HC Deb 22 February 1875 vol 222 cc628-717

Order for Second Reading read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said: Mr. Speaker, the Bill which I have now to present to the House is the same measure I laid before it at the close of last Session, and really, when I first brought it before their notice, I was quite unaware of the amount of opposition it was likely to receive, and I must confess I cannot at the present moment understand upon what grounds the formidable opposition now offered to it is based. In deference to the opinions expressed I have put off the second reading till now, and I hope hon. Gentlemen opposite are satisfied with the time that has been allowed them. I propose to say nothing which does not strictly refer to the Bill, but for the better understanding of our proposals, it will be necessary that I should give a short history of the law which has been in force with respect to Regimental Exchanges up to the present time. Before the abolition of what was known as the Purchase System in the Army, payments for regimental exchanges were illegal, unless fixed by regulation. Under the statute of Edward VI. any purchase of office was illegal, but that Act was not held to apply to military commissions. By the Act 49 Geo. III. c. 126, s. 6, military commissions were included, as, indeed, were all offices throughout the country. There was a provision, however, upon which "purchase" was founded, and which was to the effect that any officer taking a larger sum, directly or indirectly, for his commission than that allowed by the Army regulation, on conviction by court-martial, forfeited his commission, and was ordered to be cashiered. The rule in practice, however, was frequently broken. But with respect to exchanges no regulation was laid down, and they went on precisely in the same way as they had done before the Act 49 Geo. III, c. 126, was passed— that is to say, they were treated as military questions to be settled by the military authorities, and, provided the efficiency of the service did not suffer, exchanges were allowed. Being simply matters of personal convenience, and it being found that they did no harm to the service, any monetary transactions which passed with respect to these exchanges were officially unknown at the Horse Guards, as they were afterwards unknown at the War Office, until the present law came into force. Now, I may observe that exchanges stand on a totally different footing from purchase. In the case of purchase, a new office or commission is obtained; but in exchanges, the person who does the transaction only gets an office similar to that which he already holds, and, indeed, he rather loses by it, for the rule is that the exchanger goes to the lowest position among officers of his rank in the regiment to which he transfers himself. The officer who exchanges, therefore, cannot be said to purchase either emolument or commission. Now, Sir, it has been asked by many—"Why has the Bill been introduced? Why have you not proceeded by Warrant?" I admit I might have proceeded by Warrant, but I am of opinion such a method is objectionable in itself, and that Parliament ought to have the opportunity of deciding upon the alteration in the law which I am about to propose. There is another reason for not proceeding by Warrant. Had I done so, it would have been necessary for me, under the Act 49 Geo. III, e. 126, to lay down regulation prices, and I hope to show the House how very undesirable it is that regulation prices should be laid down for exchanges. To that I am decidedly opposed, for it was upon that principle, as applied to commissions, that the system of over-regulation prices was built which the country is now having to pay for. Sir, the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Hayter) was wrong when he said, on the introduction of the Bill, that it introduced for the first time the system of exchanges; as a matter of fact, they have never ceased to exist. Exchanges have continued in the Army from the very beginning, and more especially so since the British Army has been sent to so many different parts of the world; because it is necessary for an officer who wishes to serve his country that he shall be able to exchange from one climate to another more suitable to his health. It is generally supposed that officers exchange merely to get rid of disagreeable quarters, but there are many other grounds on which exchanges are effected. I heard the other day of an officer afflicted with asthma, who was ordered to Canada. He was told that it was a most dangerous climate for him, and he effected an exchange, not into a regiment in England, but into a regiment in India, which was an advantageous climate for him. These exchanges, therefore, do not always take place merely for luxury. A great many of them take place on other grounds which are important for the service and the interests of the public. It will be observed that this is a Bill which will only affect regimental exchanges. I do not propose to introduce exchanges from half-pay into regiments, for I conceive that if I did this I should be infringing upon purchase, by enabling a man who had practically no commission to purchase one. In former days, when officers were at the head of their regiments, there was sometimes an advantage in their having the facility of exchanging, as a means of bringing pressure to bear upon officers below them in rank. For instance, a lieutenant-colonel wishing to realize a large sum by the sale of his commission, and finding his regiment, unwilling to pay the amount, might say to his brother officers that unless they accepted his terms he would exchange into another regiment, and then, perhaps, a colonel would take his place who would not leave the regiment, and so promotion would be impeded. In this way the system of exchanging might in past times have been used as a means of bringing pressure to bear in order to secure a certain price for a commission. That power, however, has entirely gone. Under present circumstances, the value of each class of commission was fixed in November, 1871, and whatever may have happened since that date, no officer can obtain for his commission a larger sum than was so fixed. In all cases of exchanges made under the system formerly existing, very careful inquiry was made into all the circumstances in order to prevent officers of short standing being brought into regiments and passed over the heads of subalterns of long service, who were themselves consulted in reference to the matter. It is to be remarked, however, that the payments for exchanges made under this system were absolutely illegal, which I think a most pernicious thing. If the system is to be restored, it should be restored on legal grounds, and there should be no connivance by the authorities—even though it might be in the interest of the service—at anything which is contrary to the law. Notwithstanding, as I have said, the illegality of these payments for exchanges, I would ask whether, during the long series of years in which they were effected, there was any complaint of injury arising from them, either on the part of the officers themselves, or of the public. I admit that there may have been cases in which an officer who had exchanged became unpopular in the regiment to which he went; but I am not at all sure that he would not have become unpopular in his own regiment, if he had remained in it. There have, I am sorry to say, been many instances in former days, and possibly there are even some now, where an officer is unpopular, even though he never exchanged at all. Let me say, then, that I have introduced this Bill because I believed its provisions would be beneficial to the service. I do not want either to encourage or to discourage exchanges; but I want them to be treated on purely military grounds; I desire that they should, as between the persons exchanging, be entirely free, and decided on their merits, and in the interest of the public, leaving any monetary questions to be settled by the individuals exchanging, and of which the War Department could take no notice. On that point I would say that if the Department once recognized the monetary payments, it would be impossible to avoid the conclusion that it became responsible for them. At this moment Parliament is forcing upon the War Office a responsibility it does not wish—namely, that of fixing the amounts on which exchanges should be made. When you sanction money payments yourselves, you become involved in obligations you ought not to bear, and you hold a certain amount of responsibility towards those who have made exchanges in consideration of money which you yourselves may, perhaps, be thought liable to pay. Now, I suppose that I shall be told I am saying a very foolish thing in declaring that exchanges are in favour of poor officers; but I am decidedly of opinion, that the system is far more in favour of poor officers than of rich ones. No doubt, gentlemen who are able—on account of private interest, illness, or family or other circumstances—may exchange in order to remain at home; but officers may be desirous of changing for many other reasons. There are also other reasons which seem to me to be strongly in favour of sanctioning these regimental exchanges. A man may have been posted to a regiment he does not like; he may wish to serve in a regiment in which his father served before him; he may have friends among the officers in one regiment and not in another, or he may be possessed with a very laudable desire to join a regiment in which his nationality is represented—a desire on his part which may fairly be encouraged. A Scotchman appointed to an English regiment may desire to exchange into a Scotch regiment, and a Welshman may wish to go into that distinguished regiment the 23rd Welsh Fusiliers. All these things ought to be carefully weighed and considered when the Bill is dealt with, and I want to know why we should put an unnecessary check upon these exchanges, when by abstaining from so doing we do no harm to the public interest, and at the same time do advantage to the service by securing, among other things, a feeling of contentment among the officers. Is it not highly desirable that we should have contented officers?—and it should be borne in mind that these exchanges have often been the turning point in a man's career. I will, with the permission of the House, read a passage from a letter I have received from a general officer of most distinguished character. I may not mention the name of the officer, but I may say that he is wholly unknown to me, that he is a K.C.B., the recipient of a good-service pension, and, moreover, a General of very great distinction. This officer said that, entering the Army with a light heart and a light purse, he wished to get early service. He, therefore, exchanged with a comrade in the same branch of the service—the Artillery—and went to Gibraltar, receiving in consideration of the exchange a sum not much larger than sufficed to pay his passage out. The letter of the gallant General then proceeded as follows— After a time, I returned from Gibraltar and was quartered in Ireland, but finding my pay of 6s. 10d. a-day and a continuance of home service likely to involve me in difficulties, of which I was somewhat forcibly reminded by a heavier bill from my tailor than I could at the time manage to pay, I looked about for an exchange. A few days after, the post brought me a letter from a brother officer, offering me £150 if I would go to the West Indies in his place. I dropped the letter in my joy, vaulted over the table in my barrack-room, knocking over the inkstand in doing so, and for some 20 minutes or more I was perfectly beside myself. With the remains of my ink I accepted the offer at once. Our applications were sent in and allowed by the authorities. There was perfect happiness all round, and even my tailor went on his way rejoicing. Under existing regulations this exchange, if permitted at all, would have been inquisitorially looked into and most probably considerably cut down. My richer brother-officer would have been better off, and I should have been so much the worse. My tailor would probably have had only a moiety of his bill. As to the public or the service, I do not see how either would have been in the least affected. If I had not been allowed to exchange as I did, it is possible the tailor, or some other embarrassment, might have cut short my career. Upon what possible principle is it that with regard to exchanges such as this, you should inflict a great amount of hardship without at the same time doing anything to promote the public interest. As the gallant officer from whom I have quoted showed, the exchange he was enabled to effect was the turning point in his career, and I am sure the House must sympathize with young and ambitious men who, circumstanced as he was, are unable, from want of means or other reasons, to push their way in the profession they have adopted, but who would be materially assisted in their upward path, if permitted to make exchanges such as are contemplated in the Bill I am now asking the House to pass. Surely, we do not pay them so highly, when they are living in so expensive a country as this, as to make us desirous of preventing them getting some small bonus when they wish to exchange into a regiment quartered it maybe in another part of the world. I feel quite certain that the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) would admit, that if this could be done under such conditions as would check anything improper, the mere passage of money between the officers is no injury to the public. I cannot help regretting that this question was so lightly touched upon when we were abolishing Purchase. It was swallowed up by the enormous question of Purchase, and anyone who looks at the debates will see how small a space was occupied by the subject of exchanges. In fact, it was not dealt with by the Bill at all. It was dealt with by Regulations and Warrants made by the Secretary of State. Let me say at once, that if I thought that by this Bill I was bringing back the Purchase system, or that I was even moving towards it, I should think I was acting a dishonest part in pressing forward this Bill. I feel as confident as I do of my own existence, that by proper regulations it would be easy to provide that any evils that might arise should be put an end to, and I am quite certain that in former days, when this system existed, none of the evils which some hon. Members seem to anticipate were experienced. With respect to the language which has been applied to this Bill—"retrograde," "re-actionary," and so on—I will say that if you have to change anything which has been done, you must take a step backwards. [Mr. CAMPBELL-BAKNERMAN: Forwards.] The hon. Member says "forward." Well, I am going forward; but I am first going back, to put an end to something which I think ought not to exist. This matter was not taken up by me. It was forced upon me by the Commission which was called into existence by my Predecessors, and which I do not hesitate to say was a quasi-judicial body. It contained Lord Justice James, Lord Penzance, and my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty. I believe that both Lord Justice James and Lord Penzance were against Purchase; and it was, therefore, not in the sense of Purchase that they gave their opinion in favour of exchanges. I think it is only right in my own justification that we should look at their Report. This question of exchanges was brought before the Commission by witnesses, and argued by Sir Percy Herbert; but they stopped him because they were so convinced that they did not think it was necessary to hear anything more. They had before them the letter of Mr. Vivian, who in this matter represented the views of Lord Cardwell, and they came to an unhesitating and decided conclusion. They swept the question of exchanges out of the way before dealing with the other grievances, and felt that that was a matter on which the officers had just ground of complaint. They say in their Report— It has been repeatedly and forcibly urged upon us that the prohibition of paying and receiving money for exchanges between officers on full pay is a serious hardship to some and a serious loss to others. It does appear to us that the complaint is a legitimate one. The new rule has obviously proceeded from an apprehension that to allow any pecuniary bargaining between officers in respect of their commissions might be as a letting out of the waters, bringing back bonuses, over regulation prices, and the other incidents of the abolished system. We are not satisfied that there is any real danger of this, and we are satisfied on the evidence before us that a return to the old practice as to exchanges would be very acceptable to the Army. There are many good officers of slender means who would be willing to serve in India or elsewhere for a consideration, and there are many good officers more blessed with the world's goods who for family or other reasons, or under medical advice, would be willing to give such a consideration. The exchange is an unmixed benefit to both, and would probably be a benefit, and certainly would not be detrimental, to the Service. It ought only to be effected with the sanction and under the control of the authorities, and on such conditions as to insure that nobody else is superseded or affected. These are the substantial grounds of this complaint, which appear to us to be well founded, and we do not hesitate to recommend that the above-named prohibition should be removed. Now, I think the House will see that, having so decisive a Report of the Commissioners put before me last summer, I was bound at once to take it into consideration. I agreed with them in the reasons they gave; but I think there are reasons stronger than they gave why exchanges should be permitted. I believe that the present system is in itself most pernicious, objectionable, and most contrary to the interests of the Army. What has the War Office at present to do? The Military Secretary is called upon to ascertain what sum ought to be given or not given in a case of exchange. Suppose two officers send in their applications to the Military Secretary—I am speaking now of applications by officers of different regiments to make exchanges—they have to send in with their application a statement of the sum which they propose should be paid by one of the two exchangers. Their application is accompanied by the following declaration:— I hereby declare on honour, as an officer and a gentleman, that the proposed exchange does not originate in any cause affecting my honour, or my character, or professional efficiency, and that I propose to pay (or receive, as the case may be) the sum of £——, in consideration of the fair and reasonable expenses to be incurred through such exchange by———(or me), as shown in the paper hereto annexed, and that that sum covers everything. Well, now, the House will observe that this is setting up a regulation price, and that this brings the War Office to fix a regulation price. Now, what happens is, I think, very objectionable, and that is that this is not tested by military considerations, but by personal considerations. The Military Secretary has to consider several things. First of all, he has to consider the regiment to which it has been proposed an officer shall go. As to the expenses, one pays the whole expenses of both. The poorer man sends in an account of expenses of which the following may be regarded as examples:—Mess and band subscriptions, change of ordinary uniform, passage of officer, ditto of officer's wife and children (if any), expenses and passage of female servants, outfit for wife and children (if any), hotel expenses for officer's family and servants, baggage expenses. In some instances the expenses rise to a higher amount than used to be paid. Of course in many cases, particularly in those of officers without wives and without female servants, the expense is cut down very much. I say that an exchange should be so conducted, so far as the authorities are concerned, on purely military principles, that whatever takes place in regard to the matter the military authorities should be able to call upon and to deal with these men just as if they had not exchanged at all. If you allow them to pay money, and recognize the payment, you are setting up a system which in itself you have put down in other cases. It is a very remarkable thing that, during the whole of the arguments that were adduced upon the purchase of commissions, no statement was made about the money which a man paid for exchanges. No one has asked to be repaid for the money he has paid for exchanges. [Mr. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN said, it had been put forward.] The officers before the Commission complained that they had not the same freedom of exchange and advantage from it as before, and claimed restoration of the old system. It was not so much those who had paid, but those who had received payment, who felt the grievance of the alteration. As I understand it, this was the very thing which was put forward, and with which the Commission dealt by proposing to restore the former system, under which the great majority of the officers now in the Army entered the service. I quite understand the position which was taken by the hon. Member for Glasgow last year, who objected to exchanges altogether, that any money payment should pass on such occasions. [Mr. ANDERSON: No; I objected to a money traffic for gain.] It seems to me when a man is able to take out his wife, children, and servants at the expense of another person, that that is a payment which it is not necessary to make for his convenience, but is giving him all the luxuries of his position. What I propose is not a change in kind, but simply in degree—that you should relieve the Military Secretary from an obnoxious duty and separate him from every money transaction, you yourselves acting upon purely military grounds. The hon. Member for Bath said the other night—" How about selection?" Well, suppose a colonel has been selected for a particular regiment; he was selected by the Commander-in-Chief, and if he wished to exchange, he got that exchange by means of the Commander-in-Chief, and the authority which gave him the selection had power to control the exchange. The hon. Member also talked as if exchanges would be permitted between men who had served four years and others who had served one, and so a man would be able by exchanging to get three years' service; but that sort of thing will not be sanctioned for one moment by the authorities. A man is to exchange into the same condition of circumstances, not into totally different ones. Is that a thing which is forbidden elsewhere? No doubt, in some countries, where the service is principally at home, these questions do not so much arise, but what is the case in France? In France every military newspaper is full of advertisements for exchanges, and there is no objection on the part of the Government. On the contrary, I am assured that the military authorities in France give every encouragement to exchanges, on the principle that when men are satisfied with their position they will perform their duties with greater zeal and efficiency than they would do if they were not satisfied. The only things the French military authorities require in the ease of a proposed exchange, are, first, the consent of the commanding officer, and secondly, that no expense shall fall upon the State. Well, I propose that no expense shall fall on the State. There has been no expense to the State hitherto, and nobody has proposed that there ever should be. It is said that a poor man may find himself in positions where he could not exchange. That is very true, and I do not propose to find in my Bill a panacea for poverty; but I will venture to say that rich and poor officers in the Army are alike anxious that this, which was open to them in former days, shall be restored, and restored on legal grounds, not leaving it to be connived at. There was something thrown out last year by the hon. Member for Stirling with respect to exchanges within regiments into different battalions. He knows as well as I do that those exchanges were not effected without money payments in former times. A letter was published the other day from a Gentleman who sat in this House during the late Parliament—Major Arbuthnot—who pointed out what advantage he had derived from an exchange with a brother officer to go to Rangoon. This is a position in which the military authorities would be upon their trial. The responsibility must always rest upon them; the means to be adopted for checking abuses in such cases must be left for their consideration, and they must be justified in each of these exchanges. Besides the authority of the Commissioners, I might refer to the evidence of officers who were examined before them, but I will not do so, because there were hardly any officers who were not in favour of exchanges. I will take, instead, the evidence of a gentleman who is no friend to Purchase, and who is himself one of the Purchase Commissioners, as they are called. What did Mr. O'Dowd say? He was asked this question— Supposing that the power of exchange was restored, do you think that it would he liable to he abused under the present non-purchase system?—So far as the public are concerned, no; and so far as individuals are concerned I would say no, with sharpness on the part of the authorities. You mean with ordinary vigilance on the part of the authorities?—Yes. Such was the opinion of Mr. O'Dowd, who, though an enemy to Purchase, drew a distinction between Purchase and Exchanges. Declarations have to be made at present, and it has been said that declarations are not always relied upon; but I agree with those who hold that if an officer does make a declaration, it ought to be strictly enforced by severe penalties, for I can conceive nothing worse than that declarations should, so to speak, fall into abeyance, and that officers should regard as mere formalities statements made upon their honour as gentlemen. In dealing with a question which has been solved by my predecessors in a way which, I think, has worked unsatisfactorily—which has been solved, not by the abolition, but by the regulation, of payment—I am surprised to find myself met, not by one Motion for the rejection of the Bill, but by three. The hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan), the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Hayter), and the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson) are all about to move that my Bill be read a second time this day six months. Recently we have heard a good deal about the union of parties, and I suppose this is an emblematic union of the old Whigs, the advanced Radicals, and even of the further-advanced Radicals who sit behind them. England, the Border Burghs, and Scotland have united, but I am glad to say Ireland is no party to this union against the Bill. To adopt Mrs. Malaprop's personification of their opposition, which is of three gentlemen at once— Cerberus hæc ingens latratu regna trifauci Personat. In the course of this debate there will doubtless be loud expressions of wrath and indignation from these three opponents, and I have no honeyed words or soporific draughts to lull the suspicions of hon. Gentlemen opposite; but coming forward not in my own name only, I hold before me as a shield the Report of the Commission which was appointed on the Motion of my Predecessor. Upon the Report of the Commissioners I rely. I think their reasons are good, and that their proposal may fairly be carried out. I think it can be carried out to the content, and therefore to the advantage, of the Army; and I am sure it can be carried out without the slightest damage to the country. In conclusion, the right hon. Gentleman moved the second reading of the Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Secretary Hardy.)


