§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. BRODRICK, Surrey, Guildford)
I rise to call the attention of the Committee to the present state of funds with reference to the Uganda Railway. It will be in the recollection of the Committee that this project was brought before Parliament five years ago. Originally it was brought before Parliament by the late Government, and the then House of Commons gave its consent to the construction of the railway. A few months subsequently, after the change of Government, the subject again came before the House on a resolution proposed by my predecessor which was unanimously accepted. In the next Session of Parliament, 1896, detailed estimates were submitted to the House of Commons, and a Vote of £3,000,000 was passed for the construction of the railway. The House on one or two occasions has discussed, either in Committee or on other occasions, the progress of the railway, and, naturally, has asked for information. Up to fifteen months ago it was hoped that the original sum would not be exceeded, but those expectations have been disappointed. We had then little account of the progress of the proceedings. I should like to say at the outset that the application I have to make to-night is not, as far as I can judge, to be attributed to any want of foresight or assiduity in the forecast of those responsible for the inception of the railway. Many circumstances in the course of five years have 290 occurred which have greatly affected the cost of constructing this railway, and to a greater extent than usually affects undertakings of this character. The Committee must also recollect that the original estimates, upon which all parties were agreed, when upon a unanimous resolution of the House the Uganda Railway was begun, were, as compared with other undertakings similar in character, necessarily very imperfect, because over 580 miles of the distance to be traversed practically no survey had been made at all. As regards the nature of the country, there were only the most general characteristics to guide those who made the estimates. It is true a party of engineer officers had started to make a survey of the country, but it is impossible that, travelling with an armed escort over 580 miles of tropical country, the same accuracy could be arrived at as in the case of surveys undertaken in European or Asiatic countries. I propose as briefly as I can to put before the Committee what has been the cause of the large increase in the estimated cost of the railway. I am sure it will be satisfactory to the Committee to get the best forecast we can give, and the best guarantee we have in our power to offer as to the sum which is now asked being sufficient to complete the railway. Although the insufficient survey is not an unimportant factor in the increase of cost, it has not been the main cause of that increase. A great number of quantities were no doubt under-estimated. My predecessor, in bringing the subject before the House, pointed out that, in regard to bridges, surveys had been made at the dry period of the year, and at that time it was impossible to tell from the appearance of the stream what would be necessary in bridge building to meet the requirements in time of flood. On that point alone there has been a large increase of cost due to the necessity for building satisfactory bridges. But one of the two main causes which make it necessary for Parliament to vote a large extra sum is that the original idea of all the exploration parties—the original idea put before Parliament—has been frustrated. The original project accepted by Parliament was that, seeing that there would be but a moderate amount of traffic on this line of railway, in the first instance there should be no attempt at elaborate construction with all 291 the appurtenances of a complete railway, a full equipment of locomotives, or anything elaborate in the way of railway stations, that there should be no attempt to do more than was done with the Egyptian railway, to carry the line as rapidly as possible over the desert; but one of the points that brought us to the present position was that the attempt to lay an unfinished line, as I may call it, was absolutely impracticable, and would have been false economy. In the first place, the engineer's of the line thought it would be possible to lay the railway without ballasting except in places where the line is exposed to very severe storms. That, however, has been found to be a mistake, the nature of the soil not being sufficiently binding to dispense with ballasting. It was found that ballast would have to be employed throughout the whole course. So also in regard to bridges. The original intention was to carry out the plan adopted upon some lines in America—that of building temporary timber bridges, following these with iron work when the line was in operation. That, again, was found to be a mistake, and it is held to be desirable to build substantial bridges throughout the whole length of the line. The change in the difference between a completed and an unfinished line has been faced, and accounts for a considerable part of the additional cost. You have also to take into account the fact that there has been a change which could hardly have been foreseen in almost every one of the circumstances under which the line was originally contemplated. First let me speak of the question of labour. A strong opinion was expressed in the House against the use of forced labour, and a pledge was given that this should be avoided, a pledge which has been rigidly observed. It would, no doubt, have been possible to obtain labour by force, as the line was carried through tribal districts, but this was not deemed desirable or justifiable, so we had to depend on voluntary effort entirely. Now, voluntary effort does not go far in a country like Africa, and we have not much to offer the tribes as recompense for undertaking the severe labour involved in railway construction. The result has been that, whereas it was estimated that actual natives would provide something like 292 half the labour required, the remainder being obtained from India, in practice it has been found that of 16,000 men employed 14,000 had to be obtained from India, and only 2,000 were obtained in those parts of the country where it was supposed they would be forthcoming. In estimating the cost of labour, that of the tribes was set down at id. per day. The labour has been obtained at 6d. per day. The Indian skilled labour could not be obtained under 1s. a day. With the cost of bringing Indians up country and repatriating them, the actual expense would not come to less than 1s. 2d. per day; therefore for the labour, forming the most important item, instead of paying part of it at 4d. per day we have to take an average of 14d. per day throughout the whole body of the labourers employed. Here I may perhaps refer to exaggerated reports which have appeared as to the rate of mortality among the labourers. I am unable to understand how these reports of terrible loss of life and of sickness have arisen. Last year, with an average of 16,700 men employed, the deaths per thousand from all causes, from attacks by wild beasts, diseases, and accidents, amounted to 29 per thousand, which is not an excessive rate considering the whole body of men engaged on the railway, and the average of sick was, and I believe now is, 7.4 per cent., while those, invalided back to India amount to 1.07 per cent. I do not think that, looking at these figures, we can say that there is any justification whatever for the extravagant estimates of mortality published in the press. I have accounted for one great item in the increase of cost, and the second is one that could not have been foreseen; it arises on the question of carriage. The system contemplated was the telescopic method, by which the line as constructed carried its own supplies day by day. In this way the cost of conveying labourers and material from Mombasa was saved, and the estimated cost was put at 1d. per ton. It was well known beforehand that water was scarce for the first 250 miles, and engineers had to depend on a limited river supply; but it was not known that the water upon which they had to rely had in it chemical properties which made it impossible to use for the purposes of locomotion. It became necessary to bring large quantities of water from Mombasa for train consumption, so that 293 the cost of carriage of stores was increased from 1d. to 2¼d. per ton. Therefore, while the cost of labour was doubled, the cost of inland carriage was more than doubled during the last four years. Another great portion of the increase is due to a point which will be appreciated by all Members engaged in any manufactures in which the iron and steel trade is concerned. I believe in almost every branch of that trade there has been enormous increase of price in the last five years, and at the moment I believe it is almost impossible to get orders for locomotives executed, and prices have gone up. Considering ail these facts, what is the present condition? It was estimated that the railway of 580 miles would be constructed at about £5,500 per mile. The total that was asked from Parliament worked out at £3,020,000. That sum is now exhausted and that exhaustion brings us to the Committee again, and forces us to ask for a further sum of £1,930,000 for the completion of the railway. This makes in all £4,950,000. I would like to ask the Committee to follow me for a moment in some figures, so that I may show as clearly as possible what has been accomplished with the £3,020,000. In the first place, of the 580 miles, 362 miles have been constructed and are open for traffic; earthworks have been made for the following 50 miles, and materials are in hand for 155 miles more.
§ MR. BRODRICK
Yes, completed. I do not know whether there are any small works to be carried out, but that portion of the line is open for traffic, and actually working at the present time. On the other hand, very heavy purchases of material have been already made and paid for out of the £3,020,000. I will put it to the Committee in another way. We have spent 60 per cent. of the money, including the sum now asked for, and for that we have completed 62 per cent. of the railway mileage. Earthworks are completed to the extent of 71 per cent.; materials are in hand and on the spot to the extent of 88 per cent.: and locomotives have already been procured to the extent of 100 per cent.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
Would the right hon. Gentleman kindly give the amount of material in hand?
§ MR. BRODRICK
I am afraid I cannot give the actual number of the locomotives, but the whole of the rolling stock has cost £400,000. I can get the hon. Member the cost of the locomotives if he desires it.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to state the amount in cash of the materials now in hand, exclusive of the rolling stock?
§ MR. BRODRICK
I do not quite know what the hon. Member means by "materials"; I had better give the whole of the figures, which are as follows: —Surveys, £80,000—(I am giving round figures);—lands, £26,000; formation of earthworks, 844,000; bridge works, 669,000; fencing, £11,000; telegraphs, £8,000; permanent way, £1,379,000; ballast, 349,000; station buildings, £371,000; rolling stock, £400,000: jetties on the lake, £28,000; administration, £283,000: and we have put down £252,000 for contingences. The result is that for 6) per cent. of the money which we propose to spend we have got on every one of the items a great deal more than 60 per cent. completed. Therefore we may reasonably hope that the sum now asked for should properly complete the work. The question we have now to face is not really whether the work can be completed, hut whether the estimate as now presented is in itself an excessive one. I have been at some pains to look at the cost of other light railways, as this small gauge railway is more approximate to a light railway than an ordinary railway, and I find that the expenditure on this railway, having regard to the immense distance the materials have had to be carried, is not exceptional. The cost of two of the railways in India which correspond somewhat to that in Uganda works out at an average of £6,500 per mile, and £6,400 per mile respectively. In Ireland, which is not such a difficult-country, the Cork and Bandon Railway cost £7,900 per mile, and the Cork and Macroom Railway £8,400 per mile. In Scotland there were of course great heights to be traversed, but the Highland Railway, which represents a rather 295 different class of line, worked out at£13,500; per mile, while the Cambrian Railway cost nearly £20,000 per mile. The cost of the Uganda Railway, when the whole of the money now asked for is expended, will come to £8,500 per mile. This, having regard to all the considerations I have brought forward, is not an exceptionally heavy charge. The hon. Member for Northampton has many times asked what would be the final cost and what would be the advantages we should obtain from this railway. I do not propose to go into its political advantages. The questions of policy which caused both sides of the House to decide to make the railway have been, I venture to say, amply vindicated by the events which have occurred since 1895. No one could feel more thankful than we have done that the railway was set going, and we have every reason, as I told the Committee a month ago, to be satisfied with what we hear from Sir Harry Johnstone as to the prospects of the Uganda Protectorate. The Committee may like some sort of forecast of what the extent of the traffic is likely to be. With regard to that, I have been at some pains to discover what traffic we may expect. To a large extent, of course, it is guess work. Up to the present, we have been running full trains with railway materials and supplies in one direction and empty trains, to a large extent, in the other direction. But, even up to now, the amount the railway has earned has more than paid its working expenses. The hon. Member for Northampton jeered some time ago at the idea that the estimate of £61,000 for traffic receipts would be realised. Up to the present moment that rate has been more than realised, and in talking of that, I wish the Committee to understand that I put aside all question of the charges connected with the construction of the railway. Obviously, the only traffic we can expect in the future is the traffic in connection with the Protectorate supplies or individuals unconnected with the construction of the railway.
