§ MR. M'KENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
To ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether his attention has been called to the fact that in 1899 and 1900 only American locomotives were purchased for use on the Uganda Railway; whether he can state the reason of the change from the previous practice of purchasing English and Indian locomotives only; and whether any examination has been made of the comparative scale of locomotive expenses in connection with the various kinds of locomotives used.
(Answered by Lord Cranborne.) The answer to the hon. Gentleman's Question is to be found in Sir Guilford Moles-worth's Report (Africa, No. 5, 1899, p. 14). The locomotives referred to were ordered in the United States in October, 1898, because they were urgently wanted, and works in England were too congested orders to give delivery within reasonable time. To have waited until English firms could guarantee delivery would have greatly delayed the construction of the railway, and thus caused heavy additional expense. No engines were at the time to he obtained from India. A detailed comparison between the various classes of engine shown upon page 3 of the Report has not been possible, but if the hon. Gentleman wishes it I will cause inquiry to be made.