§ Supply considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
Sir, in reference to what has fallen from the lion, and gallant Officer opposite (Sir F. Smith), I have to state that the Estimates for this year have undergone a certain change of form in order that they may be laid before the House in a more convenient shape. The first Vote, which used to consist of Men only, has been omitted, in imitation of the mode in which the Naval Estimates are 1255 submitted to the House. The statement of the Number of Men is included within the Estimates, and I shall follow the usual practice of moving that number in the first Vote; so that if any Gentleman wishes to propose a simple reduction of the number, it will be competent to him to do so. In bringing the Army Estimates under the notice of this House last Session, I stated that the sum included in them had undergone a considerable increase since the period of the Crimean war, and I attempted to explain the causes of that increase. I trust that the expenditure on the army may have reached its culminating point about two years ago. Last year the Estimate which I presented to the House was less than that of the previous year; and the Estimate which I propose this year is as nearly as possible £1,000,000 within the Estimate of last year. In order, however, to arrive at the true amount of the Army Estimate it is necessary to bear in mind certain other virtual and practical deductions which ought to be made from it. the sum which was voted last year, including the Militia, which is included in this Estimate, was £16,060,350; the amount which I propose to take for the present year is £15,060,147, showing, as I have said, a decrease of somewhat more than a million sterling. It is to be borne in mind that there are certain important sets-off to be made against that sum. According to the best estimate which we can frame, there will be sums to be paid into the Exchequer this year as receipts, virtually in aid of the Army Estimate, amounting to not less than £1,364,000. This will be a real payment into the Exchequer, and must be considered as a deduction to that amount from the Army Estimate. A large portion of that sum is in respect of charges which this House will be asked to vote towards the expenses of the Indian army incurred in this country, and which will be repaid by the Indian Treasury. These sums were formerly, to a great extent, made matter of account between the India Office and the War Office, and were never submitted to Parliament. Last year that practice underwent a change, and certain charges in respect to the Indian army appeared for the first time in the Estimates. If, therefore, a comparison is made between the Estimate of this year and that for any year previous to the last, it is necessary to deduct the sum of £660,000, which is estimated in the accounts for this year, but which was not 1256 included in the Estimates for the years previous to the last.
Sir, when we speak of the Army Estimates we generally are thinking primarily of the regular army; and I think that my hon. Friend (Mr. Williams), who compared our force with the military force of France, mainly had in view the regular army of that country. But a very considerable sum is introduced into these Estimates for forces auxiliary to the regular army. There is for the Disembodied Militia, £751,000; Yeomanry, £94,000; Volunteers, which is larger than in any previous year, £321,000; Enrolled Pensioners and Army Reserve, £55,000; and for half-pay of the Disembodied Militia, £32,000; making a total amount of £1,255,000. That sum, which is included in the total amount of the Army Estimates, is for forces auxiliary to the regular army, and not in any respect for the regular army itself. The Army Estimate also includes what was formerly the Ordnance Estimate. The Ordnance Department, I need not say, makes ordnance and other weapons for the navy as well as for the army, and there will be included in the Army Estimate for this year a sum of £680,000, which is for the sea service. But then the Navy Estimate also includes a sum for military transport amounting to £381,000; and therefore the sum really charged in the Army Estimates in aid of those of the navy is the difference between those two amounts. There is another circumstance to be adverted to in regard to the Estimates for the present year—which is, that there is a considerable extraordinary expense for the army on certain foreign stations; and that therefore as far as the sums charged for China, New Zealand, and British North America are concerned, this cannot be considered a year of ordinary peace expenditure. In the year 1858 the military charge for British North America was £285,000; the Estimate for the present is £887,000. For New Zealand, in 1858, the charge was £86,000; for this year the Estimate is £347,000. During the four years from 1853 to 1857 inclusive, the military expenses of the China station were £84,000 per annum; this year they amount to £334,000. Therefore a comparison of the Estimates, taking these three items together, shows a difference between £456,000 and £1,569,000, the difference being the amount of extraordinary charges to which we are put this year on account of these three foreign stations.
1257 The principal reduction in the present Estimate is under the head of "Stores" and "Works." The plan upon which the Estimate has been framed has been to make no material or serious reduction in the strength of our army, for reasons which I will shortly state to the Committee, and which appear to me to be cogent and quite decisive; but for various reasons, one of which is the great exertions that have of late years been made in the manufacturing departments, it has been found possible to propose a considerable reduction in the Votes for Works and Stores. Another reason why it has been thought to be undesirable to take as large a Vote as usual under these two heads is that at present the question of ordnance is to a great extent in suspense. There have been former trials of the comparative merits of different guns which either are in use or are proposed for introduction into the service. A Committee of scientific officers and civil engineers has lately been appointed to inquire into the relative merits of the Armstrong and Whitworth guns, and it has not been thought advisable to incur any great expense for the manufacture of iron ordnance while the trials are still pending. And I may add that the activity and energy of the manufacturing department during the last few years has placed the Government in possession of a large supply of guns, in consequence of which there is no necessity for any rapid increase of their number. I have taken scarcely any Vote for guns for the army during the present year. What I have taken is almost exclusively to meet the demand for the navy. I believe I may state that the whole amount asked for for guns for the army in the present year falls short of.£5,000; in fact it is not intended to proceed with the manufacture of guns except for merely temporary supply. It is in that part of the Estimate, as the Committee will see, that the great reduction in the present year is effected. I do not concur with my hon. Friend in thinking that any inconvenience will be caused to the public service by reducing our stores to the extent of £1.000,000 during the present year, nor do I believe that our resources will be in any way crippled. I have no doubt that I have asked for a sum sufficient to supply all the additions that will be wanted during the present year, and that this sum can without difficulty be spared from the public service.
