HC Deb 03 July 1871 vol 207 cc1002-77

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."—(Mr. Cardwell.)


, in rising to move the following Resolution:— That the Bill for the better Regulation of the Army having been narrowed to an object which will entail on the country an ascertained expenditure of several millions, besides a large permanent charge of which no estimate has been submitted, this House is unwilling thus to add to the pressure of existing taxation by entering on a course of unknown expenditure; and, declining to commit itself by premature action, awaits from Her Majesty's Government a mature and comprehensive scheme of Army Reform calculated to place the military system of the country on a sound and economical basis, said, he was well aware of the disadvantages under which he laboured in taking exception to a measure which had been so long discussed, and which now awaited its last stage; but, whatever might be the result of the Amendment he was about to move, he felt it a matter of duty to raise a distinct discussion on the third reading of the Bill, especially in connection with the large expenditure involved. It was undoubtedly the custom to take the sense of the House as to the principle of a measure upon the second reading, but a practice had grown up of throwing overboard vital provisions in the course of the progress of a Bill, and unless that practice was checked, the result would be that the third reading of an important measure would be regarded as the crucial test. However that might be, he hoped to show the House that the present Bill had undergone a change of a most important character. As first introduced it had a twofold object—the abolition of purchase in the Army, and the re-organization of the Army. This latter object, which he ventured to say the country most prized, had been abandoned, and the Bill, in its present crude and naked condition, was simply a measure for the abolition of purchase, without the collateral scheme promised in the first instance, from which the country hoped to get an Army of a sound and reliable character. He asked, then, in simple commercial phrase, what was the measure now worth? Would the House be satisfied to receive in Government coin 10s. in the pound, when by waiting another year, and carrying out the twofold object which the Government originally had in view, the country would receive 20s. in the pound in the shape of an Army ready for any emergency. He did not think he could better describe the objects of the Bill than by quoting the words of the right hon. Gentleman himself in introducing it. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War said— You will at any rate agree that we have not attempted to glide over the surface and propose some mere superficial and partial arrangements. We have done our best to deal with the principles that lie at the bottom of the service, to lay, if you should be pleased to approve of the measures, the firm foundation of a defensive force, which may be a perfect security to the country, not merely against danger, but against that which is scarcely less intolerable to the spirit and independence of Englishmen — the perpetually recurring apprehension of danger."—[3 Hansard, cciv. 358.] The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer said— It is in the power of this House and of the country, if they are so minded, to take such measures as shall, I will not say prevent England from being invaded, but shall satisfy all who can judge that she cannot be invaded successfully. If that can be done, I can hardly imagine any sacrifice that it would not be worth while making upon purely financial considerations, because if we can satisfy people that this is the one spot in the world that is safe, and that will in all probability be free from the ravages of war, think how our credit will rise, think how our property will increase, what a predominance it gives us over other nations."—[3 Hansard, ccv. 1406.] That was the language of the Chancellor of the Exchequer when obtaining the consent of the House to the Ways and Means for carrying out—not the abolition of purchase only, but the far greater object of the re-organization of the Army; while the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister himself, on another occasion, intimated that the Bill was the practical application of the lessons of the Franco-Prussian War. Such was the intention, he believed, of the Government, and such was the object of the Bill when introduced. He (Mr. Graves), however, failed to see in what way the mere substitution of one system of promotion in the Army for another could raise their credit, increase their property, or give them predominance above other nations. He knew there had been an attempt made—he would not say to undo, but, at all events, to modify these pledges, so soon as it became desirable or necessary to cast aside that portion of the original Bill which was the object and end for which it was proposed to abolish purchase in the Army. But that attempt had not been successful. The avowed object of the Government, as stated by distinguished Members of the Cabinet, was not only to abolish purchase, but to bring about a scheme for the re-organization of the Army which would place it on a solid and economical basis. It might be urged in the course of the debate that the Government had only elected to go step by step in this matter, and that they had taken the first step in the direction of abolishing purchase, and in due time other steps would follow. If that were so, all he could say was that the first step was the most expensive one; and he should like to see something that would really add to the security of the country before the House finally passed this Bill. For himself, he would rather see the matter deferred, in order that they might have that comprehensive scheme before them which might probably loom in the future. He would ask if, after this Session had been occupied as it had been—after the vast expenditure that was proposed on the mere abolition of purchase, the country would be very anxious for more Army reform if that Bill was all that was now to be given. What the country had asked for was bread, but he maintained all that had been given in that measure was a stone. He would not trouble them with what was the whole scheme of the Bill as it was first placed before the House. The leading journal had so concisely put the objects of the Bill that he would read a short extract from it. On the 27th of March last The Times wrote as follows:— It may be as well, perhaps, to state again in plain words what this Bill will do for us, and what it will leave undone. It will give us an Army of Regular soldiers competent to encounter any invading force, the whole of this Army being so eminently organized and equipped that it can take the field at any moment. Practically, therefore, our available strength in this respect will be doubled, for, instead of putting only 50,000 men in line, we shall be able to put 100,000. The artillery in particular will be so largely increased that, instead of 180 field guns, we shall have 336, all horsed and manned. In support of this active force we shall have the auxiliary forces of the Militia and Volunteers. The Militia, will be raised by an addition of 45,000 men to a total strength of 139,000, and the quality of the force will be improved by an extension of preliminary training as well as annual drill. Arrangements are made for the instruction of Militia and Volunteer officers at camps of exercise, and all establishments together will be so organized as to facilitate a flow of officers from one service to the other, and of soldiers from the active Army to the Reserve. … That, as regards immediate results, is a fair description of Mr. Cardwell's Bill. He believed that was a fair description of what the Bill proposed when first introduced to the House, and he now asked hon. Members to compare the Bill as it now stood with the description then given, and to bear in mind that the expenditure it involved had not been materially reduced. He was not going to defend the theory of purchase; but they must not forget what purchase had done for the country. Purchase had given the country officers whom it was not proposed by that Bill to get rid of—they would still remain officers of the British Army. If they were deficient in scientific or technical education, whose fault was it? Certainly not the fault of the officers, but of those who had fixed the standard of education, whether scientific or technical, and had laid down what should be the qualification of officers. The men were the same, the pluck was the same. He did not know any service in the world that was equal to their own service—certainly there was nothing superior to it. And so far as the regimental system was concerned, it had been described on both sides as worthy the admiration of the world. The Duke of Wellington said of the British troops—"They would go anywhere and do anything"— Nothing, he thought, could surpass, or, indeed, equal the British troops in the field; the sense of honour among officers existed in no other service to the same degree. He felt confidence when he put a detachment into a post that they would maintain it against any force until they dropped. Sir John Burgoyne said— I would venture to assert that no Army in the world is better officered regimentally than that of Great Britain, and that in no respect would the abandonment of the purchase system tend to improve it. The impression that in proportion to the means possessed by an officer he can by purchase obtain promotion over the heads of his brother officers is an error; no officer obtains promotion by purchase without its being certified that he is worthy of it. General Blumenthal, of the Prussian Army, said— I am in favour of a well-regulated system of purchase, which, I consider has worked wonderfully well in the British Army, and I would gladly see it introduced into the Prussian Army, if it was now possible; and I regret it is not so in consequence of its composition. Their officers were the same men who led the Light Division in the Peninsular. There were, therefore, two sides to this question. It had at least not been shown that there was anything so bad or worthless in the purchase system as to involve the country in expending millions for its abolition. If he did not lay himself open to criticism in offering an opinion on a purely professional subject, he would state his belief that the deficiency did not lie so much in the officers as in those who governed them, and if there could only be found some device by which they could got the men to organize, there was no money the country would not willingly pay for Army organization. The want was in the power of comprehensive organization of the splendid materials placed in the hands of those who governed the Army. In saying this, he did not lay unnecessary stress on the present moment, for the same system had existed for years. During the discussions on this question, it had been frequently asked what was the scheme by which promotion in the British Army was to be regulated in place of what was abolished? No distinct answer had been given to that question. Certainly his mind was a perfect blank on the subject. He believed the simple truth was that no scheme had been prepared. Yet they were asked to pass a Bill for the abolition of purchase without at the same time considering the measures by which promotion should in future be governed. Of late, unworthy attempts had been made to prejudice in public estimation that distinguished officer the Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chief; but it was an opinion entertained not only by himself, but by numbers of those whom he was in the habit of meeting—and particularly in Liverpool, that if there was one Department the management of which entitled it to confidence—which was free from outer pressure and from the influence of political intrigue, and which was above jobbery, it was that of the Commander-in-Chief; and he did not hesitate to say that if the office could be hold always by it present occupant, his objection to the principle of selection would be very considerably diminished. Why was it that no scheme had been submitted as the substitute of that which was to be abolished? It must be that there was no scheme, and he believed there was none. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War had said it was under the consideration of the most experienced officers of the Army. Again, he asked, why had not the House got it? It would have been much more business-like to have given them the scheme in its entirety rather than in a fragmentary manner. He now came to what he considered the gravamen of the whole question, and that was the expenditure to be incurred; and here, again, hon. Members were in the dark; they had frequently asked for an estimate, but in vain. Recently, in Liverpool, he was asked what would be the cost of the scheme? and he had to reply he could not tell whether it would be £20,000,000, £40,000,000, or £50,000,000. He was then asked—"Would hon. Members of the House of Commons, if the money was their own, embark in such an undertaking without counting the cost?" He replied, with some humiliation—"I think they would not;" and the rejoinder he received was—"If men in commercial life were to undertake extensive operations without counting the cost they would be considered reckless men, who were entitled to neither confidence nor credit." In the absence of any authorized estimate of the cost, he was placed in the greatest difficulty, for he had no figures on which to base his argument. The Marines had a system of retirement, but as it had only been in operation for 18 months it was useless for the purpose of this calculation. The Dublin police, he found, had £500,000 charged in the Estimates, and a pension list of £100,000. According to a letter which had been forwarded to him— A new law about military pensions has just been made for the whole of Germany. The right to get a pension begins after 10 years' service, and the amount of the pension after this period is 20–80ths of the pay. It increases gradually year by year by 1–80ths, but this increasing ceases after 50 years' service, so that the highest amount of pension an officer could get would be 60–80ths of his pay. The right hon. and gallant Member for South Shropshire (Sir Percy Herbert), basing his calculation upon the retiring scheme of the Navy, estimated that the new system in the Army would cost them £2,000,000 a-year in perpetuity; the hon. and gallant Member for East Somerset (Major Allen), taking the Artillery as his basis, put the cost down at £1,000,000 a-year; the hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) put the amount of cost down at £500,000; and striking an average of these, and capitalizing it, he arrived at £30,000,000, in addition to the £8,000,000 assumed by the Government as the cost of mere abolition, thus making an expenditure of £38,000,000, and for what? For the substitution of one system of promotion for another. The figures were quite high enough to startle the country; and the change would inevitably involve an increase of pay and the placing of the infantry on a level with the non-purchase corps—the Engineers and the Artillery; so that he was abundantly justified in saying in his Resolution that they were asked to enter upon an unknown expenditure; and it was because he felt this so strongly that he interposed in the hope of obtaining a re-consideration of that measure. If the cost of the change had been spread over a long series of years, that would have mitigated the pressure on the country; but as it was the burden would fall chiefly upon those who paid income tax, and Lancashire contributed from one-eighth to one-ninth of the total amount of that tax. That was one reason why he had taken up the matter at that stage, for if the Bill passed in its present stage its operation in Lancashire would be felt as an injustice, as they would naturally conclude that they were required to pay one-eighth or one-ninth of the sum required as compensation, payable on the abolition of purchase in the Army. At first it was not designed by the promoters of the change that the cost of it should fall on current taxation for in his pamphlet on The British Army in 1868, Sir Charles Trevelyan said— Whatever the amount, of the compensation may be, it ought not to be exclusively charged to the existing taxpayers. The compensation is the arrear caused by the neglect of past generations, who have thrown upon military officers the burden of providing their own retirements, and all future generations will participate in the benefits of the organic change by which this defect in the constitution of the Army will be remedied. Equity, therefore, requires that, while the current expenses of the revised system should be defrayed by annual grants of Parliament, the cost of making the change should, like the expenses of the fortifications, be spread over a considerable period. If that suggestion had been acted upon, which it had not, his objection to the measure would have been very considerably modified. He took exception to it, further, on the ground of want of pressure from without. There had been a solitary Petition in favour of it, and 258 against it, and it could not, therefore, be said there was any outside demand for the Bill. One result of passing it would be a very serious addition to the taxation of the country, especially in the large towns, every one of which felt the burden of poor rates and local rates more than the rural districts. The trade of the country, especially in Lancashire, was not in an unusually prosperous condition. He believed that in the course of a few years the Army would involve an expense which would produce such irritation that there would be a general demand for its reduction. Now, everybody knew that reduction of the Army meant reduction of the effectives. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War put, on a former occasion, three questions in connection with this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman said— Does it provide the best regulations that can be devised; does it insure that our land forces should be welded into one homogeneous organization; and does it secure such an organization that in case of danger the whole force can be mobilized on a war footing with rapidity? Unless it does that, it does not meet the requirements of the day, and we should be failing in our duty if we let this opportunity pass without placing the nation in such a state of defence as the nation calls for. If he were to speak till midnight, he could not state more distinctly or more concisely the requirements of the country. On that statement, therefore, he should base the appeal he was about to make to the House. He trusted the House would agree with him that it was desirable the Government should take back the Bill. That was not an agreeable proposal to make to a Cabinet Minister; but he firmly believed that if the measure were passed in its present form it would be satisfactory neither to Her Majesty's Government, to that House, nor to the country. He trusted that before the Bill was sent to "another place," it would assume a more practical form, as he did not see why some plan could not be devised to do justice to the officers individually without the wholesale expenditure which was proposed. The Bill had been brought into the House hurriedly, and had evidently not received proper consideration before it was introduced. He wished a scheme could be devised to place the military system of the country upon a sound and economical basis. To attain that object the country would refuse no money which would be required, and he urged the House and the Government to hold back this measure until its defects were rectified. In its present shape it would involve the country in an expenditure of millions, while it would afford the country no security against those apprehensions of danger which were so generally entertained. In conclusion the hon. Member begged to move the Resolution of which he had given notice.

