HC Deb 17 March 1884 vol 286 cc26-7

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Why the following Colonies, which are in no degree mere Military posts, are not called on to contribute anything whatever towards the cost of British Troops Maintained in them, viz. Newfoundland, Jamaica, Windward and Leeward islands, and Cape of Good Hope; why Natal, an exposed Colony, very expensive to the Mother Country, with a large and increasing Revenue now exceeding £800,000, great part of which is due to Imperial expenditure, is called on to contribute no more than £4,000; and, why the rich Island of Ceylon, which exists with a very small force practically under the protection of the neighbouring Indian Army, has now been excused a large proportion of the amount properly due, on the ground of inability to pay, while India has been compelled to pay, in the very worst times, by means of loans and extraordinary taxation?


Sir, on behalf my right hon. Friend, I beg to say that where a garrison exists for Imperial purposes at a coaling station abroad no contribution is asked. At all other stations where the Imperial Revenues are subjected to a charge on account of military expenditure, a contribution by the Colony ought undoubtedly to be made; but in many cases circumstances render it inexpedient or impracticable to enforce the contribution. As the hon. Member intends to draw attention to this subject on the Army Estimates, it would perhaps be better to defer any further statement upon the matter.