HC Deb 01 April 1901 vol 92 cc339-40
MR. MAJENDIE (Portsmouth)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty if he can state the nature and description of the various properties called the Canton Booty, captured at Canton by the officers, crews, and Marines of Her late Majesty's vessels during the China War of 1857 and 1858; how much of the proceeds or value of the same, amounting to £28,848 2s. 7d., has been paid to such officers, crews, and Marines; what part of the sum of £28,848 2s. 7d. represents the value of treasure captured in Commander Yeh's palace on the 28th–29th December, 1857; the total number of persons entitled to share in the above sum; what was the share of the same receivable by the officer then in command of Her late Majesty's Fleet, and by an able-bodied seaman, and by a private of the Royal Marine Light Infantry, respectively, under the rules then in force; and will he give the numbers and dates of the official correspondence on the subject from December, 1857, to 1863, and state whether there is any reference therein to a fund called the Seymour Fund.


The booty was seized in the Imperial Treasury, in the Yamen where Yeh was taken, and in the Government magazines. It consisted of Sycee silver and gold, lead and brass guns, and sulphur and saltpetre. Of the net proceeds of the sale of the above the amount awarded to the Navy was £28,848 2s. 7d.; the amount paid, £27,707 9s. 4d.; balance remaining, £1,140 13s. 3d. There is nothing in the report of sale to show how much of the above sum represents the value of the booty captured in the Yamen. The total number of persons entitled to share in the award was 5,139; the shares of the ranks specified in the question being: Naval commander-in-chief, £1,142 8s.; able seaman, £2 14s. 1d.; private Royal Marines, £2 14s. 1d. With regard to the question in the last paragraph, there is no reference in the correspondence to any "Seymour Fund"; the Papers on the subject of the booty can be inspected at the Admiralty if desired.