§ MR. BRODRICK
That has been charged, hitherto, to the construction of the railway. The amount of Protectorate stores carried up to the end of 1899 was 4,900 tons, which at a cost of 2¼d. per 296 ton per mile represents £39,000. If these stores had been carried by porters, I understand the cost would have been about 7s. 4d. per ton per mile, making a total of £294,000, so that upon that item alone there is the material difference between £39,000 and £294,000. This saving in itself is some justification for the railway, quite apart from the damage to the stores which has been avoided by the quicker means of transit. The present estimate of traffic, even if we do not receive, as we have every reason to hope we may do, a certain amount from the carriage of produce from Uganda to the coast, justifies us in assuming that not £61,000 will be the receipts per annum, but £120,000. This, I am assured, is the minimum we may hope for, on the present basis, when the railway is finished. To sum up, we expect to spend close on £5,000,000. We are carrying already the stores which are required at the cost of about one-tenth of what they would have been carried at by porters. We have up to now a traffic which amounts to double that which was suggested to the Committee five years ago, and we have every reason, from the experience of our officials out there, to expect that the traffic will be considerably increased. It is always unsatisfactory, of course, to come to this House and tell them that an estimate has been exceeded, but I would remind the Committee that, to a large extent, the estimates were speculative ones, and that this was an undertaking which was liable, if any undertaking ever was, to an increase in the cost, and was one which specially required indulgence. I believe that in submitting to the Committee this resolution we may have every confidence that the railway will be completed for the amount we now ask for. There has been very close and careful supervision of the whole expenditure from first to last. I believe the officials on the spot, as well as the officials in this country, have spared neither pains nor labour to bring the railway to a satisfactory conclusion. There has been no sort of muddle or confusion, and there has been no work undertaken that had to be done over again for want of appreciation of what was required. I believe, therefore, that I may confidently commend the undertaking to the Committee, not merely on the political grounds which have on previous occasions been expressed in Par- 297 liament, but also because the Government in carrying it out have shown as much ability and have produced as satisfactory a result as it would be possible to produce if the matter had been placed in private hands, and if it had been possible to find a contractor upon reasonable terms who who would undertake the laying of the railway. I beg to move to authorise the issue out of the Consolidated Fund of £1,930,000 for the Uganda Railway.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it is expedient to authorise the issue, out of the Consolidated Fund, of a further sum not exceeding £1,930,000 for the Uganda Railway."—(Mr. Brodrick.)
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in speaking just now, said I had jeered him. I did not, but the right hon. Gentleman jeered at me on many previous occasions. I contend and have contended for several years that this railroad would cost a great deal more than the £3,000,000 estimated, and whenever I did this, the right hon. Gentleman jeered and laughed at me, and told me that the Foreign Office understood railroads better than I did. But if they did, they did not understand enough to make a railway. I was the person jeered at upon those occasions. Now the right hon. Gentleman says that he has made out a clear case in favour of the Foreign Office making railroads. It seems to me that we could not have a more clear case made out that if we ever intend again to make a railroad in any part of Africa the very last men we should put at the head of it is a committee of Foreign Office clerks. In almost every single instance the estimates have been wrong. The right hon. Gentleman has explained why they have been wrong, but supposing a contractor had undertaken the work and it was found that his estimate of the bridges, the soil, and what was required of ballast was all wrong, and the cost of labour was all wrong, what would he have said to that contractor? I will briefly point out to the Committee what we have really done in regard to this railway from the commencement. In 1892, there was, the Committee knows perfectly well, a company in East Africa called the East African Chartered Company. It was suggested that a railroad should be made up to Uganda, and this company had made 298 a treaty with the Ugandese, under which they claimed certain rights, and they wanted a railroad made through which would be an immense advantage to them,. just as it would be an advantage to any agriculturist if anybody would be good enough to build a railroad to his farm. This is the usual plea put forward. We were not told much about the advantages to the company, but we were told that those were the grounds upon which it was suggested that a railroad was desirable, and that it might be economical, because we have now to keep a very large squadron to prevent the slave trade being carried on along the coast. We wore told that caravans now came down, but if we had a railroad they would not be able to come down, and that what we spent upon the railroad would be more than balanced by the reduction of the squadron along the coast. I doubt very much whether that squadron has been reduced by a single vessel. Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us that it has been reduced? I allude to the squadron to guard the slave trade on the coast of East Africa.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
The right hon. Gentleman says it has not been reduced.. He knows that it is a mere pretext when we are asked to spend this money to put these arguments forward about the slave trade, for it has not prevented one single slave being carried away, because they are not taken down to Mombassa but are taken down to the coast and embarked in dhows. As I took the liberty of pointing; out upon a previous occasion, not one single person has been saved in regard to the slave trade. We took over the Uganda Company, and we have had what was called a survey, and a great deal has been said about it. We have had a large sum of money voted, but I observe that in recent documents the survey has disappeared and it has become a reconnaissance survey. We want to know whether we are making an estimate of the cost of a railway upon a reconnaissance survey. Major Macdonald was at the head of that survey, and when he arrived at the mountains he did not survey any further but put upon his survey "mountains," and so there was practically no survey. That was the state of things in 1895. Then a bright idea occurred to Her- 299 Majesty's Government. They determined to have a committee of Foreign Office clerks to look into the matter to settle how the railway was to be made and what it was going to cost. They naturally wished to reduce the cost as much as possible in order to induce the House of Commons to agree to this railway. Out of their moral consciences they came to the conclusion that by reasonable economy the original estimate of £2,240,000 might be reduced to £1,755,000. Then they gave an estimate of what "would be the result. Their estimate was that there was to be one train a week, and they said that would be quite sufficient. It was true this might grow, and in the end there might be more trains, but the first estimate was for one train a week. They calculated that this train would bring in £60,000 a year, and that the cost of working would be £40,000 a year, while the charge for interest on the capital sum borrowed would be £56,000 a year. Therefore, the sum lost to the country for a few years until the policy developed was to be £37,000 per annum. This estimate was made upon a calculation that the railroad was to charge £17 per ton for every ton brought from Uganda to the coast. I ask anybody connected with railways whether he thinks that a great deal of commerce would be done in wheat and coffee and such goods to be carried at £17 a ton from Uganda to the coast. The House was so taken up with these remarkable details and with the impression that these gentlemen knew all about it that they voted £20,000 at once as a recognition that the railroad should be made. The next year the Foreign Office came forward and asked for £3,000,000, and why they asked for this sum I do not know. They had investigated the matter a little, and had come to the conclusion that the railroad would cost a great deal more than these gentlemen had anticipated. Last year the right hon. Gentleman told me that we had made 250 miles of the railroad. He now says that we have made 362 miles, leaving 183 miles yet to be made.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
We have spent now over £3,000,000. The right hon. Gentleman says we have spent a good deal in locomotives and material—by 300 which I presume he means rails for the lines which have yet to be laid. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman quite gathered what I wanted to know. You have a certain amount of material in hand for this 221 miles you are about to make. I want to know not how many rails and locomotives, but what the actual material was worth in cash that has been accumulated for these 221 miles which remain to be laid. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman was quite able to understand me.
§ MR. BRODRICK
I can only tell him what I told him before, that the percentage of material in hand necessary for the whole of the line is 88 per cent. That is on the spot and has been paid for.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
I do not doubt that it has been paid for, but I do not yet understand this point. We have still got to make this 221 miles. How much have we paid for rails or bridges, and how much have we got in hand?
