Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

5 articles on this Page

THE CONVICT MICHAEL BARRETT.

THE BISHOP OF OXFOI?^ ON THE…

THE ABYSSINIAN EXPEDITION.

rCOST OF THE ABYSSINIAN EXPEDITION.

News
Cite
Share

rCOST OF THE ABYSSINIAN EXPEDITION. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has laid before the House of Commons an estimate, prepared by the India-office, of the expenditure for the Abyssinian Expedition. The Under-Secretary is directed to state that the information available here fot the preparation of an estimate is very insufficient, although repeated appli- cations have been made to the Government of Bomba) on the subject. The present estimate must be regarded as approximate only, ft shows that the charges in India and England to the end of May 1868, will probably amount to about £ 5,000,000. The estimate of October, 1867, giving the probable charge to the end of December, 1867, showed £850,000 to be disbursed by thelmperialGovernment, and £1,150,000 by the Indian Government. The estimate of March, 1868, shows £ 1S!$00 to be disbursed by the Imperial Government for mules, stores, &er to the 31st of March and by the Indian Government^ £ 22,000 additional for coals, and £300,000 for general expenditure to the end of May, according to an estimate made by Major-General Jamieson. auditor, besides £140,000 additional in England in the India Store Department; making a grand total of J5,351,000—viz, £1,039.000 to be disbursed by thelmperialGovernment, and £ 4,31*2,000 by the Indian Government. Major-General Jameson's estimate, dated 12th of March, is as follows;— "The preliniDary estimate, made on the 1st of October, amounted to £ 2,000,000. This, I think, may fairly stand, as far as can now be ascertainedras a near approximation to the expenditure up to the 31st December, 1867. "From the 1st of January, 1868, the monthly expense was calculated at £;370,000, as follows:— Pay of trooos, 950,000 commissariat, at least £ 60,000; rations and allowance for foreign service to soldiers and followers, £10,000; transport, £ 150.000 coals, £ 25,000; forage for cattle, £50,000 miscel- laneous, .£25,000. This gives a total of £370,000, and, excluding the pay of troops, would leave £ 320,000 per mensem to be paid by the Imperial Government. But it is found that many of these items, sea-transport especially, were very greatly under-estimated. The transport alone is now shown to be very nearly £ 400,0D0 a month. This, how- ever, might be very largely reduced by the discharge of vessels, amounting in number to 53 sailing ships, aggregating 28,773 tons, and which have been engaged in carrying elephants, camels, mules, ponies, and bullocks, as well as bulky commissariat stores, such as grain, rations, pressed hay, bran, straw, &c. At the termination of the Expedition there will be many stores, the removal of which by sea would cost much more than their worth. The provisions, grain, and hay will perhaps be consumed but, if not, it appears to me that, with the exception of the grain and pro- visions, it would be economical to abandon, or, if possible, dispose of what may be left. This remark applies to the baggage animals, with the exception, perhaps, of elephants for their transport to India would far exceed their value, and in any imaginable case it would not be worth while to keep in monthly pay a large fleet of transports with the view of even- tually carrying them back to India. The number of baggage animals that have been procured tor service in Abyssinia is, by the latest returns," 45 elephants, 8,000 camels, 16,950 mules, and 5,000 bullocks. The feeding of these animals, with the pay of their attendants, will cost on an average, at the very least, 30 rupees each per mensem, which is a low estimate considering the expense of forage and grain sent to Abyssinia. 11 z;1 Thus we have 899,850 rupees, or, in round num* bers £90,000. The fores at present consists of 3,213 European fighting men, and 7,711 native ditto and we may L- add at least 1,500 natives proceeding to join. This gives a total of 3,213 Europeans and 9,221 natives, or, together, 12,424 of all ranks. Estimating fol- lowers on the new reduced scale of one per man, it will double the above numerical amount., and estimating the rations of an European at 20 rupees per month and of a native at 10 rupees, we have a total of 280,610 rupees—say £ 28,000. "Supposing five transports to be daily under steam in conveying troops, carrying mails, &c., it would give an average expenditure of 25 tons of coal for each transport; 125 tons per diem, or per mensem 3,750 tons, at 93 10s per ton, amounting to £ 13,125. The coals required for condensing water, 27,000 gallons per diem, at Zoulla, cannot be less than above, although I have no means of ascertaining accurately, £ 13.125 making £ 26,250. The estimate of monthly expenditure might stand thus (pay of troops excluded)Sea trans- port, £ 400,000; provisions for troops and followers, as above shown, £28,000; provisions of baggage animals, 9-90,000; foreign service and staff, and allowance to the officers and troops, dEt 0,000 coals £36,250; miscellaneous, about £ 35,000. The total is £ 589,2^0. "Thus we have,—The Preliminary estimates, £2,000.000; five months, January 1st to May 31st £ 2,946,250. Provided the Expedition terminates on the 3lst of May, it would not be safe to ask for less than £ 2,000,000 and there are charges which cannot at present be estimated, such for instance as the railways, telegraphs, &c. If continued beyond the 31st of May next, it would be safe to estimate a further charge of £600,000 for every month be- yond that date."

[No title]