HC Deb 27 June 1905 vol 148 cc247-8

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the Government of Newfoundland paid in 1901 the sum of 850,000 dollars to recover from Mr. R. G. Reid certain lands which had been granted to him by Act of Legislature; and that the same Government is now proposing to grant to the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company, Limited, a perpetually renewable lease of a far larger area of land comprising the whole watershed of the Exploits River; and, if so, whether he proposes to take any action in the matter.

The following Questions also appeared on the Paper on the same subject—

MR. NUSSEY (Pontefract)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the fact that The Newfoundland Crown Lands Act, 1903, demands a payment of five dollars per square mile for the first year and of three dollars per square mile thereafter for all the lands granted under a ninety-nine years pulp limit lease, and that the perpetually renewable lease now proposed to be granted to the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company, Limited, provides for the payment of two dollars per square mile only and expressly exempts the lessees from any payment whatever for swamp and barren lands, he proposes to take any, and, if any, what, action in the matter.

MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that, under the Bill lately passed by the Newfoundland Legislature to confirm a contract made with the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company, Limited, for the purpose of utilising the timber resources of the colony in the establishment of pulp and paper industries, the lessees are granted full mineral and quarry rights, over an area estimated at 2,100,000 acres, such rights not being necessary for the stated purposes of the contract, and being subject only to a nominal charge of 5 per cent, on the net profits of the sale of precious and other metals, minerals, and mineral substances; and that the lessees are free from the provisions of the existing law as to the verification and proof of accounts by holders of mineral licences; and whether, seeing that the terms of the lease are contrary in these and other respects to the express provisions of the Crown Lands Act of 1903 now in force in the colony, he will state what action, if any, he proposes to take in the matter.


I can only refer the hon. Members to the Answer which I gave on the 22nd June † to other Questions on the subject of this contract.


When does the right hon. Gentleman expect to receive a copy of the final agreement, and will he allow Members of the House to see it?


I should like to have notice of that Question.


Is it expected this week?


I cannot say.