produced on Grasfontein, even if this should result in the purchase
from the producers falling off for six months, which would not be a
serious matter to anybody. On the other hand, the diamond market may be
good and be able to stand this six months' bigger production. Solly and
I are proceeding to Cape Town on Saturday and will have a talk with the
Government early next week. I am sure we will get some assistance from
the Government also. While, therefore, it is very annoying that this
large alluvial production should exist, one must not lose one's head
and think that the end of the diamond market has come.
will, of course, leak out in due course that we have bought this
ground, but Joel and I felt that it was better not to publish the fact,
and for that reason we are forming a company called the 'H.L.G.
Limited', which stands for 'High Level Gravel' (which is the rich kind
of gravel discovered in Lichtenburg), and making the capital in the
first instance, £1,000 in 55. shares, with power to increase to £1,000,000.
The director of the company will be one of our auditors, and the
registered address will also be in his office. As I have said above, it
will no doubt leak out who the purchasers are, but it is better that
the public should guess at it than they should have the information
direct. . . .
mentioned in my cable that you should not tell anyone else, because
Solly did not want to cable. On the other hand, I felt it would have
been wrong if I had kept so important a piece of business from your
notice. . . .
another fortnight Dr. Beetz should be in a position to prepare his
final report on Lichtenburg, and then we can put him on to other work,
but we will have a manager of the Syndicate and one of the Syndicate
staff permanently resident in the district so as to watch all
developments. Once I have Dickinson at my disposal, in addition to Dr.
Beetz, I think we shall have a diamond department which will always be
first in the field as far as new discoveries are concerned, and that is
the best kind of protection that we can get. . . .
was as well that the Lichtenburg problem was well on its way to
solution by the beginning of 1927, for a very formidable problem was
presented by the situation in Namaqualand in the course of the first
few months of that year. The Alexander Bay discoveries had, in fact,
three aspects. The first was purely objective: the shattering nature of
the finds. The second was the tangle of difficulties associated with
the determination of the rights of the various discoverers (by far the
most important of whom was Dr. Hans Merensky), in the light of the
desire of Government to retain for the 'public domain' as much as
possible of the usufruct of Nature's bounty in these inhospitable
regions. The third aspect was concerned with the financial difficulties
of Dr. Merensky himself, obviously a man of the highest scientific