§ SIR JOHN LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India what is the sum in rupees payable this year from the revenue of India to the late Red Sea Telegraph Company; how much has been contributed from the revenues of India to that company since 1865, when its cable was lost; on what ground has this contribution been made; and can any plan of commutation or compromise be arranged with the representatives of the late company for the relief of the Indian revenue from this charge.
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. BRODTICK, Surrey,) Guildford
My right hon. friend has asked me to answer the question addressed to him to-day. The reply to this question is as follows: In round figures the payment this year on account of Red Sea and Indian Telegraphs is estimated at 274,000 rupees; the exact payment will be £18,027. The payments since the 1st of April, 1865, have been £18,027 for thirty-four years (excluding, the current year), amounting to £512,918. The contribution is made to Her Majesty's Exchequer under the provisions of the Red Sea and India Telegraph Company Act of 1862 (25 and 26 Vict., c. 39, sec. 7). The last payment will be made on the 4th of August, 1908.