Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/556

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212 THE BRITISH EMPIRE : — SOUTH AFRICA (BRITISH)

SOUTH AFRICA (BRITISH).

Under the title of Rhodesia is included the whole of the region lying between the north and west of the South African Republic and the 22nd degree of south latitude and the southern boundaries of the Congo Free State, and having as its eastern and western boundaries the Portuguese and German spheres (see Year Book for 1898). The River Zambezi divides it into two portions, called Southern Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia.

In 1888 the portion of the Southern region which includes Matabeleland and Mashonaland was declared to be within the British sphere of influence, and on the 29th of October, 1889, a Royal Charter was granted to the British South Africa Company, conferring upon it large powers of administration to carry out the objects for which it was formed, the principal being to extend northwards the railway and telegraph systems of the Cape Colony and Bechuanaland, to encourage emigration and colonization, to promote trade and commerce, and to develop and work mineral and other concessions. The administrative system of the Company in Southern Rhodesia was prescribed by the Orders in Council of May 9, 1891, and July 18, 1894, and a new scheme was promulgated by an Order in Council, November 25, 1898. This Order (describing the limits within which it applies) invests the High Com- missioner at Capetown with more direct authority than he formerly possessed, but leaves the general administration to the Company in accordance with the charter. A Resident Commissioner has been appointed by the Secretary of State. To assist the Company's Administrator there will be an Executive Council consisting of the Resident Commissioner, the Administrators (except the senior Administrator), antl not less than four members appointed by the Company with the approval of the Secretary of State. A Legislative Council will be created, of which the members will be the Administrator (president), the Resident Commissioner, five nominees of the Company approved by the Secretary of State, and four members elected by the registered voters. The duration of each Legislative Council will be three years, unless it be sooner dissolved. Ordinances passed by the Administrator and Legislative Council, when assented to by the High Commissioner and published, shall take effect, but, within a year, may be disallowed by the Secretary of State. To this Council the Administrator shall submit estimates of revenue and expenditure for each financial year, and the Ordinance providing for the service of the year must be approved by the High Commissioner. For the administration of justice there will be a High Court with civil and criminal jurisdiction, the judges to be appointed by the Secretary of State on the nomination of the Company. In the districts there will be Magistrates' Courts. A Secretary for Native Affairs will be appointed, with subordinate Native Commissioners, and, except with respect to arms, ammunition, and liquor, natives and non^ natives shall be under the same conditions. For tribal settlements land shaH from time to time be assigned, the mineral rights being reserved to the Company ; but, if the native occupation is disturbed, new land must be assigned, disputes being ultimately referable to the High Commissioner. The military police is placed under the direct control of the High Commissioner.

Southern Rhodesia has an area of 174,728 square miles, the most important parts being Matabeleland with an area of 60,728 square miles, and a population estimated at 240,000, and Mashonaland, with an area of 114,000, square miles and estimated population of 210,000, both tracts of country being rich in gold reefs and other minerals, the Mashona plateaus being well adapted ^or culture and European settlement.

The British South Africa Company has extended the Cape Government rail-