MR. SEELY (Nottingham)

, on rising to second the Resolution, said, he believed the wishes of the people with regard to the Army were tolerably clear. They wanted to be made perfectly secure in their own homes, no matter how many men or how much money would be required to attain that object. In addition to that, they desired to have an Army of moderate numbers for service abroad. The case might arise where it would be the duty of the country to put forth its whole strength in foreign war; but the contingency was so remote that it was not the wish of the country to stand perpetually prepared with its whole strength for that object. Now, what did the Government propose with a view to carry out those sensible wishes on the part of the country? As far as he could gather the intentions of the Government from the Bill itself and the speeches of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, they proposed to give the country about 250,000 men available for foreign war, and a Militia of 150,000 men, who were to be divested as far as possible of all local associations and all local control. He said nothing about the Volunteers, because everybody knew that if they had anything like that force in England it would be impossible to hold the Volunteers together. No doubt, the Secretary of State for War contemplated the eventual abolition of that body, for he had distinctly stated that, in his opinion, unpaid service was bad service. Well, that Army of 250,000 men for foreign service was to be raised by the short service system, and the right hon. Gentleman stated that when the Government plans were completed there would be 178,000 men in the Reserve. At the same time, the House was informed that, the present Estimates were exceptional ones, and that the whole Army expenditure would in the future be considerably reduced. If so, if they were to have that large Army of Reserve, it appeared to him that the Army with the colours must be reduced to at least 80,000 men, or otherwise all the talk on that side of the House about economy would be "moonshine." It was clear, indeed, that the Army with the colours must be greatly reduced if the Estimates were to remain at their present amount when this large reserve was formed. What class of men were they getting for the proposed Army? If they were getting respectable working men, many of his objections to the plan would be removed, though not all; but the truth was, that they were getting all the idle, restless, discontented good-for-nothing lads that could be found—the lowest class of the community. The Government intended to drill these lads for two or three years, and then to cast them loose on the streets with a retaining fee of 4d. a-day. Her Majesty's Ministers seemed to suppose that with short service they would get a better class of men than formerly. But he had some considerable knowledge of the working classes, and could assure the House that, as a fact, steady, respectable, hard-working men never dreamt for a moment of becoming soldiers. Indeed, it was preposterous to imagine that they would give up two or three of the best years of their lives, when they should be learning trades, in order to go soldiering, and that when they had left the colours and settled down with a wife and family, they would render themselves liable for 4d. a-day to go to the ends of the world at the bidding of the Secretary of State for War. There were, of course, exceptions to all rules, and he was speaking broadly when he said the only class they would get were idle, discontented, good-for-nothing lads. Among the objections to the plan of the Government one was that, supposing they wanted the men in the Reserve for the purposes of defence when the occasion would be sudden, it was possible that they would not be able to get them, or, at least, not the whole of them. It should be borne in mind that there was no resemblance between these men and the German Reserves. In Germany the whole population of a district of a certain age came out together to join their regiments; friends, relatives, and neighbours of all classes in society went out together. Here, however, the men were scattered all over the country, and what security was there that they would get them if they wanted them in a hurry? But, assuming that they did come, he should like to know how a regiment would be constituted after it had been suddenly called together. Taking a battalion of 750 rank and file, 250 men would be with the colours and 500 men from the Reserve. Of these 250 men with the colours, they must take off at the very least 50 for the very rawest recruits, so that there were 200 trained soldiers only with the colours, and many of them of the immature age of 18 or 20. To these 200 soldiers 500 reserve men were to be added. Those men would be unknown to their officers, to their non-commissioned officers, or to their comrades, for from the nature of the English service where half the Army was abroad, they could not be attached to particular regiments. Was it possible to rely on such a force for immediate service? On that point, also, let a comparison be made with the German system, in which all classes of men served under officers and non-commissioned officers they knew; there men joined the regiments — he believed generally the same companies—in which they had been drilled, and, probably, their fathers before them had served in the same regiments. There they had a bond of union; one which would stand the shock of battle and the hardships of a campaign; but in these regiments of theirs what bond of union would they have? They would be a mere collection of men having some knowledge of drill, but destitute of those habits of obedience and sentiments of loyalty which constituted the difference between a good soldier and a bad. Nor should they forget, as the Census Returns showed would be more and more the case, that the bulk of these men would be from towns, unaccustomed to open air life, and unused to marching; so that two or three weeks' campaigning in wet weather would send half of them to the hospitals. But he was taking rather a sanguine view now. Look at the matter in another way. If they were to have 80,000 men with the colours, 20,000 of them would, at the first outbreak of war, if not there already, be sent to garrisons in the Mediterranean, China, Japan, or active service of some kind. Therefore they would have only 60,000 men at home, of whom 20,000 would be recruits. That would bring the number of trained soldiers down to 40,000, of whom some 20,000 at the very least must be taken off for artillery, cavalry, and the Control service. He did not see, then, how they could have more than 15,000 or 20,000 reliable infantry out of the 80,000 men on the Estimates, and upon that number they were going to attach 150,000 from the Reserve. He might be wrong in his calculations; but what was to be done when there was nothing but reticence on the part of the War Office? He doubted whether these men would come out if summoned suddenly for the defence of the country, or that they would be worth very much if they did. One thing he had no doubt about — that they would be a social danger to this country, from which it had hitherto been free. Up to the present, riots and disturbances in England had been the smallest possible affairs. A few companies of infantry or squadrons of horse had been sufficient to disperse the most formidable assemblies. But how would the case be when their streets were full of disbanded troops, consisting of the lowest class of the people? How many of these men would be in London? The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War had made it a point of merit in his scheme that they would have 400,000 men in England who had passed through the Army, receiving no pay, in addition to the Reserve men. That would give on an average 60,000 in London; but as these men would naturally flow to the Metropolis, it would be a moderate estimate to make the number 100,000. This was a serious matter. People did not realize what an edged tool an Army was; it was a good servant, but a bad master. They had had years of unexampled prosperity, but they could not tell how soon they might have a succession of wet harvests and years of scarcity, of trial, and of trouble; and did hon. Gentlemen suppose that there would be no agitators to take advantage of that class thus made ready to their hands? Then in Ireland there would be 100,000 of these men, and there was no doubt whatever that the class of Irishmen from whom they would be drawn were profoundly disloyal to this country. They had only to recall the state of alarm they were in when, after the American War, a few disbanded soldiers straggled across the Atlantic, to understand what the feeling would be then. It was not pleasant to talk of these things, but they ought to be faced; and if a man thought danger would arise from this source, he was only doing his duty honestly to the State in saying so. When these difficulties arose, if they should ever arise, it would be then too late to draw back. They would have created a Frankenstein with which they would find it very difficult to deal. It might be said that Parliament was supreme, and that if it saw such difficulties imminent it would at once put a stop to this policy. It should be recollected, however, that all things would go on swimmingly on paper. Year after year the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State would say—"See how my short service system has succeeded. I have sent 40,000 men into the Reserves; I consequently knock off 10,000 men from the infantry." The right hon. Gentleman would probably go further, reduce the Militia, and abolish the Volunteers. Then, whenever the Estimates began to come down, and we were at peace, it would be impossible to attract the attention of Parliament to any subject connected with the Army. It might be said in reply to all this, that the old Army of England was composed of much the same sort of men. But in the old Army men passed their lives; they became imbued with the spirit of the Army, and its great and glorious traditions. But those lads we were now enlisting, it was proposed to keep just long enough to give them a knowledge of drill and then turn them off; and, though they might retain their knowledge of drill, they would probably lose those habits of obedience, discipline, and loyalty, without which an Army was a curse not a blessing. War was so remote from English ideas that it was difficult to get Englishmen to realise how grave a matter it was. But he would like to ask how the country would receive a proposition that the police, whom they provided for the protection of their homes, should be composed, not of steady, respectable men, but of lads of 18? The country would not listen to it for a moment. He did not think they could see the objections to any plan until they realized its good points. The advantage of the Government plan was that it would enable us to send 250,000 men on the Continent. Whenever they had been at war their great difficulty had been in getting men, and there was no doubt that, if they had time to get these men to their regiments, and under proper officers, the Government plan did give them the power to put 250,000 men into the field in case of foreign war. If the country wanted to undertake a foreign war on that scale a good deal was to be said for the plan. His impression was that the country did not want it. But he had two objections which went to the root of these proposals. One was that they tended directly to encourage a class of men whom it was the object of every well-wisher of his country to diminish—that class of idle restless men with a taste for soldiering, not for steady work. No greater injury could be inflicted upon a man than to give him a small certain income whether he worked or not, by means of which, and by getting a few odd jobs of work, he might eke out a miserable livelihood. That would do more to demoralize the people than all the Education Bills in the world could do to improve them. His next objection was one to which he would ask the attention of the Prime Minister, for he believed he owed his great power in the country more to his being believed to be a man of generous sentiments, not wrapped up in red tape, than even to his eloquence or his abilities. The objection was that by the law not only of England, but of every civilized country, a man under age could not bind himself for future years. Yet, in this case, it was, according to the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Surveyor General, an essential part of the Government plan to take lads under 21 years old; to catch them when they had no home, were out of work, and perhaps destitute of food, and to bind them to one of the most serious obligations into which a man could enter. Was that right? The Government, as well as every hon. Member, knew that it was not, and such a military system, founded as it was on what was morally wrong, could not last. The House ought not to forget how that question might be looked at by the poor. When a rich man's son got into a scrape he was apt to borrow money; but the law had made that illegal, and nothing that he signed was of any value. If a similar thing happened to the son of a poor man he was apt to enlist, and the Government bound him to an obligation enforced even by the penalty of death. The Government might think their military policy was popular with the country, and no doubt it would be so long as public attention was attracted by the glittering bait of the abolition of purchase; and before concluding his remarks he must say a few words upon that subject. He objected to this Bill because, while it was both just and generous to the higher officers of the Army, it was not even just to the lower ones; it was just to the colonel who was leaving the service, but not to the ensign who was entering it. The Government had taken £450 from a number of young men practically on the distinct understanding that by payment of money they could procure higher rank as far as they pleased; and to alter that arrangement, but to keep the money, was not right. He was not at all sure that something might not be said in favour of a claim on the part of those young officers to be paid something over what they had given for their commissions, as compensation for breach of agreement; but, in any case, it was clear that they were entitled to have their money returned. Assuming, however the Bill to be just, was it wise now, when there were so many difficulties in reference to the Army, to alter the system of officering, which was the only part of the system that had never been found inefficient? The test of an Army was war, and he appealed to hon. Members whether it had not been always felt that whatever trials the Army had to undergo, that which skill, valour, and discipline could accomplish would be achieved by the officers of the English Army? After the Crimean War a Committee of that House, presided over by the then hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) inquired with the utmost scrutiny into their military arrangements during that war, and every part of them was condemned, with the exception of the work of the regimental officers. In the Report made by that Committee there was not a word said against those officers, but, on the contray, most distinct testimony was borne to their having performed their duty in a highly satisfactory manner. With reference to that Committee he had looked through their Report with reference to the Guards, thinking that as regarded that branch of the service he would be sure to find something against the purchase system; for, whatever might be its evils, he knew they would be found in their most intensified form in regiments that were officered by men who belonged to the upper classes and possessed considerable wealth. What did he find? One witness stated that the Guards were better off than many other regiments, owing to the attention of the officers, and he explained that he thought it was so principally because the officers being men of fortune did not spare anything to get provisions for their men, but frequently went down to Balaklava themselves to obtain soups, preserves, and wine from the hospitals whenever such articles could be obtained, and they did not mind what price they paid for them. That was all he found against the Guards. In the Report of that Committee was also to be found the model for their future system of promotion in the Army. Of all the branches of the service that miserably failed, the Commissariat was the worst: it starved their soldiers and squandered their money; yet gentlemen in high position in that department maintained that it was as nearly perfect as anything could well be. Those officers were promoted by what was then called "a mixed system of seniority and merit," or what was now termed "seniority tempered by selection." That was the system on which the Government now proposed to officer the combatant branches of the Army. In theory it was perfect, but all must remember its miserable failings in practice—how the soldiers were left without bread because an officer had signed his name an inch or two lower than the regulation place; how the troops had green coffee served out to them; and how the horses had to eat each other's tails. The theorists of that day said, as those of this time did—"Never mind how it works practically; the system is right, for it is founded on reason. It is seniority tempered by selection." None could defend the purchase system in theory, and all would be glad to see its abolition if that could be effected without disadvantage to the service; but it was not common sense to destroy the only part of their Army which had always been efficient at a time when the whole subject was surrounded by great and grave difficulties. The House ought not to forget that the purchase system had always given the country plenty of good officers, and before an alteration was made it would be wise to obtain a sound and reliable Army for the new officers to command. He objected to the Bill as ill-timed, but still more because, if passed, the country would consider the Army question settled, and it would be impossible again for many years to attract public attention to the subject. The principal military advisor of the Government said that they were organizing defeat, and to that he would add that they were also organizing the embarrassment of their finances, riot in their towns, the most serious danger in Ireland, and the demoralization of the people.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "Bill" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "having been narrowed to an object which will entail on the Country an ascertained expenditure of several millions, besides a large permanent charge of which no estimate has been submitted, this House is unwilling thus to add to the pressure of existing taxation by entering on a course of unknown expenditure: and, declining to commit itself by premature action, awaits from Her Majesty's Government a mature and comprehensive scheme of Army Reform calculated to place the military system of the Country on a sound and economical basis. —instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


