a peaceful, just, and sympathetic Mend.
The report of the medical oflBcer who accompanied the expedition
is satisfactory beyond all expectation. The lands traversed lie at
an elevation of from 8,000 to 9,000 feet above the sea level. The
climate is excellent and fever almost unknown ; the whole party en-
joyed excellent health throughout the two years of their wandering.
The country in many places, especially around the Lake Victoria,
is densely populated, raises grain of all kinds in abundance, and
carries considerable herds of cattle, sheep, and goats.
At one point Mr. Jackson foimd the natives had smelting furnaces,
and converted the iron ore of the district into hoes and other im-
plements, in sufficient quantities and of such excellent qualities
that the iron wire used in trade, which in many places is so favourite
an article of barter, was there unsaleable. It is to be regretted that
no experienced geologist accompanied the expedition, to verify the
immistakable signs of mineral wealth noticeable in some of the dis-
tricts passed through. Uganda and Busogo will no doubt prove to
be very rich and profitable provinces of the British Company, which
will reward those who develop their agricultural and mineral re-
The coast line of the British sphere is much healthier and cooler
than that of the island of Zanzibar or the more southern coast line.
It is a remarkable fact that in the hot season the ports nearest to
the equator have the most agreeable and bearable climate.
I have already spoken of the harbour of Mombasa as the finest on
the East Coast. While I was there Admiral Fremantle anchored
eleven vessels of Her Majesty's Navy at one time in the inner harbour
safe from the influence of the monsoon, and as there was room and
to spare for treble the number of the largest vessels of the British
Navy to moor in perfect safety, there is no reason why it should
not become the headquarters of the East India squadron cruising
in those waters. A sea breeze blows steadily from the S.W.
during one monsoon, and from the N.E. during the other. The
thermometer ranges from 74^ to SG'^ Fahr., and the rainfall recorded
last year was 40 inches*
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16 British East Africa.
The coast line around Mombasa is fringed with valuable cocoa-
nut groves, which are capable of great extension. The natives
manufacture largely an intoxicating drink from the juice of the
cocoanut palm. As in India, I anticipate it will be necessary to
estabUsh stringent excise rules for the regulation of the traffic in
Uquor of all sorts. Cereals of many kinds as well as rice and oil
seeds are grown in excess of home requirements and exported
by native craft to India, the Bed Sea, and the Persian Gulf. The
cultivation of grain is capable of extension to an almost unlimited
The country immediately in rear of the coast line and along the
rivers already mentioned has fine stretches of grass land, capable
of carrying large numbers of cattle. These lands have been depopu-
lated and are mostly uninhabited owing to the ravages of the maraud-
ing tribe of Masai, whose strength is now found to have been much
exaggerated, and with whom there will be but Uttle difficulty in
dealing as the Company's roads into the interior approach comple-
tion. The Company possesses in these fertile but imoccupied tracts,
lands of imdoubted value, and as they come to be settled a promis-
ing and expanding source of customs revenue. Cofifee, tobacco,
sugar-cane, wild indigo, and fibre plants grow freely and are
indigenous in many parts.
Some of the principal exports are ivory, indiarubber, beeswax,
hides, giun copal, copra, orchella weed, linseed, rice, Indian com,
millet, and many other kinds of seed and grain.
The imports are Manchester grey cloths, coloured goods, iron,
brass wire, and beads.
I noted a very perceptible change at Mombasa in the way of
improvement on the occasion of my second visit last year. The
natives of the district wiUingly came infer daily hire on the harbour
and other works taken in hand by the Company, the town and
bazaar were rapidly extending, the people were more fully and
better dressed, and there was every sign of a steadily increasing
trade, as proved indeed by the remarkable increase of the customs
revenue, which has trebled within three years. In consequence of
the disturbances along the German coast many of the Indian mer-
chants had been obliged to transfer their trade to Mombasa, and
this migration will probably continue.
