MR. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether there is anything to prevent the Imperial British East Africa Company from immediately surrendering to the Sultan of Zanzibar the concession which they hold from His Highness' predecessor; whether Her Majesty's Government declines to permit such a surrender to be, effected until such a time as Parliament has voted a sum of £50,000 in respect of the cancelling of the Charter and the transfer of the Company's assets to Her Majesty's Government; and whether, under these circumstances, Her Majesty's Government will indemnify the Company for the expenses which the latter will incur in maintaining the administration of British East Africa until such time as Her Majesty's Government is able to fulfil the agreement into which it has entered?
§ SIR E. GREY
Since the final acceptance by the Company on the 11th of. April, no time has been lost in preparing to execute the legal formalities necessary for the transfer of the £200,000 belonging to the Sultan of Zanzibar, but some time must still elapse before these are completed, and this part of the arrangement has not, therefore, up to the present been delayed by the fact that a vote has not been obtained in Parliament. A sum will be taken in the Vote on Account before Whitsuntide in respect of the arrangement concluded with the 1042 Company, and that vote will be regarded as the authority of Parliament for carrying the whole agreement into effect.
§ SIR GEORGE BADEN-POWELL
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, having regard to the interregnum in the administration of British East Africa, Her Majesty's Government will forthwith complete the agreement come to with the British East Africa Company by inviting Parliament to provide the necessary sum of £50,000 by means of a Vote on Account, or other method, which will avoid the serious delay incidental to the ordinary course of Supply?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT, Derby)
Yes, Sir; the matter will be included in the Vote on Account which will be taken before Whitsuntide. That will be the proper opportunity for Parliament to express an opinion on the subject.