§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN (Birmingham, W.)
To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Secretary of State for the Colonies has 950 officially cabled to South Africa a report or summary of a speech delivered in the House of Commons by the Under-Secretary of State; if so, to what Colonies or persons the message has been sent, and with what instructions as to publication or otherwise; whether he will lay upon the Table such report or summary, with a copy of any despatch accompanying the same; and also whether there is any, and, if so, what precedent for any official communication at the public expense of any similar report or summary.
(Answered by Mr. Churchill.) Full summaries of the speeches delivered by the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies in the House of Commons on April 2nd and 5th were cabled to the Governor of Natal and the High Commissioner, respectively, with instructions to make them public through the South African newspapers or other channels. I do not think it necessary to lay the summaries upon the Table of the House; but I shall be glad to forward the right hon. Gentleman copies if he desires them. The most exact precedent for making such communication of speeches at the public expense occurred on June 27th, 1899, when a summary with long extracts of a speech delivered at Birmingham by the then Secretary of State for the Colonies was telegraphed to the Governor of the Cape on the ground that a verbatim report was not likely to reach Lord Milner, and a direction was added that publication of the summary was left to his discretion. The summary was communicated by Lord Milner to the leading Capetown papers.