for consideration, they did not question the propriety of the High Commissioner's acts. It is not till eight weeks later that they are able to arrive at a determination. They say—
"The terms dictated to Cetewayo by the High Commissioner were such as he might not improbably reject, even at the risk of war."
"The result which they had anticipated has," they say, "occurred." The Zulu King has refused the terms offered to him, and the further prosecution of the demands has been placed in the hands of the military authorities. And then follows the final and deliberate judgment of the Government upon the conduct of the High Commissioner—
"The forces at your disposal were adequate to protect Natal from any serious Zulu inroad; and to provide for any other emergency that could have arisen, during the interval necessary for consulting Her Majesty's Government upon the terms that Cetewayo should be called upon to accept; and they have been unable to find in the documents you have placed before them that evidence of urgent necessity for immediate action which alone could justify you in taking, without their full knowledge and sanction, a course almost certain to result in a war, which, as I had previously impressed upon you, every effort should have been used to avoid.
"The communications which had passed between us as to the objects for which the reinforcements were requested and sent, and as to the nature of the questions in dispute with the Zulu King, were such as to render it especially needful that Her Majesty's Government should understand and approve any important step, not already suggested to them, before you were committed to it; and if that step was likely to increase the probability of war, an opportunity should certainly have been afforded to them of considering as well the time as the manner of coming to issue—should it be necessary to come to issue—with the Zulu King. And though the further correspondence necessary for this purpose might have involved the loss of a favourable season for the operations of the British troops, and might have afforded to Cetewayo the means of further arming and provisioning his forces, the circumstances rendered it imperative that, even at the risk of this disadvantage, full explanations should be exchanged."
Could any censure be more complete or more decisive? Far from not "questioning the propriety" of the High Commissioner's conduct, Her Majesty's Government now condemn it in every particular. Now, my Lords, I think I have so far substantiated the propositions contained in my Resolution. I have endeavoured to show that the Ultimatum was calculated to produce immediate war. I have shown that it was presented to the Zulu King without authority from the responsible Advisers of the Crown. I have shown that the war was an offensive war, and I have shown that it was commenced without necessity and without adequate preparation. It now remains for me to address myself briefly to the one other proposition which last night was added to the Resolution as it originally stood. I could have wished that in a discussion touching upon matters of principle so important any personal considerations might have been avoided. But the action of Her Majesty's Government has made that impossible. The office which the High Commissioner holds is one of great difficulty and great importance. He is the Representative of Imperial discipline and Constitutional authority in the South African Colonies. I have endeavoured to show to your Lordships that he has shown himself indifferent to discipline and superior to Constitutional authority. Her Majesty's Government have formally censured him; the reassuring expressions with which the censures conclude cannot take away from the effect of the censure in this country, as well as in the South African Colonies. Will it not be said of the High Commissioner that Her Majesty's Government trusted him but scantily before, and that they do not trust him at all now? It is not for me to speak of Sir Bartle Frere's high character, of his abilities, of his brilliant career. These are well-known. No one questions that, whatever errors he has committed, every step he has taken was taken because he believed it was the best in the circumstances. But what it is my duty to point out to your Lordships is that if such conduct as that of the High Commissioner is overlooked in this I country—if Parliament shows any indifference with regard to it—then the whole of our Colonial system will have to undergo alteration. It has been incidental to that system that English administration has been found in all parts of the world in contact with independent races—races whose ideas of civilization and morality differ widely from ours. Hitherto our endeavour has been to extend our influence, not by fire and sword, but by the example of free institutions, by just administration, by good government, by the assimilating influences of culture and education. If these good practices are to be given up—if in our eyes independence is to be a crime, if all over the world the Representatives of this country are to be allowed the arbitrament of peace and war—then I am afraid the day will come when, if it be said that the sun never sets on the Dominions of the Queen—it will be said also that it never ceases to look down on the strife and suffering for which our policy will have made itself responsible. The noble Marquess concluded by moving the Resolution.

Moved to resolve, That this House, while willing to support Her Majesty's Government in all necessary measures for defending the possessions of Her Majesty in South Africa, regrets that the ultimatum which was calculated to produce immediate war should have been presented to the Zulu King without authority from the responsible Advisers of the Crown, and that an offensive war should have been commenced without imperative and pressing necessity or adequate preparation; and the House regrets that after the censure passed upon the High Commissioner by Her Majesty's Government in the despatch of the 19th of March 1879, the conduct of affairs in South Africa should be retained in his hands.—( The Marquess of Lansdowne.)

My Lords, the speech which the noble Marquess has just delivered has certainly not been distinguished by any virulence of expression, either towards this side of the House, or, indeed, towards Sir Bartle Frere himself; and in continuing this discussion I shall, so far as I am concerned, endeavour to follow his example. My Lords, the noble Marquess objects to the course which I have taken with respect to his Motion. He says that inasmuch as I gave Notice that I would meet the former part of his Motion by moving the Previous Question, he was very much astonished to find that the whole of the Motion, as it now stands, is to be met by a direct negative. I should, however, imagine that the noble Marquess is almost alone in entertaining that feeling of astonishment. For I venture to say I have, in the whole course of my experience, never seen a Motion which bore so much the appearance of a trap for the unwary as that of the noble Marquess as originally couched. But lie has thought fit to improve upon it—no doubt, after consultation with his Friends in "another place"—with a view, I suppose, to secure that united Party vote on this occasion which it was found impossible to obtain if the Motion were permitted to remain as it was in the first instance framed. But it has since been so altered as to secure that object; and, that being so, it need not be wondered at that I also have changed my course as to the best way of meeting it. My Lords, in the Resolution as originally drawn up, the House was invited to express its readiness

"To support Her Majesty's Government in all necessary measures for the purpose of defending the possessions of Her Majesty in South Africa."
Upon such a proposition as that, I presume, there would be an unanimous vote in both Houses of Parliament. It then proceeded to express a censure; but it was left entirely open who were the persons to be censured for the course which had been pursued. The character of the Motion has now, however, been entirely changed. Instead of leaving it as it was originally, an open question as to the person to be censured, by an addition which has been made to it the House is asked to declare that it
"Regrets that after the censure which has been passed upon the High Commissioner by Her Majesty's Government, the conduct of affairs in South Africa should be retained in his hands."
It is perfectly clear, therefore, who they are against whom the Motion is directed. It is directed against the Government; and no option has been left to us except to meet it with a direct negative—for the Previous Question is had recourse to only when a Motion does not raise a fair issue. Had the first Resolution been meant as an attack on the Government, it ought to have said so. If it was intended to attack Sir Bartle Frere and not the Government, then it would have been easy so to have framed the Reso- lution as to show that it was intended to attack him and not the Government, and to have thus afforded his Friends an opportunity of defending him. But the Resolution was of that vague and dangerous character which is meant for the purpose of obtaining the largest number of votes without committing anybody to anything. It is now, however, evidently directed against the conduct of the Government; and, that being so, we have determined to meet it in the only way in which we ought to meet it, and that is by a direct negative. And now let me say that I do not complain of the statement which the noble Marquess has made with respect to the history of events in South Africa, although I think he left out some facts that are very material to the consideration of the case. But, first, with respect to this Resolution, I take no exception to its expression of regret
"That the ultimatum, which was calculated to promote immediate war, should have been presented to the Zulu King without authority from the responsible advisers of the Crown."
It is upon that point, and that point alone, that the censure of Sir Bartle Frere turns. Observe that the Resolution, while it does not propose to pass a censure on the character of Sir Bartle Frere, his intelligence, or his faithfulness in the discharge of his duty, implies that he was too impetuous, and that even if war were inevitable he took a responsibility on himself in declaring it, which he ought not to have done without having first consulted the Government. The Government has, in the despatch of the Secretary of State, said the same thing. But in fairness to Sir Bartle Frere, let me ask, what was the state of South Africa when he first went out there? For all that we have heard from the noble Marquess, one would suppose that there had been no war in that quarter before, and that everything was going on quite smoothly until the Government sent Sir Bartle Frere with the powers of High Commissioner. I would, however, remind the House that there was a war already raging, although, perhaps, not on a great scale. The whole of the change which had occurred in South Africa was due to the successful war waged by Secocoeni against the Boers. When they were compelled to retire before his arms, great excitement began to prevail throughout the whole of South Africa, which has not yet ceased, and which may bring upon us far greater calamities than those of which we have as yet heard. The Boers, for the first time in their history, seemed to have lost the character of their race, and it appeared as if the new weapon with which they were armed had placed the Natives on an equality with Europeans. It was that that led to the change. Nor is it to be wondered at that the Black race should desire to regain their superiority, and to assume a high place in South Africa. We, however, had a duty imposed upon us by our position there from which we could not shrink, and that was to defend the Colonies which had been allowed to grow up there under our protection, and to see, at all events, that they were not swept away by the failure of the Boers to maintain their position. Sir Bartle Frere arrived at the Cape in 1877. At that time war was going on with the Kaffirs—Lord Chelmsford had just gone out. That war was concluded about the month of June in that year; for I find that on the 30th of July the vote of thanks of the Parliament of the Cape of Good Hope was given to Lord Chelmsford for having brought it to a successful issue. Well, the noble Marquess says that at that time the award with respect to the Transvaal was going on, and was concluded in June. Now, in that he is quite mistaken—he has misread the Papers altogether if he thinks so. The High Commissioner appointed by my noble Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies was to arbitrate the question—the Commissioners were the persons to collect the facts. Well, he says, the High Commissioner having received the award, thrust it into his pigeon-hole, and took no notice of it for six months. My Lords, that is not the case. Sir Bartle Frere had his duties at the Cape—he had his duties connected with the Transvaal—and it was not till September he arrived at Natal. The question had affected Natal with respect to this boundary between the Boers—between the Transvaal and the Zulu country. As soon as Sir Bartle Frere arrived at Natal he gave his attention at once to the completion of the award. There was no delay on his part. Whether or not he added to it is quite another point; but with respect to the recommendations of the Commissioners, Sir Bartle Frere's duty was to come to a conclusion upon them. He did come to a conclusion upon it; that conclusion is embodied in the very despatch to Cetewayo, and was as to boundaries the very same as that which the Commissioners had come to. Now, as to the point to which the noble Marquess referred when he mentioned the persons who had invested their money there, and were engaged in agricultural operations there. My Lords, the noble Marquess opposite has said when Griqualand was taken over, we recognized the rights of those persons who were there to receive certain compensation. So far from it being taken by force, the people were treated with respect and forbearance; and so it was that Sir Bartle Frere thought it was right, in settling the boundary between the Transvaal and Zululand, that provision should be made that men who had bonâ fide followed occupations and made investments in this territory, while it was under dispute, should, when it was assigned to another party, not suffer in their pecuniary interest, and that care should be taken that they should not suffer. No doubt, that would be unacceptable to Cetewayo; but it laid down a very good principle in itself—that political sovereignty does not necessarily interfere with private rights. When Europeans are bonâ fide settled there, provision should be made for their compensation if they are thrust out, and if they remain then provision should be made for their protection. We, in our turn, should take care that the same privilege should be accorded to the Zulus, and that they should be treated with the same forbearance. That is my answer, then, with respect to the reservation which Sir Bartle Frere made with respect to the award, not as expressing an opinion upon the details, but stating the grounds upon which the High Commissioner acted. The noble Marquess says there were no grounds for any apprehensions at that time with respect to the Zulus, and he mentions certain things which happened, and says that it was very bad advice which was given. I am not going to dispute that point; but the Government did everything in their power in the shape of offering advice, and they gave directions that the weir should be avoided; and when the noble Lord says the Government was silent with respect to its policy, I may say that up to the time Sir Bartle Frere went to Natal, in September last, there was not in any of his Papers anything calling upon us to prepare for war with the Zulus. It appeared to him, however, at last, that the Zulu war was imminent; and it was only late in the year, I quite admit, that Sir Bartle Frere was saying over and over again—as everybody else was saying in South Africa—that the minds of the African races were so much elated by their success against the Boers that there might at any time be a rising in any part of South Africa. Looking to the Zulus as the great military nation which is looked up to by all the minor Chiefs, they were the most likely to raise such an insurrection. There were good reasons for suspecting them. For instance, Secocoeni was inclined at one time to make compensation; but when a messenger came from Cetewayo he withdrew the offer. Cetewayo had messengers going into many parts of Africa; and it is only natural to suppose that they were going there for the purpose of exciting the minds of the Chiefs, and provoking a general rising against the White races. Besides that, Cetewayo had himself used extremely threatening language. It is not correct to say that up to that time he had shown no sense of animosity towards us. In the message which he sent back in reply to some remonstrances on the murder of some young girls because they would not marry the elderly men in his army, what did he say? He said that he was as good as the Governor of Natal; that if they called that killing he would kill a great many more—and altogether displayed the bloodthirsty spirit of a mere savage. He showed, at any rate, that he had no great respect for the British Government. The noble Marquess has said that the war was due to the annexation or transfer of the Transvaal. The effect of the transfer, on the contrary, at least in the first instance, was distinctly to put off war. Before the transfer Cetewayo was moving into that country. He said himself to Sir Theophilus Shepstone that he intended to drive the Boers out of their country; and there can be no doubt that the army which he had assembled would have gone into the Transvaal and have swept away the Boers, and would have desolated the whole country—for before the annexation the Boers had no means of resistance against such force as he would have brought against them. As soon, however, as we took possession of the territory, he told Sir Theophilus Shepstone that he would not invade it; and that shows that, so far as the Transvaal is concerned, so far from promoting war, it had just the opposite effect—it soothed the feelings of Cetewayo, and he withdrew into his own territories. It would be absurd, however, not to make the admission that up to this time Cetewayo had played the Boers against the English, and the English against the Boers, and that he was ready to make friends with either the one or the other, as might best serve his own purposes. But when the two territories became united, no doubt, Cetewayo felt that he was prevented from attacking the Boers, and, in fact, shut out from gratifying the desire he had expressed of what he called "washing his young men's spears." His object was to invade some country in order that his young men might have occupation. When you consider that these young men are not allowed to marry until they have "washed their spears" in blood, it is easy to see that they were ready to act with him in order that they might put themselves practically in the position of marrying and finding peaceful occupation at home. My Lords, I now come to the Ultimatum, as it has been called. I feel as strongly as the noble Marquess that the Ultimatum ought to have been submitted to Her Majesty's Government; I think the terms of it are such that if it had been submitted to Her Majesty's Government it might, in some respects, have been modified. That Ultimatum not having been accepted, we are no longer bound by the exact terms of it, and in any of our future relations with these people we are not bound to act according to the Ultimatum. But I am bound also to add that there are circumstances connected with that Ultimatum which would, no doubt, make the war not an unjust war. Now, I take the first case. I do not say it is a sufficient cause, but it is a case of war. That was the carrying off of two women out of the Zulu territory and putting them to death. It would have been far better to take adequate compensation, and to have had the men who had committed the deed given up, than to make the circumstance a casus belli. With respect to the case of the surveyors, I do not think there was really much in that at all. At the same time, Cetewayo acknowledged he had done wrong, and offered, I think, 100 cattle as compensation for it. But there are other subjects of greater importance than those just alluded to. There is the question of the Army. The noble Marquess said the time would have come when Cetewayo, but for the Ultimatum, would have disbanded, if not the whole, a large portion of his Army. Whether it was wise or not to include together the questions relating to the Army in the Ultimatum, is another question; but the time would have come when we should have been obliged to summon him to disband, if not the whole, at least a large portion of his Army, which was certainly threatening the Frontiers of our Colonies. It would be impossible to leave the Colony of Natal for ever in the condition to which it was reduced. What was the condition of Natal at the time the Ultimatum was sent? Large armies had appeared on the other side of the river, close to the Colony, amounting to 10,000 men each. Therefore, the Colony was practically in a state of siege. Every farm was abandoned—women and children were sent to the sea coast or taken into towns; the towns were put into a state of defence; every property was becoming a ruin; and if you were to have a Colony at all, it was simply impossible for things to go on as they were. I am not, by what I am saying, changing one word as to my feeling that the Ultimatum ought to have been submitted to Her Majesty's Government; but I think, at the same time, it is only fair to Sir Bartle Frere that it should be known exactly what the position of affairs was under which he sent the Ultimatum, and I observed that the noble Marquess felt confident that Sir Bartle Frere acted with the most conscientious motives. What I say is that the time must have come, at a period not long after the time at which these events were happening. With a large Zulu force constantly hovering on its borders, it was not possible that Natal should be left unprotected for any length of time. The greatest necessity existed that everything should be done to avoid a war, if practicable; but if Cetewayo would not disband or allow his followers to return home, and take steps to show that he was not going to attack the Colony, as supposed, then these offensive or defensive operations against him were necessary. The noble Marquess says that the operations consequent on the Ultimatum were taken without adequate preparation. I doubt if we are the best judges of the adequacy of the preparations, for we do not know the state of public opinion before the occurrence of our sad disaster. Sir Bartle Frere wrote that there was no reason to suppose that our army was too small for the task that was attempted; but that a larger force lessened the chance of opposition. This was written long after the first reinforcements had arrived, and not when speaking of defensive operations. Your Lordships will observe in the Papers, I think at page 280, that Lord Chelmsford sets out a defensive scheme for Natal. He goes deliberately into it. That was before the reinforcements. After the reinforcements he somewhat changed his plans. He said—
"I must occupy positions, whether on one side of the Tugela or the other to prevent the Zulus invading the country; but it may involve offensive operations."
We must not confound the two periods. The first period was when there were no reinforcements at all, and when the operations were purely defensive; but afterwards, when reinforcements arrived, the proposal to cross the river was set on foot. Now, the noble Marquess has abstained entirely from entering into any question of the military operations, and I shall follow his example in that respect. If he had gone into that question, I should have been prepared to say what the Government view on that point is; but as he has not said one word, I think I shall best consult your Lordships' convenience by following his example. The noble Marquess says that the Government despatch of January 23, 1879, is different from the despatch which has recently been sent. He says that that despatch was written upon documents obtained on the 2nd of January. That is an entirely erroneous supposition on the part of the noble Marquess. It was, in fact, written on Papers which had only just arrived, and your Lordships will see that in the margin the documents referred to were of dates as late as the 12th and 13th of January. Your Lordships will see what my right hon. Friend says in the 3rd paragraph. He says—
"That it is impossible for the Government to examine the whole of the Papers; but I may observe that the communications which were previously received from you have not entirely prepared them for the course you deemed it necessary to take;"
and then he goes on to say that the applications made were based on the invasion of Natal by the Zulus, and he adds—"With the information that the Government has," he was "not in a position to question the propriety of what had been done." My right hon. Friend wrote back, so that the letter might go by the next mail, and a great number of documents were not consulted or considered before the writing of the despatch. Anyone will see that my right hon. Friend reserves his opinion until the Government had full information, and had full possession of everything that Sir Bartle Frere had done. They would not condemn, because Sir Bartle Frere seemed to have great authority on his side. He seemed to have consulted all those acquainted with the subject, and the Government reserved their views until they were in possession of all the facts. What my right hon. Friend said to Sir Bartle Frere practically was this—"Avoid this war, if possible. Use the troops given you for defensive purposes. They are not given you for invasion." If we had done anything else—if we had given encouragement to Sir Bartle Frere—I trust we should not be base enough to rely on a despatch not in harmony with what had gone before. It is because we gave the instructions which I have stated—it is because we acted on the principle of taking defensive measures, that the despatch of March 19 was written, and it is in harmony with what went before. We were against this war being precipitated. We were against anything but defensive measures; and Sir Bartle Frere is blamed for having precipitated the attack and taken upon himself the responsibility. He was blamed for that, and that alone; and when he is charged with all sorts of breaches of Constitutional Law, and so on, I think that some consideration should be given to the position in which he is placed. There is no telegraph to the Cape or to Natal. He was nearly a month from home. He was charged with a commission different from an ordinary Governor of a Colony; and he was authorized, beyond that, to take defensive measures against an irruption of Zulus. In the measures which he took, no doubt, he took them as the best defensive measures. I think there are many occasions when a movement in advance is the best possible defence; but that was not what the Government understood from despatches they received. Now, my Lords, I come to what is the kernel of this Motion. My Lords, the noble Marquess condemns the Government in that, having censured Sir Bartle Frere for acting with precipitation, for taking responsibility on himself which belonged to the Government alone, they have left him in the position he occupies in South Africa. My Lords, it is one thing to censure; it is another thing to recall. A censure is, if I may say so, a correction of a fault, a recall is a punishment which degrades and depresses the man to whom it is applied. Now, I am the last man to say that the Government ought to hesitate, if they found an inefficient servant—one who has risked the lives of our soldiers and fellow-subjects, and who has carried on his policy in a way which shows that he is not a man to be trusted—to recall or supersede him. But the acts of Sir Bartle Frere are not the acts of inefficiency. He was not sent to South Africa solely on the ground of military operations, but very much the reverse. He was sent out for a purpose which has been by no means disposed of, as the noble Marquess seems to suppose. He was sent out to bring about, if possible, the Confederation of the different States in South Africa by conciliatory measures, to unite South Africa in one body, with such protection for the Natives as would bring them into the condition which the noble Marquess wishes—protected and encouraged in the arts of peace, and prevented indulging in the arts of war. That great work as yet remains unaccomplished, and surely you will not say that you are to throw over a great project for the benefit of mankind because difficulties present themselves in carrying it into effect. This was a project carefully thought out and carefully undertaken, It may be that different interests prevent the union we desire; but surely it is worth trying—that of applying the same law to the Natives, the Boers, and the English—to unite them altogether. It might be a union difficult to consolidate and maintain; but it was desirable to effect it, if possible. The Ultimatum having been sent to Cetewayo, and he not having complied, can it be supposed that the proper policy was to sit quiet and do nothing? The fault that we find is with the sending of the Ultimatum in the first instance. That necessitated all the rest. The noble Marquess said he would not say anything in opposition to the character or position of Sir Bartle Frere. It is very easy, in vague, general terms, to say of Sir Bartle Frere that he is a man of the highest character, of refined intellect, and strictly honourable and conscientious in every respect; but Sir Bartle Frere has been selected for positions which showed that he is a man who, if he had operations to conduct, of whatever kind, ought to be well qualified for them. He was Chief Commissioner in Scinde between the years 1850 and 1859; and it cannot be necessary to speak of the services which he rendered during the Mutiny, for he showed not only capacity, but the greatest possible courage, for he denuded himself of troops for the benefit of those at a distance. That may or may not have been a mistake; but if it was, it was a mistake which benefited others, and has, at all events, been approved. Since that time he has been on the Council of the Viceroy of India; he was for five years Governor of Bombay; then he was on the Council of the Secretary of State for India at home; and he was sent, in the time of the late Government, to Zanzibar, where he conducted a most delicate and difficult mission, which showed that he was a man whose capacity and intelligence could be thoroughly trusted, and whose heart was also in the right place with respect to the Natives of Africa. When he came back, in 1872, he was called to the Council by the late Government, and, I might add, that when the illustrious Prince, who is at present in this House, visited India, no one was thought more fit to be in attendance upon his Royal Highness than Sir Bartle Frere. It may be that we ought logically—I cannot say morally—to deprive ourselves of the services of a man of this great capacity, who has been studying the work in which he is engaged with the greatest care during two years in South Africa, and send out in his place a new man to learn his lesson and begin again the work which Sir Bartle Frere has so far done. When he went out, what was the condition put upon him? We had at the Cape a Ministry thwarting the policy of this country, impeding the military operations, and acting so as practically to destroy the Colony which they affected to serve. Sir Bartle Frere, by a conciliatory and at the same time firm attitude, brought about a different state of things, and, by means of a new Ministry, has put the Cape Colony in a position in which, I venture to say, in the whole course of its existence it never was before. His policy has brought the Colony into harmony with this country; and—more than that—the Colony has made pecuniary sacrifices such as it has never made before—it has made sacrifices in men—and it has also shown a deep interest in one of its neighbour Colonies. All this we owe to the conciliatory policy and the intelligence which Sir Bartle Frere has brought to his task. Again, I say that when he went into Natal he found a state of things which was in itself very threatening and very alarming. He found a Lieutenant Governor, of whom I would speak with the greatest respect, and whose admirable despatches I have read with the greatest interest—I mean Sir Henry Bulwer—who was to a great extent opposed to his policy. But what was the end of it? Sir Henry Bulwer approved his Ultimatum in every particular, and approved also all the different demands which he made upon Cetewayo—and are you, therefore, to use Sir Henry Bulwer as an adversary of Sir Bartle Frere instead of as a convert to his opinions? Sir Henry Bulwer saw that the black cloud hanging upon the horizon of Natal must burst soon, and he felt that the time had come when the Colony must be protected in some way or other. He therefore fell in with the views of Sir Bartle Frere—rightly or wrongly is not the question—and encouraged him to present the Ultimatum. Sir Theophilus Shepstone also, who had previously taken a different view, was brought round by the arguments of Sir Bartle Frere. And, in addition to these, Bishop Colenso, who has been supposed to be the particular friend of the Zulus, and whom I do not claim as an entire supporter of Sir Bartle Frere, felt that the time had come at which to demand the disbanding of the Zulu Army, and some of the other matters included in the Ultimatum of Sir Bartle Frere. Much has been said out-of-doors with regard to the policy of the present Government which is not accurate. It has been said that our policy has been one of extending and annexing territory, and I know not what. We have, no doubt—you may call it Imperialism or what you please—had a policy; but it has not been one of either annexation or extension of territory. Our policy has been to make safe the territory we have; and if, as is sometimes the inevitable result of such policy, we have been obliged in certain cases to protect our Frontier, that has not been done with a view of making a larger Empire, but of retaining that which we are bound to maintain and occupy. What we desire in this South African business is that the English and the Dutch Colonists should be relieved from an incubus which is weighing upon them and preventing them from prospering. We desire that the Native States shall be brought into a condition much more beneficial to them than that in which they exist at present. I do not know whether your Lordships have observed what is said with respect to the Zulus who live within Natal—how very amenable to discipline they are, how industrious, and how much their desire is to live peaceably with their neighbours; how they enjoy the fruits of a peaceful life, and are desirous to live in peace if possible. There is no reason why the bloodthirsty tribes who submit to Cetewayo should not be brought into a higher condition of civilization, and so brought, it may be, possibly by the sword. Everyone will agree that, after what happened in that disaster which was no disgrace—a disaster which has fallen so heavily upon many families in this country, but upon which they can look with pride, as every man who fell, fell while doing his duty to his country—we have to retrieve that disaster. In doing this, we shall not act for the sake of vengeance, but in order to bring about in South Africa a state of things such as becomes the dominions of a great country like this; and not to yield to the threatenings and intimida- tions of the surrounding tribes, but to bring them into such submission as will tend to give happiness, peace, and security to our Colonies. This is no time either for boasting or faintheartedness. This country is well able to take care of itself; but the Government at home have a right to expect that they who have an eye over every part of the world should have the privilege and power of deciding upon measures which are vital to any one of the Colonies. Still, if a man in a position similar to that of Sir Bartle Frere, in the exercise of a high sense of duty, makes a mistake, and engages in something you would rather he had not done—if he be a man of great capacity, fitted to bring to a conclusion the work he has undertaken, let us correct him, but with moderation, and not condemn him absolutely, as is proposed by the Resolution which has been moved.

