South-West Africa.

Oral Answers to Questions — Police. – in the House of Commons on 25th July 1922.

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Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

5.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the proceedings in the mandated area of South-West Africa, which include the bombing of Hottentot villages containing women and children, and of one 'plane dropping from a low altitude no less than 40 bombs and spraying with 2,000 rounds of ammunition a party of 500 Hottentots, involving heavy losses; and whether His Majesty's Government propose to take any steps to put a stop to these proceedings?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I am aware that the Administration of South-West Africa have found it necessary to take military action against one of the native tribes. As regards the second part of the question, I would remind the hon. and gallant Member that the Mandate for South-West Africa is held by the Government of the Union of South Africa.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Will the Government holding the Mandate make a report to the League of Nations on these occurrences in South-West Africa?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

It is surely not a matter in which I am concerned. The Government of the Union of South Africa hold the Mandate, and they are responsible to the League of Nations. There is no locus either for me or for the hon. and gallant Member to interfere in the matter.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Is there no locus standi in the matter by reason of the fact that we are members of the League of Nations?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I hope we shall find something better to do on the League of Nations than attack our own Dominions.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

Is not any member of the League of Nations entitled to address inquiries on reports of this sort to a fellow member of the League, without any question of interference?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

That cannot be dealt with by a supplementary question.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

6.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that during the great War the Christian burghers of Rehoboth, South-West Africa, refused to join the German forces in fighting British troops; that they were then attacked by a German force, against which they fought victorious engagements in spite of heavy losses; and that the relations of this republic with Germany were regularised by a Treaty giving them independence, under which they have built up a successful State with its own Parliament; and whether His Majesty's Government, in the event of the Rehoboth Christians becoming involved in present hostilities, will consider what, if any, steps can be taken to restore peace to this community of British subjects?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I understand that the facts are substantially as stated in the first two parts of the question, and I am also aware that a Treaty was concluded between the Rehoboth Bastards and Germany in 1885. As regards the last part of the question, I would refer to my reply to the previous question.