§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether it is purposed to discontinue the construction of railways on the metre gauge; whether a proposal has been made to change existing metre-gauge lines throughout India 1529 into broad-gauge lines; whether the Secretary of State has recently received a Despatch on the subject from the Government of India; whether he has seen the estimate of General Trevor, C.S.I, Chairman of the Southern Mahratta Railway, that this reversal of policy will probably cost about £20,000,000, as the change alone will cost £3,500 a mile; and whether he will lay Papers upon the Table relating to that subject?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Sir J. GORST,) Chatham
The answer to the first paragraph of the hon. Member's question is, No. The answer to the second paragraph is, No. To the third paragraph the answer is, Yes. The Secretary of State has received a Despatch on the question of the gauges from the Government of India. The answer to the fourth paragraph is, No, and to the last paragraph, Yes, when the correspondence is complete.
§ * MR. BRADLAUGH
Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that he is not aware that the reversal of policy will entail an enormous loss, amounting to many millions sterling?
§ SIR J. GORST
The hon. Member refers to the fourth paragraph of the question. My answer was, No. That means that the Secretary of State has not seen the estimates of General Trevor.