§ SUPPLY considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ (1.) £657,800, Army Purchase Commission.
§ COLONEL BARTTELOT
asked whether it was really necessary to take the Vote at that moment, because there was to be a Report from a Royal Commission from which great things were expected, while the present Vote led one to expect that little was to be done by that Commission. The impression existing on that subject might be very erroneous, but-still it was rife, the Vote being so much less than it was last year; and it would be more satisfactory to those interested in the question, if the Report of the Commission was laid on the Table before that Estimate was proceeded with. Supposing the Royal Commission recommended an increase of expenditure, would the Government take that recommendation into favourable consideration?
§ MR. STANLEY
said, the Vote was proposed in pursuance of the Act of 1871 which enabled officers to obtain the price of their commissions which might otherwise have been obtained by sale. As to delaying the presentation of that Estimate till the Report of the Commission was before the House, the Commission were still sitting, their Report had not yet been finally settled, and according to an answer which had been given early in the evening by the First Lord of the Admiralty, under any circumstances it would probably be a month before it could be laid on the Table. He had no further means of knowing what the Report might be than the hon. and gallant Member; but the matter referred to the Commission involved questions of great complexity, and the recommendation which some might wish them to make would no doubt lead to a large expenditure of public money. Meeting, as that Report would no doubt do, with the fullest considerations from the Secretary of State and others who were concerned, even if it were received at an early date it would be practically almost impossible to deal with it in a satisfactory manner in the latter half of the Session, so as to admit of its being brought before the House.
§ Vote agreed to.