, in rising to move that the Bill be read a second time this day six months, said: Mr. Speaker, we are asked to read for the second time a Bill which is very short, and which the Secretary at War, when he introduced it last year, speaking as he always speaks with perfect candour, described as relating to a very simple matter. It may be within the recollection of some part of the House that, on the introduction of this measure, I ventured to characterize it as complicated in its nature, retrograde in its bearings upon our recent legislation, and disastrous in its effects upon the tone and spirit, not only of our Army, but of the entire circle of our public services. Those words were not lightly spoken. There was not one of them which may not be made good by an appeal to the authority of men whose opinion is regarded as decisive by our Army, by the House of Commons, by the country at large, and by the right hon. Gentleman himself; and if such can be shown to be the case, it will be under a strong conviction of duty, and with some hope of success, that I shall appeal to hon. Members to reject the Bill. Now I will endeavour to state the arguments in favour of the Bill fairly, and answer them fully, and perhaps there is no better way of stating them than in the very words of the Commissioners who last year inquired into the grievances which officers alleged to have resulted from the abolition of Purchase; and in reading these words, I cannot but think that there is something about them which will have an unpleasant ring in the ears of hon. Gentlemen. There are many good officers of slender means who would be willing to serve in India or elsewhere for a consideration, and there are many good officers more blessed with the world's goods who for family or other reasons, or under medical advice, would be willing to give such a consideration. Now, it is on these sentences that the Bill before us is based; it is on the recommendation of the Commissioners that the right hon. Gentleman has brought in his measure; but in so doing, the right hon. Gentleman has attributed to the Commission an authority which it does not possess, and which the distinguished Gentlemen who composed it would be the last to claim for it. That Commission was appointed to inquire into the pecuniary matters of officers, and into their pecuniary matters alone. It had no mission to go further and touch upon the result which the reversal of the policy or any part of the policy of Lord Cardwell would produce upon the discipline and the spirit of our Army. But that is not the situation of the right hon. Gentleman. He is responsible to Parliament for all that concerns that discipline and that spirit. He is bound to show that the measures which he introduces will be of advantage to the military future of the nation. He cannot shake off that responsibility by referring us to a Commission which was concerned with nothing but questions of pounds, shillings, and pence. Let him show us that this proposition will conduce to the efficiency of our Army. Let him prove to us that 20, 30, 50 years hence, our officers will be more skilful, more industrious, more experienced, and more ready to face hardships and privation in consequence of a system which, in the very words of the Commissioners on whose recommendation we recur to it, means nothing more or less than this—that poor men are to serve their country at Bermuda and Hong Kong, and that rich men are to serve their country in the Phoenix Park and in Pall Mall. Let him prove that, and if anyone has the ability required to prove it, it is he; but let him not put us off with the verdict of Commissioners who, in their capacity of Commissioners, have no more knowledge or authority on the subject than any three individual Members of this House. But, now, let us take the argument of this measure as stated by the Commissioners. There are, they tell us, many good officers who would be willing to serve in India and elsewhere for a consideration. Now, that is a state of things which undoubtedly exists, and will continue to exist as long as Her Majesty keeps her hold upon the Empire of India. There will always be a large number of officers who will not be willing to serve abroad without a consideration. Service in India is not in the long run so pleasant that a man will willingly stay there for nothing. But that consideration exists already, and has long existed, not in the questionable shape of a private douceur, handed over by one public servant to another, but in the legitimate, the honourable, the strictly defensible form of large extra emoluments, paid by the nation from the national treasury to the officers whom it employs, to compensate them for the extra risks of the climate and the extra discomforts of exile. A lieutenant-colonel in command of a regiment of cavalry at home receives less than £500 a-year; in India he receives upwards of £1,000. A major at home get about £1 a-day; in India he gets 43". or 44s. A captain's pay is nearly doubled; a lieutenant's pay is nearly doubled. All ranks of officers already obtain exactly that consideration which we are told, and justly told, is called for by the conditions of Indian service. The next argument in favour of this Bill is, that there are many good officers blessed with this world's goods who, for family reasons, and under medical advice, are anxious to give up foreign service, and join a regiment stationed at home. Now, in speaking of foreign service, with our Army distributed as it is at present, we are, in effect, speaking of India. Now, the circumstances of service in India are such that it is necessary that every facility should be given for the return of officers who have been there too long, or who should never have been there at all. Some men are constitutionally so framed that they cannot live in the Tropics, or can live there only as invalids. Others, who are healthy enough themselves, are married to wives who cannot support the climate; others, again, having growing families in course of education at home, find themselves face to face with the most painful of all domestic problems—whether the household in India is to be deprived of the wife, or the household in England to be deprived of the mother. If these considerations were overlooked by the Government, if a hard-and-fast line was drawn behind an officer who had once sailed for India, forbidding his return except at the sacrifice of his commission, our Army would have cause not only for grumbling, but for positive disaffection. But the system inaugurated by the late Secretary at War provides a remedy for this state of things. Lord Cardwell fully recognized that officers might be unable to stay in India for family reasons, and on account of failing health. But he recognized likewise that bad health and family affection are not confined to officers who are blessed with this world's goods. He took his stand upon the theory that every member of the same noble service should cast in his lot with others and be content to share and share alike. He made arrangements by which the officer who wanted English air was enabled freely to exchange with the officer who wanted Indian pay, and he allowed a sum of money for outfit and cost of passage for self, family, and servants, according to a fixed scale calculated and determined not by the parties to the transaction, but by the authorities themselves, which might be paid by the officer who wished to come home to the officer who wished to go out. If this is not a sufficient inducement, then it becames the business of those with whom the government of our Army lies to look after the health of the people whom they employ. When a commander or a lieutenant is invalided home from a naval station, the Admiralty find some one to take his place, and just so, when a colonel or major is invalided home from Burmah or the Punjaub, the military authorities are bound to see that his substitute goes out forthwith; and if they have not the strength of mind to do this, their first and their most ordinary duty, all I can say is, that they have no title to the name of authorities at all. And do not let hon. Gentlemen think that the consequences of this Bill will be as few as its words, or as simple as its single enacting clause. One principal danger of this measure lies in its indirect but infallible results. Once give Parliamentary sanction to the theory that a commission is again a commodity that is a fit subject for barter; bearing a premium or a discount in a military stock exchange—which, if this Bill is passed, ought, like the Royal Exchange, to be solemnly re-opened by Her Majesty in person—and it is impossible for you to place any limit to the future influence of money upon the officering of our Army. Some hon. Members who had not the advantage—not, perhaps, in all respects an unmixed advantage—of listening to the debate on the Army Regulation Bill, may not be aware of the circumstances which, whether they liked it or not, placed the late Administration, and would have placed the present Administration, under an absolute necessity of abolishing the Purchase system without the delay of a single session. A Royal Commission presided over by Sir George Grey, had, in the course of 1870, inquired into the custom of over-regulation prices. That Commission reported that the payment of those prices had been forbidden by statute, had been forbidden by regulation, had been at one time made illegal by a clause in the Mutiny Act, had been at another time made dishonourable by the solemn declaration on the part of the officer that he had not paid them; but that in spite of all these obstacles, legal and moral alike, the over-regulation prices continued freely to be paid, and commissions bore, and always had borne, not their official, but their market value. Their opinion was backed by that of responsible military authorities. The Duke of Cambridge, when questioned about the attitude of the Horse Guards with regard to the illegal practice, admitted that he was quite unable to stop it. This powerlessness on the part of our military chiefs proceeded from a cause which was well explained in the Report of the Commission, which says— In these transactions, when one man has something of value to sell which can legally he sold, and another man is desirous of purchasing it, the opportunity being afforded them of coming to a mutual understanding, it has been found useless to prescribe by law or regulation the precise terms on which the sale is to he effected. Alter the word sale to barter and there you have the exact condition of things which will result under the Bill. The Report containing this remarkable sentence was signed, among others, by the First Lord of the Admiralty and by Lord Justice James—that is to say, by two out of three of those very Commissioners on whose authority we are now requested to expect that we may allow public servants once more to deal commercially in public functions, paying and receiving the difference in their marketable value, and at the same time keep out of our service the abuses of bonuses, over-regulation prices, and other concomitants of the abolished system, if only, say they, the authorities, will adopt proper precautions. Now, what reason have we to hope that those precautions will prove effective in preventing abuses in the sale of exchanges, which these very Commissioners allow to have proved ineffective in the sale of commissions? With all respect for the Commissioners, I prefer on this subject a military opinion. Lord West explained to the Purchase Commission how, as long as exchanges on the old system are permitted, the officers of a regiment where promotion is slow will make up a purse—and hon. and gallant Gentlemen who have served in the Army know, and hon. Gentlemen who have not served in the Army can easily guess, what sort of process the making of a purse in a regiment is—in order to induce a colonel or a major, or a captain high in the list, to exchange with an officer of like rank in another regiment, who is willing, as soon as a decent and plausible period has elapsed, to retire and give everyone a step upwards. Lord West, describing this process with a minuteness of detail with which I will not trouble the House, ends in words which I should not venture to use, but which I give as the expressions of an able and well-known officer, by characterizing the whole proceeding as a "sordid and degrading traffic." As long as Parliament permitted the exchange of commissions, as exchange then was, and as it is to be again, all attempts to suppress that traffic proved equally futile. But at length, in the year 1871, Parliament was unwilling any longer to trifle with the violation of its statutes, and to palter with its own authority. It abolished the whole system root and branch, sale and purchase and exchange alike; it put the Commander-in-Chief on his honour to suppress the traffic. It put our officers on their honour not to continue the traffic; and when our officers are on their honour, you have a stronger guarantee than any written law or ordinance drawn with the utmost skill of the cleverest draftsman in the Inns of Courts, or of the most experienced clerk in our public offices. At this moment, for the first time for near 200 years, the influence of money is non-existent in our Army. And now comes the right hon. Gentleman, and asks us to give our sanction once again to the principle that a commission is a piece of property that may not, indeed, be sold, but may be bartered at its market value—that principle from which, as Royal Commission after Royal Commismission has proved, and as our own common sense must tell us, many of the evil consequences of purchase inevitably flow. It is quite certain that rich men will buy exchanges from regiments where promotion is slow into regiments where promotion is quick. Officers will again purchase, not indeed promotion, but the prospect of promotion. Let us seriously consider what we are doing before we divert the attention of our young officers, even in part, from their professional studies and their professional duties, on which they are now exclusively intent, and encourage them once more to let the conversation of the mess-room run on such topics as the opportunities for promotion in their own as compared to other regiments, on their contributions to the regimental purse, on the objectionable qualities of the officer above them who refuses to exchange out of the battalion, and all the other miserable details of that haggling and huxtering dignified by the name of treaties and negotiations, which is little less than scandalous when the article in question is the command of men, with all the power for good and evil which that command places in the hands of those who possess it. And now it is well worth our while to consider the effect which this Bill will produce upon those salutary changes which have been introduced into the administration of our Army, with the approbation of both parties in this House. Some of the most important appointments in the gift of the Crown are the lieutenant-colonelcies of our regiments. The discipline and welfare, and in time of war the honour and safety, of many hundreds of men are placed almost unreservedly in the hands of one individual. Without entering into ancient controversies, it will be universally admitted that under the Purchase system, the succession to these appointments proceeded by a course over which the State had very little control. Before 1871, the command of a regiment partook more or less of the nature of a freehold; and it was in order to buy out all existing claims, and to set the hands of the authorities absolutely free to choose the ablest, the fittest, and the most distinguished men for this most critical of all posts, that the nation was called upon to pay £7,000,000. And that great sum the nation undertook to pay; but it was on the clear understanding that, from that day forward, as long as England had an Army at all, the Commander-in-Chief should have full power to name any officer of suitable rank to the command of any battalion, and that he not only should have that power, but that he should be under no restraint, moral or material, direct or indirect, which could hamper him in the exercise of it. In an Empire like ours—hon. Gentleman who sit around me may consider it an exaggeration—I believe that that power was cheaply bought at the price. But what does this Bill do? for it is with the Bill we have to deal, and not with Regulations of the War Office, which may be made one year and unmade another. It enables an officer who has been appointed lieutenant-colonel of a regiment, stationed perhaps on the north-west frontier of India, to offer an officer who is in command of a regiment stationed at York or Canterbury £1,000 to change their respective functions. Of course, I shall be told that the Horse Guards has it in its power to refuse the application; but the peculiarity of the purchase and exchange system—a peculiarity which, at the time, was well understood and acknowledged by the House of Commons—is, that where money interests are concerned, great and almost exclusive attention is necessarily paid to the private wishes of officers. When an officer comes to the Horse Guards with a story of his having received an