§ MR. WATERHOUSE
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, What progress has been made in the construction of the Government lines of Railway in India towards giving effect to the announcement, made at the close of last Session, that it was the intention of the Government to commence laying down Railways to the extent of 800 miles; and, whether any and what lines have already been commenced; and, if not, what are the present intentions of the Government?
MR. GRANT DUFF
Sir, no such announcement was ever made. The statement alluded to by the hon. Member is, I presume, one made by me on the 3rd of August last, to the effect that Lord Mayo had announced in the Budget debate of April, 1870, at Calcutta, that he hoped to open—not to lay down—800 additional miles of railway in the present financial year. Of these, 645 only have been opened, so far as we are aware; but as the financial year is not quite concluded, it is possible that the hopes of the Viceroy may be even more completely fulfilled than they have been. On only one long State line—the Lahore-Peshawur line—have works been actually commenced; but several other lines have been, or are being, now surveyed, and with all of these it is the intention of the Government of India to proceed with all possible speed—the important question of the gauge, with regard to which some interesting Papers have been laid on the Table, being now settled.