THE NORTHWARD EXPANSION 451
of diamonds, and it would also have become almost impossible for Edmund
Davis to remain on the boards of Rhokana, Rhoanglo and Anglo American
Corporation. Fortunately, on 17 July, a cable was sent to Ernest
Oppenheimer in the joint names of Edmund Davis and S. S. Taylor
informing him that the Selection Trust offer would be put before the
board of Broken Hill, but the two signatories were
that it will be decided . . . that offer is refused. The annual meeting
Rhodesia Broken Hill shareholders... will be adjourned until 18
November. This will give you ample time consider business and receive
our views. Sir Edmund Davis is satisfied that British South Africa
Company would join Anglo American Corporation in any suitable scheme
proposed by them.
day Ernest Oppenheimer agreed, by cable, that S. S. Taylor's and his
resignation should not be tendered. The Selection Trust offer was in
fact not accepted by the board, though Edmund Davis, S. S. Taylor and
Carl Davis did not vote. A few weeks later, Edmund Davis was writing
apologetically to Ernest Oppenheimer:
Nobody regrets more than I do the misunderstanding over the contents of
our cable, but I thought that you would have realized that wc were only
submitting Beatty's new proposal for your consideration, in view of the
previous message informing you that nothing would be done without
consulting you. I now realize that I should have worded the message
differently and have stated that the terms were Beatty's new ones, that
his option had lapsed and that we wished to know your views. ... I
think it difficult for you to realize how anxious I have always been to
pull Broken Hill through and make a success of it.
Undoubtedly Edmund Davis had serious worries, but his tactics in this particular matter cannot be justified.
Ernest Oppenheimer it may well be said that he never forgot, but always
forgave. While these distressing events were taking place in London,
Dr. Bancroft was reporting favourably on the technical mining position.
On 4 September Edmund Davis received a long and friendly letter from
can quite understand your anxiety to make a success of Broken Hill and
am glad to say that our engineers take a favourable view of the
possibilities. A full report is being prepared, but, as I am sure you
will agree with me that we should act as quickly as possible, it will
be as well to give you my ideas rather more fully without waiting for
the report to be completed.
scheme which he submitted to Edmund Davis's scrutiny in this letter was
not adopted ultimately—it was a scheme for a new company,