HC Deb 23 July 1923 vol 167 cc18-20

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the estimated total amount, including war charges, for which the British Government will become liable under the proposed arrangement with the British South Africa Company.


His Majesty's Government would become liable under the proposed arrangement for (1) the payment of £3,750,000 to the company on the 1st October, as against which £2,000,000 would be received from the new Administration of Southern Rhodesia; (2) a sum of not more than £50,000 payable to the company after the close of the current financial year, in respect of the administration of Northern Rhodesia for 1923–24. There would also be some financial adjustment with the company in respect of such Northern Rhodesia creditor and debtor balances as may exist at the 1st April next. After that date His Majesty's Government would be responsible for the cost of administration of Northern Rhodesia, which may involve a grant-in-aid from Imperial funds, the amount and duration of which can hardly be foreseen at present. As regards war charges, the future liability of His Majesty's Government will be almost entirely in respect of war pensions, which amount at present to a little over £5,000 a year.


also asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the total amount of financial assistance advanced by His Majesty's Government to the British South Africa Company for war purposes; and whether, under the proposed arrangement, the whole of these advances, together with any existing war stores, will be surrendered as assets to the company?


The total sum advanced to the company up to the 31st March, 1923, in respect of their extraordinary war expenditure, which includes the cost of the operations of the Rhodesian forces in the campaign against German East Africa, was £1,953,826. Of this sum, £332,695 was repaid as interest. Including this repayment the actual expenditure of the company up to the same date, after crediting to the account the sum received from the disposal of all war material, is understood to have been £1,952,601 and it is estimated that a sum of £5,386 will be expended in respect of war pensions during the current year. The proportion of the total advances which His Majesty's Government would have reclaimed has not been determined, but, as explained in the correspondence published in Command 1914, His Majesty's Government would under the proposed agreement make no claim to the reimbursement of any part of these advances. No assets are being surrendered to the company.


Do not the terms also include, in the case of Northern Rhodesia, payment to the company of half the produce of the sales of land for 40 years to come?


Yes, that is in the Paper. It is not necessarily the sales. It is half the net revenue from unalienated land.

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