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the administrative history of late years, and without recapitulating a quantity of reasons, many of which are, indeed, self-evident, I feel bound to submit to your Lordship that as a political Corporation with powers of government, whether over British subjects or natives of Africa, the work of the Imperial British East Africa Company may now be looked upon as ended.
As regards the withdrawal, cancelment, or resignation of the Royal Charter granted by Her Majesty in Council in 1888, there would, I imagine, be but little difficulty, especially since the Conpany have now, of their own accord, practically resigned their rights acquired under this Charter, by relinquishing any connec tion with the interior elsewhere than at the two small posts abore mentioned ; but in surrendering their Concessions, obtained at various times from the Sultans of Zanzibar, the Company would be fairly entitled to receive from the Sultan adequate compensation for such actual improvements as they may have made within the territories of the Sultanate.
If Zanzibar re-enters upon the possession of its own ports on the coast, it would then be to the interest of the Sultan's Government to co-operate in the work of civilization and development of the interior.
In this case the proposals which I have the honour to submit are as follows:
1. An English Commissioner to be appointed for Uganda and its Dependencies and neighbouring countries as far as the eastera border of Kavirondo, with a staff of thirteen English officers (provision for officers on leave included), and a force of 500 Soudanese soldiers. The proposed distribution of the officers and men is shown in detail in Ivclosure No. 3 to this despatch. In case the number of officers should appear to be excessive, I would remind your Lordship that the experience both of the East Africa Company and of the neighbouring German Colony has shown as that it is most undesirable, in these countries, ever to have less than two Europeans together in any post. As regards the number of men required, I do not think that, in view of the excited state of popular feeling which is kept alive by the presence of two rival parties of European missionaries, any smaller force would, for the present at all events, be sufficient to control the situation In any case I have every hope that, should the country remain quiet, it may be found possible to organize and drill a small body of vative Waganda as police or soldiers, who may prore eventually to be the nucleus of a larger force of the greatest value in the future history of East and Central Africa.
It would be the duty of the British Commissioner to insur the safety of Europeans living in Uganda, who would be required, f necessary, to come into his forts for their protection; to assist in repelling the invasion of any foreign enemy; to prevent and suppress civil war and rebellion, whether religious or otherwise, if, in his opinion, the King is unable to deal with such rebellion by himself; to collect customs duties; to encourage commerce, and to repress slavery and the Slave Trade. It would be no part of his duty to interfere in the details of the adininistration of the country, except where Europeans or other foreign subjects are concerued, or in any cases of gross cruelty, injustice, or of slavetrading which might be brought under his notice.
Neither the Commissioner nor any of his officers should be allowed to engage in trade of any sort, either on their own behalf or in the name of the Government. The system under which, in the days of the Company's occupation, the protecting Power arrogated to itself not only the supreme executive authority, but also a practical, if not a theoretical monopoly of trade, has been proved to have had a thoroughly bad effect. It is impossible to combine administration and trade in the same bands without loss of dignity. It was, not unnaturally, found that a piece of advice, an admonition, or a reproof bestowed upon the King or upon any great Chief by a representative of the Company lost much of its weight in cases where a few minutes later the same representative might be haggling with the admonished parties over the price-in beads or cloth-of a tusk of ivory or of a bag of gum. The Company's officers, quite naturally, endeavoured to secure for themselves all the trade from the Central African regions under their control. It should be the chief object of Her Majesty's Commissioner, on the other hand, to encourage independent and private trade by all the means at his command.
There can be no doubt that, with a prospect of security and of equality of treatment, a very considerable trade with Uganda, Usoga, and the neighbouring countries may be rapidly developed. The ordinary customs revenue which may be derived from such trade will go some way, even at first, towards the expenses of the Commissioner and his staff; while no one with any personal acquaintance with these people would hesitate to admit that, with a less restricted trade, the native demand for European commodities, already considerable, will rapidiy increase. It would be necessary, at all events at first, to subject this trade, especially in the case of Arab or native agents, to careful supervision, and due precautions would have to be taken against any abuse of legitimato trafic or anything approaching to a trade in slaves. But all these things resolve themselves ultimately into the great question of trausport, which will bave to be discussed later, and it is unnecessary here to weary your Lordship with detailed suggestions as to the regulations which may be found necessary.
For the further definition of what I would propose to be the powers and duties of the Commissioner, I would refer your Lordship to the instructions which I issued, before leaving Uganda, for the guidance of Captain Macdonald, and to the Agreement made between King Mwanga and myself, which was sent to your Lordship in my despatch of the 29th May.
2. A Road Commandant to be appointed to have control of the transport service from Kikuyu to the lake, to effect all possible improvements in the means of communication, and to exercise as complete a supervision as possible over Arab, Swahili, and European caravans travelling through the country. He should, with this object, be given certain magisterial powers. His force should consist of one European assistant and 167 porters, at an estimated cost of 4,7501. per annum. The details of this espenditure are shown in the second portion of Inclosure No. 3, under the head of "Estimate No. 2: Conmunications," from which, bosever, it will be seen at the same time that the whole of this sum is covered by the Estimate for Uganda proper.
3. A station or depôt should be established at the head of the “ Berkeley Bay," chosen last year by the Railway Survey as the site for a suitable harbour at the north-east corner of Lake Victoria. This should be the furthest point for caravans. Communications from thence to Uganda should be by water. The expenses of the station are included in the Estimates for Uganda proper.