Although permitted under their charter, the Company wisely have
refrained from entering into direct competition with the native
traders. They are meantime applying their resources and energies
to lay the sound foundation of a solid and strong administration,
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British East Africa. 17
which without ostentatious display in the present will not fail to yield
8atisÂ£aiCtory returns in the near future. To those unacquainted with
trade in uncivilised countries, its rapid expansion under judicious
and fostering care is almost incredible. As examples I will cite
two instances in two remote spheres of operations.
In the year 1875 I saw the first box of dates shipped from Busrah
in Mesopotamia, and notwithstanding that the most partial friend
of the Turk would not call him a fostering and judicious adminis-
trator, yet the export of this fruit last year from that single port
had risen to 20,000 tons. Then take the trade in rice from Burma.
The gentleman is now living who made the first shipment of rice
from there. Last year the shipments of that article exceeded
1,200,000 tons, representing a money value of over two and a half
millions sterling. Or take a case on the Zanzibar coast itself,
where the discovery of the wild indiarubber vine made by Sir John
Kirk led in a few years to an export worth Â£200,000 per annum.
In the course of constructing roads into the interior, the Com-
pany's officers discovered forests of considerable extent near the
coast yielding rubber, samples of which manufacturers here have
pronounced to be of the best quality.
And now, before I sit down, permit me to notice the remarks
of some newspaper correspondents, who appear to have but a
superficial knowledge of the condition of affairs in East Africa.
The Sultan's material interests I maintain have in no way been
sacrificed by the late arrangement affecting his territories. The
taxes and revenue of the island of Zanzibar (termed by Mr. H. M.
Stanley the pearl of the Indian Ocean) and Pemba, considerable as
they are, remain to him intact. The tax collected last year on the
clove crops which come from those two islands alone, cloves being
nowhere else produced in his dominions, was little short of :? 80,000
sterling. Again, the Sultan as well as our Indian subjects are
large holders of house and landed property, of which the value is
enhanced by the greater confidence and security conferred by the
Now, allowing a feur rate of interest on the sum of Â£200,000 for
which the Germans are said to have commuted the rent payable by
them, and adding these to the sum receivable from the British East
Africa Company, I reckon that His Highness is guaranteed, exclu-
sive of his above tax, a net revenue of about ^80,000 yearly, and is
at the same time entirely relieved of the costly charges of adminis-
tration formerly borne by him. The arrangement then does not
seem to be a harsh or inequitable one.
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18 British East Africa.
From time to time as rumours reach the coast of the march of
this or that expedition, of a blow struck here or there in the Oerman
sphere, contrasts are drawn between the great activity of the German
Company and the implied apathy of the British Company.
Now, I have no hesitation in declaring any conclusions of the
sort to be unreliable and misleading. As a matter of fact, it is
the British Company that as a company depending exclusively upon
its own resources has made the progress arrogated to its neighÂ«
The German Company, as a self-dependent commercial and
administrative body, ceased to exist almost immediately after taking
over the concession which had been secured to it. Troubles
supervened, which compelled the Imperial Government to assume
the obligations which the Company was no longer in a position to
discharge. When the British Company js taxed with over-caution
and niggardliness in exercising its proper functions, it is only just
to it to consider whether like causes in its case would have pro-
duced hke results at the cost of the British taxpayer.
Even now, tested by results, I maintain the British Company has
no reason to shrink from the comparison.
The facts speak for themselves.
There have been voted by the Reichstag from time to time an
aggregate sum of jÂ£600,000 in connection with military operations.
Â£45,000 annually voted as a subsidy for a German line of
Â£5,000 annual subsidy for the cable which has been laid to con-
nect Bagamoyo with the island of Zanzibar, and a further advance
of Â£200,000 to capitalise rents payable by the Company to the
Bultan of Zanzibar.
These payments are provided for what is called the German
â™¦* Company " by the Imperial Treasury.
On the other hand, let me tell you what the British Company has
accompHshed in the short space of its two years' existence.
My previous remarks explain the manner in which it has helped
to advance the settlement of the slave question.
It has not only prevented the outbursts of hostilities along its
coast, but it has negotiated friendly treaties with all the chiefs who
have come in contact with its ofiBcers.