said, the hon. Member who had just sat down (Mr. Seely) had made a most interesting speech, though he did not think the occasion quite suited for it, seeing that every shred of reference to the short-service system had been eliminated from the Bill. The abolition of purchase was not the only important object of the measure, which, so far from entailing expense upon the country, gave it a chance of escaping from a military system, the practical effects of which were only equalled by the ruinous expenditure. In his opinion, not as critics of Ministerial policy, but as legislators, they would be very unwise to reject a Bill in which there was so much of good. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, in introducing the measure, had clearly described it as a Bill for the abolition of purchase, and for changing the position of the Lords Lieutenant with reference to the auxiliary forces. The right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) had also spoken of it approvingly as a Bill to weld together the Regulars, the Militia, and the Volunteers into one force, adding that that was the first attempt to do so. When also a portion of the Bill was given up, the effect of which the right hon. Gentleman said was that if the provisions for welding together these three forces were withdrawn, the Bill ought then to be rejected, but not otherwise. Now, most useful provisions for the purpose contemplated by the right hon. Gentleman had been left in the Bill, not one important clause having reference to it being omitted; and, therefore, the Bill still deserved the support of the Friends of the Government, as well as those of the right hon. Gentleman. Independent Members ought to support the Bill, because it did all that a Bill could be expected to do for the re-organization of the Army, and was a weapon which, if properly employed by any Executive, would enable them to do that for which only a military system ought to exist—defend the country in a manner which would contrast favourably with their present military chaos both as regarded efficiency and expense. 11 out of the 17 clauses omitted referred to compulsory service in the Army and to the Ballot; and the noble Lord the Member for Haddingtonshire (Lord Elcho) said of those clauses that they were absolute waste paper, although they must, to a certain extent, have been inserted to conciliate him. Though, no doubt, the object of the Government was to make the Ballot more equitable, he (Mr. Trevelyan) disliked those clauses, and thought it injudicious to have encumbered a practical measure with a number of provisions which only came into operation under a remote contingency, and which could not have been allowed to pass without challenge, at least, by Liberal Members below the gangway. Another of the remaining clauses related to the power of the Secretary of State to make rules; but, surely, very little objection could be taken to its omission, for probably the right hon. Gentleman had the power he wanted already. Four other of the omitted clauses referred to the relations between the War Office and the local authorities as to providing accommodation for the Militia. Probably the withdrawal of those clauses had some reference to the Motion of the noble Lord the Member for Middlesex (Lord George Hamilton), which was defeated by a majority of only 2, and which showed the feeling of the House to be that when responsibility was taken out of the hands of the county authorities the expense of providing for the Militia should be taken off county funds. Another clause which was left out was that which related to Army enlistment, but that was not so important as might be supposed. It was, indeed, little more than a rechauffé of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th clauses of the Act of last year; the only change which it proposed being that the Secretary for War might be enabled to pass the men from the Army to the Reserve in less than three years, instead of having to wait for that period of time. These were the provisions which had been omitted from the Bill, and, although they were many, they were, he maintained, unimportant. In lightening the ship the Government had not thrown over any cargo, but merely ballast, and when they considered what the remaining clauses enabled the Government to effect, it was not fair to speak of the Bill as having been "narrowed" to the abolition of purchase in the Army. He did not, as some hon. Members seemed to do, look on the present as a lost Session. When he recollected how discussions in former years on Army affairs were confined to two or three hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury bench, and to some five or six others sitting opposite to them, he thought there was much to congratulate the country on the interest which the subject now awakened, and which had resulted in such speeches from civilians as those which the House had heard from his hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham who had preceded him (Mr. Seely) and from the hon. Members for Finsbury (Mr. W. M. Torrens) and Hackney (Mr. Holms). If there was indifference out-of-doors on the question, it was because the people did not care to enter into the details of a system which they did not like; but if the Government gave them a national Militia to defend their shores—if they began to retrench, if they abolished sinecures, and hereafter gave the wages of industry only to those who worked, nothing more would be heard of the indifference to which he was referring. The hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves) in opposing the Bill tried to take advantage of the sentiments of economy which so widely prevailed; but when it was borne in mind that in 18 years they had spent £300,000,000 on their Army, and that in those 18 years its cost had risen from £8,000,000 to £15,000,000, they ought to be glad of a change which would have the effect of diminishing so large an expenditure. As things at present stood, they had 125,000 soldiers, who received only £22 per man in the shape of pay, and if they included the non-commissioned officers, £28; while it cost £20 per man to command them. In that fact was to be found the real cause of the inordinate expense of their Army. In the Marines, which was a non-purchase corps, the cost of command was only £8 13s. per man, while in the purchase corps, as he had just stated, it was £20. All that was because they had 4 field marshals, 77 generals, 144 lieutenant generals, 345 major generals, 186 honorary colonelcies, besides 21 lucky individuals at the Horse Guards, who divided among them some £30,000 a-year. The hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves)—who now asked the House to vote against the Government on the score of economy—had had plenty of opportunities of voting against them on that ground in detail. The hon. Member, however, did not vote with those who called upon the Government not to create any more honorary colonelcies, nor with the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella), when he made his Motion relative to expenditure on their military system, nor with the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Lea), who moved that Army agents should be abolished, nor with the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke), when he made a Motion having reference to certain reductions in connection with the Household Brigade. He, however, and almost every hon. Gentleman on the other side of the House, voted with the hon. and gallant Members for Bewdley (Colonel Anson) and Norwich (Sir William Russell), when they submitted proposals to the House which would have the effect of taking money out of the pockets of the taxpayers and placing it in those of the officers. The hon. Member for Liverpool, unconsciously he was sure, scorned to play into the hands of those who raised the cry of panic to prevent their military expenditure from being diminished, and who then raised the cry of economy to prevent the passing of the present measure. He might, in the next place, be permitted to make a few remarks on the comments which, during the last three or four months, had been passed on the course which he had taken in speaking on the question of Army Reform during the Recess. He would not attempt now, or at any other time, to retort upon those who passed those comments; because a great many phrases had been used which he felt sure those who used them would not like to see embodied in the pages of Hansard. It was, however, said repeatedly that both in that House and out of it he had always harped on only one string—which was purchase. Well, he could assure hon. Gentlemen that for every quarter of an hour he had in his speeches devoted to that question he had devoted at least three-quarters to the general system of the military organization of the country, although he looked upon the abolition of purchase as absolutely necessary as a preliminary to the establishment of any efficient system of that kind. The object which should be sought to be attained was to defend the shores of that country, to protect from attack India and the colonies, and to keep up their naval stations in order to preserve their naval supremacy. With respect to Canada, although positive as to the will to defend it, if attacked, he thought that they must make up their minds that they could not, at such a distance, defend its frontier of 1,500 miles. With regard to the expediency of carrying on a war on the Continent, he would observe that all animals chose the mode of fighting which was best suited to them, and nations perished when they neglected that primitive instinct, and endeavoured to carry on a sort of warfare which was not suited to them. It was very well to talk of Waterloo and Talavera, but by the use of locomotives Continental nations were enabled to bring their fighting power to any particular point, and any small British corps would be immediately swallowed up by the enormous armies which they levied. What this country should do was to keep the dominion of the seas, and if it joined in any Continental war it should only be by spending money in subsidies, according to the policy laid down by the greatest of War Ministers. The most successful wars were those fought under Marlborough and Chatham. In the case of the former it was astonishing to see how small was the contingent of English troops engaged in those battles. A remarkable illustration of what he said was furnished in the case of the Battle of Minden. The way in which we assisted Frederick the Great was by keeping the French occupied at sea with our fleet, and by spending large sums of money on subsidies. When we remembered the glories of Waterloo and Talavera we were apt to forget the Expedition to Elba, the disasters of Ostend, and the retreat of Corunna. He believed, therefore, that our military establishments ought to be absolutely limited to those required for home defence and the protection of India. He would quote a few words from an ancient author which he thought were extremely applicable at the present time. The quotation was the more justifiable from the fact that Cicero and Pliny had been relied upon as the great authorities against the Ballot. He referred to the words in which Pericles bade the Athenians remember that if they were islanders they would be impregnable; but not being so, and being powerful in their fleet, they ought to make themselves as nearly islanders as possible, by keeping themselves within the walls of their towns and retaliating only with their ships. Comparing the item of expenses, he could show that an Army of 190,000 men, employed both at home and on foreign service, would cost £11,900,000 a-year, while 130,000 Militia cost only £960,000. The Secretary of State endeavoured to introduce the system of shortservice; but it was not by adopting the short service system that this country could defend itself. There was only one means of doing so, and that was to have an Imperial Army not exceeding 85,000 strong, with 60,000 for service in India, the colonies, and in stations like Gibraltar and Malta; and to have also a home Army for service in this country. Their great difficulties were those of recruiting; but according to the best military authorities there was no difficulty in recruiting for India, nor was there, he assumed, much difficulty in recruiting for the Militia. They ought to have a citizen Army which should always stay at home, and then they would have no more panics. That citizen Army should be the Militia, which could be turned into a real Army of the greatest value, and which would defend the country far better than an Army of lads of 18 or 21 years of age, or than an Army of mercenaries. There ought, of course, to be a small nucleus of Regular troops; but the great thing was to localize the forces. Each regiment of Militia ought to have its own homes, and then plenty of recruits would come forward. Another important thing was that these men should have continuous training at the beginning of their career; a fortnight, a month, or even two months, was not enough; they ought to have six months, though, as had been pointed out by the hon. and gallant Member for Dumfriesshire (Major Walker), that continuous training ought to be gradually arrived at. At the end of their training these men should choose, once for all, whether they would serve at home, or in the foreign Army, and there should be no after breaking up of the regiments of Militia to recruit the regiments of the Line. The Militia regiments should be like the Prussian Landwehr—a self-contained body of men, with local patriotism and regimental pride. The 8th clause of the Bill gave continuous training. Then, if the Militia were to be made a really valuable force it must be officered with professional officers, when it would soon become equal to any Line force. To do that, the appointment of officers in the Militia would have to be transferred from the Lords Lieutenant of counties to the Crown, and that object was attained by the 7th clause of the Bill. He thought he had proved that while the nation longed for a cheap national, citizen, and efficient Army, the present Bill enabled that requirement to be supplied. On the advantages of the abolition of purchase he would say nothing, having on a former occasion spoken at length on that subject. But after all the speeches of the hon. and gallant Members for Bewdley (Colonel Anson), Wigtonshire (Lord Garlies), and the right hon. and gallant Member for South Shropshire (Sir Percy Herbert), the question came to this — Was the nation to be master of its own servants? The question they had now to decide was, whether they should reject or pass this Bill. They were told to wait for a better Bill. On the other hand, reference was made to the Sibylline Books, which extraordinary fable proved the Romans to have been a constitutional people. They might get a Bill that would give less to the officers, if that was what was meant by a better Bill; but he did not think they ought to reject this Bill in order to effect a small economy at the expense of their own servants. The measure would provide for the defence of the country, as well as at present, at two-thirds of the cost; and by this Bill they would also establish the principle which no theorist or amateur, but the greatest of modern soldiers made his watchword and the key to his success—la carrière ouverte aux talens—and furnish the tools to those who could use them.


said, he would not follow the hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) into the figures he had used. He had dissected them on a former occasion, and his analysis had not yet been disproved. The hon. Member had drawn a comparison between the expenditure on the Marines and the officers of the Army; but he believed it might be shown that the cost of officering the infantry of the Line and the Royal Artillery was not more than the cost of officering the Marines. He would not go into the hon. Member's scheme of Army organization, but he could not forget that when he commenced his tour during the winter, the platform on which he based his scheme was the principle of applying compulsory service in the shape of the Ballot. [Mr. TREVELYAN: If necessary.] But the hon. Member, finding the suggestion was not popular, wisely dropped it. The hon. Member had misrepresented what he (Colonel Anson) had said in reference to officers exchanging with each other; all that he had said was that, as the privilege was exercised beneficially to the service, there was no reason why it should be denied in the future. Turning now to the Motion of the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves), he wished to explain why he intended to vote for it, and why it was that he hoped that Bill would not be passed into law. There were two points of view from which the question could be regarded; and the Government, having obtained a majority for the abolition of purchase by attacking it as immoral, and resulting in inefficiency, now treated it simply as one of retirement, which made it ten times worse, as they did not give any estimate of what they expected the cost of retirement to be. The £8,000,000 for the abolition of purchase they spoke of as compensation, but it was no such thing; the money would be given to officers to retire from the service, and for nothing else; and therefore this was only a portion of the cost of buying officers out of the Army. To him the matter appeared to be a very simple one; and he could not comprehend the difficulty of the Government in giving their estimate of the future cost of retirement. For their guidance there were the Returns of the Indian Army, in which retirement cost £850,000 a-year, and the cost of retirement in the non-combatant services; and at the same ratio for the total number of officers in their Army, the cost of a proper flow of promotion would be £1,200,000 a-year, which was the Government's estimate of its cost under purchase They knew that for the last 50 years it had cost £7,500 to get a colonel, a major, or a captain out of the Army; in one way or another it would cost that in the future. The Secretary of State for War had guaranteed that the flow of promotion should be maintained as it had been hitherto; and that calculation gave also a yearly cost of £1,200,000. Therefore, to speak of spending only £10,000 in 1906 was attempting to mislead the House and the country. The abolition of purchase would cost £30,000,000 between this and 1906; and the country was not aware of the fact; it had been told that the change would effect a saving of £500,000 a-year, and therefore it ought to have an opportunity of considering the proposal of the Government in the Recess. When hon. Members were asked by their constituencies what the country had got for its £30,000,000, would they have any better answer to give than had been given in the House? If not, they would not find their constituents so patient as hon. Members had been. He was at a loss to know on what ground hon. Members could justify their implicit confidence in the present War Office administration. The necessity of maintaining our Reserves was pressed on the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, and he destroyed the front line in order to give a fictitious strength to the second, provoking protests but for which the exodus from the Army would have gone on until they had found themselves with nothing but boys in it. That the Government did not know at the time what they were doing could be proved from a speech of Lord Northbrook on the subject. When this question was debated in "another place" Lord Northbrook said it was better to have temporary disorganization in their regiments at home than to send out boys to die in the climate of India; but surely the admission that temporary disorganization was possible showed that their system was faulty? Referring to a statement made by the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Surveyor General of the Ordnance in the debate on the Motion introduced by the hon. and learned Member for Finsbury (Mr. W. M. Torrens), he said he had received a communication from Colonel Hawley to the effect that the recruits in the 4th battalion of the 60th Rifles were a very weedy lot. Being London lads they were quick to learn and active at drill, but though they had been well fed for 12 months the colonel believed it would be two years before they would be fit for active service in the field. Nor was there a single officer commanding a battalion that did not say the same thing—that our recruits were of a most miserable quality. In conclusion, he thought they had a perfect right to ask the Government to let them see what they were going to do; and therefore he hoped the Bill would never pass into law, because then there would be some chance of the Government bringing forward a good Army Bill next Session, placing our military forces in an efficient and economical position.


said, he only rose for the purpose of making a few remarks on the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Bewdley (Colonel Anson), which was more or less directed against the War Office and the persons employed therein. The hon. and gallant Member had stated that the War Office did not deserve the confidence of the country, either in respect to its present administration or anything it might do in the future. He entirely differed from the hon. and gallant Member. With regard to his allusion to the statement of his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War—namely, that £8,000,000 would be required for the purchase of commissions, he might mention that no reference whatever was made to retirement, because retirement had nothing to do with it. His right hon. Friend gave that merely as a calculation, and, therefore, instead of its being a statement not meriting the confidence of the House and the country, he held it to be a strictly accurate statement as far as his right hon. Friend could ascertain the facts upon actuarial authority. The hon. and gallant Member had also referred to the question of Reserves and to the General Order issued last March. In the remarks he (Sir Henry Storks) had the honour to address to the House on the occasion of the hon. and learned Member for Finsbury (Mr. W. M. Torrens) bringing forward his Motion with reference to the prevention of recruiting under a certain age, he referred to that General Order, which was issued because the infantry of the Line was so nearly complete that it would have become necessary to check recruiting. His right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, not thinking it desirable under any circumstances to check recruiting, desired the Commander-in-Chief to issue a General Order inquiring how many men in the infantry of the Line would be inclined to go into the Reserve. The number was limited. The total number who applied were 22 sergeants, 186 corporals, and 2,462 men. From the 1st battalion of the Rifle Brigade 115 men applied, but they were at that time 200 over their establishment. From the 4th battalion of the 60th 80 applications were received; but that battalion also was over its establishment. As regarded the recruiting, and the remark he had made touching Colonel Hawley's battalion, the Inspector General told the Secretary of State and himself that if the colonels raised any objections on the subject they were not made to him, or at his office. With respect to the 4th battalion of the 60th Rifles, he would point out that the men were recruits, and, judging even from Colonel Hawley's letter, he thought they were likely to make very good soldiers. [Colonel ANSON: Yes, in course of time.] He (Sir Henry Storks) thought that the value of those men was put beyond doubt when the commanding officer of the regiment stated, that if he were asked whether he wished to be relieved of those men, his reply would be—"Certainly not." No doubt, if they could go on the system of compulsory service, they would not recruit men 18 years of age; but as they were obliged to enter the recruiting market they had, in fact, no choice. Then the hon. and gallant Member as- serted that the Order of the 24th of March had been rescinded. That was not the case. On the contrary, his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War informed the Commander-in-Chief on the 6th of June that that Order was to be carried into effect. [Colonel ANSON: The operation of the Order has been suspended.] He must deny that, and would repeat that on the 6th of June his right hon. Friend gave orders to the Commander-in-Chief that the General Order should be carried into effect. He held in his hand the most detailed instructions as to how these men were to be transferred, enrolled, mustered, and paid, and he maintained there was no fault to be found with those instructions. No more effectual mode of recovering men could, in his judgment, be devised than the system of monthly payments, which enabled the authorities always to know where the men were. The hon. and gallant Member also referred to certain remarks made by his noble Friend and Colleague the Under Secretary of State for War. If he had before him a copy of his noble Friend's speech he should be most happy to give an answer to the hon. and gallant Member, and he did not entertain the slightest doubt that it would be a satisfactory one; but, as he had not a copy of the speech, he was not in a position to say anything on the subject.


said, he thought that whatever difference of opinion might exist in that House upon the Bill, all would agree that the time had come for the discussion to close. He felt, however, bound to express his strong feelings of apprehension in regard to the measure, and he could not but condemn the Government for not dividing their Bill in two, as had been suggested to them at the commencement of the Session. Now, there was nothing but an Abolition of Purchase Bill, and all the fair promises of the Government remained unfulfilled. Nothing whatever had been done in reference to Army organization; and he hoped the Bill would not pass into law, in order that the country might have an opportunity of expressing its opinion, and forcing the Government to do that which they originally held out to that House and to itself. The policy of the Government did not reflect the opinion of the body of the officers of the Army, whose views should have been consulted, rather than those of a few officials of the War Office, who even differed among themselves. It was discovered that the scheme, the expense of which was put by the Government at £8,000,000, would actually cost the country over £30,000,000, and that money for that purpose would be coming year after year from the pockets of the taxpayers, who had no interest in the abolition of purchase. Under these circumstances the Motion of the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves) was well-timed and just. He knew from what he had heard from his own constituents that there was very little feeling in the country on this question of purchase, and he considered that the Bill had been carried so far by a cheat, after what had been said on its introduction by the right hon. Gentleman. So far from conducing to the security of the country, it would lower the position of the Army. In an early part of the Session the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Morpeth (Sir George Grey) expressed an opinion that the expediency of abolishing purchase depended upon what was to be substituted for it, yet no substitute had been provided. Therefore upon all these points, with regard to its unfairness to both purchase and non-purchase officers, to the taxpayers of the country, to that House, and to the Members of the Government themselves, the Bill could not be considered satisfactory. No doubt the Government would say that the Session had been wasted by the Opposition; but he held that the course they had taken was fully justified by the obstinate manner in which the Government had refused to impart information. Whatever the results of the division that evening might be, he believed the country would really support the Resolution of the hon. Member for Liverpool. It would probably not be carried, however, because the "mechanical majority" could be brought to support and keep in the Government upon a vital question like that. But the constituencies, when they understood the true nature of the measure, would express grave displeasure. No one speaking on that question could do better than quote the Report of the Recruiting Commissioners in 1867, the concluding paragraph of which read thus— Recent events have taught us that we must not rely in future on having time for preparation. Wars will be sudden in their commencement and short in their duration, and woe to that country which is unprepared to defend itself against any contingency that may arise, or combinations that have been formed against it. Since that was written they had had, in its confirmation, the sad experience of the war of last year; and if the Government had felt the urgency of making the country secure, they ought to have been able to produce a more useful measure than that.


