§ MR. MAGUIRE
said, I am most anxious, Mr. Massey, to spare the time of the House as much as possible, and personally to avoid making an undue trespass upon its attention; but I feel convinced that it will be felt that I have good and substantial reasons for bringing forward the subject of which I have given notice. It is one which involves a great principle, affecting the feeling and interests of all classes of the people of Ireland. We have been promised that sometime in July we shall have the Return of the Census for 71 Ireland; but until that document is placed on the table, and that it exhibits to the contrary of what I believe to be the case, I am justified in asserting, on the authority of the last census in which the different religious denominations were set forth, that Ireland is still a Catholic country—that four-fifths, or, at the very least, three-fourths of the population are of the Catholic faith. The army of the United Kingdom is largely recruited from Ireland; and in the numbers supplied by Ireland, as her contribution to the army, it will be found that they fairly represent the religious belief of her people. Thus, that at least three-fourths are Catholic, while but one-fourth are Protestant or Presbyterian—that, in fact, in the ranks of the Irish soldiers the same preponderance of Catholics over Protestants prevails as among the civil population. Now it certainly ought to be the policy of the Government to conciliate the people from whom they draw so large a proportion of their military resources in the hour of emergency; and I need scarcely say, in the presence of several gallant Officers, that which they well know, and could bear willing testimony to, that the Irish soldier has ever been found foremost in the post of danger, and in the hottest of the fight, in all those great battles which have enhanced the glory of this country. Those who themselves have breasted the tide of battle can bear testimony to the fidelity and valour of the Irish soldier. Now, the Royal Hibernian Military School, in Dublin, was established for the education and protection of the orphans of Irish soldiers. From a Return for which I moved early in this Session, I find that on the 26th of February, 1861, the number of boys in this school was 410. Were one to judge by the number of Catholic Irishmen, when compared to Protestant Irishmen, in the army, one would naturally suppose that the proportion of Catholic and Protestant boys in this school would nearly represent the proportion of Catholic and Protestant soldiers. But what will be thought when I state, on the authority of the Return I hold in my hand, that the number of Protestant boys was, at the date I mention, 278, while the number of Catholic boys was only 132? Thus, the relative proportions within the school were then, and are now, exactly the reverse of those which existed outside of it. And this proportion seems to have been strictly maintained; so that while 72 there were, at the very least, three, or say two, Catholic soldiers for every one Protestant soldier in the army, there were in this school two Protestant orphans of Protestant soldiers for every one Catholic orphan of a Catholic soldier. How is this anomalous state of things to be explained? How does it act? When the poor widow of some Catholic soldier, who had died in defence of the honour and interests of this country, applies to have her orphan child admitted to this school—this school established for the education, care, and succour of the orphans of those who have given their life and blood for the glory of this empire—she is told there are no vacancies for Catholic boys, although there are, or might be, vacancies for Protestant boys. Poverty, necessity, and desperation are sad tempters, and the unfortunate Catholic mother has been induced to sacrifice her strong religious feelings, and consent to have her orphan child entered as a Protestant, because there were no other means of securing his admission. But suppose no case of this kind had ever occurred, such a temptation ought not to be held out. But let us see in what manner the staff of this establishment is constituted to which is confided the education of 132 Catholic boys. The entire number of persons holding offices or employments of all kinds, from the highest to the lowest grade, is 69; and while every one holding a post of any rank, authority, or influence, is a Protestant, none but the situations of the most subordinate and even menial kind are given to Roman Catholics. Out of the sixty-nine officials in this list but nine are Catholics. Let us see what offices these nine Catholics hold. The first is the "Officiating Catholic clergyman," a non-resident, and who only visits the institution. Then there is an assistant-sergeant; then a sergeant-gardener; then an assistant-shoemaker; then an assistant-tailor; then a hospital servant; then a woman in charge of the schoolrooms; then a ploughman; and lastly, a farm labourer. But, on the other hand, all those in command, all the masters and teachers, all who have authority or who possess influence, are Protestants. I ask, is this fair and equitable, and whether there is still to be a ban placed upon Catholics in a Catholic country? A Catholic soldier surely has as good a right as a Protestant soldier has to have his orphan child educated and taken care of by the State, as well as protected from the base and insidious arts of the 73 proselytiser. Not only is the state of things in this institution bad of itself, as I shall show, but it works evil in other ways. This system produces the most pernicious fruits, through its influence and example. The Government seems to sanction a proselytising