HC Deb 11 June 1901 vol 97 cc75-7
MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham, Mid)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. Henderson, who has been ordered to leave the Transvaal; is he aware that this man at the outbreak of the war was in a position in the Hay Consolidation Gold Mine, at Germiston, and then served in Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry; was wounded, and served again until 31st March, 1901, when he went back to Germiston, where he was appointed surveyor, but was ordered by the British authorities to leave the Transvaal, and consequently has since been without employment; whether he has knowledge of any orders by which British subjects and soldiers who have served are compelled to leave their employment in the Transvaal and go either to Natal or Cape Colony; and whether he will cause inquiries to be made into Henderson's case, in order that he may be allowed to return to Germiston, and whether any compensation can be given in such cases. In putting the question I should like to mention two facts, namely, that this man had an appointment of £50 a month, and now he is out of employment at Durban.


I am not aware of the case referred to. Under the arrangements made by the Commander-in-Chief in South Africa, no officers, non-commissioned officers, or men of irregular corps are, at present, allowed to remain in the Transvaal or Orange River Colony on discharge, except under the following conditions: (1) In Government employ; (2) as part of the establishment of the Mines Guard, as approved by Lord Kitchener, and raised by the Chamber of Mines; (3) under special circumstances to be decided by army headquarters, South Africa. If the hon. Member will send me the information at his disposal bearing on this particular case, I will consider whether inquiries should be made.


Then am I to understand that, in a case like this, where a man has served 1½ years at the front, has been wounded, and in hospital, and gets his discharge, the British authorities claim the right to drive him out of the employment he had before the war commenced?


The district is under martial law, and discharged men must either take service in the way mentioned or come under the clause as to special circumstances. However, I will inquire into this case.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the post out of which this man has been driven has been filled by an American?

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

Does martial law supersede Christianity?

MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

Is it not the fact that a great many men have been allowed to return to their places in South Africa who have done nothing to support the Government during the war, but loafed in Cape Town or visited England?

MR. SEELY (Lincoln)

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether there are not a considerable number of Transvaal Boers employed by the Government, and what reason there is for not employing our own people?

[No reply was given.]