§ MR. BELLAIRS
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is 791 aware that for the two years ending June, 1907, two Admiralty dredgers were lent to the Egyptian Government without any payment being exacted for their services; that Lord Cromer states in his annual Report that they rendered very effective assistance in deepening the channel at the port of Alexandria; and whether he can explain the circumstances which induced the Treasury to sanction the loan of these dredgers free of charge for so long a period to a rich port which, in 1906, is stated by the Foreign Office Report on the trade of Alexandria to have dealt with entrances and clearances amounting to 7,800,000 tons of shipping.
§ MR. LAMBERT
It was considered by the late and the present Boards of Admiralty that as the improvement of the port would largely benefit the mercantile marine, and to a certain extent the Navy, the loan of these two dredgers was justified. The whole cost of their maintenance was borne by the Egyptian Government.
§ Mr. BELLAIRS
Could not the same thing be said of every port around the British coast? What induced the Treasury to sanction this?
§ [No Answer was returned.]