To acquire an interest in one or other of the large German syndicates
then prospecting or mining. This was the line favoured by F.
Hirschhorn, then representing the Diamond Syndicate in Kimberley, and
it was also the line favoured by his firm, Wernher, Beit and Company.
Hirschhorn did, ha fact, go to Berlin, but nothing finally eventuated.
To acquire, or partly acquire, the rights of De Pass, Spence and
Company in the area which subsequently became the property of the
Pomona Diamond Company. This was attempted, but by the time action was
taken the rights had already been sold (though some shares in the
Pomona company were ultimately obtained by exchange for
Philipson-Stow's rights in the Kaukasib Syndicate).
To acquire other concessionary rights. De Beers did, in fact, buy
Philipson-Stow's rights in the Kaukasib Syndicate (5 April 1909) and
did obtain an option on certain other claims held by a Mr. Langc.
To acquire an indirect interest in South West African development by
buying shares in the German Colonial Company. This was, in fact, done,
though the record shows that the policy was an extremely vacillating
To buy South West African diamonds directly. This was in fact also done
(principally, one imagines, to test the validity of the finds), but it
was, in fact, made impossible as a long-term proposition once the
Regie had been set up.
(vi) To encourage the Diamond Syndicate to enter into negotiations with the Regie, and
(vii) If necessary, in view of the magnitude of the finance required, to join the Syndicate in the purchase of these diamonds.
As early as 2 October 1909:
Hirschhorn reported that the Diamond Syndicate had purchased 1,049
carats of German South West Africa diamonds at 295. per carat and he
inquired if De Beers company desired to participate jointly with the
Syndicate in this and any other parcels oi diamonds . . . which the
Syndicate may purchase from time to time.
was agreed to: it was a step of great importance in itself as
constituting a precedent—though hi earlier days the company had
already bought some Komefontcin diamonds.
Regie, which in the next few years was to suffer fierce criticism by
German South West African producers on the ground of its