Belgian Congo and Nigeria. (Palm Products).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 13th July 1922.

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Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Stafford

49.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the rate per ton per mile for the railway transport of palm products in the Belgian Congo and Nigeria, respectively?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

In Nigeria palm kernels and palm oil are subject to special rates on the Government railway. From Jebba to Apapa, a distance of 303 miles, the rates, inclusive or terminal charges, are £5 1s. id. a ton and £4 14s. 7d. a ton, or 401 pence per ton mile and 3.74 pence per ton mile, respectively. For shorter distances the rates per ton mile are somewhat larger, as the rates are fixed on the principle of "taper," or charging a lower rate per ton mile the longer the distance. I have no official information as to the railway rates in the Belgian Congo, but I understand that the railway rates on these products have been greatly reduced and approximate to the rate charged on the Nigerian Railway on ground nuts from Kano to Apapa, which is £4 6s. 3d. a ton, or 1.46 pence a ton mile. Apparently the Congo Railway authorities, like those of Nigeria, have adopted a policy of specially encouraging, by low rail rates, a growing infant industry such as oil palm industry in the Congo and ground nuts in Nigeria.