§ CAPTAIN PRICE (Devonport)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it is intended to allow the Government of Jamaica to give away about 120 square miles of the Crown Lands in that Colony to a private company, and without any obligation to cultivate the same?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Baron H. de WORMS, Liverpool, East Toxteth)
It is a part of the railway agreement which has been made by the Government of Jamaica with the sanction of the Secretary of State, that the Colonial Government shall grant to the promoters who are to construct the railway extensions one square mile of Crown land for every mile of extension completed, which will amount to about 120 square miles of land.
§ CAPTAIN PRICE
May I ask whether it is intended to allow the Government of Jamaica to part with a valuable source of revenue—namely, its railways, constructed at a cost of £750,000, in exchange for bonds upon which no interest is payable until 5 per cent has been paid upon the whole capital to be sunk in extensions, amounting to about £1,500,000; and, whether he will take care that in any arrangement that may be made for the sale of the railway, and for power to raise money for extending the same, so much of the public debt of Jamaica as has already been incurred in respect of it shall be a first charge upon its profits?
§ BARON H. DE WORMS
In answer to the first paragraph of my hon. Friend's question, I must refer him to the reply I made to him on the 27th ultimo, in which I stated in detail the particulars of the sale. As regards the second paragraph, the public debt of Jamaica incurred in respect of the railway will continue to be a charge on the Revenues of the colony, but not on the profits of the railway after it has been sold to the company.
§ CAPTAIN PRICE
Will the Government give an assurance that the Papers will be laid upon the Table before a final sanction is given to any scheme?