HC Deb 01 March 1886 vol 302 cc1533-4

asked the Secretary of State for War, If he can state approximately the number of men now in the Military service of the British Government in Egypt and the Soudan, including both British and Native Indian Troops, Commissariat, Transport, and other employés, and Marines doing Military duty; if the cost of the 142,194 men voted in the ordinary Estimates for 1885–6 (after deducting refunds other than real cash contributions) is about £133 10s. per head, including both Effectives and Non-Effectives; if he can make a rough approximate Estimate of the additions to the cost of the Effective Force in Egypt, on account of Foreign allowances, transport, commissariat, and other expenses in excess of the ordinary average, also of the proportion of Non-Effectives belonging to Regiments in Egypt, and so roughly estimate the total cost of the Force now in Egypt; and, if he will state how much of that approximate cost has been received from Egypt in the present year, how much is expected in the ensuing year, and how much will fall upon the British taxpayer in 1886–7, supposing the Force to be maintained at its present strength?


The approximate number of troops in Egypt and the Soudan may be taken as 17,600 British troops, 2,900 Indian troops, and 4,000 employés, for the most part Natives. These do not include the regimental Indian followers at Suakin. While giving my hon. Friend this answer as to matters of fact, I cannot undertake to I follow him into his calculation of cost, or to commit myself to any rough approximate estimate of expenses connected with the occupation of Egypt. There would be many debatable items in such an estimate, and it could not be explained within the ordinary limits of an answer to a Question.


asked, whether the right hon. Gentleman would have any objection to give a Return, showing the whole cost of the occupation of Egypt since the English troops first went there?


, in reply, said, the Question had better be addressed to the Treasury.

In answer to Mr. DILLON,


said, he could not now state the number of British soldiers at Suakin; but if the hon. Member moved for a Return he would be happy to give it.