§ MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he can explain why the garrison of Mauritius increased from 886 men in 1894–5 to 3,605 men in 1904–5; and whether he can further explain why nine-tenths of the total cost, £278,841, of maintaining this local force is borne by the taxpayers of the United Kingdom.
§ MR. HALDANE
The garrison was increased as stated in accordance with the views obtaining at that time regarding the defence of the island. As regards the contribution paid by the Colony, the amount depends on the financial ability of its inhabitants to meet the cost of its government and defence. I should naturally be glad if circumstances made it possible to bring the cost of the garrison and the amount of the contribution more into accord.