school—a school, at least, in which all the influences tend in that direction; and why, therefore, should not schools supported by private resources adopt the same? Thus, from this Government institution flows a poisoned stream which is conducted through the country in a hundred different channels, disseminating a noxious influence, fatal to Christian concord, and keeping alive those evil passions which, as an Irishman, I wish from my heart were banished from my country. Now as to its immediate results. I find, by a Return laid before this House, and ordered on the 10th of May, 1854, that in the preceding four years no fewer than seventeen boys had changed their religion, and become Protestants; and, in addition to this fact, I state that in the month of February, 1858, as many as five Catholic boys declared their intention of becoming Protestants. Two of these boys were under fourteen years of age. Now, I can easily understand how it is that a man changes his religion, and adopts a different faith; but how a boy, a mere child, so situated could do so, except under the influence of his superiors, I cannot well conceive. But I freely admit that a Catholic boy of this tender age must be singularly precocious, or wonderfully strong in his faith, if he resisted the Protestant influences of such an institution. In this school the teachers are Protestant, the books are Protestant, the very atmosphere is Protestant ["Oh, oh!"]—yes, the very air they breath is Protestant, and every influence that is brought to bear upon these helpless and unprotected boys is antagonistic to their faith. I, of course, prefer that these boys should grow up and remain Catholics; but it would be better that they should grow up good Protestants than bad Catholics—that they should have some faith than no faith at all. And is not the system adopted just that which has a tendency to make them infidels?—which, in my mind, is the most fatal as well as degrading condition to which the human being can fall. The Catholic clergymen tells them that their religion is the true religion; but their Protestant school-books and their Protestant teachers are 74 constantly telling them the contrary. All that is respectable, that is to be admired, that is to be emulated, is Protestant; whereas all that is Catholic is low, and to be despised. What can the Catholic priest do against fifteen Protestant teachers, and against the moral influence of this intensely Protestant institution? The principal books used in the school are the same books which have been condemned by the Catholic Bishops of Ireland, and these are taught to Catholic boys by Protestant teachers. Is it too much to ask that these 132 boys should have fair play—that they should be allowed to grow up strong and secure in their faith—that which would one day be their solace and support and their best protection in the hour of trial and temptation? I contend that they should have Catholic teachers, and that, in a word, fair play should be given to those Catholic boys. Above all, their faith should be protected, which is not the case at present. I said that the whole atmosphere of the place is Protestant; and this statement cannot be better illustrated than by reference to the case which the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of Ireland told me the other night, in answer to my question, was under investigation—I mean that of an orderly-sergeant named Harrison, who being very ill, and feeling himself on his death-bed expressed a wish, through his wife, to see the Catholic clergyman. The Catholic clergyman would not visit the sick man without the sanction of the authorities, but that sanction was refused to him. He proposed that the Protestant clergyman, with himself, and some one in authority should visit the sick man, and that he should be asked which of the two clergymen he desired to see; but this fair proposal was rejected. The wife became more pressing and urgent in her application that her husband might be allowed to see the Catholic clergyman in his dying moments; but the resident authorities would not consent to the admission of the priest. At length, after travelling for hours about Dublin, the priest finally procured an order from the General commanding the district, to be admitted. Armed with this order he again went to the institution. He presented the order, which was taken to the resident officer in command; but the priest was left at the door for an hour and twenty minutes, and in the meantime, or rather ten minutes before the priest was admitted, the poor 75 man died, no clergyman, Protestant or Catholic, having been present while he breathed his last. [Cries of "Hear, hear!"] This, then, is the institution in which 132 Catholic boys are educated at the expense of the State—and this the institution in which the religious faith of the orphan children of Catholic soldiers is so carefully protected. I do respectfully solicit the noble Lord at the head of the Government, and the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland, to look into this case, and to see that, for the future at least, these Catholic boys are properly attended to. An expression of honest opinion on their part would have a most useful influence on the school; and it was with the intention of bringing the matter fully before their notice, as well as to the attention of the House, that I brought forward the subject—which, I trust, I have dealt with in a fair spirit. The hon. Gentleman concluded by asking for explanations with respect to the constitution and character of the staff of the establishment referred to, "having relation to the religious faith of the boys educated therein."
