§ House in Committee; Mr. MASSEY in the Chair.
§ (In the Committee.)
(1.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £398,695, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge of the Manufacturing Departments, Military Storekeepers, Barrack Masters, &c, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1862, inclusive.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, he wished to draw the attention of the House to a discrepancy in the accounts relating to manufacture of small arms at Enfield; which, in 1854, were stated to he £352,583, and in 1858. to be £305,798. This arose from certain items in the former being omitted in the latter. The Small Arms Commit. tee had recommended the introduction of 1896 a careful and accurate system of accounts, but their recommendation had not been attended to. The object of this recommendation was not merely to obtain a supply of arms, but to keep a check on the trade; but it was impossible to constitute a fair comparison, unless the House had an account of the whole of the money expended on these works. It was necessary, in order to arrive at a reliable opinion of the cost at which rifles were manufactured, that there should be included in that cost the interest on the outlay on the establishment. A Return presented to the House showed the number of muskets made at Enfield, and any person looking at the Return superficially would think that if they divided the expenditure of the year by the number of muskets produced they would get at the cost per musket. That, however, was not the case, as there were many items of expenditure which were not included in the Return. Two separate Committees had recommended that full Returns should be laid before the House, and he hoped that these recommendations would at last be complied with, and that the Government would lay before the House a complete account of the expenditure up to the 31st of March of last year. The House ought not, indeed, to entertain these Estimates until the accounts were laid before the House in the manner recommended by the Committee. He was also anxious to direct the attention of the Government to the increase of manufacturing establishments. There was a manufactory at Millbank, for which £16,000 was charged for the item of wages; and another at Weedon which cost £3,000 for wages. He could not think that this increased number of establishments was necessary for the purpose of carrying on the manufacture of arms.
§ MR. CARNEGIE
drew attention to the large increase in the local expenditure and travelling items, and in that of the lodging money.
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
wanted to know why the Vote for the present year was £24,695 in excess of that of last year? The lodging money to married soldiers was increased, as well as other items.
SIR FREDERIC SMITH
said, the Government were deserving of every praise for the provision they had made in respect to the allowances for the lodgings of married soldiers. Nothing they had done had so much attached married soldiers to the service as the granting them lodging mo- 1897 ney when there were not special quarters for them in the barracks. He fully supported the application of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire for full and complete information respecting the cost of manufacturing arms at Enfield; but it would be absolutely necessary, in order to arrive at the fact, that there should he a full account of expenditure, an account of the building and plant, fuel, gas, lighting, and other expenses, which would be included in an account of ordinary commercial character. But he thought that even if they could attain the utmost degree of economy, it would be better to keep up small manufacturing establishments, and employ private firms as much as possible.
stated that it had been on several occasions recommended and promised by the Government that a complete debtor and creditor account of the establishment at Enfield should be laid before the House, but no information of the sort had yet been given. There was no doubt that the accounts were admirably kept by the officer in charge at Enfield, but the House was in all but complete ignorance on the subject. He had never been able to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion as to the cost of a rifled musket, and, indeed, it was a most complicated statement of accounts which was necessary in order to arrive at this result. The sums that had been laid out since 1854 upon the establishment at Enfield, exclusive of the building and repairs, had been, so far as he could make them out, £910,000. Add to this, that during the last seven years, a sum of £2,795,000 had been expended in the purchase of small arms; making together a total, in round numbers, of not less than £4,000,000 for the purchase of small arms. He wanted to know what we had obtained for this expenditure, and where ail the small arms had gone to, They all agreed in wishing that our men should be armed in the most efficient and economical manner—but the question was were we going economically to work? He would say the same with regard to clothing. He had called for returns on this subject, and so had the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Horsfall). The prices given in those returns varied. The one was correct, the other incorrect; 20s, 6d. was given as the price for the tunic of a private of the Line; but the actual price was only 18s. 6d. Why was this? The hon. Under Secretary for War should take care that his 1898 subordinates gave proper returns. He very much feared there was a disposition in some of the public offices to evade the returns ordered by the House of Commons as far as possible. Lodging money had been increased, much to the advantage of the soldier; and yet at Aldershot Engineers had been put into huts to live, and were charged as much for their accommodation in them as they would have to pay in respectable lodging-houses in the town. As to married soldiers, he protested against the right of soldiers marrying at all. It was perfectly absurd to load the army with a number of married people. When soldiers enlisted for twenty-one years it was not unreasonable that they should think of marriage; but when they entered the service for ten years, limited service, at the age of seventeen or eighteen, they might very reasonably be required to remain unmarried until that period had expired. There was no necessity to have such a mass of married men in the army as was now the case. When a man entered the service, he gave up a certain amount of comforts, and married life was one of these. If he (Colonel Dunne) or any other young man—or, rather when he was a young man—joined the service, he knew he should have to endure hard work, and he thought then, as he thought now, that a wife was no part of a soldier's necessaries. Then, again, barracks made for 1,000 men, from the superior comforts that were allowed, could only accommodate 700. The same thing was carried out in almost every department of the State, and the Estimates were framed on a corresponding scale. He was averse to divide the House or vote against any of these Estimates. They were made up on the returns, but it was necessary that Members should speak their mind upon them; and economy had to be pressed on every Government. If he were in the hon. Under Secretary's position he should take all the good advice he received, and follow it as far as possible.
