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Flagships of ImperialismThe P&O Company and the Politics of Empire From Its Origins to 1867$
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Freda Harcourt and Sarah Palmer

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719073939

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719073939.001.0001

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Nuts, bolts and money, 1843–65

Nuts, bolts and money, 1843–65

(p.170) Chapter Six Nuts, bolts and money, 1843–65
Flagships of Imperialism

Freda Harcourt

Manchester University Press

This chapter focuses on the finances of P&O in the period between 1843 and 1865. P&O first decided to increase the fleet-size in 1844 after winning the contract for India and China. Discord between the managing department and the board over the number of ships required led to the formation of a finance committee which laid an estimate of cost for 14 new ships before the board on 24 November 1846. P&O's operations in the eastern seas also required the establishment of docks, warehouses, machinery, sea stores and coal depots in India and China, which had to be staffed by expensive employees. Various factors such as the rise in the price of coal and all other necessities, the very low tender for the mail contract, reduced passenger fares and heavy losses on the Australian line also adversely affected its profitability in 1853.

Keywords:   P&O, warehouses, docks, coal depots, India, China

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