§ MR. WEDGWOOD (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, with reference to the Uganda Railway Government strip, whether these lands are in the position of a security for the money advanced by the Imperial Government to build the railway; and, if so, whether he will make arrangements that no more of this land be alienated without the sums realised or accruing being allocated specially to the reduction of this debt, instead of being used as at present for current expenditure of the Colony.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. Churchill, Manchester, N.W.)
The zone or strip originated in the days when the future statusof the railway was still undetermined, and the principle was then laid down that the receipts there from should be set off against the capital cost of construction. Now that the railway has become a branch of the Protectorate Administration the retention of the zone as a separate estate is anomalous and administratively inconvenient; and so long as the Protectorate is not self-supporting the appropriation by this country of the profits on the zone does not secure any real repayment to the British Exchequer. In these circumstances His Majesty's Government have 845 decided that the question of repayments on account of the capital cost of the railway shall be deferred until the Protectorate can dispense with an Imperial Grant-in-aid; and that the railway zone shall cease to be treated as a separate estate, the revenue derived there from being treated in the same way as the receipts accruing from other lands in the Protectorate.