I now come to the question of the 1258 strength of the army. The Committee will observe that in Vote No. 1, the first in which money is involved, there is an apparent increase under the head of Staff and Regimental Pay and Allowances of £255,000. If, however, hon. Members will refer to a paper which I have caused to be circulated since the Estimates were printed, they will perceive that £209,000 of that excess over last year, is attributable to the augmentation of the number of of the depôts in this country of regiments serving in India, the whole amount of the excess being covered by a capitation grant payable from the Indian Government to Her Majesty's Exchequer. The excess is, in fact, apparent and not real, and will be reimbursed to the Exchequer by repayments from the Indian Treasury. But the Vote which I am now about to ask you to agree to is one for 148,242 men as compared with 152,403 last year—thus showing a diminution of 4,161 in the strength of the army. There has, I may add, been no reduction made in the number of battalions, which remains precisely the same as last year. We propose, however, that there should be a reduction of 100 rank and file in all the battalions serving at home and in the Colonies, except at Ceylon, where there is only one battalion, for the increase of the strength of which a demand was lately made; in China, where there is a great draught on the troops; and in New Zealand, which is in a state of war; no diminution being proposed to be effected also in the first five battalions for foreign service. The reduction will operate on sixty-nine battalions; and that is the manner in which the strength of the army will be reduced to the extent which I have stated. Now, I am desirous of laying before the Committee the precise grounds on which Government have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to reduce the number of the battalions below that at which it at present stands, or to diminish the number of men in them beyond the amount which I have mentioned. If the reasons on the point which I have to submit to them should appear to hon. Members to be satisfactory, they will at once perceive that the grounds on which we determined to propose these Estimates have no reference to the subject which has just been adverted to—the fear of a French invasion or of invasion from any other country in Europe—but that the number of men is made to depend on the peculiar distribution of our army. If we look to 1259 France, and to other continental States, we find that their armies are, for the most part, confined within the limits of their respective countries. The French, it is true, have a certain amount of force in Algeria and a garrison at Rome, while they have fitted out also an expedition to Mexico; but the great bulk of the French troops is contained within the limits of France. To Prussia, Austria, and other continental nations, the same observation applies. Their armies, to a certain extent, resemble our militia, if we were to suppose it to be called out throughout the year. The English army is, however, placed in totally different circumstances. In the current year, 1862–3, the infantry force of our army is distributed as follows: — The number of battalions of infantry on the establishment at home is 40; in the colonies, 45; in India, 56:—that is to say, 40 at home and 101 abroad; so that nearly two-thirds of our army is at any one moment on foreign service. I pass now to the year beginning the 1st of April next, to which these Estimates apply, when, in consequence of the return of one of the Indian regiments, our battalions in this country will amount to 41, the number in India and the colonies being 100. The perfection of our system of relief, according to the view taken by His Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief, and others competent to pronounce an opinion, should be made to consist in our being able to allow a regiment to pass five years in England for every ten it might have spent on foreign service. The Committee will therefore see that if we haved only 41 battalions at home and 100 abroad the required proportion cannot be maintained; a battalion will not be able to spend five out of every fifteen years in England, where the bulk of the troops might be recruited, and they might be more restored to the character of English troops, forming part of an English army. Now, if this circumstance be borne in mind, and if it be recollected that by reducing the battalions by 100 men we come to the lowest possible point at which the efficiency of our military force can be maintained; if, moreover, we look to the number of battalions on foreign and colonial service—which I assume cannot be diminished, because, unless our system of Imperial management be altogether altered, we cannot reduce the number of our troops in India and the colonies—starting them from that number as a fixed datum, it is, 1260 I think, quite clear that we cannot reduce the number of battalions in the United Kingdom below 41, or reduce the strength of the battalions more than is now proposed. Neither can we diminish the number of battalions in India, because they have already been reduced to a point as low as possible by the Indian Government; while, if the demand made upon us by the colonies be taken into account, the Committee must, I think, concur with me in the conclusion that it would be impossible for the Government—entirely placing out of view all question of the defence of our own coasts, which is, of course, a material question on this occasion — to propose a less number of battalions or of men than we propose in the present Estimates. Indeed, I feel the most entire confidence that the more the Committee investigate the subject the more completely will they admit the necessity which exists for the amount of military force which I ask them to sanction.
There are some figures to which I would wish to call attention as throwing some light on this question of the distribution of the army—namely, the proportions as to population and area which exist between the foreign possessions of the British Crown and the United Kingdom. The area of the United Kingdom in statute square miles is, I find, 112,000, while that of the British possessions abroad is 7,383,000; the population of the United Kingdom at the last Census is 28,947,000, while that of the British possessions abroad is 183,191,000. Under these circumstances the Committee will deem it no matter of wonder that so vast an empire—an empire vaster than was, I believe, ever governed effectively under a single sceptre—should require the large military force which I have described. They will, therefore, have no difficulty in agreeing to the Vote which I am about to place in the hands of the Chairman.
But there is another Vote on which there is an increase. I allude to Vote 10—that for the Volunteers—on which this year there is an increase of £198,000. The House will observe, that although there is this increase proposed for the Volunteers there is yet a considerable diminution in the total amount of the Estimate. The Committee may, perhaps, remember that a Royal Commission was issued last year to inquire into the petitions put forward from various parts of the country for some subsidy to Volunteer 1261 corps, in order to prevent that which many persons feared as probable—the dissolution of a large number of those corps if they should not receive some public assistance, The Commission made a careful inquiry, and ended by suggesting that a certain sum should be allowed for each regiment, to be calculated according to the number of its effective members, and appropriated to the objects specified in their Report. I will not trouble the Committee by describing what these objects are, but they are all the principal purposes to which the expenditure of Volunteer corps is applied. After taking that Report into their consideration, the Government concluded that on the whole it would be desirable to give effect to its recommendations. Accordingly, I have inserted in these Estimates a sum which will be sufficient to carry these recommendations into effect; and I shall be prepared, when the Vote comes on, to state to the Committee the precise conditions on which we propose that the grant should be given, and in what manner it can be safely expended. I cannot but think that the Government are taking a course in accordance with the general feeling of the country in proposing this additional sum for the Volunteers. The total number of the enrolled members of this force on the 1st of August last was 157,818, and the number of effectives was 131,420.
There is an increase this year of £35,000 to the Militia Vote, which is principally owing to an additional charge for clothing.
I have now gone through all the Votes upon which an augmented charge is proposed. Upon the rest there is either no material variation or else some diminution.
