HC Deb 08 July 1890 vol 346 cc1108-9

I beg, in the absence of the hon. Member for Central Hull, to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether the Government of India propose to hand over the Tirhoot State Railway to the Bengal and North Western Railway; (2) whether, inasmuch as the Tirhoot State Railway is owned by the Government of India and returns about 7 per cent, on the capital invested, and the Bengal and North Western Railway is a private company and returns only 2½ per cunt, on the invested share capital, he can explain for what consideration the Government of India is surrendering a valuable dividend paying investment; (3) whether the Tirhoot State Railway was to have been handed over to the Bengal and North Western Railway in March or April last, and whether the reason why the transfer was not then made was because the Bengal and North Western Railway insisted upon the Government completing the extension, then in progress, from Dur-bungah to the town of Seetamarhi; (4) whether this transfer is against the advice of the B3tigal Government, and the Government of India, and against the wish of the inhabitants (Europeans and Natives) of North Behar, through which the Tirhoot line runs; and (5) whether Government will re-consider its determination?


The answer to the first paragraph is in the affirmative, but for management only, and for the purpose of securing economy and efficiency. (2) The answer to the second paragraph is that the last year's earnings of the two lines were not as stated in the question, but were for the Bengal and North Western Railway 4.18 per cent., and the Tirhoot State Railway 4.62 per cent. The division of profit between the Government and the company will be in proportion to their respective capitals. (3)The answer to the third paragraph is in the negative. (4) To the fourth paragraph, yes, so far as the Government of India is concerned. It was at first in favour of, and afterwards against, the arrangement. (5) The answer to the last paragraph is in the negative.


Is the North Western Railway to obtain an equal division of the profits for the working of the line?


I must ask for notice of that question.


Are we to understand that this line has been handed over to a company having its headquarters in London, contrary to the view of the Government of India?


I have answered the question, and the hon. Member must draw his own conclusions from the answer.