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
I want the total amount, but perhaps we shall have that information upon the second reading. The right hon. Gentleman in saying that this railroad has not cost more than was estimated has blinked this very important fact, that this line is to be 105 miles shorter than was originally intended. The right hon. Gentleman has blinked that fact entirely, for he did not tell it to the House. I think the original estimate was for 650 miles, but now you must reduce that by 105, because when they made this survey they did not take into account a mountainous district, which, when it was looked into, they found offered many difficulties in the way of carrying out the railway to Uganda. They therefore decided to carry it to another point on the lake, and by that course they saved this 105 miles. They did this because they found that they could not carry the railroad to Uganda only at a very large cost, and they did it to save money and keep within their estimate. Up to the present time the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has never asserted for a 301 moment that the line would cost more than £3,000,000, and we have always been told that that sum would suffice. We now hear that the railroad will cost £5,000,000, and possible a good deal more. Now you will have all the difficulties of the task before you. So far as I understand, we have at the present moment no survey—at least nothing that a railroad contractor would term a survey—to enlighten us as to what exactly is the route that should be taken in order to arrive at this point on the Lake, and what will be the cost of making the railroad to that place. There was a remarkable statement in the report of Sir Guilford Molesworth which was issued last year, to the effect that judging by the cost of two Indian railways, to a certain extent similar to the Uganda Railway, the cost of the latter would be, not £3,422 per mile, as estimated by the Foreign Office, but at least £7,000 per mile, and probably much more. But even then Sir Guilford Molesworth only made his estimate up to this escarpment, and did not state what the cost would be beyond it. The railway at present goes through a plain, most of it a desert. The right hon. Gentleman in his speech stated that we had to reckon among the losses of the unfortunate people who are making the railway a certain number eaten by lions. As Sir Guilford Molesworth pointed out, there are also wild tribes, and the railway stations have to be fortified against them, and it cannot be expected that any very great trade will take place between the coast and this desert tract. The right hon. Gentleman in his speech blinked the fact that even when the railway is complete there will still be great difficulty in taking goods to Uganda, because the railway is taken to Florence Bay, a place on the middle of the Lake near the German frontier, and goods for Uganda will have to be transhipped there and put on steamboats. Everyone knows that the cost of transhipment is one of the principal items in the cost of transport, and the distance between Florence Bay and Uganda is about 100 miles. The right hon. Gentleman said he would not tell us specifically what we shall gain by this railway. The fact is he could not tell us. When I ask what we will gain by Uganda I am answered, in that vague sort of way which does duty in connection with African 302 affairs, "Oh, the natives can grow wheat and coffee, which they can exchange for your cotton goods." I do not believe that Uganda will ever grow wheat or coffee. The climate is so bad that Europeans cannot settle there and bring up their children, and if a European goes there he has to return in two or three years. What about the Ugandese themselves? They are without exception the very laziest of that laziest race in the whole world, the African negro. They have a fruit from which they produce an intoxicating liquor. All labour is regarded as derogatory on the part of men; the women do the labour, and all the labour the men do is to make the huts. The Ugandese sit round and drink this intoxicating liquor, when they obtain it, until they get into a state of excitement, and as they regard fighting as the noblest attitude of man—somewhat as we do at present as regards South Africa—when they get drunk they immediately begin to fight, and as the whole country is divided into Protestants and Catholics, the Catholics fight with the Protestants, and the Protestants with the Catholics; and when they have injured one another to a certain extent and killed a few, they make up their little feud and sit down to drink again. Do you suppose that these people are likely to cultivate wheat? In Uganda bananas can be raised almost without any trouble, and these people, like many others, have no desire for luxuries, and are perfectly content to live in their huts, eat their bananas, and drink this intoxicating liquor, making their wives do a little hoeing, and wearing the cotton goods made by their wives. In all these places you do get a certain amount of trade, but not enough to make it worth while to build a railway 600 miles long. The right hon. Gentleman told us that the railway is now paying its expenses. But how is it paying its expenses? It is paying because the cost of carrying the goods up for the employees is charged against the railway. The right hon. Gentleman also stated that the passenger traffic had increased. I have looked into the matter and I find that the passenger traffic has been increased simply to throw dust in the eyes of the House of Commons. The superintendent has decreed that the coolies are to be allowed to go down to the coast on holidays, and the 303 amount of passenger traffic has increased by the number of coolies who went down. I should like to know who will use this railway. Is there any person in Mombasa who is likely to go up the country for amusement or on commercial business? The traffic at present consists of passengers and goods traffic of the employees of the railroad plus a certain amount of goods that has to be sent up to the English garrison in Uganda. I have no doubt that if you make a railroad costing £5,000,000 you will reduce the cost of carrying up provisions from the coast for the garrison, but I have never yet heard any practical man say that it was a reasenable thing to build a railroad 600 miles long in order to be able to send up at a cheaper rate the amount of goods required by a garrison of 2,000 men. I am opposed entirely to this sort of railways in Africa, and I have been opposed to this railroad from the very commencement because it is a gigantic folly. Why do you not make light railways in England, for 'which the agricultural population would thank you? They would increase the profit of the agriculturist by reducing the cost of carrying his produce to market. If you want to go abroad, go to China with its vast population, but do not make a railroad such as this, simply because you have an idea that at some future time the Ethiopian may change his skin, and that Africa will be likely to want your goods. The right hon. Gentleman said he could not understand the statements in the press to the effect that the coolies were not in a healthy state. Well, I think I have got him there. In the official report for 1897 (Africa, No. 4) these happy, healthy coolies are described as follows—During the months of November and December, 1896, and January and February, 1897, the health of the staff and labourers was very bad. The effect of the turning up of the soil of tropical Africa almost invariably results in a great increase in malaria which in the present case has been aggravated by unseasonable and heavy rains during November and December 1896, and January 1897 Ulcers are prevalent among the Indian coolies, and 80 per cent. of them were down with malaria, and the whole European staff also suffered from the latter.That hardly bears out the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, and considering all the circumstances the natives are as healthy as could have been expected. 304 The right hon. Gentleman said that one of the reasons why the railroad was costing so much was that they were determined not to employ slave labour. Was it determined to employ slave labour when money was first asked for this railroad? Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us that the bargain is made with each individual man? Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to say that an application is not made to a chief to send a certain number of men, and that he is paid for it?
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
That seems to be pretty nearly the same thing as slave labour. I should like to know what would be said in this country if any man were induced by the Government to work for fourpence a day. [Several HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!] Hon. Members say oh, oh! I know their views. Working men in England have votes, and working men in Africa have not.
§ MR. MALCOLM (Suffolk, Stowmarket)
Does the hon. Gentleman know the price of living in East Africa?
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
It seems to me that the wages of the European employees are pretty high compared to the amount paid to the natives. If they can live on so very little, then the wages ought to be adapted to the cost of living. I should like to know something about the British employees such as the engineers. I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has received a telegram sent by the British employees bitterly complaining of the way in which they are treated, and if there is not evidently almost a strike among them. And have they not complained that the superintendent treats them most unfairly, and what was the answer of the right hon. Gentleman?
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
The question is being dealt with! Fifty per cent. of the coolies are suffering from ulcers and malarial fevers, the African workmen are paid 4d. per diem, and the British employees are almost on strike—and the question is being dealt with at the present moment!That does not say much for the wisdom of the Foreign Office. This railroad has been from; the very first commencement a gigantic folly. It owed its existence to the African craze which leads this House to be ready to spend vast sums on schemes without any consideration as to their advantages or disadvantages. The estimates of cost have been falsified from the very commencement. They began with an estimate of £1,700,000; then it jumped up to £3,000,000, and year after year when the vote for Uganda came on for discussion, we were told that that would not be exceeded. And now the right hon. Gentleman comes here and, pluming himself on having carried out his own estimates, asks us to vote almost two millions additional; and he shows us in no sort of way that the last estimate of £5,000,000 is based on solid ground any more than the £3,000,000 estimate, or the £1,700,000 estimate. Under these circumstances, it does seem to me that we ought to do one of two things: either—as was suggested in some of the reports that we had at the commencement of the railway—that it should only be carried to the difficult district at the foot of the mountains, and then a road made into Uganda; or, if we are to go in for making a railway all the way, we should have a Committee—not of this House, but a committee of experts sitting to tell us really what will be the cost. We ought not to vote any more money until we have had a full practical business-like survey. We ought to know what this additional 221 miles will cost, and whether it is desirable, in the circumstances of the case, to alter the line as originally traced out for this railway from the sea coast to Uganda or from the coast to a point on the lake from which a line of steamers is to run to Uganda. I trust we shall oppose this Vote and every other Vote until we have had clear business figures set before us, vouched for by business men. I have no doubt the gentlemen of the Foreign Office are all honourable men, and make out their figures according 306 to their lights; but they have been wrong from the commencement, and the right hon. the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs has been deceived when he tells us that without any survey and any clear data the cost would be——
§ MR. BRODRICK
The hon. Member says that there has been no survey and no clear data. It is on clear data that the final survey has been made and the final sections have been taken.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
Then why have we not got these? This is new light. Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to say that such a survey has been taken in detail as could be submitted to a contractor, and that contractor asked to give an estimate for construction? I do not think he means that. I think he means another reronnaissance survey. If the Government have had such a detailed survey we ought to have had it before us before being called on to vote this money. There are many Members in this House who are connected with railways far better able to speak on these surveys than myself and who can give us a sound opinion on the matter. But do not let us throw good money after bad; do not let us in this reckless fashion vote this additional £2,000,000 on the loose statements of the right hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
I agree with the view expressed by the right hon. the Leader of the House that a detailed discussion on this subject should be reserved to a later stage. I only rise for the purpose of putting a few questions to the right hon. Gentleman in order to elucidate the statement given us by the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Upon the main issue a good deal will, no doubt, have to be said at a later stage—not so much on the policy of the railway, because unhappily we are committed to that policy. When it was decided to take Uganda it was found that, if the country was to be occupied, that could be done more economically by a railway than without a railway, and therefore a discussion on the policy would not be profitable at this stage. I may observe, in passing, that the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs stated very fully the points on which the estimates had been exceeded, but he did not excuse the errors of the original estimates, having 307 regard to the fact that we had so large an amount of Indian experience to guide us. We knew that Indian labour would be employed in the construction of the railway, and we knew what that Indian labour would cost. We had had large experience in India of questions of gauge, appliances, and the style in which these railways ought to be made. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, there have boon not a few cases in India in which railways have been constructed on the narrow gauge, which wore afterwards found to be bad in an economic sense, as the lines had to be relaid and furnished with proper appliances. It had been confessed that these mistakes had been committed, and some subsidiary lines had also to be made to remedy the mistakes. Therefore it cannot be said that we were without experience, and I was consequently disappointed that the right hon. Gentleman was not able to give a more complete explanation of the errors that had been committed in Uganda, particularly in regard to the gauge and equipment of the railway. Coming to the points on which I desire information, and on which I think it is desirable that the House should have information before proceeding to a full discussion of the whole question, I would ask the right hon. the Under Secretary for a little more specific information as to how far the line has progressed toward the Man escarpment? Is it over that escarpment, and has it begun on the other side to descend to the shores of Lake Tangyika? This escarpment is one of the great difficulties of the whole matter, and we know that if we are over it, we are to a certain extent out of the wood. But we know, at least we are told, that there is to be a new line, and that there has been a new survey. Are we, therefore, in a position to say, "Here is a survey, here are certain bridges, certain embankments, and certain tunnels which must be made "; or is the matter in a conjectural position? I hope the right hon. Gentleman will furnish us with complete information on this point. Then I want to know how far the country we are now entering is a country better peopled than the country through which we have been passing. My impression has been that the least peopled country is that towards the coast, that the middle part was at one time largely peopled, but devastated by hostile tribes, but that some hope was offered, owing to the quietness 308 of these hostile tribes, of a restoration of that population, and that, therefore, there was reasonable prospect of greater traffic to and from the coast than would otherwise obtain. I cannot help thinking that the Foreign Office would find it worth their while to publish Papers, giving us details of the surveys and the information which must have been acquired during these surveys and in the making of the line so far. Lastly, I would ask what is the estimate which the Foreign Office now form of the probable traffic on the line and the probable cost of the working of the railway. I understand them to say that they estimate the probable traffic at £165,000 a year.
