Received April 6, 1896.
Government House, Capetown,
March 16, 1896.
I have the honour to transmit for your information a copy of a despatch from Her Majesty's Acting Agent at Pretoria, enclosing a communication from the Government of the South African Republic, accompanied by sworn declarations, respecting the terms of the surrender of Dr. Jameson's force, a summary of which documents I telegraphed to you on the 12th instant.
At my request, Lieutenant-General Goodenough has perused these sworn declarations, and informs me 'that,' in his opinion, 'Jameson's surrender was unconditional, except that his and his people's lives were to be safe so far as their immediate captors were concerned.'
I have, etc.,
Governor and High Commissioner.
Enclosed in above letter.
From H. Cloete, Pretoria, to the High Commissioner, Capetown.
Pretoria, March 11th, 1896.
I have the honour to enclose for the information of your Excellency a letter this day received from the Government, a summary of which I have already sent your Excellency by telegraph.
I have, etc.,
Department of Foreign Affairs,
Government Office, Pretoria,
March 10, 1896.
Division A., R.A., 1056/1896,
I am instructed to acknowledge the receipt of the telegram from his Excellency the High Commissioner to you, dated 6th instant, forwarded on by you to his Honour the State President, and I am now instructed to complete with further data my letter to you of 4th instant, B.B., 257/96, which I herewith confirm, containing the information which the Government then had before it respecting the surrender, and which was furnished in view of your urgent request for an immediate reply.
In order to leave no room for the slightest misunderstanding, and to put an end to all false representations, the Government has summoned not only Commandant Cronjé, but also Commandant Potgieter, Commandant Malan, Field-Cornet Maartens, Assistant Field-Cornet Van Vuuren, and others, whose evidence appears to be of the greatest importance, and places the matter in a clear and plain light.
The information which the Government has found published in the papers is of the following purport:
'THE DOORNKOP SURRENDER: ALLEGED CORRESPONDENCE.
'London, Monday, 11.15 a.m.
'Mr. Hawksley, the Chartered solicitor, who is defending Dr. Jameson, published the following letter to-day, which passed between Sir John Willoughby and Mr. Cronjé, the Dutch Commandant at the time of the Krugersdorp surrender:
'From Willoughby to Commandant.
'"We surrender, providing you guarantee a safe conduct out of the country for every member of the force."
'From Cronjé to Willoughby.
'"Please take notice, I shall immediately let our officers come together to decide upon your communication."
'From Cronjé to Willoughby.
'"I acknowledge your letter. The answer is, If you will undertake to pay the expenses you have caused to the Transvaal, and will lay down your arms, then I will spare the lives of you and yours. Please send me reply to this within thirty minutes."'
I have now the honour to enclose for the information of His Excellency the High Commissioner and the British Government sworn declarations of:
1. Commandant Cronjé, substantiated by Field-Cornet Maartens and Assistant Field-Cornet Van Vuuren.
2. Commandant Potgieter.
3. Commandant Malan.
4. J.S. Colliers, substantiated by B.J. Viljoen, and the interpreter, M. J. Adendorff.
These sworn declarations given before the State Attorney agree in all the principal points, and give a clear summary of all the incidents of the surrender, and from the main points thereof it appears, inter alia:
That the second letter, as published above, and which is alleged to be from Cronjé to Willoughby, was not issued from Cronjé, but from Commandant Potgieter, who has undoubtedly taken up the proper standpoint, and has followed the general rule in matters of urgency, such as the one in hand, and where the Commandant-General was not present in person on the field of battle, first and before treating wishing to consult with his co-commandants in as far as was possible.
That a note such as appears in his declaration was sent by Commandant Cronjé.
That neither Commandant Malan nor Commandant Potgieter were present at the despatch of it.
That the reply thereon from Willoughby was received by Commandant Cronjé, as appears in that declaration.
That Commandant Cronjé then, in compliance with the note sent by Commandant Potgieter, as well as the other commandants and officers mentioned in the declaration of Cronjé, rode up.
That Commandant Cronjé then explained his own note.
That thereupon also Commandant Malan joined his co-commandants and officers, and at this time Commandants Malan, Cronjé, and Potgieter were present.