§ MR. VANCE
said, he wished to say a very few words on the subject, although he had had no opportunity of referring to the authorities of the Hibernian School. The Government had the means of doing so, and, no doubt, the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland would be enabled to give an ample answer to the hon. Member. The question, he believed, had been brought forward in consequence of a pastoral of Dr. Cullen, and the return to which it led ought never to have been granted. The whole affair was part and parcel of that system of Roman Catholic aggression which was going on in Ireland, and which he feared was too much sanctioned by the Government. This Return was the first that had ever been granted in such a form—giving the religious persuasion of the officers and inmates of schools and hospitals in Ireland. It had been placed on the paper when the Earl of Derby was in power, but was refused in accordance with immemorial usage. If Returns of this kind were allowed it would be most unjust, according to the argument of the hon. Gentleman, to allow the majority of the heads of any establishment to be of one religion while those inferior to them were of another. He might call for a Return of the Bar of Ireland and the Judges of Ireland with reference 76 to their religion, and it might be found that of the Bar three-fourths were Protestant, and of the Judges eight out of the twelve were Roman Catholic. Such Returns would be extremely invidious. This particular school was founded in the time of the Irish Parliament. It was an exclusively Protestant institution. In 1841 no Roman Catholics, either as teachers or boys, were allowed. That rule was then relaxed, and very properly; but it was relaxed with considerable difficulty, because there were very large bequests made for exclusively Protestant purposes. He did not think there was much reason to complain when in the interval which had elapsed they found there were 132 Roman Catholic boys to 278 Protestants. He also understood, from a friend who knew a great deal about the school, that all the Roman Catholic boys attended service in Chapel Izod up till 1851, and after that a Roman Catholic chaplain, at a salary of £80 a year, was appointed. He believed that no attempt at proselytism had ever been sanctioned, and the military officers at the head of the establishment were not at all likely to lend themselves to such proceedings, as it was well known that of all men military officers were most free from religious prejudice or sectarianism.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, it was necessary, in the first instance, to explain that Her Majesty's Government had no power whatever over the Hibernian Military School, which was governed by Commissioners appointed under a Royal Charter. He felt bound to say, however, that in a school where there was so large a proportion of Catholic boys, it was a remarkable fact that the main part of the officials should be Protestant, and he thought the Commissioners would exercise a wise discretion if they were to give a certain number of the appointments to Roman Catholics, provided they could find suitable persons. But, as the religious instruction was entirely conducted by chaplains of the respective denominations, it was difficult to see how the purely secular education imparted in the school could have any injurious effect. The Charter of 1846 contained precautions against interference of any kind with the religious opinions of the pupils. The statements of the hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Maguire) were in the substance the same as those contained in the pamphlet published in 1858 by Archbishop Cullen. The case which he had put of widow compelled 77 to sacrifice the religious belief of her child to procure him admission to the school was embodied nearly in the same words in that pamphlet; and Colonel Colomb felt it only due to the character of the school to call on the Archbishop to name the particular instance. On inquiry, it was found that Robert Anderson, the boy alluded to, was the son of a private soldier in the Royal Artillery who was married in the Protestant church of St. Michael's, Limerick, and that the boy himself had been baptized a Protestant. According to the rules of the institution, he was entered in the religion of his father, and the mother, who was a Roman Catholic, not only made no remonstrance, but two of the boy's sisters had previously been in the same school. The sequel of the story was rather remarkable. The mother, who was at service in Dublin, came to the school and asked to be allowed to take the boy out for a day, but from that period he was lost sight of. His sisters, who were Protestants, made strong representations on the subject, knowing that the mother had no means of providing for the boy, to the effect that he had been taken away to be brought up in the Roman Catholic religion. So that, so far from its having been necessary, as represented, for a Roman Catholic child to change his religion to gain admittance to the school, the fact was that a child whose father was a Protestant and who himself had been baptized in that religion was taken away from the school, it was supposed with the object of being reared a Roman Catholic. So far from any proportion being observed in the admission of children of different religions, he had the most distinct assurance that they were admitted entirely according to the claims of their fathers. Those boys were first taken in who had no parents; next, those who had lost their fathers; and then those who had lost their mothers, their fathers being abroad. The small proportion of Roman Catholic children was not much to be wondered at, when two very strong pamphlets against the institution had been written by right rev. gentlemen, the tone of which was anything but encouraging to Roman Catholic soldiers to send their children to the school. Of course, when such numbers of boys were constantly passing through the school, it was impossible that changes of religion should not sometimes occur; but the strongest possible orders had been given against proselytism. The five boys named by the hon. 78 Member for Dungarvan were not only cautioned against the step they were about to take, but were compelled to consult the priest and their own friends and companions. Three were of an age at which they could voluntarily alter their registry; the other two were not entered as Protestants till the priest wrote to say that, in consequence of the scandal which the public declaration of their intentions had given rise to, he could no longer permit them to attend his ministry. The Roman Catholic chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Kelch, appeared to be acting in perfect harmony with the governor of the school; and had any attempt been made at proselytising the children, the person making it could not fail to have been exposed. On the contrary, it appeared from the letter of Mr. Kelch that there was not only the fullest opportunity for instructing the boys in the principles of their religion, but the greatest facilities were also given for all the services of the Church. Judging from all the information he had received, he did not believe that any encouragement was given to the conversion of Roman Catholic children in the school. If such encouragement were given it would be perfectly inexcusable, and deserving of the severest reprobation. He thought it was a pity that more Roman Catholics were not employed in the management of the school; but, with that exception, he was persuaded there was no just ground of complaint. The school was governed with impartiality, and the children sent to it received, and would continue to receive, a good education.
