HC Deb 12 March 1880 vol 251 cc916-8

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Ex- chequer, If he will state approximately the number of officers, men, horses, and camp-followers brought from India to Malta and Cyprus in the year 1878, together with the cost of transport from and to India; also of the cost of provisions, pay, and allowances; also allowances to soldiers' families in India, and of all other expenses incidental to and consequent upon the bringing of the Indian troops to the Mediterranean, whether defrayed out of Imperial or Indian funds?


Sir, I have made inquiries upon this subject both at the India Office and at the War Office, and I have taken out the information which I have received from those two Offices and put it together. I find that of European officers there were 128 sent from India to Malta, and 115 sent to Cyprus. Of European troops, there were 338 sent to Malta and 178 to Cyprus. Of Native officers, 126 were sent to Malta and 116 to Cyprus; and of Native troops, 5,540 were sent to Malta and 5,045 to Cyprus. Of horses, there were 1,340 sent to Malta and 730 to Cyprus. Of campfollowers, 2,511 went to Malta and 1,777 to Cyprus. As to the cost of transport from and to India, the cost is stated at £486,439 2s. 7d. That represents the sum that was mentioned by my hon. Friend the Under Secretary of State for India yesterday as £470,000 approximately; but it is stated more precisely at £486,000. That gives the whole of the information of which the India and War Offices are now in possession; but, in addition, there is a third item, which comes from the Navy—I think from the Admiralty. The cost of provisions, pay, and allowances, including allowances to soldiers' families, in India, and all other expenses incidental to and consequent on the bringing of the troops from India, whether defrayed out of Indian or Imperial funds, is £310,230, which makes a total of approximate estimate of £796,670. I have, however, been informed that there has been an estimate received from the Government of India, which shows a probable expenditure of about £50,000 in excess of that total. That is the point on which adjustment is still to be made, and which has rendered it impossible to lay a formal statement on the Table. A telegram has been sent to India for further information on this point; but no answer has yet been received.


inquired what portion of the expense would be borne by India?


Although the phrase "whether defrayed out of Indian or Imperial funds" occurs in my answer, the whole of the expense will be borne by England. Whatever may have been paid out of Indian funds will be repayable from the Imperial Exchequer, I apprehend.