§ (Mr. Secretary Cardwell, Sir Henry Knight Storks, Captain Vivian, The Judge Advocate.)
§ COMMITTEE. [Progress 15th May.]
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 2 (Sale of Commissions prohibited after a certain day).
§ COLONEL ANSON moved, in page 1, line 24, leave out "on exchanges." The hon. and gallant Gentleman said, he had been in hopes that in a Bill which he might fairly say would inflict the greatest injury that had ever been inflicted on any body of men in this world, Her Majesty's Government would have tried to make the alterations, supposing them necessary, as little onerous as possible to the officers of the Army. But it appeared they had no intention of doing anything of the sort. The effect of the Amendment which he proposed would be to allow officers to exchange from one regiment or one station to another. It was argued that the insertion of the words "or exchanges" would prevent any money passing between the officers of different regiments; but if that were done exchange between officers would be virtually stopped, and before the House came to that determination it should be considered whether the State suffered by the present prac- 1006 tice. It might be said that in the Prussian Army there were no exchanges; but it must be recollected that in that Army there was no foreign service. Each corps d' armée was located in a certain district, from which it never moved. In the English Army, however, the case of the officers was entirely different, and the hardships they had to endure ought to induce the House to treat them tenderly. Although they were sent to every variety of climate the State had always been able to secure officers who were thoroughly able to do their duty in each place. Because, if after serving a year at any post an officer found it did not suit his health, he could exchange with another officer, and by that act the State had been benefited considerably, because it secured the services of a willing man. In his own case he was serving in India during the Mutiny and was promoted into a regiment that was in England; but being desirous of remaining in India until the Mutiny had been suppressed, he exchanged with an officer who was failing in health and anxious to return home. In a former debate he made use of the expression "officers' rights," and he was taken to task for the expression rather more severely than was necessary by the hon. Member for Longford (Mr. O'Reilly). He admitted that they had no rights, but only certain privileges according to the custom of the service, and he submitted that it would be absurd to deprive officers of the privilege of exchanging and to compel them to go to climates in which their health would suffer. He could not understand what advantage was expected from the forbidding of exchanges, for there was absolutely no harm in money passing between two officers when both parties were benefited, and the State was better served. Hitherto the great objection had been that officers exchanged to sell; but assuming that purchase was abolished, that objection was removed. The only possible reason for an exchange in future would be a consideration of health or for family reasons, or because a poor man was unable to serve in England; and the fact that officers were subjected to a penalty on account of such exchanges would be sufficient to prevent any abuse of the practice. During the debate on the second reading of the Bill, the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Surveyor General of Ordnance (Sir Henry Storks) 1007 spoke, and arguing in favour of selection, he said he doubted very much whether it was desirable that officers should continue to serve in the same regiments, and the Financial Secretary to the War Department (Captain Vivian) had described the system of exchanges as one of very great advantage. He would remind the Surveyor General that his great Friend, Colonel Cameron, had said that under a regimental system the ideas of an officer became prejudiced and confined, and he had at heart less the interests of the service than of his own regiment, and therefore, according to his own theory, anything that tended to the circulation of officers through different regiments was a good thing. He hoped the House would consent to the Amendment.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 1, line 24, to leave out the words "or exchanges."—(Colonel Anson.)
§ COLONEL KINGSCOTE
said, he was quite ready to admit that if the Amendment were carried it would be inconsistent with the views of those who were in favour of the abolition of purchase. He, however, was opposed to its abolition, and he regretted that no division had been taken on the Motion for the second reading. He saw no good reason why the system of purchase should be done away with, and a great burden as a consequence thrown upon the taxpayers of the country. They were asked by the Government to make a great sacrifice, in order to cut down the regimental system; but he maintained they would gain nothing by it. The regimental officers had, at all times, efficiently done their duty; the system itself had never been impeached, and was cheap to the country. The Government now, it was true, proposed to give officers a certain price for their commissions; but then they gave them no idea as to what was to be done with them with regard to promotion. The result would be that the whole Army would be reduced to that dead lock which existed in the artillery. Surely the House ought to have been informed what the scheme of the Government was with respect to retirement. The principle of selection was, he might add, entirely opposed to the feelings of our officers; it was like taking a knife to cut off the heads of men who might have advanced 1008 some steps in their profession, and who might see another placed above them. It was said, too, by the supporters of the Bill that they were desirous of keeping up the esprit de corps and local feeling in regiments; but how, he should like to know, was that to be accomplished if a man might be passed on to another regiment and left with little or no hope of obtaining the command of his own. The Government maintained that the abolition of purchase constituted the backbone of their Bill, and that if it were not effected the whole Bill would be worthless; but he, for one, could see no reason why, even though the purchase clauses were struck out, the rest of the Bill should not be passed. Being in favour of purchase, and believing that the question was raised by the Amendment, he should vote for it.