Sir, having submitted these explanations to the Committee, I will not detain them now by further details. I shall be prepared to give more detailed information as the several Votes are proceeded with. Before I sit down I would only make this remark, that the whole of our military system seems to me to have the same character as is most prominent in the Volunteer force—namely, it is designed for defence. I cannot at all agree with those who think that our army, large as it is, acts as any provocative to aggression, or that any Government likely to accede to power in this country will pursue an aggressive policy. Our military system appears to me to be exclusively framed for purposes of defence. It may be that precaution can be carried too far. It may be that vain alarms may be occasionally entertained, 1262 and that different Governments may from time to time incur unnecessary expense for maintaining that system. But, taking our military expenditure from beginning to end—whether we look to our fortifications, whether we look to our Volunteers and Militia or to our regular army — the whole is intended for our defence against apprehended danger from foreign countries, and not. to be the means of aggression upon others. Sir, I will now place in your hands the first Vote, that providing for the number of men.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a number of Land Forces, not exceeding 148,212 (including 9,349, all ranks, to be employed with the Depôts in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland of Regiments serving in Her Majesty's Indian Possessions, but exclusive of the numbers actually serving within Her Majesty's Indian Possessions), be maintained during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1864.
I am extremely happy that the right hon. Gentleman has supplied what must have appeared to everybody a most extraordinary omission in the Estimates as laid on the table—namely, the omission of the Vote for the number of men, which always stands first: so that it would appear as though Parliament was not to be called upon by any specific Vote to sanction the number of men to be raised, although it will be recollected that the Mutiny Bill is founded upon the number of men, which is inserted in the Preamble of the Bill. I do not mean to say that there was the slightest attempt at concealment as to the number of men provided for in the Estimates; an abstract of the numbers is shown at page 4, and the most ample details of the regimental establishments are given, with one important exception, to which I shall refer presently. Perhaps this omission of the number of men may have struck me more than others, because it obliges me to reverse the operation of that very simple rule which I laid down for the benefit of hon. Members who have not been in the habit of framing Estimates—namely, that by adding a couple of 00 to the number of the men, you get at the amount of your army expenditure. So also, by deducting two figures from the expenditure, yon will get at the number of the men. The result of the latter process in the present case will give you 150,600 as the number of the men. When I look at the total force stated in the Estimates, I find the number given is 1263 148,242. But that is not correct. At page 12 is an item of repayments to the Indian Government for the pay and clothing of two regiments of infantry employed in China. These regiments are not included in the total force stated at page 4 to be paid for out of grants made by Parliament. If you reckon the strength of these two regiments at the same standard as the European regiments in China, and add them to the force voted by Parliament, you will find the number of men 150,600, which, taken at an average of £100 per head, to cover all your military expenditure, is about the most correct estimate of the cost of the army that can possibly be framed, I am happy to see that these Estimates include the expense of the disembodied Militia, which was not included last year. The very improved manner in which the Estimates are this year laid before us will enable me to show how little power the House really have when they have once voted the number of men. Under the present arrangement the Estimates are divided into six parts. The first includes all those Votes which depend entirely on the number of men, and may be said to constitute the actual price per man for the regular army. If you take that Vote and divide it among the number of men, you will find the absolute cost per head is £57. The next part is for the auxiliary force. Over that you have no control whatever, with the exception of the addition proposed, as I think judiciously, to be made to the Volunteers, The number of the Militia is fixed by Parliament. You anticipate that only three-fifths of them will be present, and you have provided for them on the minimum scale of twenty-one days' pay instead of a month's. If to these two parts you add the charge for the non-effectives, over which you have no control whatever, these three parts together amount to 79 per cent of the whole Estimates, or, as nearly as possible, four-fifths of the entire expenditure is comprised in these Votes. All that the House have left on which to make such reductions as they may deem right is the remaining one-fifth. As regards this, the right hon. Gentleman has shown that of the manufacturing departments and the War Office stores a great portion is for the navy, and over it he has no control. Depend upon it, until you have a more complete control, you will never come within the estimate of £100 1264 per man to cover your whole army expenditure. If the state of Europe were different, and you could reduce your force to 100,000, making a similar reduction in the three Votes to which I have referred, that would not alter the proportionate cost, but rather increase it, because the non-effective establishment would press upon you in a heavier ratio. Instead of 14 per cent of the whole, it would become 28 per cent. As long as you have between 120,000 and 150,000 men the average charge of £100 per head will cover all your military expenditure. I have said that there is one exception to the force included in the Appendix in the regimental establishment, but that is a most important one. It relates to the native troops employed in China. The Recapitulation at the bottom of page 4 is not correct, because that is not the total force. There are in addition to that the Native troops employed in China. I admit that it is a very great improvement that they should be mentioned at all, because year after year I have moved that some notice should be taken in the Estimates of the troops employed in China. Nothing can be more irregular than the practice with regard to those troops; since they went out in 1858, when I was in office, they have not been provided for by Parliament. I defy any one to show any account by which either the numbers or a detailed account of the expense can be ascertained, and, what is still more extraordinary, the manner in which they have been paid. [Sir GEORGE LEWIS: By the Indian Council.] We were told before that they were paid out of the military chest in China. [Sir GEORGE LEWIS: Last year.] Last year we are told they were paid out of the military chest in China, The accounts were sent to China to be checked, and there they remain I suppose, for they have never come back again. I think it is quite worthy the attention of the members of the Committee on Military Accounts to see what number has been employed. Although the number has varied from 3,000 to 12,000, no account has been laid before Parliament. Year after year I have moved, that if these men are employed, they should be included in the Estimates. I was always told that they would be removed before the commencement of the next financial year; but they are there now, and not only are they still there, but the regiments have been relieved by others, and thus they have become a new and permanent part of 1265 the British army. I say, that if any Government can employ the Native army of India, which consists of 1,50,000 men, without any vote and without any account, except a gross sum, there is an end to any control whatever over military expenditure by Parliament. These troops, too, are the most expensive which can by possibility be employed, because not only do they receive Indian pay and allowances, but their employment renders it necessary to give Indian pay and allowances to all the troops employed in the same service. This accounts for the discrepancy between the payments to officers of the army and the payments to officers in the navy. When the contrast was made the other night, I was quite astonished at the amazing advantages enjoyed by the service to which I belong. But if you refer to page 115, you will see that the Major General commanding in China receives just four times the amount of a Major General employed elsewhere, because he is receiving Indian pay and allowances; and that his aide-de-camp, who may be an ensign or lieutenant, is actually receiving more pay than a Major General commanding elsewhere. A