§ MR. BRODRICK
I said that the original estimate of the traffic was £65,000 a year; but that now the minimum estimate, based on the traffic carried, quite apart from the transit of material and railway construction, was £120,000.
§ MR. BRYCE
Assuming that to be the present estimate of traffic, I want to know the present estimate of the working expenses. An estimate was given some time ago. It is material for us to know, when dealing with the gauge, the appliances, the financial aspect of the question, and how the old debt is to be covered, the returns from the railway, and what the working expenses will be as against the probable traffic, which the right hon. Gentleman now estimates at a minimum of £120,000. These are points which are worth the attention of the House, and if the right hon. Gentleman will furnish us with any further excuses, which can be offered for the confessed failures which have been made in the past he will facilitate the task he has in hand in passing the Bill to be founded on the resolution before the House.
* MR. PEEKS
The construction of the Uganda railway under the control of a Works Committee is a somewhat singular experiment to make on the part of this country, and it is rather important, in view of the possibility of similar experiments being made in days to come, that we should consider what is the result of embarking on this undertaking, involving an expenditure of £3,000,000 already, and ultimately of 309 £5,000,000 or £6,000,000 for the construction of a railway through an uninhabited country under the direction of the Foreign Office Committee of Works. The London County Council is sometimes blamed for the comparative failure of the works undertaken by their Works Committee, but their errors—if they were errors—were extremely small compared with this gigantic fiasco in Uganda. I think if the gentlemen at the Foreign Office, who can by no means be described as clerks, for they are gentlemen who claim great distinction in their professions, who form this consultative and: managing Committee, happened to be directors of a limited company with a capital of £3,000,000 sterling, and they bad presented such a series of reports as those that have been presented to this House, they would long ago have been cashiered. We were told by the predecessor of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Foreign Office that this line was not a difficult line to construct. Lord Curzon rather plumed himself on having taken a course which the Liberal Government had, he alleged, not the pluck to take. On the 30th August, 1895, Lord Curzon said—*The obligation tardily accepted by the late Government, is assumed with readiness by the present Government, and the action they are now taking is an indication to the House that they intend to push forward this scheme with as much energy and force as are at their disposal.Later on in the same discussion Lord Curzon said—The line will not be a difficult one to construct. It runs over a fairly easy country.The Government plunged with a light heart into this difficult enterprise. I am not going to argue that having started with this railway and spent all our £3,000,000 with only half the work done, we should stop in the wilderness, recall our employés, and leave the line to be dealt with in the way in which it was at one time proposed to deal with it by a distinguished Committee which had to deal with these subjects, namely, make Kikuyu the terminus of the railway and get access to the lakes by improving the remaining 200 miles of the caravan road. It seems to me that having got ourselves into this difficulty, and having already* See The Parliamentary Debates [Fourth Series], Vol. xxxvi., page 1290.310 on the ground large quantities of rails and stores required for the other 200 miles, it would be folly on our part not to press forward even if we have to provide the deficiency we have heard of to-night. It does cause some doubt in our minds, when the Government undertakes to construct railways in this manner, as to the way in which they conduct other great Departments. But I wish to call attention to one or two statements which do not quite tally with what has been said before. One of the statements is that the additional cost is due to the line not being a ballasted line, and that the sleepers were laid on the surface without ballast. I would point out that the expenditure of £3,000,000 was justified and defended in this House in 1896 as the basis of a Treasury Minute of the 10th of April of that year, in which it was said that the £3,000,000 would provide for a fully ballasted and equipped line of a permanent character. It cannot be alleged that we were asked for £3,000,000 of money in 1896 for a line laid without ballast. Then we were told we were to have this railroad constructed on timber trestles which were to be substituted subsequently by steel bridges; but if the House looks at the original report of Major Macdonald, which is the fairy tale upon which all this expenditure is based, they will find there were to be no timber trestles; they were to be the steel bridges which one would expect to be employed in enterprises of this description. Then as regards stores, we are all well aware that the price of steel rails has gone up from about £4 per ton to very nearly three times that value, and the same may be said to a proportionate extent of timber and cement and coal.
§ * MR. PERKS
The right hon. Gentleman says "Hear, hear," but how does a prudent contractor deal with a matter of this sort? When he has contracted to construct a railroad he buys all his materials and stores ahead. He does not buy them as he requires to use them; he does not become a speculator in coal, steel, or stores. He goes to a manufacturer and contract; for what he wants. Does any one suppose that a contractor who had undertaken to build some great railway or dock at homo or abroad would be able to make 311 out a case at all if he came to the promoters of the railway which he had contracted to construct, and said, "I am extremely sorry I did not protect myself in the matter of steel rails; they have gone up in price, so please pay me the difference on some thousands of tons of rails"? The promoters would naturally say, "If you know no better than not to protect yourself, it is quite time we got a new contractor to replace you." Now I want to say something as to the labour. It is true that at the present time the wages are paid direct to the labourers, who, work in gangs, but that was not so at the commencement. At that time the works were sub-let to Greek middle men who supplied the labour, and the effect of that was that in the early stages of this enterprise, when there were these Greek gangers, or sub-contractors, as middlemen between the promoters and their labour, the earthworks cost price was 10d. per cubic yard, and it was not until a later date that the Government woke up to the position, and they are now executing the earth-works at a cost of sixpence per cubic yard, and even this sum is far in excess of their estimate. We ought in my opinion, instead of importing so many thousands of Indian coolies, to have employed a good deal more African labour, because natives have been dying by thousands of starvation in the neighbourhood of this railway. It has been most distressing to see the natives dying in the ditches by the side of the railway, and when trains have gone up the line little starving and dying children have come and begged for food, for a little rice, or anything from those on the train. That is not the sort of thing that ought to occur where the British Government are building a railway, and they ought to have engaged labour to a much larger extent from the neighbourhood. I should like to call attention to one or two passages in the report of Sir Guilford Moles-worth, of 28th March, 1899. He was sent out very recently to make a full report upon this matter, and he puts his finger at once on the initial blunder. On the top of page 5 in his report he says—A mistake has been made in regarding the barometric reconnaissance as one on which anything like an accurate estimate could be based.That is the fundamental error. There was no reasonable survey taken; there was a 312 flying survey, and the whole of this money has been expended on a basis which would not be justified by any body of business men in the City of London for the expenditure of £500 in a foreign country. Even for the remainder of the railway from the escarpment to the lakes, 200 miles, I do not suppose for one moment that the right hon. Gentleman will be able to say that a proper survey has been made upon which a contract could be made. I desire to have some information as to the remuneration of the Works Committee and the Crown Agents who worked for them. How was this large sum of £162,000 for administration expended and dealt with? I remember some years ago when I spoke on this subject I had a distinct promise from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the accounts for Uganda should be presented to Parliament in the form that the accounts of the railways of this country are presented to the shareholders. That has not been done in this case. If that system had been adopted we should have been able to see what the salaries and wages were, what was the revenue and expenditure under the usual heads, and the number of people travelling. Even now we do not know what the cost of the line will be, nor have we anything to guide us as to the future revenue.Of the ultimate cost," Sir Guilford Moles-worth warns us, "and date of completion of the railway to Victoria Nyanza it is premature to form any estimate…. A large and possibly the most difficult portion of the project has not yet passed beyond the stage of reconnaissance."Of the country through which the railway passes, he says—The country actually traversed is in a great measure desert, and as a rule sparsely populated, waterless and without resources, while a large portion of it is fatal to all transport animals.I do not see why the accounts just published should not show us something more recent than the figures up to Maxell last year. No railway company would be justified in presenting to a meeting of shareholders a report with the figures eighteen months in arrear. I should like to have some explanation of how the loss on the exchange has reached the enormous sum of £131,000. I also want to have details of the large sum charged for administration, and also why the Government did not 313 protect itself fey buying material ahead, as any prudent contractor would have done. I wish to know also whether the surveys to the lakes show the quantities of earthworks, masonry, ironwork, and other materials, so that some accurate estimate may be given of the future cost. Then the revenue statement is muddled up in this account in a way that would not be tolerated by any respectable railway company. We are told that after deducting the traffic expenses there is a balance left of £10,000 on the receipts. We are told this evening that the revenue—if the whole of the railway was open—calculated at the present ratio of gross receipts, would amount to £120,000. I rather gather that was what was meant. But we ought to know exactly what the revenue has been. We ought to be told what the gross receipts have been and whether they include anything for traffic arising from the conveyance of material and stores, and what has been the percentage of working expenses. These are some of the questions which I hope the right hon. Gentleman will answer.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