§ MR. CARDWELL
said, the question was not whether exchanges should or should not be permitted, but whether the payment of money for exchanges should be allowed. Even the hon. and gallant Gentleman who had just spoken admitted that, if purchase were abolished, the system of exchanges must be abolished also. As to the House not having come to a vote in favour of doing away with purchase, he could only say that there was abundant opportunity for doing so both on the second reading and on the Motion for going into Committee. It might fairly be said that the intention that purchase should be abolished had been distinctly expressed. There was no intention on the part of the Government to prevent exchanges; but they proposed to forbid payment for exchanges. [An hon. MEMBER: How are they to be got?] He should not take up the time of the House by quoting from the Papers which lay before him on that point; but those who were familiar with the evidence on the subject knew that some officers were very desirous to go abroad — to India, for instance — while others were anxious to serve at home. Reasonable and proper exchanges of that kind there was no intention to prohibit; what it was desired to prevent was money bargains for the purpose, which had, according to the Report of the Royal Commission, given rise to great abuses. Several hon. Members spoke highly of the regimental system, and contended that the abolition of purchase would strike a blow at that system; 1009 but was it not, he would ask, cutting at its very root to seek to perpetuate a traffic which would admit of a man's exchanging from one regiment to another when he pleased?
§ COLONEL NORTH
said, the right hon. Gentleman seemed to imagine that the constitution of every officer was the same, and that any climate was suitable to it; but when he talked of men being willing to go out to India, he must bear in mind that they received there a considerable increase of pay. The case was very different, however, when it came to be a question of serving in China or the West Indies, and it was idle to suppose that officers would go to those countries voluntarily unless they got some remuneration. To prevent exchanges would, in his opinion, be a most cruel and outrageous measure.
§ LORD EUSTACE CECIL
said, he was glad that the hon. and gallant Member for Gloucestershire (Colonel Kingscote) had spoken, because the Government must perceive from his speech that the views of officers, to whatever party they belonged, were entirely opposed to their scheme. As to exchanges, he quite concurred with the hon. and gallant Member for Oxfordshire (Colonel North) that it would be a most cruel hardship to the officers not to permit them. He might mention that in the course of his own service in India has happened to be very ill, in consequence of duty performed at the Cape of Good Hope, and that had he not been able to exchange he would probably not be in that House at that moment. Some means should be provided by which officers who could not bear extremes of heat or cold should be able to exchange to a more temperate climate. The Secretary of State for War seemed to think that it was a question appertaining entirely to the purchase branches of the Army; but he believed the right hon. Gentleman was altogether mistaken. Exchanges took place in the Engineers and Artillery, as well as in the Navy, and sums of money passed just as in the purchase corps. How could you prevent money from passing in this way? No regulations could stop it altogether, and it would therefore be much better for the right hon. Gentleman to say at once that there were exceptions to every rule, and that under certain circumstances, where the health of officers was en- 1010 dangered, they would be allowed to exchange from one regiment to another.
§ MR. CARDWELL
said, he thought he had made it clear that exchanges would not be prohibited, but that the passing of money for exchanges would be. If money passed on such occasions in the Artillery or Engineers, it was only a proof how catching a vicious system was, and how necessary it was for the House, when extinguishing the system of purchase, to extinguish it altogether.
said, he had lately retired from a non-purchase corps in which he had served for 25 years. He had been in most climates, and knew it was perfectly impossible for the Royal Artillery to serve efficiently in all our Colonies if it were not for the system of exchanges. If private soldiers and noncommissioned officers broke down in health they were invalided home and pensioned in proportion to their length of service. But as to the officers who served their country faithfully, they in a like case were to be offered, the wide world. They could get leave; but when this expired they must either rejoin or find somebody to go in their place. Were these men, for whom there was no half-pay, to be told that if they broke down they would not be allowed to exchange? The Secretary of State for War said he did not object to exchanges so long as only travelling expenses were paid, and no other money passed. Now, suppose a man through ill-health wished an officer to serve in his place at some distant, and, perhaps, unhealthy station, did the right hon. Gentleman think the substitute would go out upon payment of his steamboat fare? The Government and the Committee should discuss this subject in a business-like way, and not as mere theorists. Let the Secretary for War leave the system of exchanges as it was. It had worked well, and hereafter would have no effect whatever in perpetuating the purchase system.
