5. Mr. TR EVELYAN
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the movement of British troops to Tientsin and Peking is consequent upon any agreement or understanding with any authorities in China; and, if so, will he state the nature of the agreement or understanding and the authority with whom it has been reached?
Yes, Sir. British troops have been despatched to Peking and Tientsin in virtue of an agreement between Great Britain and other Powers on the one hand and the Chinese Government on the other. This agreement was signed on the 7th of September, 1901.
§ 19. Mr. STEPHEN
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what is the total cost to date of the despatch and maintenance of the naval forces in China which are additional to the naval establishment?
§ The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Bridgeman)
The estimated additional cost falling on Navy Votes to date due to the despatch and to the maintenance of the additional naval forces in China is £240,000.
§ 31. Mr. STEPHEN
asked the Secretary of State for Air the total cost to date of the despatch and maintenance of the British air units in China?
§ Sir P. SASSOON
The total additional charge to date falling on Air Votes in respect of the despatch of air forces to China is estimated at approximately £40,000.
35. Mr. ROBINSON
asked the Secretary of State for War the total number of persons of all ranks in the Shanghai defence corps; whether any rent is being paid to the Shanghai Corporation for premises or grounds occupied by the troops; what is the total cost of the expedition up to the latest convenient date; and whether any contribution to the cost has been offered by the corporation of Shanghai?
§ 39. Mr. STEPHEN
asked the Secretary of State for War the total cost to date involved in the despatch and maintenance of the military forces in China?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Commodore Douglas King)
I will answer these questions together. As regards the first part of the question, the Shanghai Defence Force consists of 12 infantry battalions and one Marine battalion, with ancillary troops. These figures exclude the 15th Infantry Brigade, consisting of four battalions, which is stationed at Hong Kong. As regards the second part of the question, I understand that no claim for rent is being made by the municipality, and as regards the remainder of the question and Question No. 39, I cannot add to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's answers of 26th April and 2nd May, and to the reply of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the 10th May.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Are we to take it that there is no need to change the estimate of expenditure since the 10th of May?
§ 37. Mr. TREVELYAN
asked the Secretary of State for War what British troops are being sent to Tientsin and Peking; and whether they have any instructions to act outside the concessions or to interfere in any way with any of the Chinese armies operating outside the concessions?
§ Commodore KING
One additional battalion has been sent to Tientsin. It is probable that the British portion of the. Legation guard at Peking will be 984 reinforced by about one company from Tientsin. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative.
§ 67. Sir ROBERT HUTCHISON
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the pay of officers and certain other ranks belonging to the Shanghai Defence Force is subject to deduction of Income Tax whilst they axe on service in China?
The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Ronald MacNeill)
In so far as the emoluments of officers and other ranks belonging to the Shanghai Defence Force are paid from British funds, they are assessable to British Income Tax in accordance with the general rule, and in the ordinary course the tax is collected by deduction. The officers and others are, however, in common with other taxpayers, entitled to claim such personal allowances and other Income Tax reliefs as are appropriate to their respective cases.
§ Sir R. HUTCHISON
Are we to understand that the British officers are the only individuals in the Shanghai population who contribute to the upkeep of the defence force?
Mr. Mc NEILL
No exception is made. They come under the ordinary Income Tax rule and in so fax as they do, they are liable.
§ Sir R. HUTCHISON
Do members of the ordinary garrisons in Hong Kong and other places pay Income Tax?
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the whole of the population of Shanghai apart from this pays no Income Tax at all?