extensive cultivation. Insofar as Tonga were expelled from European- held land or prevented from moving on to it, this land alienation inhibited the response to marketing opportunities of the imperial economy; as one witness before the Reserves Commission conceded, Africans "want to keep near the rail line as they can trade their grain better.'' 98 But the settler community was not large or powerful enough to reduce the Plateau Tonga to wage earners only, or even primarily. Here the situation differed from so many others in southern Africa. On the eve of the Copperbelt era, the combination of African strengths and settler weakness imparted an unusual balance to the struggle of settler versus peasant in Northern Rhodesia.