HC Deb 01 June 1858 vol 150 cc1328-58

said, he had to claim, the indulgence of the House while he called his attention to a question of vast importance, involving the system on which the whole military organization of this country rested. In bringing it forward he had no desire whatever to embarrass Her Majesty's Government. Indeed, he could not conceive how such a discussion could be embarrassing to any Ministry of which his right hon. Friends the present Secretary of State for War and the present First Lord of the Admiralty were members. During the last Session of Parliament the hon. and gallant General at the head of the War Department deemed it his duty to bring under the notice of the House the necessity for clearly defining the relative duties and responsibilities of the various military departments. On that occasion the right hon. Gentleman the present First Lord of the Admiralty spoke strongly in favour of the views urged by the gallant General; and he found also that on a previous occasion—namely, in March, 1854, the right hon. Gentleman, speaking on the subject of military expenditure, expressed his opinion that the administration of the army would be carried on more efficiently if it were conducted under one responsible authority. This subject had been repeatedly debated in the House, and had been submitted to the consideration both of Committees and Royal Commissions. In 1837 there was a Commission to inquire into the civil administration of the army, which in its Report made several very important suggestions, and laid down distinctly the principle of consolidation. The Report of that Commission was signed by Lord Howick, (the present Earl Grey), Viscount Palmerston, Lord J. Russell, Lord Strafford, Sir John Hobhouse, and Lord Monteagle. It might be considered extraordinary that the Minister of that day, Lord Melbourne, did not attempt to carry into effect the recommendations of the Commission. That Minister, however, was so forcibly struck by the expressions of opinion contained in the Report that he was desirous to embody their suggestions in a Minute of Council; but unfortunately he did not possess such a majority in that House as encouraged him to make changes that were sure to give rise to discussion, and therefore, from motives of expediency, nothing was done. Warnings had been subsequently given to several successive Ministers that on the first outbreak of a great war we should inevitably suffer serious disasters in consequence of the unsatisfactory state of the military departments. The war with Russia came, and those predictions were verified, for he might safely say that the greater part, if not the whole, of the misfortunes that occurred in the Crimea were mainly to be attributed to the maladministration of the military departments at home. As matters then stood there were no fewer than five distinct heads of departments in the army, all of them more or less independent of each other, and exercising a part of the functions of a Minister of War, but none of them invested with sufficient authority to enable them to carry out satisfactorily or efficiently the duties of their respective departments. A few short months of war showed that a system so cumbrous and complicated in its machinery could not be carried out, and raised so strong a feeling both in that House and the country against the administration of military affairs that the Government of the day was compelled to make the changes that soon after took place. He need scarcely say that changes made at such a moment and under the influence of a panic were hastily gone about, ill digested, and ill conceived. A Minister for War was hurriedly created, and the office of Master General of the Ordnance, the oldest military institution of the country, listing existed from the time of Henry VII I., was abolished. The duties of the Ordnance Office were divided between the Minister for War, to whom was intrusted the civil administration of the army, and the Commander in Chief. The Secretary at War was put under the Minister for War in an inferior position, and the Commissariat was transferred from the Treasury to the office of the Quartermaster General. The great office of Commander in Chief was left untouched; and, considering that we were then engaged in a war which was taxing to the uttermost the military resources of the country, he thought that it was wise and prudent not to attempt to interfere with the head of the executive of the army. Great inconveniences, if not great misfortune, might have resulted from such a change at such a moment; but, at the same time, it was felt very strongly that they were leaving two great functionaries in such a position as necessarily to create and perpetuate rivalries between them—one a civilian, the other a soldier, both of them obtaining their authority directly from the Crown, but one of them responsible to that House for his acts, while the other was nominally responsible to the Crown, but virtually independent and irresponsible. It was felt that the position of the Commander in Chief would in a great measure depend on the character of the Minister who presided over the War Department, and that if the Minister for War was a man of strong mind and originality of character, the Commander in Chief might sink into a cipher. That differences might arise between the two functionaries intrusted with the military discipline and financial administration of the army had been felt so early as the year 1813, for they formed the subject of a Minute in Council, signed by Lord Liverpool, and issued by the command of the Prince Regent in that year. His Royal Highness in this Minute declared that, various representations having been made to him of differences existing between the two offices of Commander in Chief and Secretary at War in regard to their respective public duties, he was pleased to command that the line of separation between the duties of the aforesaid offices, which either usage or the provisions of an Act of Parliament had introduced between the financial and account departments on the one hand, and the military discipline of the army on the other, Should continue to be observed. His Royal Highness further commanded, that no new order or regulation should be issued by the Secretary at War without previous communication with the Commander in Chief. Owing to the good feeling and tact of those who had presided over the Horse Guards and the War Office since the alterations of 1855, there had been none of those jealousies which might otherwise have arisen. He felt such respect for the Royal Prince who now presided over the Horse Guards, and for the right hon. Gentleman the present Minister for War, that he was confident none of these differences would arise, so far as they were concerned. Nor, as far as the public knew, had any such arisen; but was it wise to leave two great departments so entirely dependent upon the good feeling of their heads for the state in which they found themselves? He would admit that in some respects the alterations of 1855 were great improvements, but in other respects they were the reverse, because they stopped short of the point at which they were directed. Altogether there was a strong feeling that the changes of 1855 were only a small instalment of that military reform which the country desired. The control of the Artillery and Engineers was taken away from the Master General of the Ordnance, the civil administration of these arms being given to the Minister of War and the military administration to the Commander in Chief. A Commission had inquired into this subject some years ago, and among those who had given evidence before it was a relative of his, Sir Hussey Vivian, who had accurately foretold the consequences of dividing the civil and military administration of the Engineers and Ordnance corps. Sir Hussey Vivian said there would be great difficulty in separating the civil and military duties of these officers, and he did not see how they could carry on their duties under two masters. In Ireland and the Colonies these officers, besides their civil and military duties, had the superintendence of barracks. If they were to discharge their civil duties under one officer and their military duties under another, Sir Hussey Vivian said they would be subject to receive conflicting orders. He thought it would puzzle Sir J. Burgoyne to say under whose orders he was at present. He believed that Sir J. Burgoyne administered the patronage of his office, but that all his orders were issued in the name of the Commander in Chief. As regarded the engineer officers, they were left in such an amphibious condition that it was impossible to say to what element they belonged. The letters patent issued when the office of Minister for War was created set forth that Her Majesty granted to him the administration of the army, except as related to its military command and discipline. The whole military control and discipline of the army would therefore appear to be vested in the irresponsible Commander in Chief, while the Minister for War had nothing to do with the military administration, and was only concerned with its financial and civil administration. Viscount Hardinge said before the Sebastopol Committee that the power of the Secretary of State entirely overruled that of the Commander in Chief. Lord Panmure said in the House of Lords that in his opinion the whole patronage and discipline of the army were under the irresponsible control of the Commander in Chief. He thought the opinion of Viscount Hardinge the more correct of the two, and he believed he should be able to show that the Secretary for War interfered with the discipline of the army which the Commander in Chief carried on a large portion of its civil administration. In short, he should be able to show that the whole of the duties of the two departments were so confused and jumbled up together that if they were left in their present position there would be no safeguard against a recurrence of the disasters which in the last war, as he maintained, were almost entirely attributable to the maladministration of military affairs. With regard to promotions, he believed the form which was gone through to be this:—The