That after consultation, and with the approval of Commandants Cronjé and Potgieter, Commandant Malan, by means of the interpreter Adendorff, had the following said to Dr. Jameson:
'This is Commandant Malan. He wishes you distinctly to understand that no terms can be made here. We have no right to make terms here. Terms will be made by the Government of the South African Republic. He can only secure your lives to Pretoria, until you are handed over to Commandant-General at Pretoria.'
That Dr. Jameson agreed to these terms and accepted them.
That thereupon by order of Dr. Jameson the arms were then also laid down.
That Commandant Trichardt then appeared with the orders of the Commandant-General to himself.
It now appears that these orders are those which were contained in the telegram of which I already sent you a copy by my above-quoted letter of the 4th March, 1896, and which, after the final regulation of matters such as had then taken place, was not further acted upon because as regards the surrender negotiations were in fact carried on in accordance with the orders of the Commandant-General.
While putting aside the question of the surrender there is little to be said about the other points contained in the telegram under reply, there is one which is considered of sufficient importance by this Government to even still draw the attention of His Excellency the High Commissioner thereto. His Excellency says: 'I may therefore explain that an armistice had been agreed to pending my arrival.'
The Government here can only think of one other misunderstanding, they having at the time of the disturbances at Johannesburg never recognized any acting party, for which reason therefore the concluding of an armistice was an impossibility.
In conclusion, I have to tender thanks both to His Honour the Secretary of State and His Excellency the High Commissioner for the unprejudiced manner in which they, as against insinuations of a low character, have made known their feelings with respect to the good faith shown by His Honour the State President in his negotiations in connection with the question of the surrender of Dr. Jameson's force.
I have, etc.,
C. VAN BOESCHOTEN,
Acting State Secretary.
His Honour H. Cloete,
Acting British Agent, Pretoria.
Appeared before me, HERMANUS JACOB COSTER, State Attorney and ex-officio J.P. of the South African Republic, PIETER ARNOLDUS CRONJÉ, Commandant of the Potchefstroom District, who makes oath and states:
I was, together with H.P. Malan (Commandant of the Rustenburg District), and F.J. Potgieter (Commandant of the Krugersdorp District), one of the commanding officers of the burgher forces in the fights against Jameson. When I noticed the white flag, I instantly ordered De la Rey to approach the enemy. Instead of De la Rey, Hans Klopper, one of the men of Commandant Potgieter, went. He brought back a note from Willoughby to me. The contents of the note were that if we left them to themselves he promised to withdraw over the boundary. In reply I sent him per Hans Klopper the following note:
'John Willoughby,—I acknowledge your note, and this serves as reply, that if you guarantee the payment of the expenses which you have occasioned the South African Republic and surrender your flag together with your weapons I will spare the life of you and yours. Please send reply within thirty minutes.'
When this reply was written by me neither Malan nor Potgieter were present. Thereupon he answered that he accepted the terms, and surrendered himself fully with all his arms into my hands. After receiving Willoughby's answer, I rode to Jameson's troops in order to meet the other commandants, in accordance with a note sent by Commandant Potgieter to the enemy. I went with Field-Cornets Maartens and Van Vuuren to Jameson's troops, and met Jameson. When I met him I gave him to clearly understand our agreement namely that he must plainly understand that the last clause was that I guaranteed his life and that of his men until I had handed him over to General Joubert. Thereupon I asked him if he was willing to lay down his flag and his arms, to which he replied, 'I have no flag; I am willing to lay down my arms.' Thereupon I asked him if he could declare upon oath that he had no flag, whereupon he declared under oath that he had no flag. Then Commandant Malan arrived, and then the three commanding officers, Malan, Potgieter and I, were present on the spot.
Before I began speaking to Malan, Jameson called Willoughby to be present. Thereupon Malan and I spoke together about the surrender of Jameson. Whereupon Malan said, 'We can't decide anything here. Jameson must surrender unconditionally, and he must be plainly given to understand that we cannot guarantee his life any longer than till we have handed him over to General Joubert.' I fully agreed with Malan, and the interpreter Adendorff was then instructed by the three commandants jointly to convey plainly in English to Jameson what the three commandants had agreed upon. After this had been done, Jameson bowed, took his hat off, and said in English that he agreed to the terms. Thereupon he issued orders to Willoughby to command the subordinate officers to lay down their arms. Then the arms were laid down. Later on, after the arms had been laid down, Commandant Trichardt arrived with orders from the Commandant-General, and his terms were the same as those we had already laid down.