With reference to the interesting point raised by the hon. Member opposite, I hope I am right in concluding that these accounts will be submitted and passed by the Auditor and Comptroller General.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I am very sorry there is any doubt about it. If that were so, as I should hope it would be, that would furnish a means of obtaining information on the points referred to.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I hope the hon. Gentleman will remember that the Auditor and Comptroller General is an Officer of this House, in whom the House should have confidence. If he has passed the accounts, probably there is a detailed account by him. Probably the Report in the course of time will come before the Public Accounts Committee, so that all the details can be looked into and challenged.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
That does not meet my point. I have always had: the very greatest doubts about this Uganda venture. When we propose to i establish a claim to any country in the far interior of a continent, as we did in India and other places where we have successfully established ourselves, we should establish ourselves on the coast, and work up to the interior. That is the proper course. It is what I believe the hon. Member for Northampton would call British aggression. But here we have taken a flight from the coast of 1,000 miles into the interior and entered this wild country of Uganda. This railway, if it ever be finished—it may be in the course of time—will be made at a, much greater expense than the right hon. Gentleman contemplates. It will be a railway with two ends and no middle. There is no possible traffic along the route. The whole of the traffic will be between the two ends, and for that traffic we are dependent on the probability of Uganda beginning to grow wheat, which it does not grow now, and beginning to want cotton goods, which it does not want now. In fact we are dependent on the transformation of Uganda from its present position into an entirely new and different country. At the present moment Europeans who go there have to be entirely dependent for their supplies on that which they can bring with them by railway. There is no corn grown there now. There is nothing grown there now that an Englishman wants. These are some of the reasons why I have always had considerable doubt of the political wisdom of undertaking this Uganda venture at all. When I heard the present Viceroy of India speaking with respect to the taking over of this damnosa hereditas of the previous Government, I thought he was a little too enthusiastic. After it has been assumed it has been carried on in the most unfortunate manner. The Foreign Office is an admirable organisation for the negotiation and for the discussion of protocols and treaties, but it is an organisation for nothing else. It has not the beginning of a notion for the making of a railway, nor has it the beginning of a notion for commanding armies and constructing railways. It has done extraordinarily well 315 in regard to the Uganda Railway, but still it has not been a success. The late Government took over the responsibility, but the real work had to be done by the present Government. From the moment the present Government came into power the Foreign Office, equipped and arranged for an entirely different purpose than that of constructing railways, has been engaged in selecting officers who have been engaged first in getting up and then trying to put down an insurrection. It is now engaged in finishing a railway. So far there has been no product from the country. Nothing in the world has come down that railway except war and rumours of war. The Foreign Office, as I have said, has done extraordinarily well in this matter, but it has made some strange mistakes. It was supposed that the bridges were to be temporary. That was a mistake. It was supposed there would be 7,000 native labourers at fourpence a day, and instead of that only 2,000 have been found. The difference between the number expected and the dumber obtained is only 5,000, and the difference in cost would be represented by the difference between fourpence and fourteenpence per day. Then there is carriage from the coast of water and other things. It does seem to me that every one of these matters could have been foreseen by an intelligent contractor. I am a little sorry now that the Foreign Office did not get hold of some simple-minded and patriotic contractor and try to get him to make the railway for £3,000,000, which was the original estimated cost. We are now told that the cost is to be £5,000,000. I am quite convinced it will never be made for that. Have hon. Members seen the sketch of the gradients published in the Blue-books? If so, they will have seen that by far the most difficult part of the work has to be faced. It is true that the railway has reached 8,000 feet above the level of the sea, but it has to climb 8,500 feet before it begins the final descent to the lake. That undertaking will be very arduous indeed. The Under Secretary of State says he anticipates a total income of £120,000. When the working expenses are deducted I presume that will leave a net income of £50,000, and therefore putting it in a commercial form, what we are asked to do as a national investment is to lay out £5,000,000 with some prospect of getting 1 per cent. for 316 our money. Why, it is worse than a Greek loan. I do not quite know, nor have we had any hint given to us, how the money is to be provided. Is it to be voted by Parliament? I suppose we should have another vote in Ways and Means for this, because it is not provided for in the present Budget. Having, shown myself fully sensible of the gravity of this Uganda venture, and having shown myself thoroughly aware of the mistakes made, nevertheless I do feel it right to say that having gone this distance and spent this money we have really no choice but to go on. I think it would be absurd, having thrown away or expended £3,000,000 out of £5,000,000, to hesitate at the remaining two millions. It be haves Her Majesty's Government to consider very seriously now whether they should go on leaving—I do not say the construction of the railway—but this matter of the administration and conquest of the country with the Foreign Office. The Foreign Office is concerned with other things. I am perfectly convinced that the Foreign Office would be much relieved if it was taken out of their hands, and I think it would not be beyond the resources of Her Majesty's Ministers to discover some method by which the Foreign Office could be relieved of what I am certain is a very undesirable task, and one for which they are not properly equipped and arranged. I hope the railway when completed will bring down cereals, and other products, and take up British manufactures. I again impress, upon Her Majesty's Government the propriety of considering, even if it should be necessary to make a Uganda Department, whether this matter should not be taken away from the Foreign Office.
§ MR. BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)
I heartily concur with the speech of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. The right hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary has acknowledged in his own statement that there was not a proper and efficient survey made before the railway was commenced. We have spent £50,000 for a proper and efficient survey, and I think the Foreign Office in their management as business men ought to have seen that for the money spent they had proper and efficient surveyors. The right hon. Gentleman told us a short time afterwards that one of the reasons of the great expense was that the water 317 was not surveyed and not properly analysed. Your surveyors, if they had done their duty, ought to have done that at the time, and reported what extra cost would be incurred in regard to the water. You have also a serious question with regard to the accounts here. The auditor and Comptroller General says at the end of his report on the accounts of last year that he has not the accounts up to date. We ought to have the accounts up to date before a Vote of £1,900,000 is asked. We ought to have them audited up to date, and if we were business men, and not party men so much, we would not allow this Vote to go unless we had the accounts properly audited up to date. In the last statement he makes in his report, he says there are certain questions in connection with the accounts which are at present the subject of inquiry. They should not be the subject of inquiry. They should have been audited as they were given. There must be something that requires a good deal of inquiry, because the Foreign Office have made a bad and indefinite bargain—a bargain under which they do not know at the present time how much they may have to pay. It seems to me that the accounts of the Foreign Office itself require to be kept up much closer. No proper business concern or railway company would be a year in arrears in the audit of their accounts. There is an old saying that a Jack of many trades is a master of none. The Foreign Office, if they were doing their work well as a Foreign Office, would naturally be bad railway builders and bad railway contractors. It would be best for the Foreign Office to say, "We have done our best in connection with this railway, but we are not railway contractors or business people with a knowledge of railway work." Would it not be better for them to say, "We propose to put three or four expert railway managers in that country—men of great experience in the making of railways in this country or in foreign countries—and to put the whole management and responsibility in their hands subject to the control of the Foreign Office and the House of Commons"? If that had been done at first the estimate would have been something like £3,000,000. We have to pay £2,000,000 extra as the result of putting the work into the hands of men who have no practical experience of the work they have 318 undertaken. I, for one, decidedly protest against the reckless and careless way in which the management of the railway has been conducted up to the present time.