said, he had listened attentively to the speech of the noble Viscount (Viscount Cranbrook) without having been able to discover whether the Government thought the policy of Sir Bartle Frere wise or unwise, and the war in which he had involved the country just and necessary, or unjust and unnecessary. He understood that they thought it precipitate; but was it precipitate only because he acted without orders, or because he acted wrong? On that difference the whole force of their censure depended. The noble Viscount had stated truly that the army of the Zulu King constituted a serious danger to the Colony of Natal, which it was most advisable to mitigate or remove. But, for an operation so delicate and hazardous, it was necessary to watch opportunities, and to choose a favourable time and manner of proceeding. He desired to give his own reasons for thinking that the time and manner of requiring the disbandment of the Zulu Army were ill-chosen, and that the war which followed was unwise and unnecessary. In 1843, Natal was declared a British Colony, divided only by the River Tugela from the Zulu Kingdom—a Kingdom not so great or cruel as it had been, but by far the most warlike and powerful of those parts. The Zulus had their ways, and very bad ways they were. Life was cruelly destroyed, property was lawlessly taken away. Little could be said for the habits of the Government or people, except that they had been worse. But with us, though, their force was over-whelming, there were always at peace. On that point the testimony was uniform and unequivocal. They not only were our friends, but they acknowledged a kind of superiority. The present King, Cetewayo, was especially attached to us. He did not, indeed, owe us his throne—as was sometimes said—he owed it to a great victory, in which he killed his rival brother and 3,000 of his adherents; but he was content to receive it from us. A Natal officer advised and witnessed his nomination as Heir Apparent. And the same officer—Sir Theophilus Shepstone—entered the country, at the request of the Zulu people, to invest him, at the death of his father, with the Royal dignity. It was no slight thing to have remained at peace with a barbarian neighbour for some 35 years—and that, although occasions of discontent were not wanting in the continual stream of refugees who sought security in Natal from the violent rule of himself and his Chiefs. The cause was evident in itself, and recognized by himself and his people. We had no "forward policy;" we did not want anything which was not ours. When our boundary was once settled, we showed no disposition to extend it. We even refused invitations to do so. We showed no disposition to grasp authority. Rather we declined it when it was thrust upon us. When in 1873, on the occasion already referred to, Sir Theophilus Shepstone entered Natal to invest Cetewayo with the Royal authority, everything was done "at the request of the people." "Have not I entered Zululand at the request of the Zulu nation to instal their King? Have you not requested me to proclaim new laws? Have we not agreed that the life of a man or woman, high or low, is the property of the country?" and so on. These were the questions which Mr. Shepstone asked, and which King, Chiefs, and people answered in the affirmative. It was due to this confidence in our forbearance that even when Cetewayo was most irritated with the Administrator of the Transvaal, was most discourteous in his language, and was probably encouraging his subjects in an underhand way to take the law into their own hands in a disputed territory, of which hereafter, he never desired to quarrel with Natal. These being our relations with the Zulu King and people, what was the state of the nation itself? In the first place, the law was the law of the strongest, and it was by that law that the succession to the throne was decided. That was very important in considering the probable stability of a formidable Power. The first Monarch was murdered by his brothers, and one of them, Dingaan, seized the throne. Panda revolted against Dingaan, who fled and was murdered in a foreign country. Before long his sons quarrelled for the succession, and peace was only restored by a battle in which Cetewayo's rival and 3,000 of his people perished. Wars of succession were recognized by the Natives as an almost inevitable evil on the death of a Sovereign. Here was one element of self-destruction. Then the mass of the people were groaning under the tyranny of the King and Chief's; and the Army, which comprised almost all the male adults, could not collect for drill without fighting and bloodshed. Again, the Kingdom was divided against itself. One of Cetewayo's brothers, Ohame, was already intriguing with us, and offering to escape from his brother's dominions if he could. The elder and wiser part of his people were in favour of our influence, and opposed to the war, and complained that the country was to be sacrificed to save one or two malefactors. And now, such being our own traditional relations with the country, and such its actual condition, what had we to do but to wait? And if we desired to avert the natural course of dissolution, what would be the surest mode of doing it? Surely, to put forward such an unprovoked and unjust demand—unprovoked and unjust, that was, in the eyes of the people—as would stir the feelings of every Zulu who was proud of his country, and unite the whole against an external enemy. Such, he need hardly point out, was the disbandment of the Zulu Army. He asked, not only whether it was possible that that demand could be accepted, but whether it could fail to enlist against us that whole nation in which, if we had not been determined on a quarrel, we might have counted on a large friendly party—which, in no long period, must have fallen to pieces from its own intrinsic defects, and which, in the ordinary course of events, a disputed succession would Lave delivered into our hands? But it was said that to wait thus on events was to trust to the chapter of accidents. It was not so. We did not rely on the chapter of accidents when we reserved to ourselves all the happy chances which that chapter contained. As in any other book which was worth reading, we did but refuse to turn over the leaf till we had got to the bottom of the page. If he was asked what Sir Bartle Frere had to say to all this, he was ashamed to say he did not know, he had studied the High Commissioner's despatches, and recognized their literary skill, their vivacity, their suggestiveness, and their exuberance; but when he attempted to grapple with them as arguments, he felt like a man who was defending himself with a stick against a cloud of locusts—he might knock down one, and knock down another if he could hit them, but "The cry is still, They come;" sometimes in skirmishing order, sometimes in compact groups—butal ways in multitudes. Sometimes it was Sir Garnet Wolesley's military instinct, sometimes it was the opinion of every educated man with whom Sir Bartle Frere had conversed—and sometimes it was his own—sometimes it was an accumulation of rumours and indications, the significance of which disappeared on anything like careful inspection; but, on the whole, their very multitude made thorn unassailable. But, whatever their intrinsic value, they did not appear to have convinced Her Majesty's Government, whose replies were, from beginning to end, a series of cautions, qualifications, and protests. But, further, not only was there this general reason for waiting to see what would happen, but there were particular reasons for avoiding unnecessary embarrassment. If you were at peace with one neighbour, your hands were free to take your own course with another. But if you were already entangled in a dangerous and troublesome war, your strength, and your reputation for strength, were alike impaired, and you were tempted, perhaps obliged, to make disadvantageous or discreditable concessions in other quarters. Now, at the present moment, full freedom of action was particularly necessary with regard to our new acquisition of the Transvaal. The late Secretary of State for the Colonies (the Earl of Carnarvon), it was well known, sent out Sir Theophilus Shepstone as an Envoy to that Republic, with powers which enabled him to take possession of it, if he should be satisfied that a sufficient number of the inhabitants wished it. Looking to the expressed opinions of the noble Earl, there could not be the slightest doubt that these very large powers were only intended to avoid legal or technical objections, and that Sir Theophilus Shepstone was not intended to use them unless he was satisfied that the people really desired it. Sir Theophilus Shepstone reported that the inhabitants did desire it, and that he had effected the annexation. But the evidence of that desire was such that Her Majesty's Government could scarcely have accepted it, except under the pressure of some grave apprehension. He believed that it was a mistake to have yielded to that apprehension. But the error, if now persevered in, was likely to become more than an error. Her Majesty's Government had now received a protest against annexation, said to be signed by more than 7,000 out of some 8,000 burghers. And a mass meeting of thousands of farmers had plainly declared to the High Commissioner that, unless their independence was restored, they would refuse to aid what they considered as a usurping Power, even in the defence of their own country. It was evident that the alleged desire for annexation had never existed. And now the consequences were becoming clear. In all his Correspondence about South African affairs, the late Secretary of State had constantly protested against the enormous acquisition of territory which the Boers had declared themselves to have made, and the policy of unrelenting force by which they had made themselves hateful to the Black population. But Sir Theophilus Shepstone, pressed, of course, by the necessity of procuring some appearance of acquiescence in his proceedings, seemed to have led the Boers to expect that we would enforce by the sword all those intolerable claims, and thus destroy that reputation for justice which had formed a main element in our strength in South Africa; while the High Commissioner, in treating with the delegates of the Dutch mass meeting, found himself obliged to invite them to that which, of all things in the world, the English Government had been most anxious to avoid—a war of colour. At least, that was the only construction which could well be placed on the following sentence—