§ COLONEL EDWARDES
denied that all old officers opposed the abolition of purchase, though the majority might do so. As an old officer himself, he had long been in favour of the abolition of purchase pur et simple, his only condition being that over-regulation prices were recognized. If money payments were now allowed as a consideration for exchanges, the purchase system would to some extent be perpetuated, and he 1011 should, therefore, certainly oppose the Motion if it were pressed to a division.
§ MR. J. S. HARDY
observed that, though it had been stated on the part of the Government that nothing but the most rigid system of selection could prevent purchase growing up again, yet the Government were now going to allow in respect to exchanges any amount of money to be paid under the name of travelling expenses.
supported the Amendment. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who proposed it (Colonel Anson) brought it forward to prevent the injury which would otherwise be done to individual officers; but the complaint to be made against the proposals in the Bill was that they would do great injury to the British taxpayers. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War said the other night that the Government were going to put an end to a rotten and effete system. But this was begging the whole question. The system had worked right well. The Government were seeking additional naval and military strength. Was this the time for incurring a large additional outlay by removing the purchase system? Until they had the whole scheme of the Government before them, he entreated the House not to consider those Members factious who refused to proceed with the Bill. Under the present system of exchange an officer was able without detriment to himself to inhabit the climate that best suited his health; but if it were abolished he would often be obliged to remain at stations injurious, and perhaps fatal, to his constitution. It would be cheaper to allow the officers to settle this matter for themselves than to take it out of their hands.
§ LORD ELCHO
observed, that the Secretary of State for War was very boastful about no division having been taken on the purchase system, and the Prime Minister cheered his observation on that point. The Prime Minister had on his side the advantage of great battalions. But he need not be so boastful of his battalions when he could not get one from their ranks to say a single word in defence of his measure. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Admiralty pointed proudly behind to the hon. and gallant Member for Haverfordwest (Colonel Edwardes), who did say a word in favour of the abolition of purchase. 1012 He congratulated Her Majesty's Government on having among their ranks at least one who did bear Her Majesty's commission, and who supported this measure. The exception in this case proved the rule. He gave the Government credit for being as well-intentioned as any men that ever sat on the Treasury bench; but they left out of consideration a very important element in dealing with this subject—they forgot that they were dealing with men, and they utterly ignored the feelings, the constitution, and health of officers. They wanted to prevent the passing of money for exchanges, which they could not prevent. Did they not know that money passed with respect to adjutancies of Volunteers? Why, then, by legislation attempt to stop what they could not prevent?
§ MR. MELLY
said, that the reason why the supporters of the Government did not speak in favour of the Bill was that they were really anxious it should pass, and the reason why hon. Gentlemen on the other side spoke so much was that they wanted it to be lost. The noble Lord (Lord Elcho) had declared that he would use every form of the House to oppose the Bill—[Lord ELCHO: Hear, hear!]—and it was well known that talking against time was one of the most effectual methods of obstruction. Why, that very evening they had listened to a speech of an hour and a-half's length from a right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli), who was one of the most able and eloquent orators in the House; but that speech must have left on all their minds the impression that the right hon. Gentleman also was making use of that form for the purpose of deferring the time for going into Committee on this Bill. Perhaps, also, the object of the Opposition was to defer another Bill to which they had an equally strong objection. Another reason why the supporters of the Bill did not address the House was that they had perfect confidence in the Secretary of State for War, and they knew that the task of replying to hostile criticisms might be safely left in his hands.
§ MR. LIDDELL
said, he thought that the Government might well say—"Save us from our friends;" for the hon. Member had, by way of shortening the discussion, introduced irrelevant subjects of a personal character that were eminently 1013 qualified to beget discussion. He had no intention of availing himself of the opportunity thus created; but he protested against the referencee that the hon. Member had made to the Leader of the Opposition, who had only discharged a public duty in calling attention to the financial policy of the Government.
