§ SIR JOHN COLOMB (Tower Hamlets, Bow, &c.)
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether it is true that a person, named Rudd, has recently been with the Chief Lobengula, whose territory has been declared to be within the sphere of British influence, 880 negotiating for a transfer of the whole of the mining rights in that Chief's territory; whether inquiry will be made on the subject; whether, as any such transfer, if carried out, would deprive that country of a chief source of revenue for its future government, the High Commissioner will be directed to issue a Proclamation, declaring that no such concessions will be recognized by Her Majesty's Government unless previously sanctioned by the officer of the Imperial Government administering the territory; and, whether it is the intention to appoint an Imperial officer to reside in that territory; and when?
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Sir JOHN GORST)(who replied) (Chatham)
said, the answer to the first paragraph of the Question is, Yes. Inquiry has been made, and the High Commissioner has reported that a full account is on its way home. As we have at present no Protectorate in Matabeleland, we have no right to interfere with any grant or concession which Lobengula may choose to make; nor have we any right to issue such a Proclamation as that suggested in the third paragraph of the Question. In reply to the last part of the Question, there is no such present intention; nor has Lobengula desired such an officer.