Commander in Chief submitted to the Secretary for War certain names of officers whom he recommended for promotion. The Secretary for War gave his approval. The names, having received the approval of the Secretary for War, were then submitted by the Commander in Chief to the Sovereign. When the Sovereign's approval had been given, they were returned to the Secretary for War who gazetted them, and who signed the commissions, which were also signed by another subordinate officer. If the Commander in Chief had to obtain the sanction of the Secretary of War to all promotions, he thought that the Secretary for War should accept the whole responsibility, and that he, and not the Commander in Chief should submit the names for the Sovereign's approval. With regard to the land forces for the year, the number was settled at a Cabinet Council, and the Secretary for War, as the mouthpiece of the Cabinet, obtained the approval of the Sovereign. In due course he sent to the Commander in Chief the number of men, and requested him to take the approval of the Sovereign on that number: so that the Commander in Chief had to go through the ridiculous form of asking the approval of the Sovereign to that which had already been decided on, perhaps weeks before, between the Sovereign and Her Ministers. The only object of these idle forms was to give an appearance of independence to the Commander in Chief, which, in reality, he did not possess. If a general officer were required for command in the Colonies or in India, the Commander in Chief submitted the name of some general to the Secretary for War, and if the Secretary for War approved, it was then submitted to the Sovereign. He did not approve this divided responsibility. On the other hand the civil administration of the army was in a great measure carried on by an irresponsible officer, the Commander in Chief. The Quartermaster General, for instance, moved troops at his pleasure from one part of the country to another, and put the country thereby to great expense. The education of the army was one of the greatest anomalies of the present system. It was divided between the two departments, for the control of the military schools at Woolwich and elsewhere was entirely in the hands of the Secretary for War, while the Commander in Chief was in fact, President of the Council of Education. The Commander in Chief appointed a Vice President, and received the reports of the Council; although, if questions were asked in the House, the Secretary for War would be supposed to be responsible for the acts of the Council, over which he had no control whatever. It was a state of things which the Duke of Newcastle had described in the Sebastopol Committee as involving the Secretary for War in a legal responsibility, though he could not be held morally responsible for acts with which he had nothing to do. What the public wanted was direct moral responsibility for all public acts in all the public departments. Last year a Committee was appointed and was still sitting to inquire into certain proceedings connected with the Land Transport Corps. That Committee stated in their report of last Session "that they felt it their duty to call attention to the want of unity and combination which appeared to have characterised the relations of the Secretary of State for War with the Commander in Chief with reference to the formation of the Land Transport Corps." Great hardships occured from the want of a proper understanding between those two great departments. Dr. Andrew Smith, the head of the Medical Department, when examined in 1856 before the Sebastopol Committee, was asked whether the change which had been made in 1855 had had any other effect than to give him one master less; and, he replied, there might be one master less certainly, but not more than one. If we were to be involved in another European war there was no doubt that the same confusion would again arise. In the Contract Committee now sitting evidence was given daily which showed the most extravagant and useless expenditure of public money for want of some controlling power over the different departments. For their own protection the Secretary of State's Department and the Commander in Chief's Department were obliged to keep themselves perfectly separate, and responsibility was made a shuttlecock between them. He did not wonder at the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton saying on a former occasion, "You cannot raise up a wall of brass between the two offices." The fact was that each department was obliged to raise up a wall of brass for themselves. If such were the present state of the two departments, it was important to consider what was the correction needed. It was a saying of the First Napoleon. "One bad General is better than two good ones," and in this sentence was contained the whole pith of the remedy to be applied. The advocates of the Secretary of State's office and the Commander in Chief's, both agreed in the expediency of concentration, each wishing to see the full powers centred in their own office. The question, then, was in which office the concentration was to be made. Now, he thought, an irresponsible Minister was not one that was likely to find much favour with the House of Commons. He thought, therefore, that the supreme head of the War Department ought to be an officer responsible to Parliament, who would be ready to answer all questions and reply to all criticisms. He did not wish to go into details; but different plans had been proposed from time to time and maturely considered. Earl Grey, some years ago, had made a Motion in the other House on this subject, very much in the same terms as those of the present Resolution. On that occasion Earl Grey quoted from a Report made to him by the late Sir Willoughby Gordon, a military authority of great weight, in which it is stated that the first step towards a reconstruction of the department ought to be to place the Secretary for War, the Commander in Chief, the Secretary at War, the Master General of the Ordnance, and the Paymaster General in one office—each officer transacting his own departmental business, but the whole conferring together under the presidence of the Secretary of State. The right hon. Member for Wilts (Mr. Sidney Herbert), in a memorandum left at the War Office, and in his evidence before the Sebastopol Committee, also spoke strongly in favour of this view of the pre-eminence of the Secretary of State. He suggested that a Board should be formed of all the officers through whom the army was governed, presided over by a Secretary of State, who should have the control of the Commissariat. The right hon. Gentleman and others did not desire to trench on the authority of the Commander in Chief, but to place him in the position in which he ought to stand, and to secure for the public direct responsibility for all matters connected with the administration of the army. The position of the Commander in Chief over the army should be something like that of an engineer of a steam ship; who has the care and superintendence of a great deal of delicate machinery, but is under the control of the captain, who in turn is answerable to the owners for the safe navigation of the vessel. It was said, however, that the result of the arrangement which he proposed would be to change our Royal Army into what some persons were pleased to call a Parliamentary Army, and to diminish the prerogative of the Crown. But what was the position of the Crown at present, with regard to the army? The most that could be said, was that it got a yearly lease of the army, for it was the House of Commons which passed the Mutiny Act, under which, discipline in the army was enforced, and voted the Estimates by which that branch of the public service was maintained, and there was scarcely a day on which questions were not discussed which directly related to the patronage and discipline of the army. Again, he was told that it would bring the patronage of the army under the control of the Minister of the day, and that it would open the door to Parliamentary and political corruption. He did not think that this was an objection which would bear investigation. At present the system of competitive examinations was adopted in the scientific branches of the service, while the patronage which still remained in the hands of the Commander in Chief might be divided under the three heads of first commissions, brevet appointments, and staff appointments; and he did not apprehend, after the public attention which these matters had excited, that that patronage was likely to be abused. He hoped that he had said nothing in the course of his remarks that could give offence to any person. He admitted, if the present system of military administration were to be continued, that it could not be intrusted to safer hands than those which at present wielded it. If he might say so without presumption he should say that his Royal Highness the Commander in Chief had won public favour by the great personal courage which he had evinced in the Crimea; that he had gained the flattering title of "the soldier's friend" by the attention which he had shown to the wishes and requirements of the soldier; and that since he had been at the head of the army he had shown administrative powers of the highest quality, being always ready to listen to suggestions for reform, and to adopt them if they were practicable. It was unnecessary to say anything of the great abilities of the distinguished officer who now held the appointment of Secretary for War; but, great as were the talents of those two persons, if the old vicious principle of duality were allowed to continue, it would be impossible for them to administer the duties of their departments with satisfaction to themselves or advantage to the country. He begged to move:— That although the recent consolidation of the different Departments of Ordnance, Commissariat, and Secretary at War has to a certain extent improved the general administration of Military Affairs, a divided responsibility still exists; and that, in order to promote greater efficiency, the Departments of the Horse Guards and War Office should be placed under the control of one responsible Minister.

