HC Deb 04 March 1948 vol 448 cc77-8W
5. Mr. Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations why the expenditure proposed for the development of water and electricity supplies in Basutoland under the 10-year Development Plan is so largely concentrated in Mogen town, with only £12,625 allocated for district water supplies; whether he is aware that this will largely benefit European officials and traders; and what contribution towards the capital cost of the scheme is being made by consumers.

Mr. Gordon-Walker

The water supply scheme at the headquarters of Basutoland at Maseru, which is now estimated to cost £68,000, is regarded as necessary owing to the growth of the town, which is expected to continue. The African population of the town considerably exceeds the number of Europeans. The assistance given under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act for this scheme will provide for the whole capital cost of the project and is an interest free loan, the terms of which are subject to review at the end of three years. It is intended to prepare a rating scheme providing for payment for water consumed. The allocation of £12,625 under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act for the improvement of water supplies at the seven district headquarters of Basutoland is considered adequate. A free grant of £5,440 from this allocation to provide improved water supplies at three of these headquarters has already been made.

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