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CHARTERED the sultan and accepted by the association which had now been formed by Mr Mackinnon. This association became the Imperial British East Africa Company by a founder’s agreement of April 1888, having received a royal charter in September of the same year. To this company the sultan made a further concession dated October 1888, to be read with the previous concession. On the faith of these concessions and the charters an amount of £240,000 was subscribed, and the company received formal charge of their concessions. The rights of which they believed that they were to assume possession were “ all the powers and authority to which the sultan was entitled on the mainland in the Mrima, and all his territories and dependencies from Wanga to Kipini inclusive, also the islands embraced in such territory,” saving, of course, all obligations already incurred by that potentate with Great Britain or other Power. The first difficulties which the company had to encounter arose out of the aggressions of the German East Africa Company, supported by the German Government. This company also received a grant from the sultan in October 1888, and its appearance on the coast was followed by grave disturbances among the native tribes which had welcomed the British. This outbreak led to a joint British and German blockade, which seriously hampered trade operations. It had also been anticipated, in reliance on certain assurances of Prince Bismarck, emphasized by Lord Salisbury, that German enterprise in the interior of the country would be confined to the south of Victoria Hyanza. Unfortunately this expectation was not realized. It was necessary that the British company should enjoy the command of all the ports from which it was to draw its customs revenue, but from the first disputes arose between them and German subjects who formulated claims over certain portions of the same districts. A German claim was put forward to the petty sultanate of Witu, where there were some German plantations subsequently bought up, and the German Government endeavoured unsuccessfully to obtain a concession of the island of Lamu, which contains the principal town on the coast north of Mombasa. These claims were submitted for arbitration to Baron de Lambermont, the Belgian secretary of state, who decided against the German contention. German intrigues did not thereby come to an end, and native resistance to the company’s authority was fomented. Similar difficulties arose over the possession and administration of Manda and Pata, and of the port of Wanga, though in those cases the German claims had even slighter foundation than at Witu. In all these disputes the German Government countenanced its own subjects, while the British Foreign Office did little or nothing to assist the company, sometimes directly discouraging its activity. The great importance to the trading operations of the company involved in the peaceable possession of these places may be gathered from a brief study of the terms on which the company’s right to exact revenue in its territories had been granted by the sultan. The basis of this arrangement is to be found in article 9 of the concession of 9th October 1888. The company guaranteed to the sultan the whole amount of the customs duty he received at the time the concession was entered into, the annual average payable being fixed according to the original understanding by the experience of the first year, but, at the time this agreement was actually entered into, the Germans were pressing for a grant of Lamu, and the British company had to accept the sultan’s interpretation of these financial clauses. It was therefore agreed that (1) the annual revenue was to be based, not on an average, but on the actual results of the first year ; (2) the payment to the sultan was to be determined by the amount of the gross revenue without



allowing for expenses of collection. These concessions seemed worth making from a business point of view, as it might reasonably be supposed that they would largely, increase their customs duties under the company no less than from an imperial point of view, for they confirmed the sultan in loyalty to British interests, and these would have virtually vanished in East Africa had he transferred Lamu and the northern stations to Germany. The importance attached by the company to the possession of these places may be gauged, therefore, by the sacrifices they were prepared to make to retain them. Unfortunately, by a curious combination of circumstances, the first year’s revenue was unusually large ; the German ports were closed and some of their trade came to the British ports, and a sudden impulse was given to trade by the appearance of the British company. All this was ultimately much to its disadvantage. The next serious difficulty encountered by the company arose from what was known as “ the race for Uganda.” By the hinterland doctrine, accepted both by Great Britain and Germany in the diplo- usanda. matic correspondence of July 1887, there was no doubt that Uganda would be taken to fall within Great Britain’s “ sphere of influence,” but German public opinion evidently did not so regard the matter. The maps published in that country assigned the territory to Germany, and in England public opinion as strongly expected British influence to be paramount. However, in 1889 Dr Peters led what was practically a raiding expedition into that country after running a blockade of the ports. The British Government made no attempt to put a stop to this beyond a formal protest to the German Government, which expressed its determination not to countenance Peters. They were not, however, pressed to stop his advance by force, and he managed to make his way into the back of the company’s territory. Early in 1890 Emin Pasha made an arrangement with the German Government to lead an expedition in the direction of Uganda. As the British Government did not feel inclined to undertake the protection of British interests in Uganda, the company had to protect itself. In March 1890 it despatched an expedition thither under Captain Lugard. An expedition under Mr Jackson, which had left the year previously, with instructions to avoid Uganda, had been diverted there on receipt of the news regarding Peters and Emin Pasha. Peters retired at Jackson’s approach, claiming, however, to have made certain treaties which constituted “ effective occupation,” and Emin threatened to complete Peters’s work. The dispute came to an end by the Anglo-German agreement of 1890. Uganda was assigned to the British sphere of influence. The country was in a dangerous state of ferment; Boman Catholic and Protestant converts were arrayed against each other, and the French missionaries unfortunately fomented the illfeeling. By the middle of 1890, however, Captain Lugard had established peace and the authority of the company had become supreme. In July 1890 representatives of the Powers assembled at Brussels and agreed on common efforts for the suppression of the slave trade. The interference of the company iij Uganda had been a material step towards that object, but no really satisfactory occupation could be brought about except by the construction of a railway, and this the company’s resources did not allow them to undertake. Though the British prime minister paid the highest tribute to their labours, and a preliminary grant for the survey had been practically agreed upon, the scheme was wrecked in Parliament. The company had imported some 50 miles of light, narrowgauge rails, which were actually laid for a distance of 14 miles. Locomotives were tried, but the line was too