Nuts, bolts and money, 1843–65

Freda Harcourt

in Flagships of Imperialism

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780719073939
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700761 | DOI:
Nuts, bolts and money, 1843–65

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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

Chapter.  8884 words. 

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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