HC Deb 08 February 1900 vol 78 cc914-5
* SIR E. T. GOURLEY (Sunderland)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will be good enough to inform the House who is receiving the traffic money of the Delagoa Bay Railway which belongs to the British creditors who built the line upon land assigned by Portuguese concession; whether he has considered the propriety of taking such steps as would protect the property and its revenues in the interests of British subjects, seeing that no award has yet been obtained from the arbitrators after ten years' consideration of the subject; has he received any explanation or reason why the award, which in the last session he assured the House would be delivered in October last, was not made, and has not yet been made; and is there any reason to believe that the Boer and Portuguese Governments have influenced the delay of the award in order that this English railway should continue to be made the means of transporting, for Boer service, volunteers and arms and munitions of war; and can he assure the British shareholders of the railway that some immediate effort will be made by Her Majesty's Government to protect their interests by insisting on an award being made without further excuse or delay.


The railway is in the hands of the Portuguese Government. Her Majesty's Government have been given no reasons or explanations as to the delay in the delivery of the award, nor are they aware of the cause of the delay, which they consider regrettable. They cannot interfere with the proceedings of the tribunal.