Major General in command in China receives £2,535, and his aide-de-camp £697; while a Major General in command at Ceylon only receives £691, and his aide-de-camp £173. This is the effect of employing these Native troops in China. I do not mean to say that troops serving in China are not entitled to some extra allowance; but when the Native troops went there, I was the person who granted Indian pay and allowances, as I felt it was perfectly impossible to pay the European troops less than the troops were receiving with whom they served. What I want to do is to prevent any one having i the power to employ a force without its being voted by Parliament, and without its being provided for by the Estimates. It is my intention to move that the number of men proposed by the right hon. Gentleman shall be increased by these regiments now serving in China; and should the Committee disagree with me in that proposal, I shall move to diminish the Vote by the extent of their pay. Another important question connected with the employment of these troops is whether any Mutiny Act applies to them. Certainly the same Mutiny Act as that under which the troops employed with them are serving does not apply to them. When in India they would be under the Indian Mutiny Act; but that 1266 is a local Act, and I do not know that it extends to China. It was stated that the reduction of the establishment here was sufficient to meet the increase of pay in China. That of itself is a grave irregularity; but I incline to think it is a delusion. The noble Lord the Member for Stamford (Lord Robert Cecil) moved for an account of the expenses of the troops in China; and when it was laid on the table, it appeared that no account had been received of the India force. I do not understand how the right hon. Gentleman can have paid an account which he has not received; but if he has paid money into the military chest, it may account for the fact to which the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. Williams) called attention, that with less men more money was required. Last year the pay for officers on furlough only amounted, or was estimated to amount, to £45,000. This year, it amounts to £130,000. If, then, the expenditure was under estimated last year, it is impossible money enough could have been saved out of the less number of men at home to pay for the troops in China. I should like to know what the capitation Vote does actually cover—because it is perfectly impossible to ascertain that accurately from these Estimates. They give merely the expense of the pay for the Horse Artillery and Artillery in the Indian depôts; but for the Line and Cavalry in the same depots, besides the pay, there appear extra charges for beer money and additional pay. The capitation Vote ought to cover all the expenditure which has been thrown upon the Estimates by the change of system. With reference to the reduction of men proposed in the depots, I deny that 100 men are enough in a depôt. How is the reduction of 100 men per regiment to be carried into effect—by reducing the men or by stopping the recruiting? [Sir GEORGE LEWIS: By stopping the recruiting.] Then I beg to tell the right hon. Baronet, that this reduction coming into operation with respect to ten years' service men, unless you induce them to re-enlist you may at any moment find your regiments become mere skeletons. Rather than stop recruiting it would be better to discharge those men who were not likely to renew their engagements. I conclude by moving that the Vote for the Number of Men be increased from 148,242 by the addition of the strength of the regiments serving in China, namely by 2,152.
As I understand, the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman is founded on the fact alleged that a sum of money is asked for wages and provisions greater than is necessary for the amount of men proposed in the Vote. If that be so, the proper course is to move a decrease of the money Vote. With regard to the employment of two Indian regiments, it is not my province to interfere; but a Motion to increase the number of men proposed by a Minister of the Crown would be a departure from the elementary rules of a Committee of Supply, which it would be inconsistent with my duty to permit.
I certainly understood that if I could make out that these men were provided for in the Votes, there could be no objection in point of form to a Motion which would have the effect of causing them to appear upon the Estimates.
If the right hon. Gentlemen had proposed merely the rectification of an error, there might have been no objection; but a Motion to increase the number of men proposed by the Minister could not possibly appear in the Journals of the House without a manifest departure from the ordinary rules of a Committee of Supply.
submitted that what he proposed was in effect the rectification of an error; but he would, of course, bow to the decision of the Chairman.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
I will explain why I produced the Estimates in their present form. My attention had been directed to the particular point raised by the right hon. Gentleman, and I considered whether I should propose the number given in the present Estimate, or increase it by the two Indian regiments referred to, and also the force maintained at Labuan. I came to the conclusion that the proper course was that which I have adopted. In the first place, there is a difficulty, which, perhaps, the Committee will consider decisive—that we have no materials at the War Office from which we can ascertain the precise number of these Indian regiments. [Sir FREDERIC SMITH: It appears in your own paper.] Well, I am told we have no exact account of the strength of those regiments. At all events, I have followed the practice pursued for many years with respect to the force at Labuan. They are not upon the establishment. The sum asked for the force at Labuan is £4,500; and I propose that with respect to this, as well as with regard to the Indian 1268 regiments, the expense should be voted by the House. In former times the money was found by the Indian Treasury, and a settlement took place periodically with the War Office; but in the present year they are brought in upon the Estimates.
thought, unless they knew what the force of men was to be, they could not fix the precise sum to be voted.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, the Estimate was founded on the information furnished by the East India Government; but the exact strength of the regiments could not be stated.
thought it would be a great advantage if the House could possibly know what was the arrangement proposed by the Indian Government with reference to the capitation money.
§ COLONEL SYKES
considered the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (General Peel) a very proper one. The real question was, whether they were to pay for 148,000 or 150,000 men. A clause in the India Act of 1858, introduced by the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, prohibited the employment out of India of troops paid by the Government of India, without the consent of Parliament, but part of the Indian troops were nevertheless employed in China, and their pay had been charged to the British Exchequer, and these numbers ought to be added to the numbers in the Army Estimates. To cover the expense of the recruiting depôts in England and other Contingent charges, £10 per man for the European force employed in India was fixed; and as there were this year 72,000 men, the sum of £720,000 was paid for them from the taxes of India; but £3 per man was also charged in addition, for pensions and invaliding, so that £960,000 was paid by India to England in the present year for the European force maintained there. This capitation charge was nothing but a premium for keeping up the European troops in India at the highest possible amount, for the greater the number of European troops there were, the greater would be the receipt here. But what was the meaning of this? The maintenance of the present large European force in India was a great drain upon the youthful blood and sinew of this country, for 7,000 to 8,000 of the flower of its youth had to be sent out annually to keep the troops up at their proper quota. That policy betrayed an unworthy distrust of the Native army of India. It was unjust to India to 1269 assume that all her soldiers would be unfaithful to us. Two of our Indian armies, the Madras and Bombay, had proved faithful; and by a Return lately made to the House of Commons it appeared that in Bengal even sixty-two native regiments remained true to their allegiance during the mutiny. The Committee had been told that we could not diminish the number of our troops in China, amounting, according to the last Return, to 5,837. But if we had not committed a breach of faith, and mixed ourselves up with the internecine war, 1,000 or 2,000 men would have been a sufficient force there for our purposes. The charge under that head ought to he considerably reduced, but the forms of the House would not permit him to move an Amendment.
