HC Deb 05 December 1928 vol 223 cc1216-7

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the cause of the delay in commencing the Zambesi bridge; when does he think the work will be commenced in earnest; and how long will it take to complete?

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

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answers given on the 19th of last month to the hon. Member for Blackburn (Sir S. Henn).


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether we are definitely committed to spend £1,000,000 on the Zambesi bridge, in spite of Schuster's adverse Report?


I do not know where the right hon. and gallant Gentleman gets it into his head that there has been an adverse Report. All the Report says is that it would not be wise to embark on the construction of this bridge without a good deal more technical, engineering data as to the place and the estimated cost, and I am not going to prejudge that issue one way or the other.


Are we definitely committed to it already, as this question assumes?


No; I do not think it would be right to say that we are definitely committed to it until we know exactly where it will be and what it will cost.


Will the right hon. Gentleman see that before we are committed to this bridge, British firms have ample opportunity of tendering for the sub-contracts, unlike the case of the Singapore docks?