"He (the High Commissioner) reminded M. Joubert of what he must know very well—that this was not a war between the English and the Zulus, but between Cetewayo, as the Ruler and champion of all Native races, and the White races—Dutch as well as English,"
That we should be driven to such ruinous expedients was surely enough to show the special inexpediency of adding to our Transvaal difficulties by involving ourselves, at this time, in a great Native war. It followed to consider the particular cause of quarrel. Some 15 years ago, the Zulus got into a quarrel with the Boers about a strip of land which ran along their common Frontier. It was almost impossible to be sure of the truth in respect of such transactions; but, in the opinion of four English Commissioners of Inquiry, the leading facts were these. Panda and Cetewayo—one or both—for purposes of their own, had assumed to convey, and the Boers had assumed to accept, a tract of land, which all of them well knew belonged to the Zulu nation, and could not be conveyed without their consent. When the nation understood what had been done, it stoutly repudiated the concession. The Boers began to occupy the territory on one side, the Zulus on the other, and it became clear that trouble would come of it. We employed ourselves for some years together in begging the Zulus to keep quiet. The Zulus employed themselves in begging us to interfere. At last arbitration was effectually resorted to, and these four officers of our own determined that the land belonged to the Zulus; that Cetewayo had no right to dispose of it; that as part of the land had been occupied by the Dutch without serious protest, the claim of the Zulus should be considered as extinguished by their own laches, but that the part which—though granted out by the Dutch—had not been occupied at all, or occupied under continual protest, should remain Zulu property, the dispossessed Dutch being compensated, if at all, by the Government which sent them thither with bad titles. That was a distinct recommendation, likely enough to settle the question and restore peace, for it was out of this question that all Cetewayo's ill-humour had arisen, and the award was one which to all appearance he and his people would have accepted. But when it was referred to the High Commissioner, he first kept it back for months, while Cetewayo's suspicions were aroused by the movement of ships, by the stoppage of his supplies of arms, by the movement of troops, and by the rash announcement of general designs to disarm the Natives. And he also determined to nullify the whole grace and importance of the award, by a provision that all the Dutch should retain their so-called proprietary rights under the protection of a British Agent. Against this decision Bishop Colenso protested. And having generally expressed an opinion adverse to the cogency of Sir Bartle Frere's arguments, he (Lord Blachford) felt obliged to call attention to his mode of dealing with this question. First, he treated the award of the British Commission as founded on a legal technicality—the mere omission of an unmeaning ceremony—
"Owing," he says," to a defect of legal formalities, the land claimed by the Zulus has never legally become Transvaal territory."
The legal formality which was wanting on that occasion was nothing less than the consent of the true owners—the people. A man who had his property sold over his head was, at that rate, to be told, when he reclaimed his own, that no doubt the seller omitted the ceremony of obtaining his consent to the sale—but that that was a mere "legal formality"—with which a British Court of Law would dispense. That seemed a strange conception of justice. But still more extraordinary was the mode in which the High Commissioner dealt with the question whether the Zulus had kept up a steady protest against this invasion of their rights. He denied the fact.
"I find nothing on record from Panda," he says, "except vague grumbling about 'Boer encroachments.' Cetewayo, who must have known the whole circumstances of the incomplete cession, made no formal complaint that I can find till Sir Theophilus Shepstone's visit to him in 1873, when he must have felt comparatively secure on the throne, and had nothing to lose by challenging the Boers' right to the land he had promised and made over to them. … But I cannot at all regard his procedure in 1873 as a 'protest or appeal to our Government seeking redress for wrongs.' In point of fact, I can find nothing like an appeal to us, except for connivance at his attacking the Boers."
And with regard to later proceedings, he said—
"The offers to arbitrate originated with, the Natal Government, and were by no means willingly accepted by Cetewayo after he had taken the law into his own hands."
The High Commissioner "finds nothing on record." Where did he look? The documents were, of course, in the proper department at Natal. But they were collected by Sir Henry Bulwer, and formed the inclosures to his despatch of January 29, 1876, which was printed in the opening pages of Parliamentary Paper 1961 of 1878, for the convenience of those who wished to find them, and certainly not least for convenient reference by Colonial Governors. He would quote some passages from these documents, because they had a significance of their own independent of their bearing on the High Commissioner's statement. In 1861, the messengers of the Zulu King made complaints which had evidently reference to this transaction. Complaints of a more specific kind were repeated in 1865, when Panda, the father, said that—
"He had not given them the land, but that Cetewayo had given them some to bribe them to deliver up his remaining brother Umtonga to him four years ago; that now he and the Zulu people were beginning to see the effect of this act, he himself repudiated all connection with it, but seemed to imply that he would take no steps in the matter because, as the young man had got into the difficulty, he must get out of it as best he could."
Then, in 1869, came a fresh complaint, not now from Panda and Cetewayo, but from the Zulus, saying that even if Cetewayo had made the grant the Boers knew very well he had no authority to make it. The Zulu people then begged for arbitration; but they also begged that the English would take a strip of the land for themselves, so that they should have nothing to do with the Dutch—
"Because," they said, "they have been neighbours of the Colony of Natal for so many years separated only by a stream of water, and no question of boundary or other serious difficulty has ever risen between them and the Government of Natal. They knew that when the boundary was fixed by agreement with the English there it would remain."
The same request for arbitration was pressed again in the same year. And in 1870, Panda and Cetewayo were still more urgent, "because," they said prophetically, "they fear that longer delay will cause serious difficulties to arise." In 1872, Cetewayo complained again, and said that he had taken no step to right himself because he held the written promise of the Governor to arbitrate. All these representations were before the investiture of 1873, to which the High Commissioner referred as the commencement of protest. On that occasion, Cetewayo declared that the Zulus would rather die than submit to the Boers in this matter. In 1876, he reiterated his complaints—the Butch having assumed to levy taxes on his subjects settled in the disputed territory—and begged that the boundary might be defined, as otherwise there would certainly be fighting. On this came the annexation of the Transvaal, by which the British Governor became not only judge of the dispute, but party to it. Mr. Shepstone, who, as protector of Natives, had hitherto advocated the Zulu claims, changed his mind on becoming Administrator of the Transvaal; and Cetewayo, as might be expected, quarrelled with him, transferring his appeal and his allegiance, such as it was, to what he called the "man at Natal." The man at Natal proposed sending to England for Arbitrators. And observe the answer. Cetewayo thanked the Lieutenant Governor for his words—they were all good words—but before sending across sea, he would be glad that the Lieutenant Governor would take up the matter by his own representatives. If that failed, then he could send across the sea for other people. He agreed that the ground in dispute should not be occupied; he disclaimed the idea of hostility against the Transvaal, now British, and would be glad to have a White man placed on the border to keep the peace. And when he received the news of the actual appointment of the Commission, our own messengers told us that his Council seemed all like men who were told they might put down a great weight, and Cetewayo said that "now he would be able to sleep." Compare this narrative with the statement of the High Commissioner, who, implying that he had searched the records, declared that he did not find in them any specific complaints before 1873—that he did not find at any time whatever any appeal to us except for our connivance in attacking the Boers, and that the King accepted unwillingly the offer of arbitration made to him. And what was the result to which, by this kind of reasoning, the High Commissioner was led? The empty Sovereignty he affected to restore to the King, nullifying even this restricted concession by placing him between a British Resident and a Dutch proprietor. But the substantial right of property, the beneficial use of the land which alone was valuable to the people, he handed over to the Dutch farmers, whose rights were at present such that Bishop Colenso told them he had known 5s. offered for a farm on paper, and Sir Theophilus Shepstone that they were lost and won at billiards. It was impossible not to feel that this metamorphosis of wastepaper land-grants into proprietary rights guaranteed by the British Government, involving, on Bishop Colenso's calculation, an increased value of some 2,000 per cent in Boer property, was one of the processes by which the Dutch farmers were to be bribed out of their independence at the cost of the Natives. There seemed reason to suppose, however, that even to that the Zulus would have submitted, rather than face a war with England, if they had been really invited to do so. But no such invitation was really given. It was idle to say that they were really invited to do that or to do anything else. Various complaints were put forward—various concessions demanded. Border outrages were swollen into national insults—the internal reforms agreed upon in the presence of Mr. Shepstone were distorted into promises—the security promised to missionaries was exaggerated into a promise of immunity to their converts. And matters of that kind were represented as occasions of war, contrary to the expressed opinions of the English Government. But on all these details concession was made useless and impossible by the demand, which must have convinced every Zulu that they were to perish—the demand that those who were to be subjugated should first make themselves helpless. There was something pathetic in the official description of the behaviour of Cetewayo's Envoys when they learnt the terms of the High Commissioner's Ultimatum. On the first items, they wrangled as men who wanted to get all they could. When they heard about the army, they ceased wrangling, as men who saw it is no use, and went home dejected. And in the Parliamentary Papers of this period we met with scattered indications which showed that the matter was quite understood. Cete- wayo had ordered the collection of some cattle, for some purpose of restitution. He countermanded it, saying it was no use, as the English were determined to destroy him. And he was reported to have said that, if he must die, he would first cause a destruction in Natal which should be remembered. He might, perhaps, if he had chosen, have been as good as his word. He (Lord Blachford) would add a few words on a matter of less importance, but nearer home. Whatever might be the opinion of Her Majesty's Government on the main question, whether the war was in itself just, or advisable, or necessary, this was certain—that, while disclaiming all the reasons which the High Commissioner had given for it, and censuring him for entering upon it without their authority, they continued to him their entire confidence, and desired to have the advantage of his experience and ability in conducting to a successful issue the enterprize which he had taken on himself to begin in spite of them. Now, it seemed to him that a practice was growing up which was very dangerous to the Public Service—that Governors took on them to disobey the instructions they had received, and that if it was inconvenient to reverse what had been done the officer obtained not only condonation, but distinction. He ventured to think that orders, or, at any rate, wise orders, were to be obeyed; and that if they were not obeyed the Imperial Government might continue to be very Imperial, but would soon cease to be a Government. Might he venture on a light illustration? Many years ago he had a musical friend, much in the habit of leading those quartettes which were now so common, and who complained that one of his co-executants was always behind-hand—which, it must be admitted, was not the present case. Being asked what he did by way of remedy, "I play," he said, "the right note, in the right time, as loud as ever I possibly can. The immediate effect is appalling"—and a similar proceeding in Africa might, no doubt, entail some inconvenience—"but," he said, "it brings everybody right." Now, it appeared to him, on the present occasion, that Her Majesty's Government had played the right note; but he thought they had not played it in the right time, and he was quite sure they had not played it half loud enough.

My Lords, the noble Lord opposite, who just now did me the honour of disputing with me the right of speaking (Lord Stanley of Alderley), has warned me that he is prepared to impugn the whole of my conduct when I was in Office. As, however, I believe there never was an occasion in this House when I was in Office that he did not rise to take exception to something I had done, I think I may anticipate readily most of the objections he will be likely to make. I hope, therefore, he will not consider that I have been wanting in courtesy in pressing my claim to speak. My Lords, I have been mixed up with many of the affairs touched upon to-night, and have been referred to more than once by name, so that I hope I may be allowed for a short time to trespass upon the attention of the House. I will address myself first of all to the Resolution which has been moved. The Resolution condemns Her Majesty's Government nominally, but Sir Bartle Frere in reality, for the steps he has taken, the Ultimatum he delivered, and the war in which he has engaged. My Lords, I am not here to defend every word and act of Sir Bartle Frere; but I should be untrue to him and to myself, if I abstained from saying that I think lie has had, at the present crisis, somewhat scant justice; and, but for the unfortunate disaster at Isandula, I do not believe he would have stood in need of defence here to-night. I am not in a position to draw upon official information in this matter; all that can be said officially in his defence I must leave to Her Majesty's Government— but I do know the circumstances in which he went out at my earnest instance to South Africa, and the intentions that animated him. I also know the acts which he has since done, the successful work in which he has been engaged —for it has been successful—which, up to a certain point, he has achieved. My Lords, it may be, perhaps, that he has been impolitic in pressing the Ultimatum on Cetewayo; it may be—though I am not prepared to admit it—that the war has been undertaken without sufficient preparation—and it is certain that in the commencement that war has not been successful; but I would venture to press earnestly on your Lordships, because it is an essential feature in the affair—that the war, at all events, is not an unjust war. I will not go through the terms of the Ultimatum. I will not enter into the question whether he was justified in demanding the disbanding of the Zulu Army; but if he believed that the Army of Cetewayo was a real source of danger to the Colony, I do not think that less than that could have been asked with due regard to its safety. Nor will I follow my noble Friend who spoke last in his argument as to the award on the disputed territory. With regard to that award, so far as I understand the matter, both parties, the Boers and the Zulus, are dissatisfied with its terms; and, therefore, I submit to your Lordships that if both parties are pretty nearly equally dissatisfied, the probability is that something not very far from justice has been arrived at. As regards the case against Cetewayo, he accepted his Crown under certain conditions, which were for the benefit of himself, his people, the Native States, and the Colony of Natal. It is idle to say that he acceded to those conditions as a mere matter of Court ceremonial. Those promises were the equivalent of protection given by us, and those have been openly and flagrantly broken. For a long time past an armed truce has existed, and the Army of Cetewayo has been a standing menace to the European community in his neighbourhood. When I resigned the seals of the Colonial Office, somewhat more than a year ago, I felt that the position of affairs was as precarious as it could possibly be. It was only necessity at home, and the critical outlook on the Continent, which compelled the Government here to hold their hands, and to temporize. Several times in this debate, and out-of-doors, Sir Henry Bulwer has been invoked as a counter authority to Sir Bartle Frere. I have not had the means of looking up all the Papers on the subject. I have, however, come across some confidential communications to me by Sir Henry Bulwer in 1876, in which he speaks in the strongest possible terms of the dangerous and threatening attitude of Cetewayo. Your Lordships will also find in the Parliamentary Papers that in August, 1878, Sir Henry Bulwer wrote—