Question proposed.


said, he fully admitted the great importance of the subject which his hon. and gallant Friend had brought forward, and the able and temperate manner in which he had treated it. His hon. and gallant Friend stated that on former occasions he (General Peel) had himself called attention to this very question. That was quite true, and he had no hesitation in saying that no one could be more convinced than he was of the great importance of defining the duties of the different departments; but, at the time that he brought forward the question, he stated that he was perfectly satisfied with the definition of those duties which had been given by Lord Panmure in a speech in the House of Lords, and by the then Commander in Chief in his evidence before the Sebastopol Committee. In both those cases the duties and responsibilities of the several offices were clearly defined, and all that he stated then was that he thought there should be some more official record of those duties than was contained in speeches in the House of Lords and in evidence before Committees. On acceding to his present office, however, he found that the patent by which he held that office, and which had been already read to the House, did, in a general way, clearly lay down the duties and responsibilities of the department over which he had the honour to preside. The duties of the Commander in Chief were laid down with equal precision and clearness in the patent of his appointment. He had also a memorandum drawn up by his noble predecessor, which clearly defined the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary of State for War, and, he must say, that he never found any difficulty in learning what his duties and responsibilities were, although he had great difficulty in performing those duties. But, as the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton had truly said upon the occasion to which his hon. and gallant Friend had alluded, by far the best security for the effectual performance of the general duties of the Secretary for War and of the Commander in Chief would be found to consist in a cordial co-operation between the heads of those departments. He could bear full testimony to the truth of that remark; for having been almost every day in personal communication with his Royal Highness the Commander in Chief, he could safely say that no difficult question as to the limits of these duties had arisen between them—that nothing had occurred to produce any differences between them. The duties of the Commander in Chief embraced the discipline of the army, the patronage of the army, entrance into the army, and the ordinary promotion in the army. It was, however, the duty of the Secretary of State for War, when an army was about to take the field, acting as the organ of the Cabinet, to appoint the person who was to command that army. On that subject the Secretary of State for War always had a communication with the Commander in Chief, with the view of securing the services of such a person as might be most fit to take that command. The appointments of all the superior and staff officers were recommended, in the first instance, by the Commander in Chief. The Secretary of State for War had the power of approval, and after that approval he must become responsible for those appointments. That, he believed, had been the case in every instance. As to many of the ordinary appointments and promotions in the army, the only duty of the Secretary of State for War, he apprehended, was to take care that, whenever a proper opportunity offered, the list of officers on half-pay should be reduced with the view of lightening the burdens of the country; but the selection of those officers rested entirely with the Commander in Chief. The Secretary of State for War never exercised any discretion in the selection of officers brought in from half-pay. Everything connected with the management of the army, with the exception he had mentioned, was left in the hands of the Minister for War, acting in conjunction with his colleagues in the Cabinet. When an army took the field it was the duty of the Secretary of State for War, the Cabinet having, in the first instance, mentioned the number of men to be engaged, and the nature of the services to be performed, to communicate upon the subject with the Commander in Chief, who then took the pleasure of the Crown as to the different regiments to be employed. In the same way it was the duty of the Secretary for War to communicate with the Commander in Chief respecting the extent and nature of the equipment of the army. These things having been arranged between them, it became the duty of the Secretary for War not only to furnish the required supplies, but also to be answerable afterwards for the keeping of the proper reserves and everything needful for the army engaged in the field. He believed that the greatest benefit possible had accrued from the recent concentration in one establishment of the different departments of war. Whenever anything was required it could be obtained at once and on the spot, without sending requisitions, as heretofore, from one war department to another. There could be no doubt now as to what were the respective duties of those employed in the War Department. The Resolution of his hon. and gallant Friend stated that there were divided responsibilities in that department, and recommended that the different offices should be placed under the control of one responsible Minister of State. Now, he could not assent to that. At present, the command, discipline, and patronage of the army were controlled by the Crown through the Commander in Chief. If they were to place that control in the hands of a person who was to be a Member of that House and a Minister of State, he must, of course, become a member of the Government of the day. He must be a political partisan, and change with every Administration; and therefore, just as soon as the Commander in Chief had become acquainted with the character and capabilities of the officers over whom he presided—just as soon as he was able to exercise some discrimination in the selection of those officers, he would most probably have to retire from the Ministry and from the War Department in favour of a successor who would have all that knowledge to acquire. But, what was still worse, he would always be liable to the suspicion, although perhaps without foundation, that he had made the patronage of the army subservient to certain political purposes. The country, instead of having the advantage of a person at the head of the army not connected with any party, would merely have a person connected with the Administration of the day. The difficulty in that case would be to find a person duly qualified to fill the important situation of Commander in Chief. for his own part, he thought it would be found to be the most difficult thing possible to place the office of Commander in Chief in a better position than that in which it now was. Everybody must admit that his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge Performed the duties of that office in a most able and satisfactory manner. His practical knowledge of service in the field and the great interest in which he took in everything connected with the army were well known to everybody. It was a great advantage to have a person in his high position at the head of the army. As to the particular duties of the Secretary for War, he believed those duties to be clearly defined. Everything relating to pecuniary affairs, to the establishment and maintenance of the army was committed to the Secretary of State for War. All matters relating to the administration and government of the army were vested in the Commander in Chief. He was aware that there was no person directly responsible to that House for the manner in which the duties of the Commander in Chief are performed. He was only responsible to the Crown, and it was not impossible that if a complaint were made of the manner in which he exercised his patronage or managed the discipline of the army there would be no means of bringing his conduct under the control of the House. But he would deprecate it as the worst possible change that could be made, should the discipline and command of the army should be subjected to constant discussions in that House. Discussions of that nature had already been carried to the full verge of propriety in that House. Questions were often put respecting this or that promotion. The due prerogative of the Crown was thereby interfered with. His hon. and gallant Friend had alluded to various points, as to the clothing of the army and the different departments now placed under the control of the Secretary of State for War. He (General Peel) was not going to defend the administration of the clothing department as it existed when he entered upon office; but he would observe that the very first thing that he did upon entering on office was to alter that system altogether. A new plan had been devised and would be speedily carried into execution, by which he trusted that the evils which had been complained of would at once be removed; and he might make the same observation with regard to the commissariat and other departments. Nothing could be so difficult as to organize in times of peace any establishment which upon the breaking out of war had to become suddenly expansive. He might state, however, that gentlemen had been appointed to consider the present organization of the Commissariat Department, with the view of ascertaining what improvements could be made in it. The ground upon which he objected to the Resolution of his hon. and gallant Friend was that it proposed to place under one head the two departments of the Commander in Chief and the Secretary for War. He objected to the discipline and command of the army being placed under a Minister of State for War. That Minister of State might be either Commander in Chief or Secretary for War. It would be equally difficult to find a proper person in either of those offices to discharge the duties of such consolidated office. It would be difficult for any Government to find any mere partisan capable of properly discharging the duties of Commander in Chief; and it was perfectly impossible to submit the duties of the command and discipline of the army to a civilian. Perhaps he had not been long enough in office to form even an opinion as to what improvements might be made in the administration of the numerous departments. The complaints which his hon. and gallant Friend had referred to as having been laid before the House long ago by means of blue-books had been remedied long before the recent alterations. All the evidence taken by the Committee which sat in 1837 had led to the desired improvements. [Captain VIVIAN: What as to the evidence taken before the Sebastopol Committee?] With regard to the evidence of the Sebastopol Committee he could only say that a Committee had been appointed with the view of remedying all the evils of which evidence was given before it. His right hon. Friend the Member for Wiltshire (Mr. Sidney Herbert) had presented two reports upon the medical establishment. Those reports had only recently reached the Treasury, and as Dr. Smith had recently resigned his post of Director General of the medical department of the army, which he had filled with great zeal and ability, he would take care to have appointed in his place a gentleman under whose guidance the recommendations contained in them would receive full consideration and be acted upon. For his own part he had no objection to the Motion of his hon. and gallant Friend, except that portion of it which proposed an amalgamation of the offices of Commander in Chief and Secretary for War.


