HC Deb 01 December 1948 vol 458 cc174-5W
34. Mr. Digby

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement about the proposed new railway links between Broken Hill and Mombasa and Mikindani, respectively; and what assistance is being given by His Majesty's Government in raising the necessary loans.

Mr. Creech Jones

His Majesty's Government and the Colonial Governments concerned attach considerable importance to the construction of a north-south railway link, and they are of the view that this project should be prosecuted as rapidly as possible. To this end, it has been decided that comprehensive engineering and economic surveys, which are an essential preliminary to construction, should be made of the possible alternative routes Broken Hill—Mbeya—Dodoma—Arusha — Nairobi; and Broken Hill—Mbeya—Morogoro (or Kilosa)—Korogwe. In addition, but as a subsidiary operation, it is proposed to make a quick reconnaissance survey of a route linking Broken Hill with the groundnut railway to Mikindani with a view to ascertaining whether such a route is likely to be a practicable engineering proposition.

As regards the second part of the Question, it is hoped to secure the assistance of the Economic Co-operation Administration in these surveys as regards both the financial arrangements and the provision of the necessary staff and that it will not be necessary to have recourse to loan. The question of finance for the construction of such a railway or railways does not arise at present.