18 SEPTEMBER 1880, Page 2

It is greatly to be hoped that Sir Bartle Frere,

who quitted the Cape on the 16th inst., has not left another native war be- hind him. The Basutos, the great tribe whom even the Zulus could not defeat, and who have prospered beyond all natives under our rule, cannot endure the policy which deprives them of their firearms. They say, and with truth, that their tried loyalty ought to exempt them from such an insult; but the colonists, who at heart distrust all coloured men, will not give way. They have accordingly sent the Mounted Rifles into Basutoland, and Lerothodi, the son of Letsea, the most in- fluential chief, has attacked them. The Basntos were defeated with some slaughter, and it is said the "loyalists were encour- aged," but it remains to be seen if Letsea finds in slaughter a reason for loyalty. If he does not, we may have another war upon our hands, and a serious one, the Basutos under- standing fortification better than any tribe in South Africa. As they were entirely loyal until this dispute, there is neither satisfaction nor advantage in beating them ; while if they beat us, the entire native question in South Africa may be raised. once more. The colonists say it is their question, and involved in the grant of self-government ; but, as a matter of fact, if they are defeated they will appeal to the Mother-country for protec- tion, and will receive it. The affair, though it may not prove important, is one more argument for insisting that the control of native affairs in South Africa shall remain in the hands of the Colonial Office.