HC Deb 11 August 1913 vol 56 c2052
32. Mr. GRANT

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware of the inadequacy of the steamers on the Victoria Nyanza and the railway in British East Africa to deal with the existing traffic; that the order already on hand for new boats and rolling stock is insufficient; that the existing state of affairs is so unsatisfactory that the Germans are now contemplating constructing a railway of their own to the lake; and that, if this is done, it will divert into German hands an enormous amount of carrying trade which we can retain by a forward policy at the present time; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?


I understand that the recent congestion at the lake ports and on the railway has been relieved. One of the new cargo steamers for the lake is expected to be launched very shortly, and the material for a second steamer is already on the spot. The new lighter-tug which is to be employed in the Kavirondo Gulf will also be launched shortly. With these new boats and the considerable amount of new rolling stock which is coming forward for delivery. I trust that it will be possible to deal temporarily with the expansion of trade. I am now considering, as I stated in my reply to the hon. Member for East Nottingham on the 18th June, what further action it is desirable and practicable to take, and I hope next year to be able to commence a considerable further expenditure for these purposes.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say when the new rolling stock will be delivered?


No, I cannot say the date. It is going forward very rapidly.