§ SIR MORTON PETO
wished to call attention to a particular item in the Estimate—196 clerks of works from £110 to £300 per annum, £35,395. besides a sum nearly as large for extra clerks of works. He could not understand how such a demand arose. When the New Houses of Parliament were building, two clerks of the works were found sufficient to superintend the whole. This was just one of those things which showed that a Go- 1899 vernment, in carrying forward any department, without in the slightest degree intending to act otherwise than economically, ran into an amount of expenditure which no private person or man in business would do. He could not conceive it possible that Government could have an amount of works that would render one quarter of that number necessary. This was a very unsatisfactory state of things. He did his best before passing these Estimates to master the details; but from the want of explicitness in the details it was impossible for any one not connected with the Department to do so. With every desire to do his duty, he felt himself in a perfectly helpless position. When he compared the French army and its total expenditure with ours he was perfectly frightened. But when he came upon items such as that to which he had referred he could well understand that there was something rotten in the state of Denmark. He did not attribute any motives to Government for permitting such extravagance. The real fact was that as soon as a Minister was really becoming acquainted with the just demands to be made on the public purse some change of Government displaced him, and all his acquired knowledge of his Department became useless. The mischief would never be got rid of until the commercial and business duties of the public departments were separated from party politics, and men of official experience were retained in their situation until men of still greater efficiency were ready to take their places. In France, Prussia, and other States the personnel of the departments was not changed frequently as in this country. With respect to the Vote before the House, he could not see how it was possible that 198 clerks—to say nothing of temporary additions—could be profitably employed in the superintendence of barracks and similar works, at a cost to the country of £34,000 a year.
said, that successive Secretaries of State for War, being necessarily dependent for their information upon their subordinates, who were permanently employed, could not exercise an effective control over the profuse expenditure connected with their office. He thought the hon. Baronet had hit the right nail on the head in drawing attention to the number of clerks. In fact, we were governed by clerks at the War Office, and the constant changes in the heads of that Department made them entirely dependent 1900 on the advice of those clerks. He could not understand why the officers of the Engineers could not be trusted with the works of the country, and why they must have 198 clerks to superintend them. He hoped the Government would look into this matter, and that if a reduction could not be made this year it would be next. He was ashamed again to refer to the absence of those Gentlemen who had signed the document urging economy on the Ministers, but there were very few of them now in their places. There was the hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham, who told the country that the army was kept up for the benefit of the aristocracy and their hangers-on; but he, as usual, was not in his place when the expenses of the army were under discussion. The real economists must do as well as they could without their assistance. The Army Clothing Department in Pimlico was defended the other night on the ground that on one occasion, when the clothing of an entire regiment was lost, it was supplied within a fortnight. Now, in a town with which he was connected, he was informed that a private contractor lately received an order for 800 tunics for the 60th Rifles on a Monday, and actually delivered the whole number in London on the Friday week following, although in the interim they had had to telegraph to Yorkshire for the cloth. He was diposed to vote for a larger reduction than the hon. Member for Lambeth had proposed; but he would certainly go into the same lobby with him, and if they went on dividing, they would, perhaps, at last force some economy on the Government.
