HC Deb 22 February 1872 vol 209 cc867-8

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, with reference to a statement in the House of Commons under date April 24, 1868, What was the actual state of indebtedness of the Madras Irrigation Company to the Indian Government at the present time, both for direct advances of money and for interest upon the first million of capital raised, and which had been paid from the Treasury since the commencement of that adventure; and, whether the works of the Navigable Canal or of the Irrigation Works now showed any net receipts, after meeting the charges of establishment and maintenance, from which the sums due by the Company to the Government could be liquidated; and, if not, whether measures were in contemplation to enforce payment, or to take the works out of the hands of the present management?


In reply to the hon. Member's first Question, I have to say that the direct advances of money up to January 31, 1872, amounted to £600,000; the interest thereon which had accrued on that date amounted to £86,360. The amount of capital raised by the Company is £999,666, on which interest has been paid by the Secretary of State in Council amounting to £511,852. In reply to his second Question, I have to say that, according to the latest official Returns, the receipts for the 12 months ending November, 1871, were 9,019 rupees, which were not sufficient to meet the charges of establishment and maintenance for the year. In reply to his third Question, I have to say that the Company have been warned that the Government will take measures for enforcing payment of the debentures, aggregating £600,000, as they fall due. The first debenture for £12,000 has to be repaid, with interest, on the 18th of May, 1872. In June £17,000 falls due; in July £12,000; in October £12,000, and so on pretty regularly, the amount of £130,000 having to be paid, with interest, in the financial year 1872–3; but that the Government of India do not consider that the contingency contemplated by the contract of 1866, which would have entitled them to take the works out of the hands of the present management, has arisen.