said, that whatever might be the result of that discussion, he thought that the House and the country owed a debt of gratitude to his hon. and gallant Friend for calling attention to the subject, as well as for the ability and temper with which he had introduced it. One part of the Resolutions of his hon. and gallant Friend admitted the advantage which had arisen from the consolidation which took place under the arrangements of 1855, but expressed the opinion that much yet remained to be done. Now, there was no one connected with the army or interested in its welfare who would not give a cordial assent to that proposition. As regarded the next part of the Resolution, which proposed to consolidate the offices of the Commander in Chief and the Secretary for War, he was somewhat inclined to agree with the opinion expressed by the right hon. and gallant General. It was true that the secret of the efficiency of the French army arose in a great degree from the fact that every individual connected with the army, from the Minister for War to the hospital orderly in a distant station, was an army man, and in the army were all his interests and sympathies. A system of rigorous military centralisation of this nature was no doubt productive of efficiency, but it was unsuited to a country like this, in which a jealousy of a powerful standing army prevailed, in which the feeling of individual liberty had taken deep and strong root. The public in England would not be debarred from interference in military matters, which was sometimes carried to unfortunate results when writers in the press were in the habit of offering empirical proposals for the improvement of the service, which they had not the courage to endorse with their own names. Under the circumstances, he felt it would be impossible to obtain the consent of the House of Commons to placing the whole administration of the army under the control of a military man; and therefore the fact that, if the two offices were consolidated, the whole army would be under the control of a civilian, was an insuperable objection to the proposal of his hon. and gallant Friend. There were, however, many reasons why it would be of advantage that the whole administration of the affairs of the army should be examined into, with a view of defining the responsibilities and duties of each department. The right hon. and gallant General had told them that the most cordial co-operation existed between the illustrious Duke, the Commander in Chief and himself. This was not to be wondered at, for they were both distin- guished officers, and had only the interests of their profession at heart; but there might occur instances in which an individual might be placed at the head of the War Department, not on account of ability or knowledge, but for the sake of the supports be might bring a Government on account of his influence or debating powers. He had beard a report which he believed to be true, that when a gallant General was appointed to a command in China, of whom no one could dispute the fitness, although, indeed, a certain powerful journal was pleased to attack him with insult and vituperation, the Commander in Chief first learned from the columns of The Times that General Ashburnham had been appointed to command the Chinese expedition. The evils of which the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield complained, as being caused by the double government of India, were also caused by the double government of the army, and that hon. and learned Gentleman would add to the debt of gratitude which the country already owed him if he were to exert his eloquence to procure the placing of the army under a Board presided over by a Minister responsible to Parliament. In former times there were five persons concerned in the administration of the army—the Master General of the Ordnance, the Secretary at War, the Commander in Chief, the First Lord of the Treasury, and the Secretary for the Colonies. In 1855 the office of Master General was abolished, and the Artillery was placed under the Commander in Chief; but up to the present day it was undecided under whose control were the Engineers, or from whom Sir J. Burgoyne received his instructions. In former days the Commander in Chief had a considerable control over the transport, the victualling, and the clothing branches of the army, and the Secretary at War, who was the representative of the army then in that House, occupied a position comparatively inferior to that of the present War Minister. Now, however, if we had a civilian at the head of the army, his power and authority as a Cabinet Minister, would enable him to overrule the Commander in Chief. An example of this occurred during the Crimean war. Viscount Hardinge having sent out an order directing a regiment to leave the Cape, the Governor of the colony refused to allow the regiment to leave until he had received an order from the War Minister. Instances of this kind showed that the administration of the army was not what it should be; and though that administration might be satisfactory while the gallant General held his present position, it could not be satisfactory with a civilian at the head of the War Department. The jealousy entertained towards military men would not admit of the adoption in this country of the French system, which was the most efficient, and under which the whole control of the army was placed in the hands of a military man, assisted by other military men at his council board. Therefore a compromise must be sought in order to secure a representation to the civil element; and the best arrangement under the circumstances would be to assimilate the administration of our army to that now so successfully adopted for the navy. A Board should be appointed, composed of the Minister for War acting as President, the Commander in Chief, and representatives from the different branches of the service. The patronage of the army ought, however, to remain entirely in the hands of the Commander in Chief. Our army would no doubt always maintain the high reputation it now enjoyed, but in the event of another war, our military system, unless it were placed on a better footing, would again inevitably break down, as it had done before, not as regarded our regimental system or the character of our regimental officers, but in regard to the departments at home. He had long witnessed and deplored the evils of the present complicated and anomalous arrangements, and he was earnestly anxious that that discussion might lead to the adoption of a better constitution for our War Department, which, while maintaining the control of the Commander in Chief, and abstaining from infringement on the prerogative of the Crown, would yet, by the introduction of judicious reforms, increase and improve the efficiency of the British army.


