HC Deb 23 March 1925 vol 182 cc11-2

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has received details of the delays taking place in the carriage of cotton on the Uganda Railway from the interior to the coast under which cargo is taking six to eight weeks on the journey against two to three weeks in previous years; and whether he has received any Report from the Governor of Kenya in the matter?


I have received representations on the subject and although no report, so far as this year's crop is concerned, has been received yet from the local Governments I hope that the difficulty, which is largely one of labour, may be removed. Complaints of delay recur every year and will do so until the new railway into Uganda is completed, but I understand that much of the time taken to get the cotton to the coast frequently passes before it is delivered to the railway which, to that extent, is not responsible for the delay. There is undoubted congestion at the port of Jinja in Uganda and at Mombasa.


Is it not a fact that there is congestion on the railway itself, apart from any other cause of delay; and is the delay not quite exceptional?


I have no evidence that it is on the railway, but I gather the delivery of trucks has been considerably delayed in the last few weeks. Matters are not serious on the railway; it is the ports that cause the delay.


When will the new railway be completed?


The railway has only just been begun. We hope it will be completed at the end of next year.