§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1.) if he can say by whose decision the Papers regarding the Anglo-Portuguese difficulty in Africa were classed among the less important Papers which, are not circulated to Members till applied for; (2.) whether, looking to the absence of any map to accompany these Papers, he will make accessible to Members some kind of map showing where the recent regrettable occurrence actually occurred; (3.) whether it is true, as asserted by the Portuguese, and apparently admitted by Acting-Consul Buchanan, that the collision between the forces of Major Pinto and the natives occurred south of the confluence of the Rivers Ruo and Shiré, a chief, called "Miauli," having there attacked the 306 Portuguese contrary to the advice of the Acting Consul; and (4.) whether it has been ascertained that Major Pinto did afterwards cross the Ruo, and occupy the territory north of that river, in the neighbourhood of the British Settlements?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON, Manchester, N.E.)
(1.) The course taken was understood to be in accordance with the wishes of the House of Commons; 250 copies being supplied to the Vote Office. (2.) A map was sent to the library of the House yesterday. (3.) All the Reports respecting this engagement received are contained in the Papers laid, in the first serious conflict Miauli is said to have taken the offensive distinctly against the advice of the Acting Consul. It is not clear whether the action took place north or south of the Ruo, but it must have been in its immediate neighbourhood. I may thus have been in error last night in saying that the Portuguese force was within Makololo territory, though we believe that if was. The date of this affair was apparently November 8. It must be remembered that this was more than a fortnight after the Portuguese commander had, on October 26tn, issued his declaration of war (No. 288 Printed Papers). (4.) There is no doubt whatever as to this fact, which is admitted on both sides.
§ SIR G. CAMPBELL
The right hon. Gentleman has not answered the last paragraph of the question: did Major Pinto cross the Ruo and occupy the territory north of that river?
§ SIR J. FERGUSSON
Yes, Sir. At least, some of his forces did cross the river and occupied the country in the neighbourhood of the British Settlements.
§ SIR G. CAMPBELL
Will the right hon. Gentleman ascertain whether the engagement did take place on the north or on the south side of the river?