MR. BRYN ROBERTS (Carnarvonshire, Eifion)
I voted against the original survey when it was brought before this House by the previous Government. Those in the section of the House to which I belong are perfectly consistent in this matter. I entirely differ from the hon. Members who have just spoken, that the policy of this railway is now beyond question, that we are let in for it and must finish it. I entirely deny it. The experience we have had has shown that this is altogether and thoroughly a worthless speculation. The point of view from which we ought to consider this matter is not that because we have spent £3,000,000 we ought to spend £2,000,000 more. We ought to consider it in this way: supposing we had not spoilt a single shilling, but that we had the information we have now, and the experience and knowledge of the country we have now before us, and that we were asked to undertake an initial expenditure of £2,000,000, which is the expenditure asked to be incurred now, I venture to say we would not spend it at all. Why should we. spend £2,000,000 because we have spent £3,000,000 already? I take the purely commercial view, and that is that it is a foolish thing to throw good money after bad. I venture to say that no one can state with any certainty or anything like hope that an adequate return will ever be made in any reasonable time on the £2,000,000 we are asked to spend. The real reason for this proposal is to hide from ourselves the fact that we have frittered away £3,000,000 already. That is the sole object why we are asked to continue this railway. We are ashamed to allow this monument of English folly and Imperialistic folly to be exhibited to the world for all future generations in the form of an unfinished railway. Uganda is not worth retaining. I opposed the retention from the outset. There was a significant disclosure made at the beginning of last year as to the reason why Uganda is retained. Uganda was retained in the first instance in order to help Mr. Cecil Rhodes in his wild-cat scheme of a Cape to Cairo railway. That is on the authority of Mr. Cecil Rhodes himself. On the 21st January last year 319 there was an interview published in the Outlook by one of the special correspondents with Mr. Rhodes, and in that he stated that Mr. Gladstone in 1893 sent for him——
MR. BRYN ROBERTS
I bow to your ruling. I was dealing with the argument from the other side, that it was necessary to make the railway if we were to retain Uganda.
MR. BRYN ROBERTS
I will not proceed with it further. The retention of Uganda is absolutely unnecessary. We retained it for a purpose I must not refer to.
I have already pointed out to the hon. Member that the policy of the retention of Uganda does not arise on this question. It is too remote.
MR. BRYN ROBERTS
I hope it will be equally out of order for hon. Members to urge the completion of the railway in order to retain Uganda. It has been stated that an exchange loss occurred amounting to £131,000 with respect to the transmission of money. That of itself is a strong proof of the utter valuelessness of this enterprise. There could not be such an exchange loss if there was exportation from the country. We have sent goods there, and there is no equivalent on goods from Uganda. Why should we go on spending money? The accuracy of these estimates must be judged from the accuracy of previous estimates, and when we find that an estimate of £1,700,000 for the construction of this railway has swollen to three times the amount, what ground have we for supposing that this present estimate of a net profit of £50,000 may not be reduced to £12,000 or £15,000? If this estimate is as fallacious as other estimates have been, the result will be a return of less than ½ per cent. on the outlay. I strongly protest against a single shilling being spent on this foolish and wild venture. The consideration of the money spent on this railway will have a very great 320 influence on the electorate at the coming; election. The electors will consider how much might have been done with these millions. Every light railway required in the kingdom could have been constructed with this money. But this. House, under the Imperialistic influences which now govern it, is willing to. spend any amount of money upon foreign, countries, whereas if our own people, the persons who provide all this money, require funds for local enterprises, even of the most necessary character, they must find the money themselves. On these grounds I shall continue in the future as I have done in the past, to record every possible vote against spending the taxpayers' money upon this railway.
§ MR. ALLAN (Gateshead)
I have listened to the speeches which have been, made upon this subject, and have come to the conclusion that the engineering of this job by the Foreign Office has been anything but satisfactory. When I look: at the figures in this statement, and at the engineering element of the question, am brought face to face with some things, of a very startling character. The first conception of the railway was a 3ft. 6in. gauge—the gauge which obtains on the railway from the Cape to. Bulawayo—but I find that the bulk of this branch line, 600 miles in length, was 3ft. gauge. What is the use of that if there is to be a continuation of the line northward? Why not make it a 3ft. Gin. gauge so that the rolling stock could run over both lines? I point that out merely to show the engineering fallacy underlying the construction of the line. It is an abnormal gauge. If the great undertaking of a railway from the Cape to Cairo is carried out, the gauge will be 3ft. 6in., and then this railway will be of practically no use. as the rolling stock of the one will not be able to run over the other. There are also some figures here which are startling; to me, looking at the question from a business and engineering point of view. There is an expenditure on administration, in one year, of £74,161 4s. 5d. What is it for? Who gets the money? I wish the right hon. Gentleman had given us a more elaborate statement. He gave himself away entirely in not being provided with a true and practical statement as to the condition of things. I voted for the money when this matter first came for- 321 ward, fully believing the undertaking would be carried out in a sensible way. I am perfectly alive to the difficulties of making railways and to the fact that the revenues to be derived there from are often, even in this country, problematical. But the right hon. Gentleman did not command enough information. How many waggons and locomotives have they got? How many stations have been made? Where has this money for administration gone? The right hon. Gentleman should have come to the House armed with a true and succinct statement as to where this money has gone, and how it has been expended. Coming now to the engineering aspect of the question, I fully realise, as I have already said, the difficulties in making such a railway as this. It is not an ordinary railway such as we make in this country. Here we can take our levels and make our surveys without any difficulty, but when you go to the interior of Africa, from Mombasa to Victoria Nyanza, you are brought face to face with a rise and fall of something like 9,000 feet. What does Sir Guilford Moles worth say? I pin my faith to him, because he stands in the front rank of his profession. Sir Guilford says—From the peculiar conditions of the country, the density of the jungle, and the difficulties of transport, he—that is the surveyor Major Macdonald—was practically tied to the caravan route, so that detailed examination at any great distance on either side of the route was in most instances impracticable.Sir Guilford Molesworth himself admits that Major Macdonald's conditions were almost impracticable. He says further that in making his survey—The direction of the line had frequently to be determined from trigonometrical points, and the barometric observations on the actual line were necessarily far apart.Under these conditions it is impossible for any surveying engineer to tell what is ahead of him in making his line. The consequence is that your estimates, your so-called values per mile, are knocked on the head. The cost may be £3,000, or it may be £8,000, per mile, and I believe the latter figure will be more nearly correct before the line is finished. What more does Sir Guilford Molesworth say—Under such conditions it is not surprising that an estimate based on this reconnaissance should prove to be somewhat wide of the mark.322 That is a purely engineering question, and I care not who he may be, any engineer or surveyor, given like conditions, would exceed his estimate. There has never been a railway made in this or any other country which came up to the expectations submitted, and therefore, speaking as one who knows something of these matters, I have great sympathy with the making of this line. But the real question is, is the line to be of value or not? What is to be the result of the railway? Many hon. Members say it will not pay, and no doubt it may not immediately. Other hon. Members say it is a venture, but all railways are ventures more or less. I hold the view that the British policy of opening up unexplored and unknown territories, putting down railways, and spreading the light of civilisation has in the long run been beneficial to the native tribes in those territories. This may not appear just now to be a paying line, but we are not going to pin our character to a mere, commercial venture; we are going to higher things, and if we can bring all these tribes under the good guidance and enlightenment of British influence, I think we shall accomplish a good work. I believe, therefore, it would be a great pity to leave this line unfinished—in fact, we cannot afford to do so. It is partly made and we must finish it. To leave £3,000,000 lying there without any return would be an unbusiness-like action, and I shall support the proposal to advance the rest of the money to complete the line, leaving the future to prove who were right and who were wrong as to the prospects of the railway.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
For a great many years I have made it a rule to support the hon. Member for Northampton in resisting the building of this line. I do so on the present occasion with the more pleasure as an Irish Member because I consider the building of the Uganda Railway to be one of the first of those evil fruits of the spirit of Imperialism of which I have no doubt we shall have a, very large crop in the future. The hon. Member who has just spoken opened up a glorious prospect. According to his idea the whole of Africa is to be laced by railways constructed at the expense of the taxpayer's of the United Kingdom for the purpose of carrying the blessings of civilisation and enlightenment and prosperity to the tribes of Africa. What 323 have you brought to Uganda? Thirty years ago, when Uganda was first entered by Sir Samuel Baker, it was a prosperous and comparatively peaceful country, and, what you have brought by your railways and civilisation is ruin and desolation, disaster and destruction, until those who know the country best are beginning to calculate the date by which you will have wiped out the population altogether. One of the grounds upon which I more earnestly oppose this scheme is that I see in it the precedent for and the germ of other vast schemes, now that the whole of the western part of the Continent of Africa has been taken under the protection of this country. If it be good policy to construct at an expense of £5,000,000 to this country a railway through a desert to a region which will probably never pay, is it not, à fortiori, far better policy to construct railways throughout the Niger Protectorate and Northern Nigeria, an infinitely more valuable country and one in which there is a far better chance of making the railways pay? We are told that the building of this railway is a policy to which both Front Benches are committed. That may be true, and so much more the pity. If so, it is not the first time the two Front Benches have agreed upon a policy utterly mistaken and thoroughly false from beginning to end, and which after many years they have been compelled to admit was entirely wrong. But it is not true that we are committed to this policy. When this railway was being commenced two alternative policies were placed before this House. One was to build a railway to Uganda or to the Lake, and the other was to build a railway through that region which by reason of the swamps and the condition of the country is not easily traversed by beasts of burden, and consequently has to be traversed by caravans and the goods carried on the backs of porters. The alternative policy submitted in the report was that the railway should be built to the top of the plateau, from which, as I understand, it is perfectly easy, with a good road, to carry the goods on to the Lake by carts or wagons and beasts of burden, thereby dispensing with porters. It is accordingly, quite untrue to say that because £3,000,000 have been wasted and the railway built for 362 miles, the House is committed to the policy of continuing the line through this more difficult country, 324 It is perfectly consistent with the original Vote that we should stop at the point now reached, save the £2,000,000 we are now asked to provide, and spend £50,000 on improving the roads. There were one or two points in the statement of the right hon. Gentleman which astonished me. In defending the enormous increase of the estimate, he says that every single circumstance connected with the railway has turned out totally different from the original anticipation. That reminded me of a saying made in the time of the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor, which has passed almost into a proverb, that it was not the business of the Foreign Office to indulge in intelligent anticipation of future events. I suppose that in this case the right hon. Gentleman desires to maintain that tradition of the Foreign Office, because apparently every anticipation of the Foreign Office has not only been falsified, but falsified in the most extraordinary way. He told us that the cost of materials has doubled, that the cost of labour has doubled, that the water on which they were compelled to rely has turned out to be destructive to locomotives, and unfit for human consumption. Surely, as they were going over caravan routes which have been traversed by travellers for twenty or thirty years, they might have known the character of the water. In reference to the labour bill an even more extraordinary statement is made. The right hon. Gentleman says that the reason of the enormous increase in regard to labour is that originally the committee calculated on obtaining 7,000 or 8,000 native labourers, but were unable to do so, the consequence being that they were obliged to fall back on Indian skilled labourers at 14d. per day. Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to say that the Indian skilled labourer at 14d. per day is dearer labour than the native un-trained African at 4d.?
