§ MR. BADEN-POWELL (Liverpool, Kirkdale)
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, What is the reason for the delay in issuing licences for the working of that portion of the Pitch Lake, in Trinidad, hitherto reserved; whether it is true that the Government of Trinidad are considering an offer of £l0,000 a-year, from the present lessees, to secure exclusive rights; and, whether, if the Lake were kept open to public competition of lessees, the receipts of Revenue would not be greater than the rental mentioned in the above offer?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir HENRY HOLLAND) (Hampstead)
Licences have not been issued for getting pitch from the reserved portion of the Lake, because the Colonial Government and Legislature are considering an offer by the lessees of the other part of the Lake to take a lease of the whole on terms which would insure a minimum royalty of £10,000 a-year. From the information in my possession, I have no reason to think that a greater revenue would be obtained by offering the lease of the reserved portion to public competition; but I am not prepared to answer the Question more definitely until the opinion of the Colonial Legislature has been ascertained.