1. Captain FABER
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Dutch Government has granted to the Vulkan Company, which is a large German firm, the right to construct a private harbour near Rotterdam, close to the North Sea; and whether the Vulkan Company works in the closest conjunction with the German Government; whether this action on the part of the Dutch Government constitutes a departure from the principles which hitherto have governed the administration of all harbours, docks, and waterways in Holland, namely, that they should be under public control; and whether he has information which he can give on the subject?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir Edward Grey)
I understand that the concession to the Vulkan Company to dredge and deepen the river beside the land at Vlaardingen already in their possession has been granted in principle, but I have no reason to suppose that this will in any way interfere with the control of the waterway by the Netherlands Government. I am informed that the company acquired the land for the purpose of transhipping ore from sea vessels into Rhine lighters, and I have no doubt that any other foreign company would have the right to obtain a similar concession.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether any other company has obtained concessions for the Dutch, notably the Thyssen Company?
§ Sir E. GREY
It is impossible to consult the First Lord of the Admiralty about a, concession to a private company.