HC Deb 15 June 1871 vol 207 cc99-103

Power of Government to take Railroads on Emergency.

Clause 27 (Power of Government on occasion of emergency to take possession of railroads).


, for Mr. LEEMAN, moved, in page 18, line 5, after "thereof," insert "and may take possession of any plant without taking-possession of the railroad itself."

Line 7, after "direct," insert— And the directors, officers, and servants of any such railroad shall obey the directions of the Secretary of State as to the user of such railroad as aforesaid for Her Majesty's service.

Amendments agreed to.

Further Amendments made.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Barracks and Land.

Clause 28 (Power of county or municipal boroughs to build barracks).


said, although the clause was to be withdrawn, he should be glad to hear what were the views of the Government on the subject, because, with the present pressure of local taxation, there was no chance of any county building barracks. The whole Militia force could hardly be put under canvas, and it was very undesirable that Militiamen should be exposed during the period of their training to the demoralizing associations of country towns.


said, he had been in hopes that counties might combine to build barracks for the Militia, considering that money would be lent by the Treasury, and that billet money might be applied in paying a portion of the interest; but looking to the large expense that would be incurred, and the short period the barracks would be occupied, and also to the state of feeling which prevailed in regard to rating, he thought it better to withdraw the clause.


said, he considered that his right hon. Friend had done wisely in not pressing the clause on the attention of the House. But the Government might avail themselves of the powers they possessed and group counties for the building of barracks; he did not think the counties possessed the power of combining for that purpose. Barracks might be built on an inexpensive scale, to be occupied by different regiments in succession. He saw no reason why the embodiment of the Militia should not be spread over more than the months of April and May, September and October, when harvest was over, might be made equally available


observed, that the calling out of the Militia at any period of the year depended on the labour market; but they had also to guard against a great amount of fraud which might be practised by the same person receiving the bounty of different Militia regiments.

Clause negatived.

Clauses 29 to 31 negatived.

Clause 32 (Power of militia and volunteer corps to acquire land for any necessary purposes) agreed to.

Penalties and Saving Clauses.

Clauses 33 and 34 negatived.

Clause 35 agreed to.


Clause 36 agreed to.

MR. CARDWELL moved to insert, after Clause 26, a new clause (Order as to billeting and quartering of Militia).

Clause agreed to, and added to the Bill.

MR. STAPLETON moved to insert the following new clause:— (Militia liable to serve in parts of Europe.) The general Militia shall be liable to serve in any part of Europe, except those parts which are under the dominion of the Emperor of Russia or the Sultan; but every soldier and non-commissioned officer who shall have enlisted, and every officer whose commission shall bear date before the passing of this Act, whose regiment shall be ordered on foreign service, shall be entitled to elect to remain in the United Kingdom; and such soldiers, non-commissioned officers, and officers as may so elect to remain in the United Kingdom shall serve with or constitute the depôts of the regiments to which they respectively belong. The Militiamen ought to be enlisted on the understanding that they were to serve in any part of Europe, and the officers ought to accept their commissions on the same understanding. Foreign countries ought to be made aware that in the event of our being involved in war we could immediately turn our Militia to account. It would be easy to make the Militia efficient troops, and thus place at our disposal a fine force without the expenditure of a single additional farthing. Eminent generals had expressed an opinion in favour of the principle involved in his clause, the insertion of which in the Bill he begged to move. The limit as to Turkey and Russia was inserted to show that he did not think the Militia would be called upon in wars undertaken merely on account of India. Any other wars in Europe must be regarded as having for their ultimate object the safety of our own shores, the defence of which was the proper function of the Militia.

Clause read a first time.

On Motion, "That the clause be read a second time,"


, as a Militia officer, opposed the clause, not on the ground of a reluctance to serve abroad, but because he believed that it would prove an obstacle in the way of recruiting for the Militia, for the class of men who entered that force being taken from the lowest strata of society were very suspicious of contracting new engagements. It was the mere unnecessary to introduce such a provision into the Bill, inasmuch as during the Crimean War no less than 40 Militia regiments had volunteered for foreign service. He trusted that the House and the country would have sufficient confidence in the patriotism of the Militia, and would leave them a free choice in the matter.


said, he must remind the hon. Member who had moved, the clause, that when this country was at war, the volunteering for foreign service by the Militia had not only been by regiments, but also by individual Militiamen volunteering to serve in the Line, which had thus obtained a considerable accession to its strength. The proposal, moreover, was objectionable in regard to its limitation.


hoped his hon. Friend would not press his clause to a division.


said, he believed that although a great number of the Militia would be very unwilling to go to India, they would be very willing to serve on the Continent of Europe. He would, however, withdraw the clause.

Clause, by leave, withdrawn.


, in the absence of the hon. Member for East Sussex (Mr. G. B. Gregory), moved a new clause—(Power to Commissioners to commute).

Clause, by leave, withdrawn.


, in the absence of the noble Lord the Member for Middlesex (Lord George Hamilton), moved, after Clause 23, to insert a new clause—(Compensation to clerks of general meetings).


said, the clause could not be entertained by the Committee, because it was not covered by the preliminary Resolution passed with reference to the Bill.


asked, whether Her Majesty's Government proposed to consider the question raised by the clause?


said, he was afraid he could not hold out any hope that the Government would think it right that these clerks should receive compensation.

SIR JOHN HAY moved the following clause:— Officers to lodge security in aid of retirement. Be it further provided, That, after the passing of this Act, each officer shall, on receiving his commission in Her Majesty's Army, lodge a sum of money not exceeding five hundred pounds, in the hands of the Accountant General of the War Office, and that on each succeeding step of rank to which the said officer shall be promoted, he shall lodge such additional sum as may be deemed necessary; each officer shall, on retiring from the Army, if he shall have not been cashiered, receive back as a bonus, or as an annuity, the sums of money he shall have so lodged, with such increment as may be due at the rate of three and a half per cent. The hon. and gallant Baronet said, there was hardly a trade or civil profession which did not require that persons on entering it should, either by themselves or their friends, lodge a sum of money, or outer into a bond with the view of securing their good behaviour. In the Navy, security for good behaviour on the part of those who entered it was required to a considerable amount. He thought the country was entitled to obtain from those who were about to serve it in the Army that security for good behaviour which was required in the other professions in the States. There was this further consideration, that the adoption of the clause would relieve the country of an enormous amount, which was now paid to officers on retirement.


said, the same objection applied to this clause as to the last—namely, that it was out of Order to move the clause, as it was not covered by the original Resolution.

Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.