"That for the last eight or nine months there has been the danger of a collision with the Zulus at any moment;"
and, again, in November, 1878, he says that the system of government in the Zulu country and the disposition of the present King were so adverse to a better order of things that they would be justified in deposing him. After that, I think we cannot say of Sir Henry Bulwer that his authority runs counter to that of Sir Bartle Frere. But why quote the opinion of English Governors, however able, when we have the principal himself confessing to the offence? Read, and observe, rather, the words of the King, in answer to some remonstrances which Sir Henry Bulwer addressed to him in regard to the massacre that was perpetrated upon some women and children. He asked—
"Why does the Governor of Natal speak about my laws? Do I come to Natal to dictate to him? Go back and tell the English that I will now go on on my own account. Tell the White men the Governor of Natal and I are equal—he is Governor of Natal, and I am Governor here."
I would ask your Lordships to consider whether, when, 18 months ago, he used language like this, Cetewayo was, after all, so amenable to English influence and so disposed to square his plans and views with ours, as my noble Friend who last spoke would have us believe. I will now consider the case as it bears on Sir Bartle Frere. I wish the House to remember the circumstances in which he has been placed, and with what he has had to deal. In addition to what I have stated, there were other indications of the hostility of the Zulu King—the missionaries were expelled, the farmers driven away, and the English settlers were ordered to leave their farms in a neighbouring territory — mark this — where the Zulus really exercised no authority. The correspondence was broken off; the roads were closed; movements of Zulu troops took place on the Frontier; and everywhere there was a feeling of unrest and dissatisfaction. Nor was this all; for everywhere along the vast Frontier, and beyond that Frontier, where English influence extends, in every tribe the messengers of Cetewayo were exciting revolt or disaffection to English rule. All this shows that the issue of peace or war really rested upon the point of a needle. Then comes the question—Was it such a case of emergency as to justify Sir Bartle Frere in declaring war? You must first look at what the High Commissioner says. He repeats, over and over again, that there was no time to refer the matter to the Home Government. They, indeed, have adopted a different view, and I think it would have been better if the question had been left for their decision—at the same time, it is perfectly clear that the state of affairs was most threatening, and that we were upon the edge of hostilities. Sir Bartle Frere asseverates his belief that there was no time for reference to the Home Government, and we should at least give him credit for what he says himself. Perhaps we have not sufficiently considered the peculiar situation in which Sir Bartle Frere was placed, and the duty of the Government in rare but possible circumstances. In a case of this sort, it is fair to remember the antecedents of a man, and my noble Friend who spoke on the part of the Government went through the long roll of Sir Bartle Frere's brilliant public services. From early youth to manhood, and from manhood to advanced age, his has been an unblemished career of public trust and public service. He has always borne the character of a humane, upright, and just man; and I should be slow to believe—especially in a doubtful case like this—that such a man would turn round on himself and be false to his best history. It was for these high qualities that I recommended him to the Crown and urged him to go to the Cape. When he went out he went in advanced age, with very little reputation to gain, and with much to jeopardize. He went, not on a mission of war, but on a peaceful mission—to consolidate our South African Colonies. I honestly believe, therefore, that when he went out to South Africa he did so with as few-dreams of conquest or annexation as I had when I urged him to go out. I may here say that, only a few clays ago, when looking over some Papers on this subject, I came accidently across a letter of Sir Bartle Frere's, which he addressed to me after I left Office, and I do not think I shall be committing any breach of confidence if I venture to read one sentence from it to the House. He wrote it on the 4th of May last year— and I am the less unwilling to read it because, so far as it goes, it is a tribute to the services of Lord Chelmsford. He says—
"Thesiger is doing all and more than I hoped for; but he has the really hard part of his task yet before him. It is a real pleasure to work with him. I only trust that peace may be kept in Europe, and that he may be allowed time to set us in order, and prevent wars for the future —the real function, to my mind, of a good, civilized soldier."
This is, I believe, a true expression of Sir Bartle Frere's inner mind, and certainly they are not the words of a man bent on war, annexation, and conquest. What will be the conclusion of Sir Bartle Frere when he reads the despatch which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has thought it right to address to him, and when he sees the interpretation which is placed upon that despatch, it is not for me to say. If, indeed, he were to accept the interpretation which is too frequently put upon it, there would be, I think, but one course open to him to take as a man of honour. But if, on the other hand, my interpretation of the despatch be the true interpretation, it seems to me that Sir Bartle Frere is not censured for the terms of the Ultimatum which he delivered to the Zulu King, for his policy, or for any step which he took, in fact, except this—that he did not refer the question of peace and war home to the Government in time to enable them to pronounce an opinion upon it. That I understand to be the meaning and substance of the despatch; and if that be so, I sincerely trust Sir Bartle Frere will not deem it to be his duty to resign the great trust which he now holds in South Africa. It may be, as my noble Friend opposite says, that he has committed an error—a great error, if you please; but of this I am quite certain— that, looking beyond this war—looking not only to the good government of South Africa, but to the relations between it and this country, the loss of the services of Sir Bartle Frere at this moment would be an irreparable loss. I know of no other man who can, equally with him, make his way through the tangled labyrinth of South African policy, and who has so good a chance as he has of solving matters in a satisfactory way either for South Africa or for this country. But, my Lords, another subject of great importance has been touched upon more than once this evening, and frequently alluded to out-of-doors. My noble Friend who spoke last (Lord Blachford) dwelt upon the history of the annexation of the Transvaal. I regret to find that his tried judgment in these matters should be at variance with the course which I took, and for which I was responsible. I am therefore anxious to explain to your Lordships the main outline of the transaction. I am, however, placed in a position of some difficulty in dealing with it. It is now more than two years since it occurred, and I am debarred from all reference to official communications. I have to rely solely and entirely on my own memory and on the aid of some few Papers which I happen to possess. It appears to me, I may add, somewhat hard that two years should have been allowed to go by before the annexation is impugned, and that now, after a silence which condoned, or after speeches which actually approved the act, I should be called upon after that lapse of time to defend a transaction which, when it took place —it may be said without exaggeration—seemed generally to be acquiesced in. But let me tell the House what actually occurred. Very soon, indeed, after I received the seals of the Colonial Office—in the year 1875, I think—my attention was anxiously directed to the affairs of South Africa. I will not trouble your Lordships with the barbarous names or the untoward events which occurred in Natal. The House will remember that there was an outbreak which led to bloodshed, and what may not be unfitly described as a very perilous crisis. Then followed great difficulties with the Orange Free State; and these, again, were followed by others not loss serious with the Transvaal Republic; and, lastly, controversies, complicated, difficult of solution, and even angry in character, with the Cape Government itself arose. It was then I proposed to the Cape Government the scheme of Confederation. It raised, as your Lordships may recollect, a great storm. Ultimately that storm was soothed; but still a great and difficult question remained to be dealt with—the question of Native policy. I am speaking now of the latter part of 1876, when, after much opposition and many difficulties, I was able to procure the assembling of a Conference in London representing almost all the States and Colonies in South Africa. There is no doubt that that Conference would have arrived at a satis- factory conclusion with regard to a most important question—the introduction of the sale of arms—but that the Cape Government refused, through their Prime Minister, their co-operation; and, inasmuch as uniformity in such a case was obviously essential, the measure broke down. But in all these different cases, many and great as were the difficulties, they were practically being surmounted one by one, and a better hope of securing for South Africa a sound and reasonable system of government was in sight. But at that moment appeared upon the horizon that black cloud which has since assumed such dimensions. The Transvaal Republic, in its greed for land, encroached on Native rights and embarked in hostilities. War ensued, horrible barbarities were committed, the Natives gained the ascendancy; the Boer Army was beaten, the Transvaal State fell into confusion — collapsed — and utter bankruptcy followed. Throughout the whole of those difficulties it became my duty, on the part of the Government, over and over again, to give the most serious warning to the Transvaal Republic; but those warnings having been disregarded, and the state of affairs every day growing worse, we despatched Sir Theophilus Shepstone to South Africa, than whom there was no man more competent by experience, knowledge, and wisdom to deal with such a case. He went out, but for a long time he took no action. He was armed with a Commission which recited, in the first place, the grievous disturbances which were taking place in South Africa, to the great peril of peace and the safety of the Colonies. But the Commission went on to provide that, if the emergency should be such as to render it necessary to secure their peace and safety, he was provisionally to administer the territories, under the control of Her Majesty's Government, in case the inhabitants, or a sufficient portion of them, or the Legislature, should wish it. It was necessary, under the extremely grave circumstances of the time, to give this power; but it was one only to be exercised in the event of the emergency becoming such as to threaten the safety of all South Africa. Unfortunately, matters grew worse; complications of a very serious nature arose. Attacks were made by the Zulus on the Transvaal. They crossed the borders, and con- siderable slaughter ensued. The President of the Republic despatched an agent named Rudolph, who had great weight with those wild tribes, to negotiate; and upon his mission, for a time, the whole question of peace and war hung. Rudolph, however, failed in his negotiations, and then the state of the case in the Transvaal was simply this; and I prefer giving it in Sir Theophilus Shepstone's own words rather than quoting from memory—
"The Government is powerless to control its White citizens or its Native subjects; it is incapable of enforcing its laws or collecting its taxes. The Treasury is empty, the salaries of the officials have been for months in arrear, the White inhabitants are split into factions, the large Native populations within the boundaries of the State ignore its authority and laws, and Cetewayo is anxious to seize upon the first opportunity of attacking…The thrilling intelligence has gone through all the immense masses of Natives that the relative positions of the White and the Black man have become seriously changed."
Such was the state of affairs when, after repeated warnings from me, from the Governor of the Cape, and from Sir Theophilus Shepstone, the Transvaal lay at the feet of the Zulus. It was, then, only at the last moment—on the 12th of April—that Sir Theophilus Shepstone exercised to the full the authority with which he had been provisionally intrusted, and annexed the Transvaal to Her Majesty's Dominions. And how was that annexation received? Why, with almost universal rejoicing. I have here a telegram which is taken out of the Papers laid before your Lordships' House, in which Sir Bartle Frere says—
"Great majority, Boers welcome change, convinced of impossibility of self-government. Not a single disturbance. Troops crossed Frontier, are being conveyed in Boers' waggons. Boers, spectators, and pleased officials everywhere offer services."
I must commend that telegram to my noble Friend opposite. But I am not surprised at the change that has taken place. It is in the course of human nature that the very men who welcomed so lately that annexation, should be the first now to repudiate it, when the danger which they dreaded is—thanks to that annexation—past. It is said that the annexation was a high-handed act. I am absolutely at a loss to know how those words can be used. There was nothing high-handed about it. But then, I am told, as I gathered from my noble Friend opposite (Lord Blachford), that the annexation had been resolved upon to press on the scheme of Confederation in South Africa. Speaking for myself, I can say that that is wholly without foundation. In annexing the Transvaal the question of Confederation never entered my mind, still loss was it a motive inducing me to such a policy. It was, on the contrary, opposed to my systematic efforts of the previous two years to conciliate the Dutch population in South Africa. But it was not a question of policy; the simple truth is that there was no alternative except that of annexation, as a matter of self-preservation. Let me ask your Lordships what would have been the result if there had been no annexation? It is not fair to read past events by the light of present events. You must try to put yourselves in the position of those who had to act two years ago, when that annexation took place. I do not hesitate to say that if there had been no annexation the result would have been the same, or rather worse. You would not merely have had the Transvaal on your hands, but war, bloodshed, and rapine in Natal, the British territory adjoining; and, possibly, in the Orange Free States. It is the greatest possible mistake to suppose that we could have left this dispute to be fought out between the Boers and the Zulus. You cannot separate the Transvaal from Natal. In Natal, as in the Transvaal, you have a large Dutch population, with all the ties which a common race and language and feeling create. But there is a further complication of interests. The Transvaal has not only a Dutch, but an English population, who, all that time, were stretching out their hands, and imploring us to intervene to preserve them from ruin, as men who had never renounced their allegiance to the Queen and to this country. From the moment the Boers failed in their war, war with the Zulus became inevitable, for we could not have stood by to see the Transvaal overrun by barbarians—we should have been bound to interfere. I readily admit that the annexation involved responsibility; at the same time, those who would have declined to accept that responsibility would have been unfit for their position. But it is said we took their territories against the will of the inhabitants. Let me remind your Lord- ships of a few facts, and see if you can possibly reconcile them with such a theory. At the time of the annexation, no less than 2,500 men out of 8,000—that is to say, more than a fourth—petitioned for Sir Theophilus Shepstone's intervention and protection. He went with an escort of only 25 mounted police. There was a regiment, but it never crossed the Frontier. There was not an angry word spoken, not a shot fired, not a drop of blood shed. There was, no doubt, a Protest by the President; but, if your Lordships read the Papers, you will see that it was obviously a formal Protest. I maintain, then, that annexation saved, for two years, the Transvaal from the horrors of war and rapine—and saved, not only the Transvaal, but Natal, the contiguous country, and all the English, from the horrors of war. It has been said to-night that we ought to have waited and watched. No one would have preferred a waiting and watching policy more than I; but the overwhelming emergency that then occurred compelled us to some action. I will read two lines to your Lordships from a book which has been recently published by one of the prominent actors in South Africa, a very distinguished officer, than whom there is no one who was in a better position for appreciating the subject, I refer to Sir Arthur Cunynghame. He says—
"The great danger of attack on time Republic by the Zulu King was averted, just in time, by the annexation of the Transvaal. Had Cetewayo attacked the Boors, the intimate acquaintance which I subsequently made with the country assures me that the Transvaal Republic would have become a scene of bloodshed, fire, and rapine from one end to the other."
My Lords, I will say but very little more. I felt it my duty to say what I have said with regard to Sir Bartle Frere. I also felt that the question of the annexation of the Transvaal had been so much mixed up with these matters that it would probably be best that I should offer an outline—though a very brief one—of the causes which led to a measure which was reluctantly adopted, and the importance of which I never disguised from myself. But there is one great question on which I would ask leave to say a few words more—I mean the future policy of this country as regards South Africa. It is a great misfortune that in quiet times no one will take the trouble to attend to these questions but those whose special duty it is. But as soon as trouble or war arises, then we hear, on all sides, hasty, inprudent, and ignorant proposals. Further, those who are conversant with Colonial subjects will know that each Colony has its own difficulties and its own problems to solve; but I venture to say that the difficulties and problems of South Africa are the hardest of all. I will not go through the minor difficulties, but I will take the liberty of pointing out three difficulties of first-class importance. They hardly exist in any other Colony; they certainly do not exist in combination in any Colony. First, you have, not only a vast Native population in all stages, from semi-civilization down to barbarism, but you have an inexhaustible swarm of warlike Native Tribes, pouring down from the North; secondly, you have this temptation—the curse of all European communities surrounded by an inferior Native population—to make use of that population under some of the innumerable and often veiled forms of slavery. It is always latent, and it has only been the determination and vigour of English rule and authority that has kept it down. And, thirdly, you have the antagonism of race between the Dutch and English nationalities. You have there a divided sentiment, traditions, religion, language, feeling; and in those divisions you may find the key to much of the difficulty of South African government or mis-government. As these are the three principal difficulties, I will go on, and say there are three things which, in my opinion, an English Government can never do. England has a traditional policy in the control of Native affairs, to which the honour of the Crown is pledged —the religious instincts of the British people are pledged—and from that policy of benevolence to the Native Tribes under British rule England, so long as she continues to exercise her rule, cannot depart. She cannot abandon that. Secondly, England has given responsible government. I do not say whether that gift was a wise one or not; but it has been given. It cannot, in my opinion, be recalled, qualified, or altered. Thirdly, England has—in one part of South Africa, at least—a great military and naval station. The Suez Canal is often spoken of as of paramount value to this country as regards our Eastern possessions. I do not undervalue it; but I say, so long as England retains her supremacy of the seas, the naval and military station at Cape Town is of quite as much, if not more value than the Suez Canal can ever be. As I have taken upon myself to name these three difficulties and these three things, so I will go one step further, and say there are three objects which I think are to be desired. First, I hold it a duty to conciliate in every way we can the Dutch population. It had been my object to accomplish this, and I had succeeded in great measure; and I trust that policy will not be lost sight of, because, at this moment, there are questions which are of an aggravating and perplexing nature. Secondly, it is essential to secure an uniform Native policy. Observe, I say, a Native policy, because these different States may very well retain whatever individuality of national character or particularity of legislation they may prefer internally; but it is clear that if you are ever to look for some effective check upon the recurrence of these wars, it must be in the direction of a uniform Native policy. The absence of such a policy has been one of the causes of these late disorders. And, lastly, I admit, though Confederation is of many forms and kinds, and degrees, still I believe that in some union of the European communities lies the best chance of promoting the interests of the European communities and of the Natives themselves—perhaps, also, the best guarantee against the recurrence of these miserable wars. When the issues of this debate pass away, great as they are, and the war is brought to an end—and I cannot doubt to a successful end —then this great question of South African government, both as regards itself and as regards the relations of South Africa to England, will remain; and whether or not the Government carry out, as I trust from the remarks of the noble Lord they are disposed to do, the policy of Confederation, I hope there is one thing they will not do, and that is to allow the relations of this country with South Africa to drift. I trust they will have clearness of vision and courage enough to seek some clear and distinct policy, founded on a real knowledge of the political and social condition of that most difficult country; and, having once apprehended it, pursue it unflinchingly to the end.

