HC Deb 02 August 1894 vol 27 cc1572-3

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether three mercantile transports (two of the P. and O. Company and one of the British India Company) have been hired for the coming trooping season, without previously consulting the Government of India, while the Warren Hastings and Clive, belonging to the Indian Government, and specially constructed for the purpose, were available; whether on previous occasions these two vessels have been employed on the same duty; and what is the cost of the three hired steamers, deducting Coal and Canal Dues?


It is the case that three steamers have been taken up for the trooping service to India this season. They have been hired at a tonnage rate per month, so that the full cost of the service will not be known precisely till the end of the season. The hiring of transports is conducted by the Director of Transports at the Admiralty in communication with the India Office. The Indian marine steamers Clive and Warren Hastings were provided for local trooping in Indian waters, and it has not been customary, nor is it desirable, to employ them on the home service except on special occasions.

SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)

As the Government of India have to pay for the transport, is it not desirable that they should have some voice as to the mode of conveyance?


As to the Government of India paying for the transport, that is a matter of internal administration into which I will not enter. There are reasons for the course which has been adopted which it is undesirable to state to the House; but if the right hon. Gentleman will have confidence in me to that extent I will explain them to him in private.