1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Tanganyika Territory

EB1922 - Volume 32.jpg

TANGANYIKA TERRITORY, the name officially given in Jan. 1920 to that part of ex-German East Africa administered by Great Britain. It has an area of some 365,000 sq. m., compared with the 385,000 sq. m. of the former German protectorate, the rest of the region having been added to Belgian Congo except the small Rionga district at the mouth of the Rovuma, which was incorporated in Portuguese East Africa. Urundi and Ruanda, the provinces acquired by Belgium, were the most populous parts of German East Africa, and whereas the population of the German protectorate in 1916 was estimated at some 8,000,000 that of Tanganyika Territory in 1921 was under 5,000,000. Europeans in 1920 numbered about 2,200, of whom 1,400 were British and 300 Greek. The largest towns were Dar es Salaam (20,000 inhabitants) and Tanga (16,400) on the coast, and Tabora (25,000) inland.

With the conquest of the country in 1916-7 civil administrators were appointed by the British and Belgians in the areas they occupied, Mr. (afterwards Sir) H. A. Byatt being chosen by the British. His headquarters were at Dar es Salaam. Iringa, Mahenge and other regions were, until March 1918, administered by Gen. Northey's chief political officer, Mr. (afterwards Sir) H. L. Duff. At first the Belgians, with Col. Malfeyt as Royal Commissioner, administered, from Tabora, the western area from Victoria Nyanza to near the southern end of Tanganyika. In March 1918 the Tabora region was taken over by the British. By decision of the Supreme Council in May 1919 the mandate for German East Africa was assigned, without qualification, to Great Britain, but Belgium advanced claims to retain not only Urundi and Ruanda but a much larger area, including the province of Ujiji, with the lake terminus of the, railway from Dar es Salaam. The matter was settled by an Anglo-Belgian agreement signed in Sept. 1919. By this agreement Ujiji province went to Great Britain, and also such parts of Urundi and Ruanda as were needed to allow the projected railway from Tabora to Western Uganda a link in the Cape to Cairo scheme to remain in British administered territory. By another convention signed in March 1921 Belgium obtained the right of transit of goods free of all custom duties over the railway from Kigoma (the lake terminus of the line) to Dar es Salaam, and in general by any other route adapted for transit, together with areas (on payment of nominal rent) at both ports for wharfs, bonded warehouses, etc. The districts which Belgium had temporarily administered but which fell within the British mandatory area were formally transferred to the British administration on March 22 1921. Orders in Council for the government of Tanganyika Territory were made in July 1920. The next month the administrator, Sir Horace Byatt, was gazetted governor and Sir William M. Carter appointed Chief Justice. The terms of the mandate, as proposed by Britain, were made public in March 1921.

In accordance with the terms of the Covenant of the League of Nations the mandatory was bound to allow equality to nationals of all members of the League in matters of residence, trade and commerce. This condition had an important bearing on the position of British Indians in the territory. It prevented any discrimination being made against them, as had been done in the neighbouring colony of Kenya. A proposal had been made during the World War that the territory should become, in effect, a reserve for India. This proposal could not be adopted, but in Aug. 1919 the Colonial Office consulted the Indian Government as to the desirability of setting aside special areas for colonization by Indians. Investigations were made in the territory by Sir Benjamin Robertson, with the result that the Government of India in a despatch dated Feb. 10 1921 stated that it was improbable that Indian farmers would be attracted to Tanganyika, where only large estates seemed likely to succeed.

The Indian Government moreover drew attention to the rights Indians possessed under the mandate and urged that Indians should also be granted perfect political equality with other settlers, of whatever nationality. Indians in Tanganyika numbered in 1921 some 15,000. They had penetrated to every part of the territory, and save for the competition of Greeks in certain areas practically monopolized the retail trade.

