HC Deb 13 December 1906 vol 167 cc658-9

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the consulting engineers to the Crown Agents have anything to gain by recommending the construction of railways; whether they, or their representatives, are employed and receive remuneration for their services in connection with the construction of railways which have been undertaken upon their recommendation; and, if so, what has been the amount of their remuneration from this source during the last ten years, how is it assessed, and from what fund or funds has it been paid.


The consulting engineers employed on behalf of the Crown Colony and Protectorate Governments advise only on such schemes as are referred for their advice by the Colonial Governments with the sanction of the Secretary of State. They do not recommend schemes in any other sense than that they state the merits or demerits of any project upon which they are called upon to advise, from an engineering point of view. Should the Secretary of State decide that any scheme shall be carried out, after the consulting engineers have advised, their further advice is, if advice is necessary, utilised in connection with its execution. The course followed is the ordinary practice whenever professional advice in any branch is sought either by Governments or by private individuals. How far it may be possible or expedient to furnish a Return of the nature desired requires further consideration.