HC Deb 23 September 1909 vol 11 cc589-90

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will state the steps, if any, taken by the British Government subsequently to the undertaking given in 1905 by Chang-Chi-Tung in consideration of the loan of £1,100,000, and prior to the acquisition of the Hankow-Canton Railway line by the Germans in the spring of this year, to secure that line for England in accordance with the undertaking; if the terms of the international combination for the construction of this railway are now concluded; whether one portion is to be built by German and American engineers jointly, and another by French and English engineers jointly; in what proportions is the mileage to be thus or otherwise divided; whether the portion recovered from the Germans has been recovered on the same terms on which the Germans had obtained it from the Chinese; whether he is aware that the Chinese have always preferred an Anglo-American combination, to give them what they called English roads and American rolling stock; and if he will say on what point and through whose fault, if any, the negotiations with that object failed?


As I informed the hon. Member on the 2nd instant, negotiations in regard to the Hankow-Canton Railway have proceeded continuously from the year 1905 until the spring of 1909. No agreement has yet been concluded, and as negotiations are still proceeding I am unable to add anything further.