Sworn before me on this 7th day of March, 1896.
H. J. COSTER,
State Attorney and Ex-officio J.P.
We, the undersigned, Jan. Thos. Maartens, Field-Cornet of the Ward Gatsrand, District Potchefstroom, and Daniel Johannes Jansen van Vuuren, Assistant Field-Cornet of the Ward Bovenschoonspruit, declare under oath that we were present at everything stated in the foregoing sworn declaration of Commandant P.A. Cronjé, and that that declaration is correct and in accordance with the truth.
D.J.J. VAN VUUREN.
Sworn before me on this the 7th day of March, 1896.
H. J. COSTER,
State-Attorney and ex-officio J.P.
Appeared before me, HERMANUS JACOB COSTER, State Attorney and ex-officio J.P. of the South African Republic, FREDERICK JACOBUS POTGIETER, Commandant of the Krugersdorp District, who makes oath and states:
On the morning of January 2, I received a written report from the enemy in which was stated that he would surrender, but that he must be allowed to go back over the line. I answered thereon in writing that I would call the officers together and would then immediately notify him. The report received by me I immediately transmitted to Commandant Cronjé. A short time after I saw Commandant Cronjé with the burghers going towards the enemy. I thereupon also went towards the enemy and met Commandant Cronjé there. I then attended the discussion as set forth in the declaration given by J.T. Celliers, dated March 6, 1896, and confirmed by Messrs. Michiel Joseph Adendorff and Benjamin Johannes Vilgoen.
The purport of that discussion is correctly rendered.
This sworn before me on this the 6th day of March, 1896.
State Attorney and ex-officio J.P.
Appeared before me, HERMANUS JACOB COSTER, State Attorney and ex-officio J.P. of the South African Republic, HERCULES PHILIPPUS MALAN, who makes oath and states:
I was together with P.A. Cronjé, Commandant of the Krugersdorp District, one of the commanding forces in the fights against Jameson. On the morning of January 2, a despatch rider from Commandant Potgieter came up and informed me that Jameson had hoisted the white flag, and that I must quickly attend a meeting with the other commandants. When I came up to Jameson I found Cronjé and Potgieter there; and, as I saw that Cronjé had been speaking to Jameson, I asked Cronjé 'What is the subject you have been speaking about? I also wish to know it.' Cronjé told me that he had agreed with Jameson that Jameson would pay the expenses incurred by the State, and that he (Cronjé) would spare the lives of Jameson and his people till Pretoria was reached.
Thereupon I answered, 'We cannot make any terms here. We have not the power to do so. Jameson must surrender unconditionally, and we can only guarantee his life until he is delivered over by us into the hands of the Commandant-General. Then he will have to submit to the decision of the Commandant-General and the Government.' When I had said this, Commandant Potgieter answered, 'I agree with that.' And Commandant Cronjé said, 'So be it, brothers.' Thereupon the interpreter (Adendorff) was instructed to translate to Jameson what had been spoken. He did so. Jameson thereupon took off his hat, bowed, and replied in English that he agreed thereto. Jameson then ordered Willoughby, who was present from the moment that I arrived, to command the subordinate officers to disarm the men, and thereupon the arms were given up.
H.P. MALAN, Commandant.
Sworn before me on this the 9th day of March, 1896.
State Attorney and ex-oficio J.P.
Appeared before me, HERMANUS JACOB COSTER, State Attorney and ex-officio J.P. of the South African Republic, JAN STEPHANOS CELLIERS, of Pretoria, who makes oath and states:
I came up to Jameson and his troops on the second of January (after Jameson had hoisted the white flag), together with B.G. Viljoen, Krugersdorp, and another Viljoen, whose place of residence is unknown to me. I asked one of Jameson's troopers where he was. He showed me the direction and the place where Jameson was. Jameson thereupon approached me, and I greeted him. While this took place Commandant Cronjé, the interpreter (Adendorff), and another man whose name is unknown to me, came. Cronjé was thereupon introduced by Adendorff, who spoke English, to Jameson. Thereupon Cronjé said to Jameson, 'I understand that you and your men will surrender yourselves with your flag and everything you possess?' Jameson said thereupon, 'I fight under no flag.'
