§ MR. ORR-EWING (Ayr Burghs)
To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been directed to that part of the Report by His Majesty's Commissioner on the East African Protectorate (Africa, No. 6, 1903), in which it is pointed out that out of a gross tonnage of steamers which entered the ports of Mombasa and Kilindini of 421,212 tons during 1902, German shipping amounted to 170,188 tons, and to the remark that, as the French and; German lines which frequent this port are both subsidised, it is greatly to be hoped that a similar privilege, as recommended by the Parliamentary Committee which considered the subject, may be extended to British lines in order that British trade may not be at a disadvantage; and, if so, whether he will state if he contemplates taking any action in the matter, or if he will see that it receives attention during the fiscal Inquiry.
(Answered by Mr. Ritchie.) My attention has been called to the Report in question, from which I observe that Sir C. Eliot, while pointing out that German tonnage was 170,188, states that 224,604 tons (or over half the total) were British. No French shipping appears, according to the Report, to have entered the ports of Mombasa and Kilindini in the year 1902–3. From the imports statements 1136 I observe that, in addition to practically the whole of the Government imports (£700,660), about 62 per cent. of the trade imports (£443,032 in all) came from the United Kingdom and India, as against 11.4 per cent from Germany. No action in the matter is at present contemplated; but I may add that there is reason to hope that a direct British service may not require recourse to subsidies.