§ MR. ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)
To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any reply has been received to the telegram of the Secretary of State for the Colonies of 27th May, No. 8, in Parliamentary Paper on Natal Affairs, Cd. 4001, of Session 1908; and, if so, what is its nature.
(Answered by Colonel Seely.) The Governor has telegraphed: "Attorney-General informs me that threatened proceedings take form of suit for recovery of salary alleged to-be overdue, but he cannot say when hearing will be. He has again called attention to invariable practice of Government of Natal to stop payment of salary on arrest, and quotes case in 1905 of magistrates arrested in 1523 April and tried in October. In formally approving on advice of my Ministers to suspend salary I recorded my opinion that salary paid to Dinizulu in accordance with condition of return from St. Helena should not be withheld from that chief, Secretary of State for the Colonies not having given authority for this." The Secretary of State has replied as follows: "I cannot but express my great regret that in view of all the circumstances that payment of Dinizulu's salary should have been stopped without the assent of the Secretary of State, seeing that this action cannot be regarded otherwise than as a breach of the spirit of the conditions upon which he was permitted to return to Zululand, and inflicts hardship on the prisoner, who is involved in much expense owing to the prolongation of the legal proceedings. It is not denied that these conditions were accepted as a binding engagement between the Natal Government and His Majesty's Government, in the person of the Secretary of State, and you, therefore, in January last rightly sought the approval of my predecessor when your Ministers desired to suspend Dinizulu's salary. As the conditions clearly provide for the approval of the Secretary of State he is entitled to ask for an honourable observance of their terms. I feel bound to express my disappointment that your Ministers have treated a matter of this importance in which grave political questions involving Native interests and the good faith of the Colony towards His Majesty's Government are concerned on purely technical grounds. Now that the legal construction to be placed upon the conditions as affecting Dinizulu has been referred to the Supreme Court, the decision of that tribunal must be awaited."