HC Deb 06 June 1890 vol 345 cc152-3
MR. HANBURY (Preston)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the South African Chartered Company is within the jurisdiction of the High Commissioner; and, if so, to what extent, and in what manner; whether any map exists showing definitely the boundaries of the territories within the authority of the Chartered Company; and, if so, whether ho will lay it upon the Table; and in what official piper is the charter of the company to be found in the final and official form in which it was granted?


Before the right hon. Gentleman answers the question, I wish to ask whether the High Commissioner is in future to communicate directly with the South African Republic, or whether it is intended to appoint a successor to Mr. Williams?


The operations of the Chartered Company are under the supervision of the High Commissioner, who, as Her Majesty's Representative on the spot, is fully authorised to inquire into, approve, or prohibit any proceedings of the company, subject, of course, to the ratification or otherwise of his acts by Her Majesty's Government at home. The second part of the question is founded on some misapprehension. Subject to a restriction against interfering with the rights of the South African Republic or Portugal, the company may, with the approval of the Secretary of State, obtain any commercial or administrative rights from local African rulers which it may consider itself justified in acquiring in its own interests, and having regard to its resources. The Secretary of State would naturally prohibit, under Sections 3, 4, and 8 of the charter, the acquisition or exercise of any powers which he might consider the company unfit to exercise, or likely to lead to international difficulties. The text of the charter as passed will be found at pages 227–232 of the Blue Book, C 5918. In answer to the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. O. V. Morgan), perhaps ho will kindly give me notice of the question.