offer, the rejection of which would be a serious loss to a struggling man with a large family, it is not in human nature—I am sure that it is not in official nature—to turn a deaf ear to his importunity. And the consequence will be, that a man who has been deliberately selected on account of his experience, his aptitude, and his ability for an Indian command, will be recalled to make room for an officer, very good and honourable, no doubt, and quite able to command a battalion for five years in a cathedral town in England, but not suited by local knowledge and personal character to be responsible for the duties of a border station in the Punjaub, where the fortunes of our Eastern Empire may some morning be at stake. So much with regard to the bearing of the Bill upon the highest regimental command. But the same objections run through its relations to all ranks. Among the most vital, and undoubtedly the most popular, of the recent changes was the linking of battalions for home and foreign service. This great reform was purchased at a large sacrifice of regimental sentiment and tradition, a sacrifice which it was highly to the credit of our officers to make. But it was purchased besides at a cost of money second only to the cost of the abolition of Purchase, if, indeed, it be second only to that. What with the outlay of capital upon the buildings and training grounds of our depôt centres, and the annual increase of the Estimates occasioned by the formation of a multitude of local staffs, the expense will, in the end, be so vast that nothing will recoup it, except the immense economy and the inestimable military advantage of placing in the hands of our authorities, the power freely to exchange men and officers between the home and the foreign battalions which have been linked into one corps. But if this Bill becomes law, that power will exist in name, but not in fact. Suppose the case of a regiment whose 1st battalion is quartered at Rangoon, and whose second battalion is quartered at Exeter. A young officer who prefers shooting woodcocks in Devonshire to feeding the mosquitoes in Burmah pays £1,000 to a comrade to sail in his stead. As time goes on, when the ranks of the battalion abroad are thinned by illness, it will become the duty of the Horse Guards to supply the place of the officers of the 1st battalion who are invalided in Burmah, by sending out officers from the 2nd battalion at home. But those officers will have bought the right of staying in England by a sacrifice of large sums of money. And it is quite idle to tell us here, in order to induce us to pass this Bill, that the military authorities will take no notice of these pecuniary transactions, and will make officers sail, whether they have purchased the right of staying at home, or whether they have not. All I can say is that, if such a course is taken, these officers will go to their duty abroad under a grievous sense of injustice, which I am not prepared to call unfounded. By bringing in this Bill, you have directly encouraged them to invest their money in securing the right of avoiding foreign service. You have said, in as plain words as a Government can say, that such an investment is legitimate, and is intended to attain its object; and if you break faith with these officers by sending them on foreign service—for a breach of faith you may be well assured that they will call it—you will raise up an amount of disaffection far deeper and more permanent than that which, by this inauspicious measure, you are seeking to allay. On the other hand, if you shrink from sending officers abroad at all times and to all places that the exigencies of the service demands, what becomes of the enormous outlay which Parliament sanctioned when it passed the Depôt Centres Bill of 1872? Hon. Gentlemen who then voted for that Bill, and who now vote for this, must find what answer they can make to the country, and, what is much more serious, to their own judgments; but I, for one, will never consent to be a party to the responsibility of so wantonly and lavishly throwing away so much of the nation's money. It is not till these considerations, which I have feebly set forth, are answered, that the House can be assured that it is not undoing its own work. I have the most sincere respect and, if he will allow me to say so, a high regard for the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War; and it will give me real pain if, in days to come, it is said—as if this Bill becomes law it will infallibly be said—that Lord Cardwell abolished Purchase, and that the right hon. Gentleman, as I believe most involuntarily and unconsciously, did his best to restore it. And now I must ask the House to reflect for a moment upon the effect which this Bill will have on the regimental system of our Army. There was a time when those words were frequent in the mouth of hon. Members. In the course of the Session of 1871, our regimental system got its full meed of praise. One noble Lord called it "the best regimental system in the world." Another hon. Member told us that it had "never failed in the British Army;" while a third appreciated it so highly, that he characterized it as "the one part of our military organization which had never broken down." In the face of the rows of hon. and gallant Gentlemen who sit opposite, I shall not venture to give my own views as to the operation for good or evil of the Bill upon this boasted, and justly boasted system, but I will quote the opinion of one to whose words every English civilian listens with respect, and every English soldier with veneration. On the very eve of his departure for those Indian campaigns which were to raise his name to one of the most eminent in the annals of our history, Lord Clyde left behind him as a legacy his recorded judgment as to the military results of the system of exchange— Anything," he says, "would he an advantage that would cause men to remain in our regiments abroad who now get away from them by exchange or otherwise. There is no reward to an officer who stops with his regiment and does duty with it that you ought not to give him. It is for the happiness of regiments both in their moral and military character. There is no sacrifice too great for the State to make to those men who will remain with their regiments in every colony, and above all in India. Anything that would distinguish an officer for having served abroad and continued with his regiment, in climates were we would not go unless our duty called us, could not but have a beneficial effect. I had one of the nicest corps of officers when I was ordered out to China; all those men embarked with their regiment, but as soon as that service was over, and they had to remain in a climate like that of China, most of them immediately exchanged, and I lost my young friends whom I so much loved. I cannot believe that those hon. Gentlemen who in the Session of 1871 sung the praises of our regimental system hour after hour and night after night, until the surfeited pen of the reporter at length abjured its task, will now vote for a Bill brought forward for the purpose of giving legislative sanction to that very practice which the greatest soldier of our own generation has pronounced to be fatal to those objects for the value of which the regimental system exists. And now, in conclusion, I will say a few words on the effect which this Bill will produce on something which should be, and is more precious in the estimation of the House than even our regimental system—I mean the military spirit of our Army. When speaking on this subject I will endeavour, as I am sure every hon. Gentleman who succeeds me will endeavour, to be very guarded in my language, and to refrain from any expressions that may be distasteful to officers in this House, and still more to the far larger body of officers who have no seat on our benches. And in order to give a surer guarantee than can be afforded by any such promise with regard to the future, I trust that the House will allow me to take this opportunity of making amends in relation to the past. I am only too conscious that in old days I used words that were harsh and inconsiderate when speaking on this and kindred questions, and especially I regret one sentence, of a somewhat epigrammatic turn, about officering our Army with the froth of society which has formed the title of a bulky pamphlet, and which has been quoted so frequently since that I cannot doubt that it gave pain at the time. My excuse is, that the sentence in question was spoken, not in this Parliament, nor even in the last Parliament, but that it was uttered in the course of the first speech deserving the name of a speech which, as a young and inexperienced politician, I had the honour of making in the presence of this the most formidable of all audiences. And as another excuse, which, I am sure, will find acceptance with British officers, it was uttered in the almost despairing ardour of an assault upon that which nearly every one besides myself at that time regarded as an impregnable position. Having said this much, I will put a case to the House, and earnestly request it to give to that case its gravest and most minute consideration. An officer serving at home is willing to exchange to India. In the battalion to which he desires to exchange there are two officers anxious to come home. One is an unmarried man, who thinks that in England he will have a better chance of promotion, and knows that he will have a pleasanter and more varied life. The other is a married man with a wife and family, whose health suffers from a residence in India, but who, from the very fact of his being a married man, is unable to find the sum of money which his comrade can easily procure. Under any well-regulated military system it is the older and less wealthy man who would be permitted to exchange Indian for English service, but under the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman—this Bill which we are required to believe would be of much benefit to poor officers—it is the younger and richer of the two who would infallibly carry the day. I say the richer, because this Bill will once more introduce the unfortunate necessity of distinguishing between rich and poor officers which was one of the most disagreeable and demoralizing results of Purchase. In other professions, when we speak of a man as rich or poor, we refer to his success or failure in his profession. We do not insult gentlemen engaged in other callings by allusions to the allowances which they get from their fathers, or the legacies which they expect from relations. But now that the right hon. Gentleman has brought this question before us, we are forced once more to talk of officers as rich and poor in worldly goods, whereas the only matter which concerns us is, whether they are rich or poor in professional skill, knowledge, and ability. And now, having made this short defence of myself for referring to the private circumstances of our officers, for which breach of delicacy the right hon. Gentleman is responsible, I beg to ask the House, whether it would not be utterly destructive to the military spirit of any Army if rich men were able to buy themselves off active service in the field? And if that is so, why should it be less destructive to military spirit that rich men should be able to buy themselves off, not from that which all our officers equally desire and covet, the opportunity of signalizing themselves in the face of an enemy, but from that which they all equally dislike—prolonged service in an unpleasant or unhealthy station? Lord Clyde assents to the assertion that "there is a great readiness among our officers to go on service of any kind, but a great unwillingness to stay in an unhealty climate where there is nothing to be done;" and I am glad to shelter myself behind his immense authority when I say that the truest courage consists not in going willingly to the field of battle—that courage is too common, or rather too universal among our officers to need any special praise or encouragement—but in enduring, month after month and year after year, the tedium of exile in dull and distant quarters, and the wearing depression of a residence in insalubrious climates. In all nations during the period of their national vigour, it has been held that rich officers should take their full turn not only of dangerous but of disagreeable duty with their poorer brothers. The feeling on this subject in the army of old Rome, the conditions of whose service resembled ours more closely than those of any other Army in the world's history, are well expressed in those fine lines, which I am sure are familiar to the right hon. Gentleman— Hic petit Euphrates, juvenis, domitique Batavi Custodes aquilas, armis industrius; at tu— The right hon. Gentleman is far too good a scholar to require to be reminded of the epithets with which the satirist rebukes the young patrician who leaves his less fortunate comrades to endure the winter rigours of the Danube and the summer heats of the Assyrian frontier, while he spends his term of service amidst the baths, the gardens, and the public places of the luxurious capital. Once give Parliamentary approval to the notion that public servants are to settle the locality of their service among themselves by private bargain—once endorse the dictum let drop by an hon. and gallant Member in the course of 1871, that an officer had the right of selecting the country in which he was to serve the Queen—and there is no end to the precedents which you will establish and the controversies which you will excite. Recollect that you are not now sanctioning what already exists, you are setting up a new system, because it is in itself just and civil. Are our Inspectors of Schools and of Factories to be allowed to purchase exchanges from crowded, smoky towns in Lancashire to pleasant residences in Kent or Somersetshire? Are ambitious clerks in the Customs or the Post Office to be allowed to exchange with gentlemen in the Foreign Office or the Treasury, who happen to have an immediate need of a few hundreds in ready money? Are our County Court Judges permitted to buy themselves out of an over-worked district, or our Puisne Judges to buy themselves out of a circuit where the courts are draughty, and the sheriff has a bad cook? Are our naval officers to offer money for a transfer from the Indian station to the Pacific station, or from the West African Coast to the Channel Fleet? Who is going to move to add in Committee the words—"and by officers of Her Majesty's Navy from one ship to another ship?" Of one thing I am sure, from what I know of their opinions—that it will not be one of the naval officers in this House. Finally, are we going to extend this right of exchange from the commissioned to the non-commissioned ranks? Our privates, like our officers, suffer from the influences of climates; and our privates, and still more, our sergeants, have often a pretty sum of money in the regimental savings banks, some of which they would gladly give for the permission to exchange from a regiment in the West Indies to a regiment at Aldershot. Every career has about it disagreeable drawbacks, which men would, if they might, pay money to avoid; and neither the eloquence of the right hon. Gentleman, nor the ingenuity of his great Leader, can rescue us from this dilemma—that if there is nothing to the disadvantage of the nation in the principle of this Bill, we are committing gross injustice in not extending it to all other branches of the public service; and if there is anything unsound in its principle, we are failing as a Senate charged with the care of the highest interests of the State, if we apply it to the Army. We are told that the distinction lies in this—that the other services have never asked for this Bill and that the Army has. The Army, or rather a certain number of the officers in the Army, have asked for this Bill, and at the same time, they have asked for a great deal else what the right hon. Gentleman has not the least intention of granting, but which I would far rather that he granted than this. They have asked for their money down, and it would be far better that we should pay them their money down, at a great and immediate cost to the taxpayer, than that we should give them this so-called boon, which will not indeed swell the Estimates of the current year or diminish the surplus, but the baneful effects of which upon the spirit and efficiency of our Army will be felt and acknowledged when the very names of most of us who vote those Estimates have been forgotten. This Bill is introduced in response to the wishes of officers brought up under the influence and the ideas of a system which the House of Commons has unanimously condemned and deliberately abolished. Accustomed from their youth to the sale of commissions, they naturally enough cannot discern the evil consequences which would flow from their barter. But if, a generation hence, this measure were submitted to the criticism of a body of officers reared and trained under another and, as I believe, a sounder system, I am firmly persuaded that it would be repudiated as a fatal concession, and resented as a reflection on their service. I beg to move that the Bill before us be read a second time on this day six months.