§ COLONEL CORBETT
said, the system of exchanges was one which righted itself; but what would be the result if it were put an end to? They might have half the officers of a regiment invalided. Were they going to double the number of officers in regiments in unhealthy climates? A great many questions had been put to the Government in the course of the debate, but no answers had been received. In fact they appeared—as he had said the other night—to be in a thick fog on the subject. If the Secretary of State would only communicate some information to hon. Members, he would do much to expedite this business.
said, his noble Friend (Viscount Bury) had laid down the proposition that an officer in the Army had a right to choose the country in which to serve.
observed, that what he said was that by the present system of exchange a man usually had the power of selecting the country in which he was to serve.
said, he was glad to hear the explanation. It was impossible for the Government to accept the Amendment. The Bill was intended to prevent anything like vested interests amongst the officers. The Government proposed to abolish purchase, in order that officers might be treated as was best for the good of the service, and if exchanges for money were allowed it would be impossible to prevent an officer who had spent money for an exchange from having a vested interest. He held in his hand an agent's business circular—a list of exchanges which officers desired to effect; in one case a "large bonus" was offered, and in another "nominal terms" were proposed; and he referred to these only to show the pecuniary value of the arrangements that were constantly being made. A remarkable case was named in the evidence taken by the Commissioners of 1856, at page 87, the witness stating that his noble Friend (Lord Eustace 1014 Cecil), when junior lieutenant, for accepting an exchange, was selected for a captaincy in the Guards, without purchase, and promoted over the head of another officer who was several steps above him. [Lord EUSTACE CECIL said, the evidence referred to was totally incorrect.] He was not responsible for the evidence, but he had quoted it accurately. It was not intended to interfere with exchanges; it was fully admitted that officers ought to be able to exchange; and the only object of the clause was to prevent the Bill sanctioning the payment of money. There were, however, regulations under which there was no difficulty whatever in providing for travelling and legitimate expenses, which were well understood and could be easily settled in each case. He believed that his hon. and gallant Friend was making a bugbear of the question of exchange in order to prejudice the Bill.
§ LORD EUSTACE CECIL
observed, that the evidence to which reference had been made was given 16 or 18 years ago, and had he known of it at the time he would have contradicted it. The facts were these:—He exchanged from the 43rd Regiment in India to the 88th at home. He was promoted, perfectly unknown to himself, without solicitation on his part, by a noble Lord of opposite politics to his own, Lord Strafford, who could not have had any such reason for the promotion as that which was stated in the evidence.
§ COLONEL LEARMONTH
said, with respect to exchanges, that they were invariably and without exception under the control of the authorities. No exchange could take place that had not the sanction of the Commander-in-Chief. It was well known to all officers that there were Army agents in London, and that the paper to which reference had been made was published by them. What he wished the House to understand was, that no agreement between officers for exchange could be carried out which had not the sanction of the Horse Guards, no matter what stage they had reached, and if an officer was serving in a climate which did not agree with him, and could get one at home who was willing to go out, he did not see any objection to an exchange on the payment of a small sum provided no injury was thereby caused to the public service. It was impossible 1015 to prevent the carrying out of a system of exchange.
MAJOR GENERAL SIR PERCY HERBERT
said, the agents who issued circulars such as had been quoted were not the authorized Army agents, who were paid by the State for the services which they rendered to officers. The Secretary of State for War had not given the Committee the slightest notion as to his objection to exchanges except that money passed. In fact, he believed the right hon. Gentleman had taken up the question without any great consideration or knowledge of it. While the purchase system existed a legitimate objection to exchanges might be raised, because sometimes a man might exchange from one regiment to another in order to get in the second regiment a higher price than he was able to obtain in the first. This objection was not a valid one, however, after purchase was abolished. According to the present rules an officer was entitled to his half-pay after 25 years' service; but everybody was aware that many officers after serving a certain number of years abroad broke down in health, and were obliged to return home, where they often entirely recovered. Did the right hon. Gentleman intend to give such men their half-pay before they had served 25 years? Vested interests had been talked about, but no vested interest could accrue from paying money for exchange. The present scheme was one to transfer from one regiment to another officers who had entered under a different system, and though they had already had breaches of faith he was not prepared for such a gross one as this. The officers had entered the service under the impression that they could not be transferred from one regiment to another without their own consent, and therefore the present proposition was a gross breach of faith. In the course of this discussion reference had been made to the rights of officers. Now, no officer claimed to have any right whatever against Her Majesty the Queen, who in the exercise of her unlimited prerogative might promote anyone she pleased to the highest rank in the Army. The case was different, however, when the House of Commons came to consider the subject involved in this Bill, and hon. Members ought not to forget they were dealing with the rights of gentlemen who did not cease to be citizens when 1016 they became soldiers, and who were entitled to fair play, justice, and an equitable construction of the terms on which they entered the Army. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would take back this provision and consign it to the same limbo as the restrictive clauses in reference to selling out had been consigned to.
