HC Deb 23 June 1948 vol 452 c1338
21. Brigadier Prior-Palmer

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what immediate steps are being taken to increase the carrying capacity of the railway from Mombasa to Nairobi.

Mr. Creech Jones

Eighteen locomotives and 475 wagons have been ordered in this country. Increased carrying capacity on the section of the railway between Mombasa and Nairobi depends upon the supply of this additional equipment.

Brigadier Prior-Palmer

Whilst I fully realise the implications of the Minister's reply, is it not also a fact that there is a lack of adequate crossing places on this single line and that at present only six trains a day can leave Mombasa? Will the Minister consider the allocation of a small quantity of steel in order to make more crossing places on this line?

Mr. Creech Jones

Yes, that point is under consideration. We are, of course, trying to get more steel from the general supply available in this country.

Sir Wavell Wakefield

Can the Colonial Secretary say when the locomotives and wagons will be delivered?

Mr. Creech Jones

The 18 locomotives are in course of production.

Sir W. Wakefield

When will they be delivered?

Mr. Creech Jones

We will apply all possible pressure to get them delivered as soon as they are made.

Mr. W. Fletcher

Can we understand clearly that the interests of this railway will not be sacrificed in favour of the groundnuts scheme?