§ MR. LONGFIELD
said, he would not go into the question of proselytising. He believed that what was gained in one way was lost in another, and, except when the minds of men were profoundly agitated, he always had a suspicion of cases of conversion. His object in rising was to repel the charge of illiberality which had been brought against the Hibernian Military School. There was no institution against which such an accusation could be brought with less justice. The Hibernian Military School was founded as an exclusively Protestant institution, for the education of children in the Protestant religion, and yet the trustees had voluntarily extended the benefits of the charity to the children of Roman Catholic parents. They might have retained the charity exclusively for the benefit of the members of their own religion, but they had, in a most liberal 79 spirit, consented to throw it open to Roman Catholics; and the only complaint that could be made against them was that they had kept a portion of the foundation for themselves in a case in which they might have retained the whole. He challenged any hon. Member to show that Roman Catholic trustees of an educational institution had ever practised the same liberality towards Protestants.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, he was astonished at the remarks of the hon. and learned Member who had just sat down. The Hibernian Military School was supported by the State to the extent of £12,000 a year, and it could not be regarded in the light of a private trust. Everybody agreed that children should be brought up in the religion of their parents. Was that principle adopted in the Hibernian Military School? The hon. Under Secretary for War had satisfactorily explained the case of the five children who changed their religion. It must be admitted that everything was done with perfect fairness, but why was the atmosphere of the school such as to induce these young children to change their religion? The reason was that, in an institution where a large number of the children were Roman Catholics, all the superior officers were Protestants. A Roman Catholic soldier could not wish his children to be given up to Protestant schoolmasters and schoolmistresses; and the House could not do better than refuse to vote any more money unless they found that the institution was properly conducted. He begged of the noble Lord at the head of the Government, who took such an interest in the army, to declare that a grievous injustice, which would not be tolerated in the case of Protestants, should not be allowed to exist in that of Roman Catholics.
§ MR. CARDWELL
said, it was quite true that the Hibernian Military School was originally a Protestant institution, and the degrees by which it had become available for the benefit of Roman Catholics had been gradual and recent. But he agreed with his right hon. Friend who had just down that, whatever might have been the origin of the institution, it was now to be regarded as a public establishment maintained for the general benefit of the Queen's Irish subjects serving Her in the field. He believed it to be perfectly true that the institution was an excellent one, in which the children of Roman Catholic, as well as those of Protestant soldiers, received a good education, and in 80 which proselytism was strictly interdicted. Roman Catholics were educated twice a week under the special care of their own chaplain, and provision was made for securing that freedom and liberty of conscience which it was the principle of Parliament to provide for in every institution of the kind. At the same time he must express his cordial concurrence in the wish uttered by his hon. Friend the Under Secretary for War, that when vacancies occurred in the establishment such a selection of officers would be made as would show regard to the feelings of all classes of the community. With regard to the case referred to of a private soldier who was supposed to be a Protestant, but whose wife applied to the Roman Catholic chaplain to attend him in his last moments, and experienced, as it was called, a want of facility and kindness in procuring such attention, he could not say much at present, having only seen the one-sided statement which had been submitted to his noble Friend, and upon which an inquiry was about to be instituted. But it appeared that the very moment Sir George Browne heard that the man was desirous of obtaining the services of the Roman Catholic chaplain, he gave immediate directions that his wishes on the subject should be ascertained and carried into effect; but the man died before a Roman Catholic chaplain could be taken to him. Inquiry would be instituted, and if it should turn out that there had been a want of consideration or kindness on the part of any officer of the establishment, measures would be taken to prevent the recurrence of anything of the kind in future.
asked whether the professor of military hygiene at Chatham was to be selected from the medical department of the army or not? He referred to some papers to show that military medical officers were alive to the necessity of sanitary measures for preserving the health of the troops before the time when attention was called to that subject by medical gentlemen not connected with the army.
