MR. CLEMENT EDWARDS (Denbigh District)
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements have recently authorised an outlay exceeding £1,000,000 sterling on the first part of an extensive harbour improvement scheme; and that such scheme has been and is opposed by the local trading 471 community, including the Singapore Chamber of Commerce, and by the non-official members of the Legislative Council, on the ground that the present and prospective trade of the country do not, in their view, warrant the expenditure; and whether, in view of such opposition, he will arrange to send out some perfectly independent person to examine and report upon the matter, and, pending such Report, will direct that the proposed works be not proceeded with.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
The Secretary of State is aware that the scheme in question has been approved by the Legislative Council. The Singapore Chamber of Commerce has in the past made representations against the construction of the proposed works, but the Secretary of State is not satisfied that such representations can be taken as embodying the wishes of the trading community in this matter. The Legislative Council voted unanimously in favour of the expenditure, all the unofficial members being present, except those who represent Penang, and Lord Elgin can see no reason for further delay in the construction of a work which is being undertaken upon high expert's authority and after prolonged consideration both here and in Singapore.