§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether his attention has been called to the stipulations of the Niger Company with its agents, of which Clause 10 states that the agent will not for a period of ten years after the termination of the Agreement communicate to any outside person, official or private, any facts in connection with the districts occupied by the Company or which he shall have visited during his employment in the Company's service, and that upon every breach of the clause he will pay to the Company the sum of £1,000 by way of liquidated damages?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. GEORGE CURZON, Lancashire, Southport)
I have seen the clause in question, but I may point out that it is not quite correctly quoted by the right hon. Baronet. The exact words are that—the official will not without the assent of the Company in writing communicate to the newspapers of Great Britain or other countries or to any outside person, official or private, any facts, whether commercial, industrial, scientific, or political, in connection with the Government or 430 business of the Company, or the districts occupied by the Company, or with those he shall have visited or become acquainted with during his employment in the Company's service,and, without expressing an opinion on the legal interpretation of the clause, I imagine that its object is to prevent the betrayal of administrative or commercial knowledge which is the property of the Company by any employé who is or has recently been in its service.