HC Deb 26 February 1963 vol 672 c1074
20. Mr Probert

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the future of the Tati Company in Bechuanaland.

Mr. Fisher

No, Sir. The Tati Company, which is a large landowner in the Bechuanaland Protectorate, has recently disposed of some of its assets, but I am unable to say what its future policy will be.

Mr. Probert

Is the Under-Secretary aware that that Answer reveals, or at least implies, a dangerous state of ignorance of the present position? Is he aware that the exploitation by this company is heartily disliked in the Francistown area both by Europeans and Africans? Is he further aware that this company owns and operates electricity, water and sanitation undertakings and makes charges to ensure such a high degree of profit that it is preventing development in that area?

Mr. Fisher

I understand that relations between the Bechuanaland authorities and the company have not been very good in the past, but the position has been quite quiet for the last two years. The hon. Member is not correct in what he said about water and electricity undertakings. Previously they were operated by the company, but they are now operated by the recently established Francistown Township Authority.

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