It has provided ocean steamers to maintain regular communica-
tion between, and afford faciUties to, its coastal ports. It has con-
nected these ports by a road and telegraph. A light draught
steamer for the river Tana was delivered at Mombasa in June last,
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Sritiah East Africa. 19
and is now being put together there. A steamer for the Lake
Victoria is under oonstruotion in Glasgow, and will be ready for
shipment this, or at latest next month.
It has improved the town, and afforded many faoihties for the
harbour of Mombasa.
It has established a mihtary police force of 400 Soudanese and
British Indians, in addition to 800 native auxiliaries, who were
able to co-operate with and assist Admiral Fremantle in the late
expedition against Witu.
It has cut a road 800 miles into the interior and established
stockaded stations along that route.
It has surveyed and provided plant and materials for the con-
struction of a pioneer line of railway to the confines of the highland
districts in the vicinity of Taveta, and this work is being pushed
forward by a staff of engineers with all practicable despatch.
Besides despatching minor caravans to estabUsh posts on the Tana
and at Machakos and other points of vantage, it equipped in 1889
an exploring expedition to penetrate, by a new route, the coimtry
situated between Machakos and Lake Victoria, passing through
Busogo to Uganda and the untravelled tracts aroimd Mount Elgon.
After traversing to and fro 1,500 miles of country this expedition
returned to Mombasa two months ago. Mr. Gedge, the Company's
representative, assumed charge of Uganda in May last ; and Captains
Lugard and Williams, with a force of Soudanese, have now probably
reached Uganda to support him.
Hampered with a rebellion along their coast line, the quelling of
which has preoccupied their resources and energies, it is not sur-
prising that the Germans should have been debarred from prose-
cuting similar works conducive to progress and development. In
point of fact, their activity, though more sensational in character,
and therefore more attractive to news agencies, has necessarily been
restricted to mihtary operations on the coast.
You should bear in mind not a single shilling has been paid by
Her Majesty's Government on behalf of the British Company.
Moral support it certainly has had, and but for the beUef that it
would and always will be afforded, the Company would not have been
Large sums are expended by our Government in maintaining our
slave cruisers, as well as the mail subsidy of only Â£16,000 per annum
connected therewith, also the contribution, of old standing, payable
to Muscat ; but these outlays are all directed to the suppression of
the slave trade, and are in no way given to support the British East
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20 British East Africa.
Africa Company, seeing that they were initiated many years prior
to the Company coming into existence.
British East A&ica cannot fail to prove a suitable outlet for our
surplus and rapidly growing Indian population. It will provide
valuable lands for the enterprise of the agriculturist, and further
furnish employment to mechanics and the higher educated natives
of British Ind^a, such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, and mercan-
tile clerks, a problem the consideration of which, as time goes on,
must still further force itself on the attention of Her Majesty's
It aifords also an opening for the settlement of coflfee, tea, indigo,
and tobacco planters.
Under the Protectorate, British East Africa has become practi-
cally an integral part of this Empire. It does not, therefore, appear
imreasonable that State aid should be extended to it on somewhat
the same lines as Her Majesty's Indian Government have adopted
for the development of the resources and revenues of British India,
by means of guaranteed railways. The sum requisite for such a
purpose in East A&ica is insignificant compared with the advantages
it would confer upon the commercial community of this Empire.
What would that sum amount to as compared with the expenditure
which the Governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and
Portugal have so ungrudgingly incurred towards the settlement
and development of their African possessions ?
I do not forget that there are men of influence who oppose the
expansion of territory, and the responsibiUties it carries with it, but
a nation cannot, any more than a private company, aflford so to
circumscribe its responsibiUties as to prevent healthy progress and
expansion. To do so means to stand still, to stand still to let
more active and energetic competitors pass, and the time comes,
but too late, when it is reahsed that such a poUcy is one of actual
Are our responsibiUties and anxieties regarding this great Empire
more onerous now than they were when it was built up by our
ancestors ? Are we, with all the advantages of steam and telegraph,
to shirk a fair and honest struggle to retain and improve the in-
heritance they bequeathed to us ? If we are, then let us stand aside,
and aUow imgrudgingly Germany or any other nation possessed of
the inclination and the energy to step in and open up the dark
places of Africa to commerce and civilisation.
