HC Deb 07 August 1899 vol 76 cc16-7

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the non-company members of the Rhodesian Parliament strongly opposed the Customs Ordinance, and have resigned in consequence of their protest being overruled by the majority representing the Chartered Company; whether complaints have been made to Sir Alfred Milner in relation to the matter; whether Her Majesty's Government have received information that the Buluwayo Chamber of Commerce has decided to contest the legality of the Ordinance, and that the Salisbury merchants have decided to refuse to sign the declaration forms required by the Ordinance; and whether Her Majesty's Government will redress the grievances of the Rhodesian settlers.


(1) The elected members of the Legislative Council of Southern Rhodesia voted against the Customs Ordinance. I have no information as to their having resigned. (2) Sir A. Milner reports by telegraph that he has received a number of memorials against the Ordinance, but that, after carefully considering them, he came to the conclusion that the Ordinance was in the main fair and reasonable, and that he therefore gave his assent to it, and that it came into operation on 1st August. (3) Sir A. Milner states that a test case will be brought before the High Court by certain traders, but I am not informed whether this is at the instance of the Buluwayo Chamber of Commerce, and I have no information as to the alleged intentions of the Salisbury merchants. (4) I am not aware of any cause for interference at present; the High Commissioner and Her Majesty's Government will take care that no injustice is done.