§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, what is at present the official position 829 of Mr. Rhodes in the territory of the British South Africa Company; whether he is managing director of that Company under a power of attorney, which authorises him to do all acts and exercise all authority in South Africa in like manner as if done by the Company itself, the Company therein expressly undertaking to ratify his action; whether under this authority he is empowered to control and reverse the action of Earl Grey as Administrator, as the Company might do by the terms of the Order in Council of 27th July 1894, which provides that the Company may reverse any action of the Administrator; and, whether the principal authority in the civil administration of the territory of the Chartered Company is at present legally vested in Mr. Rhodes?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
Mr. Rhodes has for some years acted as managing director of the British South Africa Company in South Africa, and is so described in the Reports issued by the directors. He also holds a power of attorney from the Board of Directors substantially in the terms stated in the Question. I am, however, advised that the Company cannot delegate to a managing director or attorney the power of reversing or controlling the action of the Administrator of the territory given or reserved to the Company by the Order in Council of July 18th 1894; and that consequently, Mr. Rhodes has no power to control or reverse the action of Earl Grey as Administrator. The principal authority in the civil administration of the territory of the Chartered Company is not, therefore, at present legally vested in Mr. Rhodes.