§ MR. YERBURGH (Chester)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the keen international competition in the 623 construction of railways in China, the Government are prepared to give the financial support to a well considered scheme of railway construction in that region which they were prepared to give to a State loan to the Chinese Government?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. G. N. CURZON,) Lancs, Southport
The attitude adopted by Her Majesty's Government towards railway construction in China is that of giving support through Her Majesty's Minister at Pekin to any legitimate and bonâ fide proposals in which British capital is concerned. But if my honourable Friend means by his Question to suggest that the Government should themselves provide the money out of the public purse for railway construction in a foreign country by Government loan or otherwise, I have to reply that such a practice would involve a complete departure from the policy hitherto invariably pursued by successive British Governments and by the British Parliament.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
Does not the right honourable Gentleman think that some of the £750,000 we gave to Egypt the other day might have been better spent in China?
§ [No Reply.]