HC Deb 17 March 1905 vol 143 c330

To ask the Secretary of State for War whether he can now give any information as to what became of the 841 mules, out of a shipment of 999 from New Orleans, which were landed at Beira, as described at page 12 of the third Report of the Public Accounts Committee, 1904, and were lost on the march from Beira to Marandallas on the way to the Rhodesian Field Force.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Arnold-Forster.) Further information has been obtained showing that 857 mules were actually landed at Beira, the balance having died on the voyage as the result of an outbreak of glanders. Further losses and deaths occurred during the journey through Portugese territory. From reports rendered by the officer in charge of the transport of the Rhodesian Field Force it appeared that about 1,700 mules reached Marandallas and were taken over for service with the force. But the exact numbers cannot be given. I am informed that the returns in which that officer should have accounted for the number of animals received by him were lost in South Africa.