§ MR. BARROW
said, he hoped the Committee would keep on dividing, for he did not see how economy in the gross was to be accomplished unless they insisted on economy in details. Remonstrances had been repeatedly made to him out of doors against their constantly-increasing expenditure, to the magnitude of which the country had at last awakened. When the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Morton Peto) complained of the increase of clerks, and professed his inability to understand it, he would suggest to him that probably one cause might be that we lived in a free country, where we had constituents, and where it was thought necessary to provide an unreasonable amount of patronage for the benefit of those who sent them there. It became the more necessary, therefore, for the House to redeem its own character by watching the more narrowly this expen- 1901 diture. He wanted especially to know why they maintained two establishments abroad for the manufacture of arms? and why the English workmen employed in those establishments could not be employed at home, under the superintendence of the existing staff in this country? If the hon. Member received a satisfactory explanation as to the soldiers' lodging money he should recommend him not to propose the diminution of that item, because he thought that it was desirable that married soldiers should be accommodated in the manner which had been mentioned. He spoke quite disinterestedly, because he had lived to a considerable age without the advantage of a wife; but he thought that it was necessary for the morality of the army that some such provision as this should be made for married soldiers. But he did not understand how, if the amount was fixed last year, it should have increased this.
said, he could not assent to the proposition laid down by the hon. Baronet the Member for Finsbury (Sir Morton Peto), that there was no proper control over this expenditure because it was in the hands of gentlemen who were appointed for political reasons, and who were changed so frequently that they had no time to learn their business. The practical effect of the change which he recommended would be to place the control of the expenditure in the hands of permanent officials, who would become, in fact, the Members for their several Departments. Instead of a Parliamentary Secretary of State for War, the hon. Baronet wished to have a permanent Minister for War, who should not have a seat in that House, He could not conceive anything which would tend more directly to destroy our whole system of Parliamentary Government. We had been accustomed to think that the practical responsibility of Ministers to Parliament was enforced by their having seats in that House, and being liable to he called upon to defend their conduct face to face before Parliament. If those who had the control of expenditure were removed from Parliament it would soon be found that the House of Commons had lost its control and almost its influence over the management of departments, and, although the name of Parliamentary Government might be preserved, the substance would be at an end.
§ MR. W. EWART
thought that some light might be thrown upon the Estimates, and some assistance afforded to the Members 1902 of the House in considering them, if they were accompanied by annual reports similar to those which were presented to Parliament by the Post Office and the Customs and Excise Departments. He thought some explanation of the 198 clerks should be given to the House.
§ MR. AYRTON
entirely concurred with what had fallen from the noble Lord (Lord Stanley) with reference to the proposal of the hon. Baronet the Member for Finsbury. The fact was that they already had a permanent Establishment whose constant effort was to increase the Estimates which the Parliamentary Secretaries were engaged in a constant struggle to keep down. He wished the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State to give some explanation as to the cost of supervision compared with the amount expended upon works abroad. From the detailed statement which accompanied this Vote it appeared that at Gambia £320 was paid for the supervision of the expenditure of £463; at Honduras, £277 for the supervision of the expenditure of £82; at Jamaica, £550 for supervising an expenditure of £623; at New Zealand, £300 for supervising an expenditure of £352; and at the Windward and Leeward Islands, £1,411 for supervising an expenditure of £2,869. It was possible that the persons to whom these largo sums were paid might have other duties to perform, but no mention of such duties appeared in the Estimates.
