HC Deb 07 May 1886 vol 305 c526

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, If his attention has been called to a recent Letter from the Bombay Chamber of Commerce to the Bombay Government, representing that the construction of the Nagpore-Bengal Railway has been delayed, and the ultimate success of the proposed Company for developing the undertaking seriously endangered, by the Secretary of State insisting upon terms from the promoters which are not likely to prove acceptable to the London market; and, if there is any prospect of the removal of this cause of delay in the commencement of a railway which the Select Committee of the House of Commons in 1884 reported to be "one of first-class importance and urgency, on account of its protective value," and the productiveness of which has been shown by the offers of two distinct first to construct it?


The Indian newspapers have published the letter from the Bombay Chamber of Commerce referred to by the hon. Member; but it has not been received officially at the India Office. The commencement of the railway has been delayed, not because the Secretary of State in Council has "insisted upon terms from the promoters which are not likely to prove acceptable to the London Money Market," but in consequence of the pressure upon Indian finances at the present time, and the large obligations already incurred for frontier and other railways in course of construction. When this pressure abates there will be no delay in considering the claims of this line, the importance of which is admitted. I must add that I have not been able to find in the Report of the Select Committee the words quoted in the second part of the Question.