said, that, after the able and conclusive speech of the hon. and gallant Mover, those who were in favour of his Motion had little left them but to express their general concurrence in his views, and their hope that they would receive from the House the attention they so well deserved. The question of the administration of the army was no longer a mere military one, because both as legislators and civilians they must all feel a deep interest in it. They must all feel that their Votes for the army expenditure—an item that was the heaviest brought before the House—imposed on them as great a responsibility as that which they had to sustain in regard to the efficiency or inefficiency of any other department. Formerly the army was not a popular institution in England. It was supposed to have been an arm which might be relied upon in resisting the advance of popular rights; but recently the gallant exploits of the army in the Crimea, and elsewhere, had brought about a change in public opinion, and unpopularity had given place to universal pride in its achievements and universal sympathy with its sufferings. Its officers had to endure more than any other class from time system of maladministration which the noble Lord who spoke last had deplored. Their most distinguished services were not adequately rewarded, nor were the ablest men raised to those posts which the public interest required that they should fill. The gallant Officer who had brought forward this subject had referred to the consolidation of the military departments which occurred in 1855, tending, as it had done, to increase the efficiency of the army and to concentrate responsibility; and he now asked the House to extend the same principle somewhat further. In 1855 they were led to expect that there was to be a system of clear and intelligible responsibility, to attain which the power was to be concentrated under one head. The reasons which previously existed for not carrying those improvements further were no longer in operation. The relative duties of the Commander in Chief and the Secretary for War might appear clearly defined to the right hon. and gallant General (General Peel), because he was perfectly familiar with the subject; but so far as this House and the country, or even the army generally, were concerned, there was no reason to suppose that any more distinct definition of those duties existed now than last year. On that occasion, when the present Secretary for War brought this subject under notice, he was followed by the First Lord of the Admiralty and the President of the Board of Trade, who thought the division of power so indistinct, the duties so obscure, the authority so undefined, that they called upon the then Government to put the two offices on a clearer and more intelligible footing. This was all that was now asked for. He agreed with the noble Lord who had just spoken that the real test of the efficiency of the present system would be another war. The old system might have gone on for years had it not been for the Crimean War, which exposed all its rottenness and weakness. There was not the smallest desire to impugn the administration of the army offensively as regarded any individual. But it was contended that the worst form of double government was here maintained; and a general feeling pervaded all classes that our present military administration was a most unsatisfactory one; that it gave us an inefficient army, and that it was not creditable either to Parliament or to the country. "Leave the Commander in Chief," was said, "with all his military authority; let his discipline and patronage be untouched; but let us have no double government, no divided responsibility, but a Minister who is responsible to Parliament and who has commensurate power; let him be the responsible head of the military department, and all others be subordinate to him." That was the old constitutional system; and the "duality of administration," as it had been called, was of very recent introduction. What were the arguments, time facts, and the authority on the other side? The right hon. and gallant Gentleman resisted the Motion because he understood the distribution of the duties in question, and because between him and the Commander in, Chief no difficulty was likely to occur. But the system could not depend on the accidental event of the nature of time individuals in temporary occupation of office. They wanted a sufficient degree of responsibility, on the part of army officials, to that House; but where was the House to look for remedy, and where was it to attach responsibility? He hoped the Government would complete the consolidation commenced in 1855. The Resolution of his hon. and gallant Friend was a reasonable one, and the opposition to it could not be substantiated by any sound argument. It invited the House of Commons to endeavour to rescue the army from the inefficient administration under which it had so long been suffering. The country, he believed, felt it was time that some interference should take place; that it was necessary for the sake of the army itself, for the national interests, for the character of the House; and he trusted the Government would not persist in their opposition to the Motion.


remarked, that no one had yet stood up to say anything with regard to the manner in which the militia had been treated. However, as an independent Member of Parliament and a country Gentleman he felt bound to declare his opinion that no useful body of men had ever in England been treated worse than the militia. He had had occasion to seek an authority to whom he could make some statements relative to matters with which that body was concerned, but he had been unable to find out his master. He had been referred from the Horse Guards to the War Office, and from the War Office to the Horse Guards. He believed that the services of that force would soon be required again, but he was afraid that if the present system continued the men would not be forthcoming when they were wanted. He should have therefore, great pleasure in giving his support to the proposition of the hon. and gallant Member for Bodmin, for he thought that divided responsibility was an evil, and more particularly in military affairs. He could not see why 10,000 militiamen should have been disbanded and sent to their homes, many of them to starve.


said, he regretted the difficulties experienced by his hon. Friend the Member for Canterbury (Mr. H. B. Johnstone), but if his hon. Friend's business related to military matters he should have gone to the Commander in Chief, while if his business had reference to departmental business he should have sought the Minister for War. He (Sir Frederick Smith) thought that the existing arrangement of a Commander in Chief and a War Minister was working well and that the imperfections that were to be found in the details of the departments would disappear as the existing system developed itself. The Commander in Chief regulated all matters relating to dicipline, and they had in Parliament a Minister responsible for all the departments, including that of finance, and who brought forward the Estimates. He was somewhat surprised to hear his right hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman) speak of the bad administration of the army; for surely there were no complaints that the management and the discipline of the army were not what they ought to be. He could not understand what was the object of the hon. and gallant Member for Bodmin (Captain Vivian). Did he wish to place the whole army under the Minister of War or under the Commander in Chief? In the naval department there were four or five officers who seemed to work harmoniously together in a Board, but the duties to be performed differed materially from those which devolved upon the heads of the army. He (Sir Frederick Smith) considered that the changes recently made were substantial and good changes, and that it was desirable that time should be allowed for them to operate, while he had no doubt that any slight defects which might still exist would soon be remedied. He believed that the affairs of the country, so far as the army was concerned, were under both the late and present Secretaries for War in very safe hands, and he would therefore vote against the Motion.