§ MR. HENNESSY
said, that he would remind the hon. and learned Member for Mallow (Mr. Longfield), that the Reports of the Charity Commissioners and of the Commissions on Universities showed that enormous Roman Catholic charities had been appropriated to Protestant purposes, and that, too, without the consent of those who might be supposed entitled to a voice 81 in their appropriation. The Hibernian School was an institution for the children of Irish soldiers. The majority of the Irish soldiers were Roman Catholics, but the majority of the children in this school were Protestants. Out of sixty-nine officers of the institution, including all the more important, sixty were Protestants, and only nine were Roman Catholics. He should be glad to receive from the Government an assurance that, as vacancies occurred, a fairer distribution of the patronage would take place.
§ MR. VINCENT SCULLY
said, he would move a reduction of £1,000 from the item for the Hibernian School. He did this in order to prevent any military ruse for diverting attention from this subject. The hon. and learned Member for Mallow (Mr. Longfield) had asked where was there an instance of such liberality on the part of Roman Catholics? He (Mr. Scully) would tell him. There was not a chance of a Roman Catholic being returned for any constituency in England, and yet the Roman Catholics of Ireland returned Protestants to that House, not to defend Roman Catholic interests, but to defend Protestant interests against them. The hon. and learned Member ought to have been the last to tax the Roman Catholics with illiberality: they had returned him an Ultramontane Protestant, if he might use the term—a man who had come down to defend the Derryveagh evictions, as he had done the other night. The hon. and learned Member had an instance of Catholic liberality in his own person. While a third of the children in the institution were Roman Catholics—there ought to be two-thirds—there was not a single officer in it a Roman Catholic. He might illustrate this system of exclusion by an instance taken from the Select Committee of the working of the Irish poor law.
§ MR. MASSEY
said, that the hon. Gentleman was out of order in referring to what had taken place in a Select Committee which had not then made its Report.
§ MR. VINCENT SCULLY
said, that since he was precluded from illustrating his subject he would merely add that it was the fault of the Roman Catholics themselves. Why, when they saw those consequences before them, did they enter the British service at all? They knew if their children ever entered those institutions they would be proselytised. He 82 would move his Amendment, in order to allow hon. Members to express their opinions.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That the item of £13,565 18s. 4d., for the Royal Hibernian Military School, be reduced by the amount of £1,000.
said, that they whole of the discussion appeared to have arisen from the mistake made by Dr. Cullen, in supposing that the school was intended entirely for the children of Irish soldiers. The school was, however, founded for the children of soldiers in Ireland, and when there was a larger proportion of Protestant soldiers in Ireland the number of Protestant children proportionably increased. In the case of the alleged proselytism of the boy Anderson, a board of officers was called together composed of the ten senior officers who were in the garrison of Dublin at the time. The cases of alleged proselytism were two. In 1858 five Roman Catholic boys wished to become Protestants. It was proved that the boys were in the habit of going to see their friends in the city, and that they were converted not within but without the walls of the school. The rule was that boys above fourteen were allowed to change their religion, and as three of these boys were above fourteen, the governor had nothing to say. The other two were not allowed to become Protestants, and were sent to their chaplain. The second case referred to of a Roman Catholic boy being converted was just the reverse, for it was a Protestant boy, who, going out on leave, was met on his road and had never been heard of since. Whether the servants of the college were Protestants or Roman Catholic was not a matter to which the governors looked.
§ MR. WALDRON
said, he confessed he heard the statement made by the hon. and learned Member for Mallow with some surprise. It seemed to him strange that in a Catholic country like Ireland, and in an institution supposed to be mainly intended for the instruction of children belonging to the Catholic faith, that none of the officers should be members of that faith. He would certainly support the Amendment.
§ MR. LONGFIELD
explained that he did not complain of Roman Catholics seeking to get the benefit of the institution. What he said was that there was no institution in Ireland of which it could be said with less justice that it 83 acted illiberally, for it was an essentially Protestant institution, built and endowed up to 1846 by Protestants, when the archbishops and bishops who were trustees voluntarily surrendered their exclusive privileges. As for what had been said about himself personally by the hon. Member for Cork, he would acknowledge his obligations to his Roman Catholic supporters most unhesitatingly; but those Roman Catholics would despise him if, where he thought an unjust accusation was made, he were to yield to any fears of their displeasure, and not stand up and refute it.
§ MR. AUGUSTUS SMITH
observed that last year the item amounted to £12,348, while in the present year the sum asked for was £13,563. He wished to know the reason of the increase?
MR. T. G. BARING
stated that the increase in the Vote was in a great measure owing to the increase in the price of provisions.