§ MR W. E. FORSTER
congratulated the Committee that the Estimates were now presented in a more intelligible shape than formerly, and also on the absence of any reference, in the right hon. Baronet's speech in introducing the Army Estimates, to an apprehended invasion. What, then, was the reason why the right hon. Gentleman demanded so large a force? The right hon. Gentleman said that the army at home must be at least a third of its total strength, because the military authorities declared that five years at home for every ten years abroad was the smallest time that could be allowed a corps consistently with a due consideration for its health and discipline. He was not disposed to dispute that statement; but then it was quite a mistake to suppose that the Indian army cost this country nothing; for though it was quite true that the Indian Government paid for the troops actually employed in that country and in the depôts, any increase in the army in India rendered it necessary for the army at home to be proportionately increased. Supposing the augmentation of the European troops in India since the mutiny to have been 30,000 men—[Sir GEORGE LEWIS: It has been raised from 22.000 to 56,000]—but supposing them to have been increased by only 30,000, that would involve, according to the argument of the right hon. Gentleman, the necessity of the army at home being increased by at least 10,000, which, at the ordinary rate of £100 per man, would represent a sum of a million sterling cast annually upon the finances of this country. Some persons might, perhaps, think that should also be thrown upon 1270 the Indian Treasury; but he confessed that he (Mr. W. E. Forster) should not like to see the people of India called upon to sustain any greater burdens than those which they already bore. But the fact ought to make the House seriously consider whether or not the Indian army might not itself be reduced. Things were not quite in so deplorable a condition as they were just after the mutiny, for we had then an enormous Native army, and a, large European force kept up apparently for the purpose of watching it. The Government deserved great credit for having reduced the Native army; but he thought that now the Committee ought to look more narrowly at the expenditure on the European army. He thought it suggested the question whether further reduction might not be made in the number of troops required both in India and in the colonies.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, that India paid the whole of the expenses of the troops in India, and also of the depôts in England; and therefore, although he admitted that, to a certain extent, there was a drain on the resources of England to keep up the strength of the British army in India; yet, on the whole, he did not think this country suffered by keeping up that army in India. He thought that the argument of one hon. Member that the £10 grant was quite sufficient, and of another that the charge was an undue imposition on the finances of India, proved that the estimate had been founded upon a just basis. It should be remembered that two Committees had considered the charge of £10 per head for the men in the depôts, and they were of opinion that it was a fair charge.
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
rose to propose that the Vote be reduced by 10,000 men. If his Amendment were adopted, the standing army would still be larger by 35,000 men than it was in the time of Lord Aberdeen's Government; in addition to which the Militia, would be 70,000 stronger, and there were now 160,000 Volunteers. So that in reality, even if his Amendment were carried, there would be 265,000 more men for the defence of the country this year than in the year 1852. He mentioned that year because it was the year previous to our preparation for the Crimean war. He desired in particular to call attention to the charges for the Ceylon Regiment, the Cape Mounted Rifles, and the Canadian Rifle Regiment. The Canadians were proposing to raise more militia, but not suf- 1271 ficient to protect the colony in case of invasion. The Government of this country ought to make an arrangement with the Government of Canada either to take care of themselves, or to maintain a force sufficient for their own protection. For these reasons he moved for a reduction of 10,000 men.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a number of Land Forces, not exceeding 138,242 (including 9,349, all ranks, to be employed with the Depôts in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland of Regiments serving in Her Majesty's Indian Possessions, but exclusive of the numbers actually serving within Her Majesty's Indian Possessions), be maintained during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1864.
said, if the entire force was composed of one particular class, he could understand the proposed reduction; but if the hon. Gentleman really meant to divide the Committee, he ought to point out in what branch of the army — cavalry, artillery, engineers, or infantry— he meant the reduction to take place. What proportion of each force would the hon. Gentleman propose to reduce? The cavalry, for instance, were 11,800. Would the hon. Gentleman strike the 10,000 from that number? Or from which force would he take them?
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
said, he had heard many questions put when it was proposed to reduce the army, but never such a puzzling one as the gallant Colonel's. He would leave the matter entirely to the Government, and after the great ability displayed by the gallant Colonel he would recommend them to consult him.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, that if the Committee agreed to the hon. Member's Amendment, and it were left to him to give practical effect to it, he should feel no little embarrassment. He had already explained how impossible it was to reduce the battalions of infantry, on account of the system of reliefs. The hon. Gentleman could hardly mean to reduce more than half the artillery force, which consisted of 19,000 men; nor could the cavalry force well be spared. The Engineers and the other branches of the service of course would have little chance of escaping extinction; and he hoped therefore that the hon. Member would give some further details as to the manner in which he meant his Amendment to be carried out.
§ MR. ARTHUR MILLS
said, he should be glad to see that the Government paid 1272 more attention to the recommendations of the Committee which sat last year. He should be glad to see the charge for the Canadian Rifles reduced; and if the West India regiments disappeared from the Army List altogether, he should be well pleased. He believed them to be in a very inefficient state, and were altogether an anomalous force. With regard to the forces in the East Indies, he could only hope that the amalgamation of the Queen's and the Indian armies, which he had opposed at the time to the utmost of his power, would turn out more successfully than appeared likely at present.
§ MR. BUXTON
thought it most necessary that the House should express itself in favour of a reduction of military expenditure. He, too, was surprised to find that the Report of the Committee on Colonial Military Expenditure had been entirely ignored by the Government. He thought nothing had ever been more clearly demonstrated than the inexpediency of maintaining garrisons in distant parts of the world which would be entirely inefficient in case of war. It was also shown that it would tend to draw out the self-reliance and resources of the Colonies if they were called upon to supply the forces requisite for the maintenance of order, and that the expenditure might be reduced by more than £2,000,000 if a different system were adopted with regard to the Colonies. He was glad it had been shown that English taxpayers had an interest in the reduction of the forces in India. Before the mutiny we only had 40,000 men in India, whereas we now had 72,000. The Native army, which was formerly 300,000, was now reduced to 100,000; there was no foreign enemy to contend with in that country, and the only purpose for which English troops were required was to keep the Native army in check. 72,000 were far more than were required for that purpose. The loss of life amongst the English troops was frightful; and though not so great as it had been, there must always be a painful sacrifice of life and health connected with the maintenance of a large army in India.
