§ MR. HANBURY (Preston)
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether it is the fact, that the Burmah Ruby Mines cannot be visited by Europeans except by special permission of the Government of India; whether the Government have recently granted such special permission to a representative of the firm of Messrs. Gillanders, Arbuthnot, and Co.; whether this firm were in negotiation with the Government for a concession of these mines, without competition, at two lakhs of rupees per annum; whether the negotiation for a concession upon such terms was defeated by the action of Messrs. Streeter, who urged the adoption of competition, and in such competition in April, 1886, sent in the highest tender, which was provisionally accepted, ofering a price double of that previously offered by Messrs. Gillanders, Arbuthnot, and Co.; and, whether it is intended to afford the latter firm a renewed opportunity of obtaining a contract which they were thus prevented from securing without competition at an inadequate price, and for which, under fair competition, they were largely outbidden?
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JOHN GORST) (Chatham)
(1) The permission of the Chief Commissioner is required. (2) It is granted to agents of all respectable firms, and if Messrs. Gillanders, Arbuthnot, and Co. have applied for leave, it has, no doubt, been granted. (3) Yes. (4) Messrs. Streeter offered four lakhs. The competition was between them and Messrs. Gillanders only. (5) Until the Report of the expert sent to the Mines has been made, no decision, as I have frequently stated, will be arrived at.