3 JANUARY 1885, Page 20



Sin,—Iu your note on the Angra Pequena business, you observe that it is not explained how Lord Derby came to be ignorant of the change of policy on the part of Germany in regard to colonisation, and you assume that he relied on information four years old. The explanation which you seek is contained in the Parliamentary Papers themselves, although the London Press, for its own reasons, has chosen to ignore it. In February, 1883, Count H. Bismarck told Sir Julian Pauncefote that Germany had not the least intention to obtain a footing in South Africa. In August, 1883, the British Chargg d'Affaires at Berlin wrote a despatch volunteering information to the same effect. On May 30th, 1884, Lord Ampthill, who was supposed to enjoy the peculiar confidence of Prince Bismarck, wrote two despatches to Lord Granville, one contradicting a statement of the Standard that Angra Pequefia had been taken under the protection of Germany, and the other stating that the support of the German Government to an expedition, which was about to start inland from Angra Pequefia, would be confined to conveying the party thither in a gunboat. The Standard report had been sent to the Foreign Office by Lord Derby with an inquiry as to its truth. There was a time when a Cabinet Minister might have thought it beneath his dignity to notice a report in a penny paper. But those days have passed. In this instance, and also in the case of a somewhat similar report in the Daily News in 1883, Lord Derby founded inquiries upon what appeared in the Press. He, in fact, took the measures which any vigilant and cautions man would take in regard to his own affairs ; but he was baffled in his endeavours to arrive at the truth, either because the Germans had not then the intentions they now say they had, or because they did not think it convenient to declare them until the time was ripe for them to pour their griefs into the sympathising ears of the London daily editors.—I am, Sir, &c.,