§ SIR JOHN HAY
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, Whether any, and what, preparations are to be made for observing the transit of Venus?
§ LORD FREDERICK CAVENDISH
Sir, at the suggestion of the late Astronomer Royal the preparations for observing the transit of Venus in December next have been confided to a Committee of the Royal Society, who have been good enough to give the Government the benefit of their valuable assistance. Preliminary arrangements for the expeditions are in active progress under the supervision of this Committee; £275 has already been voted for this service on a Supplementary Estimate for 1881–2. The right hon. and gallant Member will find, at page 367 of the Civil Service Estimates, that £14,680 is provided for the coming year, and a sum of about £1,000 for reduction of the observations is expected to be required in 1883–4. Besides this, a number of instruments are to be lent from the Greenwich Observatory; a party is to be conveyed to and from Madagascar in a ship of war; and stationery and other requisites will be supplied at the public expense.