HC Deb 02 July 1867 vol 188 cc855-6

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, If he will be able to state to the House this Session the course he intends to pursue with regard to the Report of the Transport Commission; and, whether publicity will be given to the opinions of the heads of the several Departments in the War Office with regard to that Report?


In answering the Question of my hon. and gallant Friend, I think I can only repeat the substance of what I stated on a former occasion at a greater length, when my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Harwich (Major Jervis) brought this question before the House. The Report of Lord Strathnairn's Commission, following as it does, closely upon the Report of the Royal Commission, presents, I think, a very favourable opportunity for a careful revision of the present organization both of the War Office and of the administrative departments in the army. But I need not point out to my hon. and gallant Friend that that is a task as heavy and as difficult as it is important. I think I shall be guilty of great presumption and great imprudence if in the short remaining period of this Session, occupied moreover, as it now is, I were to attempt to submit to this House a plan upon so complicated and difficult a subject with any hope that that plan could be worthy of the approbation of the House. The course which I propose to take, therefore, is to give my best and most careful consideration to the subject during the recess, calling to my assistance the best advice I can obtain, in the hope that at the commencement of the next Session I may be able to submit to this House a plan worthy of the consideration and approbation of Parliament. Under these circumstances it is not my intention—it would indeed be premature—now to lay upon the table any views upon this subject which I may receive from the various heads of the War Department.