HC Deb 16 April 1919 vol 114 cc2897-8
50 and 60. Mr. ADAMSON

asked the Lord Privy Seal (1) whether, in view of the statements made with reference to the alleged deficits of the British South Africa Company, he is prepared to state the total sum now claimed by the company; and whether he will now give an assurance that no obligation will be assumed by the Imperial Government for any such deficits until a statement has been made in the House and an opportunity given for its discussion; and (2) whether the attention of the Treasury has been drawn to the published statements of the British South Africa Company that they were about to make a claim upon the Imperial Government totalling over £10,000,000 sterling for administrative deficits; and whether the Treasury have obtained or will obtain copies of statements published by Messrs. Reymer, the principal firm of chartered accountants in Buluwayo, showing that the alleged deficits are in fact less than £1,770,784?

Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)

The British South Africa Company has sent in a claim against His Majesty's Government amounting provisionally to £7,569,435. This claim clearly demands the closest scrutiny, and the Government will not commit themselves to any payment without the sanction of the House of Commons. Inquiries will be made with regard to the statement published in Buluwayo which is referred to.