, in seconding the Amendment, said, the right hon. Gentleman who had introduced the Bill stated that he had founded his arguments in support of it upon the interests of the officers. He (Mr. Hayter) wished that he could have said it was founded upon the interests of the service. It was, undoubtedly, the first time the House had been asked to give Parliamentary sanction to a practice in the military service which was quite unknown in every other service of the Crown. What would be said, if the First Lord of the Admiralty were to come down to the House and ask that Parliamentary sanction should be given to the application of a similar principle to the officers of the Navy? He objected to the Bill generally, on the grounds which had already been stated by the hon. Member for the Border Burghs, and particularly on the ground that under it the right hon. Gentleman was desirous of reviving a system which Parliament had unanimously condemned. It was true that the measure would not revive the system of purchase from rank to rank, but it would permit of the purchase of a higher position in each particular rank. The rich officers would be able to buy up the poor officers, and the system of making up purses, as in India, would again become general. If the Bill were passed, officers would be able to avoid any discredit to themselves that might result if they were to exchange into another regiment on the eve of their own being sent out to an unhealthy or a disagreeable climate, by regulating the system of exchanges according to the known rota in which the different regiments were sent abroad. Lord Clyde, in his evidence before the Commission of 1857, had declared that no sacrifices the country could make would be too great, if they would insure officers remaining with their regiments when sent abroad. Another objection he (Mr. Hayter) entertained to the Bill was, that the British Army was now in a very different position from what it was at the time the Purchase abolition debates were going on. Under the Army Regulation Act, every field officer appointed to the Staff was appointed by selection, and for a period of five years; but they had never heard of exchanges between those Staff officers. He could not come to any other conclusion than that the Bill was intended to benefit the richer class of officers only—to enable them to buy better quarters, easier terms of service, or more rapid promotion. Was it quite fair, he asked, to allow the rich officer to get off two years of irksome duty, to remove himself from an unhealthy climate, and to secure easier terms of service, whilst no such privileges were allowed to the non-commissioned officers or privates? The Bill would be discussed in every Serjeants' mess in the Empire, and a deep feeling of injury would take rise in their minds, for it would be observed that whilst the officers would be allowed by it to purchase easier terms by sums varying from £500 to £2,000, the non-commissioned officers or privates would not be allowed to pay a £5 or £15 for a little indulgence, but would be kept to the strict letter of their Shylock's bond. Was the right hon. Gentleman wise in introducing a Bill of that character, before the Army Regulation Bill had got into full working operation, within four years of the abolition of Purchase and disarranging the compact which had been purchased at a cost of £8,000,000? The right hon. Gentleman looked down the full ranks of his Parliamentary supporters, and the Conservative majority was about to be called forth for the first time to win a party victory in favour of this Bill; but they, on their side, might well say that a few more such victories, and that majority was undone. He trusted that the Bill would be vigorously fought at every stage, and that the discussion in that House would only close to be reopened in "another place." He asked the right hon. Gentleman whether, when the Bill was discussed out-of-doors, the large majority which aided them in abolishing Purchase, would not aid them again in defeating this Bill, so similar in its character, and equally mischievous in its results, with the same unswerving and unstinted support?

