§ Order for Committee read.
§ House in Committee.
§ Mr. FITZROY in the Chair.
§ (1.) £432,990, Disembodied Militia, agreed to.1482
§ (2.) £133,000, Barracks.
MR. W. WILLIAMS
said, he would beg to ask for an explanation of the item of £57,000 for providing better means of ventilation and effecting other sanitary improvements in barracks.
said, that this Estimate had been framed in accordance with the Report of the Committee which had inquired into the subject of barrack accommodation. He bad only just received from the right hon. Member for Wiltshire (Mr. Sidney Herbert) a rough estimate of the outlay that would be necessary to place our barracks in a proper state, and the sum of £57,000 was the proportion required for that purpose for the present year.
said, that the gallant General at the head of the War Department had previously told them very fairly that he would not hesitate to ask, if necessary, for a supplementary estimate for the improvement of our barracks. For his own part, he was sorry that this Vote was merely for a temporary purpose; not that he had any way objected to such an outlay, because he believed it was the truest economy for the country to improve the condition and take care of the health of its soldiers; but he could have wished that a further estimate had been submitted to them for additional barracks. The Report upon the sanitary state of our barracks showed that the health of the troops required either that increased accommodation should be provided, or that the existing accommodation should be allotted to a smaller number of men. The whole question was in fact a money one; and, if the lives of our soldiers were to be saved the nation must not grudge the necessary expense.
said, he fully concurred in what had fallen from the hon. and gallant officer. He also wished to ask whether in the present estimate there was any provision for the erection of new barracks in London, as an assurance had been given that the existing barracks in Portman Street, which were in a most disgraceful condition, should be done away with.
said, that after his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had made his annual arrangements with respect to Ways and Means, it was very inconvenient to propose any new expenditure for the current financial year. It was, however, perfectly certain 1483 that new barracks must be built in the place of those in Portman Street.
§ MR. COBBETT
said, he rose to ask whether the Government had taken into consideration the suggestions previously made to them relative to the inadequacy of the present accommodation for drying soldiers' clothing.
said, that he had already sanctioned the trial of an improved apparatus for this purpose.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (3.) £65,000, Survey for the United Kingdom.
explained, that the Report of the Royal Commission to which the subject of the scale on which the survey should be conducted was referred had been presented, but the Government had not yet had time to consider the subject. Whatever scale might ultimately be adopted, whether the twenty-five inch or any other. it would be necessary to keep up the surveying establishment for the present year, and this Vote was limited to that object.
MR. W. WILLIAMS
observed that, the House ought to know to what scale the money they were asked to Vote was meant to be applied.
said, he would engage that no departure from the principle already laid down by Parliament on this matter should take place until the House had been previously consulted.
§ Vote agreed to; as were also
§ (4.) £1,000, General Register House, Edinburgh, in addition to £14,118 already granted, making together £15,118.
§ (5.) £20,000, Wellington Monument.
said, he wished to ask the Secretary of the Treasury whether, seeing now that the Estimates for the Department of Science and Art and the Schools of Design in Edinburgh, and also that for the Board of Manufactures, had been agreed to, the Government were prepared to carry out in all its details the arrangement made in the Treasury Minute, passed by the late Government in February last, for opening the National Gallery, which had so long stood unoccupied, and for providing an establishment therefor.
§ MR. G. A. HAMILTON
replied, that this subject had been fully considered by the Treasury, whose intention it was to carry out, in all its integrity, the arrangement made in the Minute to which the hon. Gentleman had referred.
§ House resumed.
§ Resolutions to be reported To-morrow.