said, it was a matter of great difficulty for independent Members to make up their minds how they ought to vote upon incidental Motions brought forward on Tuesday nights, but he thought the best course to pursue with regard to administrative questions such as that now under discussion was not to support a Motion if they did not feel confident that were they in office they could at once carry it into effect. He bad heard with very great pleasure the able speech of his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Bodmin (Captain Vivian), but it appeared to him that the speech was directed to one object and the Motion to another. The hon. and gallant Member spoke of an alteration by which the different military departments might be consolidated, and which in his opinion would materially increase their efficiency. He (Mr. S. Herbert) had stated in a memorandum, which had been published, the views he entertained on the subject, and he still adhered to those opinions. There was some time ago a great cry for "consolidation;" indeed many people seemed to be consolidation-mad; but his own opinion was that if such consolidation had existed before the commencement of the Crimean war there would have been a loud cry for division of labour. He did not think the disasters in the Crimea were attributable to any deficiencies in the military Departments, but the want of efficient men to work them. Good men were more important than any system, while military operations on a large scale could only be successfully conducted by men of great ability and experience, and if after half a century's peace, war should break out, men whose only experience had been gained during a period of peace would under the control of consolidated departments be as unsuccessful as they had been under the system in existence at the time of the Crimean war. Let them look at the ques- tion as it was propounded in the Resolution. It was then asserted that there was at present a divided responsibility. For his own part, he thought there was too much consolidation, but it appeared that the responsibility was complete. The Secretary of State was responsible for everything done by the Commander is Chief; the Commander in Chief was, in fact, his subordinate officer. He (Mr. Sidney Herbert) was not making this assertion without book. When Viscount Hardinge was examined before the Sebastopol Committee he said, "The Secretary of State's authority is supreme; he over-rides me in every respect." When he (Mr. Sidney Herbert) held an office very inferior in authority to that of the Secretary of State for War,—when the difficulties of divided responsibility were much more acutely felt,—when the Secretary at War had for time out of mind been at issue with the Commander in Chief, and when he (Mr. Sidney Herbert) had occasional differences with the Commander in Chief for the time being, although not in the position of Secretary of State, but holding the purse strings, he generally succeeded in carrying his point. In one instance, when a somewhat serious difference occurred between himself and viscount Hardinge, he (Mr. Herbert) was obliged to yield; and why? Because Viscount Hardinge brought to bear against him a direct order of the Secretary of State, of the existence of which he had not been aware, and he was obliged to succumb. But now there was occasion for no arbiter, the Secretary at War was now likewise the Secretary of State; he was himself the supreme authority and his word was law. It had been proposed to render his responsibility still more distinct by abolishing the office of Commander in Chief, and substituting a chief of the staff, who should discharge for the Secretary of State the duties now performed by the Commander in Chief. He (Mr. Sidney Herbert) thought, however, it would be revolting to popular instincts that a civilian (for it was a mere accident that the present Secretary of State was a military man) should govern the Army and have the control of arrangements affecting its discipline. In what respect was the authority of the Secretary of State over the Commander in Chief incomplete? It had been said that the patronage of the army was not in the hands of the Secretary of State; but what was that patronage? Why, officers in the army pro- moted themselves; the senior officer bought out the man above him, and the Commander in Chief had nothing to do with the matter. He merely registered the fact, and—unless there was any marked unfitness in the case of the Purchaser—he gave a formal assent to the transaction. Then, what was the case with regard to first Commissions? The present Commander in Chief had given up the first commissions entirely for public competition through Sandhurst. He (Mr. Sidney Herbert) would express no opinion as to whether that was a wise arrangement or not, but he thought it was very doubtful, because, although competition might be a very good thing after education, competition before education seemed to him indefensible by any logical reason. The patronage of the Commander in Chief was therefore nil; and it might be safely given to the Secretary of State, for there was nothing to give. As to appointments of a higher description—those upon the staffs and appointments of Generals to colonial and other military commands—they had never been made without the previous sanction of the Secretary of State, who possessed a check which enabled him, even with regard to the smallest promotions, if the regulations had been evaded, or if there were financial reasons for declining to sanction them, to stop them at the very last moment, because the names were always sent to the Secretary of State to be inserted in The Gezette, and without his sanction they could not be gazetted. He thought, therefore, the responsibility of the Secretary of State was complete. He must say it was an awkward responsibility, for the Secretary of State was sometimes obliged to answer questions about matters of which he knew little, and to defend acts of which he had not complete cognizance; but what Minister of the Crown was not hi the same position? Take the case of the Colonial Minister. He might question and rebuke acts of his subordinates who were scattered over the world; but, unless their conduct had been so flagrant that he deemed it his duty to recall them, or publicly to reprimand them, he supported the officers who were responsible to his department. He (Mr. Sidney Herbert) concurred in the opinion of his gallant Friend with regard to the manner in which the War Department had been consolidated. He thought the mistake had been in consolidating it so much, and that its authority should have been extended to the Ordnance without abolishing the office of Master General. In abolishing the office of Master General, and continuing that of Commander in Chief, they had abolished an office which was infinitely more important than that which was retained. The department of the Commander in Chief dealt mainly with the personnel of the army, and consisted principally of routine, but the Master General of the Ordnance had under his control the manufacturing department of the army—the preparation of arms, stores, accoutrements, fortifications, defences; and the duties of his office were far more difficult and responsible, and required certainly much higher qualifications than were necessary in the case of the Commander in Chief. The office was also a great prize, which, he thought ought, in fairness, to have been available to the army, and he confessed he had seen its abolition with regret. Formerly the Secretary of State had two military advisers—the Commander in Chief and the Master General of the Ordnance. They had now as Commander in Chief a Prince of the Royal Family, a very gallant soldier, a very upright man, and one who deserved high credit for the manner in which he discharged the duties of his office. It had been considered by the late Duke of Wellington, who, it was said, exaggerated very much in his own mind the unpopularity of the army, that it was requisite that a man of great renown, like himself, or some person of illustrious birth, should occupy the office of Commander in Chief to preserve the army against democratic attacks. There was no fear of such attacks now, for he believed that the army in all its branches was thoroughly popular. By the abolition of the office of Master General of the Ordnance, the Secretary of State had been deprived of one important source of military advice. The Secretary of State was now a check, and a most powerful check, upon the Commander in Chief; but with regard to the Ordnance he was the only check upon himself, and they had, therefore, lost the advantage of an extraneous check on that department. He thought the better course would have been to place all the personnel of the Ordnance under the Commander in Chief, leaving the matériel under the control of the Master General, and he believed public business would have been greatly facilitated by the existence of two such departments. He knew that complaints were made of the cumbrous sys- tem now existing at the Horse Guards, and it was said that it now took three times longer to answer a letter than under the old system. Many of the duties formerly performed by the Master General were now discharged by clerks, and questions were answered and decisions were given by persons to whose opinions on such subjects military men had not been led to attach any weight. With regard to the Motion itself, he must say he did not think there was now a division of responsibility. He believed the Commander in Chief was thoroughly subordinate to the Secretary of State, and that the Secretary of State was thoroughly responsible for every act of the Commander in Chief. He could not, therefore, vote for the Motion, because it seemed to him to contain statements incompatible with the facts.


said, he should have no objection to the Motion if the Minister for War could be, as was invariably the case on the Continent, a military person, and not liable to be changed with every change of Government. But if the head of the army was to he a civilian—a Member of the Cabinet, and going out of office with every change of the Cabinet—he was sure it would end in the total break-down of our military system. He would vote against the Motion, because he was opposed to the very possibility of what might be called a Parliamentary Army; for that he felt assured would prove the destruction not of our army only, but of the honour and glory of the country.


said, that there were two views of the question, one theoretical and the other practical. No doubt that, theoretically, one undivided responsibility was what was wanted by the public in all the institutions of the country, more particularly in reference to matters of finance, and therefore, according to theory, the whole of the army should come under one undivided responsibility. As, however, the management of the finance would never be given up to the executive of the army, what, in a practical point of view, was the alternative that presented itself? Why, that the army must he placed either under a civilian inexperienced in military matters, or under a Board, similar to the Board of Admiralty, and he thought that, in either case, the change would be disadvantageous. Would it not lower the position of the Commander in Chief, and make him less looked up to by the rest of the army, if his decisions on matters of military detail were overruled by a civil authority? Neither did he think that the desired responsibility would be attained by the formation of a Board for the government of the army, and he asked whether, under the present Board of Admiralty, many things did not happen in the navy with respect to which it was difficult to fix the individual responsibility? Therefore, he desired to see the army remain under the Commander in Chief, though he agreed with his hon. and gallant Friend (Captain Vivian) in thinking it desirable that the responsibility should be more defined, if not in words, at all events in practice. He conceived that to the Commander in Chief should specially be given the command of the army and the control of its discipline, and that it would be a farce to hold the Secretary for War, a civilian, having many other things to attend to, responsible for the details of the army. Let there be an understanding, either tacit or expressed, that the Commander in Chief should be responsible for all those details which naturally fell within his office, and the Secretary for War responsible for the finance of the army; but to put the Commander in Chief under a civilian would entirely do away with that cordial feeling which enabled two men to act harmoniously together more effectually than any regulation that could be adopted. Though nominally the theory of the hon. and gallant Officer who made the Motion was very good, and though the House of Commons would greatly wish to bring everything under its own ken and control, yet he thought that to bring the office of Commander in Chief and the patronage and rewards of the army into discussion in that House would be a proceeding injurious in its effects, not only to the army, but also to the House itself. To the second part of the Resolution he could not agree, because it would give rise to many evils, and bring within the scope of mere party discussions what had much better be kept beyond their range.


