MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of. State for India whether he will give the latest information as to the position of the armed Mission to Tibet; whether he will state whether recent developments in connection with the advance of the 435 British force have made it necessary for the Government to change the views expressed and the instructions given in their telegram to the Viceroy, dated 6th November, 1903; whether any reinforcement of the British troops is contemplated; and whether he will give the approximate cost of the expedition up to 1st May last.
§ THE SECRETAKY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
Communications between Gyangtse and Kangma, which were interrupted on the23rd May, owing to the insecure state of the roads, were resumed on the 28th May. The position of the Mission at Gyangtse is stated in the telegram from the Viceroy of yesterday, published in this morning's newspapers. (2) As I stated on the 12th inst.† in my announcement of the decision of His Majesty's Government as to negotiations at Lhasa, it is not intended to depart in any way from the policy laid down in the telegram of the 6th November last, (3) The Government of India has taken steps to send forward such reinforcements as it considers necessary for the safety of; the Mission. (4) The total estimated cost of the Mission to the 31st March last is £308,500. The monthly cost is estimated at a little over £50,000 from April.
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
Can the right hon. Gentleman give any information as to the loss of life on the part of the enemy?
§ MR. BRODRICK
No, Sir. Any knowledge that we possess on that point has already appeared in the newspapers.