HC Deb 21 February 1922 vol 150 cc1703-4
45. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that Kenya Colony has recently borrowed largely in London on the security of the colonial revenues of that Colony; that it is freely suggested that His Majesty's Government, being responsible for the imposition of taxation in Kenya, is thereby made responsible for the payment of the interest on the loan; and whether he will make it clear that in all such cases His Majesty's Government will not hold this country responsible for making any grant-in-aid to such Crown Colonies in order to enable the Colony to meet its liabilities?


This question should have been put down to me, and not to the Prime Minister. I was not aware that the suggestion in question had been made. The prospectus of the Kenya Loan, as in all similar cases, contained a definite statement that— The Revenues of the Colony of Kenya alone are liable in respect of the stock and dividends thereon, and the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom and the Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury are not directly or indirectly liable or responsible for the payment of the stock or of the dividends thereon, or for any matter relating thereto. I see no reason for supplementing this explicit statement.


Then it is clear that, even where the Colonial Office is primarily responsible for taxation levied in the Colony, this country will not be liable to pay the interest on this loan?


I have stated what is clearly notified upon the prospectus of the loan. It is very gratifying indeed to see that this small Colony should have been able, on its own resources, to raise a loan on terms which are so favourable to the Colony, and which at the present time stands at a substantial premium.