The creation of British East Africa I venture to think is a work
of national importance. I trust it may ever command the interest
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British Bast Africa. 21
your presence here to-night attests, and that it will continue to make
the same steady and satisfactory progress it has done from the out-
set. The charter was granted to the Company most opportunely. It
came at a time when our peaceful and industrious fellow subjects,
the British Indians trading on the East Coast, were much harassed
owing to hostihties which broke out within the German territory,
and subjected in consequence to serious loss of life and property.
I cannot do better than conclude by quoting the appropriate
w^ords H.B.H. the Pi-ince of Wales addressed to the Fellows of this
Institute in March 1889, which are peculiarly apphcable to British
East Africa â€” one, let us hope, of our Colonies of the future.
Your Boyal President on that occasion said : â€”
" From a commercial point of view, the Colonies and India are
among the best customers for home manufactures, it being computed
that no less than one-third of the total exports are absorbed by them.
They offer happy and prosperous homes to thousands who are un-
able to gain a Hvelihood within the narrow limits of these islands,
owing to the pressure of over-population, and consequent over-com-
petition. In transplanting themselves to our own Colonies, instead
of to foreign lands, they retain their privileges as citizens of this
great Empire, and Uve under the same flag as subjects of the same
Captain W. C. Forsyth, E.N. : Having been asked to say a few
words on Mr. Mackenzie's able paper, I may mention that I have
been engaged off the East Coast of Africa for the past two years â€”
in fact, during the whole of the time covered by the paper â€” and
may therefore claim to have a certain amount of knowledge on the
subject treated of. AVith the general policy of the Company I am
not concerned, but I may observe that those best qualified to judge
praise Mr. Mackenzie's administration for efficiency, justice, and
other desirable quahties. Of course the slave trade, and the means
for its suppression, is the question which chiefly interests me as a
naval officer. You are aware that for thirty years or more England
has been doing her best to suppress the trade between the East
Coast and Arabia by means of her cruisers. This, of course, has
cost an immense amount of money and a large number of lives. So
far as we can see, the only result has been to force the traffic into
other channels ; that is to say, I believe the slaves, instead of going
by sea, go by land, and this is not to the advantage of the slaves.
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22 British East Africa.
In regard to another branch of the trafl&câ€” that betwe^i Zanzibar
and the mainland â€” ^I beUeve we may claim to have done some good.
The price of slaves has gone up tremendously during the last ten or
fifteen years â€” and that shows something â€” although the result is
quite out of proportion to the cost we have gone to. I venture to
say you will never stamp out the slave trade, with its attendant
horrors, imtil you open up the country by means of railways. It is
for the purpose of transporting goods from the interior that slaves
are now largely used, but of course railways and roads would do
away with human transport, and, consequently, there would be less
call for slaves, anyhow for transport purposes. In Zanzibar itself
we are now predominant, and there should be little difficulty in the
ultimate suppression of slavery there and in Pemba. I quite agree
with the lecturer's remarks as to registration. The Company possesses
three magnificent harbours, and if proper fe,cilities are provided, trade
will imdoubtedly flow through them. Of the supremacy of Mombasa
over Zanzibar as a naval station there can be no doubt, and with
proper facilities for coaUng at Mombasa, Zanzibar will take quite a
back seat. I was present lately when Admiral Fremantle anchored
a large squadron at Mombasa. It was done with the greatest
facihty, and there was room for three times the number of ships ;
while piers, the means of coaling, and other facihties for ships may
easily be provided.
