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OUR | LONDON CORRESPONDENT.'

NEWS NOTES. is

DECLARATIONS OF HEADS OF STATES.

jSOUTH AFRICA. I

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SOUTH AFRICA. I THE SITUATION IN THE TRANSVAAL. I I have been able (said the Times correspondent at Middelburg, wiring on the 7th inst.) to learn the opinions of several prominent Dutchmen in Pretoria with regard to the present conduct of the war. These men, who are old inhabitants of the Transvaal, have no inherent love for us, but for their own sakes and their country's are anxious for the termination of hostilities. They agree that the only chance of bringing the war to a speedy end is to proclaim that after a certain date the farms of men still on commando will be confiscated. This would bring about the surrender of a large number of commandants, though it would not affect the foreigners or Boer leaders such as Botha and others who have no property. Delarey, they believe, will fight to the end. The opinion enter- tained of Botha by those who know him well is not favourable. Fifteen more waggon-loads of Boers, with their families, have been brought in here by General Bullock's column from outlying farms in the Ermelo district. The column was sniped at in the usual way on its march. Dr. Everard, a Beer doctor, who was brought in with the others, states that the burghers are heartily tired of fighting, and would surrender to a man if their leaders would permit them to do so. General Tobias Smuts and Mr. De Wet, General Botha's secretary, are still at Standerton, waiting, it is presumed, for an answer from Mr. Kruger. THE REPORTED DEFEAT OF GENERAL BEYERS'S COMMANDO. Lord Kitchener, in reply to a telegram from the Secretary of State for War respecting the alleged surprise of General Beyers's commando, states that the report is without foundation. I RAILWAY ACCIDENT NEAR PRETORIA. A serious railway accident occurred on the 7th inst. in the vicinity of Pretoria on the Pietersburg line. A train full of troops was run into by a train coming from the opposite direction. The latter, travelling at some speed, was rounding a curve at the time, and it dashed into the troop train with great force. A number of trucks were smashed and nine soldiers were killed and several others injured. CAPTURE OF BOERS AND SUPPLIES. News was received at headquarters at Middel- burg (Cape Colony), on the 7th inst., of two gratifying successes in different parts of the colony. On the night of the 6th inst. Lieutenant- Colonel Scobell, having with him Lukin's Cape Mounted Rifles, besides a detachment of the 9th Lancers and other troops, made a night march and surprised a laager at Diepfontein, to the north-west of Barldy East. Lukin's men charged impetuously, and the enemy fled, panic- stricken, making but little attempt at fighting. The British captured 20 prisoners, 166 horses, 13,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition, and 25 rifles, besides a quantity of clothing, 196 saddles, and 200 blankets. They also recaptured a con- siderable portion of the loot taken by the Boers from Jamestown. Colonel Scobell estimated the force of the enemy at 300. Kruitzinger was in command. This was evidently only a part of Kruitzihger's force, however, as he is known to have 800 men with him. Our casualties were one trooper of the Cape Mounted Rifles slightly wounded. The second success occurred south-east of Steynsburg. Colonel Wyndham, of the 17th Lancers, after a vigorous night march, covering over 40 miles, attacked Van Reenen at Ruigte Vlei. The enemy, who in this case again were com- pletely taken by surprise, made but a feeble re- sistance. Twenty-two prisoners were captured, and 2000 rounds of ammunition and a number of horses, saddles, and rifles were taken. We had three slight casualties. A farmer reports that three Boers were killed and several wounded. General French is in command of the active operations in the whole of Cape Colony, while Colonel Haig continues to control them, as before, in the Midland and Eastern Provinces. RAILWAYMEN AND THE WAR. The work which has been done throughout the war by the engine-drivers, stokers, and other employes of the Cape railways has excited the greatest admiration throughout the army. In- stances of individual pluck have been innumerable, and several cases have been personally noticed by the Commander-in-Chief. The loss suffered by the railway employes have been severe. Recent returns show that 24 have been killed or have died of wounds and that 38 have been wounded. MRS. BOTHA IN ENGLAND. I Among the passengers on board the Union Castle mail steamship Dunvegan Castle, which arrived at Southampton from South Africa on Saturday morning, was Mrs. Louis Botha, wife of the Boer General, who is reported to have come to Europe on a peace mission. The statements on this subject are of a most contradictory character. While on one hand it has been said that Mrs. Botha has come to Europe in the interests of peace, it has also been declared thafc her visit is purely for reasons of health, Mrs. Botha, who is accompanied by Mr. H. G. R. Fischer, son of the former State Secretary of the Orange Free State, and her son, has through- out refused to say anything about the object of her journey. She is not in good health, and kept her- self aloof from the other passengers. She de- clined to see any journalists on her arrival, and sent word by Mr. Fischer to that effect. Reuter's representative, however, had a conversation with Mr. Fischer, who said that Mrs. Botha and himself were going straight to London, and would then lea-ve for Holland and Belgium, but the date ol their departure for the Continent had not been fixed. With regard to the objects of Mrs. Botha's journey, Mr. Fischer said: I cannot confirm or deny the statement that Mrs. Botha has come to Europe in the interests of peace. She has resolutely refused to give any information, and is now the more determined to maintain silence, owing to the fictitious statements telegraphed from South Africa. Besides," he added, what- ever we say, the papers will put in something else. You ask me to say whether Mrs. Botha has come on a peace mission or not. All I would ask in reply is this: Is it likely that Lord Kitchener would employ a woman ?'" Mr. Fischer, however, admitted that he had been released on parole to .come to Europe with Mrs. Botha, and also to visit 1 his father, Mr. Abram Fischer, at Brussels. CAPTURES FROM THE ENEMY. I Lord Kitchener, in a telegram of Monday, says that during May the number of Boers who were killed, taken prisoners, or surrendered was 264.0. Down to the 9th of the present month 26 Boers have been killed, four wounded, 409 taken pri- soners, and 33 have surrendered, while there have been captured 651 rifles, 115,550 rounds of ammu- nition, 120 waggons, and 4000 horses. THE JAMESTOWN BAIT. J The Times special correspondent at Cape Town says that Jamestown was intended as a bait for Kruitzinger's force. It was a well-designed piece of strategy, and though it failed, the subsequent successes by Lukin's and Wyndham's columns have been some compensotion for the failure. BOER LEADERS CONFERRING. The Standard special correspondent at Durban, telegraphing on Monday, says important com- munications are proceeding between the Boer leaders and Mr. Kruger. Lord Kitchener has granted facilities to the Netherlands Council for an interview with General Tobias Smuts and Mr. De Wet, the Private Secretary of Commandant Louis Botha, and the telegraph has been placed at their disposal in order that they may communicate freely with the ex-President. The Boer leaders are now at Standerton awaiting a. reply from Mr. Kruger to their messages. DE WET'S POSITION. General De Wet is reported to have occupied a position on the Gatsrancl Hill, South of Krugers- dorp-Potchefstroom Railway. His force numbers about a thousand. I SURSENDER OF COMMANDANT VAN RENSBURG AND ALL HIS FORCE The War Office publishes the following: J Lord Kitehener to Secretary of State for War: I PRETORIA, Jxme 11, 7.30 p.m. Commandant Van Ilensburg and his commando have surrendered at, One hundred armed men have come in. There are others following.

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