§ MR. ALFRED DAVIES (Carmarthen Boroughs)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies if his attention has been called to the statement of Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the House, on the 13th December, 1900,* in which he said for every pound fairly due in consequence of the Jameson raid from the Chartered Company to the late Transvaal Government at least £5 is probably due to the Company from the late Transvaal Government in consequence of the war entered into by that Government against this country; if so, whether he will communicate to the House particulars of this set-off of the Chartered Company.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir M. HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
What happened was this: The hon. Member for East North-amptonshire asked whether the assets of the Transvaal, which we had been discussing, included the claim of the late Transvaal Government on the Chartered Company. I said that any question on that matter should be addressed to the Colonial Secretary, but, speaking merely my own opinion, I added the words which the hon. Member now quotes. Of course, what I meant, and what I believe I was*See The Parliamentary Debates [Fourth Series], Vol. lxxxviii., page 753.179 understood by the House to mean, was that anything duo from the Company seemed to me to have been wiped out by the injury done to the Company by the war. I did not go into details, nor have I any knowledge of them, much less did I admit, or suggest, that the Company could have any claim against Her late Majesty's Government, or the present administration of the Transvaal.
§ MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether we are to understand his answer to mean that the taxpayers of this country are not entitled to have those details gone into before this question is determined?
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
It was only a general statement of my opinion, and I do not think there is any reason for going into details.
§ MR. ALFRED DAVIES
May I ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he means to press this claim against the Chartered Company?
§ *MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! This cannot be made an occasion for general discussion about the claims of or against the Chartered Company.