said, that though he fully agreed with those who had paid high compliments to his hon. and gallant Friend for the very able and dispassionate manner in which he had handled this important subject, he could not concur in the Resolution which he had proposed. Those who argued in its favour had had objects which appeared to him to be, to some extent, incompatible with each other. His right hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman) for instance, argued very strongly in the early part of his speech for a more accurate definition of the duties of the Commander in Chief and of the Secretary for War; but at the conclusion of his observations he urged the union of these two offices, and therefore the abolition of any distinction between the duties of the two officers. A great deal had been said with respect to the complications of our system, the subdivision of offices, and the breakdown which in the earlier part of the Crimean war resulted therefrom; and they were told that the same thing would occur again whenever war broke out, and therefore it was necessary to make the change which was now proposed. That argument was like saying to a man, "Four or five years ago you had a very ill-put-together carriage, and it broke down with you; since then it has been repaired and rebuilt, and therefore it will break down the moment you attempt to make another journey in it." Hon. Gentlemen forgot that the system which produced the destitution and the other evils which afflicted the army in the early part of the Crimean war was abolished in 1855, and that the result of the consolidation of the departments which then took place was, that when the army came under the command of his hon. and gallant Friend who had just addressed the House (General Codrington) it was, as regarded all that concerned its well-being and good condition in the field, a model army. Therefore hon. Members ought to dismiss from their minds all the arguments which had been founded upon the mischances which resulted from the former subdivision of offices, and to look only to those military arrangements which now existed. It was quite true that formerly we had the Commander in Chief, who controlled the discipline of the Line; the Master General of the Ordnance, who was charged with that of the Artillery and Engineers; the Secretary at War, who was at the head of the accountant branch of the army; the Secretary of State for the Colonies, who was also Secretary of State for all the great arrangements of war; the Treasury, which controlled the Commissariat and the Ordnance, which had an office of account separate from that of the Secretary at War. The Secretary at War was frequently not a Member of the Cabinet: there were, therefore, a multitude of authorities, and it was not at all surpris- ing that among them there should be conflicting opinions, independent action, and confusion. In the year 1855 we put the whole discipline of the army, including the Engineers and Artillery, under one head, the Commander in Chief; the office of Secretary of State for War was separated from that of Secretary for the Colonies; that of the Secretary at War was merged in the office of Secretary of State for War, who had transferred to him the Commissariat and the entire management of the militia, and acquired the superintendence of all the civil departments connected with the supply of the army. As matters now stood, as the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Secretary for War had shown by reading his patent, everything that related to the civil service of the army, to supplies of all kinds, whether of stores or other matériel, was under the control of the Secretary of State for War; while the Commander in Chief had the sole arrangement of the discipline of every branch of the military service. If there was to be any division—if we were not, like continental nations, to have a Minister for War who should be paramount over everything, he could conceive none which would be more proper and more advantageous than this. It had been urged against the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Secretary of State for War that last year, when out of office, he advocated the drawing of a more accurate line of distinction between the offices of the Secretary of State for War and the Commander in Chief, but that now that he was in office and knew practically what that line was, he was satisfied that it was sufficient. This was no proof of inconsistency on the part of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman; it only showed that, being now more intimately acquainted with the real state of things, be found that it was somewhat different from what he imagined it to be when he only looked at it from without. If, however, any evils of detail, such as that affecting engineers to which his hon. and gallant Friend had referred, arose from the operation of the present line of distinction, he had no doubt that those who were at the heads of departments would find no great difficulty in remedying them, and that they would feel it to be their duty to do so. On all these grounds, therefore, it appeared to him that, generally speaking, the line of division between the functions of the Secretary of State and the Commander in Chief was now sufficiently established. Then came the main question as to whether you should merge the two offices and place them under one chief. What had been stated in the course of the debate showed that that could not be done consistently with a due regard to the public interests. Every military man would tell you that you could not place a civilian at the head of the discipline of the army. The army would not pay respect to a civilian as Commander in Chief; they would not value his praise, they would not care for his censure. They would say, "He is a civilian, and knows nothing of these things; we know much better than he does whether we deserve praise or Censure." The spirit of the army would be destroyed, and the emulation to obtain the approval of the superior which now exists would cease. Then, again, a civilian would change with the changes of Government; there would be no permanence, no unity of system; one Secretary of State would undo what another had done, the army would be in a state of perpetual change, and thus great inconvenience and great detriment to the military service would be caused. "Oh! but then," it was said, "you could have a military man in this office." If you did, he would change with the Government, and there would be all those evils of instability to which he had already referred. Further than this, he must observe, without intending any disparagement to military men, that their habits and employments generally withdrew them from public life, and that it might not be easy for a Government to find a military man who should combine with high military qualities and long standing in his profession that general knowledge of public affairs which would make him a useful Member of the Cabinet. It therefore seemed to him to be essentially for the interests of the service that you should not have one man to be what in foreign Governments was called the Minister of War, who combines in his own person the control of the civil departments of the army and also of the military discipline and patronage. It was then said we might have a Board; a Secretary of State changing with successive Governments, but who should have under him as subordinate members of a Board, the Commander in Chief, the Master General of the Ordnance, and so forth. He was not one of those who thought a Board a very good instrument of administration. It had undoubtedly answered in the navy, and although his hon. and gallant Friend might wish for its abolition in that case, he certainly did not. Nevertheless, he did not think that as a rule a Board was a good instrument of administration, and certainly if the Commander in Chief was to be only the subordinate officer of a Board presided over by a civilian—if he were to be reduced to the condition of a Lord of the Admiralty, he did not think that the army would feel for him that respect which it was essential that the person who was at the head of the discipline and patronage of the army should command. The conclusion to which he came, therefore, was that the present arrangement was in principle the one which it was most desirable to maintain. Hon. Gentlemen spoke of the Commander in Chief as an irresponsible officer. He was irresponsible in so far as he was not represented by any person in that House, but he (Viscount Palmerston) could not constitutionally admit that any person who gave advice to the Crown upon the public service was an irresponsible officer. The truth was, that the Cabinet—the Ministry of the day—were the parties who were responsible for everything that was done in any department of the State, and though they might not and ought not to interfere in the daily and ordinary administration of the office of the Commander in Chief, yet on any material points affecting the interests of the army there would always be previous communication between the Commander in Chief and the responsible advisers of the Crown, and in case of difference their opinion, if deliberately, fully, and firmly expressed, was sure to prevail. It was true that House ought to have a control and superintendence over every department of the State; but the functions of the House were those of control, not of administration, and if there was one department of the public service more than another in regard to which it would be prejudicial for the House of Commons to take upon itself the administration of affairs, that department was the army; for, if the officers of the army had to look to friends and supporters in that House to have their interests promoted, their advancement accelerated, and their faults and errors screened, the army would cease to be that efficient body that they were proud to know it was, and would fail into a state of anarchy and confusion, by which the public interest could not fail to suffer. The result of these views was, that he could not agree to the Motion of his hon. and gallant Friend. He thought the union which he proposed of the offices of the Commander in Chief and the Secretary for War would be a union incompatible with the interests and efficiency of the army, and that it would be better to maintain, as at present, a division between the two—having a Secretary for War directly responsible for the administration of the civil branches of the service, and a Commander in Chief who was also responsible—for he could not admit that he was not—for his administration of its discipline and patronage.


