Until 1905, no mention of government lands was made in any of the ordinances dealing with landowner ship. \ . . It seems to have been assumed that the Government had an inherent power of disposition over any land in which no private claims had been proved . . .’4 In 1905 the government promulgated an ordinance for the settlement of rights over waste forest and unoccupied lands. According to this ordinance the government was deemed the legal owner of all lands and forests which were ‘. . . entirely free from any private rights or that the rights existing . . . do not amount to full ownership . . Should the government decide to develop these lands \ . . The Governor-General may compulsorily expropriate all private rights . . . existing in or over such lands . . .’5 In 1905 further action was taken against the unauthorized sale of lands. Phipps, the civil secretary, warned Wingate that Greek speculators were buying land in the Gezira for as little as P.T.40 a jadca.e The government therefore forbade the selling of lands without the written consent of the provincial governors, and declared that all sales to which such consent was not given would be regarded as null and void. Prospective buyers were ordered to apply only to the provincial governors or to the director of agriculture and lands.7 These orders were slightly modified in the years 1906-8, when the government decided to recognize sales of land in the province of Khartoum which had been concluded prior to the publication of the 1905 order. It also enabled cultivators to sell or mortgage their rights in buqr lands without prejudicing the ownership of the government over such lands.8