HC Deb 14 June 1956 vol 554 cc755-7
39. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what commercial firm has surveyed part of the Bechuanaland Protectorate; what metals they have discovered in exploitable quantities; and what development is contemplated.

Commander Noble

A number of commercial firms have surveyed for minerals in the Bechuanaland Protectorate, and, with permission, I will circulate a list in the OFFICIAL REPORT. Copper, gold, and silver have been discovered in exploitable quantities; for further information I would refer the hon. Member to the Bechuanaland Geological Survey Department's published annual report. For the answer to the last part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 7th June.

Mr. Johnson

Can the hon. Member give an assurance that no leases will be given to any firms, South African or otherwise, without the consent and the knowledge of the African native authorities concerned? Secondly, will he tell the House, if he is able to do so, what decisions were made about mining development at the meeting of the African Advisory Council for Bechuanaland a fortnight ago?

Commander Noble

I think my reply will answer both supplementary questions. The Resident Commissioner has told members of the Council about these preliminary talks and has explained that the Government would arrange a meeting between the company and representatives of the chiefs concerned. He promised that he would consult the chiefs before the meeting about the policy to be adopted in the negotiations.

Following is the list:

List of Commercial Firms which have Surveyed for Minerals in the Bechuanaland Protectorate

Mineral Concessions

British South Africa Company—abandoned 1934.

British South Africa Company—abandoned 1934.

Sidney Morris (later transferred to B.S.A. Company)—abandoned 1934.

John Williams (transferred to Balkis Limited)—abandoned 1936.

Willy Nicholls and Reisle (transferred to Balkis Limited)—abandoned 1936.

Julius Weil—cancelled 1955.

Phillip Dawson—abandoned 1937.

Crown Grants

British South Africa Company—lapsed 1934.

Balkis Limited—abandoned 1936.

De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited—lapsed 1939.

Mineral Property Investigations Limited—cancelled 1945.

Ngamiland Exploration Limited—abandoned 1949.

Strathmore Exploration Limited—lapsed 1951.

Marble Lime and Associated Industries Limited (transferred to Marlime Chrysotile Asbestos Corporation Limited).

Cullinan Brothers—lapsed 1953.

Cullinan Brothers—lapsed 1954.

D. R. Kent—lapsed 1954.

Isaac Meyer—lapsed 1954.

Cullinan Brothers—lapsed 1954.

Charles Weatherilt and Petrus van Vuuren—lapsed 1954.

Petrus Combrink and Johan Combrink—lapsed 1954.

Arthur Thomas Cullinan—lapsed 1954.

Partnership of eight names—lapsed 1954.

Cullinan Brothers—lapsed 1954.

Petrus Cullinan and Hendrick Strydom—lapsed 1954.

Cullinan Brothers—lapsed 1954.

Other Grants

Tati Concessions Limited by Chapter 90 of the Laws of Bechuanaland.