HC Deb 22 March 1886 vol 303 cc1479-80
SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Why the contribution of the Egytian Government towards the expenses of the British Army of Occupation (which was originally to have been a much larger sum to cover all extra expenses) has now been reduced to £170,000, notwithstanding that the expenses have been very greatly increased, and are estimated by the War Office, for the ensuing year, at double the cost taken in the ordinary Estimates for 1885–6, and that one item alone, "Additional Expenditure for Supplies, Transport, &c. consequent on the Occupation of Egypt," is estimated by the same authority, for 1886–7, at £416,000 in excess of the amount estimated for 1885–6, while at the same time a new charge for Egyptian Troops at Suakin is entered on the British Estimates, thereby practically reducing the Egyptian contribution to about £100,000; whether he expects that the sums due will really be paid, and the Government has considered any proposals for remitting them; and, whether these arrangements are in pursuance of an attempt of the Financial Adviser of the Government of Egypt to establish an apparent financial equilibrium, and avoid the further inquiry into the finances of Egypt, by throwing on the British taxpayer the cost of the defence of Egypt?


At the time of the conclusion of the Financial Convention of March 18, 1885, it was agreed that the sum to be paid by Egypt for charges on account of the British Army of Occupation should not exceed £200,000 a-year from the 1st of April following. Of this sum, £170,000 is credited to Army Funds, and £30,000 goes to the Navy, and appears as an Appropriation in Aid under Vote XVIII. of that Service for Army Transport. It has recently been agreed that the Native Force which is to be sent to Suakin to replace the British garrison there, shall be paid by the Egyptian Government, but that the cost—estimated at £41,000—shall be deducted from the payment towards the charges of the Army of Occupation. The Foreign Office are net aware of any other deduction. The sums due by the Egyptian Government on account of the charges for the Army of Occupation up to the end of last year have been duly paid, and there is no reason to suppose that they will not continue to be paid. These arrangements are, therefore, in pursuance of engagements already sanctioned by Parliament.


asked if the engagements in question were international engagements?


They are between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of Egypt.