Further causes for alarms were the secret meeting between General Smuts and Count Mensdorv, to discuss a separate peace between Austria and the Entente (Dec. 1917) and the public pronouncements of President Wilson and Mr. Lloyd George in favour of " autonomy " for the subject races, instead of the independence held out to them by the Allied pronouncement of Jan.
On the 3rd of March, after various raids and adventures in company with Smuts and Kemp, De la Rey, the lion of the western Transvaal, essayed an attack upon Lichtenburg, in which he was heavily repulsed.
Smuts, with a small force from the Magaliesberg, traversed Orange River Colony and stimulated the Cape rebels afresh.
When the Union was established General Botha became prime minister, two of his colleagues, Messrs Smuts and Hull, also joining the Union ministry.
Smuts in Switzerland in Dec. 1917, but these negotiations proved as fruitless as those which he conducted with the Entente representatives in the last days of the Habsburg Monarchy.