§ COLONEL HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is able to state from official sources the number of lives lost, the number of persons wounded, and the value of the property destroyed by the hurricane in Mauritius, and if it is the intention of the Government to propose any Parliamentary grant in aid of the colony; and having regard to the fact that nearly three weeks elapsed between the catastrophe and the receipt of the information in this country, a state of affairs which might be most disastrous in the case of war, steps will be taken to assist from State resources the establishment of telegraphic communication with Mauritius?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Baron H. de WORMS,) Liverpool, East Toxteth
In answer to the first paragraph of the question, I have to say that the only information as yet received from the officer administering government is that contained in the telegram which I communicated to the House on Friday; and until despatches are received it is impossible for Her Majesty's Government to form any opinion on the point referred to. In answer to the second paragraph, I may say that negotiations are nearly concluded for the establishment of telegraphic communication with Seychelles and Mauritius, the greater part of the cost of which will be borne by this country and India, the rest being contributed by Mauritius and Seychelles