§ MR. HERBERT SAMUEL (Yorkshire, Cleveland)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether coal for the Gold Coast Government railway is purchased through the Crown Agents; and, if so, whether he will state what is the average price paid for the coal during the last three months and the average cost of the freight.
(Answered by Mr. Secretary Lyttelton.) Coal and patent fuel for the Gold Coast Government railway are purchased through he Crown Agents for the Colonies. The price quoted to the Crown Agents is inclusive of freight and landing charges in the Colony, and it is not possible to separate exactly the cost of the coal or fuel from the other charges. The cost of freight may, however, be taken approximately at from 20s. to 22s. 6d. a ton and the landing charges at 5s. a ton. In the case of coal the cost also includes the export duty from this country of 1s. a ton. No coal has been supplied since June, 1903, but the cost, including freight, export duty, and landing charges, for the three months, April to June, 1903, varied between 40s. and 42s. 6d. a ton. Patent fuel, which was last shipped on the 15th of January, 1904, has been supplied at the uniform price of 42s. 6d. a ton.