§ LORD STRATHNAIRN
asked Her Majesty's Government, Whether they have received any information that the Shah or Government of Persia has given a contract to Baron de Reuter for the construction of all railroads, lines of electric telegraph, and canals in Persia; 518 and, whether Her Majesty's Government have received any information that the Government of Russia intend or entertain the project of making a railroad from some part of Russia to Kurrachee, or in the direction of the frontier of India, or of any part of the Persian Gulf? As regarded the first Question, he had received information which made it perfectly clear that the contract in question had been given by the Shah of Persia to Baron de Reuter. Now, railways and telegraphs were important means both of commercial and military operations; and he trusted the Government would be able to assure their Lordships that the Persian railway system, and the line, if any, projected from Russia toward the Indian frontier or some part of the Persian Gulf, would be carried out really for the interests of Persia, and in the interests also of peace and in accordance with the policy of this country.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
said, that early last autumn he was informed by Baron de Reuter, first privately and then officially, that a concession had been made to him of the railway in question. With regard to the second part of the Question, he had made inquiry on the subject, but had received no official communication, and no private information of any value, that there was such a scheme.