in reply said, the Secretary for War, the right hon. the Member for North Wilts (Mr. S. Herbert), and the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton (Viscount Palmerston), had altogether misinterpreted his intention in introducing this Motion. They held that he was desirous to place the Commander in Chief in a very inferior position to that which he now held, and to bring the control and patronage of the army under the House of Commons. Now, he had carefully guarded himself in the remarks which he made on these points. He stated that it was not his intention to trench on the authority of the Commander in Chief as regarded the control and discipline of the army, and that he had no desire to bring the patronage of the army under Parliamentary influence. He simply wished that the Commander in Chief should be placed before the public in the position which the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. S. Herbert) said he now held, and, if in reality he did not hold that position, then it was for the House to say whether he should or should not. He hoped the House would gave its sanction to the Motion which he had thought it his duty to bring forward.

Question put,— That although the recent consolidation of the different Departments of Ordnance, Commissariat, and Secretary at War, has to a certain extent improved the general administration of Military Affairs, a divided responsibility still exists; and that, in order to promote greater efficiency, the Departments of the Horse Guards and War Office should be placed under the control of one responsible Minister.

The House divided:—Ayes, 106; Noes, 101; Majority, 2.

List of the AYES.
Agnew, Sir A. Anderson, Sir J.
Akroyd, E. Ayrton, A. S.
Alcock, T. Bagshaw, R. J.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. Kershaw, J.
Barnard, T. Kinglake, A. W.
Bass, M. T. Kinglake, J. A.
Baxter, W. E. Kingscote, R. N. F.
Beale, S. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Biggs, J. Langton, H. G.
Black, A. Lindsay, W. S.
Bland, L. H. Mackie, J.
Brady, J. Mackinnon, W. A.
Bright, J. Marshall, W.
Browne, Lord J. T. Martin, J.
Butt, I. Mellor, J.
Caird, J. Morris, D.
Calcutt, F. M. Napier, Sir C.
Campbell, R. J. R. Paxton, Sir J.
Collier, R. P. Philips, R. N.
Coningham, W. Pigott, F.
Conyngham, Lord F. Ramsden, Sir J. W.
Cox, W. Ramsay, Sir A.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Rawlinson, Sir H. C.
Crossley, F. Roebuck, J. A.
Dalglish, R. Roupell, W.
Dashwood, Sir G. H. Russell, Lord J.
Davey, R. Russell, H.
Denison, hon. W. H. F. Russell, A.
Dent, J. D. Salisbury, E. G.
Dillwyn, L. L. Schneider, H. W.
Duff, M. E. G. Smith, J. A.
Duke, Sir J. Smith, J. B.
Elmley, Visct. Thompson, Gen.
Evans, T. W. Thornely, T.
Ewart, W. Thornhill, W. P.
Ewart, J. C. Tite, W.
Ewing, H. E. C. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
FitzGerald, rt. hon. J. D. Trelawny, Sir J. S.
Forster, C. Trueman, C.
Fox, W. J. Turner, J. A.
French, Col. Waldron, L.
Glyn, G. G. Weguelin, T. M.
Greene, J. Westhead, J. P. B.
Gregory, W. H. Whatman, J.
Gregson, S. White, J.
Grenfell, C. W. Willcox, B. M'Ghie.
Griffith, C. D. Williams, W.
Hadfield, G. Wise, J. A.
Harris, J. D. Woodd, W.
Hay, Lord J. Wyld, J.
Headlam, T. E. Young, A. W.
Heneage, G. F. TELLERS.
Horsman, rt. hon. E. Vivian, J. C. W.
Jackson, W. Goderich, Visct.
Johnstone, hon. H. B.
List of the NOES.
Adams, W. H. Buller, J. W.
Adderley, rt. hn. C. B. Cartwright, Col.
Alexander, J. Child, S.
Bailey, C. Close, M. C.
Baillie, H. J. Cobbett, J. M.
Ball, E. Codrington, Gen.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T. Cole, hon. H. A.
Bernard, T. T. Colebrook, Sir T. E.
Bernard, hon. Col. Collins, T.
Beecroft, G. S. Corry, rt. hon. H. L.
Bennet, P. Cubitt, Mr. Alderman
Bentinck, G. W. P. Disraeli, right hon. B.
Beresford, rt. hon. W. Edwards, H.
Blake, J. Elphinstone, Sir J.
Booth, Sir R. G. Elton, Sir A. H.
Botfield, B. Ferguson, Sir R.
Briscoe, J. I. FitzGerald, W. R. S.
Brocklehurst, J. Fordo, Col.
Buchanan, W. Gard, R. S.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.
Greaves, E. Palmerston, Visct.
Gray, Capt. Paull, H.
Grogan, E. Peel, rt. hon. Gen.
Gurney, J. H. Power, N.
Haddo, Lord Pugh, D.
Hamilton, Lord C. Pugh, D.
Hamilton, G. A. Puller, C. W.
Hardy, G. Rolt, J.
Hassard, M. Rust, J.
Hayter, rt. hn. Sir W. G. Scott, Major
Henley, rt. hon. J. W. Seymour, H. K.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Smith, Sir F.
Hill, hon. R. C. Spaight, J.
Hodgson, W. N. Spooner, R.
Hornby, W. H. Stapleton, J.
Hotham, Lord Stephenson, R.
Jervoise, Sir J. C. Steuart, A.
Knatchbull-Hugessen, E Sullivan, M.
Knight, F. W. Tancred, H. W.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Tempest, Lord A. V.
Lygon, hon. F. Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.
M'Clintock, J. Verney, Sir H.
Mainwaring, T. Waddington, H. S.
Malins, R. Walcott, Admiral
Manners, Lord J. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Miller, T. J. Warren, S.
Miller, S. B. Wickham, H. W.
Mowbray, rt. hon J. R. Wilson, J.
Naas, Lord Woodd, B. T.
Newport, Visct. Wynne, W. W. E.
Nisbet, R. P. TELLERS.
North, Col. Jolliffe, Sir W.
Ogilvy, Sir J. Taylor, Col.
Packe, C. W.