asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been called to the action of the Mexican Government in retaining the property of the Mexican Southern Railway Company, Limited, while withholding the compensation payable under their own railway law; whether he has any official information as to the ownership of this railway; whether he can state if the Mexican Government are themselves the proprietors of the railway; and, if so, whether he will state the percentage of the shares held by the Mexican Government?
The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I have been informed by the company that the issued capital, consisting of debenture stock and ordinary stock, is held to the extent of 99 per cent. by British subjects, the ownership of the railway thus clearly remaining with the British shareholders.
In view of the fact that the Mexican Government circulated the statement that the shares of this railway company are held to the extent of 53 per cent. by the Mexican Government, will the hon. Gentleman take the necessary steps to convey information to that Government that the railway is owned entirely by British shareholders?