HC Deb 08 June 1920 vol 130 cc240-1W

asked the Secretary of State for War how many British and Indian troops respectively are now stationed in Mesopotamia and Persia; what is the approximate weekly cost of the garrisons; whether any portion of this cost is borne by the revenues of Mesopotamia, Persia, or India, and, if so, what; whether large permanent barracks are being erected at Baghdad, and at what cost; and whether the estimate of £18,890,500 as the War Office expenditure in Mesopotamia in the current year over and above the cost of Civil administration is now likely to be exceeded?


The approximate strength of the force in Mesopotamia and North-West Persia is 13,500 British and 66,000 Indian troops, and the weekly cost is about £475,000. No portion of this expenditure is borne by the Governments mentioned in the question. There is also a force of some 9,000 Indian troops in East Persia, administered by India and now being withdrawn I apprehend that the cost of this force will be charged upon the War Office. The question of permanent barracks for the force is Mesopotamia is still under consideration. I am relaxing none of my efforts to reduce this garrison and to reduce the commitments which render it necessary on a scale so fatal to the economic solvency of Mesopotamia. I trust that the amount taken in Estimates will prove adequate, provided, of course, that no exceptional military measures are necessitated by events in the Middle East.