§ MR. DILLON
The hon. Member below the gangway who has spoken asserted that according to his information where African labourers were employed the earthworks cost 10d. per cubic yard, while with the Indian labourers at the higher wage they cost but 6d., so that 325 by employing the Indian labourer at higher wages you reduced the cost of the work. That is the experience all the world over. Very often, particularly in railway work, it is much cheaper to employ a better class of men at higher wages than men who do not understand the work at lower wages. It therefore is no argument for the right hon. Gentleman to tell us that he had to fall back on labourers at the higher rate of 14d.; he has to show whether the result of that substitution has been really to increase the cost of the work..But even if we accept his excuse about the mistake in the cost of labour, is it not a monstrous thing for a committee of experts to come forward and say they were utterly deceived as to the conditions under which labour could be obtained on the East Coast of Africa? Labour has been hired on that coast by Europeans for thirty years past, and all the circumstances and conditions were thoroughly well known. In no part of Africa will you get native labour at the low rates contemplated by the right hon. Gentleman, unless you adopt that intelligent policy now advocated in Rhodesia and the Transvaal—namely, taxing the huts and then compelling the natives to work in order to pay that tax. One argument is that the labourers being free men, with no rent to pay, and with gardens round their huts, are not compelled to labour for the wages offered by contractors and mine-owners; they can ask their own terms. What. settles the price of labour in this country is the fact that a man cannot retire to his garden and his house and wait until the employer must have him at his own price; he would starve; therefore he must make the best terms he can. But in Africa the labourer is comparatively a free man, unless you have forced labour, as is so often advocated. We have seen the result of that in South Africa, where men come from long distances to work, but they come because they can get very high wages. In East Africa the same condition of things prevails. I know the wants of the East Africans are not so great as those of the people in South Africa, but I venture to think that the irate of wages has something to do with the supply of labourers in that part of the country as in every other part of the earth. Now I turn to the question of the future of this railway. Why does not the right hon. Gentleman give us some 326 real information on this subject? He told us that the railway is now earning £60,000, and that there is every reason to calculate on £120,000 in future. But it was perfectly evident from his own words that the whole earnings of the railway are simply freights on Government goods going up to the garrison at Uganda. There was not a single word to indicate that up to this hour there are any earnings from the natural traffic of the country. Therefore, we gather from the speech that the railway will not pay for the oil for the carriages, to say nothing of the working expenses, unless by the entirely artificial traffic which arises from the English garrison at Uganda. On that principle you could justify the construction of a railway into the heart of the Sahara Desert. Before we can approach the question of the possibility of this railway paying its expenses in the future we ought to have some figures as to the actual traffic of the country, disentangled from the Government goods and the carriage of coolies. My conviction, from what I have read of the country, is that there is no such traffic. I would not say that there may not arise after many, many years a certain amount of traffic, but the bulk of the country through which this railway passes is a wilderness and a desert country unsuited for cultivation, and the only prospect of traffic is with the people of Uganda and the Lake. I therefore feel convinced that it will be many, many years before any profitable traffic to pay for the cost of the railway will spring up. I further object to this railway on the ground that it is part and parcel of a policy which has already heaped upon the taxpayers of this country additional burdens amounting to nearly £25,000,000 per annum since this Government came into power. It was the beginning of this policy of staking out claims for posterity, as it has been called. Instead of staking out claims for posterity, I think we are piling, burdens on the shoulders of posterity, for which they will curse this policy of which they are the result. This policy, which has been described as Imperialism, and which I regret to say has captured a considerable portion of the Liberal party, making them false to all the traditions upon which that party was built up, is a policy which is responsible for this Uganda Railway and for the innumerable other curses which have 327 followed in its train. It is because there is no argument which can be used in support of this Uganda Railway which cannot be used with greater force in support of a railway system throughout the whole of Northern Nigeria, Rhodesia, Bechuanaland, and the heart of Africa itself, that I consider it is the duty of every man who believes in his trusteeship for the taxpayers of this country, and in his obligation to protect their interests against the monstrous and outrageous burdens such as are now being heaped upon those taxpayers, to protest on every possible occasion against such proposals as this.
§ MR. BRODRICK
I will reply generally to the points which have been raised in the debate, and I hope the hon. Member for East Mayo will not think me disrespectful to his arguments if I do not enter, in reply, upon the very wide range opened by him in his speech. I would remind the hon. Member that the initial steps in the construction of this railway were taken from his own side of the House in the year 1895.
§ MR. BRODRICK
The original statement which pledged the House to the construction of this railway was made by the hon. Baronet the Member for Berwick. With regard to many of the points which have been raised, I propose upon the Second Reading of the Bill to lay on the Table of the House a statement giving a considerable number of the figures and details which have been asked for by various hon. Members in the course of this discussion. Upon two questions which have been raised I should like to say a few words. In the first place, the hon. Member for East Mayo and several other hon. Members have spoken upon the labour question; and the committee which had control of the construction of the railway have been blamed for not informing themselves of the conditions under which labour was obtainable. Anything more absurd it would be impossible to conceive, for how could a committee be expected to decide how many would be willing to accept service under any circumstances and upon any terms which they might offer? The only thing the committee could do, considering the many difficulties they had to encounter 328 in those countries, was to form an estimate of the number who were willing to accept service. The hon. Member opposite said that, after all, the result is less satisfactory than if native labour had been employed.
§ MR. BRODRICK
Whatever system was originally adopted to induce the men to work, arrangements were made with the individual and payments made to him. A great deal of criticism has been passed on this committee, and certain points have been urged in exaggerated language. It has been said that large sums have been lost in the construction of this railway by not employing, an expert committee of railway managers. In the first place, I very much doubt whether this House would have been prepared to ask railway managers in this country—men of great experience to whom large sums of money would have had to be paid—to give that close attention and that amount of time which would have been necessary for the making of a railway in the centre of Africa. I altogether deny that large sums of money have been lost or spent by the employment of this committee which has had the control of the making of the line. A great deal has been said about the Foreign Office clerks, but what has been said is not a fair statement of the case. I do not believe that a committee has ever been formed for such a work by any commercial firm or any public body upon such reasonable terms. The Chairman and the Vice Chairman receive no salary at all, and the Crown. Agent only receives the commission which is properly given for the heavy labours which fall upon him, and which, obviously, for labour of that kind, should be paid.
§ MR. BRODRICK
I cannot give the amount without reference. Sir Clement 329 Hill, another member of the committee, also receives no payment. Then the consulting engineer receives £500 per annum. The total amount paid is less than £1,500 a year for controlling this very large affair. I think that is a very satisfactory state of things.
§ MR. BRODRICK
I have already explained that there is no discount. The materials are obtained at the lowest possible figure, and there is no question of discount going to any party. Any discount goes to the credit of the railway. With regard to the sum spent on management in Africa that sum amounts to £283,000 upon an expenditure of nearly £5,000,000. That is to say, the total cost of management, including the engineer's staff, the storekeepers, and cashier, and the administration generally of the whole of this large concern, only amounts to six or seven per cent. on the expenditure, which has been carefully watched throughout. I think this is a very moderate amount. The next question that I will reply to is one which I was asked by the hon. Member for Gateshead, who desires to have some information about the rolling stock. I may inform the hon. Member that there are ninety- two locomotives on the work and 942 waggons, besides goods and passenger rolling stock. I think that will be considered a fair equipment for the railway when it is completed. The hon. Member for East Mayo and one or two other hon. Members have contended that the work of making this line should be taken away from the Foreign Office, but they must first prove that the Foreign Office has acquitted itself badly in this respect. I think it is very undesirable to distribute the administration of such work among different Departments, because the Foreign Office must continue to administer the affairs of Uganda. I may also point out that this work is being done by the officials at the Foreign Office without any additional payment. I think I have now proved two things. The first is that the public have not been losers financially by this work, and, secondly, that certainly there is no inducement to the Foreign Office to continue this heavy work for too long a period. The right hon. Gentleman the 330 Member for South Aberdeen and other hon. Members have asked me questions in regard to the present condition of the survey. I have endeavoured to make it clear that the survey and the sections have been completed right up to the Lake. The right hon. Gentleman asks if they are in a condition in which they can be handed over. We have the results of the survey up to 480 miles, or about 120 miles, further than the line is actually laid at the present moment. The remaining, part of the survey has been finished in Africa, and is now on its way home. The survey, as it now exists up to the Lake, is equivalent to a Parliamentary survey which would be required in the deposit, of plans before a Private Bill Committee. Therefore I think the Committee will see that a survey so far advanced as that is really considerably in advance of the survey described by the hon. Member for Northampton. I do not think it would be practicable to lay the survey on the Table of the House, but the Committee may take it from me that the surveys are well advanced. The right hon. Gentleman has also asked a question about the prospects of the country in the future. In regard to this question I am very anxious not to be too sanguine in any statement I may make to the Committee. But as I have said before, I hope before the end of this session to be able to lay upon the Table of the House a report from Sir Harry Johnston with regard to Uganda. When that report arrives it will speak for itself, but at present I have only got from Sir Harry Johnston his first impressions of Uganda. I may say that those impressions are exceedingly favourable, and it is only because I fear that they are too favourable in regard to the productive capacity and the power of the people to bear the burdens of taxation that I do not wish to be too sanguine in the matter. But although I do not wish | to put these opinions too high, at the same time I can only say that Sir Harry Johnston sees matters from a very favourable standpoint indeed. The right hon. Gentleman asks also what will be the working expenses, but that is an extremely difficult question to answer at the present time. Our expenses are undoubtedly very heavy at present, but if we should reach one train a week it has been estimated that that would be covered by the £120,000 a year from traffic receipts. It may be found desirable to 331 have three or four trains a week. In regard to the total sum I think we have shown that full value has been obtained for the £3,000,000 which has already been expended, and I trust the Committee will agree to the extra sum which is now asked for.