§ SIR MORTON PETO
said, it must be allowed that the Army Estimates were extremely difficult to deal with in detail. What he believed his hon. Friend (Mr. W. Williams) meant to effect by this proposition was to declare that the sum of £15,000,000 was in excess of what the Government ought to spend upon the army for the present year. He did not see any- 1273 thing in the state of Europe to call for such an outlay, and it seemed the less necessary when it was considered that we had about 160,000 Volunteers, beside the Militia, and other forces. With the view of expressing this feeling, he should divide with his hon. Friend if the question were carried to a division; but he would rather recommend him to move a reduction in the amount of the Estimates than in the number of men.
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON
said, the Government had already been congratulated on having proposed a considerable reduction in the Army Estimates. What hon. Members below the gangway now seemed to regret was that they had not reduced the efficiency as well as the expenditure. A proposal more illogical and inconsistent than a wholesale reduction by rule of thumb of 10,000 it was impossible to conceive. From the extensive depôts kept in the country there must always be a great many soldiers retained in Great Britain not available for immediate service, but yet on the muster-rolls of the army, and absorbing a considerable portion of the expense. Even although—as was proposed by some hon. Members—the force in India and the Colonies were reduced, it would not be practicable, consistently with efficiency, to reduce their home force below its present point. As he saw the learned Judge Advocate (Mr. Headlam) in his place, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would inform the House with respect to the Question that had been asked by the right hon. Member for Huntingdon (General Peel) as to the operation in the Mutiny Act, and whether the troops in China came under its provisions. In regard to the reduction in local stores, he stated that it had been the object of successive Governments to have a large amount of stores on hand—equal, he believed, to five years' consumption—in order that in the event of the country being unexpectedly engaged in war they might have a supply on hand to meet that emergency. He would regret if, in order to make a reduction in the Estimates, the Government had departed from that course. He regretted that it was not intended to give the Militia that minimum of training which the Royal Commission declared should be the very least they should receive; and could not imagine a more unfortunate kind of economy than n reduction in the period of their training.
§ MR. DODSON
said, the Secretary for War argued that the number of men could 1274 not he reduced because there must be troops enough at home, periodically to relieve those abroad. The gallant General (General Peel) maintained, that if the number of men were once voted, all the money asked must necessarily follow. If so, there was no use in having the Army Estimates submitted to the House at all. He saw no difficulty in diminishing the number of men; for if a certain proportion was required to be maintained between the establishments at home and the establishments in India and in the colonies, it was surely easy to make such arrangements as would preserve that proportion; but the Government ought to be prepared to make reductions both at home and abroad, if the House of Commons thought that reductions were expedient.
said, that with respect to the Native Indian troops employed in China they were not under the European, or the Indian Mutiny Act, but under Articles of War entirely distinct. He was not aware that there were any of the regiments formerly composing the European force of the Indian army in China. He thought, however, that it would be very desirable now that the amalgamation of the Queen's army and the Indian army was complete that the whole should be governed under one Mutiny Act; and steps would be taken for that purpose.
§ MR. CHILDERS
said, the real question to be decided was, whether the charge for the troops engaged abroad in colonial service could not be reduced. If any reduction was to be made, it must be in the West India garrisons, in those of Ceylon and the Mauritius, and in New Zealand and the Cape, where the relations of the colonists to the natives had occasioned the maintenance of military establishments out of all proportion to the European population. The expenditure for the East and West India colonies (including Ceylon and Mauritius) was estimated at £502,000; and that for the Cape at £575,000. Some explanation was required as to why nothing had been done towards making these colonies contribute more largely to their expenditure, as recommended by the Committee on Colonial Military Expenditure. The revenue of Ceylon was £767,000.a year, its expenditure was only £700,000. 1275 He was aware that Ceylon contributed to the extra allowances and also to the commissariat charges, but he thought the colony should pay as fixed contribution more than £24,000. The Mauritius cost us £150,000; its revenue was between £500,000 and £600,000; and he doubted whether it contributed more than 1–16th of that revenue. He thought at least a further amount of £100,000 ought to be advanced by these two colonies. Further, with regard to New Zealand and South Africa, he thought the Committee should receive some assurance that their cost should receive the attention of Government, otherwise the House should interfere. New Zealand ought not to continue to figure on the Estimates for an average charge of £360,000 a year. He trusted to hear that some means would be taken to satisfy the Committee on these points before the debate closed.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
said, he regretted that the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. Williams) had not given notice of his Amendment. Such a course would have been but an act of courtesy that was due to the immediate parties concerned. He (Mr. Seymour), however, had no doubt but that 10,000 men might be struck off with safety if proper means were taken to effect that object He also thought a considerable reduction might be made in our colonial military expenditure. Considering, too, that the Yeomanry force cost only £94,000 for 19,000 men, he thought that some reduction might be made in the Voluntary force, and that the Yeomanry force should be made more efficient. The War Department was proverbial for being in a state of disorganization, where, as it was commonly said, six men were employed to do the work of one. Now, why had not the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War employed his mind to improve that Department? He found that the administration of the army cost no less a sum than nearly £400,000. He thought that a due retrenchment might be made in that respect. If they had a better administration, they could then hope to see large reductions both at home and in our colonies. There were other colonies that cost money besides those mentioned by the hon. Member for Pontefract. There was China, where, notwithstanding the presence of our large fleet, we had an army of 6,000 men, which he did not consider at all necessary amongst so peaceable a population. This force cost £560,000. 1276 No doubt, whilst the present administration of the army lasted, some of those charges were inevitable; but why should not the system of administration be changed? Whilst he thought that great reductions might be reasonably made, in addition to the million already reduced, nevertheless, he could not vote for the Amendment of the hon Member for Lambeth.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 19; Noes 77: Majority 58.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £5,709,733, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge of the General Staff, and Regimental Pay, Allowances, and Charges of Her Majesty's Land Forces at Home and Abroad, exclusive of India, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1864 inclusive.