MR. T. G. BARING
admitted that there was in some cases an apparent disparity between the cost of supervision and the work done, but there was a good deal of work done in the way of ordinary repairs which had to be superintended and which the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Ayrton) had omitted to include in his calculations. He admitted that greater economy might possibly be introduced into the system of superintendence. That subject had not escaped the notice of his noble Friend (Lord Herbert), and a Committee bad been appointed to consider whether a more economical system might not he devised. The plan now in existence was too military in its nature; a little more of the civil element might be introduced, he thought, with advantage. With respect to the local expenditure his explanation was that the actual amount of the expenditure of former years had been inserted in the Estimates. With respect to the civil allowances, the increase in the Vote had been caused in conse- 1903 qnence of a new warrant as to the rank of civil officers, which had recently been altered in a very liberal manner; and the increase in reference to stationary quarters was in consequence of adopting the report of a Committee of that House. As to the comparison between the expense of our army and that of the French which had been drawn by the hon. Member for Finsbury, it should be borne in mind that there was an essential difference between an army raised by conscription and one raised by voluntary enlistment. But beyond this we had not the means of a fair comparison. In the French Estimates they would find that the expenses for the defence of Algeria were omitted, as well as other most important portions of the expenditure upon the army, so that it was difficult to get at the real cost. He agreed with the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) that it was important they should have correct accounts from our great manufacturing departments, and there were ample materials for giving the House complete accounts. It should be his duty to get such an account prepared for the past year for the Enfield Factory, upon correct commercial principles. As to the discrepancies alluded to, they amounted simply to this—that there was difference of opinion as to what should be included in the capital and plant of the factory and what not, and he repeated that all the authorities wished was to have an account prepared upon a satisfactory principle. The establishment at Pimlico was not for the manufacture, but for the repair of arms; and the Committee must be prepared for a further expenditure under that head, now that there was such a large quantity of arms in the hands of the Militia and the Volunteers. The attention of the Secretary of State would be directed to the various suggestions which had been made, and in the Estimates of next year they might expect some reduction in the expenditure comprised under the vote now under discussion.
§ SIR MORTON PETO
explained that what he meant to draw attention to was that these Government establishments had a tendency to perpetuate and increase themselves; and he repeated that the supervision was hindered by the frequent changes in the political heads of Departments and that directly Under Secretaries became competent to their duties they were removed from their offices.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
thanked the hon. 1904 Gentleman for promising to give Dr. and Cr. accounts of the expenditure of the manufacturing establishments. Seven years ago a Committee recommended that a proper Dr. and Cr. account, in reference to these establishments, should be prepared, and he hoped that that recommendation would be at length complied with, so as to enable Parliament to judge of the expense. It would form a most important precedent in reference to the one establishment to which he had referred; and if the account were properly prepared, any private Member could judge of the expense the same as he could that of any private establishment of his own. Another object to be gained by such an account was that it would enable them to check the charges made by private manufacturers, and, above all, they would cease to be in that state of positive ignorance which they now were in reference to these matters.
said, that having been for years connected with one of these factories, he wished to express his opinion that the system of manufacturing by the Government ought not to be carried beyond the point necessary to ascertain the actual cost of the articles, and check the prices of the contractors. Nothing, he thought, could be more pernicious than that we should keep all the work in Government establishments without giving anything to contractors. The more we could disseminate the manufactures for Government over the country the more we should increase our supplies in case of need. If we concentrated all our resources in Woolwich we should render that an extraordinary object of attack to an enemy. The reason why the French, in their wars with Austria, aimed at Vienna was not simply to possess the capital, but because the Austrians had concentrated round Vienna their military manufactures, and to lose Vienna was, therefore, a most serious disaster. If all our resources were in Woolwich it might be a gain to any enemy who landed to carry it with a loss of 20,000 men; but this would not be so if our supplies were manufactured in various parts of the country. The present case of the United States was exactly in point. The United States had only two establishments—one at Harper's Ferry and the other at Springfield—and the first they had been obliged to destroy; and if a blow were struck by the South it would, no doubt, be at Springfield. The position which America was in in consequence of the system pursued was that 1905 she was obliged to send to this country for arms with which to carry on the war. He was glad to see that this principle was being recognized in the manufacture of the Armstrong guns, some of which were made at Woolwich, and some at Newcastle.
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS moved that the Vote be reduced by £24,690.
Motion made, and Question put,
That a sum, not exceeding £374,005, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge of the Manufacturing Departments, Military Storekeepers, Barrack Masters, &c, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1862, inclusive.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 24; Noes 133: Majority 109.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ (2.) £860,447, Wages of Artificers, Labourers, &c.