§ MR. BRODRICK
I do not know that that is the custom of the trade, but undoubtedly the rise in prices which the hon. Gentleman alluded to has affected the cost of the railway.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)
Much of the criticism which the right hon. Gentleman has sustained is due to the fact that nearly every one of the Papers on the Uganda Railway has been insufficient in detail, and if we had had more details I am sure this discussion would not have been as long as it has been. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman to let us have the total number of the European staff, the total salaries paid, and the amount of salary paid to each individual officer? The next thing we ought to have, more especially in the light of the right hon. Gentleman's statement as to percentages and commissions, is the amount paid to Sir Clement Hill. I find by this account that in three years the administration has cost £327,000. The details of that administration ought to be set forth in subheads, and above all we ought to know how much Sir Clement Hill has had in commission out of the £327,000 which has been put down for administration. I want to know whether the amount paid to him is £10,000, £30,000, £40,000, or £70,000. It may be any one of these sums, and the public is anxious to know what commission he has had. The other point I wish to bring forward is this—I want to know the total number of men, both European and native, employed since the commencement of the railway; and also the number who have been killed, the number who have died; and the number invalided back to Mombasa, because from information I have seen in the Indian papers I find that the number of coolies killed and who have died in the course of the construction of this railway 332 is, in some cases, given as ten times more numerous than the number embodied in the official reports. This report says that twenty-eight natives were killed by lions during the execution of the work on the railway. I find that the Indian papers state that over 400 natives were killed upon this particular work. The difference between twenty-eight and 400 is a rather serious discrepancy. If the statement that the number is 400 be not true then let us have it contradicted. The other point I wish to mention is that I hope the right hon. Gentleman will see that the European staff employed upon the railway between now and the Second Reading of this Bill are not subjected to the pettifogging intimidation which has been up to the present exercised by the officials. European engine-drivers, because they dared to send a telegram, have been compelled to ride third class with the natives, and the right hon. Gentleman ought to stop this kind of thing. I should be pleased to show the right hon. Gentleman a letter which I have received upon this question. European engineers working in a beastly climate should not be subjected to the tyranny of some Jack-in-office, who looks upon engineers from England as an officer would look upon native troops. That is not the way to make railways. I could, if time permitted, have put a number of other points, but I shall be pleased to give them privately to the right hon. Gentleman. I say again that this discussion would not have taken place if the reports had been as complete as railway reports generally are. If the points which have been raised are not answered we shall have an interminable discussion.
§ MR. BRODRICK
With regard to the grievances complained of by the hon. Member for Battersea, I shall be glad to furnish any facts that it is possible to give. I am bound, however, to express my extreme surprise at the insinuation made by the hon. Member against Sir Clement Hill, who is a distinguished public servant.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
Before the right hon. Gentleman makes a misstatement, and before he misapprehends what I did say, I wish to state that I made no such insinuation. What I said was that I want to know, and the public has a right to know, the total amount that Sir Clement 333 Hill has had for the ordering of stores; and supplies, and I object to that statement being misinterpreted and drawn from its proper meaning. I ask, how much has Sir Clement Hill received? Is it £10,000, £40,000, or £70,000? I shall be quite content when I hear that information. Frequently the right hon. Gentleman states that hon. Members who are only criticising him in a mild way are making insinuations. I made no insinuation, for I only asked for the total money which Sir Clement Hill has received in i the way of commission.
§ MR. BRODRICK
Sir Clement Hill has not received a farthing. He has done the work in addition to his other duties, and he has only received his ordinary salary.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
The right hon. Gentleman told the Committee distinctly that Sir Clement Hill received ½ per cent. upon the stores and supplies ordered.
§ MR. BRODRICK
That is not so, and I now see the mistake into which the hon. Member has fallen. The hon. Gentleman mentioned the item of administration.
§ amounting to £327,000, but that amount covers the salaries of the officials employed upon the spot. It is unquestionable that Sir Clement Hill has not received a farthing from anywhere for this work. The Crown agent receives ½ per cent. commission, and the amount of that commission varies according to the quantity of stores sent out. The exact amount of the commission earned I will undertake to lay before the House at the proper time before the Second Reading.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
My impression is that the commission received by the Crown agents is 1 per cent; the right hon. Gentleman says it is ½ percent., and of course he should know better. That commission is, I should imagine, paid for the exercise of proper forethought in the purchase of stores, and my right hon. friend never did suggest that it was received by Sir Clement Hill. It is received by the Crown agents.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 185;. Noes, 40. (Division List No. 106.)335
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Goschen, George J. (Sussex)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W.||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Asher, Alexander||Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge||Gull, Sir Cameron|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.||Curzon, Viscount||Gunter, Colonel|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Davies, M. Vanghan-(Cardigan)||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord George|
|Bainbridge, Emerson||Denny, Colonel||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W.|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Hanson, Sir Reginald|
|Baker, Sir John||Donkin, Richard Sim||Hardy, Laurence|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Man.)||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Doughty, George||Haslett, Sir James Horner|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Heath, James|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Hedderwick, Thomas C. H.|
|Bethell, Commander||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph D.||Henderson, Alexander|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Evans, Sir F. H.(Southhampton)||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn)||Fenwick, Charles||Houston, R. P.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Finch, George H.||Howard, Joseph|
|Brown, Alexander H.||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Howell, William Tudor|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Hughes, Colonel Edwin|
|Butcher, John George||Fisher, William Hayes||Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies|
|Caldwell, James||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund||Jebb, Richard Claverhouse|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez E.|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Galloway, William Johnson||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)||Garfit, William||Kearley, Hudson E.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Gibbs, Hn. AGH (City of Lond.)||Keswick, William|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Charrington, Spencer||Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Kinloch, Sir J. George Smyth|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John||Lafone, Alfred|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Pilkington, Rich (Lanes Newt'n)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Lecky, Rt. Hon. William Edw. H.||Plunkett, Rt. Hn. Horace Curzon||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accring'n)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Pretyman, Ernest George||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn(Swansea)||Purvis, Robert||Usborne, Thomas|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverp'l)||Remnant, James Farquharson||Wallace, Robert|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Lowe, Francis William||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson||Webster, Sir Richard E.|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E (Taunt'n)|
|Lucas-Shadwell, William||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Welby, Sir Charles G. E.(Notts.)|
|Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Round, James||Whiteley, George (Stockport)|
|Maclure, Sir John William||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Whiteley, H.(Ashton-under-L.)|
|M'Crae, George||Runciman, Walter||Williams, J. Powell- (Birm.)|
|Malcolm, Ian||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Maxwell, Rt. Hn. Sir Herbert E.||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos Myles||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Saunderson, Rt. Hon. Col. E. J.||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Monk, Charles James||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Moore, William (Antrim, N.)||Shaw-Stewart, M. H.(Renfrew)||Wyndham, George|
|More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute)||Smith, J. Parker (Lanarksh.)||Young, Commander (Berks, E.)|
|Myers, William Henry||Smith, Hon. W. F. D.(Strand)||Younger, William|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Nussey, Thomas Willans||Stanley, Sir Hy. M. (Lambeth)|
|Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)||Stone, Sir Benjamin||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Pender, Sir James||Strauss, Arthur|
|Phillpotts, Captain Arthur||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Priestley, Briggs|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Field, William (Dublin)||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Richardson, J.(Durham, S. E.)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Jacoby, James Alfred||Roberts, J. Bryn (Eifion)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland)||Souttar, Robinson|
|Burns, John||Macaleese, Daniel||Steadman, William Charles|
|Channing, Francis Allston||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Crilly, Daniel||M'Dermott, Patrick||Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)|
|Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal)||Montagu, Sir S.(Whitechapel)||Wilson, Henry J.(York, W. R.)|
|Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Dewar, Arthur||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Labouchere and Mr. Price.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Dillon, John||O'Malley, William|
|Doogan, P. C.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
Resolution agreed to.
§ Resolved, That it is expedient to authorise the issue, out of the Consolidated Fund, of a further sum not exceeding £1,930,000 for the Uganda Railway.
§ Resolution to be reported To-morrow.