§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
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?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
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 There is also a force of some 9,000 Indian troops in East Persia, administered by India and now being withdrawn I apprehend that the cost of this force will be charged upon the War Office.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 241W amount taken in Estimates will prove adequate, provided, of course, that no exceptional military measures are necessitated by events in the Middle East.