HC Deb 20 December 1888 vol 332 c881
ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether Her Majesty's Government will take into consideration, during the Recess, the Petition presented on Monday last to the House of Commons from inhabitants, merchants, and traders of the Island of Cyprus, praying for improved postal facilities, such as formerly existed between that Island and Alexandria, the present arrangement, which places the Island about 14 days from European markets, being most injurious to its commercial interests and advancement; whether he is aware that £3,000 is all that is required in the nature of a subsidy for the running of a steamer weekly from Alexandria with cargo and mails; and, whether it is a fact that the Revenue raised by taxation in the Island is about £180,000 per annum, whilst the expenses of adminstration do not exceed £115,000 per annum, thus leaving a large margin in hand?


I am aware that such a Memorial has been presented. The expenses of running a steamer weekly to Alexandria would involve a dead loss of £3,000 if the lowest tender, that of a French Company, were accepted; and something like £6,000 if we took the lowest British tender. Seeing that the Revenue of Cyprus falls far short of our expenses connected with that Island, which include the tribute due from us to Turkey, it is clearly impossible to place such a charge upon the taxpayers of Cyprus, and I am not prepared to throw it on the taxpayers of this country.