17 Junie 1901 – Lloyd George veroordeel konsentrasiekampbeleid

Op 17 Junie 1901 veroordeel die opposisie-leier in die Britse parlement, Lloyd George, die konsentrasiekampbeleid wat in die Anglo-Boereoorlog toegepas word.

Dit volg ’n jaar nadat lord Roberts se proklamasie die verskroeideaardebeleid ’n werklikheid geword het vir vroue en kinders van die ZAR en Vrystaat. In sy toespraak verklaar George onder meer dat hoewel besprekings oor die toestande in die kampe in Mei in die parlement gehou is, die syfers wat voorgelê is onderskat is (oftewel “considerably understated”). Hy sê voorts: “The deaths in these camps in the Transvaal in a single month were 336 – that is a mortality rate, according to the rough computation I have made, of 120 per thousand. For the sake of the credit and good name of this country something should be done to put an end to this condition of things, which is going from bad to worse.” In een kamp, waarvan George nie die naam meld nie, was die sterftekoers selfs erger – 450 per 1 000 mense. Dan verwys hy na Emily Hobhouse (hoewel hy nie haar by name noem nie) se besoek aan verskeie kampe en lê haar bevindinge aan die parlement voor: “This lady has made some reports as to what was taking place in the best of these camps – the best equipped and the longest established – and they are sufficiently deplorable. These were camps, not of fighting men, every one of whom would pass a physical test, but of women, many of whom were in a weak condition, and of children. Food, insufficient; such as was supplied, bad; the women herded together, sometimes twelve in a tent; tents leaking; clothes saturated; not much clothing allowed; little children half starved; the food they had, bad; their clothes soaked through with rain and dew.”

George se volledige toespraak is vervat in die Britse Hansard en is hier beskikbaar op die Britse parlement se webblad.

 

(Foto’s: Lloyd George; ’n bejaarde man saam met ’n jong ma en baba in die Johannesburgse konsentrasiekamp, bron: http://boers.co.za/tag/concentration-camps/