My Lords, the noble Earl who has just sat down complained that two years have been allowed to pass without the annexation of the Transvaal having been impugned, but there has been no opportunity of doing so till now; and as the Colonial Office constantly lays its Blue Books before the House in the month of August, there must be loss of time and delay. Most men are now convinced that the present unfortunate war has been caused by the annexation of the Republic of the Transvaal, in spite of the Protest of its President, on the pretext that their encroachments on the Zulus and other Kaffir Tribes endangered the peace and safety of the South African Colonies. But when this annexation was carried out, Sir Bartle Frere, instead of redressing the grievance of the Kaffirs, proceeded to attempt to reduce the Zulus to subjection, and to incorporate them in British territories by his Ultimatum. Even if the peace of Europe and Asia had been undisturbed, and no British interests in danger, sound policy would have counselled leaving the Transvaal Republic and the Zulus to balance one another, instead of risking imposing on the people of this country the heavy burden of a war for the sake of obtaining more lands for the Boers, as was admitted by Sir Bartle Frere last February, when he urged on the Boers that this contest had arisen more for their interests than ours. This has been owing to the impatience of the noble Earl the late Secretary of State for the Colonies (the Earl of Carnarvon) to carry out his scheme of South African Confederation, and to his incurable greed for extending the limits of the Colonies. I say incurable, because the ill-success of the noble Earl's attempts at annexation in the Malay Peninsula, which caused a burdensome and inglorious war, has not deterred him from a repetition of these proceedings in South Africa. Now, the noble Earl pursued his designs of aggrandizing the dominions in South Africa at a time when the peace of Europe and Asia was disturbed, and when it was necessary that Her Majesty's Ministers should be able to devote the whole of their energies and all the resources of the country to the dangers which threatened British in- terests in the East. But the noble Earl did not write to warn the South African. Colonists that they must carefully avoid anything which might lead to disturbances, as the Government had then more important matters to provide for. Even when the noble Earl received a South African deputation on the 2nd January, 1878, he neglected to give them any fresh warning. He left undone those things which he ought to have done, and he also did those things which he ought not to have done; for his speech to that deputation was his first public and overt act of secession from his Colleagues, and the act by which he commenced his subsequent course of thwarting the Prime Minister, hampering his action, and paralyzing the country. For the noble Earl went out of his way to address this South African deputation, of all men, upon the Eastern Question, and to cut the ground from under the feet of the Prime Minister in the negotiations then pending, by sneering at what he named "so-called British honour," and by saying—"There is nobody insane enough in this country to desire a repetition of the Crimean War." No doubt, the noble Earl meant, and his hearers certainly would understand, by this, that in no case would England go to war with Russia. If the words "Crimean War" are to be taken in their limited technical military sense, certainly nobody is insane enough to desire a repetition of the blunder of landing an army on the least vulnerable portion of the Russian territory, where they were shut up in a trap, by the omission to occupy and close the Isthmus of Perekop. By this speech the noble Earl thwarted the Cabinet, and the results of his policy are that the country is paralyzed, whilst the state of things in Europe and Asia is more menacing than at the commencement of last year. But whilst this policy of aggrandizement was contrary to morality and expediency, the method of the noble Earl was equally bad. When he had decided on annexing the Transvaal and depriving the Dutch Boers of their independence, he selected Sir Theophilus Shepstone for this task. Now, Sir Theophilus might be a far better man than he is, and yet be the last man that the noble Earl should have employed. Sir Theophilus Shepstone was identified with the Zulus; he had advocated their claims against the Boers, and was looked upon by them as their father. To send Sir Theophilus to take charge of the Boers and of their interests was, therefore, to put him into an unfair and an impossible position. It would be impossible for a counsel to do justice to himself, if he appeared first for the plaintiff and then on appeal for the defendant. The result was that the Zulus were greatly exasperated at Sir Theophilus's changed disposition towards them, and at his blowing hot and cold out of the same mouth. It had the effect of making the Zulus feel that the British Government had changed its sentiments towards them. Not only was the appointment of Sir Theophilus a mistaken one with regard to the Zulus, it was equally objectionable in what concerns the Boers; for Sir Theophilus, when sent to the Transvaal, did not entertain friendly feelings to the Boers; and if the noble Earl was bent on depriving the Boers of their independence, it was a mistake, when once that was done, to keep the sore open by the continued presence of the Administrator who had taken away their independence, instead of sending a new official to conciliate them. I have before taken occasion to complain of the ambiguous phraseology of the noble Earl's despatches, and of the uncertainty of the meaning of the instructions he issues to his subordinates in the Colonies. There is an unusual instance of this in the noble Earl's despatch of July 22, 1877, to Sir Theophilus Shepstone, C. 1883, No. 16, page 16, with respect to his treatment of the Boers—

"It would be my earnest desire to prove to the Dutch inhabitants of the Transvaal that the increased prosperity, and the other advantages attendant upon British rule, would not be accompanied by any changes in the customs and laws of the country to which objections would reasonably be made."
This paragraph is deceptive to the eye and oar; it seems to promise the Boors that their laws and customs should be unchanged; but closer analysis seems to show that the Colonial Office reserves the right to alter these laws at its pleasure. To write such instructions, winding between pitfalls, is not the art of a statesman; but there is a personage in the "Pilgrim's Progress" who would have excelled in this style of composition—Mr. Facing-both-Ways. The noble Earl, in justifying the annexation of the Transvaal in a former speech to the House, said
"That the Zulu King had shown undoubted signs of hostility, and made a movement on the borders."
Now, Cetewayo himself, and many of his chief Imdunas, are said to have declared that this very army was assembled on the borders of the Transvaal at the request of Sir Theophilus Shepstone himself, at a time when it appeared likely that the Boers would rise against the British Government. This statement is made by a civilized Zulu who lives in Natal; he made it after a visit to Zululand to Bishop Colenso. It is quite conceivable that Sir Theophilus Shepstone may have thought that such a demonstration of the Zulus would be useful to overawe the Boers. I would ask the noble Earl whether his attention has been drawn to this statement on the part of the Zulus, which corroborates a similar statement made by the Transvaal delegates in August, 1878, to the Colonial Office. The noble Earl complained, on the first night of the Session, of the conduct of the Portuguese in allowing arms to pass from Delagoa Bay to the Zulus; but the noble Earl is the least qualified to make this complaint against the Portuguese, for two reasons. Mr. Dunne, though receiving a salary from the Natal Government, was the means of introducing these arms to the Zulus; and this fact was brought before the noble Earl by the Aborigines Protection Society as long-ago as July 1877; but the noble Earl did not at once put a stop to these proceedings of Mr. Dunne, as he might have done, though the information was confirmed by Sir Henry Bulwer. In the second place, the noble Earl does not do well to complain of any such smuggling, when he remembers that, in 1877, he undertook to remedy the complaints of the Spanish Government caused by the constant smuggling carried on from Gibraltar; yet the moment that the smugglers raised the cry of freedom of trade he abandoned his intentions and promises, and nothing has since been done in that matter. I now come to Sir Bartle Frere's share in the responsibility of the authorship of this war. In the mass of documents presented to Parliament, there do not appear any instructions authorizing Sir Bartle Frere to press the Zulus to the extremities to which he reduced them by his Ultimatum. But the Blue Books show a pre-determination on his part to force on a war, and to write down the Zulus. Every act of violence on the part of the Kaffirs is painted in the blackest colours, the cruelties of the Boors are passed over in silence. He writes much about the slaughter of some women; but he omits to dwell upon the explanation of it given by his informant, the magistrate, Mr. Osborne, that rum was at the bottom of that affair. There is much in his despatches that can only be described as sanctimonious and sensational writing. For instance, he wrote on the 24th January, 1879, that Cetewayo was forming "celibate, man-destroying gladiators," terms which might equally have been applied to our own soldiers when long service existed. He makes much of the phrase of "the young men washing their spears in blood;" but that phrase is no more reprehensible than that of "fleshing maiden swords;" or the well-known dictum of "keeping the Bombay Army in wind." Sir Bartle Frere also puts forward the usual plea of military tyrants—that he is not making war upon the Zulus, but only against Cetewayo. When Napoleon Buonaparte had his camp at Boulogne, he could not speak of the Constitutional Sovereign of England; but he proclaimed that he was coming to free the people of England from the aristocracy. The Prussians said that they were only making war on Napoleon III.; but his capture at Sedan did not stay their march. And now this plea is put forward for the English nation in South Africa and in Afghanistan, where it has already been proved to be false. However, it is unnecessary to say more of Sir Bartle Frere, since it is clear from the Blue Books that he has not only precipitated a war on his own motion and authority, but that he has done so in spite of contrary instructions from Her Majesty's Government. But here, again, the late Secretary of State for the Colonies is primarily responsible; for had it not been for the laxity with which he tolerated similar excesses, and the going beyond their instructions on the part of the Governors of Singapore, Sir Andrew Clarke and Sir William Jervoise, Sir Bartle Frere would not have ventured upon the unjustifiable course which he has pursued. The Colonial Governors have been trained to put their blind eyes to the telescope whenever the Government signals caution, and this ought to be put an end to.

My Lords, I am in some difficulty in endeavouring to follow the noble Lord (Lord Stanley of Alderley), who has just sat down. I was unable distinctly to hear his remarks; but, so far as I could gather them, they appeared to me to have been directed chiefly to an attack—which I might almost call personal—on the late Secretary of State for the Colonies. My noble Friend is able to defend himself, and, no doubt, will take the earliest opportunity of doing so. I think it would be for the convenience of the House that I should direct attention, not so much to the conduct of the late Secretary of State for the Colonies, as to the Resolution of the noble Marquess opposite. I, for one, must say that I heartily rejoice that the noble Marquess should have seen fit to alter his Resolution by the addition to it which he placed on the Paper last night. The Resolution we, have had before us for the last few days—I may say weeks—was "without form and void"; "darkness" was certainly on the face of it; and it was not until last evening that any clear light was shed on the intention of my noble Friend in regard to the Motion of which he had given Notice The addition he has now tacked on to that Motion has had one great advantage—namely, that it has not only placed before the House a clear issue on which a decision can be taken, but it has afforded an opportunity to the Government, and to my noble Friend who followed the noble Marquess (Viscount Cranbrook), of meeting that Resolution with a direct and emphatic negative. My noble Friend the Secretary of State for India has so thoroughly stated the case on behalf of the Government that there are very few points on which I need touch; but representing, as I do, the Department which is chiefly concerned in these transactions, I hardly like to give a silent vote on the question. The noble Marquess said to-night that the first clause of his Resolution was one to which no one could object; and I must say I heartily concur in that opinion. But I must remark that the noble Marquess did not enlighten us as to the meaning which he himself attached to the words of that part of the Resolution. These words are—

"That this House is willing to support Her Majesty's Government in all necessary measures for defending the possessions of Her Majesty in South Africa."
That expression is not only a vague one, but it has been used on more than one occasion by Sir Bartle Frere himself. In a despatch dated the 5th of November, 1878, Sir Bartle Frere said—
"These are briefly the grounds for my belief that the reinforcements we have asked for are the least that can be required to give a reasonable assurance of success in any operations which may be necessary."
Again, writing on the 2nd of December, 1878, Sir Bartle Frere said—
"It seems to me worse than folly to shut our eyes to such facts, and quite unnecessary to seek other justification for whatever measures may be necessary to enable us and all who belong to us to sleep in absolute peace and security against foreign outrage within our own border."
When, therefore, the noble Marquess asks us to pass a Resolution affirming that we are prepared to take all necessary measures for the defence of our possessions in South Africa, it is not unfair to ask what are the necessary measures to be adopted for that purpose? Do these measures include such an act as that of sending the Ultimatum to which reference is made in the Resolution? That act of Sir Bartle Frere, in sending the Ultimatum without consulting Her Majesty's Government, has met with the unqualified disapprobation of Her Majesty's Government. But it does not appear to have been thoroughly understood that the disapprobation expressed in the despatch of the 19th of March only refers to that point—namely, to the fact that the Ultimatum was forwarded without asking the previous sanction of the Government. Therefore, when the noble Marquess says that the censure passed by the Government was a censure upon the whole policy of Sir Bartle Frere, he overstates the case. With regard to the Ultimatum itself, its various clauses have been discussed provisionally in despatches by the Secretary of State for the Colonies; and the position of the Government in regard to that Ultimatum is that they have reserved for further consideration the various matters included in it, which must be the subject of discussion when the war is over and the terms of peace come to be arranged. My Lords, the next clause of the Resolution is the one which conveys, perhaps, the severest censure on Sir Bartle Frere. It assumes that the war had been commenced "without imperative and pressing necessity." But I think it only fair to remind my noble Friend that there is considerable difficulty in forming an opinion on matters which occur in a distant country like South Africa with the amount of information we have at our command. If I wished to urge caution on any of those who are prepared to pass a judgment on such a question as this, I should be content to quote two sentences which were uttered on the first night of the present Session by two Members of your Lordships' House, who are, perhaps, more than any others, qualified to pronounce an opinion on these subjects. My noble Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies under the late Government (the Earl of Kimberley) said that of all the affairs which fell under the management of the Colonial Office, there were none more difficult to understand or manage than those of South Africa; and my noble Friend the late Secretary of State for the Colonies (the Earl of Carnarvon) added, that of all men he knew of in the world who were fitted to form an opinion upon the various questions which came up for discussion in reference to South Africa, there were none whose opinions he would value more than Sir Bartle Frere, Sir Theophilus Shepstone, and Sir Henry Bulwer. It is obvious how difficult it must be for us at a distance to understand the various circumstances which have to be taken into consideration, and how enormous must be the advantage of being on the spot, in forming an opinion, or selecting a course of action, on an occasion like that under discussion. There is no complete analogy between dealing with savage and distant nations and with European States. If we are to be guided by the opinions of others, it should surely be by those who, by their actual presence at the scene of operations, and the intimate knowledge they have acquired of the country and people with whom they have to deal, are best qualified to assist us in forming a just and right conclusion; and I confess that if I were asked to express an opinion as between the authority of those three men whose names have been mentioned and the authors of the Reso- lutions in this and the other House, I should not hesitate to decide in favour of the former. We are not asked in this matter to take the opinion of Sir Bartle Frere unsupported. The noble Viscount the Secretary of State for India has reminded your Lordships that Sir Bartle Frere was supported in his opinion by those best qualified to judge on the spot, and that he had received the concurrence of Sir Theophilus Shepstone, Sir Henry Bulwer, and Bishop Colenso; and he might have added that Sir Arthur Cunynghame and Colonel Lanyon had expressed views to much the same effect. Such are the opinions of the authorities in South Africa, and I hardly know whether your Lordships will think me justified in offering one further testimony in addition to those; but I am anxious to read a portion of a private letter which I received on Saturday last a letter from a gentleman who has lived in Zululand, who is personally acquainted with Cetewayo, and who knows, and has at various times inhabited, Zululand. I am not at liberty to give the name of the writer; but I should be happy to show the letter to any noble Lord who desires to see it. He says—
"So long ago as 1862, 1863, and 1864, during each of which years I spent some months in Zululand, I was thoroughly impressed with the improbability of Natal and the Zulus continuing as two independent Powers for any great length of time. The Zulus were then on the best possible terms with Englishmen, and they looked up to us with quite a superstitious respect; and I believe that most Englishmen who had dealings with the Zulus thought that a peaceful annexation would come about in a few years as the population of Natal grew denser. In 1870 and 1871 I again spent a short time among them, and the difference in their behaviour was very marked. Familiarity with White men had done a great deal towards decreasing the respect in which they were held by the Zulus. The Zulus, too, were then beginning to get guns and powder, and they thought that the possession of a gun made them equal to a white man. Though they were still very friendly, they made no secret of their belief that man for man they were as good, or better, than Englishmen, and many things that I heard convinced me that a Zulu War was only a question of time. But for all that, it would be absolutely impossible for me to produce any proof of the saying of the Natives on which my opinion was formed. I cannot help thinking that it must be almost, if not quite, as impossible for Sir Bartle Frere to bring forward any proof of the correctness of his opinion that Cetewayo meant fighting us."
And in a later part of his letter, the writer says—
"I doubt very much if we Englishmen realize the suddenness with which we should have been attacked, or the awful destruction of life that would be inevitable, if the Zulus took the initiative and crossed the Tugela. I know nothing personally of Sir Bartle Frere, but I sincerely believe that the war must have broken out before long in any circumstances, and that had we waited until the Tugela dried up to the shallow level of the South African winter, the Zulus would have overrun Natal, and the loss of life would have been unequalled since the Indian Mutiny."
But whatever differences there may be upon matters of opinion, there are certain facts which I think cannot be disputed. There can be no doubt that a military Power such as that of the Zulus, controlled by a savage monarch like Cetewayo, has lately threaten end danger, directly or indirectly, to the whole of the Colonies of South Africa. We have been told, and shall be told again, that this danger has existed for several years, during the tenure of Office of the late Government, and that it is only now, under the aggressive rule of the present Government, that this danger has assumed its present form. Now, my Lords, there are two conditions which I believe have materially altered and increased that danger. The first is that the Zulus have been of late years armed with weapons of precision which they did not possess before. As I had the honour of saying in your Lordships' House a few days ago, the arming of the Zulus commenced after the annexation of Griqualand, owing to the wages at the Diamond Fields being chiefly paid in arms; and ever since that the trade in arms has materially altered the condition and the military status of the Zulus. Then the other circumstance which contributed to bring about the greater danger from this military Power was the boundary question. We are told that the annexation of the Transvaal is responsible for the present state of things, inasmuch as, by the annexation of the Transvaal, we rendered ourselves responsible for the quarrels and liabilities of that Republic. I can only say, for myself, that I believe if the Transvaal had not been annexed by my noble Friend, the boundary question would have settled itself very rapidly; and would have been settled in this way—that Cetewayo would have swept away all boundaries whatever between his State and the Transvaal, and would have cleared all the White population out of that territory. This would inevitably have dragged Natal into a war, in which we should naturally have been concerned. Therefore, I think my noble Friend the Secretary of State for India was perfectly justified in the statement he made—that, so far from the annexation of the Transvaal having accelerated the present war, it had actually delayed it for two years. My Lords, it has not been denied, and I certainly will not attempt to deny it, that the Ultimatum issued by Sir Bartle Frere was one, as the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Lansdowne) stated, that was calculated to cause war. But there is one point with regard to Sir Bartle Frere's action which has not been alluded to, I think, to-night—namely, that he tacked the conditions which form the Ultimatum on to the award which he delivered on the boundary question. Sir Bartle Frere has explained very clearly his reasons for doing that. I have made the following summary of the reasons which Sir Bartle Frere has given in his despatch of the 24th of January last for attaching the Ultimatum to the award:—
"That the award alone would have been regarded by Cetewayo as a proof of weakness; and as it only gave him part of what he asked would have elicited no gratitude. That if Cetewayo had learned that, after the award was given, other demands were to be made, it would have been fatal to his future trust and confidence. That it was necessary to guard the rights of bonâ fide grantees in the disputed territory and provide for their protection and safety."
On the whole, taking into consideration all the circumstances and the overwhelming weight of evidence, I cannot avoid the conclusion that war with the Zulus was inevitable. If you had not had a war, you would have been driven to one of two alternatives—either the Frontier of the Transvaal must have been in a constant state of defence, and that state of defence would have involved probably the keeping of 10,000 British troops in Natal; or you must have left the inhabitants to shift for themselves and live subject to a dread of annihilation and the chances of a frequent renewal of disturbances and wars of invasion on the part of the Zulus. As to the assumption which is contained in the Resolution of the noble Marquess, that this war was undertaken without adequate preparation, I waited for the speech of my noble Friend to see whether he intended to charge Her Majesty's Government with refusing sufficient troops for carrying on the war, or whether he wished to fix upon Sir Bartle Frere the charge of having undertaken the war without adequate preparation. I understand the charge is not against the Government, but against Sir Bartle Frere. Well, Sir Bartle Frere has explained in his last despatch, dated the 12th of February, which I had the pleasure of laying before the House last night, his reasons for thinking he had sufficient troops to undertake the war. He says—
"Again, it may be said that, before attempting to coerce Cetewayo, the presence of a larger force in the field should have been secured. To this I can only answer that, though a larger force might undoubtedly have lessened the chance of successful opposition, there was no reason whatever at the time to suppose that the force at our disposal was too small for the task attempted. I will not dwell on what might have been the case had orders been obeyed, and had things happened otherwise than they did happen. I stand on the broad fact that I sought information in every possible quarter, and had, and have, no reason whatever to suppose that there was anything rash in the undertaking."
My Lords, I now come to the last paragraph in the Resolution of the noble Marquess. The censure conveyed in the despatch of the 19th has been explained by the noble Viscount the Secretary of State for India. That censure was not directed against the policy of Sir Bartle Frere, it is limited to a disapproval of the action he took in issuing the Ultimatum without consulting the Council. But the policy of Sir Bartle Frere must be considered as a whole; we must not look at it simply with a view to Zulu affairs; but we must consider the influence it may have on the whole of South Africa. There are larger issues involved than even that of the Zulu War; and, although our attention is absorbed by that war at this moment, and by the terrible disaster which has taken place in connection with it, we must not blind ourselves to the fact that there are other, and even more important considerations which should influence our decision upon the Motion now before the House. I was grieved to hear the noble Earl opposite express a doubt as to the possibility or probability of Confederation being carried out in South Africa. My opinion is—and I believe I may say it is the opinion of Her Majesty's Government—that Confederation is not only most desirable, but possible; and I can assure the House that we shall use our utmost endeavours to bring it about. Confederation will involve, we hope, self-defence, which will remove the liability under which we labour of spending our blood and money upon these wretched Kaffir quarrels in South Africa. If it has this result, I can only say that, not only shall we have found a justification of the policy of Sir Bartle Frere, which the noble Marquess was arraigning to-night, but that we shall before long learn to appreciate the value of the objects for which we have made such great sacrifices. My Lords, I do not wish to detain the House any longer; but I cannot sit down without asking your Lordships to consider what will be the effect of this Resolution if it should be passed. This Resolution expresses a series of regrets. Regret, in itself, is a mild term; but Parliamentary regret is censure, and Parliamentary censure can have but one result. It must lead to the reversal of the policy which it regrets, or to the recall of the Official who is the object of the censure. There may be some noble Lords on both sides of the House who, regardless of the consequences of passing the Resolution, are prepared to vote for it, simply in order to express their disapproval of the somewhat hasty action of Sir Bartle Frere. But I hope they will clearly see the result of their action. I will not say that it would be impossible to settle the affairs of South Africa on a satisfactory basis if Sir Bartle Frere were recalled; but I am quite sure that by such a step a great blow would be inflicted on our power and interest in South Africa. Sir Bartle Frere has not only shown great energy and ability in all the difficult negotiations in which he has been involved since his arrival in South Africa, but he has acquired an influence there which it would be very difficult to equal and impossible to replace. Sir Bartle Frere arrived in South Africa on a peaceful mission, his chief object being to carry out the Confederation of South Africa; and he set about his task in a manner which no one can say gave any promise of warlike action. He had not been there long before he found himself face to face with wars on all sides. In all these difficulties was traced the hand of Cetewayo; and it soon became evident that if the work for which Sir Bartle Frere had been sent out was to be carried to its legitimate conclusion, Cetewayo's power must be crushed. In conclusion, I must express an earnest hope that your Lordships will pause before you vote for the Resolution, which, if passed, will probably lead to the resignation of the Government, and certainly to the recall of Sir Bartle Frere. The Government it may be possible to replace by another which, in the opinion of some noble Lords, would be at least its equal; and therefore they may not, perhaps, regard this as a matter of great importance. But if Sir Bartle Frere were to be recalled, I can only say that a result will be brought about which will have a deplorable effect upon the future of South Africa, and cannot fail to prove a misfortune, therefore, to our own country.

