§ SIR EARDLEY WILMOT
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, in the enforced absence of further proceedings in reference to the Suez Canal under the Resolution of the House on 31st July last, he will support the project of a Ship Railway from Pelusium to the Gulf of Suez, as advocated by eminent English engineers in 1859; and, whether he is aware that two Ship Bail-ways are now in course of construction in America, and of the feasibility of transporting the largest ships by Railway, vouched for by practical engineers of high standing?
, in reply, said, he could not have regard to the early part of the Question, because he thought that would be matter for argument, and he could not see what the exact measure of its accuracy was. He could not admit "the enforced absence." As to whether there was a state of things that would lead them to support the projects of a ship railway, no project of that kind could be said to be before the Government, although he had had a letter from a gentleman connected with the project, who wished the Government to enter into it. It was, no doubt, a most interesting scheme; but the precedent of the United States, to which the Question referred, did not go the whole length—that was, if he was correctly informed—suggested by the hon. Member. No attempt had been made in the United States to build a ship railway for ships of the tonnage of those that went through the Suez Canal. The subject was one of the very greatest interest; but it had not reached a stage at which they could give it their serious attention.
§ SIR EARDLEY WILMOT
asked, whether it was not within the power of this country to open up communication 470 between the two seas otherwise than by water?
, in reply, said, that was asking him a Question on a sudden which, perhaps, he should not be prudent in answering. But, at the same time, he had never heard of any limitation at all; although there might be a question for the authorities there, to establish their claim in respect to any communication.