HC Deb 21 January 1924 vol 169 cc480-2

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is in a position to inform the House of the results of the Empire development scheme as at the close of the year 1923, showing the number of emigrants who have been assisted to take up occupation in the Dominions, Colonies and Dependencies, respectively?


The total number of persons who have been assisted to proceed overseas under the Empire Settlement Act, 1922, up to the end of the year 1923 is 45,404. Of these 31,235 proceeded to Australia, 7,330 to Canada and 6,839 to New Zealand. Assisted passage schemes under the Act have only been arranged in the case of the three Dominions mentioned above, and so far no assistance has been granted to enable persons to proceed to any other part of the Empire.

10. Mr. HANNON

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will present a statement embodying full particulars of any schemes which have been devised to assist the Crown Colonies in the development of their natural resources and for the expansion of British trade?


I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I have given to my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor (Mr. A. Somerville) regarding the scheme for assisting cotton development in Kenya and Uganda. The Imperial Government has approved the grant of a sum of £50,000 to Tanganyika, as a loan free of interest at any rate for a time, for the reconditioning and extension of the Lindi tramway with a view to assisting the cotton industry in that territory. It has also approved on the same terms of the grant of a sum, of £70,000 for the purchase of two new steamers for Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa. As regards the Colonies and Protectorates generally, proposals for the grant of financial assistance by His Majesty's Government towards public utility undertakings in those countries as the basis of the free grant of a sum not exceeding 75 per cent. of the interest charges for a period of five years in respect of expenditure on orders placed in this country have recently been communicated to certain Colonial and Protectorate Governments, and are now under their consideration. A decision as to the particular arrangements to be made in each case must necessarily await the receipt of replies from the various Governments, and it is not possible therefore to present a detailed statement at the moment.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies when the Government proposes to publish the Report of the Private Enterprise Committee; whether since last August his Department has authorised the construction of any railway lines in the parts of Africa dealt with in this Report, and, in that case, on what basis of construction; and whether private firms were invited to tender in each case?


The Report of the Private Enterprise Committee has already been laid before the House. The only line coming within the description given in the question is the Thika-Tana River extension in Kenya, a distance of 58 miles, the estimated cost of which is £400,000. Approval was given in November last for its construction departmentally, and private firms were not invited to tender.