My Lords, the whole of this discussion has been carried on in a very temperate spirit, and I hope that it will continue so to be conducted. The noble Viscount who spoke on behalf of the Government alluded, indeed, to some more exciting topics, when he said that some persons regarded the present calamities in South Africa as being due to a general policy of annexation and aggression on the part of Her Majesty's Government, and strongly denied that the Government were influenced by any such policy. I should be quite prepared to contest the truth of the statement that a policy of aggression and annexation has not been the policy of the Government; but the present case is so grave, and so unfitted to be made the subject of Party recrimination, that I shall avoid any reference to that question. My Lords, the question before us cannot be understood without reference to the events of the last few years in South Africa, and especially to the annexation of the Transvaal Republic. Any one who has attended to South African affairs must be of opinion that this annexation has had a very large and important influence upon the present situation. It has been asserted very strongly in some quarters that the annexation was entirely without justification; but I am bound to admit that, although it is exceedingly doubtful whether that policy has been a wise one, there are many reasons which ought to be carefully considered before coming to an adverse conclusion. It is perfectly true that at the time my noble Friend the late Colonial Secretary (the Earl of Carnarvon) consented to the annexation, a state of affairs had arisen in the Transvaal which was of a most alarming character. The Boers had been reduced to great extremities: their defeat by Sikukuni had produced a very serious feeling among the Natives in South Africa, and there was a great danger of an invasion by the formidable Zulu nation, on account of the boundary dispute. If the Boers had been overwhelmed, it cannot be doubted that the safety of our Colonies would have been imperilled. The question, therefore, presented itself as one of self-preservation; and although I can hardly doubt that Her Majesty's Government must have considered it undesirable to undertake large new responsibilities in South Africa, they decided that, in all the circumstances and amid all the difficulties they had to choose from, annexation was the least dangerous course. I believe that at the time I did not myself express any opinion on the subject—the only remark I made was that no steps of that kind should be taken without the full concurrence of the Dutch inhabitants of the Transvaal. I think it cannot be doubted now—although it was by no means clear at the time—that this consent was not obtained. I have great respect for the abilities and public services of Sir Theophilus Shepstone; but the evidence of the Blue Books proves that he was grievously mistaken in his view of the temper of the inhabitants of the Transvaal. It was perfectly natural, in the circumstances, that my noble Friend the late Colonial Secretary should have come to the conclusion he adopted; but it is probable that if Sir Theophilus Shepstone had taken a juster view of the situation, he would have arrived at a different conclusion. The Commission of Sir Theophilus Shepstone empowered him to take possession of the territory if a "sufficient number" of inhabitants consented; but I think it is impossible that a sufficient number of inhabitants could have approved of the annexation, for I cannot imagine that there could have arisen in so short a time such an extraordinary change of feeling in the Transvaal. At the same time, I cannot entirely acquit the Government of all blame for the calamitous result of the annexation. I have long thought that they were very unwise in not immediately sending out considerable reinforcements to the Transvaal. When we determined to take over the Transvaal, we necessarily took over with it great responsibilities, and those responsibilities could not be discharged without an adequate military force. If you were not prepared to send out that military force at once, you ought never to have set your foot in the Transvaal territory. The very ground on which you annexed the territory was the inability of the Boers to defend themselves, and the danger to our Colonies that arose from their weakness. You were, therefore, bound to take speedy measures to fulfil your promises to the Boers; but you did nothing of the kind. It is very possible that the presence of a sufficient European Force would have altered the state of feeling throughout the Native population in South Africa, and that it might, to a considerable extent, have conciliated the Boers. But, as it was, you incurred all the dangers and risks of the annexation without any of the advantages you might have derived from it. From the time of the annexation till lately, no attempt was made to subdue Sikukuni; and when you did attempt it, it was with so inadequate a force that you suffered defeat. If you had at once sent out an adequate European force to bring Sikukuni to account, and had shown the Boers that you would fulfil your promises, it is possible, I repeat, that the result might have been different. As to the effect of the annexation on the Zulus, I think it will be admitted on all hands—except by Sir Bartle Frere—that up to the time of the annexation the Zulus were friendly. I think it important to bear the old friendliness of the Zulus in mind, because, if advantage had been taken of their friendly temper, the whole complexion of affairs might have been altered. At first, when we annexed the Transvaal, Cetewayo showed no resentment against us. On the contrary, he sent the following friendly message to Sir Theophilus Shepstone:—

"I thank my father Somtsen for his message. I am glad that he has sent it, because the Dutch have tired me out, and I intended to fight with them once, once only, and to drive them over the Vaal. You see my Impis are gathered. It was to fight the Dutch I called them together. Now I will send them to their homes."
Unfortunately, Sir Theophilus Shepstone soon became more Boer than the Boers, and lost his influence with Cetewayo, without gaining the confidence of the Boers. As Cetewayo expressed it, "Shepstone wishes to cast me off; he is no more a father, but a firebrand." Sir Bartle Frere, so far as I can judge, was never of opinion that there was any friendly feeling whatever between the Zulu King and ourselves, and even based the whole of his policy on that assumption. He said that
"If there had been any real friendship, nothing that had occurred in the Transvaal would have influenced it."
Now, for nearly 40 years, we have been the neighbours of the Zulus, and yet, when I was at the Colonial Office, and for a long period before, the inhabitants of Natal were able to sleep peacefully with no further guard than the wing of one regiment. There was, in short, friendly feeling enough for the maintenance of peace for that considerable length of time. To pass on to the immediate question, I should be very sorry if the Motion were decided with reference only to a single point and not to the entire policy of Sir Bartle Frere. The fault of that policy seems to me to have been the attempting too many different things at the same time. In the first place, Sir Bartle Frere had on his hands the work of Confederation. I am in favour of Confederation in principle; but I always feared that the Government were premature in pushing it forward, and I thought that the manner in which it was propounded to the Colonies was injudicious. I abstained, however, when the Bill was before Parliament, from saying anything which could prejudice the measure, which, as I have said, I approved in principle, and the success of which I should have welcomed. At all events, Sir Bartle Frere had no easy work before him. He had also to deal with a Kaffir War; and no sooner was that finished, than he set about annexing the whole territory lying between Natal and the old Colony. Meanwhile, he was endeavouring to disarm the Natives. Thus he had several difficult tasks to perform at once; and, by way of adding to his burdens, he chose the moment for a quarrel with the Zulus. Disarmament is a most import- ant affair, and if not carried into effect with caution may lead to Native outbreaks. It appears, from the latest news, that the Basutos, a tribe hitherto very friendly to us, are in a dangerous condition; another piece of intelligence is that the Fingoes, another friendly tribe, are grievously offended at the disarmament. Such intelligence shows that throughout the Native population an unpleasant feeling prevails, caused by the disarmament. Clearly, with all these troubles on his hands, Sir Bartle Frere was not very fortunate in the choice of his occasion. Instead of adopting the policy of conciliation and compromise, wisely inculcated upon him by the Government, Sir Bartle Frere pursued a precipitate and violent policy. With regard to Sir Bartle Frere personally, I feel the force of every word said by the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Carnarvon) as to his amiable qualities, and his long and distinguished public service; but when the safety of a great Colony and the lives of Her Majesty's troops are concerned, private merit, however conspicuous, cannot outweigh a serious error of judgment. The noble Earl has spoken of the concurrence of opinion between Sir Theophilus Shepstone, Sir Henry Bulwer, and Sir Bartle Frere. The former, undoubtedly, agreed in some important points with Sir Bartle Frere; but as for Sir Henry Bulwer, the Parliamentary Papers are full of cautions from him as to the policy of the High Commissioner. At last, no doubt, he succumbed to the influence of Sir Bartle Frere, and expressed concurrence in his policy—nor is it to be wondered at, if he thought it no longer right for him, as a subordinate, to be constantly opposed to his superior. What I complain of is that Sir Bartle Frere, when he found that the Zulus were inclined to forsake their friendly attitude towards us, forthwith ceased to take a calm and judicious view of the whole situation such as a man in his position ought to have taken. His despatches show a mind excited almost beyond belief, magnifying approaching danger in a most extraordinary way, and anticipating an immediate onslaught on the part of the Zulu King. He talks of the Zulus as "celibate gladiators," and the Zulu Army as a "frightfully efficient manslaying machine." I need not refer to the case of the surveyors, for it is too trumpery a matter. With regard to the carrying off of the two women, it should be remembered that border forays are of constant occurrence; and if they are to be regarded as insults to the British nation, scarcely a month will pass in South Africa in which there will not be an occasion for war with some tribe or other. As to the so-called Coronation promises, which have been placed in the forefront by Sir Bartle Frere, as obligations which we were bound to enforce, even at the cost of war, nothing in the Papers so much astonished me as the idea that they constituted an engagement between us and the Zulu nation. There was certainly nothing further from the intention of the late Government than to enter into such engagements; and if I had thought that any such engagement had been undertaken, I should not have lost a single mail in disavowing Sir Theophilus Shepstone's proceedings. I observe that the present Colonial Secretary takes the same view, for in writing to Sir Henry Bulwer concerning the missionaries who had claimed protection in Zululand, in virtue of the promises made at the Coronation, he says—
"It is obvious that the position of Sir Theophilus Shepstone in this matter was that of a friendly counsellor, giving advice to the King as to the good government of the country."
He adds—
"Her Majesty's Government cannot undertake the obligation of protecting them (the missionaries) in Zululand."
Reference has been made, in the course of the debate, to the boundary dispute between Cetewayo and the Transvaal, which is a very old one. I will only say that it is obvious that Sir Bartle Frere was disappointed at the award with respect to it which was made by the Commission, and that he never intended to conciliate Cetewayo. I come, in the next place, to what appears to me to be the gist of the whole matter—the call on Cetewayo to disarm—for such a demand, it must have been quite clear, would lead to the instant breaking out of hostilities. Sir Bartle Frere was, no doubt, misled, as his despatches indicate, by the opinions which he unfortunately heard on all sides, to the effect that at the first touch the whole Zulu organization would melt away. Sir Bartle Frere is a distinguished man, and he has a plain and intelligible policy. He was of opinion that Cetewayo was powerful; that he was becoming more powerful; and that his power must be diminished. From the policy which that idea led him to adopt, he seems never to have departed. For my own part, I look upon the aggression upon Cetewayo as being unjust and impolitic, as being calculated to involve this country in disaster, and certainly to create a most unfavourable impression as to the nature of our rule in the minds of the Natives of South Africa, whom it ought to be our endeavour to conciliate. Sir Bartle Frere has, however, apparently taken quite a contrary view, and one, I may add, which is not at all in accordance with his antecedents, because he had always been supposed to be favourable to the coloured races. In my opinion, the course which ought to have been pursued was to accept the award, and carry it honestly into effect: if the Boer farmers were injured by it—as I have no doubt they were—to compensate them, and as a proof of our friendship to Cetewayo, to hand over the territory unfettered by conditions which virtually nullified its restoration. Such a policy might not have resulted in maintaining peace; but, be that as it may, I regret that a chance was not given it. Sir Bartle Frere, in his eagerness to pursue a showy policy, forgot the true interests of the country. Why should be not be recalled? Other Governors as eminent, nay, more eminent, have been recalled. For example, the late Lord Ellenborough, a man certainly not inferior in ability or position to Sir Bartle Frere, was recalled from India. I am not at all disposed to accuse Her Majesty's Government of sharing the views of Sir Bartle Frere; but I think Sir Bartle Frere has some reason to complain of the vacillating course they have taken with regard to their own policy. In October last, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach wrote a despatch to Sir Bartle Frere, instructing him, by the exercise of prudence and the spirit of forbearance, to avert the serious evil of a war with Cetewayo. It is quite evident that at that time Her Majesty's Government were of opinion that it was only necessary to defend the Colony from attack. When that despatch reached Sir Bartle Frere he was in the Colony of Natal. He was then on the point of despatching his Ultimatum. In the despatch of October, Her Majesty's Government altogether refused to send any reinforcements to Sir Bartle Frere. Sir Bartle Frere, having received that despatch, replied, and then proceeded to act. A more contemptuous reply than that of Sir Bartle Frere was, I think, never addressed to a Secretary of State. Sir Bartle Frere said, in his reply—
"I am not, of course, aware what information may have reached Her Majesty's Government other than what has passed through me. But I confess that, looking back to the information I have had the honour to submit to Her Majesty's Government during the past 12 months, I can find little ground for any such hope of avoiding a war with Cetewayo."
That reply was dated the 10th of December. On the next day, having received a positive refusal of the reinforcements which he had himself pronounced indispensable, he sent an Ultimatum which was calculated to produce immediate war. What confidence can be placed in a Governor who acts in this manner? On this act I base my opinion, that it is absolutely necessary that Sir Bartle Frere should be recalled—if a Governor can do that once, he may do it twice. Her Majesty's Government, however, changed their mind, and sent reinforcements, which fortunately just arrived in time; but they expressly repeated that these reinforcements were not to furnish the means for any aggressive operations. Then the Government turned round and seemed to be half disposed to approve the aggressive policy of Sir Bartle Frere. When they received the news of the Ultimatum, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach wrote in January—
"I do not desire to question the policy you have pursued in a difficult and complicated condition of affairs."
Then they changed again after the news of the disaster at Isandlana, and came to the conclusion that Sir Bartle Frere was deserving of censure for not having communicated with the Government before he decided to send the Ultimatum—a conclusion in which I entirely concur. But I wish your Lordships to consider in what position Sir Bartle Frere has been left. The Government have first censured him, then they have said in the same despatch—
"They have no desire to withdraw in the present crisis of affairs the confidence hitherto reposed in you."
And then, after expressing confidence in him, they have tied his hands by requiring him not to take any step as to peace without previous consultation with the Government at home. The words used are so remarkable that I will read them to the House; they are in Sir Michael Hicks-Beach's despatch of March 26—
"It is my wish that, as far as possible, you should avoid taking any decided step, or committing yourself to any positive conclusion respecting any of them, until yon have received instructions from Her Majesty's Government."
I should like to know if the noble Marquess opposite, or any noble Lord, would, for 10 minutes, occupy such a position as Sir Bartle Frere is made to occupy? I cannot conceive any man of honour, or who has regard for his own reputation, or the interest of his country, submitting to be bound by the expressions in this despatch—expressions of the most marked distrust of the individual and his policy. This Governor, whom you will not recall because you have confidence in him, you have bound hand and foot by this despatch. You had the proverbial three courses open to you. You may approve a Governor and support his policy; you may censure and recall him; either of these courses might be defensible. The third course is to censure and at the same time withdraw your confidence from a Governor, and this, which appears to me wholly indefensible, is the course which Her Majesty's Government have, in fact, pursued with Sir Bartle Frere. For these reasons, I heartily support the Resolution.