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(Mr. Trevelyan.)


said, that looking at the question from an independent point of view, the course which should be taken with regard to the measure appeared to him so manifestly clear, that he would, with the permission of the House, say a few words on the subject. It was with much curiosity that he had waited to hear the arguments which would be brought forward by the hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) in support of his Amendment, because, to his mind, the arguments against it were so very clear and convincing that he could not see how the House could avoid supporting the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman. He had been fully prepared to hear from the hon. Member for the Border Burghs the arguments he had brought forward during the Abolition of Purchase Debates, and while listening to the hon. Member's speech, it appeared to him that he heard again the swish of what Captain Vivian had wittily termed "Le sabre de mon pére," which he had flourished so unmercifully three years ago over the heads of those who had opposed the Army Regulation Bill. The hon. Member's speech was founded upon those abstract principles which all pure Radicals believed must be rigidly adhered to in governing a country. From the dictionary of politicians of that class the word "compromise" was omitted, without which the government of a country could not be carried on. And it was, perhaps, from want of a knowledge of that condition of government, and from want of consideration, in their dealings with men, for human interests, feelings, and prejudices, that the Liberal Party found itself in its present forlorn position. The fact was that this measure was merely the necessary sequel to the Abolition of Purchase Bill, or rather it was the direct consequence of the manner in which that Bill was carried through the House. In the opinion of the most eminent military authorities, the measure was absolutely necessary to support the discipline of the Army. He did not wish to revive the question of purchase, but he would ask the House to follow ab ovo the proceedings which had ended in the present Bill. Those who resisted the abolition of Army Purchase did so not because they approved of that system, but because to get rid of it would entail a great and unnecessary expense upon the country, and, further, because the abolition of Purchase was not calculated to put the Army upon a sound and proper footing. It was also resisted on account of the way in which the officers were dealt with by the Bill, and it was in consequence of the manner in which the objections of the officers were treated that so many divisions were taken during its progress through the House, and so sound were those objections found to be, that the Government majority was reduced from 120, which it numbered at the commencement of the discussions, to a majority of only 16 or 14 towards their conclusion. The Opposition believed that there were points in the Bill of the late Government which might have been conceded with safety to the principle of the measure and the efficiency of the service, and one of those questions referred to the practice of exchanges. It was brought forward by an hon. and gallant Member (Colonel Anson) who possessed the confidence of his brother officers, and who contended that the practice of Army Exchanges was essential to the good of the service. The late Government had, in the earlier years of the septennial life of that Parliament, what the present Prime Minister once described as a "mechanical majority," and by the force of that majority all reasonable proposals on behalf of the officers were over-ridden. The Bill of the late Government was thus forced through the House of Commons. It then went to "another place," where it was thrown out by a large majority. It never became law by the action of the Imperial Parliament; but after coming to a natural death, it was galvanized into unnatural life by the high-handed exercise of the Royal Prerogative. Was it astonishing that a measure which had dealt so summarily with their interests, and which had become law in that strange way should not be readily accepted by the officers of the Army. The result was, that throughout the Army, at home and abroad, a strong feeling was manifested in every regiment, which took the form of Petitions to Parliament. And in thus petitioning, the officers were not in the wrong, because an officer in the Army did not thereby lose his civil rights. But His Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief interfered and stopped the Petitions on grounds of military discipline. As, however, it was felt that the officers had a sound and legitimate grievance the Order was relaxed, and through the mediation of Major-General Sir Percy Herbert officers were allowed to draw up and sign memorials, provided they were sent in to the Horse Guards through their commanding officers. That the discontent was real, there was little doubt, for the covering letters of the Generals showed in the strongest way its existence and depth, and he might, if required, quote passages from several of them in corroboration, as, for instance, from those of Lord Strathnairn, General Steele, General Horsford, and General Greathed. He would, however, only detain the House by reading a passage from the covering letter of General Sir Hope Grant, in command of the School of Instruction at Aldershot—a camp which included the largest body of troops collected at any one place in this country. General Sir Hope Grant said— I am fully convinced of the strong feeling of discontent and dissatisfaction which prevails among regimental officers upon this subject. This is mainly owing to the idea that their case has never been fully gone into before a military tribunal. Without some such investigation I am satisfied that this feeling will increase in intensity. … And I think that a Royal Commission, before which the officers could unfold their views, would do more than any thing else could do to allay the feeling which now so unfortunately prevails. Other commanding officers bore equally strong testimony. The next step in the history of the Bill was a Motion for an Address to the Crown praying for the appointment of a Royal Commission. That Motion was made in "another place" by the Duke of Richmond, and it was carried by an enormous majority of 83, the contents being 129, and the non-contents, 46. Almost the whole of the minority were Peers officially connected with the Government, the few, he thought only 11, who were not so being either newly-created or Liberal riband-decorated Peers. Many Peers who usually acted with the late Government voted against them. What said His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge on that occasion? The House might be sure that he would not have spoken as he did unless he felt strongly on the subject. He said— Nothing would induce me to utter one word on this occasion if it were not that I feel called upon to point out in the strongest manner to every Member of this House that anything more detrimental to the interests of the Army, to the interests of the service, or to the interests of the country, than to have a discontented set of officers it is impossible to conceive. Therefore, I hope; whatever their Lordships may decide—it is not my province to interfere in any political question—your Lordships will decide with the object of putting an end to that discontent which I am grieved to say I believe does exist. I think it is very much to be deplored that anything should engender among the officers of the Army a spirit of discontent… and I trust that the officers' claims will be dealt with, not so much according to the strict letter of the Act as according to justice and equity."—[3 Hansard, ccvii. G36–7–8.] Another noble Lord (Lord Hardinge), who had been Under Secretary of State for War, and who bore a name honoured among soldiers, read a letter from an officer, who said that the course taken by the late Government had been detrimental to the morale and injurious to the discipline of the Army. The result was, as already stated, that the whole House of Lords, with the exception of the Members of the Government and those connected with it, voted in favour of the Royal Commission. That Commission was, accordingly, appointed by the late Government. It consisted of men remarkable for their zeal, ability, and discretion, and they took the evidence of the Commander-in-Chief, General Airey, Sir Charles Yorke, late Military Secretary, and of other officers of rank and position. It had been pointed out by his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War that the subject dealt with by the Bill was the only one as to which the Commissioners appeared to entertain no doubt whatever. They cleared away the ground as far as it was concerned, and then passed to a question which they found more difficult to deal with, and as to which they went against the opinion of the officers. And it was worthy of remark that the Royal Letter appointing the Commissioners laid down most clearly and distinctly the terms within which it was considered they could exercise their discretion. It was, therefore, within the terms of a Letter, prompted by the then Secretary of State, that the three Commissioners—men said to be specially chosen for their ability, zeal, and discretion—exercised their discretion in the manner already pointed out to the House. He ventured to think that the argument that the Bill would resuscitate purchase in the Army was altogether unfounded. It had now done so in the non-purchase corps; and after the opinions of the military men he had quoted, opinions so strong and coming from persons who were responsible for the discipline of the Army, he could not but regard what had been said as to the bearing of the details of the measure upon poor or rich as being altogether beside the question, more especially as the poor officers had given evidence in its favour. It was, then, upon the question of which he had endeavoured to give this brief history that they were now asked to vote, and concerning which the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War had thought it necessary to bring in this Bill, and what the House had to consider was, whether it would reject at once a Bill brought before it under the circumstances to which he had referred, and which was backed by such high authority. His right hon. Friend spoke not in his own name merely, but in the name also of those who were responsible for the discipline of the Army, and holding the responsible position he did his right hon. Friend could not have acted otherwise than as he had done. He would, had he done so, have been wanting in his duty to the Crown. He would go further, and say that if the late Secretary of State had been in his place in that House as Minister for War, he could not have avoided giving effect to the Report of the Commissioners. ["Oh, oh!"] He could not have avoided it. He (Lord Elcho), therefore, could not but think that the Opposition had chosen upon this question a very weak position for their battlefield—a weaker position almost than that which they took up a few days ago in respect of Ireland, and he was sorry his noble Friend (Lord Hartington), who had himself been Secretary of State for War, and who might and probably would again occupy that responsible position, had lent himself to the opposition to a measure that came before the House, recommended and sanctioned as this Bill was, and which had for its object the contentment of the officers and the discipline and efficiency of the Army.