Cronjé then replied, 'Then I must believe you upon your word that you have no flag?' Jameson then said, 'I declare under oath that I possess no flag.' This conversation was interpreted word for word by Adendorff. Shortly afterwards Commandant Malan also arrived there. He asked, 'What is up here? Tell me the news also.' Then Cronjé told Malan that Jameson would surrender conditionally, whereupon Malan said in effect, 'There can be no question of a conditional surrender here, because we have no right to make terms. The surrender must take place unconditionally. If terms must be made, it must take place at Pretoria. We can only guarantee his life and that of his men as long as they are under us, and until the moment when they are handed over to the Commandant.'
General Cronjé answered thereupon, 'So be it, brother.' Then Adendorff asked if he had to interpret this to Jameson, whereupon Malan said, 'Yes,' and thereupon said in English to Jameson, 'This is Commandant Malan. He wishes you to distinctly understand that no terms can be made here. We have no right to make terms here. Terms will be made by the Government of the South African Republic. He can only secure your lives to Pretoria, until you are handed over to the Commandant-General at Pretoria.'
In reply, Jameson took off his hat, bowed, stepped backwards and said, 'I accept your terms.' Thereupon Jameson ordered Willoughby to command the subordinate officers that the troopers should lay down their arms. The arms were then laid down.
Sworn before me on the 6th March, 1896.
State-Attorney and ex-officio J.P.
We, the undersigned, Benjamin Johannes Viljoen and Michiel Joseph Adendorff, the persons mentioned in the preceding declaration, declare under oath that the facts stated therein, which we witnessed, as stated above, are true and correct.
Sworn before me on the 6th March, 1896.
State-Attorney and ex-officio J.P.
COLONIAL OFFICE TO WAR OFFICE.
Downing Street, April 21, 1896.
I am directed by Mr. Secretary Chamberlain to request that you will lay before the Marquis of Lansdowne the undermentioned papers on the subject of the surrender of Dr. Jameson's force to the Boers.
1. A despatch from Sir Hercules Robinson, enclosing sworn declarations taken by the Government of the South African Republic. A telegraphic summary of these declarations was laid before Dr. Jameson, whose observations are contained in—
2. A letter from the solicitor for Dr. Jameson and his fellow defendants.
3. A despatch from Sir Hercules Robinson, enclosing a sworn statement.
Lord Lansdowne will observe from Sir H. Robinson's despatch of the 16th March that the declarations taken by the Government of the South African Republic were submitted to the General Officer commanding at the Cape, who gave his opinion that the surrender was unconditional.
Mr. Chamberlain would be obliged if Lord Lansdowne would submit these papers to his military advisers, and obtain from them their opinion as to the terms of the surrender, which Mr. Chamberlain thinks was completed on Sir John Willoughby's acceptance of Commandant Cronjé's terms, and was therefore subject to these terms and conditions.
I am, etc.,
R. H. MEADE.
WAR OFFICE TO COLONIAL OFFICE.
Received April 28, 1896.
War Office, London, S.W.,
April 27, 1896.
I am directed by the Secretary of State for War to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 21st inst., on the subject of the surrender of Dr. Jameson's force to the Boers.
In reply, the Marquis of Lansdowne, having consulted with his military adviser, desires me to observe that, whatever position Mr. Cronjé may hold in the Transvaal army, he decidedly on the occasion in question acted as an officer in authority, and guaranteed the lives of Dr. Jameson and all his men if they at once laid down their arms.
The terms prescribed were accepted by Dr. Jameson's force, and they surrendered and laid down their arms, and no subsequent discussion amongst the Transvaal officers could retract the terms of this surrender.
I am therefore to acquaint you, for the information of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, that the Secretary of State for War concurs with Mr. Chamberlain in considering that the surrender was completed on Sir John Willoughby's acceptance of Commandant Cronjé's terms, and was subject to these terms and conditions.
I am, etc,
ARTHUR L. HALIBURTON.