said, he must ask why that Bill had been described as an absurd termination to the Session? It contained one of the most startling propositions presented on the subject of the Army during the lifetime of any hon. Member of that House, and it was not denied that, if made to depend upon its own reasons, that proposition could not be gainsaid, while it would lay a basis on which future re-organization of the Army could be imposed. Why should Government bring before that House a scheme for the re-organization of the Army? ["Hear, hear!] Undoubtedly "hear, hear," and he hoped to show that he was right. The constitutional party found fault with the Bill, because it did not re-organize the Army. Now, he could not understand why the constitutional party should advance that argument, because the re-organization of the Army was a matter peculiarly constitutional, and particularly within the prerogative of the Crown; and if that prerogative were invaded, he was at a loss to know what prerogative could be safe. As a money question it was within the cognizance of that House; but when the money matter was no longer before that House, the re-construction of the Army was undoubtedly the privilege of the Sovereign; and the only means that that House safety and constitutionally had of exerting its real influence on the re-construction of the Army was by its accepting or rejecting these money Bills, without which it was impossible that any valuable re-construction could be carried out. Therefore, the position which hon. Gentlemen opposite had taken up was not consistent with constitutional government.


said, he would point out that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War in introducing the Army Bill, had stated that promotion would be much the same as in the preceding year; but on turning to the tables of the War Office actuary on promotion, which were laid before the Committee, he found that in the Line the purchase officers obtained their companies at 8½ years, and non-purchase officers in the Line obtained their companies at 10 years. Contrasting these with the statement of the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite (Captain Vivian) that the normal rate of promotion in the Royal Artillery would be fairly realized in the Army on the non-purchase system, and with the actuary's tables, which showed that a subaltern would not obtain his rank of captain in the Royal Artillery in less than 16 years, he urged the right hon. Gentleman to state whether they were of one mind, and, if so, what his scheme of promotion really was. If the right hon. Gentleman had one scheme, and the hon. and gallant Gentleman had another scheme, it was impossible to come to any conclusion. On the question whether it was to be 10 years or 16 years would depend the amount required for the retirement scheme.


said, he had listened with interest to the lucid speech of his hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves). To a certain extent he agreed, and to a certain extent he disagreed with him. His hon. Friend said he was opposed to the abolition of purchase, and in that he disagreed with him. He (Mr. Muntz) had long advocated the abolition of purchase; he had seen its evil effects, and he believed its abolition would be for the benefit of the Army. But he objected to the scheme of his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, which he believed would be productive of a great deal of evil. The hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) had given them some valuable information, and he agreed with him that they should have an Imperial Army for India and the colonies; but he could not agree that they should trust the defence of the country at home to the Militia without any standing Army. The hon. Member had quoted Pericles in favour of his views; but he should remember that Pericles was followed by a very clever man, who disbanded the disciplined sea and land forces of Athens, and relied entirely on the spirit of the people. What was the result? One night the Spartan fleet bore down when the Athenian ships were denuded of sailors, and the result was that the latter were annihilated. He did not want a large standing Army, but it must be efficient and well organized. It had been attempted to be shown that there was a tacit acquiescence in the system of over-regulation which amounted to virtual recognition, and the course taken by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War in adopting the re-payment of over-regulation was justified by a law which was now obsolete. What was the fair inference of all this? That over-regulation had arisen from the neglect of His Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief and the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, and that they would be responsible entirely to the taxpayer for the extra amount. But he denied that inference. The War Office authorities said that if instances of paying over-regulation prices came before them they would punish the offenders; but the matter was so managed that such things never came under the notice of the authorities. A man sent a cheque for the amount to an Army agent to be placed to his account, with instructions that, when another officer was gazetted, the amount was to be transferred to his credit; and, under these circumstances, no lawyer could prove a case. Over-regulation was something which they could not prevent; but they ought not to have recognized it, and they might have ignored it. It was the same in the Army as in other ranks of life; there were many things which were wrong which never came under official cognizance. He believed that the abolition of purchase was essential to the welfare of the Army, though he disagreed with the way in which the Government proposed to abolish it. On an earlier occasion he had himself proposed a plan to meet the emergency, but the House rejected that plan by a majority of 65. They should simply have abolished the regulation price, and left the officers to understand that for the future they would stand upon a new footing. He still objected to the Bill, because it recognized and rewarded an illegal Act, and his answer to the assertion that the Act of 49 Geo. III. against it was "obsolete," was that "the law may slumber, but never dies," as the Judge told seven men who were transported at Dorchester some years ago for taking an illegal oath not to work for less than 6s. 6d. per week. He would refer, however, to the Mutiny Act, which was passed yearly, one section of which positively prohibited overregulation prices, while others gave officers the power of inflicting imprisonment, flogging, and death on the rank and file. The measure under discussion condoned the offences of the officers, but did not say anything about relieving the rank and file of any of the punishments they were liable to for breaches of its enactments; and if the measure became law it would be said there was one mode of treatment for the officers and another for the soldiers; one for the rich and another for the poor.


said, that when this subject was recommended to them in the Speech from the Throne, there was good reason to hope that a measure would be submitted that would receive, at least, a fair share of general support. He believed that there was no great difference of opinion in that House or in the country as to what was required in the way of Army re-organization. There was no doubt that though the abolition of purchase loomed in the distance, yet the Government were influenced as much by the autumnal campaign of the hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) as by their own deliberate judgment. Nothing could have been more statesmanlike than the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War in introducing the measure; for he said that they should not deal with the question in a superficial or partial manner, but should endeavour to lay the foundations of a system that would for the future render the apprehension of danger a thing unknown. How great after that was the disappointment when they saw the actual Bill. They were quite prepared to deal with the abolition of purchase without prejudice, and to consider the interests of the country and of the service without omitting to consider the equitable interests of the officers. What did the country require in the way of Army reorganization? He believed that the country did not want a large, but that they did want an efficient Army. The country would be satisfied with an Army scarcely larger than a corps d'armée of some of the great military Powers, but that Army must be thoroughly equipped in every point. They had material for their rank and file that was second to none in the world, and yet they found that the great blot upon the Army system was not in purchase, but in reference to recruiting. They should remember that there were two great questions involved in that measure—namely, the question of humanity, and the question of the service of the country, and the expenditure it entailed. They found that the recruits recently enlisted into their Army were mere boys and persons wholly unfitted for a campaign. They had no war party it was true; but if any serious emergency arose, in which the duty and the honour of England were involved, they would then see a large and powerful party, prepared at any cost, or at any sacrifice, to maintain the honour and dignity of the country. There was no knowing when or at what time a crisis of danger might arise—perhaps out of questions of commerce, or of apparently friendly negotiations. They had not as yet forgotten the Benedetti correspondence, or the Black Sea difficulty. Well, they ought to be prepared for such a contingency. The commencement of the Russian War found them unprepared. Should another war break out when they were unprepared, the Government of that country would find it much more difficult to obtain condonation than the Government that existed during the Crimean War. Then, again, let them look well into the cost of that measure. They had been told that the abolition of purchase would cost £8,000,000, but that it was impossible to state the probable cost of retirement, because their rulers had not the gift of prophecy. The Government, however, possessed the less superhuman quality—that was foresight—which ought to enable them to form an estimate of the probable cost of retirement. Besides, they had the non-purchase establishment and the Irish constabulary to guide them in forming an estimate. Speaking on behalf of a large constituency, he should support the views put forward by the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves). The country had not yet spoken on the subject, and the silence of hon. Members below the gangway was significant on the point of purchase. If there were a difficulty in stating the cost of retirement, there was a still greater difficulty in estimating the future composition of the Army as regarded its officers. He certainly did not think that "the aboli- tion of purchase and increased taxation" would be a popular cry to go to the country with. Many hon. Members deemed it almost impertinent for a Conservative to speak of economy; but his experience showed him there was not much difference between Conservatives and Liberals in that respect, except that the Liberal Leaders were more profuse than the Conservative Leaders in the professions of economy, while the Conservative taxpayers were more patient than the Liberals in bearing the burdens of taxation.


said, the idea of the hon. Member for Nottingham (Mr. Seely), that men who had been drilled, who had passed through the Army and entered the Reserve, would be nothing more than the scum of the population, and would become dangerous to the British Constitution, was simply ridiculous. He appealed to hon. Gentlemen whether their experience was not that men who had enlisted, whether in the Militia or any other service, were not made more orderly, more loyal, and better citizens by doing so? Hon. Members opposite said that they ought to imitate the Prussian system. Well, that was a system of selection for the officers, and of short service for the men. The hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves) had been very plaintive about the taxpayers, and it was remarkable that though the hon. Gentleman did not say a word on large items of taxation, he had a great deal to say upon small ones; but he (Mr. Mundella) must observe that in his conduct the hon. Member was only following the usual tactics of his hon. Friends on that side of the House, for they had systematically voted throughout the Session against every proposition tending to cut down the inordinate expenditure of the present day. They were, and had been for a long time, spending from £12,000,000 to £15,000,000 a-year on their Army with very unsatisfactory results, and the country would not endure such an expenditure much longer. They might get rid of this Bill, perhaps, in "another place;" but if the Bill were lost, over-regulation prices would be lost too; at all events, he would do his best to prevent them ever coming up again. Hon. Members opposite talked of indefinite expenditure; but did they know what the cost of the non-effective services was now? In 1866–7 there were 62,000 out-pensioners of Chelsea Hospital, and their pensions amounted to £1,445,300. In 1871 the number of pensioners was 65,513, and the pensions amounted to £1,232,000. What would those pensions be 10 years hence in consequence of this much-vaunted long service system? Of the 65,000 pensioners of that year it was calculated by a fair actuary that 50,000 would probably be alive in 1881. Those pensions would amount to £2,046,000, which, added to the other cost of their non-effective service, would make it as great as was paid by Germany for 300,000 effective men. For his own part, he looked upon the abolition of purchase as being the key to the reform of their whole military system, and he trusted that during the Recess the Government would be able to show they were capable of re-organizing an Army. If a good Army could not be got for an expenditure of £10,000,000 or £12,000,000 a-year, it was high time they should change their rulers.


said, that as a civilian, he had not felt sufficiently conversant with all the details of this difficult question to justify his taking any part in the debate; but as one of the public he felt more interested in the estimated cost of the re-organization of the Army as a whole than in the amount of compensation due to individual members of it. The present Bill was remarkable when it was first introduced for being made up of two different parts, and for containing two different and distinct propositions, one of which was generally acceptable to that House and the country, while the other was generally unacceptable. In the present measure, as in some others, the Government had endeavoured to mingle bitter and sweet, but that House was asked to gulp down the black draught without being allowed to taste the jam after. Recent deplorable events on the Continent had convinced the country that their military organization was not efficient, and not able to maintain the national honour and security; and, therefore, the public were far more interested in the question or re-organization than they were in the question of purchase; and they demanded an efficient Army and reasonable Reserves, any reasonable cost for which they were quite willing to pay. But when the abolition of purchase was made the main object of the Government measure, and the question of organization became subsidiary, the country were anything but enthusiastic over it; and when, later on, the Government announced their intention of lightening the Bill by throwing overboard the most weighty, most important, and most popular part of it, there was a revulsion of feeling on the part of the public, and they began to count the cost. They began to ask what they were going to get for this enormous outlay; and if they made this inquiry when the Bill contained a scheme for improvement of Reserves, were they not likely to ask the same question more peremptorily when they were called upon to spend that amount for abolition of purchase alone, without any security for ulterior advantages? Abolish purchase, you must adopt the principle of selection—selection meant patronage; and he objected to confer such an amount of power and patronage on any Minister or any Government. Although, theoretically, the purchase system was indefensible, still it had worked well, and it should be borne in mind that they were a practical people and paid for results. The Government, in confining their Bill to its abolition, had, in more than one important item, eviscerated and emasculated their original scheme. Were they going to make mental acquirements the great desiderata in our officers? If so, they would make a great mistake, for pluck and blood were of equal importance. They knew that the officers of the Army had not only acted heroically themselves, but had succeeded in inspiring heroism in those whom they had commanded. No fault could really be found with the working of the system, and it was unquestionable that it facilitated retirement, and prevented partiality and favouritism. The hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves) was not one of those men who were parsimonious, but the contrary, and he had applied a crucial test to this Bill. He very properly said that while the Government proposed a gigantic undertaking, on looking at the prospectus put forward, he could find no estimate of expense—no limited liability principle; and that being so, he naturally refused to go into such a speculation unless explanation was forthcoming. The reply of the Government was, that they were the Executive and would give no information. For his own part, he declined to accept the responsibility of trusting the Government to that extent; neither did he believe that the House of Commons would take such a responsibility upon themselves. He would defy any hon. Member in that House to cite another instance of a Minister rising from his seat to propose some measure of radical reform, and yet declining to give any explanation whatever of the probable cost, or of the modus operandi of his scheme, and protesting that it was un-reasonable that he should be asked to do so. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War (Mr. Cardwell) had candidly told them that he had no calculations of cost on which he could rely. Such a statement, in his opinion, vitiated and condemned the whole scheme; such an admission was not only extraordinary, but it was without precedent—it was an instance of the blind leading the blind, and he feared there would be the same result. The reticence of the Government with regard to cost was calculated to make the public more cautious and more distrustful, and he would ask, if the Secretary for War was so cautious not to commit himself to the House of Commons, ought not the House of Commons, in the interest of the constituencies, to be equally cautious? We were engaged on an expenditure far greater than the Government ever contemplated, and the more we discussed and scrutinized the amount, the greater proportions it assumed. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Droitwich (Sir John Pakington) had pointed out that the expenditure would be largely increased by the necessity that would arise for satisfying the future demands of the officers for a rise in their scale of pay, and justly remarked that no officer could be expected to live upon the pittance which he now received. The hon. and learned Member for Finsbury (Mr. W. M. Torrens) again, had reminded the House that if they wanted bone instead of gristle they must be prepared to pay a higher price for it. Under these circumstances, therefore, the country must be prepared to pay heavily for any small advantages it might ultimately derive from the carrying out of the Government scheme. It was an extraordinary thing how little such a measure was criticized by hon. Gentlemen who professed to be economists, many of whom owed their seats to their economical professions on the hustings, and who, when the Estimates were considered, haggled a good deal about a few thousands, but who, when the question was one of millions, seemingly felt very little interest in it. He should like to ask the first Minister of the Crown to what was he indebted for his large majority? In great measure to his programme with regard to economy and retrenchment put forward in Lancashire. All could remember how eloquently and bitterly he inveighed against what was called the profligate expenditure of the late Government. Indeed, from the course taken by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, he (Sir Massey Lopes) began to think that while the professed economists sat on that (the Ministerial) side of the House, the real economists sat on the Opposition benches at present. The First Minister of the Crown raised this cry of economy and retrenchment, he sowed the wind, and he would reap the whirlwind in this matter of economy as he would find. He had educated the masses, and they were not likely to forget the lessons he had so well taught them. It was very easy to raise the cry, but when you had raised it it was devilish difficult—[Laughter]—he meant very difficult—to allay it. It was astonishing how the people had criticized the abolition of purchase, as soon as ever the other parts of the Bill were dropped; for though the public never refused to pay for what was good, or what was patriotic, they scrutinized expenditure more than heretofore, and they were now determined to know what was the reason for any given course—nor would they take anything upon trust. That the Chancellor of the Exchequer must have found out to his cost in regard to the 2d. income tax, which had been narrowly criticized throughout the country. The practical question was—Were they prepared to incur so vast and indefinite expense, without any certainty of obtaining an adequate return—to destroy what was good before anything had been constructed to take its place, before they had even determined what was to be the substitute? Were they prepared to adopt a system of selection which must become the fruitful parent of favouritism and jobbery, when the power and patronage of the Army were handed over to one Minister of the Crown? In these days the Government appeared to be doing their best to unsettle everything without even attempting to settle anything, while there was not an interest or a description of property in the kingdom which they did not threaten. The result was that everybody was in a state of suspense, and that the credit and confidence of the country were waning fast. Abolish purchase, what is to be your system of promotion and retirement? The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cardwell) tells us organization is the work of the Executive Government. This must be left to Royal Warrants and Regulations. He contended that the House of Commons would never consent to leave such arbitrary and despotic powers to any Government, however strong; it would insist on knowing the principles, the mode and means by which these radical reforms were to be effected. Because he believed this plan of the Government to be imperfect, crude, incapable of satisfying the wants of the country — for were it passed tomorrow we should not be one atom better off, and there would not be the slightest guarantee against the recurrence of panics—and because, therefore, it would be unfair to entail such enormous expense on the people, without providing any security for the attainment of the only object they were really anxious and earnest about—namely, the re-organization of our Army and the efficiency of our Reserves—that he would support the Motion of the hon. Member for Liverpool.


