The origins, conduct and settlement of the North Charterland Exploration Company land dispute with the colonial office, 1895-1941
Naidoo, Sundhrabala Dhasaratha
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This dissertation deals with the origins, conduct and settlement of the dispute between the North Charterland Exploration Company and the Colonial Office. In Chapter one the historical background pertaining to the formation of the North Charterland Exploration Company from its inception in 1895 has been examined. As a Commercial Company its aim was to make quick profits through mining. The failure in finding profitable amounts of minerals led to the alienation of land for sale to European settlers and the introduction of the reserve policy in North Eastern Rhodesia. The disposal of land in the Concession was hampered by the terms of the Orders in Council of 1900 and 1911. Chapter two looks at the conflict between African land rights and the need of the Company to alienate land.Chapter three deals with the negotiations that led to the signing of the Devonshire Agreement and the end of chartered rule in Northern Rhodesia. The proposals of the 1924 Land Commission are discussed together with the objections voiced by the North Charterland Exploration Company.The final Chapter investigates the litigation between the North Charterland Exploration Company and the Colonial Office and the two public enquires which followed. The cost of litigation led to the loss of the Company's independence and its acquisition by Lonrho. The inadequacy of the existing reserves in the Concession resulted in the Northern Rhodesia Government buying the remainder of the Concession from Lonrho after arbitration in 1941. In conclusion it is argued that the North Charterland Exploration Company brought unnecessary suffering on the people of North Eastern Rhodesia through its existence and the consequent formation of reserves. Secondly, the dissertation demonstrates the great sensitivity of the Colonial Office to pressures exerted even by such an unsuccessful capitalist enterprise as the North Charterland Exploration Company.