THE EARL OF CARNARVON
regretted to have to trouble their Lordships with a matter of personal explanation; but the noble Duke the Secretary for the Colonies having disputed the accuracy of some figures he had given in the Debate on Colonial Fortifications on Friday evening, and as his statement might possibly have given rise to some misapprehension, he was anxious to state at the earliest possible moment, having ascertained the facts, what those facts were. It would be recollected that on the occasion referred to he stated that there had been a considerable increase in several successive years in the public expenditure as connected with the class of Estimates commonly called colonial. His statement so far was perfectly accurate; but it had no direct bearing on the point at issue, namely, colonial fortifications, nor did he draw any inference from the figures he quoted bearing upon the subject, or intend to make any accusation against the Government. The figures he quoted were perfectly correct, and had been taken from official sources; but he felt that as they were quoted they might have given rise to some misapprehension. If he was understood to mean that those figures expressed the total aggregate expenditure under that particular class of Estimates for several successive years, he had nothing to vary or correct; but if he was understood to say (and he feared he had been so understood) that these figures represented the civil colonial expenditure of this country for several past years, that would be an incorrect impression and would lead their Lordships into error. These Estimates comprised not only colonial, but likewise consular and diplomatic expenditure. But he was wrong in this—that until he had an opportunity of looking into the official documents he was not aware how very large a proportion of those charges were brought into the consular and diplomatic side of the account. The figures he gave were the sums total of these combined services, and not those belonging to the civil colonial service only. He therefore asked permission to withdraw the statement he had made in so far that 644 these charges were confined to the civil and colonial expenditure, but not as to the figures quoted being the totals as they appeared in the Estimates.
§ THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE
My Lords, after what my noble Friend has said, I should be perfectly content, so far as I am individually concerned, to leave the matter as he has now placed it. But there are some interests which are more important than anything which relates to an individual, and this is one of them. There is a very general impression abroad that the colonial expenditure of this country has been for many years greatly increasing in all the departments, and that impression the statement made by my noble Friend on Friday last, considering the position which he held under the Government of the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) was calculated to strengthen. When my noble Friend made that statement, being taken by surprise by a reference to colonial expenditure on that occasion, I could only tell the House that I felt certain that my noble Friend was inaccurate, and that he was mixing up with the civil colonial expenditure a great many other charges included in the Civil Estimates No 5. I said, at the same time, I was quite certain that so far from the civil expenditure of the colonies having increased since 1856, and being still increasing, it had been diminishing, although not very rapidly, for some years past. I was perfectly accurate in what I stated on that occasion, although I spoke only from recollection. The statement made by my noble Friend was, that the Civil Colonial Estimates were in the year 1856 £320,000, and that they had swelled until in 1862 they had grown to the enormous amount of £937,000. In these figures my noble Friend had, as I supposed, not confined himself to the civil colonial expenditure, but included such items as Treasury chest, £242,000; captured negroes—bounty on slaves, £55,000; commissions for suppression of the slave trade, £10,000; consuls abroad, £167,000; services in China, Japan, and Siam, £86,000; North American boundary commission, £40,000, and other such charges. Not one of those charges has any more connection with the expenditure of the colonies than with that of the Home Department. Commencing with the year 1856, my noble Friend stated the colonial expenditure for that year to be £320,000. My Lords, the real amount is £122,000, and this in- 645 cludes every item that can be brought under the head "Colonial Expenditure." Your Lordships will see how liberal I am in my admissions when I include among the colonial charges such items as the "Emigration Office," which is really kept up much more for the convenience of the inhabitants of this country than for those of the colonies. The amount of the item is £10,000. I have also included a sum of £4,200 for Bermuda, which is a military garrison. My noble Friend stated the amount for 1862 to be £937,000. The real amount for the civil colonial charges is only £113,000. The grants for 1862 display a great excess over those of 1861, but that excess is wholly caused by two special items—namely, £55,000 for the purchase of Vancouver's Island, and £79,193 for British Kaffraria arrears. If these sums were added, they would swell the grants to £247,648; but deducting them, as they are not fairly chargeable to the year, the total amount is only £113,000, instead of £937,000, the sum stated by my noble Friend. One word more, my Lords. I stated, on a former occasion, that these colonial expenses were gradually diminishing. In 1856, the grants for colonial purposes were £123,000; in 1857, £185,000; in 1858, £141,000; in 1859, £183,000; in 1860, £163,000; in 1861, £112,000; and in 1862, £113,000. I think therefore I have clearly shown to your Lordships that though I was unprepared at the moment to answer my noble Friend, I did not deceive your Lordships as to the real facts of the case. I should not have thought it necessary to enter into the subject if I did not know that a mistaken impression has existed in the country on the subject of those colonial charges.
THE EARL OF CARNARVON
thought his noble Friend the noble Duke might have been satisfied with his explanation. The gist of that explanation was, that he feared he might have led the House to suppose that the civil colonial expenditure amounted to £937,000; and that if he had done so, he wished to correct that impression. But he could not assent to the correction of the noble Duke. His (the Earl of Carnarvon's) statement was undoubtedly incorrect, in so far as it might seem to warrant an inference against civil colonial expenditure from the figures he had quoted, but was not so incorrect as the noble Duke would now make out. Many of the items which 646 the noble Duke would now deduct, he (the Earl of Carnarvon) thought he was perfectly justified in treating as expenditure for colonial purposes. For instance, there were items in the years 1860–1 and 1861–2 for expenses connected with the Zambezi and the Niger. In the year 1860–1 there was a sum of £6,330 for North American exploring, and in 1861–2 a sum of £60,000 for expenses in connection with the North American boundary, which were obviously charges incurred for colonial rather than British interests. There was a sum of £247,600 set down as the total of Classes V. and VII. for the year 1862–3. Adding to that sum two items of £1,500 and £40,000 for the Niger and the North American boundary, they had a total of £289,000, instead of 113,000, for the present year. When these and similar items were included in the amount of civil colonial expenditure, it would be found that this expenditure had not only not decreased, but had been annually increasing.
§ THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE
thought he had said nothing whatever to reflect on his noble Friend. In referring to what had been stated by the noble Earl on a former evening, he had not depended on his own memory only, but had referred to the report in The Times. Up to within the last two years the several colonial Estimates were included in two different Votes.
§ THE EARL OF MALMESBURY
wished to know how it was that the diplomatic and consular Votes were mixed up with the colonial.
§ THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE
would draw his noble Friend's attention to the fact that there were several different headings, such as "colonial," "consular," and "other foreign services."