Dr. T. H. Parke, D.C.L., Army Medical Staff : I have been asked
to say a few words with reference to the subject of the address this
evening, and although I cannot say I have very great pleasure in
making a speech, still I have the satisfaction of knowing what I am
going to talk about. During the past few years I have had an
opportunity of seeing a part of Africa with which, I expect, very few
present are familiar, both on the Nile and across Equatoria. The
map of that part of Africa was almost a blank, and most people
supposed that the greater part was desert, in our school days. Instead
of deserts we passed through some most beautiful countries, fully
cultivated by the natives and looking like gardens, besides being
good and healthy countries to hve in. Someone has sent me a
note asking me to answer a few questions as to the climate, the
health of Europeans, and the Hke. I may tell you of the experience
of the expedition for the reUef of Emin Pasha, which will give you
some idea as to how white men live and get through the difficulties
of climate. Out of thirteen Europeans who were engaged on the
expedition with Mr. Stanley, eleven emerged out of Africa safe and
Houndi and are, I believe, safe and sound at the present moment.
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British East Africa. 23
Only one died from fever, and he died 600 or 700 miles away from any
of us. We were not so fortunate as the expedition about which Mr.
Mackenzie told us, which had no fever. I think each of the Euro-
peans on Mr. Stanley's staJf, seven in number, who crossed Africa,
had fever probably 160 or 200 times. Oui* staying powers were
severely taxed on account of the privations which we endured, but, as
you know, we were obliged to wait fifteen months for Emin to make
up his mind, which taxed our staying powers more than even the
horrors of starvation. We found the natives grew lice, Indian com,
&c., the Indian com averaging sixty or seventy bushels an acre, while
the vegetables we were able to get grew with tremendous luxuriance
and rapidity. We also found tobacco, sugar-cane, &c., some of
which grew extremely well. The rehance on and regard for the
English on the part of Zanzi]}aris and natives of Africa who had
had intercourse with Europeans is very noticeable. They speak of
the late Consul- General of Zanzibar, Sir John Eirk, M.D., as
though he were their father. They know him all over Africa
almost. In regard to the slave trade, I may remark that domestic
slavery is not such a dreadful thing as is supposed at home ; but
slavery in the interior of Africa is quite a different thing. Slavery
and ivory hunting are synonymous, and dreadful cruelties are
perpetrated. But as to domestic slavery, I quite agree with Mr.
Mackenzie's suggestion that slaves should buy their freedom, as
gratuitous purchase of their relief and freedom, hke many overdone
charities at home, has a pauperising effect and has a tendency to
destroy thrift and self-reUance. It would have a much better effect
morally than to make them a free grant of it. There can be no doubt
that these chartered companies â€” companies hke the British East
Africa Company â€” are great sources of civihsation. They create
demands that did not exist before, and the natives are always
anxious to barter. The natives have a sense of modesty, and are
anxious to shield that modesty, and when they see Manchester
printed goods they are only too glad to exchange for them the
products of their country. To put down slavery you must make
railways and place steamers on the lakes and rivers. The natives
do not use the elephant, the horse, or the ass, and their only method
of transport is human transport ; but once you introduce railways
and steamers you will, to a large extent, do away with slaves for
the purpose of transport. In conclusion, I shall only say that I
have had great pleasure in Ustening to the address, and that I think
Mr. Mackenzie's influence on the East Coast of Africa has done a
great deal to improve the state of the natives. One great thing the
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24 British JSast Africa.
Company has done is the release of a great number of slaves â€” some
4,000â€” since it occupied this portion of the country, and that in
itself is a sufficient recommendation.
Mr. E. G. Ravenstbin : I Ustened to Mr. Mackenzie's paper with
great pleasure. It is a sensible paper. It does not exaggerate and
does not lead us to expect things in Africa which do not exist. There
are no doubt considerable regions in British East Africa as in other
parts of that continent which would not repay cultivation, but what
of the residue ? You heard what Dr. Parke told us on this point-
Speaking at Leeds the other day I asked â€” ^Is it necessary we should
actually live on the land which produced our food ? I suggested
then that in our factories we might produce things which the in-
habitants of the tropics might covet, and in return for which they
would furnish us with the bountiful produce of their fields. We are
accustomed to look upon wheat as a necessary of life, but changes of
fiEishion took place in our diet quite as readily as in our clothes, and
there were vegetable products to be found in Africa, such as millet,
bananas, and the like, which were certainly nutritious, and which
might be converted in course of time into palatable food, acceptable