said, the able and exhaustive speech of the hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) had loft very little to be said on the Opposition side of the House. He had had, however, considerable hope when the noble Lord (Lord Elcho) rose, that he would furnish some new argument to be answered, but new arguments had only been introduced to a very small extent indeed. The one new argument which Lord Elcho had brought forward was, that if Lord Cardwell had boon in the House now, he would have considered himself bound by the Report of the Commission to support the present Bill. But he (Mr. Anderson), speaking from absolute knowledge, could say that after Lord Cardwell saw the Report of the Commission, he was decidedly hostile to the Bill of last year, which was identical with the one now introduced. But though Lord Elcho had not provided any new arguments, his speech would be very effective in damaging the Bill, for he had told them the Bill was founded on a policy of retaliation. [Lord ELCHO: No, no!] The noble Lord had told them, at all events, that the measure sprang entirely from the discontent which arose in consequence of the mode in which the abolition of Purchase was accomplished, that abolition having been effected, not by the votes of the two Houses of Parliament, but by the exercise of the Royal Prerogative. The noble Lord now declared that that was not retaliation; but it appeared to be something very much like it. One of the strongest arguments which could be used against the Bill was, that when it was brought forward last year, he (Mr. Anderson) was its only ostensible opponent; but on this occasion, it was opposed by the united strength of the Liberal party. What did that change mean? for it was a very peculiar one. It simply meant that during the interval that had elapsed since the close of last Session, hon. Gentlemen had come to know what were the meaning and bearings of the Bill, and they had found out that it really aimed a very serious blow at the system of non-Purchase which was won with so much difficulty in the last Parliament; and that if it were passed, it would be certain to lead to the revival of some of these lapsed vested interests which did so much harm before. Of course, everybody knew that Purchase was abolished in opposition to the will of the Conservative Party, and, perhaps, it was not very wonderful that that party, now that they were in office, should seek to upset the decision against which they so strenuously fought. Equally, of course, in trying to re-impose Purchase, they made their beginning with the mildest form of the evil; but he hoped that would be seen through. He was glad, at all events, to see that the present Government were making that attempt in the form of a Bill, for he disapproved as much as possible of the settlement of any such question by the issue of a Royal Warrant, and he hoped that if the Bill were defeated, as he trusted it would be, the Government would not fall back on the issue of such a Warrant. But while he disapproved of the conduct of the late Government in issuing a Royal Warrant in an improper manner, he believed it was the first great blunder they committed, and it was fair to say that in then using the Royal Prerogative to abolish privilege, they were in entire accord with the national will. If the present Government were to turn round now and endeavour to restore privilege by a Royal Warrant, they would run counter to the national will, and throw odium on the Throne itself. What was the intention in bringing in the Bill? The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War said it was not intended to bring back Purchase; but it was for the House to consider what was the object of getting rid of Purchase, and what was the object of the present Bill. The object in view in getting rid of Purchase was to abolish all money traffic for gain among officers in respect to their commissions. The sole object of this Bill was to restore money traffic for gain in respect of officers' commissions. A Bill was not required to facilitate exchanges, for they were permitted under the present rule, if the exchanges were reasonable and fair ones, and the costs incurred were allowed to be defrayed by the officer who desired the exchange; but everything beyond that was clearly wrong, and would only lead to vested interests. The right Gentleman had said also that exchanges would be very carefully guarded by the authorities; but they all knew what that meant, and they know what careful guards were, and how they were gradually opened to corruption, and private interests came in. The rules might be changed at any time, but the Bill was final, and corruption would inevitably creep in, and after that private interest would do everything, and exchanges would cease to be of the harmless nature which they were said to have at present. Over-regulation was no doubt carefully guarded against originally, and so careful was the guard there, that officers were obliged to make and sign a declaration on their honour that no over-regulation money was paid or received. He had no doubt that that restraint was effectual for a considerable time, and that when the authorities imposed it, they believed it would stop over-regulation altogether. But how did it end? Why, before long it was notorious that noblemen and gentlemen in an honourable profession, which considered itself the very soul and type of honour, systematically made and signed declarations upon their honour which they knew to be lies, and put the price of those lies in their pocket. That was the position to which careful guards brought the honourable profession of arms. Careful guards had failed before, and would, no doubt, equally fail again. They had now got quit of the stain, they had torn it out root and branch, and should take care that it was never restored. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the Bill was founded on the Report of the Commissioners, and had read an extract from the Report, which he termed very decided; but he (Mr. Anderson) would read the same extract, in order to show that it was very undecided indeed. The Commissioners said— The new rule has obviously proceeded from an apprehension that to allow any pecuniary bargaining among officers with respect to their commissions might he as the letting out of waters bringing back Purchase, over-regulation prices, and the other incidents of the abolished system. We are not satisfied that there is any real danger of this, and we are satisfied, on the evidence before us, that a return to the old practice would be very acceptable to the Army. The distinction between the phrases "We are not satisfied" and "We are satisfied," was in that passage very remarkable, and it was worthy of note that the Commissioners would not go the length of saying—"We are satisfied there is no danger." It was upon such a milk-and-watery utterance that the House was now asked to legislate. Such legislation might be accomplished by what Lord Elcho had styled a mechanical or tyrannical majority; but it would never be done with the approval of the people of the country, who had made great sacrifices to get rid of Purchase, because the vested interests it created had impaired the Army and prevented Army reform. Indeed, it seemed at one time as though the Army was made and kept up for the benefit of the officers, and not for the benefit of the country; and until the nation bought it back from the officers, at a very heavy price, it was impossible to do anything with it. It was full of fancy officers, who went in to make a pleasant plaything of the service, and though he admitted that such men never shrank from fighting when the opportunity came, it must be remembered that fighting was not the only duty of an officer, who had to go through a large amount of patient routine and discipline, which would make fighting more effective, but which was always irksome to officers. By means of the old system of buying and selling exchanges, rich officers used to be able to get rid of the irksomeness altogether, and practically selected their own stations for service; and that was a system which Parliament was now asked to restore. The country wanted officers who would be ready to go with their regiments wherever and whenever they were sent. If the matter of trafficking in exchanges was good for the Army, it must be equally good for the other services. A naval officer ordered off to the West Indies, but who dreaded cholera and "yellow Jack," would be stigmatized for life if he were, by a money bribe, to try and get another officer to take his place, in order that he might go home and enjoy the luxuries of life. A naval officer could not do such a thing; it was only to be allowed to the Army. It had been said that remarks of this kind were contemptuous of the officers of the Army as a class; but he disclaimed any such idea. He knew that the majority were patient, hardworking, earnest men, who loved their profession, and too often they saw prizes pass away to others who less deserved them. For these men he had nothing but respect. His animadversions were confined to the fancy officers, the aristocrat who went in to make a pleasant plaything of the Army, or the rich parvenu who went to obtain a social position which he could not otherwise attain. Such men were of no good to the Army, which would be much better without them; but it was to encourage those men that the present Bill was brought in. If such a measure was good for the officers, it would also be good for the non-commissioned officers and privates. The careful guards which were to be afforded would either permit supersession, or bring in the system of purses. So long as the rule remained that the exchanging officer was to be the lowest of his rank in his new regiment, purses would be made up to induce a senior officer to exchange out of a regiment, for by that all below him would gain a step; and if, on the other hand, the exchanging officers simply changed places, and each stepped exactly into the place of the other, that would amount to supersession. Where there was a rich man ready to buy, and a poor man ready to sell, it would be most difficult to prevent corrupt practices, or practices contrary to law, from cropping up. In the Marine corps, for instance, which was supposed to be a strictly non-Purchase corps, a system of buying out officers had regularly gone on, and was known and winked at at headquarters. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Pontefract (Mr. Childers) made a retiring scale, by which lieutenant-colonels might retire at the age of 51, but were compelled to do so when 54, unless made full colonels, and captains might retire at 45, but must do so at 48, unless made lieutenant-colonels; and the result was that when a captain was nearly 48, or a lieutenant-colonel was close upon 54, they looked about for some one in the rank above who was likely to retire, and bribed him by a money payment to do so. In conclusion, he must again express the hope that the present Bill would not be passed into law.


said, that the hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) and other hon. Gentlemen opposite had described the measure as a relic of the old Purchase system, but he could say from his experience, which had been derived from residence in the Mediterranean, in the midst of a large garrison, that it was not, nor was it likely to lead to the introduction of that old system, for the system now proposed had existed in the non-Purchase corps, and it had not led to any traffic beyond the system of exchanges. The late Member for Bewdley (Colonel Anson) had shown, in a letter, that exchange had always existed in the Artillery, and yet, notwithstanding the existence of Purchase in the other branches of the service, exchanges had never had that tendency in the Ordnance Corps. It must be remembered that our Army was a volunteer Army; that, unlike any other existing Army, it was liable to expatriation; that you could not govern an Army by the laws of political economy; that you could not introduce labour into it by foreign competition; that you could not, in money value, give a fair day's wage for a fair day's work, and that the Army must be made attractive to men by bounties and pensions, and to officers by attractions of another nature. That end could never be accomplished if rules were to be maintained that were calculated to spread discontent; and it was to remove the cause of any such, that the Bill had been introduced. Why worry the man ready to pay, and the man anxious to be paid. In the French service money payments were recognized, as in the ranks, conscripts could pay for a substitute. It was in that way that the late Emperor kept so many veterans in his Army; they received the conscripts' money, and consented to extend their period of service. He must protest against the endeavour to run down what the hon. Member for Glasgow designated the "fancy" officer. It was expedient that country gentlemen having county influence, and others having independent fortunes, should be encouraged to enter the Army for a short time, for the sake of benefiting by its discipline both themselves and the localities in which they resided. The recent Conference at Brussels showed how much the foreign Powers having large Armies dwelt on the necessity of local organization. The articles submitted restricted the laws, rights, and duties of war to troops of any kind commanded by officers responsible for their subordinates conforming to the laws and customs of war, and forbad the constitution of an Army unless it was governed by men having a knowledge of those laws and customs. For these reasons it was well that men having independent means should endeavour to learn discipline, in order that they might command corps of Militia and Volunteers with an efficiency which was to be acquired only by service. What harm had ever resulted from these exchanges? Rich men were allowed advantages at present. They were allowed to pay the travelling expenses of poorer men who came home. Besides, if they did not wish to go to an unhealthy climate, they could retire without damage to their future prospects. If it did not damage the public service, they ought to encourage the introduction of richer men into the corps of the service. There was no analogy whatever between the Army, the Navy, and the Consular Service. A Consul was appointed specially to a particular place, not generally to the Consular Service. In the Navy, officers were entitled to refuse commands, and when they did accept, it was only for three years; whereas, officers in the Army were sent to a station for 10 years, and had frequently not only to live in the worst climate, but were not able to take away their families in bad seasons. He thought it a great pity that this had been made a party question. It was not so considered when the late Government appointed the Commission. If there were any bias in the minds of the two Judges who were appointed on that Commission, it must have been rather in favour of those who appointed them. Yet, in their opinion, exchanges would certainly not be detrimental to the service. The hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson), speaking on the first reading of the Bill, said—and it had since been echoed by the newspapers of his party—that it was a measure of retrogression and reaction. If so, it was the retrogression of common sense which retraced false steps and repaired administrative blunders. In his view it was, in the best sense, a measure of progress. It satisfied the officers without expense to the country, and increased the efficiency of the Army without augmenting the public burdens.


said, the hon. Gentleman the Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) had put forth suppositions in his speech that evening which would be read with astonishment by every practical soldier. Many of his statements could have no possible foundation, except in his own imagination; but, no doubt, he had said some things which were of a little more importance. He (General Shute) would therefore disregard the "froth" of the hon. Gentleman and endeavour to answer his arguments. When he some four years ago was quartered in a manufacturing district, he was astonished to find that the majority of the people, believing in political agitators, compared the late Purchase system to their own bubble mining companies, which were always plausible in theory but nefarious in practice, whilst the Purchase system, if indefensible in theory, was admirable in practice; and he would say to the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson) that if under the Purchase system an unfit man was ever promoted to the command of a regiment, it was the fault of that Commander-in-Chief who made the appointment. And if selection was to be the rule, the Commander-in-Chief must have the assistance of a council of general officers, or the Army, like the Navy, must be governed by a Board, the Secretary of State for War being the First Lord. But the fact was, the Army had no confidence in selection, for it would be impossible for any one man to select from the whole British Army, scattered so widely as it was. He was not aware, however, that the system of selection had been attempted even since the Army Bill passed. It seemed to be forgotten by hon. Gentlemen opposite that exchanges must receive the sanction of the Commander-in-Chief, and it was quite ridiculous to suppose that he could be influenced by considerations of "a wife and children" to send an utterly unfit man to an important command. An attack had been made by an hon. Member on our regimental system. He had attended the Autumn Manœuvres in Russia, Austria, and in Prance, and he knew that the regimental system of this country was the envy of all the other great Powers in Europe, and no doubt it was the finest in the world; but when it was said that non-commissioned officers and privates were not allowed to exchange, he must be allowed to say that they very often did. In the regiments he had commanded, it had often been allowed. [Mr. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN: Do they exchange for money?] He really had not inquired into the matter; but if poor men, he should have been glad that they benefited by it. The late Government had been emphatically a Government of arbitration—the two Houses of Parliament differing, they had appointed a Royal Commission to inquire into the officers' grievances. He did not wish specially to uphold the Report of that Royal Commission, for they had not done the Army all the justice they ought to have done. But with regard to the exchange system, they had most decidedly reported in its favour, and, therefore, he was astonished that this was made a party question. In his opinion, the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the War Office had shown such consideration for regimental officers as they had not experienced for a long time before, and they looked upon this Bill as merely a small instalment towards the removal of one of the great grievances resulting from the Army Bill—a measure which was forced upon the Army and on the country by very questionable means, and contrary to the opinion of every practically good soldier in that and the other House of Parliament. This Bill, if passed, would confer upon them a very great boon. There was no fear of the Exchange system bringing in the Purchase system again, because the two things were entirely unconnected. In the Artillery, Engineers, and Marines, they had from time immemorial had the Exchange system, yet they had never adopted the Purchase system. The Exchange system was required, first, in reference to health. He had known many an excellent officer who had gallantly served his country in India and in the colonies, who, had he been exposed to a Crimean winter campaign, or to the wet and cold of a European bivouac, would have quickly died. He had known others who, unable to endure the intense heat of a tropical sun, had nobly fought our battles in colder and more northerly climes. There were many reasons arising from family and social causes which made it desirable that exchanges should be permitted in the Army, and he would repeat, that if the Bill should be accepted by Parliament it would remove a great and serious grievance—the result of over-legislation and meddling. The officers of the British Army, as a body of English gentlemen, must ever be loyal and true; but he admitted that there was a suppressed growl of discontent from the general officer to the drummer-boy which had gone with the men on furlough and with those who were discharged, which might seriously interfere with recruiting. The Conservative Party had often been twitted with owing their present position to the influence of Beer, Ballot, and Bribery. This position, however, might be more justly attributed to the support given them by the friends of the Army. The Army had no politics, and always supported the Government of the day; but there was hardly a man in England, from the noble to the peasant, who had not either himself served or had relations, connections, or friends in the Army; and he fully believed that at the last Election there was hardly one of them who did not oppose the late Government in consequence of their military policy. Now that the House had an opportunity, he trusted that some of those grievances of which the Army justly complained might be removed. The regimental officers who would be affected by this change deserved consideration. Our generals had, on occasions, failed us, the Staff had failed us, and the Commissariat had utterly broken down; but the regiments had never failed us. England's last great battle—the battle of Inkerman was won by the regimental officers, and he trusted, therefore, that the House would consider the wishes of regimental officers, for, as one of them, he could assure the House that they took the greatest and deepest interest in the Bill becoming law.