said, he had often stood side by side with his hon. Friend (Sir Massey Lopes) in defending and advocating the principle of economy in local taxation, and he was now glad to welcome him to their assistance in upholding Imperial economy. As a professed economist, he should like to state the reasons that induced him to support that Bill on the ground of economy. In the first place, however, he should desire to distinguish between distinct classes of military expenditure with which that House had had to deal during the present Session. No doubt, they had voted £3,000,000 of additional taxation for military purposes. The hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves) had said that his constituents did not like the addition to the income tax; but he (Mr. V. Harcourt) did not think that feeling was peculiar to the people of either Liverpool or Lancashire. Only one-fifth of the extra 2d. of income tax was due to that Bill; but the extraordinary military expenditure which necessitated the other four-fifths of that impost was supported by the hon. Member and hon. Gentlemen around him. The people of Lancashire, who read their newspapers, and were very intelligent, were not to be easily deluded as to the parties who were really responsible for the imposition of undue burdens upon them. They would readily understand that the Government and Her Majesty's Opposition were alone responsible for saddling the country with the millions which would ultimately be paid for the over-regulation prices, and that the economists below the gangway on his side declined all responsibility for that expenditure. He would not now enter at any length into the subject of over-regulation prices—a question of which, if the Motion of the hon. Member succeeded, they were likely to hear enough both there and "elsewhere." The noble Lord the Member for Haddingtonshire (Lord Elcho) had charged hon. Gentlemen below the gangway with repudiating debts of honour. As "delicate transactions" generally meant something exceedingly indelicate, so debts of honour usually originated in transactions not particularly honourable. In 1859 a Committee of the War Office, of which the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the present Surveyor General of Ordnance was a Member, was appointed to make an estimate of the cost of abolishing purchase; and complaint having been made that they had omitted to take into consideration the prices beyond regulation given for commissions, the Committee stated in their Report that every price beyond that permitted by regulation was a "fancy price;" and they went on also to say that— Considering that by the Act of George III. every officer who had paid any amount, however small, beyond the regulated price was liable, on conviction thereof, by general Court Martial, to be cashiered, and that all the parties who had wilfully or knowingly assisted therein were liable to be adjudged guilty of a misdemeanour, it appeared to the Committee that it would ill-become them, as Members of a military public Department, to put forward an estimate of the sum which the public would have to pay as a reward or compensation to those who, for their own convenience or their own interest, had deliberately violated one of the most positive and stringent enactments of the Statute Book. He therefore hoped the noble Lord (Lord Elcho) would in future direct his indignation against the Committee of the War Office, rather than against the unhappy men below the gangway who shared its sentiments. He had been astonished and gratified at the unexpected conversion of hon. Gentlemen opposite to doctrines of economy, and especially upon military subjects. The noble Lord, who was for ever demanding more troops, more arms, and more expenditure, never breathed a word against extravagant expenditure until they invaded the privilege of a class and a social monopoly, and then all of a sudden he presented himself in the novel character of a determined economist. But economy did not consist necessarily in saving money. They might by saving money waste it, and by spending it employ it well. Their Army was an expensive machine, costing £15,000,000 a-year, and the greatest economy was to insure that its management and conduct should be placed in the most competent hands. He would ask the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves) whether the merchants of that town conducted their business on the purchase system? If the trade of Liverpool had been conducted on such a principle, and if the ships going out from that port had been commanded by officers who had bought their places, that town would have been now what it was 200 years ago—a paltry fishing village. Nobody wished to have cheap guns in the Army, yet there was a cry for cheap officers. The whole question was, whether purchase gave them a good or a bad system of promotion. It might be said that he and many others did not understand that question of purchase; but after studying it for so many nights in that House under military professors, who so often repeated their lectures, they must be arrant dunces if by this time they did not know something about it. The reformation of religion did not come exclusively from the priests; the reformation of the law seldom came from barristers, neither was it to be expected that the reformation of the Army should come exclusively from its officers. Military men were not the only persons whose opinions should be taken on this subject. No one professed to defend the system of purchase on principle; and it was, therefore, strange that it should be so excellent in practice. It was, in fact, the sale of an office—a practice which in any other Department of the State was repudiated by the sentiments and the conscience of every civilized nation. Why, then, should they deal so differently with the Army, on which the honour and safety of the country depended? It was desirable that they should have an opportunity of recruiting both officers and men from the best of every class in the nation. Why, then, should they set up a prohibition in the form of a money test? For the last 20 years they had been abolishing tests, including even the money test which had so unduly tended to narrow the entrance to that House, they had abolished religious tests in the Universities this Session, and he was glad to say that the test under discussion was almost the last remaining. The hon. Member for Liverpool wished to know what this money was to be paid for; and he would tell him that, in the first place, this expenditure was intended to enable the English nation to draw from the whole people the officers who were to control that enormously expensive machine called the Army. It was said they were going to democratize the Army. But he should like, before he admitted or denied that assertion, to ask what was meant by democratizing the Army? If it meant that they wished to exclude the aristocracy of birth or of wealth from Her Majesty's service, he denied it altogether. The aristocracy would compete on equal terms with all other classes of the community. The hon. Baronet the Member for South Devon (Sir Massey Lopes) talked about blood; but did he think blood less capable of winning its own way when purchase was abolished than it had ever shown itself in the history of this country? He certainly was not disposed to disparage the merits of the aristocracy of this country. They had never failed in any profession to indicate quæsitam meritis superbiam. There had been occasions, certainly, when blood had not been quite successful in military matters—for instance, as when the Cavaliers contended with the Roundheads of Cromwell; when the emigrés of France fought with the sans culotte armies of Napoleon the First; or when the "chivalry" of the South met the commonalty of the North in the American Civil War. He did not wish, however, to disparage a class, but simply to protest against a military monopoly for an aristocracy of blood in this country. Some had said that men who had made their fortunes wished their sons to enter the Army by the system of purchase. If their sons were worthy of their fathers, they would succeed, as they had done, without the assistance of money. The aristocracy by birth would not be excluded by the abolition of purchase, nor would what was called the aristocracy of wealth. The argument that the purchase system had worked well was too old and worn to be accepted in the present day. When the merits of the system of selection were praised, he asked whether purchase, too, was not a system of selection, and one of the worst over invented? ["No, no!] He would prove it. Did they not select the man who could put down £400 or £800, as the case might be, and reject the man who could not? ["No, no!] What was the use of saying "No?" That was not an argument, but an exclamation. Could a man go into the Army who had not £400? ["Yes; Sandhurst."] Well, in a few cases, he might, by distinguished studies, but that only applied to a fraction of the officers, and the mass of them reached their promotion only by force of money. Purchase was the worst form of jobbery and favouritism; the most abominable form of selection ever invented. And what was true of the entrance into the Army was equally true of subsequent promotion. Was not promotion under purchase selection? ["No, no!] Well, perhaps hon. Gentlemen opposite would not be in a hurry, and would pay him the compliment of supposing that he had a reason for his statements. If there was a vacancy in a regiment, whom did they promote? The best man? No. The senior officer? No; not even he; but the senior man who could put down a certain sum of money—and if there was a man who had grown grey in the service, and who was the best officer in the regiment, he could not be promoted unless he could put down the regulation, and the illegal, or over-regulation, price, too. ["No, no!] Why, was it not well known that if a man could not pay the over-regulation price he was sent to Coevntry? [An hon. MEMBER: Not over-regulation.] It was in evidence before the Royal Commission, and the right hon. Baronet the Member for Morpeth (Sir George Grey) had stated, that it was impossible for a man not to pay the over-regulation price—that there was a moral obligation on him to violate the law of the land, or remain without promotion. The House was told men were not kept back under the present system; but they knew the history of Havelock and of Clive, and there were many whose history remained unknown—men who had died disheartened, who had been brokenhearted in the service, in short, men who had been irretrievably lost in the "dark unfathomed cave" of purchase. Although he had hitherto known and cared but little about this subject, the arguments which had been lately used and the spirit displayed in those arguments had convinced him that it would be an economical thing to buy out of the minds of the officers the spirit and temper which these debates had revealed. He had listened with astonishment to the doctrines that had been promulgated in the course of those debates, and they had convinced him that, whatever might be the cost, the most economical thing they could do would be to buy out those ideas at any price. The hon. and gallant Member for Bewdley (Colonel Anson) though an admirable officer, and possessing the qualities which would fit a man to be a great soldier, seemed to be without even an elementary idea of the relations that ought to exist between the Army and the nation; and the result of the system of purchase appeared to have been to convince the officers that the nation was made for the Army, and the Army for the officers. They seemed to hold the opinion that, in return for the wretched, paltry thousands of pounds they had spent in their commissions, they had bought rights utterly inconsistent with the first conceptions of military discipline. What had they heard about the "terms of service?" It meant, if it meant anything at all, that the officers of the Army had purchased rights which those who ought to control the Army had no right to interfere with. What was the meaning of the phrase "right of exchange," of which they had heard so much? Was it for the benefit of the Army; was it for the benefit of the nation; or was it for the benefit of the officers? He would put a case. There was a regiment in excellent order, well disciplined, with an admirable officer commanding it, who was trusted by his officers and respected by the men. The regiment was going to India, to defend the frontier of their Eastern Empire. All of a sudden the commanding officer retires — [Colonel STUART KNOX: You should give a particular instance]—and some new man appears in command of the regiment. How had it been done? Not by the military authorities, but by a private arrangement; one officer had given money, and the other officer had accepted it, and the whole regiment was the sport of that transaction. Was not that true? ["No, no!] He spoke in the presence of men who knew that it was. The right of exchange was simply the right which a man who preferred the climate of Pall Mall to that of India had of getting a substitute for money. There was another right which he hoped would not be so vociferously denied—the right not to be superseded. The noble Lord the Member for West Essex (Lord Eustace Cecil) had, indeed, said that that did not apply to an officer who was notoriously unfit for the service; but even in that mitigated form the idea seemed to him to be inconsistent with the discipline and efficiency of the Army; and he would be prepared to spend £7,000,000, or twice that sum if necessary, to extinguish such ideas. While upon that point, he should like to know, too, what Count Moltke would have to say to a body of officers who had purchased the right not to be superseded. Then in regard to the question of retirement. He admitted that a proper retirement scheme was essential to an efficient Army, and he supposed that it was true, as they were told, that they were to pay an additional sum for retirement under that Bill. But when it was said that they had a system of retirement already that was cheap, he wished to ask if it was also good? Under purchase, if retirement was cheap and speedy, it was because men went into the Army — and especially into the Household Troops and the cavalry—who did not intend to make the Army their profession, but a pastime for a few years. Such a system of retirement was not only bad, but it was dear at any price. And how did it affect the higher ranks of the Army? Did such officers retire because they were no longer fit for the service? Not at all. Men who had become accomplished soldiers and finished officers—men skilled in all the arts of war—one of the most valuable and inestimable professions a nation could acquire — retired, not from unfitness or because they were tired of their profession, but because they had been compelled to invest in their commission all their property, and they had to choose between leaving the Army and the ruin of their families. You might lose the best colonel in your Army, the man most fit to defend your country in the hour of peril, for no other reason than that he could not afford to become a major-general. In short, the present system retired the wrong man, at the wrong time, and from the wrong motive; and because it was a bad system, it could not be a really cheap one. As to the terms upon which it was now proposed to abolish purchase, he believed that the Army knew perfectly well that they were fair terms—nay, that they were exorbitantly favourable. It was not denied that, as far as the officers were concerned who left the Army, the terms were excellent; and with regard to those who stayed he maintained that, under similar circumstances, civilians would deem themselves perfectly satisfied. It was unreasonable to suppose that the officers could eat their cake and have it too—that they were to keep the benefit of that rapid promotion which they had purchased with their money, and were also to have the money back with which they had acquired the promotion. It might be said that the Government ought to have given them some further information, and he was somewhat of that opinion himself; but that was no reason why they should consent to such a Motion as that of the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves)—at least, why it should be accepted by those who were of opinion that this system was radically bad, and that any other system of organization must necessarily commence by that which this Bill professed to accomplish — by the abolition of purchase. It might be safely concluded that that Bill would pass that House; but it was said that it might perhaps meet with misfortune in "another place." Now, he did not think that it was either very dignified, or very constitutional, to speculate on the actions of the other House of Parliament. The House of Lords had their place in the Constitution, as the House of Commons had theirs, and they were both equally responsible for the proper exercise of their functions; but when it was intimated that it was possible that, on a question such as this, the two Houses might take different views, it could not be forgotten that, in any difference between the two Houses, there was one ultimate appeal, and one only, and that was to the judgment of public opinion. It was before that tribunal that they on the other side of the House would have to defend their opinions; and it was before that tribunal that we should have to defend ours. They were satisfied with the course they had adopted, conscientiously, he had no doubt, as we were with ours. But let him remind them that when the issue came to be tried, it would be tried before a different tribunal than that which tried it here. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Morpeth (Sir George Grey) made a touching and well understood allusion to the feelings of fathers on this topic. In the House of Commons there were a great many fathers and uncles and cousins of officers, but when they reached the hustings they would not find the power of clanship so powerful. And let him tell them, when they came to that issue, they would have to justify in their new-born character of economists the votes they had given in favour of the payment of the over-regulation price. They might take their course, and destroy the Bill there or "elsewhere;" but the question was—Were they prepared to sacrifice the interests of the officers? The Sibyl of the Treasury bench would return to them another year, because this belonged to that class of questions which, when they were raised, must be settled. The Sibyl of the Treasury bench would come to them again, asking the same price, but he would not tender the same expense. Nor was it only the Sibyl of the Treasury bench with whom they had to reckon, for there sat opposite to him the Sphinx of the Opposition, the Sphinx whose riddle on that question he ventured to say no hon. and gallant Œdipus opposite had yet divined. When they were discussing the Estimates no one could have forgotten the inimitable humour with which the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) described the pastoral scene where, like an Italian shepherd, he reclined beneath the spreading beeches of Buckinghamshire, when a man of war suddenly appeared and disturbed the tranquillity of his rustic repose, and, if he might be permitted the phrase, he "dropped" the man of war with a philosophical calmness. It was impossible in the course of those debates not to have remarked how, when "a man of war from Droitwich" arose by his side, the shepherd of Buckinghamshire discouraged his military ardour. The right hon. Gentleman was an experienced shepherd and a skilful captain, and would never run the Agincourt of the Conservative party on the hidden rocks of social monopoly. The hon. Member for Liverpool had stated that there was no pressure from without upon the question. That was a dangerous doctrine to address to people out-of-doors. A time might come when there would be more pressure than they either expected or desired. The hon. Member also wanted a mature and comprehensive scheme of Army reform, calculated to place the military system of the country on a sound and economical basis. He (Mr. V. Harcourt) thought it was very likely that the hon. Member would get what he asked; but he thought it was still more likely that he would not get what he desired. He would get, he dared say, a scheme of Army reform calculated to place the military system of the country on a sound and economical basis; but it would be after an agitation which would take a much wider range than that narrow and astute Resolution. It would be a discussion which would put in issue the whole question of the privileged classes and social monopoly. It would be a discussion which would raise the whole question of the organization of the Horse Guards, and the principles upon which that office was conducted. Hon. Members opposite who had the opportunity now of settling that issue and closing that controversy, declined it. It was in the power of the hon. Member and his Friends to take another course if they thought fit; but he ventured to predict that if the solution of this question was to be postponed, the scheme of Army reform for which he asked would be very different from that which the hon. Member for Liverpool hoped and expected, for it would be a scheme which, representing the convictions of an instructed people, would receive the sanction of the House of Commons, and command the assent of the House of Lords.


