§ MR. JOHN MORLEY (Montrose Burghs)
I desire to ask the Secretary of State for India a Question of which I have given him private notice—namely, whether there is any truth in the rumour, now furnished in some detail in some of the prints of to-day, of the dispatch of Indian troops to Suakin; further, if the rumour be true, whether a Motion will be submitted to this House in connection with the subject; and, further, by whom the expense will be borne. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON
Her Majesty's Government have decided to dispatch certain Indian troops to replace the Egyptian garrison at Suakin, which, with the exception of one battalion of infantry, will be moved across to the Valley of the Nile. As regards the apportionment of expense between the two Governments it is still under consideration, and I cannot at present say whether it will be necessary or not to lay a Resolution on the Table of the House.
§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON
The Government of India and Her Majesty's Government, and, of course, until that matter is decided I cannot give a definite answer as to whether it will be necessary for me to move a Resolution and place it on the Table of the House.
§ MR. HENRY LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
Are we to understand that the expense of these troops is not to be borne by the Egyptian Government?
§ MR. J. MORLEY
It means, then, that in regard to the expenditure, the two Governments concerned are Her Majesty's Government and the Indian Government?
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)
I should like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, before any further progress is made with the Finance Bill, we shall have a statement from him as to whether or not any or what part of the charge for these troops that are to be brought to Suakin will be placed on the English Exchequer?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I do not absolutely see the necessity for such a statement, but I will consider the matter. The present position is this—that if it is decided, as I assume, having regard to previous precedents, it will be, that the ordinary expenditure of these troops shall be charged upon the Indian Government—[cries of "Oh!"]—a Resolution would, in accordance with the Act of Parliament, be brought forward on the subject. The question whether the further expense connected with the matter will be defrayed by the Egyptian Government or by a Vote of this House will be a matter for consideration.