HC Deb 18 July 1862 vol 168 cc578-80

Order for Consideration read.


expressed a hope that the] Secretary for War would not insist in forwarding this Bill a stage at so late an hour of the night (twenty minutes to one o'clock), especially as he had on a former occasion promised that full time for the discussion of its provisions should be afforded on the report.


said, that the full discussion which he had said might take place on the report had come off a few evenings ago, when he had laid the amended schedule on the table.

Amendment made, by leaving out Proviso to Clause 2.

Another Amendment proposed, to add another Proviso, Provided always, That it shall not be lawful to apply any of such sums to any work not specifically named in the Schedule, nor to apply to any work any greater sum than that which is set down in the Schedule as the total estimated cost of the work, nor for Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the War Department to enter into any contract involving the expenditure in any district of a greater sum than is hereby and by the Act of the twenty-third and twenty-fourth years of Victoria, chapter one hundred and nine, authorized to be expended during the period ending on the first day of August, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, without inserting in such contract a condition that the same shall not be binding on the said Principal Secretary until it has lain for one month upon the Table of the House of Commons without disapproval; and the said contract shall have no force or validity until it shall have lain for one month upon the Table of the House of Commons without disapproval, unless previous to the lapse of that period such contract shall have been approved by a Resolution of the said House.

Question proposed, "That those words be there added."


said, he would move that the debate be adjourned.


said, that as the hon. and gallant Member had spoken once, it was not competent for him to make a Motion.


Then I will move that the House do now adjourn.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."


said, there were several errors in the schedule which he deemed it to be his duty to point out. The very first item involved an error of £16,000, the sum of £18,000 having been inserted instead of £2,000.

Motion put, and negatived.


said, there could be no doubt that the Government had made several blunders in the schedule; and as not a single word of explanation had been offered, he would move the adjournment of the debate.


stated, that the addition of £16,000 in one of the items in the schedule had been made intention- ally, in consequence of the necessity of providing for the compensation of the contractors. The other discrepancies which had been pointed out were not errors, and he should be prepared to defend them if a Motion were made for any alteration.


submitted that the addition of £16,000 could not have been intentional, inasmuch as the last columns of the schedule, which contained the totals, did not correspond with the others. There were many other errors besides those he had pointed out. In the Vote for Fort Rowner there was an error of £5,000; in that for Fort Fareham there was an error of £7,000; in that for the Breakwater battery there was an error of £5,000. The schedule, in fact, was a mass of blunders, varying in amount from £2,000 to £7,000. In fifty-eight items there were no less than nineteen errors. This showed that the clerical department of the War Office must be in a wretched state. He thought the right hon. Baronet should be obliged to him for giving him an opportunity of substituting a correct schedule for an incorrect one. At all events, after the statement he had made, and seeing that he had still a good deal to say on the question of fortifications, he hoped the debate would be adjourned.


said, the material consideration for the House was the sixth column, containing the amount proposed for works in 1862–3. That was the money which the House intrusted to the Government, and to which the Government were limited by a proviso inserted in the Bill. He considered himself bound by that column and by the further amount required to complete the works. It was true that in some cases the additions had not been correctly made across the columns, and he admitted that some reductions ought to be made in the first column, which contained the estimated cost of the works. But that would not make any alteration in the grant of money made by the House, though he would take care that the sums in the first column were reduced. He did not ask the House to make any alteration either in the amount granted or in that to be expended in future, which, after all, were the material columns. It was not his intention to oppose the adjournment of the debate until Monday.

Debate adjourned till Monday next.