said, his hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves) had been taunted with the fact that the merchants of Liverpool did not recognize the principle of purchase in the conduct of their own affairs. But the merchants as well of Liverpool as of other places, he ventured to assert, invariably felt it right to consult the feelings and prejudices—if they could be termed prejudices—or, more properly, the public opinion of those who served under them. They felt it of the first importance to carry with them the good feeling of the officers who managed their affairs—the class who administered the great commercial interests with whose prosperity they were identified. He ventured also to suggest that mercantile affairs were never conducted purely upon theoretical principles, however admirable those might be. Mercantile men dealt with men and circumstances as they found them, and the very last thing they would think of would be to follow out some fine theoretical principle under every conceivable circumstance. Like his hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves) he was no admirer of the principle of purchase; but a great deal might be said in favour of the practical working of the system, to which a bad name had been given. Clumsily constructed in the first instance, and the growth of many centuries, it was no more, he ventured to think, than a system under which officers of the Army had been compelled to make provision for their own retirement, and to insure a provision for their families when they themselves deemed it right to leave the service. The hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Mr. V. Harcourt) spoke with considerable indignation of gentlemen being tempted to leave the Army at an earlier period than they would do if a purely professional career were open to them. He thought it an advantage rather than a loss that there should return from time to time into the ranks of English gentlemen officers who, by passing 5, 6, or 10 years in the service of their country, had really qualified themselves more completely for civil life. For his own part, he should regard with considerable alarm the creation of a purely professional force, the members of which continuing in the Army from 18 to 50 or 60 years of ago, would naturally regard every event in the history of the country from the Army point of view alone, and would thus endanger the peace of the country, and possibly entail upon them grave disasters. The hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) having spoken with indignation of the enormous cost of the officers of the Army, he was tempted to refer to the Queen's Regula- tions to see what these gentlemen actually received. He found that the ensign received the enormous sum of 5s. 3d. for his daily pay; that this amount increased to 6s. 6d. on his becoming a lieutenant, 11s. 7d. as a captain, 16s. as a major, and 17s. when he became lieutenant-colonel. If, therefore, a change were to be made in the pay of British officers, he certainly thought it must be in the way of increase; and that would be inevitable if the officers were converted into a strictly professional class. That which he complained of, however, as a bad system was that which the Government would be compelled to introduce into the Army if the measure was carried. The hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella) complained that the pensions to the rank and file of the Army now stood at £1,100,000, and in the course of a few years would reach the enormous sum of £2,000,000; but the effect of the change proposed by that Bill would be to introduce yearly into the Budget a sum payable to the officers approximating very nearly to the amount of that of which, in the case of the private soldiers, the hon. Member for Sheffield so loudly complained. The hon. Member for the Border Burghs had twitted his hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves), and others who sat near, with having voted against the proposal to do away with honorary colonelcies; but when he (Mr. W. H. Smith) found that the pay of a man who had been serving in the Army for 25 or 30 years, amounted to only £1 a-day, he was not prepared to say that a person so ill-paid was not to receive, at the end of his career, any such recognition of his services. Government had held office since 1868; they had a majority of upwards of 100; and they had produced their Estimates on their own responsibility. What did those Estimates consist of? An increase of rank and file of something like 20,000; but they also consisted of a large charge for material in the War Department. He listened to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer a few weeks ago with very great interest. The right hon. Gentleman endeavoured to persuade that House to sanction a large expenditure on the ground that that expenditure would secure the country, as far as the naval service was concerned, and would give us an Army capable of preserving this country from attack, if the naval force—the country's chief defence—should be broken through, and would render us the admiration of all neighbouring nations; and he thought the right hon. Gentleman went on to say that he advocated that expenditure on the ground that it would be the wiser economy for a great nation. He (Mr. W. H. Smith) believed that statement. He believed that policy to be a wise one, and if he opposed the measure before the House it was because he believed it was insufficient for the purpose indicated. He did not believe that under the system of the Government the nation would have that security—that Army to be called on in case of need, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer promised they should have. Reference had been made to the fact—[Cries of "Divide!] He would not detain the House more than a minute. Reference had been made to the fact that the English Army was very costly as compared with the German Army, of which they had of late heard so much. He ventured to say that any comparison between the two forces was altogether out of place. There were two distinct principles at work. In England they enlisted persons who were willing to serve, and they ought to pay them adequately. The German Army was a different thing. It took the men, whether they would or not; and their cost to the German Army was nothing to what they cost the German nation. Individually, the men in the German Army made sacrifices which were not measured by the amount of the pay. Economists must look this fairly in the face. If England was to have a Volunteer Army, she must pay for it. If they wanted an Army, and they did not get one sufficiently large, they must resort to compulsory service. Let them, therefore, regard the facts fairly and openly; and not reduce their military expenditure, unless they were going to adopt a system which would entail on them enormous sacrifices. He believed that they wanted an Army of the smallest possible number of men for home service; but they wanted an Army sufficiently large to supply the demands for the relays that were necessary for foreign service. But they must have a system that would keep up their ranks from time to time. They did not want an aggressive Army; but they wanted the country to be secure, and to feel itself to be secure, so that there should not be a recurrence of the panics with which they had been troubled during the past ten years.


I am not surprised that there should be symptoms of something like impatience for the close of this debate; but I can assure the House that I will not detain them long from the impending division. I wish, however, to make a few remarks before the discussion comes to a conclusion. I am not surprised, for novelty is not a characteristic of these discussions, that we should appear to be ending almost where we began. On the second reading of the Bill we were not permitted to proceed to the usual division, deciding simply on the merits of the Bill; but were invited by an hon. and gallant Friend of mine (Colonel Loyd Lindsay) to give our opinion on a proposal to the effect that the expenditure necessary for the national defence and other demands on the Exchequer did not at present justify the House in voting the public money for the abolition of purchase in the Army. It was distinctly on the issue of the cost, and the justification of that cost for the abolition of purchase, that the decision of the House was taken. ["No!] Well, but if the Motion was negatived without a division, that fact is not less but more significant than if we had divided. Now, I find that after all the long discussions in which we have been engaged, we have again rolled round to a proposal raising in substance the very same issue. It is said that we have brought forward this scheme for the abolition of purchase without any pressure from without; that there have been no Petitions, no public meetings in its favour; but if that be so, what becomes of the argument that it was intended as "a sop to democracy?" We have been told to-night that the objection is against the cost; and that objection comes from the very same quarter that in the last three months has come every proposal for increasing the cost, which it has been my painful duty to resist, because it was at variance with the principle of the Bill. We have also been told to-night that if the Bill contained all which it contained when it was introduced on the 16th of February, it might be worthy of support; but that now it is not so, seeing that it has been, as the hon. Baronet the Member for South Devon (Sir Massey Lopes) said, eviscerated and emasculated, and the most valuable clauses in it struck out. All I can say is, that the opposition we experienced made it physically impossible for us to go on with it in its entirety, and now hon. Members opposite complain of us because, in obedience to them, we have left out certain portions of the Bill. But what are these valuable clauses which have been omitted? I feel greatly flattered by all that has been said to-night with respect to them, and I hope when hon. Gentlemen see how much of the original Bill remains, they will have more respect for that portion of it than many of them have hitherto expressed. There was, I may observe, a most remarkable contrast between the speech of the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves), who moved the Amendment, and that of the hon. Member for Nottingham (Mr. Seely), by whom it was seconded. The hon. Member for Liverpool regrets beyond everything the absence of the clauses with which we have been unable to proceed; but the hon. Member for Nottingham, in words that astonished me coming from a Liberal sitting on this side of the House, who I always supposed held advanced opinions, denounced the whole system of short service, on the ground that it would place the Army in the hands of the people. It was said that from such a proposal the gravest political danger was to be apprehended, and that, therefore, we must submit to have a small professional Army in this country, or we should be nursing a serpent in our bosom. The Government policy is the reverse of that, and we do not admit that the recruits we receive are of the lowest classes of the population, who wander about the streets without any occupation. On the contrary, as a matter of the utmost social importance, we shall endeavour to break down the barrier which divides the Army from the civil population, and we shall encourage the youth of the country to go into the Army, not omitting to give them, to the best of our power, teaching in some trade which may be to their advantage after leaving the Army, and to open to them situations in the Post Office and other establishments, and thus bind together the Army and the civil population. Look at the opposing principles of the hon. Mover and Seconder of the proposal before us. The hon. Mover brings forward that Motion because we have omitted short service from the Bill, and the hon. Seconder opposes because of our short service Bill of last Session. Let me draw attention to what has been preserved and what omitted from this Bill. The hon. Member (Mr. Graves) quoted the concluding words of my remarks on introducing the Bill; but if he had gone back a few lines he would have found that under 15 heads I detailed the general policy of the Government. Upon first explaining the measure to the House, I said— We ask you for no increase of the standing Army beyond that which you made at the end of last Session; but we propose to raise the Army Reserve as rapidly and largely as we can by the increased introduction of short service in the Army. We desire to pass as many men through the ranks as can be done, having regard to the number of recruits and the time required to make a man an efficient soldier. We propose to increase the Militia, and to improve the organization of the Volunteers; to provide for compulsory service in case of emergency; to abolish purchase; to withdraw from Lords Lieutenant the power they have now in regard to the auxiliary forces; to combine the whole under general officers; to appoint colonels on the Staff in sufficient numbers to this Army; to combine recruiting for the Line with that of the Reserves; to fuse together as we can the Regular and Reserve forces by appointing officers of the Regular Army to positions in the Reserve, and by giving subalterns in the Militia commissions in the Line. We propose to brigade them together, to find field artillery for all arms, to enable counties to get rid of the inconvenience of billets, to gain command of the railway communication of the country in case of emergency—in short, we propose to unite all the voluntary forces of the country into one defensive army, with power to supplement by compulsion in case of emergency—all to be under the command of the general officers commanding in the districts, subordinate to one Commander-in-Chief, who will act with the approval of the Secretary of State; and, therefore, the whole will be under the direction and supreme control of Her Majesty's responsible Ministers. I earnestly commend to your favourable consideration these proposals."—[3 Hansard, cciv. 357–8.] Now, treating of those 15 heads of detail separately, it appears that by the Adjutant General's Return, on the 1st of June, the Army is 106,000 men strong, being the largest Army ever seen in this country in time of peace; and the House was told the other night that the Field Artillery was doubled and raised to a point sufficient for the manœuvres of an Army of 150,000 men. The proposals I made with regard to the Reserves, the Militia, and Volunteers remain untouched. With regard to short service, we have given up the clause relating to that, and I regret it; but we have not abandoned the Act of last Session, nor given up the principle of short service, under which you can have a small Army as a training school for a large Reserve. Neither have we abandoned the intention of increasing the Militia and improving the organization of the Volunteers. We were told last year that the proposal we made of training schools for the officers of Volunteers would be repudiated by them. [An hon. MEMBER: Who said that?] The noble Lord the Member for Haddingtonshire (Lord Elcho) said so, but that prediction had not been verified. We also said that we intended to provide for compulsory service in case of emergency, and the clauses relating thereto have been abandoned. But I should be wrong in saying that the whole of the proposal for service in an emergency is abandoned, for we still have the Act of 1860; the clauses that we have abandoned would only have made that plan more efficient. The only three provisions, therefore, which the Government have been compelled to abandon relate to short service, compulsory service, and the empowering counties to obtain money for providing barracks. Are these the great and weighty portions of the Bill, the abandonment of which can be described by the phrase that we have emasculated and eviscerated the Bill? The most important and most weighty parts of our plan we still retain. We have been charged with reticence because we have not given in detail the scheme for selection and retirement. I have stated plainly the general principles of the scheme, and it would not be reasonable or wise to expect the Government to give the details, even if they had time to perfect them, which they have not had. Another reason why we did not think it prudent was that it would not have been wise at the very commencement to have laid down a hard-and-fast line, from which there was to be no deviation afterwards. In dealing with a voluntary system with ancient institutions, with vested interests, with local sympathies, your proposals, as the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) said in the earlier discussions on this subject, must be tentative, and if from the beginning you attempt to proceed on a plan not to be afterwards changed you will only deceive yourselves and others. Then, with regard to retirement; it was very easy to say that we ought to have a scheme for retirement ready, some hon. Gentlemen have even framed their own, and the right hon. and gallant Member for Shropshire (Sir Percy Herbert), for one, said that the cost would exceed the present amount by £2,000,000. I declined to commit myself to any calculation, because it was necessary first to get the data for the purpose. The data of retirement depend on the proportion of senior officers and junior officers, and that depends on whether you retain the same number of subalterns. Another thing on which it depends is whether, after abolishing purchase, there would be as great a disposition as now to pass rapidly through the rank of officer. I believe and hope there will not, for it is not a good thing for any service that a large number of men should enter it for the purpose of passing rapidly through it. We are told to-night that we have made a mistake, and that we should have re-organized first and abolished purchase afterwards. You might as well say that we should erect a new building before we pull down the old one which encumbered the site. You cannot make any change in the Army at all without doing one of two things—you must either interfere in a way you do not wish to interfere with the pecuniary interests of officers and do injustice you would deeply regret, or you must create new purchase interests which the public must afterwards redeem. Therefore, you must have the abolition of purchase, not at the end but at the beginning of any system of re-organization of the Army. So, again with regard to the Militia—if you are to combine the Regular Army with the Militia, the first thing you must do is to place them under one command, and accordingly one of the objects of this Bill—and not by any means the least important object—is to transfer the powers now vested in Lords Lieutenant of counties to the Crown. This Motion says that the Bill has been narrowed to one object. I must remind the House that there were 15 objects stated in the paragraph to which the hon. Member for Liverpool referred, and that but three of these had disappeared in consequence of the proposed change. But what is this proposal with regard to the Lords Lieutenant of counties? The noble Lord the Member for North Leicestershire (Lord John Manners) will not say it is unimportant, for in asking for an explanation of it, he called it the other night a great and radical change, and a great and radical change it is. It has not been the subject of opposition because I believe everybody was convinced of its importance. It is a change in the law as it has existed since the Revolution, and I may say, ever since we had an Army. The changes I originally described as cardinal were two—the transfer of the powers of Lords Lieutenant to the Crown and the abolition of purchase. I have shown you that before any reorganization you must get rid of the system of purchase. But there is another, although a minor yet a perfectly cogent, reason to compel you to deal with this question of purchase. My predecessor in office, as I have already stated to the House, submitted to the Queen that it was desirable that the rank of cornet and ensign should be abolished in the Army. He found he had set rolling a larger stone than he was aware of. He did not remain long enough in office to carry out that scheme. It became my duty to make a proposal with that view. What was the result? It was against the law that over-regulation prices should be paid. It was not possible for me, with due respect to the House of Lords and the Constitution of the country, to submit a Vote for over-regulation prices until due statutory permission had been obtained. Accordingly, I made a proposal which did not recognize over-regulation prices. The proposal was unsuccessful on that ground. We withdrew it, and we appointed a Royal Commission, of which my right hon. Friend the Member for Morpeth (Sir George Grey) was Chairman. That Commission reported in favour of the recognition of the over-regulation prices. In what position did that leave the Government? For successive generations we had been tolerating habitual violations of the law. We have been feelingly told to-night that by habitual violations of the law the security of our institutions in underminded. But it was always supposed that what everybody knew except those who were in office, those in office were entirely ignorant of; on that ground those habitual violations were excused. But what became of the veil of ignorance when the Royal Commission had reported. The Government then had notice which no one could dispute; the Government, therefore, could not continue to be parties to that violation of the law. It was necessary to enforce the laws; but without the sanction of Parliament they could not compensate the officers. Therefore, it was absolutely necessary that we should come to Parliament to make the proposals we now advocate, in which we ask that sanction. Two lines of argument converged, either of which rendered it absolutely necessary to deal with purchase. Instead of putting an end to purchase you might legalize it, and put up every commission in the Army to the highest bidder. That course you would not take; and the only other course was to bring in a Bill for the purpose of giving compensation to officers as is proposed in the present measure. Those who have paid attention to this subject have, I am sure, made themselves acquainted with that most remarkable work lately published in Germany, called The Tactical Retrospect. We know that "the tongues of dying men enforce attention like deep harmony." The author of The Tactical Retrospect perished in the campaign of 1870; but these are the words which, with the permission of the House, I am desirous to read from that remarkable work. Speaking of what would be the tactics of future armies, he uses these words— Such a disposal of men is only possible when the officers of all ranks, without exception, are educated in the highest degree, both in an intellectual and military point of view, and are in a position to rely on their own tact for the solution of difficult and weighty points rather than on any prescribed scheme of tactics. One single individual who is destitute of the above qualifications has the power of causing the most ruinous consequences, which is a fresh proof of the great advantages to be gained by having all officers formed on one principle. And the concluding words of the treatise are these— One conclusion, however, may be drawn from what we have hitherto advanced. In the wars of the future, the decisive element will not be brute force, but rather intellect, not only on the part of the leader, but from him down to the last soldier, and each individual will weigh in the scale according to the whole value of his intellectual individuality. A battle between two armies is nothing more than a struggle between two nations, who put forth their best powers to defend that which is most sacred to them; and so long as a nation keeps to the true principles which lead the civilization of man forward in the path of progress, its armies can never be beaten. That is a voice from the tomb. But I know the answer that will be made. We have had it already to-night—"Do not lay the fault on the officers of the Army, but take to yourselves the blame of their not attaining the highest standard of professional efficiency." Let no one suppose that I disparage the high qualities of the British officer. I quite agree with all that has been said on that subject. But heroism will not do. The greatest vigour both of mind and body will not do. All the qualities which distinguish the British officer will not do unless, with the arms of the present day and the opponents you will have to contend against in future wars, you have the highest system of professional training. Now, I will just read to you, in contrast with the passage from The Tactical Retrospect, a passage from the Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Sale and Purchase of Commissions in the Army when enumerating the objections urged against the purchase system— Under such regulations there is little inducement for officers to acquire proficiency in the science of war, or to study the military progress of other nations. An officer who performs his routine duties, and who keeps a sum of money available to purchase his promotion, as opportunities offer, may look forward with confidence to the attainment of high military rank. While the subaltern who has not the means to buy advancement may serve during all the best years of his life in distant stations and in deadly climates, yet he must be prepared to see his juniors pass over him, for he will find that knowledge of military science and attention to regimental duties do not avail him, unless he is able to buy the rank to which his qualifications entitle him. Whichever way you look abolition is the first indispensable step; if you look to the position of the Government, now no longer able to screen itself behind the veil of ignorance, which the right hon. Baronet the Member for Morpeth has torn away, and compelled to enforce the law and ask for power to compensate the officer, you must agree that the abolition of purchase is necessary; and, finally, and above all, you must have a professional Army, which is antagonistic to a purchase Army; and, for the future, merit and not money must be the passport to pre-eminence in the Army.


