§ MR. BIGGAR
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether Mr. Grant Duff is the first Governor of Madras who has kept up and furnished three official residences at the public expense; whether it is necessary that Mr. Grant Duff should have official residences at Madras, Guindy, and Ootacamund; whether seven years ago the purchase of the Ootacamund House was only sanctioned by the Government of India on the understanding that, with the cost of the addition of two reception rooms, the expenditure on this house should not exceed £7,000; and, whether the expenditure has now exceeded £70,000, Mr. Grant Duff spending £12,250 on furnishing alone?
§ MR. J. K. CROSS
Mr. Grant Duff is not the first Governor of Madras who has kept up three official residences. Before the construction of the present Government House at Ootacamund a house used to be rented for the use of the Governor. On the 20th of March last, replying to the hon. Member, I explained that Mr. Grant Duff is in no way responsible for the building of the present Government House, which was begun some years before he left England. As regards the necessity for the three official residences, I may explain that the Governor's house in Madras is maintained chiefly for purposes of public business and official residences. The residence of the Governor is at Guindy, a suburb four miles from the town. The India Office has no information to show that a limit of £7,000 was originally placed on the cost of the purchase of the Ootacamuud house. An estimate of Rs.2,76,000 was sanctioned in 1879. The total cost of the house, including roads and other incidental works, has amounted to Rs.7,79,150, of which Rs.l,25,000 were expended on furniture.