§ MR. MAGUIRE
, in reply, said, that he hoped the hon. Member for Cork would withdraw his Amendment, as it was not his (Mr. Maguire's) intention to deprive the institution of one farthing of the sum proposed. He denied what had been implied, if not asserted, that Catholic members were the mere puppets of their clergy, and said that the charge was not only untrue, but specially unfair when they had to condemn or expose a real grievance. It was quite true that Dr. Cullen, whom he unfeignedly respected, had ably exposed the state of the Hibernian School; but was it because a Catholic prelate addressed the Irish public on a matter of grave importance, that, therefore, a Catholic Member should not feel interested in the question, enquire into it, and bring it before Parliament? But when the Secretary for Ireland and the Under Secretary for War endeavoured to show that there was no such rule as that of limiting the number of Catholic children to one-third, he would say that in 1858 the number of Protestant children was 238; that of the Catholic 127. In 1861 the Protestant children were 278; the Catholics 132. As Catholic soldiers had shed their blood as liberally for their Queen and country he could not understand why they had not as good a claim as Protestants. He had been charged by the hon. and gallant Member for Harwich (Captain Jervis) with having brought forward isolated cases. Surely five cases in one month, and seventeen 84 from 1850 to 1854, could not be said to be isolated cases. He relied upon these twenty-two cases as showing that the Protestant spirit of the establishment was prejudicial to the faith of the Catholic boys. Then as to there being no vacancy. There had been a vacancy lately, and a Catholic teacher was promised to him (Mr. Maguire); but, if he was rightly instructed, he was refused by the local authorities. If by next year they should find that substantial justice was not done, they should have to deal rather harshly with this Vote.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
said, he wished to call attention to the salary of the Vice-president of the Council of Military Education, which was £1,000 a year; there were also three members at a salary of £600 a year each, one member whose salary was £485, and a secretary who received a salary of £400 a year. He should like to hear from the hon. Under Secretary for War the nature of the duties which these officers had to perform. He also wished to know what were the duties of schoolmistresses in connection with regiments. The soldiers, no doubt, had daughters, but he did not know that they were educated by schoolmistresses connected with the regiments.
§ COLONEL J. F. D. STUART
explained that there were infant and other schools in all the garrison towns, and even in the camps at Aldershot, Shorncliffe, and elsewhere, and the superintendence of trained schoolmistresses was of great service to the children of the soldiers.
asked why the late circular which in the case of engineer officers dispensed with the necessity of passing through the Staff College at Sandhurst previous to holding Staff appointments should not be extended to artillery officers?
§ SIR FREDERIC SMITH
said, Artillery officers were as competent for employment on the Staff as the Engineers, and by the present system the authorities excluded men eminently qualified to serve as Staff officers. It was a very invidious distinction to keep from them the advantages enjoyed by the engineer officers.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, he cordially concurred in the observation that it was a foolish and unwise course to allow such a distinction to exist.
§ MR. AUGUSTUS SMITH
asked for 85 some explanation as to the number of children who were really being educated in the military schools.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, in 1858 there were 12,000 children in these schools. Since then the number had increased, but there were no very accurate returns. The Council of Military Education had the supervision of the department, and full details as to what had been done during the year would be found in a blue-book lately presented. As to the distinction between the Artillery and Engineer officers, he admitted that the grounds of that distinction were not very clearly defined, and that it was hardly warranted by the previous course of study of those two branches of the service. The attention of his noble Friend the Secretary for War would be called to the subject, but he wished to say that there had not been the least desire on the part of the War Office to draw any invidious distinction or to excite any jealousy between the Artillery and Engineers.
§ SIR FREDERIC SMITH
called attention to the fact that the Governor of Woolwich Academy only received £500 a-year, while the Governor of Sandhurst received, very properly, £1,000 a year. They were both gentlemen of similar capacities and standing, and had duties equally onerous to perform. He did not think it was right such a distinction should be made in salaries. They ought to feel indebted to the Government for proposing Votes for the Engineer establishment at Chatham, as that institution had done much to raise the corps of Royal Engineers to its present state of efficiency. The Engineers were not justly liable to the imputation of incompetency, and he regretted to hear any observations tending to lower them in the estimation of the House. He was at a loss to understand who the persons were who had feathered their nest, as he was sure they were not the contractors, every one of whom had been ruined by undertaking the works at too low a price.
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
asked, whether the cadets at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich paid as much as was sufficient to defray the expense of their education?
