HC Deb 05 March 1883 vol 276 cc1435-6

asked the President of the Board of Trade, What operations in connection with the Channel Tunnel are in progress at Sangatte; and, if any commencement of a submarine driftway from the French Coast has been commenced; and, if so, to what extent it has been carried?


Sir, the Board of Trade have received information that at the end of January the length of the gallery or heading at Sangatte was some 1,267 metres, but that, owing to its following the coast obliquely, the head of the working was only some 350 metres from the shore. These works are, of course, only preliminary, and, by the terms of the concession granted in 1875 by the French Government, the preliminary works were to be completed in five years; but provision was made for this period to be extended to eight years, and this was done in 1880. I understand that unless by the 2nd of August next the French Company not only presents final plans, but also proves that it has come to an arrangement with an English Company furnished with the requisite authority to construct and work a submarine railway, starting from the English shore, the present concession will lapse, and can only be revived by an Act of the French Legislature.