§ MR. MONSELL
thought that after the distinct pledge they had received from the Under Secretary for War, that the subject of this debate was under consideration with a view to economy, it would be best that the hon. Member for Lambeth should withdraw his Amendment, and allow the Vote to pass.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, they had to consider along with this Vote the Vote of £2,200,000 for stores, or a total sum of more than £3,000,000. He wished to know what had become of the enormous accumulation of stock which the large sums voted under this head for the last few years must have produced. At present the Government would be able to produce, with the machinery at their command, in six months, as many guns as were used during the Crimean war. That, of course, diminished the necessity of keeping an enormous amount of warlike stores on hand. About £1,400,000 of the Vote was for the navy, the remainder for the army. They were expending £724,000 on small arms alone, which was very nearly as much as the French spent on their stores of every kind. If he did not get a satisfactory explanation with regard to the stores in hand he should move a reduction of the Vote.
said, that we were completely in a transition state as regarded fire arms, and he was afraid we must submit to a large expenditure under this head, not only for this year, but for many 1906 years to come. It was only within the last three years that the principle of the rifle cannon had been adopted in Europe. The French commenced the system, and France was followed by Austria. He thought it was to the credit of England that she waited for some time before she commenced. The result of that delay was that England had the finest artillery in the world. For this they were indebted principally to that great philosopher, as he might well be called, Sir William Armstrong. He had not only produced a powerful, but a most simple gun, which could easily be worked. Nor was the country more indebted to Sir William Armstrong for his rifled gun than for his admirable system of preparing the fusee and filling the shell. There was not a wooden ship which his guns would not blow out of the water in a very short time. They had heard a good deal of the iron-built ships of the French, and they were obliged to build such if they wished to resist the large shells which were now thrown by the Armstrong guns; but, at the present moment, our ships were in a condition to attack an iron-built ship, which could not be said of any other country in the world. We must be prepared to look the matter in the face, for, as he had said, the present great expense was due to the transition of the system. The adoption of this gun had rendered necessary a complete change of the armament of our troops and ships. During the Chinese war the French officers had sent home such favourable accounts of the effects of the Armstrong gun, that the Emperor of the French, who was himself an artillerist of no small reputation, adopted the plan of getting a number of articles written in the French newspapers depreciatory of this very gun, which General Collineau had asked Sir Hope Grant to let a column of his troops have for the attack in Pekin. No country could produce the iron to resist these guns in such quantity as this country, but all these changes required a great deal of expenditure, and justified the largeness of the present Vote in some respect. They could not make 100 pounder gun at less than £800, and that showed how great must be the cost of arming their ships and fortifications with such an arm. In his opinion, the Government could not have taken a smaller sum for the Estimates for this head this year.
§ MR. CHILDERS
wanted an explanation of the fact that, after nearly two 1907 years of preparation for putting the country in a thorough state of defence, £3,000,000 were required for warlike stores, with every prospect of its being increased in future years. They were perfectly ready to meet any expenditure necessary to obtain the Armstrong and Whitworth guns, but the Committee ought to require a clear and satisfactory explanation.
§ MR. BALL
gave Her Majesty's Government great credit for placing the country in such a position as to be perfectly safe. He was not himself a man for war, but he was strongly attached to his country, and he could easily understand that it must always be necessary for a country like England to make a large and liberal outlay in order to keep the several departments in a state of efficiency. The whole world was in that condition that the Government would have betrayed their trust if they had neglected to make due provision against a war breaking out, and he feared that they would have to make it while the French Emperor ruled in France.
§ MR. P. W. MARTIN
said, the Committee ought to watch the casual expenditure rendered necessary by the improvements in weapons, lest it should become the normal expenditure of the country.
MR. T. G. BARING
, in reference to the observations of the hon. Member for Limerick (Mr. Monsell) said, that the Vote for wages was intimately connected with the Vote for warlike stores, and the main part of the money voted for wages was spent in the preparation of rifles, great guns, and ammunition. He would remind the hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Childers) that only a small proportion of the whole expense of the Armstrong guns was for the gun itself, the carriage, equipment, and ammunition requiring the rest. The whole cost of the Armstrong guns would be at least £800,000. The ammunition for these guns would come to £500,000, making the total expense £1,300,000. For small arms making under contract the sum of £500,000 was taken, and for those manufactured by the Government £370,000, and these two sums being added to £1,300,000 made about £2,000,000 out of the £3,000,000 which the two Votes together came to. He could account for the whole of the expenditure in detail, if he were not afraid of too far troubling the Committee. With respect to the expenditure, it was to be considered whether it was not wise in the present condition of the 1908 armaments of other nations to supply the army, and especially the navy, with the most perfect weapons. The Committee must bear in mind that the state of the other warlike stores had been very unsatisfactory of late years, and it had, therefore, been necessary to increase the expenditure on that account. It was hoped, however, that the increase was temporary, and that the expenditure would he less next year, and still less in the year following. He was certain that the Commitee would be of opinion that this Vote was the last that should be reduced. They might rely that every care would be taken in the expenditure of the money.
