The Establishment Of The Protectorate (Part 27) – 2nd Audience With Chamberlain

We left off on November 4, 1895, with Dikgosi Bathoen, Khama and Sebele rejecting the British South Africa Company’s revised proposals for taking control of the Protectorate.

In a separate letter to the Colonial Secretary, Chamberlain, the Dikgosi had further re-affirmed that: “We do not wish to talk again with the company; we will talk with you.” It had in fact been Chamberlain who had prodded the Chartered Company to try to reach out to the Dikgosi. By now he realised that the success of the latter’s public relations campaign was compromising the ongoing covert preparations to use Botswana based Company forces to seize control of the Boer ruled South African Republic or Transvaal. The plan called for Botswana’s entire eastern border to come under direct Company control.

To break the impasse, members of the London Missionary Society (LMS) were alleged to have suggested that the Chiefs might be persuaded to grant the necessary territories as Crownlands to the Queen, who could then make them available to the Company. Grasping at the above, on November 5, 1895, Colonial Office and Company representatives met privately to draw up a new set of maps. As the Company representatives reported in a telegram to Rhodes: “We have seen E. Fairfield [Head of the African Department], Hon. R H Meade [Colonial Office Permanent Under-Secretary], Colonel Goold-Adams [Bechuanaland Border Police], and we have agreed to what land we give native chiefs.”

Editor's Comment
Implement the recommendations Mr. President

The nation is eagerly awaiting this report to have a glimpse of what the recommendations are like, possibly for further debate. Mr. President, it’s our ardent hope that true to your promises, the public will have an opportunity to peruse the report and see if it reflects their interests as the Commission went around the length and breadth of the country collecting views of the people with some choosing to write to the Commission’s...

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