HC Deb 24 July 1840 vol 55 cc973-4

A vote of 173,442l. was then proposed towards defraying the expenses of the Expedition to China.

Mr. Goulburn

wished to know the exact proportion of this expense to be borne by the East India Company and this country. He did not think that the sum now proposed would do more than pay the amount of tonnage employed for the conveyance of troops from India to China.

Sir J. Graham

understood that shipping to the extent of 3,500 tons had been taken up from Bengal, and 3,149 tons from Madras, which would probably cost about 100,000l. for six months: he also wished to know how the estimate had been framed.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, the arrangement which had been made with the East India Company was, that this country should pay the extra expenses of the expedition. A confidential communication had been received by the East India Company from Lord Auckland, which was the basis of his estimate. Another estimate was forwarded to him by the East India Company, which came very nearly to that of Lord Auckland. But such estimates must necessarily on all occasions be loose. With respect to tonnage, it was impossible for him to do more than state the expense already incurred, and the rate at which it was estimated to be carried on. The estimate had been sent over to this country by Lord Auckland.

Sir J. Hobhouse

said the estimate, which was certainly a very rough one, had been sent home by the Governor-general of India, and certain amount of tonnage had been taken up for the conveyance of troops, and the question was how much money the country should be asked to pay in the present year. There had been some little difficulty upon that point; but whatever deficiency there might be, he hoped there would be no difficulty in making it up when the accounts should be finally laid before Parliament. The Governor-general was to keep a separate account of every extra charge. That account was not to extend to the pay of the Queen's troops, nor to ordinary pay of the troops belonging to the East India Company, but only to the expenses incurred by the extra services arising out of this expedition. The Governor-general had sent over the present estimate in compliance with orders sent to him in October last, and though it was a rough one, he believed that it would be found, upon the whole, a fair one.

Vote agreed to.