HC Deb 09 March 1903 vol 119 cc102-3
*SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, with reference to the summary of railway concessions in China up to the end of November 1898 laid before Parliament as an Appendix to a letter from Sir Claude MacDonald, printed in China, No. I, 1899, in which 2,800 miles of British railway concessions were shown as against a smaller amount for each of the other Powers, will he state what number of miles of such British concessions is now existent; what British railways are now being actually made; and what action the Government are taking in the matter.


With the exception of the Hankow-Canton line, in which the British and Chinese Corporation are no longer interested, the remaining British railway concessions enumerated by Sir Claude MacDonald (about 2,500 miles in all) are still existent, but only the Peking-Newchwang line with its extension from Peking to Tungchow (about 600 miles), is open to traffic. The branch from Chung-how-so to Sinminting is approaching completion. The Peking Syndicate's line from Taokou to the Honan coalfields is in course of construction, and their line to Pukou is under negotiation. Surveys have been made for the lines from Soochow to Hangchow and Ningpo, and from Canton to Kowloon. The British and Chinese Corporation have just concluded a fresh agreement for the construction of the line from Shanghai to Nanking. I informed the House on the 4th instant† of the action taken by His Majesty's Government in regard to the Pukou line; with regard to the other lines, no action, so far as His Majesty's Government are aware, is desired by the concessionaires.