HC Deb 04 March 1909 vol 1 c1575

asked the Under-Secretary for the Colonies whether he is aware that rebates and preferences are granted to the Deutsche Ost Afrika Linie and Messageries Maritimes Companies, that these companies are subsidised by the German and French Governments, and that British merchants are, therefore, at a disadvantage on the East Coast of Africa, though more than half of the cargo and passenger traffic is British; and whether, in consideration of the growing importance of British Possessions on that coast, the Government has under consideration the need of promoting the establishment of a direct line of steamers or of subsidising the existing line?

Colonel SEELY

I am aware of the conditions under which trade with the East Coast of Africa is at present carried on, and the question of steamship communication between this country and that coast is receiving the careful consideration of His Majesty's Government.