MR. T. G. BARING
said, at page 107 of the Votes it would been seen that the receipts last year from the cadets had been £18,795 17s. 4d. The institution was not self-supporting, though it was nearly so. The amount received could not be taken into account for the reduction of 86 the Vote, as it had to be paid into the Exchequer. With respect to the salary of the governor of Woolwich Academy it must be remembered that he received his full pay besides, while the governor of Sandhurst was not in receipt of his fully pay.
§ SIR FREDERIC SMITH
said, the governor of Sandhurst received an additional £1,000 a year for command of a battalion.
§ MR. WYLD
called attention to the permanent character of the Votes for the survey. He did not find fault with the present management of the survey, as one of the most distinguished men in Europe was at the head of it. The Ordnance Survey commenced in 1784, and, including military pay, had cost upwards of £2,000,000. The area of England was 58,000 square miles, of Ireland 30,000, and of Scotland 33,000, making together 121,000 square miles. The area of France, including Corsica, was 201,000 square miles. France commenced her survey at the same time, and had completed nearly 100,000 square miles of the enlarged survey and one-third of the cadastral survey. The cost had been only about £1,200,000, and he could not account for the difference, except by the English survey having become a permanent department. At that moment a large portion of Scotland was unsurveyed, and he thought the House ought to require the Director of Ordnance to complete the whole survey of these islands before commencing any new work. He held that the expenditure for the topographical survey was an utter waste of public money. The topographical department entered into competition with private persons, and sold maps at less than cost price. He was afraid that the publication of some maps might lead to inconvenience, and, possibly, to political difficulties. Before the Italian war the Austrian Government had a new survey of Lombardy made, and refused to supply copies of the maps. But the topographical department made a private copy of the maps, and published them at 1s. a sheet. France could not get the maps from Austria, but the topographical department supplied the French Government with some 500 copies. He did not propose to reduce this Vote, but he wished to call attention to these facts.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, he hoped that nothing would be done to prevent the topographical department reproducing maps which were of great use. When a map, 87 which was not confidential, was published, it was sold through the mapsellers, and their interests were regarded by their having an allowance of 25 per cent. The map of Lombardy was of the greatest possible use to our officers, and if the French bought copies through some mapseller in London, it only proved that the topographical department of England was better than that of France.
§ MR. WYLD
said, he did not understand what was meant by confidential maps. Within the last few days maps had been published, showing the fortifications of Fort Pickens and of Fort Monro. With reference to the charge for the maps, the hydrographic department of the Admiralty charged more for their maps than the topographical department.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, he could assure the hon. Gentleman that the maps were not sold less than cost price.
Vote agreed to.
(2.) £24,300, Rewards for Military Services.
observed, that he was well aware it was by no means an agreeable duty to select from the great body of officers who had served their country well the individual officers on whom rewards were conferred, but he wished to take that occasion to call the attention of the hon. Under Secretary for War to a class of men who were fast passing away, and who had rendered somewhat distinguished, and certainly very meritorious, services during what was called the revolutionary war. Those officers had in the course of time obtained high rank in the service, but they nevertheless were in receipt of no higher pay than belonged to their last regimental rank—that of captain and major. They had been placed on half-pay principally in 1826; their promotion took place to what was called the unattached list, and having been once placed upon that list the military authorities were unable to put them on full pay. The consequence was that they remained to that hour on half-pay, and he would under these circumstances ask the hon. Under Secretary for War whether, considering that those officers were very few in number, and those few fast dying out, he would not look favourably on the claims which they possessed to the notice of the Government? They were only about eighteen or twenty in number; they now held the rank of Generals; they counted on an average fifty-three years' service, and 88 might be said to be on an average seventy years old. Three of them held Peninsular medals with one clasp; three with two, six with four, two with five, two with six, one with seven, and one with no less than nine clasps, representing nine general actions. Having said so much he thought he was justified in asking the Government to take the claims of these distinguished and meritorious officers into consideration.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, that upon the list of officers who had received rewards for distinguished service this year, there were some who had entered the army as far back as 1800, 1806, and 1814, so that such rewards were not confined exclusively to those who had distinguished themselves very lately. So far as he was able to understand the statement of the gallant General, the officers to whom he alluded had in reality ceased to belong to the army since 1826, and he could not, under those circumstances, conceive how they could on an average count fifty-three years service. Be that, however, as it might, the gallant General might rest assured that every consideration would be shown those officers in the distribution of rewards.
said, he had used the word service as specifying the length of time which had elapsed since the entry of the officers in question into the army.
Vote agreed to.
