HC Deb 22 February 1900 vol 79 cc802-3
MR. MACLEAN () Cardiff

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, having regard to the activity with which Russia and Germany are pushing forward the construction of railways towards the Indian frontier, and seeing that this question has not been discussed by the House of Commons since the appointment of the Euphrates Valley Railway Committee in 1871, he will consent to the appointment of a Committee to examine and report upon the best method of connecting the Indian and Russian railway systems, and so establishing through railway communication from Calais to Calcutta.


My right hon. friend has asked me to reply to this. The question of connecting the Indian and Russian railway systems is one in which many important considerations, besides that of the convenience of through communication, are involved. Any such connection must run through the territory of the Ameer of Afghanistan, and as his assent is a necessary preliminary to the consideration of any such undertaking I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by the appointment at the present time of such a Committee as the hon. Member suggests.


Is it intended that Afghanistan shall always block the high road to civilisation?

[No answer was given.]