thought the hon. Gentleman had not answered the question of the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Childers) as to what had been done with guns and ammunition hitherto manufactured, and also the small arms. They had sold this year an enormous quantity of stores, amounting to £275,000. He should like to know what they were, and why they would not answer for the purposes of the country?
said, that those who paid the best would naturally get the best iron. This country produced a very limited supply of the first quality of iron, and could not afford to sent it abroad; but by going into the market the Admiralty would get iron of the best quality by paying the best price.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, that the Tower was one of the largest military store establishments in the country, and a large number of assistants was required. The arms manufactured had been given out to Her Majesty's regiments, to the Militia, and to the Volunteers. A largo number had also been distributed to the navy, a large number had been assigned to the Government of India and the store was rapidly assuming respectable proportions.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (3.) £525,416, Clothing and Necessaries.
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS moved that the Chairman report Progress.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
(4.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £1,456,834, be
granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge of Provisions, Forage, Fuel and Light, Barrack Furniture, Bedding, &c, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1862, inclusive.
§ MR. DARBY GRIFFITH
said, that some time ago he moved a Resolution for the discontinuance of the stoppage from cavalry officers in respect of forage. The Government opposed that Resolution, and continued the stoppage. He saw in the present Vote charges for forage for the Staff. (Cries of "Read!") He was reading. It was his duty to read. The Estimates were put into the hands of Members that they might read them. Hon. Gentlemen who signed a "round robin" to the Minister in January last, calling for a reduction in the public expenditure, ought to assist him and other hon. Members who in that House made practical efforts to keep down the Estimates. He begged to move the reduction of the Vote by a sum of £12,454, which would be equivalent to a stoppage of the amount expended in forage for the Staff.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That the item of £482,392, for Cost of Forage at Home and Abroad, be reduced by the amount of £12,454.
§ MR. CONINGHAM
said, he was glad to hear the observations of the hon. Member. Sixty Gentlemen had written to the Prime Minister, enforcing the necessity of economy, and many of those sixty hon. Members were now found voting steadily with Government against those Members below the gangway, who really endeavoured to enforce reduction.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, that though the hon. Member for Devizes objected to the system of stoppages, his present Amendment would have the effect of extending that system.
wished to explain that, in voting for the Resolution of the hon. Member for Devizes for discontinuing the forage stoppage from cavalry officers, he did so because he saw that the effect of stoppages was to make it impossible for any one but one man of fortune to hold a commission in a cavalry regiment. The present Secretary for War and his right hon. predecessor in that office had both spoken in favour of doing away with the stoppage for forage from cavalry officers.
was aware that the officers of the cavalry were justly anxious to see the forage stoppage done away with; 1910 but he would not rob Peter to pay Paul by voting for the Amendment.
§ MR. DARBY GRIFFITH
said, that his intention in moving the Amendment had been to bring the argument of the Under Secretary for War to a reductio ad absurdum; but having made that demonstration he begged to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. E. P. BOUVERIE
inquired what was the cause of the great increase in the cost of fuel and lighting, the amount being £172,000 as compared with £112,000 last year.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, that the reason of the increased cost was that it had been found that the cost of last year considerably exceeded the amount voted. The sum now asked represented, he believed, the actual amount which would be required, and it had been carefully estimated this year.
SIR FREDERIC SMITH
said, the Under Secretary for War had several times told the Committee that the amount actually expended exceeded the estimate. He thought they had a right to know out of what funds the excess was paid.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Resolution to be reported on Monday next.
§ Committee to sit again on Monday next.