HC Deb 05 May 1854 vol 132 cc1392-3

Order for Committee read.


said, he intended to oppose the Bill, and hoped the House would not go into Committee on it at a quarter past one o'clock in the morning. The Bill would give the Crown the power to call out the militia whenever it pleased. It was the most important Bill which he had ever seen.


said, the hon. Member who spoke last must have been very young in Parliament never to have seen a Bill of more importance than the present. The experience even of the present Session would, he thought, have furnished the hon. Gentleman with a Bill of far greater importance. The hon. Gentleman complained that the Bill would give the Crown the power to call out the militia whenever it pleased. It was true the Crown might call, but unless Parliament voted the money they would not come. The Bill, however, did not give that power, but only authorised the Government to call out the militia, subject to the sanction of Parliament, which must vote the money. The fact was, that troops were wanted for ordinary garrison duty, and many of the militia were anxious to offer their services for that purpose.


said, he had again to thank the noble Lord the Secretary for the Home Department for the zeal and determination with which he had pushed on this measure, and organised the militia force. He hoped the House of Commons would assent to the proposition of the Government, and pass this Bill.


said, there were many circumstances which made the permanent calling out of the militia a matter of great importance to the agricultural community, for it deprived them of that labour which was already very scarce, and threw on parishes the burden of maintaining the wives and families of those who were called out to serve in defence of the country.

House in Committee.

Clause 1.


said, he would point out the inconvenience and expense to which parishes would be put for the maintenance of the wives and families of the men, unless some special provision should be made for their support. He trusted the noble Lord would take the subject into consideration.


said, he wished to draw the noble Lord's attention to the hardship of imposing all the expense of the erection of the store-houses for the militia upon the counties, and also that the withholding of the bounty from militiamen who enlisted into the line had the effect of preventing the men from volunteering for the regular service.


said, he would inquire into the position of the wives and families of militiamen under the Poor Law Acts, and, as to store-houses, he intended to bring in a general measure of consolidation of all the Militia Acts, in which the subject would be dealt with.


said, he thought if there did not exist any legal provision for the wives and families of militiamen while on service, the regiment ought to contribute.

Clause agreed to; as were the remaining clauses.

House resumed; Bill reported.

House adjourned at a quarter before Two o'clock till Monday next.