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into the trial; we had no such power to investigate the matter. The Act was then passed by an overwhelming majority.

Meanwhile Langalibalele had found a powerful defender to champion his cause. Bishop Colenso, with a stern and pure sense of abstract justice, had seen with pain the steps which had been taken by the Natal Government in the matter. He proceeded to England and there raised an agitation against the Natal Government. The Times,

he Spectator,' and various papers and magazines had articles on the subject. It is always easy to raise feeling on native questions in England, where the ignorance of the particular issue is necessarily great, and when one side does all the agitating, a proceeding very dangerous to the peace of South Africa, for pressure is thus exercised on the Secretary of State for the Colonies, not by the intrinsic merits of the case, but by the amount of clamour raised.

Such pressure was now brought to bear on the Secretary of State, and mail after mail arrived laden with English newspaper articles of the most alarming character, condemning the colonists generally, making out that Langalibalele had been most scandalously and cruelly used, and that nothing would suffice but that he should be set at liberty and have his property restored to him.

When Mr. Molteno saw such articles in the Times' and other influential papers he began to be alarmed at the state of affairs, and though the Cape Colony had not been consulted in any way on the matter, he thought it his duty to place before the Governor for transmission to the Secretary of State what he considered would be the serious results to the Colony of any absolute reversal of the policy already taken in regard to Langalibalele.

Sir G. C. Lewis had long since drawn attention to the grave difficulties caused by interference of this character in the affairs of a dependency. Lewis on Government of Dependencies, edited by Lucas, p. 247.

Hon. J. C. Molteno to his Excellency Sir H. Barkly,

K.C.B., G.C.M.G. Colonial Secretary's Office, Cape Town : December 24, 1874.

MY DEAR SIR, --Judging by the articles and correspondence in the 'Times' and other English newspapers lately received, it seems that Bishop Colenso has carried out his intention of agitating on the Langalibalele matter, and is endeavouring to create an impression that he has been cruelly and unjustly punished. In the absence of anything which would indicate the view her Majesty's Government would be likely to take, I confess to some anxiety lest they may be induced to yield to pressure in the direction of releasing the two prisoners now on Robben Island, the effect of which on the peace and security of this Colony might be most disastrous.

Whatever exception may be taken to the proceedings of the Natal Government throughout this unfortunate business, certain prominent features must not be lost sight of.

It is unquestionable that Langalibalele deliberately intended to and did defy the Government, and that, had he not been made prisoner quickly, the probability, indeed almost certainty is, that very serious disturbances would have taken place amongst the native tribes within and immediately beyond this Colony, to say nothing of Natal, which if once commenced, there is no telling where they would have ended, and what would have been the ultimate consequences.

Secondly, that with all native tribes, the one opinion and idea is, that this chief has defied the Government, has been checkmated and defeated in his purpose, and is now justly undergoing punishment; indeed, that he has been leniently dealt with.

Should he now be released, the idea with these people will be that it is from fear and distrust on our part as to the success of our policy; consequently our difficulties in the management of the natives would be increased enormously, so much so that it would be impossible for us to preserve peace and the satisfactory state of affairs which has now existed for the last twenty years and upwards, in which case the question would necessarily arise, as to whether the Home Government would leave us to ourselves to bear the brunt of a policy essentially their own.

But this is not all, for while it is quite possible that British power, which has spent so many millions and sacrificed so many lives in an Abyssinian Expedition, and lately on the West Coast of Africa, may say, no matter at what cost, we are determined to enforce our views of what we consider abstract justice in this case of Langalibalele, what would be the position of the colonists and white inhabitants of the whole of South Africa ? To them it would be a question of life and death; their property would be sacrificed and their lives imperilled to a fearful extent should anything like a war of races be now brought about.

Every year that now passes strengthens our position and renders any serious disturbance of our relations with the native tribes less and less likely; but should a war be now brought about, it would certainly not be a small one, and, no matter what the result, could not do otherwise than throw back the civilisation in South Africa for an indefinite period.