moved that this sum be reduced by £38,000, "repayment to the Indian Government for pay and clothing of two regiments of Native infantry employed in China." Those two regiments were not included in the number of men just voted, and it was necessary to cut off this Vote in order that 148,242 men might be the total force to be provided for out of the army grants. The two regiments in question were not under the Mntiny Act, but were under some Articles of War, but what those Articles were did not appear. The course which he was about to take was the only way by which he could bring those Native regiments under the notice of the House. If, as had been stated, these men were paid for last year out of the establishment then voted, how was it that they were not so included this year? He had great objection to the Government employing Native troops out of India, and he should therefore move to reduce the Vote by the sum which he had named.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £5,671,733, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge of the General Staff, and Regimental Pay, Allowances, and Charges of Her Majesty's Land Forces at Home and Abroad, exclusive of India, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1864 inclusive.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
found himself very much perplexed as to the mode in which he ought to deal with those Indian 1277 troops employed in China. He was told, when they were not introduced in the Estimates, that they ought to have been introduced, and that he was following an irregular course in making a transfer from one Vote to another, when providing for those regiments out of the monies voted for other services. In order to obviate that objection, he had introduced into them the Estimates this year, and had followed the precise practice which had been adopted with regard to the force maintained at Labuan. If, therefore, the sum of £38,000 for those two regiments in China ought to be omitted, so also ought £4,500 for the troops at Labuan. If it was admitted that it was desirable that the regiments should he employed in China, he did not see what other course he had to take. The reason why Native troops were employed in China was because they were less costly than European troops, and Sepoys, from their physical constitution, were better able to bear the Chinese climate. The same remark applied to the small force in Labuan. The Sepoy troops in India were subject to Articles of War passed in a perfectly regular and legitimate manner by the Indian Government, and having the authority of law in India. These Articles of War contained certain special provisions applicable to the Native troops. If he added the numbers of these regiments to the number to be voted in the first Vote, that would not subject them to the English Mutiny Act, and it would be a proceeding inconvenient in practice and never hitherto followed. Should the Committee strike out the item, the only thing to be done would be to recall these two regiments from China, and send out two battalions from this country— supposing that the force in China could not be reduced. He trusted that the Government would be able to effect a reduction of that force, but their effort had been to reduce, not the native Indian troops, but the English troops stationed there.
said, the right hon. Gentleman had stated his wish to be the direct contrary of what he (General Peel) desired. His object was to prevent any Government from employing a Native Indian army in China at the charge of this country, without the House knowing and having control over the expenditure. He wanted the right hon. Gentleman to add these two regiments to the number to be voted, and then the House would know 1278 what the actual force was; for it was quite evident that the number 148,242 set down in the Estimates was not the total force.
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
was of opinion that the Committee ought not to grant money for men that they had not voted.
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
said, that the course taken by the Government was unconstitutional, and he should support the Amendment.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
could not admit that there was the smallest force in what the hon. Member called the constitutional objection to passing the item. If he had attempted to procure payment for these two regiments without a Vote of Parliament, something might have been said as to the unconstitutionally of that course, though he believed there were precedents for it. He had, however, taken no such course, but had put the expense in the Estimates. If the Committee chose to refuse it, it was competent for them to do so, and it was impossible for the Committee to have more ample power than they possessed over this expenditure. He could not understand why the right hon. Gentleman should wish to substitute European troops for Native Indian. So far from there being the smallest desire on the part of the Government to keep up an unnecessary number of men on the coast of China, they were using every effort to diminish the force on that station; but if the present force should be necessary, and if, nevertheless, the Committee omitted this item, the Native Indian troops must then be replaced by European troops. There was something capricious in the objection to the item, for the gallant General took no notice of the item of £4,500 for the force at Labuan, which was precisely in the same position, and which was proposed in a former year by the gallant General himself. It certainly would not conduce to the public service or promote economy to negative this sum of £38,000.
had much pleasure in supporting the reduction of the Vote. It very often happened that Indian troops were sent to China, and a large amount of expense incurred without notice being drawn to the circumstance; whereas attention would be at once excited if it were proposed to send English instead of Indian regiments.
§ SIR JOHN TRELAWNY
considered that the arguments of the right hon. Baronet (Sir G. Lewis) were mutually de- 1279 structive of each other. He had first urged the inconvenience that would result from any interference on the part of the Committee with his proposition; but he then stated that he had taken the constitutional course of including the item in the Estimates in order that the Committee might have an opportunity of objecting to it;—and that was the course they were then adopting.
§ MR. DODSON
said, that the Amendment was one more of form than of substance. The regiments in question could not be included in the 148,000 men voted, because the exact number of men composing them was not known.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, it would be impossible to include the troops referred to in the 148,000 men voted by Parliament. The Indian troops were subject to Articles of War containing stringent provisions peculiarly applicable to themselves, and had never been brought under the clauses of the English Mutiny Act.
§ MR. KINNAIRD
said, the question put by the gallant General with regard to the health of the troops had not been answered. He believed the plan suggested would be of great benefit in a sanitary point of view.
said, when he held the office of Secretary for War, troops had been sent from India to China without communicating with him in any way. They were not included in the numbers voted during the present Session.
MR. T. G. BARING
observed, that the high authority of Sir John Lawrence was in favour of the course proposed by the Government. It would be exceedingly detrimental to the discipline of a Sikh regiment to withdraw them from subjection to the terms of the special Act of the Legislative Council, passed in 1860.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 58; Noes 64: Majority 6.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ SIR MORTON PETO
then moved the reduction of the Vote by £255,156, being the difference between the estimate on Vote No. 1 this year and last year. He saw no ground that could be shown for the larger sum now asked for. It was stated that the Estimates had been reduced by over one million sterling; but he maintained that practically they were not reduced at all. £1,133,800 less was taken for Stores; but inasmuch as the total reduction upon 1280 the Estimates was only £1,000,000, it followed that there could be no diminution upon any of the other items. In the year 1853 the total amount of the Army Estimates was £8,550,000. This year the amount was £15,060,000—the difference between the present Estimates and those of 1853 being £6,510,000. Was the country at peace or at war? If at peace, on what grounds were they asked for a quarter of a million more on this Vote now than they voted last year? The total military force at present for home service was 436,000 men—an amount which was not at all justified by the present condition of Europe. As regarded our own country various Members of the Government had, again and again, expressed the opinion that there was nothing in the attitude of the North, notwithstanding all the distress which prevailed, to cause apprehension.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding.£5,454,733, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge of the General Staff, and Regimental Pay, Allowances, and Charges of Her Majesty's Land Forces at Home and Abroad, exclusive of India, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1864 inclusive.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, the Motion of his hon. Friend was founded on the erroneous assumption that there was an increase in the Vote of this year over that in the last. The truth was that the increase was not real, but only nominal. It was simply a question of account, and arose from the additional outlay caused by the increase of depots of regiments in India, which would be defrayed out of the capitation grant of the Indian Government, and therefore would be cancelled by payments from India. In fact the expenditure thus created was greater than £255,000, and it was only by a saving in other items that the apparent increase in the present Vote was reduced to that figure.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Aves 28; Noes 96: Majority 68.