§ SIR HENRY STORKS
said, he wished to make a brief explanation respecting exchanges on the part of officers on foreign service. The remarks made tonight had principally been directed to the case of officers who wished to return home in consequence of their health having been impaired while on foreign service. His right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War had explained that it was never intended in any way to interfere with exchanges between officers so circumstanced; but his right hon. and gallant Friend opposite asked what an officer was to do who came home in impaired health. By the present regulations, which would still remain in force, he would be placed on temporary half-pay, and on his restoration to health he would also be restored, when an opportunity offered, to full pay in a regiment. There was no intention whatever to interfere with the rules respecting temporary half-pay to officers in impaired health.
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, that after what had passed he thought it right to state that he happened to be with the late Lord Salisbury when he received the letter from Lord Strafford offering a commission in the Guards to his son. Lord Salisbury handed that letter to him (Mr. Disraeli), and he had a lively recollection of its contents. They were of a nature most gratifying to Lord Salisbury; but perfectly inconsistent with the statement in the evidence quoted by the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite (Captain Vivian). No one could have been more pleased by its reception than Lord Salisbury, but no one could have been more surprised.
§ COLONEL SYKES
, in answer to the complaint that the interests of officers would be sacrificed unless they were allowed to exchange, suggested that the system in operation in the East India Company's Armies should be adopted generally in the British Army. In India, when the health of an officer broke down, he was granted a sick cer- 1017 tificate for such time as might be necessary for his restoration, and allowed to come to Europe on European pay, the vacancy in his regiment not being filled up. By this means the difficulty was overcome without the necessity of exchanging to other regiments, a system which could have no other effect than that of destroying the admirable regimental system now in existence. In the Royal Army, as the Committee had just learnt from the Surveyor General of the Ordnance (Sir Henry Storks), when an officer's health broke down while abroad, he was sent to England and placed upon half-pay, and his place in his regiment filled up; and it depended upon influence and good fortune when he could get restored to full pay by effecting an exchange or otherwise. When the purchase system was absolutely done away with, and no money could pass from officer to officer, the European Army would be precisely in the condition the Indian Army had been in for 70 years. They would be obliged to have recourse to the bonus system, as a transaction, not between officer and officer, but embracing a transaction between the officer retiring and the regimental fund. Otherwise, there would be a total block of promotion.
MAJOR GENERAL SIR PERCY HERBERT
said, he had not been speaking of the system of exchanges, which had been broken up for many years. Mr. Sidney Herbert had told him they had taken special care to prevent such things taking place. What he wanted to ask was about the exchanges they were most interested about now—the exchanges from one regiment to another without going into half-pay. Of course, when an officer had a sick certificate he could go on half-pay. But how was the officer half-way up the list to do this? How could he sacrifice his position by doing so? If he exchanged under these circumstances he lost promotion, for he went to the bottom of the list, which was a very different thing to going on half-pay. What he wanted to know was, what was the objection against officers passing money from one to another in exchanging? There would be no purchase, and no possible harm could come of it, as it must come under the cognizance of the military authorities.
§ MR. CARDWELL
said, the general arrangements with regard to transfer would be left as they are at present, With re- 1018 ference to the desirability of exchanges from one regiment to another, he had before him the opinion of Lord Clyde that, though they might benefit individual officers, they were prejudicial to the interest of the service. The object of the Government was to benefit the service in preference to the convenience of the individual. They had no objection to exchanges made under proper regulations; but when the right hon. and gallant Gentleman asked what was the objection to the passing of money, his answer was, that the House had been occupied in vain in these debates if they had not arrived at the conclusion that these transactions between officers should no longer be the subject of money.
§ COLONEL STUART KNOX
said, the Secretary of State for War was insisting on words in the Bill which would be most offensive to the officers of a regiment. They had heard of officers wanting to go up. But there were the officers who had risen from the ranks, to whom a few hundred pounds might be the greatest help.
