HC Deb 09 March 1908 vol 185 cc1105-6
MR. LEHMANN (Leicestershire, Market Harborough)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will state what is the present amount of the public debt of the Colony of Natal and of its increase during the past ten years; what is the amount of that debt per head of the white population of the Colony; and what is the present annual liability of the Colony for interest on the debt.


The public debt of Natal on the 30th of June last was £20,597,870. It had increased since the 30th of June, 1897, by £12,578,727. The amount of debt per head of the white population is approximately £212, and the annual liability of the Colony for interest approximately £710,000.

MR. BELLOC (Salford, S.)

May I ask whether any proportion of the interest on debt is guaranteed by the British Government?


I cannot state that.


May I ask how much of that debt represents railways and other valuable assets?


I cannot say offhand, but the debt of Natal, like the debt of other Colonies, is largely represented by public works, and is trustee stock.

MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)

May I ask whether by using the words "trustee stock" the right hon. Gentleman means to imply that the trustee stock is guaranteed by the Government?


Nothing of the sort; but I should like to have notice of these Questions.