§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, (1) whether he has any further information in regard to the knowledge possessed by Mr. Rhodes of the contemplated raid into the Transvaal before that raid took place since the publication of the "cyphered telegrams;" (2) whether, since these telegrams have been made public, the Directors have had under their consideration the acceptance of the resignation of Mr. Rhodes as Managing Director of the Chartered Company of South Africa, and whether they have come to any decision in the matter; and, (3) whether Herr Beit is still a Director of the Company, and whether he has furnished any explanation of the "cyphered telegrams," in so far as he was connected with them, to the Board of the Company?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
The answer to the first Question of the hon. Member is in the negative. In reply to the second and third Questions I am informed by the Solicitor to the British South Africa Company that the Directors named and Dr. Rutherford Harris have tendered their resignations, which have been accepted by the Board.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exechequer, what is the amount of public money, if any, already expended in regard to the Military operations now taking place in Rhodesia, and what is the amount of obligations, if any, for which the Treasury is liable in regard to these operations; whether he is aware that the liability of the Chartered Company of South Africa is limited to the amount of its paid up capital; and whether, he has under 253 these circumstances taken steps to insure that all public moneys advanced in respect to the Military operations, or for the payment of which the Treasury has assumed liability, will be repaid by the Company; if so, what these steps have been?
§ *THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir MICHAEL HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
The only extra expense that can have been incurred in this matter up to the present time would be for the transport of about 600 men from Natal and Cape Town to Mafeking. Returns of this have been asked for but have not been received, but the whole could only amount to a small sum. Nothing is being advanced for the operations in Rhodesia, and the Treasury has undertaken no obligations with respect to them. The obligation on the Chartered Company to discharge claims rightly made on it is co-extensive with its assets, and I have no reason to question its ability and willingness to discharge them.