§ MR. CONOLLY
suggested that the Secretary of State for War should, on the present question, defer to the authority of his right hon. Colleague the First Lord of the Admiralty, who, as hon. Members knew, was the highest authority in the House on the question of exchanges. Money was the universal medium of exchange, and a commodity was sure to find its value in the exchange of the world. Now, if that small argument could be brought home to the mind of the Secretary of State for War, who had charge of the Bill, it would dispose of the whole question.
§ MAJOR ARBUTHNOT
said, he was aware that the abolition of purchase would not affect the non-purchase corps, and he was thankful that they would also remain unaffected by the principle of selection. But as one who was on the active list of those corps, he must in common fairness admit that if the system of exchange was prohibited in the rest of the Army, there was no good reason why it should not be extended to them; and if that were done, the result would be to render the officers in the artillery even more dissatisfied with their position than they were at the present moment. The power of exchange—and it was nonsense to say that ex- 1019 changes could be carried out without money—had hitherto been one of the great set-offs to the disadvantages under which they laboured owing to the slowness of promotion.
§ COLONEL ANSON
deprecated the practice of making personal questions of points raised in debate on this Bill, and objected to the reference made by the hon. and gallant Member for Truro (Captain Vivian) to the experience of the noble Lord opposite (Lord Eustace Cecil). When he quoted evidence from the Blue Book he should have known that it was given by the late Mr. Higgins; and he had the means of satisfying himself as to the truth of the matter. It was a very great mistake, because officers of the Army were obliged to deal with this subject, for Gentlemen on the Treasury bench to raise personal questions with regard to them. He protested against the attempts made by the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. Melly), and other hon. Members, to stop discussion in Committee, when the Bill had to be dealt with on its merits, and complained that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State did not pay sufficient attention to the points brought before him. He denied that there was any connection between purchase and exchange, referring for support to evidence given by Lord Clyde. In reply to the remarks of the hon. and gallant Member for Aberdeen (Colonel Sykes), he might observe that things might wear a different aspect if furloughs were granted as in the case of the regiments in India to which he had alluded. But was the Government prepared to grant furloughs? From what he had heard, he was rather disposed to think that the right hon. Gentleman at its head was about to curtail the leave of officers, so that if they had more than 60 days' leave they should have no pay at all. [Mr. GLADSTONE: The hon. and gallant Gentleman is entirely wrong.] Be that as it might, he must contend that it had not been shown that the system of exchange would do the slightest harm, while it would create no vested interests. He expressed a hope that the House would not treat this as a party question, but would support his Amendment.
said, he had been in the House a great many years, and that he had never made a personal attack on anybody whatsoever. He had 1020 read a letter the other day which was written by the hon. and gallant Officer (Colonel Anson), but he could not have supposed that it was a private one, although it was marked "private" at the corner; because it had been sent round to almost every regiment in England, and his hon. and gallant Friend himself had commented on its results. Even under these circumstances he had declined to read the letter except with the consent of the writer. As to the case of the noble Lord opposite (Lord Eustace Cecil), all he had done was in referring to it to read an extract from the evidence given before the Committee of 1856, which, up to the present time had never been contradicted, and which, therefore, he had a right to suppose was perfectly correct, taken as it was from a Parliamentary Paper.
§ LORD ELCHO
said, he wished to complain of the circumstance that as he was crossing the House a few minutes before, to speak to his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Bewdley (Colonel Anson), he was called to order by the hon. Member for Stockton (Mr. Dodds), who was in the habit of calling hon. Members to order, as in the present instance, without any sufficient cause. As he understood his hon. and gallant Friend, he made no complaint of the Financial Secretary because of his having read his letter to the Committee.
§ COLONEL BARTTELOT
said, there was one important point which ought to be placed before the Committee, and it would commend itself to the right hon. Gentleman at the head of Her Majesty's Government, because the right hon. Gentleman made a statement last year during the debate on the Irish Land Bill on that very point. It was very important that the Army should be made as attractive as possible to young men, and if exchanges were to be prevented, he wanted to know whether it would not shut out from the Army a large class of men who were now anxious to join the service. These men were willing to serve for a certain time in any part of the world; but at the expiration of that time family ties, and other circumstances induced the wish to return home, and it was desirable that they should be allowed to exchange. He could not see what objection there could be to the system of exchanging, and he hoped the Government would allow it to continue.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 183; Noes 146: Majority 37.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Clause 2 stand part of the Bill."
§ Whereupon Motion made, and Question put, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Colonel Stuart Knox.)
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 133; Noes 181: Majority 48.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.