25. Mr. THORNTON
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if his attention has been drawn to the judgments delivered in the House of Lords on the 22nd March in the matter of the appeal of the Government of Kelantan v. the Duff Development Company, Limited; and whether, in view of the terms of these judgments, the Secretary of State will take the necessary steps to make the award of the arbitrator and the judgments of the courts effective?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
The answer to the first part of the question is in the 1057 affirmative. As regards the second part of the question, the Secretary of State has on more than one occasion caused the Duff Development Company to be informed that he could not contemplate advising the Sultan of Kelantan to refuse payment of a just debt, and that he would not refuse to use his influence with His Highness towards ensuring the payment of damages so far as funds might be available in the event of an award finally being given against the Government of Kelantan; but that it would be impossible for the Secretary of State to advise His Highness to borrow money which he could not repay, or on which he could not meet the debt charges without imposing crushing and oppressive taxation on the people of his State. He has now caused the Company to be informed of the steps which he is prepared to take.
26. Mr. THORNTON
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the control which has since 1909 been not only exercisable, but, in fact, exercised, over the operations of the Government of Kelantan by the Colonial Office, and as the breach of contract on the part of that State, established by the award of the arbitrator and the judgments of the courts, has arisen in connection with the construction of a railway which is not its property, and in the construction of which it had no share, the Secretary of State will protect the Government of Kelantan by taking steps to see that the parties in fact responsible for such breach of contract indemnify the Government of Kelantan and the parties injured by such breach against the consequences of such breach?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I am not aware of any parties who can be made liable to indemnify the Government of Kelantan or the persons alleged to have been injured by tile breach of contract referred to.