Sir, I do not wish to prolong the debate, but I wish to express my entire approbation of the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves). It appears to me, after the three months' discussion we have had of this measure in its various shapes, that the issue raised by the Amendment is the only proper issue that ought now to be brought before the House, and upon which its decision should be asked. I myself protested against the House being launched into a vast and an indefinite, and as I must say, after all I have listened to and all the researches I have been able to make, still an unfathomable expenditure. We hear a great deal of the system of purchase, and I think it would be as well if we came to some clear understanding as to what that system of purchase is. It is a system by means of which the State, for now many generations, has thrown upon the officers of the Army the expense of creating and maintaining a flow of promotion. Therefore it appears to me that, under any circumstances, the expenditure we have to meet is one which ought not to be thrown upon the taxation of the country. These are the two points which it becomes the House to consider, and, unless they can arrive at a satisfactory conclusion upon these two points, I do not see how they can sanction this Bill, or how they can be led away from that conclusion, by the various matters, no doubt of interest, respecting the military profession, of which the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War has treated. Here is before us a vast, indefinite, and unfathomable expenditure. I maintain, Sir, that when the Government comes forward to abolish one military system for which another must be substituted, they are bound to give us a complete estimate, not only of the cost of the military system to be abolished, but also of the cost of the construction of the military system to be substituted. I think both sides of the House will agree that that will approach an amount of a character with which we have seldom dealt, unless we have had to meet a great national contingency, like the abolition of slavery, for example, and other incidents of that character, very rare in our history. That being the case, I maintain we ought to have had placed before Parliament the most complete estimate, both for the abolition of the existing system and the construction of the new one which is to be its substitute, which the resources of the Government can furnish, and I say further, it is the duty of the Government not to attempt to throw the expenditure which is to be incurred to obtain these results upon our annual taxation. I think, not only that they might justifiably, but that they are bound to come forward with some scheme to effect that object, which would have saved the taxpayer of the country from that increase of his burdens which must be produced by pursuing the course upon which the House, if it adopts this Bill, is inevitably launched. It is on these grounds, Sir, that I oppose the Bill, and that I support the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool. All the military considerations have been discussed both amply and practically, and have furnished different grounds of approval or rejection, according to the different views of those dealing with them. The objection I make has never been fairly met by the Government. They are plunging into this vast and indefinite expenditure; they are bound to furnish the House and the country with ample information as to the cost of the abolition of the old system and the probable cost of the construction of the new one; and when that amount is ascertained, I think it is their duty to come forward with some scheme which will not have the effect of throwing the burden upon the annual taxpayer of the country, but which should have effected a purpose so essentially national, arising out of arrangements the foundations of which were laid generations ago, and which had been continued and confirmed for national objects, and for stated advantages, without making the taxpayer, as they are about to make him, the victim of the arrangement.


The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) has stated with great distinctness the grounds on which he intends to support the Amendment now before the House. They are, first, that the Government ought to have given a clear account of what the right hon. Gentleman called the cost of construction, for we all understand that we are now removing that which may hereafter conflict with an altered system; and, second, that we ought to have spared the taxpayer the burden which this change, as we now propose it, will cast upon him. Now, I must say I think the right hon. Gentleman himself, and I am confident the House, can hardly be of opinion, with respect to the second of these grounds, that it affords a worthy plea for opposition. When the right hon. Gentleman says we ought not to have this burden thrown upon the taxpayer, is he not playing with words? In what mode can you dispose of these charges except at the cost of the taxpayer? The right hon. Gentleman speaks as if by some magic or legerdemain we could contrive to open some now source from which these millions could be drawn, so that the taxpayer should never hear of them. No doubt, if the Government, instead of meeting these charges out of the Revenue of the year, had proposed to meet them by the issue of Consuls, the effect of that would have been that, perhaps, for the present year we should not have paid more than half or two-thirds of the sum; next year the charge would have been relatively still less, and so we should have handed it down to future generations. I venture, with great respect, to call that financial cowardice. Why are we, in the palmy days of our prosperity and power, to shrink from this burden, and to cast upon remote posterity the consequences of a ruinous system for which they are not responsible, and for which we are, at least in part, responsible? For, I take it, there is no doubt, as respects the most aggravated portion of the system of purchase—namely, the over-regulation price—in a very great degree it is the creation of our own time. The right hon. Gentleman surely cannot think that such a reason as this can be a reason why, after three months' debate, this House is to adopt a Resolution which, if it could be carried, would leave the question in that state of hopeless and disheartening confusion which I believe most of the officers of the Army would be the very first to deprecate. Has the hon. Member the Mover of the Motion considered what the effect of it must be? Suppose he could obtain a majority, what would be the condition of Parliament? Even from the opposite side of the House, and from one in close proximity to the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, we have had during this evening the candid confession that the question—for the raising of which I admit that he is not, and hon. Gentlemen opposite are not, responsible—having been raised, and having been brought to the stage it has now reached, it ought to be settled and disposed of. It is not pleasant to insinuate that the Mover of a Resolution of this kind does not wish it to be carried; and yet I think if I could dive into the breast of the hon. Member for Liverpool I should find graven there feelings, not of dread, because he reckons with cheerful confidence on a hostile majority; but if through some strange accident there had been a fear that he might succeed, I doubt very much whether the hon. Gentleman would have submitted this Motion to the House. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire has given his adhesion to the terms of the Motion. I really expected he would have endeavoured to meet the distinct challenge which was thrown out by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, because it is material that the Motion which the House is invited to adopt should not assert propositions that are palpably untrue. The Motion alleges that the Bill for the better regulation of the Army has been narrowed to one object, which will entail on the country an ascertained expenditure of several millions, and so forth. I call attention to this assertion that the Bill has been narrowed down to the single question of purchase. Is that so? Is it not true that at the very outset of our discussions my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War pointed out two, and two only, as the cardinal objects of the Bill, and is it not true that these two, in undiminished plenitude, still compose the material portions of the Bill? Is the hon. Gentleman the Member for Liverpool who brought forward the Motion, or any other hon. Gentleman on the opposite side of the House, prepared to say that those portions of the Bill which have been dropped were its vital portions? Is the substitution of one method of Ballot for another to be considered as constituting a distinction between the great, the noble, and the comprehensive measure which the hon. Member seems to recognize in the Bill as originally introduced, and the Bill which is now on the Table? The fact is undeniable that the Bill has lost nothing except that which was secondary in its character. All that which the Government considered essential, and which obtained from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire himself, on the second reading of the Bill, a qualified approval, was the portion of the measure relating to the blending of the services together, and the whole of those provisions remain in the Bill. What has been dropped? Short service? Has that made the difference between a good Bill and a bad one? The truth is that this Motion has been drawn in palpable forgetfulness of facts. It asserts that the Bill is now narrowed to one object, an assertion which is palpably untrue, and I hope that some hon. Gentleman may endeavour—I do not say in full detail—to explain, or rather to ask himself, what in the world is meant by declaring that this narrowing of the Bill has occurred when the only great object embraced by the Bill as it originally stood still remains on the text of the Bill? I think, therefore, I am justified in putting these two points—in the first place, that it is far from desirable that any portion of this House should commit itself to the categorical assertion of a proposition which it is totally impossible in seriousness to maintain; and, secondly, that the objection of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, that we propose to meet this charge out of the Revenue of the year, is an objection which, even if valid, never could constitute a sufficient ground for the rejection of such a measure as this. Above all, let me say that a resort to the expedient of borrowing—a resort never to be encouraged except under circumstances of the strongest necessity—would be most unworthy in a case like this, because we are not called upon to meet this charge during the present year, or during the next two or three years. It is true they will bear the greater proportion of the charge, and it is right they should do so, for it is better that they who pass the legislation should, by themselves and their constituents, meet the principal part of the pecuniary responsibility. But the charge is already, as we know, distributed for us by the natural action of circumstances over a period of 35 years. Now, if that is not time enough for a nation like this to get rid of such a charge, I hold that, whatever may be our military spirit, the spirit and the civil courage in this coun- try and within the walls of Parliament must be reduced to the lowest ebb before we can prevail upon ourselves to have recourse to so unhappy and feeble an expedient. The remaining portion of the proposition I commend to the consideration of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Liverpool—that portion of the statement, which I am sure cannot be contested, about the error he has allowed to creep into his principal recital. The main gist of his proposition, however, is an objection to a large and permanent charge of which no estimate has been submitted, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire has improved on the language of the Motion, for that which the hon. Member for Liverpool calls "large and permanent" the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire calls "vast, indefinite, and unfathomable." At the same time he goes far to satisfy the imagination by increasing the vagueness which hangs about the terms. I am content to refer, as far as the Government is concerned, to the justification given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War of the course he has taken in acting upon the sound principle laid down by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire himself—namely, that as you are dealing not with machines, but with men, and as you are dealing with men every step of whose action under our military system is to be free, you must proceed by tentative methods, and must not prematurely commit the State by announcements in detail by which you may lay it down as absolutely certain that everything in them tending to place the State at a disadvantage in its dealings hereafter with classes will be registered as a binding covenant; whereas, on the other hand, everything in them in which the balance is cast too much in favour of the State will be treated, and justly treated, as waste paper. For my own part, I must protest, on wider and more permanent grounds, against the assumption of this "vast, indefinite, and unfathomable charge;" and even against the "large and permanent" charge, I would remind hon. Gentlemen of the argument I submitted to the House on a former occasion, and which still remains unanswered. My argument was this—you tell us that if we abolish purchase, it will be necessary hereafter to add largely to the emoluments of the officers of the Army; and I will not now enter into the question whether that is to be done by retirement or by pay; for that is as broad as it is long as far as my present proposition is concerned. Why do you say it will be necessary that the public is to be put to a heavier charge in order to bring officers into the Army hereafter? The officers have taken their present pay and emoluments subject to a charge of £8,000,000. I was taken to task for saying that this was the sum they had paid to their predecessors, and the allegation was made that the money had been paid to the Government. Since then a Return has been obtained in detail, which shows that in a long series of years £1,700,000 has been paid to the Reserve Fund, and, for the sake of the argument, I will assume that it was paid to the Government. A computation was made at the same time of the total sum which passed in the prices of commissions during that period in which the £1,700,000 went to the Reserve Fund, and that total was no less than £26,000,000. Therefore, that proportion of something like 6 or 7 per cent of the whole money appears to have been paid to the Reserve Fund, while 90 per cent was paid to previous officers of the Army. What are the present officers? Hon. Gentlemen have been glowing in their eulogiums in the course of this debate, and have given us to understand that the officers present the only part of our military organization that is absolutely irreproachable. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) used that argument, but qualified it by saying it was undoubtedly alleged that under the present system generals and others in high command were rather wooden-headed. I admit that was in the nature of an awful drawback on the eulogy which was pronounced, for if the production of wooden-headed generals be the result of this admirable system, I do not know how to defend it. I cannot concur in these glowing and sanguine eulogies; but I trust I may, without the slightest disrespect to the officers of the Army, believe they labour under a defect which attaches very much to Englishmen in all professions—that they do not obtain the best and most thorough professional instruction. I may say that without reserve, because if it attaches to officers of the Army it attaches to others also. I believe that this defect attaches to the profession to which I belong, and that public men in England have not the professional instruction which they ought to have. The same remark applies to almost every profession in this country, and it would be wonderful if it did not apply to the officers of the Army, when we consider that the bulk of them are drawn from the public schools, and when we consider how lamentably low the standard of study and acquirements is in those ancient and magnificent establishments. ["No, no! and "Hear, hear!] Do I understand hon. Members to say that the standard of acquirements in our public schools is not lamentably low compared with what it ought to be? ["No, no! and "Hear, hear!] I very strongly hold that opinion, and I think if you went out of this country and consulted competent persons belonging to other countries, you would find it hardly needed disputing. But if that be the case with regard to our public schools in general, and with regard also to our Universities—that is to say, that they teach a great deal and teach it very well, but do not teach half as much, and do not produce anything like half as much, acquirements and attainments as they ought to do—it follows, as a matter of course, that that must be true, particularly as regards the officers of our Army, when you consider that those officers have usually been taken not from the most studious portion of the youth of England, and are in all cases removed from school before they have escaped from the years of boyhood, and are then placed in a position of extraordinary temptation to idleness and levity of life; they would be, indeed, more than human if they were able altogether to resist it. On the other hand, given the instruction and the skill, I venture to say that our purchase system has brought us the finest materials in the world for officers, but they have been saddled with this mortgage of £8,000,000, which had to be paid in order that they might become officers. How do they stand now? How does the officer of the future stand in comparison with the officer of the present? The officers of the future are to be relieved from the demand for these £8,000,000. The Government steps in, and has to pay to the officers of the present the £8,000,000, which they would otherwise have received from their successors. That represents a sum, as I said, of £320,000 a-year; but I think I stated it too moderately, for when you take into view the number of cases in which the money invested in commissions was permanently sunk, I might very fairly put the sum at £400,000 a-year. If so, that is an addition of that sum to the emoluments of the officers of the Army, and I want to know why, if you are making that addition, it can be necessary, if you make a judicious use of your resources, to make some other large addition too? You have not a difficulty in finding officers for your Army. When you go into the market to recruit for soldiers you offer just enough to bring a sufficiency of men. But with regard to officers the case is very different, for you had a number greater than you demanded, and they were always wanting to buy into those places which were saddled with the heavy charge of purchase. That charge is now about to be removed, and still we are told that by the effect of that removal we must entail an unfathomable, vast, indefinite, large, and permanent charge. [Lord ELCHO: Hear, hear!] The noble Lord the Member for Haddingtonshire cheers me; but he made me an answer which did not at all touch the point, for he informed me that it was necessary in order to preserve the proper relations between the various grades of officers and the ages of persons occupying those positions, to take care to preserve a proper flow of promotion and the clearing of the ranks, or otherwise we should be burdened with old men. My knowledge of military matters is very small; but I was not so wholly ignorant as not to be well aware of that fact, before he communicated it to me. Yet that does not touch the point in the least. It is not a question now in what manner you shall distribute the sum that is available for pay or retirement to the officers of the Army. My point is this—you now provide yourselves with officers of the very best and highest material for a certain sum per year. You are going to increase that sum by £400,000 a-year, and it would show a very great want of administrative skill on the part of this House and of the Government, if, indeed, this fearful prediction is to be verified, that we cannot abolish purchase without incurring a charge for which no estimate has yet been made. I, for my own part, entirely decline to be bound by any of these prophecies of ill, and I must point out that no one has attempted to meet our allegation, or to show why it is that money should have so lost its power, or else that administrative skill should be so wholly wanting among us, as that they should be able to sustain this extraordinary paradox, that because we are going to give, very justly and properly, a very great relief to the officers of the future by the abolition of purchase, therefore we must necessarily add to the emoluments in some other form. I do not now enter into the question between retirement and pay. Retirement is pay, only it is pay so distributed and placed as to be really given to the officers for the purpose of producing retirement. We are aware that we have incurred a great responsibility in proposing this measure, and when my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War sets about the work of reviewing the whole position of the officers of the Army after this Bill shall have become law, he will, indeed, have to address himself to a most formidable task. It is hardly possible to overrate that responsibility, and we do not shrink from acknowledging it. We shall endeavour to meet it as best we may; but, in the meantime, we hope that the House of Commons will likewise consider the responsibility that it would itself incur were it to take any step that would either bring about or facilitate the loss of the present Bill. It is my duty emphatically to sustain the declaration of my right hon. Friend—that it is impossible for the Government, after all that has occurred, and after the disclosures that have been made, to be parties to the continued violation of the law by the payment of over-regulation money. On that matter we have no option whatever. To that duty all our proceedings must be conformed; it must become our regulating principle. We have to ask the House to give us their powerful assistance so as to enable us to perform it in the manner best and most convenient for the interests of all those who are immediately affected by the measure. Never shall we be parties knowingly to an act of injustice; but we do feel that the point which we have now reached, and with these facts encouraging us, we are justified in asking the House not to keep this question in suspense, not to throw the minds of men into confusion with respect to the future by rejecting this Bill, which aims at the regular legal abolition of the System of purchase upon terms of justice and liberality, when a voice has eminently gone forth, as I believe nine out of ten hon. Members who have taken part in these discussions are as well aware as I am myself, that in one way or another that system is absolutely doomed.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 289; Noes 231: Majority 58.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read the third time, and passed.

