§ SIR J. W. MACLURE (Lancashire, Stretford)
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office, considering the importance of obtaining deliveries of rolling stock of 3ft. 6in. gauge for the Cape Railways at the earliest 418 possible period, whether all the large builders employed by the leading railway companies in this country have been invited to tender, or have the inquiries been limited to certain companies, whilst other English manufacturers are building at the present time for the new Cape Central Company and other African companies for systems whose gauge is 3ft. 6in., the same as the lines for which orders have now to be given, and why such preference is shown, and who nominates the firms invited to tender.
* THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. J. POWELL-WILLIAMS, Birmingham, S.)
Tenders for locomotives were invited from firms who were known to possess the necessary information as to the pattern required, and the order has been entrusted to a Glasgow firm. The wagons have not yet been ordered; but as soon as the drawings and specifications, which are being prepared by Messrs. Gregory and Eyles, the engineers of the Cape railways, are ready, tenders will be invited from firms who are considered capable of doing the work satisfactorily.