The transition period 1918-21 proved difficult, and there was much delay in setting up the new machinery of government. This was in part inevitable, as until the Treaty of Versailles came into force, an event delayed until Jan. 20 1920, the country was still legally German territory. The whole of the German settlers were repatriated and their estates sold during 1921. Until this process was completed no new land grants were made, and agriculture was practically at a standstill. A Land and Mines Department was, however, formed towards the close of 1920, and mining regulations were promulgated early in 1921. The only mineral worked on a considerable scale was mica, the chief deposits being in the Uluguru mountains. Between 1917 and 1920 mica valued at £40,000 was exported for the British Ministry of Munitions. In March 1920 the mines were closed. The alleged indifference of the administration to the needs of the commercial and planting community evoked strong protests, and further difficulties were caused by the change from the German currency in rupees at 15 to the to the florin at 10 to the £, preliminary to the substitution of the shilling for the rupee, as in Kenya (see Kenya Colony). The exports and imports for 1917-20, taking the rupee at 15 to the £, were:

Imports Domestic

1917-8 £1,109,000 £591,000 £36,200
1918-9 £1,007,000 £674,000 £26,200
1919-20 £1,158,000 £1,330,000 £96,300

These figures did not include sisal and cotton to the value of £284,000 exported by the custodian of enemy property nor the mica exported for the Ministry of Munitions. The principal exports were sisal, cotton, hides, skins, copra, coffee and ghee. Up to 1920 the exports were mainly accumulated stocks. The chief imports were cotton piece goods, rice and other foodstuffs. The re-exports represented transit trade with the Belgian Congo. Trade was mainly with Zanzibar, Kenya and India. For the year ending March 31 1920 the net tonnage of the ships cleared was 193,000 (154,000 British).

Sir Horace Byatt and his staff had a difficult task in building up a new administration on the ruins of the German system. In native affairs they sought to reestablish the old tribal organization, almost destroyed under German rule, and steps were taken to abolish slavery. During 1918 and 1919 the Government had to feed large numbers of the people, who, as a result of continued drought, suffered severely from famine. The Indian penal codes were introduced, but it was not until 1921 that civil courts having jurisdiction over non-natives were established. The absence of such courts was not an unmixed evil in this period of transition, though traders, who could not sue for debts, were loud in complaints. But the tendency to wild speculation and to charge high rates of interest was checked. Customs laws with a general ad valorem duty of 10% on imports similar to those in force in Kenya were introduced before the World War ended, and, in 1921, British weights and measures. Revenue was derived chiefly from the customs dues, trade taxes and licences, and hut and poll taxes, each able-bodied male native paying not fewer than three florins a year. While revenue naturally rose as the area under civil administration increased, so likewise did expenditure. Up to March 31 1920 the total revenue received was £1,596,000, and the total expenditure £1,365,000. It then became necessary to spend much larger sums to put the country into working order, and for the year ending March 31 1921 the Imperial exchequer made a grant of £330,000. For the next financial year the Imperial exchequer made a grant of £914,000 the Colonial Office had asked for £1,500,000. Heavy expense was incurred in making good the damage done during the World War to railways, roads and harbours. The garrison maintained three battalions of the King's African Rifles; cost about £250,000 yearly.

Under British administration the German names given to certain districts and towns were replaced by native names. The following changes were made: Wilhelmstal district became Usambara district and Wilhelmstal (town) Lushoto. Bismarckburg district became Ufipa and Bismarckburg (town) Kasanga. Langenburg district became Rungwe and Neu Langenburg (town) Ntukuyu. Wiedhafen, on Lake Nyasa, became Manda. In 1917 Oldoinyo Lengai (God's mountain) at the S. end of Lake Natron was in frequent eruption; it is the only known active volcano in the territory. In May and June 1919 very severe earthquakes occurred in the S.W. part of the territory. By the fall of the side of a mountain near the N.E. end of Lake Nyasa some 5,000,000 tons of earth and rocks were displaced: the falls in the Livingstone mountains altered considerably the face of the country.

See Report on Tanganyika Territory (1921), a valuable official monograph covering the period to the end of 1920; the Colonial Office List for parliamentary papers; A. S. and G. G. Brown, The South and East African Year Book and Guide (London, annually); Hans Meyer, Ostafrika (1914); F. S. Joelson, The Tanganyika Territory (1921), and the authorities cited under German East Africa. (F. R. C.)