My Lords, the speech which we have just heard from the noble Earl is one which it is very tempting to make under the circumstances, and one to which in one sense and for one reason it is not easy to reply. The noble Earl, instead of confining himself to the issue before the House, adopted the easier plan of wandering over all Sir Bartle Frere's administration, picking out a point here and a point there for censure, and trusting that, as he was dealing with the acts of an absent man, it was not likely a sufficient answer could be given to his criticism. But your Lordships are not asked to-night to decide on a large and general question; you are asked to decide on a narrow issue which is put before you in the Motion of the noble Marquess—whether Her Majesty's Government is or is not to be censured for not having recalled Sir Bartle Frere. It was well enough known to the House that Her Majesty's Government is not entirely satisfied with the conduct of Sir Bartle Frere. They have expressed, in explicit but not harsh language, the points with regard to which they feel they have cause to complain; but I wish that the extent to which they have expressed themselves should be clearly understood. They have passed no opinion upon the policy of Sir Bartle Frere. They do not think that the very crisis of a difficult and dangerous war is the moment for declaring such an opinion. But they have expressed their opinion upon one point which could not be delayed. In the government of a vast Empire such as this, where great powers must be reposed in distinguished officers in every quarter of the globe, where there is always temptation to which the distinguished officer of any Government is exposed, of considering only the particular country with which the officer has to deal, and not sufficiently remembering the circumstances of the Empire at large, it is absolutely necessary at the earliest moment, not only with reference to this one particular officer, but in the interests of all the servants of the Crown, that this lesson should be read to them—that Her Majesty's Advisers, and they only, must decide the grave issues of peace and war. It was necessary, my Lords, that we should record that judgment, and in recording it we have passed no censure. Noble Lords opposite have too rapidly assumed that we have censured the conduct or policy of Sir Bartle Frere. We have confined, as I have said, our censure or our blame to one particular point, which it is essential to notice in order to maintain the discipline of the public servants of the entire Empire; but we have no desire to express any opinion at present upon the grave issues of policy which his conduct raises. There are several reasons why we should not do so, and, in my humble opinion, why your Lordships should not do so either. In the first place, it is not calculated to strengthen the hands of those who, in difficult circumstances, are maintaining abroad the interests of your country, the safety of your countrymen, and the honour of your flag, if you cri- ticize too narrowly every minute point which may be raised as to the origin of the war. In the second place, you must bear in mind that, in dealing with the vast hordes of barbarians who lie within and around the Frontier of these South African Colonies, you cannot be guided by the principles which guide you in diplomacy with a European State. You cannot be guided by precisely the same kind of prudence. If you have been successful more than any other race in dealing with populations of this kind, and in imposing the Empire of England by the force of a handful of men over vast multitudes of human beings, it is not because you have picked your way carefully between this danger and that; it is because, in the words of another man who spoke in the midst of another crisis, your policy has been "Boldness, boldness, and always boldness;" and if Sir Bartle Frere has for a moment exaggerated that policy, if he has so improved and extended the lessons of his Indian experience that he has allowed his courage to verge into rashness—I do not say it is so—but if it is, you must remember that the quality out of which that rashness arises is the quality which made your Empire great; and if ever you teach to your Governors that courage is a dangerous quality, your Empire will be gone. For these reasons, I deprecate deeply at the present moment not only criticism but discussion of the conduct of Sir Bartle Frere. I would rather that a more familiar subject—the conduct of Her Majesty's Government—were dealt with. The noble Earl (the Earl of Kimberley) has stated that it was only by accident that Her Majesty's Government was included in the Motion, because there is a desire not to injure us. My Lords, we feel all the consideration which the noble Earl has shown to Her Majesty's Government, and we feel deep gratitude for the kindness of the temper with which he has approached this question; but, at the same time, I must demur to some of the criticisms that he has used. In the first place, he says that we have changed our point of view; that we have changed our minds since January with respect to Sir Bartle Frere; and on what does he found that charge? He founds it on the fact that the Colonial Secretary says in one despatch that he will not question the conduct or policy of Sir Bartle Frere. Now, that is precisely what I am calling upon your Lordships not to do now. I ask you not to question the policy of Sir Bartle Frere. We do not think it right, save on the one matter to which I refer, to enter upon this question of Sir Bartle Frere's policy at this time, for by that means the hands of our agents may be paralyzed, and the objects of their policy neutralized. Our views on this matter have not changed. We still think that the question had better be reserved. Then the noble Earl complains that the attitude adopted towards Sir Bartle Frere is one likely not to be attended by satisfactory results. He makes that charge on the last despatch in the Blue Book, and the last sentence in that despatch, and he said that it was an unheard-of disgrace that was imposed on Sir Bartle Frere—that it was treating him with the want of confidence fatal to its usefulness—that we had told him "he was as far as possible to avoid taking any decided steps, and not to commit himself to any positive conclusions respecting any questions until he received the instructions of Her Majesty's Government." My Lords, I admit that words to that effect have been addressed to Sir Bartle Frere—not only are those words fitly addressed to Sir Bartle Frere—they are words I would address to every negotiator in every part of the world who has to deal with the conclusion of peace. I would write them down as the Standing Orders of the State, to guide Her Majesty's servants. I am sure that the noble Earl opposite would not have permitted any negotiator to take a decided step, or commit himself to any positive conclusion without the approval of the Government to which he belonged. When he was negotiating with the United States—a more important and powerful and civilized Power than that over which Cetewayo rules—the noble Earl would not have permitted a negotiator to act without instructions; and I have always heard that the telegrams controlling the negotiators on that occasion cost as much as £30,000. I am sure if anyone had been behind the panel, and heard the instructions given by the noble Earl to his Colleague beside him before he left, it would be found that he was told not to commit the Government without consulting them on the subject. Of course, there is the question as to whether it is always possible to do so. If the state of things is such that Sir Bartle Frere is obliged to come to conclusions with Cetewayo without consulting the Government, those instructions leave him perfect liberty to do so; but he is responsible afterwards. But, telegraph or no telegraph, the instruction which should be given is the same—before committing the country in important points the Government should be consulted, if possible. Now, my Lords, the real question we have to decide is whether the course we have found it necessary to pursue in taking notice, on the part of Sir Bartle Frere, of a disregard of the authority of the Imperial Government, has laid upon us the obligation to recall him. My Lords, this is not a question of individual feelings, but of what is best to be done. We are told that we ought to recall him, because, under the circumstances, it must be most disagreable to him to retain his post. I have known Sir Bartle Frere for many years, and I have a higher idea of his patriotism than to think that he will receive what we have felt called on to say other than in a proper spirit. We have assured him that he still retains our confidence, and that assurance he will believe. He will have to consider the question as we have had to consider it—as a question affecting the honour and interests of the country. I have no doubt, after he reads his despatch, he will not ask the question, "Do my wounded feelings require I should return home?" but "Do the interests of the country permit that I should return home?" And that is the spirit in which the Government have acted towards him. We have had many things to consider. Sir Bartle Frere has mastered the details of a difficult question, which it is necessary to dispose of. If he were to leave his important post, the new man who might take his place would require, perhaps, many months before he could master those details. Sir Bartle Frere has an intimate knowledge of all the circumstances which led to the Zulu War, and of the best way of overcoming the forces of the Zulu King. He has all these details in his hand. They cannot be tossed over to another man. Sir Bartle Frere cannot empty his brains into another man's skull. Any man coming fresh to the work would do so at a disadvantage which it might take some time to overcome, and that some time might be critical in the war. And there is another consideration not less important. From whatever cause, Sir Bartle Frere has succeeded, probably beyond any other Governor who has ruled in South Africa, in winning to himself the affections of the inhabitants, both in Cape Colony and Natal; and in that we ought to co-operate with him, because, although we are struggling for their interests, their cooperation is important to us in the matter. He can command it in a way no other man can. If, therefore, Sir Bartle Frere was removed, we might have to count, not only on the apathy, but on the possible discontent of these people. My Lords, all these things sum themselves up in the familiar adage that even if it be desirable to change horses—which I do not admit in the present case—you should not attempt the process while crossing the stream. We are not now discussing Sir Bartle Frere's past administration. The only question before us is whether Her Majesty's Government is to be changed in order that Sir Bartle Frere may be recalled; and on that question, and that question only, I fearlessly challenge the decision of your Lordships' House.

said, that noble Lords on his (the Opposition) side of the House did not desire to make this a Party question; but he was at a loss to understand exactly the position of the Government with regard to the course adopted by Sir Bartle Frere. Reading the Papers in the Blue Books, he had all along agreed with the Colonial Secretary and disagreed with Sir Bartle Frere; and he could not but observe the fact that while the Colonial Secretary again and again enumerated offences that were not to be regarded as causes of war against Cetewayo, Sir Bartle Frere again and again treated those offences as causes of war. In fact, Sir Bartle Frere appeared to be a man of very strong will, and the Colonial Minister a man of rather weak will. The Colonial Secretary had said over and over again that he was to use every effort to avoid war; nevertheless, Sir Bartle Frere persisted in driving the country into war. Again, Sir Bartle Frere was especially cautioned that, in the event of war, it was to be a strictly defensive one—and the way in which Sir Bartle Frere gave effect to that caution was to arrange with Lord Chelmsford to invade the Zulu country and to drive the Zulus back to their furthest Frontier—with what result was now known. The public meanwhile asked who was responsible. If they looked at the despatches, the Government were not responsible, for they did all they could to prevent war; but Sir Bartle Frere was determined to go to war, and it seemed they could not prevent it. Look at the course which he adopted in dealing with the Zulus. He gave the land to the Boers, and told the Zulu King to be satisfied with the Sovereignty—the award gave to Cetewayo the Sovereignty of the land, and withheld from him that which to him was the only value of the land, the right to settle his people upon it. Sir Bartle Frere told the King he must at once disband his Army. That meant his ruin, probably his assassination. Sir Henry Bulwer pointed out that the disbandment of the Army was eventually desirable, but could only be effected gradually. Sir Bartle Frere demanded that it should be disbanded in three weeks. Then Sir Bartle Frere took up the question of morality, and told the King he must not go on with these unmarried men, and must not marry the young women to the old men. But the young women did not approve; but the old men, who formed the King's Council, perhaps did. In his despatch, now laid on the Table, Sir Bartle Frere threatened the very independence of the Zulu nation, for he said that there would be no peace and no quiet in South Africa until the Queen's supremacy was acknowledged from Cape Town to Delagoa Bay. What did that point to? Why nothing loss than the annexation of the whole intervening territory. And that was what must be the inevitable result of retaining Sir Bartle Frere in his present position. The House ought to know distinctly whether Her Majesty's Government adopted the policy of Sir Bartle Frere. If they did not, was it wise to keep him there? If they changed their policy, they must change their man.

