HC Deb 14 March 1859 vol 153 cc164-6

Order for Committee read.


, who had given notice of a Motion condemnatory of the practice of billeting in Scotland, said, that after the changes in that system which had been made by the gallant General the Secretary of State for War, and especially after the increase of the rate of remuneration which had to a great extent remedied the evils which were complained of, he should not move his Re- solution. At the same time he must urge upon the gallant General the propriety of diminishing this practice as much as possible, and, if might be, abolishing it altogether.


said, that in reply to what had fallen from the hon. Gentleman, he had great pleasure in announcing that it was the intention of the Government to raise the allowance from 1½d. to 4d. a day. But that alteration did not extend to innkeepers who had to find provisions for troops on the march. In addition to the former proposal, it was intended to make a further allowance of 2½d. a clay to them; thus increasing the present rate from 10d. to 12½d. The attention of the Government had been anxiously directed to the suggestions of the Billeting Committee of last year. There were several grounds of objection brought forward by the Committee. Amongst them was an objection to the arrangement by which the militia were billeted. But the fact was, that in all instances in which the militia had been called out of late years, they had been quartered in barracks, and had not been billeted. It had also been observed that some districts suffered more severely than others from the system of billets. He was happy to say that he had received intimations from several towns from which the greatest complaints had proceeded, such as London, Liverpool, York, &c, and he had been informed that the innkeepers would be perfectly satisfied with the proposed changes, and that persons were to be found who would be not unwilling to provide quarters for the troops at the increased rate. He hoped the House would allow the Bill to pass this year to see how the proposed changes would work.


said, he was glad of an opportunity of testifying to the extreme courtesy and kindness of the right hon. Gentleman in listening to the complaints that had been made upon this subject, and to the conciliatory spirit in which he met the objections which had been made to the present system.


said, he could corroborate the remarks of the hon. Member who had just spoken. In his opinion the proposals of the gallant General were perfectly just and fair.


said, that having called the attention of the House to this subject about two years ago, he also wished to express the gratitude felt by those persons who had been aggrieved by the old system.


said, he wished to ask whether or not the recruits raised in Sunderland, Shields, and other towns of Yorkshire, would be removable at once to barracks in York.


said, he thought it would not be practicable to remove recruits immediately to the barracks at York.

House in Committee.


asked whether the practice of giving money to soldiers to buy them out, as it was called, whereby a separate bargain was made with the innkeeper was to be continued?


said, that with every desire to adopt the proposal that the payment should be made by the billet-master, it had been found necessary to postpone any alteration in that respect till it had been seen how the new system would work.

Clauses agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported, without Amendment.