HC Deb 14 December 1900 vol 88 cc842-3
SIR ALFRED HICKMAN (Wolverhampton, W.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will take steps to insure that tests of the materials to be used in the Uganda bridges shall be made, and that there shall be a thorough inspection of the bridges when erected at makers' works before being sent away, in the same manner as would be the case if the bridges were made in this country; whether he has seen a book published by Professor Vose, the eminent American engineer, entitled "Bridge Disasters in America"; and, whether he is aware that on the average about twenty bridges break down in that country every year.


The materials and work on the Uganda viaducts will be inspected in the same way as if they were built in England, and by an English engineer of large experience in ironwork. Inasmuch as the contractors have undertaken the erection of the bridges in situ, it is not probable that they will erect the girders in their yard in America in the same way as is customary for bridges in this country where the conditions are commonplace. We have no information as to the circumstances under which the failures mentioned in the question have taken place, but the risks referred to were no doubt carefully con- sidered. In the present instance the bridges have been designed in England.

MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

Will there be any inquiry to see that these contractors pay the trades' union scale of wages, as British firms have to do?

[No answer was given.]