§ SIR WILLIAM WEDDERBURN (Banffshire)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether, seeing that the capital required for carrying out the programme of Indian Railway extension for the three years ending 1897, 1898, and 1899 is estimated at rather more than 29 millions of tens of rupees (Rx. 29,000,000), and that, during the period of construction, the interest charged on this outlay must heavily increase the current financial burden, it is open to the Secretary of State in Council to revise and reduce this proposed capital outlay?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Lord GEORGE HAMILTON,) Middlesex, Ealing
It is certainly open to the Secretary of State in Council to revise or reduce the capital outlay proposed for railway construction up to 1899; and any recommendation in that direction from the Government of India would receive my most careful consideration. But, seeing the great advantage accruing to India from the development of its railways, the importance of finding useful employment for the people in the distressed tracts, and the waste attendant on a sudden change of such a policy as has been adopted, it would be with great regret that I should sanction any material reduction of the amount entered in the Budget Estimate.