HC Deb 12 July 1923 vol 166 cc1583-4

(by Private Notice)asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the postponement of the Colonial Office Estimates, he will issue instructions deferring the further destruction of the Voi-Moshi railway until after opportunity has been given to this House to discuss the matter.

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)

This matter was fully explained by the Secretary of State in another place on the 5th of this month, and by myself in answer to questions on the 27th March and the 16th April, when my Noble Friend's decision was announced. I may add that instructions for the removal of the line were given last month. My be discussed on the Colonial Office Estimates, which are, I understand, to be taken on Wednesday week.


Is it not a fact that the Governor of Kenya Colony and all the leading associations protested most strongly against the removal of this railway, and is it not a fact that no notice at all was taken by his Department?


Is it not a fact that every chamber of commerce was against the removal of this railway?


The Chambers of Commerce in Mombasa and Kenya naturally want to keep this railway, just as that of Tanga does not. The railway in question is not in Kenya but in Tanganyika territory and if retained might divert trade from Tanga to Kenya, but a large sum of money would be required to render this temporary military railway in railway and my Noble Friend is not prepared to ask Parliament to vote extra, directly or indirectly, money for this purpose.