asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the security for the investment of British capital in the development of the Sudan will be in any way unfavourably affected as a result of any treaty or agreement come to between the Egyptian delegation now in this country and the British Government; whether it is the policy of the British Government to urge upon the Sudan Government the importance of encouraging British capital to be invested in the development of the Sudan both by providing transport and bringing more soil under cultivation; and whether it is necessary for British would-be investors to be discouraged from getting their schemes advanced by the Government of the Sudan pending the settlement of the financial difficulties of the Sudan Government's irrigation schemes?
The reply to the first part of the question is in the negative. As regards the last two parts, the Sudan Government are well aware of the desirability of attracting capital to the Sudan, but the development of the country must proceed gradually so that it may not be burdened in the early stages with loan charges in excess of its capacity.
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the British Government propose to encourage British capital to be invested in the Sudan on works and schemes approved in principle by the Government of the Sudan, but not under that Government's immediate control; whether the Government of the Sudan, faced with a serious financial position on account of the liabilities incurred as a result of the Gezirah dam, are unable to grant any concessions or trade agreements that ultimately depend upon the security offered by the revenues of the Sudan as to payment of interest, etc.; and whether, under these circumstances, the British Government can take any steps to assist in the development of the Sudan by British capital?
As regards the first part of the question, I have nothing to add to the reply which I have just made to the hon. and gallant Member. In answer to the second part, I would point out that the Sudan Government, having regard to their existing, liabilities, are unable to grant concessions likely to diminish their future revenue. With regard to the last part of the question, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the terms of the Trade Facilities Bill.
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Government have come to any decision in regard to the present financial position of the Sudan, especially the financing of the works now in progress for the completion of the Gezirah dam?
It is anticipated that, as in the past, the accounts of the Sudan Government will close with a surplus at the end of the current financial year. It will, however, be necessary for that Government in due course to raise further funds for the completion of the Gezirah scheme, and this matter is receiving their consideration.