Lieut.-Colonel V. HENDERSON
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what were the total amounts which accrued to the Imperial Exchequer, being excess of receipts over expenditure, from the working of the Iraq Railways during the years 1922–23 and 1923–24, respectively; and what is the estimated amount for the year 1924–25?
§ Mr. AMERY
In 1922–23 the revenue of the Iraq Railways exceeded expenditure by Rs. 3,35,071 and this sum accrued to the Imperial Exchequer. In 1923–24 the surplus was Rs. 7,97,830 and the estimated surplus for 1924–25 is Rs. 6,50,000. These sums will not, however, accrue to the Imperial Exchequer, as the management of these railways was transferred on 1st April, 1923, to the Iraq Government, and in accordance with the provisions of Article VIII of the Financial Agreement made under Article XV of the Anglo-Iraq Treaty (Cmd. 2120, 1924) any surplus of receipts over expenditure from that date is devoted to further capital expenditure or to the payment of interest on money borrowed for capital services.
§ Major GLYN
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it is proposed to establish a fixed interest charge on the capital value of the Iraq Railways; if so, what will be the rate of interest, and when will this charge be imposed?
§ Mr. AMERY
I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply given1868W by my predecessor to a question in this House on the 2nd April, 1924. As stated in that reply, the Iraq Railway system is the property of His Majesty's Government, and interest on the capital value is not payable. The management and administration of the system was transferred to the Iraq Government as from 1st April, 1923, subject to the stipulations of Article VIII of the Financial Agreement with the Iraq Government (Cmd. 2120).