If it were possible to get all these circumstances properly considered and weighed by British statesmen, I feel sure that they would hesitate to take steps which would certainly tend to bring about such a state of things, simply because to the nicely balanced judicial minds of a few enthusiasts, the proper

forms of trial have not been adhered to, and perhaps more severe measures in regard to the mass of the people of the rebellious chief have been resorted to than was warranted, but which latter has since been redressed as far as possible.

Under any circumstances I feel it is necessary that her Majesty's Government should be fully informed as to the consequences likely, in the opinion of those supposed to be in a position to judge, although not responsible for what has been done in Natal, to ensue.

It will be for your Excellency to judge in how far it will be advisable to inform her Majesty's Government of the view taken in this matter before any definite action is perhaps taken.

I remain, &c.


The consideration to which attention is drawn in this letter is at the bottom of all the difficulties which have attended and must attend a policy which endeavours to control native relations from afar in accordance with a distant and ill-informed public opinion, while the results of this interference must ever be felt on the spot.

It is colonial territory which is invaded, and colonial homes and property which are destroyed, and however ready the

I C. P., G-46, 1875, p. 5.

Imperial Government may be to send succour, such aid can only come into effect when the destruction has already taken place.

The note was forwarded to Lord Carnarvon by way of warning that things were not altogether as they were represented to him, and that the colonists were much alarmed at what was going on at home. Unfortunately it did not arrive in time to be of any effect. The decision had already been given and the whole matter concluded before the Cape Colony had had any opportunity of being heard at all, and to the surprise of the Ministers the mail brought Mr. Shepstone with despatches to the Cape Government and that of Natal. The despatch to the Government of the Cape was dated the 4th of December, and announced that :-It will be seen that it had been decided that Langalibalele with Mahlambule shall be removed from Robben Island to a location to be set apart for them within the Cape Colony, and shall be prohibited from re-entering Natal.' It further declared that the Cape Act, No. 3 of 1874, would be disallowed by her Majesty. Thus the decision of the Imperial Government on a most momentous question had been come to without the slightest consultation with the responsible authorities of the Colony; indeed, the Government had been entirely ignored. This was the first of a series of decisions affecting the most vital interests of the Colony, arrived at by the Secretary of State without any previous consultation with the authorities of the Colony chiefly concerned.

Mr. Shepstone on discovering the difficulties in the way of meeting Lord Carnarvon's wishes, or rather commands, seemed very much surprised, and said he felt certain that Lord Carnarvon had no desire or intention to dictate to the Cape Colony. The serious character of the interference with the constitution of the Colony was immediately apparent to Mr. Molteno, and he did not hesitate to express this view to the Governor as soon as the despatch was received.

Mr. Molteno informed the Governor that he could not comply with the wishes of Lord Carnarvon, for as soon as the despatches were published he felt certain that the political existence of the Ministry would not be worth a day's purchase unless they could show that they had properly vindicated the rights of the Colonial Legislature. The interference of the Home Government in the management of native affairs had taken place without consulting either the Legislature of the Cape or the Natal Council. The explanatory proclamations to be addressed to the natives of Natal as to the cause of Langalibalele's arrest were specially objected to on the ground that they would be well known all over the Transkei to Kreli and other native chiefs, and would lead them to suppose that the authority of the Government might be set at naught with little fear of the consequences, so long as they could get some missionary to go to England and plead for them.

Although the Governor combated these views, and assured Mr. Molteno that he felt certain it was never the intention of the Secretary of State to pass over the Cape Government in the matter, or to act contrary to its wishes, yet he felt bound to forewarn the Secretary of State that the feeling of the country had not been misjudged, and that it would be loudly and unanimously in favour of the views embodied in the Minute of the Ministers, which refused compliance with the Secretary of State's plans. The Governor, when arguing with Mr. Molteno, let fall the remark that the refusal of the Ministry would give an unfavourable idea at home of the working of responsible government. Mr. Molteno replied that on the contrary it was most fortunate that the change had taken place, for the indignation and excitement occasioned by the Times'ı article would have been tenfold under the old system, and

· Not alone in South Africa did the Times do injury to our colonial relations. We may compare the effect of the article referred to by Mr. Molteno with that

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