§ ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether he can inform the House of the original cost of the Iron Floating Dock at Bombay; when, and by whose authority and advice, this expenditure was incurred; whether any of Her Majesty's ships have ever been docked therein; whether he can explain the nature of the arrangement recently made with the Peninsular and Oriental Company for leasing the said dock to them; and, whether he has any information to show that the enlargement of existing docks in the Government Yard at Bombay, as recommended by successive Admirals in command of the Indian Station, might have been carried out at one-third of the cost of the aforementioned Floating Dock?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JOHN GORST) (Chatham)
(1.) £,'507,000. (2.) In 1868, by authority of the Secretary of State for India in Council, and by the advice of the Government of Bombay, backed by the Government of India. (3.) I am not aware of any ships of Her Majesty's Navy having been docked there. (4.) The dock has been leased to the Peninsular and Oriental Company for five years, at a nominal rent, the Company being under the obligation to keep it in proper repair. (5.) I have no information to the effect suggested in the Question.