HC Deb 15 November 1917 vol 99 cc611-2W

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the whole of the direct taxation and an appreciable part of the indirect taxation of Southern Rhodesia is borne by the natives; whether he will consider the desirability of requiring the demarcation of the boundaries of the reserves to be regarded as a legitimate charge upon Government; and whether he is prepared to intimate to the British South Africa Company that His Majesty's Government cannot accept the recommendation set forth in paragraph 84 of the Rhodesian Reserves Commission that the natives should themselves contribute the greater part of the labour necessary to the work of demarcation?


The native tax amounts to nearly one-third of the revenue of Southern Rhodesia. I. cannot say what proportion of the remainder, the largest item of which is Customs amounting to another one-third, is borne by the natives, but it is presumably not very large. With regard to the cost of demarcation, my predecessor contemplated, and I see no reason to dissent, that it should be borne by local revenue. With regard to Section 8 of the Report, I would say that the recommendations of the Commission have been approved, and I am not prepared to alter the decision.


asked whether, before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council reports upon the Rhodesian land question, the British South Africa Company will be permitted to demand rent from natives now occupying land which it is proposed shall be withdrawn from the reserve areas.


The Reserve Commission in Section 44 of their Report made special recommendations on this subject which were accepted by the Chief Native Commissioner as adequate, and I see no, reason for going beyond these.