HC Deb 31 July 1912 vol 41 cc2024-5
9. Mr. LYELL

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will state what steamship lines ply to and from British ports on the West Coast of Africa; whether these steamships are the only means of returning home open to Government officials on leave; whether he is satisfied with their sanitary condition; and whether they enjoy any Government subsidy either from his Department or in consideration of carrying His Majesty's mails?


The steamship lines plying between this country and the West Coast of Africa are the various lines controlled by Messrs. Elder, Dempster and Co., and the Woermann Line, controlled by Messrs. Woermann. The passages of Colonial officers returning to England on leave of absence from West Africa are provided by the Colonial Government and are taken by one of these lines. I am not in a position to exercise any control over the sanitary conditions on board these boats. These steamship lines do not enjoy any Government subsidy, except a payment for conveyance of His Majesty's mails.


Have any complaints been received of the sanitary condition?


Yes, I believe complaints have been received.