§ Original question again proposed.
§ LORD WILLIAM GRAHAM
inquired how it was that the item for Instruction in Engineering had increased from £3,630 to £3,920, although the number of persons for whose remuneration it was to be voted was one less than last year.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, he was unable at that moment to explain this 1281 minute point, but he would do so on the report.
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
said, he found that this Vote included a large expenditure for the army in the Colonies, and before it was passed he thought the Government ought to give a reason why they had not acted upon the recommendation of the Committee of last year, which, if followed out, would have led to a material reduction. The state of the country was not such as to warrant them in spending a single farthing that could be saved.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, that the number of battalions to be employed in the different colonies was a matter of general policy, which was determined upon by the Government at large; and when it was decided, it was the duty of the Secretary for the War Department to prepare his Estimates accordingly. Therefore, it was not a question to be debated on a special Vote of the Army Estimates—it was a question of general Imperial policy. He had before him a statement of the number of battalions stationed in the colonies and of the number of men forming those battalions; and if the Committee wished it, he would state precisely the number in each colony. The subject had been very carefully considered during the recess with the assistance of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and this was the number of battalions which it appeared to be necessary to maintain in each colony. The Mediterranean stations came first. They must be considered in the light of advanced guards of England. They occupied the line of the Mediterranean and covered our communications with India. Their climate was healthy, provisions were cheaper than in England, and these battalions cost less to the Exchequer than if they were in the United Kingdom. In Gibraltar there were five battalions, in Malta six, and in the Ionian Islands four. On the west coast of Africa there were 987 men; St. Helena 718; Cape of Good Hope, four battalions, consisting of 4,687 men; the Mauritius, two battalions, 2,260 men; Hongkong, including the detachments at Shanghai and other parts of the coast, three battalions, 3,308 men. In the Island of Ceylon there was one battalion, which with the Ceylon Rangers, a local corps, made a force of 2,219 men, which, considering the extent of the island, did not seem excessive. In Australia there was one battalion of 1,048 1282 men. That, certainly, was not an extravagant force for Australia. In Now Zealand, where hostilities were going on and where we were maintaining a war establishment, there were five battalions, consisting of 5,594 men. A constant correspondence had been kept up with the Governor of New Zealand with a view to the diminution, if possible, of that number, but it hid not been possible for the Government to diminish the force. In Canada there were eight battalions of the line and two of the Guards, making in all 11,825 men. The Committee remembered the circumstances which gave rise to the sending out of large reinforcements to Canada, and the disturbed condition of the United Status had rendered it impossible to reduce the force in that colony. In Nova Scotia there were three battalions, 3,655 men. That garrison had been kept up for the same reason as that of Canada. In Bermuda, which was an important port off the coast of America and a great naval station, there was one battalion, 1,168 men. At Jamaica there was a regiment of the line and also some West Indian regiments, making altogether 2,019 men. At Honduras there was a detachment of 302, at the Bahamas 308, and in the other West India Islands 2,316 men. At the Falkland Islands there were 37 and in British Columbia 135 men. Altogether, forty-five battalions, and 59,314 men. These numbers had been carefully examined from time to time, but Her Majesty's Government had come to the conclusion that under the present circumstances this was the lowest force which we could maintain in the colonies, and the estimate which he had submitted to the House had been framed on that footing.
§ SIR HARRY VERNEY
asked whether, if the Protectorate of the Ionian Islands was abandoned, there would be a diminution of four battalions.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, that if the Protectorate of the Ionian Islands were relinquished, the four battalions kept there would be withdrawn. Whether it was possible to reduce the strength of the army by these four battalions would have to be considered when the time arrived. As to a question put with reference to the expenditure in the Engineering Department, the principal increase was in the salary of the Director, which was made in consequence of his promotion in rank. The number of men was twenty-eight, find not twenty-six, as it was misprinted.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
suggested, that the further discussion of the Estimates should be postponed until the Committee was furnished with the figures which the Secretary for War had laid before them, in a shape which would enable them to test more accurately their bearing and value.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, there was included in the Estimates such a statement as the hon. Gentleman seemed to desire.
drew attention to the Votes of men for the Cape of Good Hope, the West India Islands, Ceylon, and the Mauritius, contending that 4,700 men was an excessive number to keep up in the West Indies, while the charge for troops for Ceylon and the Cape of Good Hope was open to a similar objection.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
maintained, that when the importance of the Colonies in question was taken into account, the charge for troops was sufficiently moderate. A reduction of our present force at the Cape of Good Hope might expose us to the risk of another of those Kaffir wars of the cost of which the House had had painful experience.
§ MR. CHILDERS
said, the balance of revenue over expenditure at the Mauritius averaging nearly £50,000, that Colony might fairly be asked for a larger contribution towards its military establishment than £10,000.
§ MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE
, while maintaining that the Mauritius was valuable to us on Imperial grounds, yet hoped that the prosperity of the colony would soon warrant the demand of a larger contribution from it.
§ SIR JOHN TRELAWNY
animadverted upon the creation of new Field Marshals, involving additional cost to the country, and insisted that it ought to undergo discussion. He would move to report progress.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
replied, that of the four Field Marshals promoted on the attainment of the Prince of Wales's majority only one—namely, his Royal Highness the Commander-in Chief—was now in active employment, and on his appoint- 1284 ment it was understood that he was not to claim the increased pay attached to that rank.
§ The Committee divided: — Ayes 25; Noes 80: Majority 55.
§ Original Question again proposed.
hoped the right hon. Gentleman would consent to report progress, otherwise he should move that the Chairman leave the chair. He (Mr. White) was a Member of a Railway Committee which, had been sitting all day. He had afterwards gone away for a short time to take a little fresh air, and he had happened to be absent while the right hon. Gentleman made his explanation. He would, however, carefully read his speech to-morrow. He begged to move that the Chairman leave the chair.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do now leave the Chair."
§ LORD LOVAINE
thought it rather hard that the business of the nation should be stopped because the hon. Member was absent, he trusted that the hon. Gentleman would, on reconsideration, waive his personal feelings, and consent to the continuance of the debate.
§ Motion negatived.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
stated, that as it was the usual custom not to prolong the Committee of Supply after midnight, he should not persevere.
§ House resumed.
§ Resolution to be reported on Wednesday; Committee to sit again on Wednesday.