Acland, T. D. Callan, P.
Adair, H. E. Campbell, H.
Agar-Ellis, hon. L. G. F. Candlish, J.
Amcotts, Col. W. C. Cardwell, rt. hon. E.
Anderson, G. Carington, hn. Capt. W.
Anstruther, Sir R. Carnegie, hon. C.
Antrobus, Sir E. Carter, Mr. Alderman
Armitstead, G. Cartwright, W. C.
Ayrton, rt. hon. A. S. Castlerosse, Viscount
Aytoun, R. S. Cave, T.
Bagwell, J. Cavendish, Lord F. C.
Baines, E. Cavendish, Lord G.
Baker, R. B. W. Chadwick, D.
Barclay, A. C. Cholmeley, Captain
Bass, A. Cholmeley, Sir M.
Baxter, W. E. Clay, J.
Bazley, Sir T. Clifford, C. C.
Beaumont, Captain F. Cogan, rt. hon. W. H. F.
Beaumont, H. F. Colebrooke, Sir T. E.
Beaumont, S. A. Collier, Sir R. P.
Beaumont, W. B. Colman, J. J.
Bentall, E. H. Colthurst, Sir G. C.
Biddulph, M. Corrigan, Sir D.
Blennerhassett, Sir R. Cowen, J.
Bolckow, H. W. F. Cowper, hon. H. F.
Bonham-Carter, J. Cowper-Temple, right hon. W.
Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.
Bowring, E. A. Craufurd, E. H. J.
Brady, J. Crawford, R. W.
Brand, rt. hon. H. Dalglish, R.
Brand, H. R. Dalrymple, D.
Brewer, Dr. Dalway, M. R.
Bright, J. (Manchester) Davie, Sir H. R. F.
Brinckman, Captain Davies, R.
Bristowe, S. B. Dease, E.
Brocklehurst, W. C. Delahunty, J.
Brogden, A. Denman, hon. G.
Brown, A. H. Dent, J. D.
Browne, G. E. Dickinson, S. S.
Bruce, rt. hon. Lord E. Digby, K. T.
Bruce, rt. hon. H. A. Dillwyn, L. L.
Bryan, G. L. Dixon, G.
Buckley, N. Dodds, J.
Buller, Sir E. M. Dodson, J. G.
Cadogan, hon. F. W. Downing, M'C.
Dowse, R. Jessel, G.
Duff, M. E. G. Johnston, A.
Duff, R. W. Johnstone, Sir H.
Dundas, F. King, hon. P. J. L.
Edwardes, hon. Col. W. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Edwards, H. Lambert, N. G.
Egerton, Capt. hon. F. Lancaster, J.
Ellice, E. Lawrence, Sir J. C.
Enfield, Viscount Lawrence, W.
Ennis, J. J. Lawson, Sir W.
Erskine, Admiral J. E. Lea, T.
Ewing, H. E. C. Leatham, E. A.
Eykyn, R. Leeman, G.
Fagan, Captain Lefevre, G. J. S.
Finnie, W. Lloyd, Sir T. D.
FitzGerald, right hon. Lord O. A. Loch, G.
Locke, J.
Fitzmaurice, Lord E. Lorne, Marquess of
Fitzwilliam, hn. C. W. W. Lowe, rt. hon. R.
Fletcher, I. Lubbock, Sir J.
Foljambe, F. J. S. Lusk, A.
Fordyce, W. D. Lyttelton, hon. C. G.
Forster, C. MacEvoy, E.
Forster, rt. hon. W. E. M'Clean, J. R.
Foster, W. H. M'Clure, T.
Fortescue, rt. hon. C. P. M'Lagan, P.
Fortescue, hon. D. F. Magniac, C.
Fothergill, R. Maguire, J. F.
Fowler, W. Marling, S. S.
Gavin, Major Matheson, A.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Melly, G.
Gladstone, W. H. Merry, J.
Goldsmid, Sir F. Miall, E.
Goldsmid, J. Milbank, F. A.
Goschen, rt. hon. G. J. Miller, J.
Gourley, E. T. Mitchell, T. A.
Gower, hon. E. F. L. Monk, C. J.
Graham, W. Monsell, rt. hon. W.
Greville-Nugent, hon. G. F. Morgan, G. O.
Morley, S.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Morrison, W.
Grieve, J. J. Mundella, A. J.
Grosvenor, Capt. R. W. Murphy, N. D.
Grosvenor, hon. N. Nicol, J. D.
Grosvenor, Lord R. O'Brien, Sir P.
Grove, T. F. O'Conor, D. M.
Guest, M. J. O'Conor Don, The
Hamilton, J. G. C. Ogilvy, Sir J.
Hanmer, Sir J. O'Loghlen, rt. hon. Sir C. M.
Harcourt, W. G. G. V. V.
Hardcastle, J. A. Onslow, G.
Hartington, Marquess of O'Reilly-Dease, M.
Haviland-Burke, E. Otway, A. J.
Henderson, J. Palmer, J. H.
Henley, Lord Palmer, Sir R.
Henry, M. Parker, C. S.
Herbert, hon. A. E. W. Parry, L. Jones-
Heron, D. C. Pease, J. W.
Hibbert, J. T. Peel, A. W.
Hoare, Sir H. A. Pelham, Lord
Hodgkinson, G. Philips, R. N.
Hodgson, K. D. Platt, J.
Holland, S. Playfair, L.
Holms, J. Plimsoll, S.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Portman, hon. W. H. B.
Hughes, T. Potter, E.
Hughes, W. B. Potter, T. B.
Hurst, R. H. Power, J. T.
Hutt, rt. hon. Sir W. Ramsden, Sir J. W.
Illingworth, A. Rathbone, W.
James, H. Reed, C.
Jardine, R. Robertson, D.
Roden, W. S. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Rothschild, N. M. de Torrens, R. R.
Russell, A. Tracy, hon. C. R. D. Hanbury-
Russell, F. W.
Rylands, P. Trevelyan, G. O.
St. Aubyn, J. Vandeleur, Colonel
Salomons, Sir D. Verney, Sir H.
Samuda, J. D'A. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Samuelson, B. Vivian, A. P.
Samuelson, H. B. Vivian, Capt. hn. J. C. W.
Sartoris, E. J. Walter, J.
Saunderson, E. Waters, G.
Seymour, A. Wedderburn, Sir D.
Shaw, W. Weguelin, T. M.
Sheridan, H. B. Wells, W.
Sherlock, D. West, H. W.
Sherriff, A. C. Whatman, J.
Simon, Mr. Serjeant Whitbread, S.
Smith, E. White, J.
Stacpoole, W. Whitworth, T.
Stanley, hon. W. O. Williams, W.
Stansfeld, rt. hon. J. Williamson, Sir H.
Stapleton, J. Willyams, E. W. B.
Stepney, Colonel Wingfield, Sir C.
Stevenson, J. C. Winterbotham, H. S. P.
Stone, W. H. Woods, H.
Storks, rt. hon. Sir H. K. Young, A. W.
Strutt, hon. H. Young, G.
Stuart, Colonel
Sturt, Lt.-Col. N. TELLERS.
Sykes, Colonel W. H. Glyn, hon. G. G.
Taylor, P. A. Adam, W. P.
Akroyd, E. Burrell, Sir P.
Allen, Major Bury, Viscount
Amphlett, R. P. Buxton, Sir R. J.
Annesley, hon. Col. H. Cameron, D.
Anson, hon. A. H. A. Cartwright, F.
Arbuthnot, Major G. Cave, right hon. S.
Archdale, Captain M. Cawley, C. E.
Arkwright, A. P. Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G.
Arkwright, R. Chaplin H.
Assheton, R. Charley, W. T.
Baggallay, Sir R. Child, Sir S.
Bagge, Sir W. Clive, Col. hon. G. W.
Bailey, Sir J. R. Clowes, S. W.
Ball, J. T. Cochrane, A. D. W. R. B.
Baring, T. Collins, T.
Barnett, H. Corbett, Colonel
Barrington, Viscount Corry, rt. hon. H. T. L.
Barttelot, Colonel Crichton, Viscount
Bateson, Sir T. Croft, Sir H. G. D.
Bathurst, A. A. Cross, R. A.
Beach, Sir M. H. Cubitt, G.
Beach, W. W. B. Dalrymple, C.
Bective, Earl of Damer, Capt. Dawson-
Bentinck, G. C. Davenport, W. B.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Denison, C. B.
Benyon, R. Dick, F.
Beresford, Lt.-Col. M. Dickson, Major A. G.
Bingham, Lord Dimsdale, R.
Birley, H. Disraeli, rt. hon. B.
Booth, Sir R. G. Dowdeswell, W. E.
Bourke, hon. R. Duncombo, hon. Col.
Bourne, Colonel Du Pre, G. C.
Bright, R. Dyke, W. H.
Broadley, W. H. H. Dyott, Colonel R.
Brooks, W. C. Eaton, H. W.
Bruce, Sir H. H. Egerton, hon. A. F.
Bruen, H. Egerton, Sir P. G.
Egerton, hon. W. Lowther, J.
Elcho, Lord Lowther, W.
Elliot, G. Mahon, Viscount
Elphinstone, Sir J. D. H. Malcolm, J. W.
Feilden, H. M. Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Fielden, J. Manners, Lord G. J.
Fellowes, E. March, Earl of
Figgins, J. Matthews, H.
Finch, G. H. Mellor, T. W.
Floyer, J. Milles, hon. G. W.
Forester, rt. hon. Gen. Mills, C. H.
Fowler, R. N. Mitford, W. T.
Garlics, Lord Monckton, F.
Gilpin, Colonel Montagu, rt. hn. Lord R.
Goldney, G. Montgomery, Sir G. G.
Gooch, Sir D. Morgan, C. O.
Gordon, E. S. Morgan, hon. Major
Gore, J. R. O. Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.
Gore, W. R. O. Neville-Grenville, R.
Gray, Lieut.-Colonel Newdegate, C. N.
Greaves, E. Newport, Viscount
Greene, E. Noel, hon. G. J.
Gregory, G. B. North, Colonel
Guest, A. E. Northcote, rt. hn. Sir S. H.
Hambro, C. O'Neill, hon. E.
Hamilton, Lord C. Paget, R. H.
Hamilton, Lord G. Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.
Hamilton, I. T. Palk, Sir L.
Hamilton, Marquess of Parker, Lt.-Col. W.
Hardy, rt. hon. G. Patten, rt. hon. Col. W.
Hardy, J. Peck, H. W.
Hardy, J. S. Pell, A.
Hay, Sir J. C. D. Pemberton, E. L.
Henley, rt. hon. J. W. Percy, Earl
Herbert, rt. hon. Gen. Sir P. Phipps, C. P.
Plunket, hon. D. R.
Hermon, E. Powell, W.
Hervey, Lord A. H. C. Raikes, H. C.
Hesketh, Sir T. G. Read, C. S.
Heygate, Sir F. W. Ridley, M. W.
Hick, J. Round, J.
Hildyard, T. B. T. Royston, Viscount
Hill, A. S. Russell, Sir W.
Hodgson, W. N. Sackville, S. G. S.
Holford, J. P. G. Sandon, Viscount
Holford, R. S. Sclater-Booth, G.
Holmesdale, Viscount Scourfield, J. H.
Holt, J. M. Seely, C. (Nottingham)
Hood, Cap. hn. A. W. A. N. Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J.
Hope, A. J. B. B. Shirley, S. E.
Hunt, rt. hon. G. W. Simonds, W. B.
Hutton, J. Smith, A.
Jackson, R. W. Smith, R.
Jenkinson, Sir G. S. Smith, S. G.
Jervis, Colonel Smith, W. H.
Jones, J. Somerset, Lord H. R. C.
Kavanagh, A. MacM. Stanley, hon. F.
Kekewich, S. T. Starkie, J. P. C.
Kennaway, J. H. Steere, L.
Kingscote, Colonel Straight, D.
Knight, F. W. Sturt, H. G.
Knightley, Sir R. Sykes, C.
Knox, hon. Colonel S. Talbot, C. R. M.
Lacon, Sir E. H. K. Talbot, J. G.
Langton, W. G. Talbot, hon. Captain
Learmonth, A. Taylor, rt. hon. Col.
Legh, W. J. Thynne, Lord H. F.
Lennox, Lord G. G. Tipping, W.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Tollemache, J.
Liddell, hon. H. G. Tomline, G.
Lindsay, hon. Col. C. Turner, C.
Lindsay, Colonel R. L. Turnor, E.
Vance, J. Williams, Sir F. M.
Verner, E. W. Winn, R.
Walker, Major G. G. Wyndham, hon. P.
Walpole, hon. F. Wynn, C. W. W.
Walsh, hon. A. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Waterhouse, S.
Welby, W. E. TELLERS.
Wethered, T. O. Graves, S. R.
Wharton, J. L. Lopes, Sir M.