HC Deb 02 May 1904 vol 134 cc111-2
MR. EVELYN CECIL (Aston Manor)

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the fact that His Majesty's Government have assented in principle to the policy of subsidising a direct British steamship service to East Africa, and intimated that a Committee would be appointed to consider the details, he can now stale the terms of the reference to the Committee and the names of its members.


The Government, as stated in the Question, have assented in principle to the recommendation of the Select Committee on Steamship Subsidies in regard to a British service to East Africa. It is obvious that this recommendation cannot be acted upon in the present state of the finances, but in the meantime the Government propose to appoint an Inter-Departmental Committee to work out the details. I am not yet in a position to give the names of the members of the Committee, but it will be composed of representatives of the Treasury, Foreign Office, Colonial Office, Admiralty, Board of Trade, India Office, and Post Office. The reference will be: "To inquire and report (1) what conditions should be prescribed for such a service; (2) what subsidy is likely to be required; and (3) what contributions may be expected from the British possessions or protectorates interested in the scheme." The Committee will also be at liberty to make any suggestions or recommendations on the subject generally which do not fall under the above heads.

MR. BUCHANAN (Perthshire, E.)

Is it proposed to make India pay for this service?


We shall invite the India Office to consider the matter. It is for that Office to say whether it will contribute.