said, he felt bound to oppose the second reading of the Bill; though, in doing so, he knew that he should be regarded as hostile by many of his military Friends. He agreed in every word that had been said in favour of allowing a perfectly free exchange between regiments abroad and at home; but he utterly failed to see how the provisions of the Royal Warrant of 1871 had, to any appreciable extent, interfered with that liberty, or how the officers had any just or reasonable cause of complaint. If he could see that that Warrant had interfered with the freedom of exchange, or if he thought that the Bill would conduce to the professional interest of officers or the general efficiency of the Army, he should vote for the second reading, in spite of certain obvious dangers that were incident to it; but exchanges were still constantly taking place, and the House could not have a better illustration of the fallacy of the proposals of the Government and of the unreasonable character of the complaints of officers than was contained in the letter of a late hon. and gallant Friend of his which had been previously alluded to in the debate. For his own part, he believed that exchanges were made with little less freedom now than they were before the date of the Royal Warrant. If it was not so, the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War would probably give them some information as to the number of exchanges which had been made during the last few years. He had tried to inform himself on this point by going through The Gazettes of the last four years. Excluding exchanges in the Artillery and Engineers, and also the half-pay exchanges, which were not included in the Bill, he found that in 1870, two years before the Royal Warrant came into operation, and when the officers had no idea that any such disturbing measure was pending, 93 officers exchanged in the Infantry, Cavalry, Guards, and Rifle Brigade. In 1871 the number was 88; in 1872, the first year of the Royal Warrant, there were 90 exchanges. In 1873 there were 60; and, though he had not the figures for 1874, he believed they had not fallen far below the average. It must be remembered that in 1872 the rank of ensign was abolished, and therefore a large number of what would have been mentioned in The Gazette as exchanges were now simple transfers. If, however, any material falling off had occurred in the exchanges, might it not be explained by greater attention to their duties on the part of the officers and greater professional zeal? The rates of pay in India—which to officers in the higher ranks were four times, and to officers in the junior ranks were double the rates paid at home—caused a steady flow of exchanges to set towards India; and these exchanges, on the whole, were advantageous to the Army if left alone, and if men were not tempted by the offers of large sums of money. The service, however, would be greatly prejudiced if you raised up a class of officers who were ready to pay a large sum of money for the right to serve in a particular locality. This was the danger of the proposal now made by the right hon. Gentleman. He contended that the Bill was unnecessary, for he believed that exchanges took place as frequently as ever, and his own connection with the Army had shown him that there were "fast" regiments, in which officers were apt to exceed their means, and then to gain several thousands of pounds by exchanging. These were the officers who raised this demand, and he put it to the House whether it was worth while, for the sake of officers of that description, to institute such a change as was proposed. While the Bill was unnecessary, it was also inexpedient, because in an Army like ours, one-half of which at least was always abroad, serving in almost every degree of longitude, officers should not be allowed to raise up vested interests, if not in commissions, in their power to choose their place of service, thereby reverting in part to a system which, after infinite trouble, had been abolished. He believed that officers would club together, and would make a purse with which to buy out their seniors, and that vested interests would again spring up, and hamper and impede the working of the service. In all the debates on the subject in the last Parliament, by the public, and by the Press, it had been continually urged that great difficulties would have to be contended with in preventing the revival of Purchase. It seemed that the Government were determined somehow or other that that prophecy should be fulfilled, by fulfilling it themselves; instead of displaying firmness and determination to carry out loyally the wish of the country, as declared in 1871, that Purchase should cease in the Army for ever.


said, he was not surprised that those who did not belong to the Army should regard the present Bill as an attempt to revive in some degree the system of purchase; but he could not understand how hon. Members who had held commissions in the service could look upon it in that light. The hon. and gallant Gentleman, who had with so much ability seconded the Amendment, had served in one of the most splendid regiments in the service—a regiment which had distinguished itself whenever employed on foreign service; but, in general, its duties oscillated between Windsor and London, and at neither of those places were its services very arduous. It was therefore not surprising that the hon. and gallant Gentleman, when sitting in his club in Pall Mall, had not thought much of those officers who were doing duty in the West and East Indies. This was a matter which deeply interested the service, and if, in consequence of the proposed arrangement, officers should perform their duties with greater satisfaction to themselves, it would be a great advantage to the country. Among the men transfers were allowed, and that was calculated to render the service popular. He knew that that was the case in the Militia. He thought the hon. Gentleman's (Mr. Trevelyan) statement a little overdone when he spoke of Lord Cardwell's Act having been passed by the unanimous wish of the House. He (Colonel Gilpin) never knew of a measure which had been more opposed, or one which had given less satisfaction. It had weakened the service, and the very Government which had carried it had afterwards to appoint a special Commission to inquire into the mischief they themselves had occasioned. He thought the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War deserved a great deal of credit for the manner in which he proposed to carry out the recommendations of the Commission, and for doing so in a constitutional manner, without having recurrence to the use of a Royal Warrant. He protested against the interests of the service being subordinated to party tactics, and must express his intention of supporting the measure as likely to conduce to the satisfaction of the Army.


said, that, having had the honour to hold a commission in the Army, he wished to say a few words on a subject which so deeply affected the interests of the officers. During the last week or two he had met officers holding commissions in various branches of the service, and scarcely one of them had omitted to remark that he hoped that Bill would come safely through the House of Commons. Officers, like other people, were liable to become impecunious, or hard up, not necessarily through their own fault, but from unavoidable circumstances, and the particular individual might be a first-rate officer, who had served his country well, and if he had the opportunity proposed by this Bill of exchanging, both parties would gain an advantage, and the service, so far from being prejudicially affected, might retain an able man, who would otherwise have had to sell his commission. On the other hand, circumstances might arise to render it absolutely necessary for an officer to return home; but how could he effect an exchange in a bad climate unless he could hold out some inducement? The Bill was not an attempt to re-introduce the purchase system, nor to compel officers to pay large sums of money on exchange whether they liked it or not. It was simply a Bill to permit payment of money on exchange; and a Bill that need not necessarily affect anyone, but only those who wished to take advantage of it.


said, he felt bound to oppose the Bill, although he did not do it on party motives, but simply because he did not think it would be for the advantage of the service or the country that it should become law. The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Brighton had referred to the discontent that existed in the Army, and without accepting that opinion as implying any serious amount of discontent, still no one who had been lately on the Continent could deny the necessity of having a contented and well-disciplined Army, for it could not be doubted that the clouds which at present hung over Europe would some of these days burst, and no one could say how we might be situated. It should therefore be the object of Parliament to maintain an efficient and contented Army for the defence of the country and of her foreign possessions, especially looking at the rapid progress which the Russians were making in the direction of India, where sooner or later we would come into collision with that Power, but that could be secured by very different arrangements from those proposed to be based on this Bill. Had the Royal Commission, on whose Report they were asked to legislate, restricted their inquiries to those measures relating to pecuniary allowances in view to the settlement of complaints of officers by money payments, then the Commissioners would have been within their terms of reference, or even, if as regarded the practice of exchanges, the Commissioners had extended their investigations so as to have had all the facts before them, he would have been the last to disrespect the decision at which they arrived; but they had not all the facts before them, and it was to be remembered that a previous Commission had gone in a directly opposite way in deciding that this practice of exchanges was a part of the Purchase system, and could only be destroyed by destroying the whole rights of Purchase; that had been done, and now they were asked to legalize that which must re-introduce Purchase. In his opinion, the principle of the measure was wrong; it was giving a statutory right to that which was only possible through military orders at the discretion of the military chiefs, and therefore he must necessarily oppose it. As far as he could see, only 50 or 60 officers exchanged in the course of the year, and he could not, therefore, understand why the scheme for the abolition of purchase should be imperilled on such slight grounds. It was asked why the Opposition were opposing the Report of the Commission appointed while they were in power. It was because that Commission had not before it any witnesses who were not interested in the matter, for he could not regard the Commander-in-Chief and the Adjutant General as disinterested witnesses, and even those gentlemen who were called were not cross-examined. In this respect he must express his deep sorrow to see the neglect and indifference evinced by the War Office in not having some one to represent and protect the public interests in presence of the Commissioners. The representative of the officers (Sir Percy Herbert) had ably and successfully attended to the interests of the officers, but the War Office had failed to do so as regarded the public—even the Commissioners remarked on this omission. He thought it was a pity that this question was not settled when Purchase was abolished; but he could not forget the fact that the Duke of Wellington was opposed to exchanges, and that a favourite expression of his to all applicants for exchanges, when regiments were ordered abroad, was "Sell or sail." Beyond that, many of the most distinguished military authorities were opposed to exchanges except under circumstances of absolute necessity, and then on purely military considerations. He held that the pay of the officers of the Army was insufficient; but he did not think it was consistent with dignity, honour, discipline, or the finer feelings of men that the poorer officer should receive a pecuniary benefit at the expense of his wealthy brother officer. He considered the Government had no sufficient information to warrant them in bringing forward the Bill, and he thought the Secretary for War ought to have paused before he recommended the legalizing of a practice which must establish rights incompatible with that military authority which ought to exist over officers and men. There were two witnesses before the Commission who stated that exchanges were made by which officers gained large profits, and that fact showed that, whatever regulations were made, so long as the principle of paying money for exchange was recognized, those outside the War Office would be able to obtain advantages over those inside the office. It had been found that no regulations that could be made in regard to Purchase could put an end to the payment of over-regulation prices, and consequently it was on that conviction that the entire abolition of Purchase had been decided on. The same result would follow were exchanges recognized, for these exchanges would be made, as of old, with a view to secure military advancement. If the Secretary of State for War had read the evidence taken by the Duke of Somerset's Committee in 1857, he would have found sufficient evidence in regard to this matter to induce him to pause before he attempted to legalize a practice so full of danger. The Duke of Cambridge gave evidence to the effect, that so long as exchanges were allowed, the evils of the Purchase system could not be abolished, and Lord Panmure, who was then Secretary for War, also objected strongly to exchanges, while General Simpson mentioned the fact that the whole of the officers of a particular regiment had applied for exchange rather than go on foreign service. He had at the time the abolition of Purchase was decided on strongly urged the then thorough rooting out of the practice, and as he then thought and wrote, so he continued to think and to urge that the Army organization scheme should be completed by the payment of the whole money down to the officers who had invested money in buying of rank; that arrangement would be infinitely better than allowing private bargains to go on, by which officers could earn money to eke out their pay. In preference to that it would be better to increase the pay of the officers, in order that that means of gaining a subsistence might be rendered unnecessary. He admitted that economy could be practised in regard to the Army with advantage to the country and benefit to the officers, if they got rid of the wasteful extravagance which attended our Army administration. If the Government persisted in carrying this Bill, he earnestly hoped the right hon. Gentleman would be able to make such Amendments in the measure as would render it very harmless indeed; if money should be needed to carry out the Exchange Bill it should be public money, paid away to officers in a regular manner through the War Office.