My Lords, there is one advantage at the end of a debate, besides the relief which is afforded by its termination, and that is that both sides of the House seem pretty well agreed as to the particular point at issue. But the rich humour of the noble Duke (the Duke of Somerset) has again diverted us from the consideration of the Motion really before the House. If the noble Duke and his Friends were desirous of knowing what was the policy which Her Majesty's Government were prepared generally to pursue in South Africa—if they wished to challenge the policy of Sir Bartle Frere itself in all its details—I should have thought they would have produced a very different Motion from that which is now lying on your Lordships' Table; for that is a Motion of a most limited character, and, according to the strict Rules of Parliamentary discussion, precludes us from most of the subjects which have lately been introduced to our consideration, and which principally have emanated from noble Lords opposite. We have not been summoned here to-day to consider the policy of the acquisition of the Transvaal. This is a subject on which I am sure the Government would be prepared to address your Lordships, if their conduct were clearly and fairly impugned. With regard to the annexation of that Province—which has certainly very much filled the mouths of men of late—I admit that that would have been a subject for fair discussion in this House; and we should have heard, as we have heard to-night, though in a manner somewhat unexpected from the nature of the Resolution before us, from the noble Earl recently the Secretary of State for the Colonies (the Earl of Carnarvon), the principal reasons which induced the Government to sanction that policy—a policy which I believe can be defended, but which has not been impugned to-night in any formal manner. What has been impugned to-night is the conduct of Her Majesty's Government in sanctioning, not the policy of Sir Bartle Frere, but his taking a most important step without consulting them, which on such a subject is the usual practice with all Governors. But the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Lansdowne), who introduced the subject, does not even impugn the policy of the Lord High Commissioner, and it was left for the noble Duke who has just addressed us, and who ought to have brought forward this question if his views on the matter are so strongly entertained by him, not in supporting a Resolution such as now lies on your Lordships' Table, but one which would have involved a discussion of the whole policy of the Government and that of the high Officer who is particularly interested in it. My noble Friend the noble Marquess who very recently addressed the House (the Marquess of Salisbury) touched the real question which is before us—and it is an important question, although not of the expansive character of the one which would have been justified by the comments of noble Lords opposite. What we have to decide to-night is this—whether Her Majesty's Government shall have the power of recommending to the Sovereign the employment of a high Officer to fulfil duties of the utmost importance, or whether that exercise of the Prerogative on their advice shall be successfully impugned, and that appointment superseded, by noble Lords opposite. Such a course is perfectly Constitutional, if they are prepared to take the consequence. But let it be understood what the issue is. It is this—that a censure upon the Government is called for, because they have in their discretion selected the individual who, on the whole, they think best qualified successfully to fulfil the duties of High Commissioner. The noble Lords opposite make that proposition; and if they succeed, they will succeed in that which has hitherto been considered one of the most difficult tasks of an Opposition—that is to say, they will supersede the individual whom the Sovereign, in the exercise of Her Prerogative, under the advice of Her Ministers, has selected for an important post. My Lords, I cannot agree in the general remark made by the noble Duke, that because an individual has committed an error—and even a considerable error—for that reason, without any reference either to his past services or his present qualifications, immediately a change should be recommended, and he should be recalled from the scene of his duties. I remember myself a case not altogether different from the present one. It happened some 20 years ago, when I sat in the other House of Parliament. A high official —a diplomatist of great eminence—a Member of the Liberal Party at that time—had committed what was deemed a great indiscretion, and which even then was deemed such by several Members of his own Party; and the Government were asked in a formal manner by a Liberal Member, whether that distinguished diplomatist had been in consequence recalled. But the person who was then responsible for the conduct of public affairs in that House—the humble individual who is now addressing your Lordships—made this answer, with the full concurrence of his Colleagues—announcing that that distinguished diplomatist was not recalled, he said that great services are not cancelled by one act or one single error, however it may be regretted at the moment. What I then said with regard to Sir James Hudson, I might say now with regard to Sir Bartle Frere. But I do not wish to rest on that. I confess that, so keen is my sense of responsibility, and that of my Colleagues—and I am sure also that of noble Lords opposite—that we would not allow our decisions in such matters to be unduly influenced by personal considerations of any kind. What we had to determine was this—Was it wise that such an act on the part of Sir Bartle Frere as, in fact, commencing war without consulting the Government at home, and without their sanction, should be passed unnoticed? Ought it not to be noticed in a manner which should convey to that eminent person a clear conviction of the feelings of Her Majesty's Government; and, at the same time, was it not their duty to consider whether, were he superseded, they could place in his position an individual equally qualified to fulfil the duties and responsibilities resting on him? That is what we had to consider. We considered it entirely with reference to the public interest and the public interest alone, and we arrived at a conviction that, on the whole, the retention of Sir Bartle Frere in that position was our duty, notwithstanding the inconvenient observations and criticisms to which we were, of course, conscious it might subject us; and, that being our conviction, we have acted upon it. It is a very easy thing for a Government to make a scapegoat; but that is conduct which I hope no Gentleman on this side, and I believe no Gentleman sitting opposite, would easily adopt. If Sir Bartle Frere had been recalled—if he had been recalled in deference to the panic—the thoughtless panic—of the hour, in defer- ence to those who have no responsibility in the matter, and who have not weighed well and deeply investigated all the circumstances and all the arguments that can be brought forward, and which must be appealed to to influence our opinion on such a question—no doubt a certain degree of odium might have been diverted from the heads of Her Majesty's Ministers, and the world would have been delighted, as it always is, to find a victim. That was not the course we pursued, and it is one which I trust no British Government ever will pursue. We had but one object before us, and that was to take care that, at this most critical period, the affairs of Her Majesty in South Africa should be directed by one not only qualified to direct them, but who was probably superior to any other individual whom we could have selected for that purpose. The sole question that we really have to decide to-night is—Was it the duty of Her Majesty's Government to recall Sir Bartle Frere in consequence of his having declared war without our consent? We did not think it our duty to take that course, and we do not think it our duty to take that course now. Whether we are right in the determination at which we have arrived is the sole question which the House has to determine upon the Motion before it. The noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Somerset) has told us that he should not be contented without being made acquainted with the whole policy which Her Majesty's Government are prepared to pursue in South Africa. If the noble Duke will introduce that subject, we shall be happy to discuss it with him. No one could introduce it in a more interesting, and, indeed, in a more entertaining manner than the noble Duke. We are all aware of the ample knowledge and sarcastic felicity with which he conveys his thoughts and expresses his opinions. I think, however, that we ought to have had rather longer Notice before we were called upon to discuss so large a theme as that which has now been brought suddenly under our notice. If the noble Marquess who introduced this subject (the Marquess of Lansdowne) had given us Notice of a Motion of this character, we should not have hesitated for a moment to meet it; I have, however, no desire to avoid meeting the subject of our future policy in South Africa, even on so general a Notice as we have received in reference to it from the noble Duke. Sir Bartle Frere was selected by the noble Earl who recently occupied the position of Secretary of State for the Colonies (the Earl of Carnarvon) chiefly to secure one great end—namely, to carry into effect the policy of Confederation in South Africa which the noble Earl had successfully carried into effect on a previous occasion with regard to the North American Colonies. Now, if there be any policy which, in my mind, is more than any other opposed to the policy of annexation, it is the policy of Confederation. By pursuing the policy of Confederation we bind States together, we consolidate their resources, and we enable them to establish a strong Frontier; and where we have a strong Frontier, that is the best argument against a policy of annexation. I myself regard a policy of annexation with great distrust; but I believe that the reasons of State in regard to the Province of the Transvaal were, on the whole, in favour of the policy of annexation. For what were the circumstances under which that annexation was effected? The Transvaal was a territory which was no longer defended by its occupiers. The noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Kimberley), who formerly had the Colonies under his management, spoke of the conduct of Sir Theophilus Shepstone as though he had not taken duo precautions to effect the annexation of that Province, and said that he was not justified in concealing that he had not successfully consummated his object. The noble Earl said that he did not assemble troops enough in the Province to carry out properly the policy of annexation. But Sir Theophilus Shepstone particularly refers to that very fact to show that so unanimous and so united was the sentiment in the Province in favour of annexation, that it was unnecessary to send any large force there to bring it about. The annexation of that Province was a necessity—a geographical necessity. But the annexation of the Transvaal was one of the reasons why those who were connected with that Province might have calculated upon the permanent existence of Zululand as an independent State. My Lords, I know it is said that when we are at war—as we unfortunately now-are—with the Zulus, or any other savage nation, even though we inflict upon them some great disaster, and might then effect an arrangement with them of a peaceable character, before long the same Power would again attack us unless we annexed its territory. I have never considered that a legitimate argument in favour of annexation of a barbarous country. It is very true that if we defeated the Zulus to-morrow—as I trust that we shall shortly in a significant manner—in a few years another war may break out between Zululand and Her Majesty's Dominions in South Africa. But similar results might occur in Europe if we went to war with one of our neighbours—as we unfortunately have done on previous occasions; and even if we defeated our neighbours, yet, after a certain time, when their resources revived, when their population had increased, and when their arms of destruction had been improved or perfected, it would be very likely that they might seize a favourable opportunity to go to war with us again. But is that an argument why we should not hold our hand until we had completely crushed our adversary? Is it to be supposed that, because a barbarous nation in Africa may, after it has been chastised in war by this country, after a period renew hostilities—is that a reason that we are to enter into a war of extermination to prevent a repetition of those hostilities? No, my Lords, that is a policy which I hope will never be sanctioned by this House. It is, of course, possible that we may again be involved in war with the Zulus; but it is an equal chance that, in the development of circumstances in that part of the world, the Zulu people may have to invoke the aid and the alliance of England against some other people, and that the policy dictated by feelings and influences which have regulated our conduct with regard to European States may be successfully pursued with regard to less civilized nations in a different part of the world. I will not enter into any minute discussion of the various questions which, not in consequence of the Resolution on the Table, but by reason of the association of the subjects with the main question, have been imported into the do-bate. They have really nothing to do with the single issue that is now before your Lordships, and upon which, in a very short time, you will record your opinion. It is not the policy of England with regard to South Africa now for some years past that is called in question. Different Cabinets and different schools of political opinion are equally interested in maintaining that policy. It is not, in fact, the annexation of the Transvaal Province upon which you are now called to decide. It is not, in fact, any of the matters that have been treated in detail to-night, but which really do not branch out of the Resolution which is on the Table, that are at issue. To these, if our policy be impugned, noble Lords opposite will have a legitimate opportunity of calling your Lordships' attention. The question we have before us now is whether Her Majesty's Ministers have acted wisely in retaining the services of Sir Bartle Frere in the circumstances in which they have been retained. That is the only question. On the part of the Government, I give my opinion here, publicly, that, in taking that course, we took one for the public welfare; that we were influenced by no personal considerations; that we were influenced by none of those feelings which it is difficult for even honourable men when they find a distinguished public officer in difficulty and disgrace to be free from; that we divested ourselves from any other sentiment but doing that which in a most difficult state of affairs was for the public advantage. And if you wish the public advantage to be first considered, and not the triumph of a Party, you will to-night give your decided negative to the Motion of the noble Marquess.

I will not trouble your Lordships at any length; but I may say, in common with your Lordships, I have heard with great satisfaction the announcement so emphatically made, both by the noble Viscount (Viscount Cranbrook) and the Prime Minister, that the policy of annexation was not the policy of Her Majesty's Government. I own I thought I had some recollection that, from the very beginning, the Prime Minister had made a declaration in favour of a policy which not only maintained, but extended the Empire, and I certainly fancied we had been making annexations at about the rate of one a-year since the present Government came into power. But I willingly accept the assurance they have given us that they are absolutely opposed to that policy for the future. I remember, when I first went into the House of Commons, I read, with a great deal of interest, a speech by a Gentleman known as "Single-speech Hamilton," which was designed to teach young Members of Parliament how to meet every possible Resolution; and I cannot help thinking some of his receipts have been adopted by some of my noble Friends opposite with regard to the present Resolution. The noble Viscount objected to the Resolution of the noble Marquess, as it first stood, that it was ambiguous. The noble Earl objected to it that it was dark. I can conceive nothing less ambiguous or dark than a declaration of a fact which everyone admitted, and a condemnation with which everyone agreed. Objection was also taken to the addition that has been made to the Resolution, that addition having been made in consequence of the publication of the despatches, which certainly took me, and I think the public, very much by surprise, within the last two or three days. The Prime Minister objected to the Resolution that it was too limited, the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury), on the contrary, objected to our discussing the subject at all, entirely forgetful that one of his Colleagues in "another place" had declared that the time had come for a discussion. In my opinion, these objections, if taken together, answer each other. I am not going to trouble your Lordships by going into all the facts which have been stated to the House to-night; but there is one fact of great importance, and that is that for nearly 40 years our relations with Zululand have been of a perfectly friendly character, although during that time this savage military nation has had a very large standing Army. The onus of explanation certainly lies with those who change that policy, a change which is immediately followed by war and disaster. I remember that the noble Earl who was at that time Secretary of State for the Colonies stated that the annexation of the Transvaal would be done with the full consent of the Boers.

I am sorry to interrupt the noble Earl, but what I said was that it had the consent of, at all events, a very large proportion of the European population.

The last information received from the Colonies shows that the great majority of the European population will take every opportunity of shaking off the rule of the English Government. I will now venture to say something with regard to an observation made by the noble Earl the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies (Earl Cadogan). He said he could not take the authority of the noble Marquess against the authority of Sir Bartle Frere, Sir Theophilus Shepstone, and Sir Henry Bulwer. I am not quite sure whether, when my noble Friend has been longer in the Colonial Office, he will be quite so confident about the opinion of Colonial authorities in the case of a war carried on with the full consent of the Colonies at the Imperial expense. Sir Theophilus Shepstone's opinions have changed during the last two years —incidentally, perhaps, to his having somewhat strained the instructions of the noble Earl the Secretary of State for the Colonies in the mode of annexing the Transvaal without the full consent of the inhabitants. Having done this, he was almost bound by his situation to do everything he could to conciliate the Boers. What has always been the policy of the Boers towards the Zulus? I think no one will deny that it has been a policy, without intermission, of violence, cruelty, and fraud; and it seems to me that since this annexation we have put ourselves in the shoes of the Boers, we have adopted their claims, and have taken up the war which was denounced as unjust by the noble Lords when conducted by the Boers, and have brought it to as unsuccessful an end as they did. Then as to the manner in which Sir Bartle Frere dealt with the award. I thought the two Cabinet Ministers who have addressed the House would have said something more in its defence than they did. There are three Commissioners of great standing and competency, who have fully considered all the facts. It is not denied that Sir Bartle Frere has completely changed the character of their award. What was Sir Henry Bulwer's advice to Sir Bartle Frere? He said—"Do not advance your troops to the Frontier of Zululand, because, if you do, great excitement will be created; but make your award as soon as you can, and then the other questions will have a better chance of being settled." Sir Bartle Frere disregarded this advice, delayed the award, and advanced the troops to the Frontier of Zululand, and then delivered the award, in concert with the recommendation of the Commissioners, and coupled with an Ultimatum, which there was no chance of being accepted — with the consequence that all Sir Henry Bulwer's predictions have been realized. With regard to Sir Theophilus Shepstone, my noble Friend (the Earl of Kimberley) made some remarks as to soldiers which were slightly misunderstood by the Prime Minister. He thought my noble Friend complained that no troops were sent out to conquer the Boers; but what my noble Friend said was that, after the annexation was complete, you were bound to have troops in order to fulfil our obligations to the Boers. With respect to the conduct of Sir Bartle Frere, though we condemn it, is it quite clear that we on this side of the House alone are acting unjustly to him? President Lincoln used to say—"It is ill to swap horses crossing a stream;" but will not that be the result of the publication of these despatches? One of these is full of strong censure on him, and another objects to almost every one of the terms of the Ultimatum. When they reach him, will he not think it necessary to resign? And if he does resign, you are not swapping horses in the middle of the stream, but you are dismounting without any other horse being at hand. Sir Bartle Frere's highhanded treatment of the Natives may be popular in the Colony; but you can hardly keep him after publishing these two despatches to the whole world and thus doing him the greatest possible harm. He has resigned, as I understand, all control of military matters; but you have done that most calculated to discredit him in the Colony, even with the barbarians with whom we are at war. I have heard Lord Palmerston spoken of as an example of a man who supported his distant subordinates. I think he was right, and I think the Government right, also, in being as lenient as possible in a case of an error of judgment; but Lord Palmerston always considered whether he should recall a man or not, and then, having settled not to recall him, nothing would induce him to publish such a censure as to deprive him of all authority. I say it is not by our side that injustice is done to Sir Bartle Frere, but by the Government in publishing those despatches. I say he has acted in a most wilful way; that he has disregarded his instructions; and that if you continue him in office you will encourage not only him, but you will encourage other Governors to take a high-handed course, leaving it to the Government at home to approve or disapprove their acts after they have been done. It is for the Government to decide whether they will continue to maintain in high command an Officer who has thus disobeyed their instructions. Parliament, it has been said, was to be debarred from expressing its opinion on a point of this importance; I entirely dissent from that observation, and on this issue appeal most cheerfully to the House.

On Question? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 61; Not-Contents 156: Majority 95.


Devonshire, D.Carysfort, L. (E. Cartysfort.)
Somerset, D.
Chesham, L.
Ailesbury, M.Coleridge, L.
Bath, M.Crewe, L.
Lansdowne, M.Dacre, L.
Northampton, M.De Tabley, L.
Ripon, M.Dorchester, L.
Emly, L.
Foley, L.
Airlie, E.Hammond, L.
Camperdown, E.Lawrence, L.
Cowper, E.Leigh, L.
Dartrey, E.Lyttelton, L.
Derby, E.Meldrum, L. (M. Huntly.)
Ducie, E.
Granville, E.Monson, L. [Teller.]
Ilchester, E.O'Hagan, L.
Kimberley, E.Ribblesdale, L.
Morley, E.Romilly, L.
Northbrook, E.Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)
Spencer, E.
Suffolk and Berkshire, E.Sandys, L.
Saye and Sele, L.
Sefton, L. (E. Sefton.)
Canterbury, V.Selborne, L.
Cardwell, V.Sheffield, L. (E. Sheffield.)
Falmouth, V.
Somerton, L. (E. Normanton.)
Aberdare, L.
Belper, L.Stanley of Alderley, L,
Blachford. L.Strafford, L. (V. Enfield.)
Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller.]
Sudeley, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.Thurlow, L.
Carew, L.Wenlock, L.
Carlingford, L.Wolverton, L.


Cairns, E. (L. Chancellor.)Leeds, D.
Manchester, D.
Norfolk, D.
Northumberland, D.
Beaufort, D.Richmond, D.
Brandon, D. (D. Hamilton.)Sutherland, D.
Wellington, D.

Abergavenny, M.London, L. Bp.
Ailsa, M.St. Albans, L. Bp.
Exeter, M.
Hertford, M.Airey, L.
Salisbury, M.Alington, L.
Winchester, M.Arundell of Wardour, L.
Amherst, E.Ashford, L. (V. Bury.)
Annesley, E.Bagot, L.
Bathurst, E.Bateman, L.
Beaconsfield, E.Blantyre, L.
Beauchamp, E.Bloomfield, L.
Belmore, E.Brancepeth, L. (V. Boyne.)
Bradford, E.
Cadogan, E.Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)
Caledon, E.
Carnarvon, E.Byron, L.
Cawdor, E.Castlemaine, L.
Clonmell, E.Clanbrassill, L. (E. Roden.)
Coventry, E.
Dartmouth, E.Clements, L. (E. Leitrim.)
De La Warr, E.
Denbigh, E.Clinton, L.
Devon, E.Colchester, L.
Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)Colville of Culross, L.
Cottesloe, L.
Crofton, L.
Dundonald, E.Delamere, L.
Eldon, E.De L'Isle and Dudley, L.
Ferrers, E.
Gainsborough, E.Denman, L.
Haddington, E.Digby, L.
Hardwicke, E.Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.)
Harewood, E.
Harrington, E.Dunsany, L.
Lanesborough, E.Ellenborough, L.
Lindsey, E.Elphinstone, L.
Manvers, E.Forbes, L.
Mount Edgcumbe, E.Forester, L.
Nelson, E.Gage, L. (V. Gage.)
Onslow, E.Gerard, L.
Pembroke and Montgomery, E.Gormanston, L. (V. Gormanston.)
Portarlington, E.Hampton, L.
Poulett, E.Harlech, L.
Powis, E.Hartismere, L. (L. Henniker.)
Radnor, E.
Ravensworth, E.Hastings, L. {E. Loudoun.)
Redesdale, E.
Romney, E.Hay, L. (E. Kinnoul.)
Rosslyn, E.Heytesbury, L.
Saint Germans, E.Howard de Walden, L.
Stanhope, E.Inchiquin, L.
Strange, E. (D. Athol.)Kenlis, L. (M. Headfort.)
Strathmore and Kinghorn, E.
Ker, L. (M. Lothian.)
Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)Kesteven, L.
Leconfield, L.
Waldegrave, E.Massy, L.
Wharncliffe, E.Monteagle of Brandon, L.
Wilton, E.
Mowbray, L.
Bridport, V.Northwick, L.
Cranbrook, V.Norton, L.
Hardinge, V.O'Neill, L.
Hawarden, V. [Teller.]Ormonde, L. (M. Ormonde.)
Hill, V.
Hood, V.Penrhyn, L.
Melville, V.Plunket, L.
Sidmouth, V.Poltimore, L.
Strathallan, V.Raglan, L.
Templetown, V.Ramsay, L. (E. Dalhousie.)
Torrington, V.

Ranfurly, L. (E. Ranfurly)Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)
Rayleigh, L.Saint Leonards, L.
Rivers, L.Strathnairn, L.
Rodney, L.Strathspey, L. (E. Seafield.)
Ross, L. (E. Glasgow.)
Tollemache, L.
Sackville, L.Tredegar, L.
Saltoun, L,Tyrone, L. (M. Waterford.)
Scarsdale, L.
Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)Ventry, L.
Windsor, L.
Skelmersdale, L. [Teller.]Winmarleigh, L.
Zouche of Haryngworth, L.
Sondes, L.

Resolved in the Negative.

House adjourned at Twelve o'clock, till To-morrow, Eleven o'clock.