§ MR. THOMAS BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has observed in the report of a meeting of the Bechuanaland Railway Company, published in the Press, that £700,000 additional capital is to be raised on a guarantee of 5 per cent. per annum from the Chartered Company of South Africa for twenty years; whether the Chartered Company can give such guarantees without the approval of Her Majesty's Government; whether such approval has been given; and, whether, in view of no decision having yet been given in regard to the charter granted to the Company being continued, and the possibility of the charter being revoked, he will notify the Company that this guarantee must not be given by it.
The British South Africa Company are empowered under the charter to give such a guarantee without the approval of her Majesty's Government, and so long as the charter subsists the Secretary of State cannot interfere in the manner suggested by the hon. Member.