HC Deb 19 March 1866 vol 182 cc553-4

said, he wished to ask, Why a portion of the expense incurred by keeping up a naval force on the coast of India was not borne by the Indian Government? It was quite true the fleet of seven ships stationed there might not be exclusively employed for purposes connected with India; but it was mainly so, and for that reason he thought some portion at least of its cost should be charged against the revenues of the Indian Government as was done in the case of the Army Estimates instead of being wholly borne by the Imperial Government.


said, that, although the fleet of seven ships referred to undoubtedly did duty in behalf of India, they also performed Imperial duties. Sir Charles Wood had expressed the opinion that the requirements of the Indian Go- vernment would be satisfied by an occasional ship in the Persian Gulf, and another to visit the Red Sea. The fleet required for the protection of the Indian coast would not be large; three of the vessels composing the East Indian squadron were employed in the suppression of the slave-trade in the Mozambique, where such trade was carried on extensively, by means of small vessels. The Government had not overlooked the matter, but, upon consideration, thought if inadvisable that any charge on the account referred to should be thrown upon the Indian Government.