§ Colonel YATE
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can give any information as to the progress that is being made with the scheme for railway connection between Ceylon and India, and details of the estimated cost of construction, and the results anticipated from it as a commercial undertaking; and whether, in view of the strategical advantage to the Empire that would result from the connection by railway of the Ceylon harbours with the Indian mainland, the Imperial Government would consider the advisability of giving some financial assistance or guarantee, if needed to cover any anticipated loss from a commercial point of view during the first years after construction.
I have no detailed report, but I understand that very satisfactory progress has been made with the work and that the connection will probably be effected in the course of next year. The cost of the Ceylon works will be about 6½ million rupees. I have no information as to the cost of the Indian works. So far 1321 as Ceylon is concerned it is confidently expected that the line will pay its way from the first.