As communication and transport of goods by native canoes is most uncertain and precarious, it is of urgent importance that two small steam-launches or cutters should be at once sent up. These boats need not be more than 30 feet in length, and should have a speed of not less than 5 miles an hour. They should be adapted for burning wood, of which abundance can be obtained along the shores of the lake. Each should be under the charge of an English engineer. The initial cost of such boats would be about 5001. each. Their transport in sections from the coast to the lake would cost about 3001. a-top. Their up-keep, including the wages of their crews, would amount to 8001. per annum (included in Uganda Estimate). As these boats would be available for carrying or towing the goods of traders and of the Missions, it is not too much to expect that within a few months of their arrival they could earn enough nearly, if not quite, to cover the expenses of their maintenance.
Before leaving this part of the subject, I may safely say that any idea of making use of the route by the three lakes to the mouth of the Zambezi in preference to the roads to the east coast may, for the present at all events, be abandoned so far as Uganda and the
neighbouring countries are concerned. Goods going to or coming from Unyoro or the centre of Uganda by this route would have to undergo nine embarkations and disembarkations before reaching the depôt at the mouth of the Zambezi, and would have to be carried, by hand or otherwise, for 350 miles through an unknown country between Victoria and Tanganyika, for 260 miles along the Stevenson Road, and again round the Murchison Falls of the Shiré River. In preference to this, I think that merchants would continue to use the direct roads to Zanzibar with such improved means of transport as may be introduced.
4. A Commissioner to be appointed to reside at Kikuyu, with a staff of 4 Europeans, 60 Zanzibar soldiers, and 239 porters, &c. One of his assistants should reside at Kikuyu, one at Machakos, and two should be employed in at once creating the new station, referred to as a vital necessity in my Report on the road, at a spot twelve days' march distant from Kikuyu on the north-west side. The establishment of this station, with stores of food, and a colony of cultivators around it, would go far to diminish both the expense and the difficulties of the present journey to the lake. The total cost of the Kikuyu Commissioner's establishment would be 6,6001. per annum, as shown in the accompanying Estimate (Inclosure 4).
5. The maintenance of the road and the supervision of the transport system from the coast to Kikuyu may, if no better solution can be adopted, be left in the hands of the Zanzibar Government, which might also be fairly asked to furnish the drilled soldiers required for insuring the safety of that part of the road, and even of the stations of Kikuyu and its subsidiary posts.
6. It must, however, be clearly understood that this scheme, of which I have endeavoured to delineate the outlines, although it would undoubtedly be more to the material advantage of these African countries than the undeveloped system which has hitherto prevailed under the Company, would, if left at this point, confer but little benefit either on English commerce or on the Protectorate of Zanzibar. The whole problem of the development of East and Central Africa, the prospect of the creation of a profitable British trade, the suppression of internecine religious wars, the security of European travellers, the control of the lake district and of the upper waters of the Nile, and above all, I may confidently add, the only bope of really and definitively killing the Slave Trade within a reasonable time-all resolve themselves into the all-important and over-shadowing question of transport and communication.
So long as the present system of transport is maintained along what is called the “ English route," it will be necessary to make greater provision than I have so far sketched for the safety and independence of the local authorities. It is evident that any Administration establi ed at such an extreme distance from the nearest points of civilation, and with such inadequate means of communication, must not only complete in itself, and supplied with everything necess y for the conduct of its internal affairs, but must also be rendered s capable as possible of promptly repelling any danger with whic it
be threatened from outside its borders. Moreover, ui ler the existing conditions, not only must any real progress be borious and uncertain, but the retention of authority in Uganda nd any improvement in the condition of that country will react main to the benefit, not of ourselves, but of the " German Colony.
Transport from the ferman coast to the south shore of the lake is cheaper, the road is more frequented, porters are more easily obtained, and food is 1 ore abundant than in the English sphere. Arab and European trai ers from the south buy their ivory and their slaves in Uganda, Unycro, and Toru, avoid payment of any kind of duty to any British ai thority, and take down their caravans to the German coast ports. Many of the Uganda Chiefs have acknowledged to me that all through the time when the Company was here they continued to send a considerable portion of their ivory across the lake secretly for sale to Arabs in the German territory. Caravans from the south enter and leave the British sphere of influence at many points along the line of frontier to the south of Buddu and west of the Victoria Lake. A series of customs posts along this frontier would be quite ineffectual unless they were of such numbers and strength that their additional cost would be far in excess of the increase of revenue which they would secure.
In this connection I would remark that in Uganda there does exist already a distinct demand for European commodities, more especially for such articles as cotton cloths of the best qualities, boots, and articles of clothing. The presumption, under existing circumstances, is that, if the present system of transport is continued, these articles will be supplied from German sources and by the German route. To put a stop to this system, to effect any
real improvement in prosperity or commerce, to efficiently check the Slave Trade, and for ourselves to reap the benefit of the inaterial progress that may be made, there is but one course open. The system of transport by the "English road," already the shortest in actual distance, must be made the safest, cheapest, and quickest. It would then drain the commerce, not only of Uganda, Usoga, and Unyoro, but of all the other countries lying round Lake Victoria. The only means of effectively doing this is by making a railway.
I have no hesitation in saying that, until this step is taken, any organization, system of administration, or plan for the improvement of these countries which may be devised must be of the nature of a