§ 41. Commander WEDGWOOD
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the High Commissioner in South Africa and the Secretary of State suggested to the British South Africa Company the desirability of nominating upon the Native Reserves Committee a senior officer of the Native Affairs Department; and if he can state what reason, if any, the chartered company gave for ignoring the suggestion of Lords Harcourt and Gladstone, and nominated instead first the company's treasurer and then, as their alternate representative, the company's principal land official, whose position obviously is, and whose public attitude is known to be, in conflict with the Native Affairs Department upon the adequacy of the native reserves?
§ Mr. HEWINS
The High Commissioner and Secretary of State suggested a senior officer of the Native Department, but the company proposed Mr. Newton, considering that his ability and experience rendered him eminently qualified to be a Commissioner, while the senior officer of the Native Department remained free to give evidence before the Commission, and my predecessor approved the appointment. Mr. Atherstone was recommended by the company's administrator in South Africa as having a valuable knowledge of the land question. Lord Gladstone proposed to approve, and Lord Harcourt agreed. I should like to add that there is no reason to attribute to the company any intention of preventing full consideration of the native point of view.
§ Commander WEDGWOOD
Is it not the interest of the company to get land from the natives; is it not, therefore, 206 undesirable that they should break their word and put in a man who has no special sympathy with the natives?