HC Deb 04 August 1924 vol 176 cc2496-7

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if it has now been finally decided whether the railway lines in Kenya and Uganda, authorised under the Supplementary Estimate for £3,500,000 voted last March, are to be constructed by departmental administration, by local partial contracts under the supervision of the existing railway management, or by a single public tender for the complete work?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Thomas)

I am still giving close consideration to this question, which presents many difficulties. In the case of those parts of the extension which lie in Uganda, the Governor of that Protectorate has urged strongly that it is essential in the interests of the natives of Uganda that the conditions of labour should at every stage be under his control, and it is represented, therefore, that the principal of contract is inappropriate even to the extent of small contracts for portions of the earth work. In the case of the portion which will be in Kenya, the same difficulty does not occur, and here I have to consider the arguments, as between a main contract and Government control with small sectional contracts, based on expedition in beginning and completing the work and ultimate economy and efficiency. Any contract, large or small, which I may decide upon will be offered to tender.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say if the Material required will be of British manufacture?


That is one of the conditions.


How much of this amount goes to Kenya and how much to Uganda?


I cannot tell the exact proportion.