(3.) £78,600, General Officers.
said, he wished to remark that last year a Committee had been appointed to consider the claims of seven General officers, and had reported in favour of those claims. The Committee recommended that they should receive their pay from the date of their receiving the rank of general officer, but the Treasury had only given them the allowance from the date of the recommendation of the Committee. He wished to know on what principle the Treasury and the War Office had proceeded in taking this course?
MR. T. G. BARING
said, that the case had been fully considered by the Committee, and the claim made was carried by a narrow division of five to four. On the matter being brought to the notice of the Treasury they considered these officers ought not to receive retrospective pay, and gave it from the date of the Committee's Report. They pay was given to them as a boon, and not as of right, and no injustice had been done to these officers.
said, he could not recognize any principle in the hon. Gentleman's statement. The officers were entitled to the pay claimed from 1805 and 1807.
Vote agreed to.
(4.) £490,669, Reduced and Retired Officers agreed to.
(5.) £181,363, Pensions to Widows, &c.
said, he wished to draw the attention of the hon. Under Secretary for War to the case of the Widow of an officer of the Royal Regiment who was wounded at the Redan, sent home, and at the end of four years died from the effect of his wound. He had purchased his first commission, but when the widow applied for a pension, the answer was that as the officer had not served ten years the widow was not entitled to a pension. That was a very proper rule in regard to officers not on service, but this officer could not serve his ten years because he had received a wound in the head, from the effects of which he died. He could not believe that any man in the country would wish that, in order to increase the reserve fund, the unfortunate widow should be deprived of the sum which her husband paid for his commission.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, that if the hon. and gallant Member would give him the circumstances of the case of which he had not before heard, he would inquire into them. It was, however, necessary to adhere to the regulations, although in some exceptional cases they might appear to operate rather hardly.
Vote agreed to.
(6.) £42,953, Pensions for Wounds.
said, the change recently made by the noble Lord the Secretary for War was liberal and kind, and he was entitled to thanks for the new warrant in this respect, but no warrant could include every case and, therefore, he would call the attention of the House to Colonel Henry, a gallant and distinguished officer. He went to the Crimea in April, 1855, and having performed an act of distinguished bravery he received a brevet-majority. In consequence, however, of the scarcity of artillery officers, in which service he held his commission, he was obliged to continue in the command of a very important and dangerous post, and while thus employed was so severely wounded that his arm had to be taken out of the socket. The intrepid bravery and coolness of the officer, under an al- 90 most unprecedented fire, had met with the highest praise; but upon applying at the War Office for his pension as a field officer, he was told that he was not entitled to receive it, as when wounded he was performing the duties of a captain of artillery, although he was actually promoted to the rank of field officer. He last Session, when moving for the revision of the old wound warrant, proposed that if an officer of inferior rank was wounded at a time he was performing duties of a superior rank he ought to receive the pension of the higher rank. That the noble Lord at the head of the War Department had acceded to, but the case he now mentioned of Colonel Henry was the converse of that proposition. It was true that Colonel Henry did not come within the warrant, but he thought that in consideration of his conspicuous bravery an exception should be made in his favour, and that he should receive a field officer's pension.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, that as Lieutenant Colonel Henry himself admitted that he was not doing duty as a field officer when he received his wound, Lord Herbert saw no alternative but to abide by the regulations. Lieutenant Colonel Henry was, no doubt, a distinguished officer; but if they began to make exceptions of the kind suggested, it would cause great confusion in the service.
thought that Colonel Henry had strong claims on the consideration of the War Office.
stated, that the Russian guns at Sebastopol having on one occasion concentrated their fire on one of the English batteries, Colonel Henry was selected, as an officer of great coolness and experience, to take command of it. He was subjected for twenty-four hours to what The Times' correspondent called an "infernal fire," and discharged his duty to the admiration of the whole army. He urged the Government not to deprive Colonel Henry of the field officer's pension on a mere technical ground, as if the claims of so gallant an officer were ignored it would be no encouragement for any other to continue to perform the duties of an inferior officer, however urgent the necessity might be, after he had been promoted.
§ SIR HENRY WILLOUGHBY
called attention to the fact that no less than £40,000 was taken on the Vote for 1859–60 more than was required.
MR. T. G. BARING
explained that that was owing to some of the pensions not being called for.
Vote agreed to, as were also
(7.) £32,409, Chelsea and Kilmainham Hospitals.
(8.) £1,124,363, Out-Pensioners of Chelsea Hospital, &c.
(9.) £138,151, Superannuation and Retired Allowances.
§ MR. AUGUSTUS SMITH
said, he thought some of the retired allowances were given to persons comparatively young, and with short periods of service. Some reason ought to be stated why these pensions were allowed.