said, he felt, in venturing to offer a few remarks on this question, more than the usual diffidence which every Member must experience, when he had the privilege of addressing the House for the first time. He was aware that as an officer on full pay serving under Her Majesty, the Bill, which he hoped would be read a second time that night, might benefit him, therefore it was one in which he might be said to be interested. In the corps, however, with which he had the honour to be connected, exchanges were almost unknown, and as an impartial Member of Parliament he wished to give his testimony in favour of what he believed would be best for the interests of the Army. He could not attempt to follow all the speeches he had heard from the Opposition Benches, still less could he follow the hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) through all the details into which he had entered. But he would notice one or two of the observations of the hon. Gentleman. It was not the fact that any officer, rich or poor, had ever refused to serve Her Majesty in whatever climate, or against any enemy, and, therefore, he thought the argument of the hon. Gentleman broke down most thoroughly. The hon. Gentleman said the Secretary of State for War must prove that 50 years hence the Army would be better if the Bill passed; but did the late Secretary of State for War prove to the House that the Army would be better 50 years hence for the abolition of Purchase. If this Bill was passed, sub-lieutenant Jones at Rangoon might take the place of sub-lieutenant Smith at Exeter, but if Smith's regiment were ordered to India next year, Jones would have to go there with it. The hon. and gallant Member opposite (Mr. Hayter) had remarked that we were beginning rather early to reverse a part of the policy of the late Government; but, surely, if it were right to reverse that policy, the sooner we set about it the better. Moreover, the hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) said—" If we permit officers to exchange, why should we not allow non-commissioned officers and privates to exchange also?" Well, he had no objection to that suggestion being carried out, if it were feasible. It would, however, be all very well for a non-commissioned officer or private to receive a £5 note for coming from India to this country, though he doubted whether the non-commissioned officer or private who exchanged with him would be able to pay his travelling expenses. At present, it should be remembered, there were plenty of means for non-commissioned officers or privates to return home from India, for if the surgeon of the regiment certified that the climate disagreed with them, they either obtained a pension, or were sent back to the depot. The present Bill was a short one, and the whole of the argument in its favour lay in a nutshell. There was very little to be said for it, and he could not conceive how anything could be said against it, and he had entirely failed to discover in the speeches delivered on the other side of the House, any real argument against the Bill. Because it permitted money to be paid by a rich officer to a poor one, it had been alleged that the Bill was for the rich and not for the poor. He contended, however, that it was a law both for the rich man and for the poor man; but, first of all, for the poor man, because he need not exchange unless he desired to do so. The rich man might ask him, but he had the right to say "No." He would take the liberty of reading two extracts from the evidence adduced before the Commissioners. Adjutant-General Sir Richard Airey said— It [exchange] is of very great advantage to the service. Putting aside officers' convenience, the great question is the efficiency of the service, and I think it [viz., exchange, as it existed before the Warrant of 1871] a great advantage. His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge said— No exchange took place without my authority, and if I did not consider it an advantage to the public service or just to the officers in each regiment concerned, I would not allow it. I never asked any question, of course, as to the money, but I judged of each case entirely on its merits. That agreed with the recommendation of the Royal Commission which was, that exchanges ought only to be effected with the sanction of the authorities, and this was exactly what the Bill proposed, nothing more. To his (Captain Home's) great surprise, this had been regarded as a party question. He should have thought that everything connected with the Army was a national question, and he trusted all hon. and gallant Gentlemen, whether they were serving, or had served the Queen, would assist the Government in carrying this excellent measure. He confessed he should like to see on the Table some other measures for the benefit of the Army, not only of the officers, but of the men; for he did not forget that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War made a promise to the hon. and gallant Member for Galway (Captain Nolan) last summer, that he would take the case of the sergeants into his consideration. There was not a word about that or any other measure concerning the service in the Speech from the Throne; but he nevertheless hoped the House might hear more of such subjects during the present Session. Meanwhile, "half-a-loaf was better than none," and therefore he hoped that hon. Members generally would vote against those who wished to snatch from the Army this crumb of beneficent legislation.


said, hon. Members on the Opposition side did not regard this as a party question. [Murmurs.] Well, he believed most hon. Gentlemen would concede that he and others on that side were as deeply interested as hon. Gentlemen opposite in the welfare of the service, and incapable of sacrificing the country to party ends; and if he did not think the measure would prove injurious to the interests of the service he should not oppose it. The point they had to consider was, what what would be the ultimate bearing of the measure on the efficiency of the British Army. As had been truly observed, he did not believe that any British officer would shrink from the dangers of the battle-field; but he knew that men shrank from service in unpleasant climates, where they might be exposed to distant and unhonourable wars; and rich men were therefore willing to hire poor men to expose their lives to these dangers. He was sorry to find also from the Blue Book, that one officer at least said that the price to be paid for hiring a substitute among officers varied not only according to the climate, but according to the prospect of war. Was that a feeling which it was desirable to encourage amongst the officers of their Army? The system of exchange, moreover, told hardly, in many cases, against the poor and married officer. It should be remembered that there was no difficulty now in permitting exchanges for reasonable causes, or in paying the expense attendant on such exchanges, as appeared in the evidence given by Sir Richard Airey before the Commission. At present, a married officer in delicate health, or with a wife and children to whom the Indian climate might be death, could exchange when ordered abroad upon paying the expenses of the officer with whom he ex-changed; but if the Bill passed, another class of officer could compete with him—the wealthy officer who was not married or delicate, but whose object it was to stay, and disport himself in his uniform in more agreeable society at home; and with such competition, the price would rise in the market, probably beyond the means of the poor invalid. The Bill would practically re-introduce the purchase system—the purchase not of steps, but of promotion, because a man would be able to purchase away the senior lieutenants above him. It would also lead to a separation of rich and poor officers in the linked battalions. Wealthy young men who lilted to wear Her Majesty's uniform in ball-rooms and elsewhere would serve their whole time at home, paying handsomely for the privilege. Thus the home battalions would be composed of one class of men and the foreign battalions of another class; and in process of time the home battalions, so far as the officers were concerned, would be a favoured and a petted class. The result would be the introduction of the curse of the service—extravagant expenditure among the officers serving in England. He objected to the Bill on these and several other grounds which had been stated by hon. Members who had already spoken; and did not attach any weight to any of the arguments which had been advanced in its favour. It was said that if you did not allow those exchanges, wealthy officers would leave the service; but he suggested whether the service would suffer much harm by the loss of officers who merely joined it for the pleasure of appearing in their uniforms at balls and other entertainments. Then it was said that exchanges would never be sanctioned, if they interfered in the least with the good of the service; but he was at a loss to see how that interference with the good of the service was always to be prevented. If you once allowed a man to buy a thing, you could not refuse him by-and-by the permission to sell it; it would be a hardship to expect him to forfeit to-morrow that which, with your consent, he paid £1,000 for to-day. We had been told that no officer had complained of the loss of exchange as a pecuniary loss; but on referring to the Blue Books he found that they did complain of it as a pecuniary loss. The right hon. Gentleman said that strict regulations would be issued; but he seemed to have greater confidence in the force of regulations than anybody who had studied the history of the service could have. As a rule, he (Mr. O'Reilly) did not believe in regulations; and unless the objections to an exchange were overwhelming, it would be allowed, probably in 99 cases out of 100, if the Bill became law. The right hon. Gentleman admitted that the system which he now asked the House to sanction was liable to abuse; but he intended to lay down stringent regulations on the subject. The House was entitled to know from the right hon. Gentleman before it passed the Bill what those regulations were, by which he proposed to neutralize the abuses which he himself admitted as likely to arise. He protested against the proposed scheme, and appealed to the common sense of the country against it, and, even if carried now, yet it would stand on record that the whole country had not been a party to the bargain, and the country would be appealed to again to say whether it was to be called on to purchase back the Army twice.


hoped he might be able to remove some misapprehensions which hon. Members appeared to entertain with respect to the Bill. He wished to be allowed, in the first place, to remark that the dimensions of the debate seemed to have gone very much beyond both the scope of the Bill itself and what the situation would appear to warrant. On more than one occasion he had been somewhat reminded of arguments which had recurred again and again throughout the debates in 1871. Many of the arguments of his hon. Friend the Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan), and of those who followed on the same side, seemed to be directed not so much against exchanges as sanctioned by this Bill, as against the system of regimental exchanges altogether. It must be borne in mind, however, as had been repeatedly brought under the notice of the House, that though the Bill proposed somewhat to alter the system of regimental exchanges, they were already practised in the Army. Considerable differences of opinion on the subject of regimental exchanges were expressed in the course of the debates on the Army Regulation Bill in 1871. On the 31st of March, in answer to a Question put by Mr. Stapleton, then a Member of the House, Lord Cardwell said, there was no intention on the part of the Government to permit officers to give or receive money in exchanging from one regiment to another, or from or to half-pay; the Army Regulation Bill was meant to prohibit all pecuniary transactions in the Army. On the 22nd of May, when the Bill was in Committee, further discussion on the subject arose, and in answer to an Amendment moved by his hon. Friend the Member for North Wiltshire (Sir George Jenkinson), Lord Cardwell said, that there was every disposition on the part of the Government to consider the question with a view to make reasonable arrangements to facilitate exchanges in such cases as had been referred to; but they could not depart from the principle of not legalizing the payment of money by one officer to another as a consideration for the exchange. That showed a departure from the position deliberately taken up by Lord Cardwell in the beginning. In the course of the discussion in Committee there was a concurrence of testimony on the part of officers, that to prohibit money payments in all cases of exchange would be virtually to prohibit exchanges altogether. It was not necessary for him to take up the time of the House by recapitulating the very numerous items under which money payments for exchanges were sanctioned. In the course of the debate it seemed to have been gradually more and more assumed that exchanges would be effected on monetary, and not on military grounds. He could not, however, too emphatically repeat the declaration of his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, that those exchanges would be governed by military considerations, and by military considerations alone. The Commander-in-Chief and his advisers would take care that such was the case. Some exception had been taken to the Bill, on the ground that it limited exchanges to officers only, and it was argued that it was a hardship that non-commissioned officers and men serving in an unhealthy climate should not also have leave to exchange. But so far as that objection was a good one, it applied with equal force to the arrangements which existed at present, and which related to officers alone. The fact was, that the position of officers serving in unhealthy climates was not precisely analogous to that of non-commissioned officers and men. Partly, however, by transfer from regiments—and his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Brighton (General Shute) had told the House of such cases having occurred to his own knowledge—partly in consequence of the short-service system under which men now enlisted, and partly from the greater facility of invaliding, the practical effect had been to do for non-commissioned officers and men that which it was the object of the Bill to facilitate for officers. The hon. Member for Tewkesbury (Mr. W. E. Price) asked distinctly how far the abolition of purchase and the consequent restrictions upon exchanges had really affected them. The best information it was possible for him to obtain did not enable him to make an exact comparison. But it appeared that in the two years before the abolition of Purchase there had been 159 exchanges, while the full-pay regimental exchanges since then, which extended over a period of more than two years, had been only 97. That was sufficient to show that there had been an effectual check on the practice of full-pay regimental exchanges. Some hon. Members appeared to be under the impression that, having regard to something said in the Report of the Over-Regulation Payments Commission, the practice of exchanges must necessarily be considered in connection with the over-regulation payments. A considerable change had been effected since that Report was made. It was true at the time of the Report, as stated by the Commissioners, that if an officer of one regiment found he could not get from his junior the amount of money to which he considered himself, according to custom, fairly entitled, he might, and sometimes did, exchange into another regiment, with the view of obtaining there the sum he desired. But at the present time his position was different. He had to go before the Army Purchase Commissioners, and whatever money he received for his commission was received wholly regardless of any exchange, or of any money which might have passed between him and another officer. What he got from them was the sum to which he had been entitled at the date of the Royal Warrant. As to what had been observed with regard to officers of linked battalions exchanging, he would observe that that system was based mainly upon the theory of having an equal number of battalions at home and abroad. But in a service like that of England, where there was a wide distance of sea to traverse, where transport arrangements had to be considered, and where, no doubt, troops had to be brought back, in some cases not from the best, but the nearest point, he must remind the House that the arrangements by which one battalion could be kept abroad and the other battalion at home, was liable at any moment to be disturbed by the exigency of a war suddenly arising, and he thought it was not too much to say that if a war were to arise, the changes necessary in sending battalions to the field would throw out the whole service for three or four years after the termination of the war. This was not an argument against the linked battalion system; but if he was to be told that by having one battalion at home and the other abroad, the result would be that the officers would not always have a choice of battalions into which to exchange, he preferred to be guided rather by practice than by theory. There was another point on which he wished to lay some stress—namely, that with regard to the Ordnance Corps, Artillery, and Engineers, although money had habitually passed for exchanges, yet the practice had never, in the slightest degree, led to officers being bought out under a system of exchange. Perhaps he might be allowed to anticipate an objection which might be raised as to exchanges between the different arms of the service. So far as he was aware, it had always been understood by those concerned that exchanges between the different arms—as, for example, the Cavalry and Infantry—were allowed in the lower ranks, but that in the case of officers who had reached positions of command, they were not allowed unless there were circumstances which showed the requisite qualifications were possessed. It had been pointed out that the system of five years' tenure of posts of high rank would be an assimilation to the system which existed in regard to Staff appointments, and that as regarded the latter, no exchanges had been made, it being doubtful, indeed, whether they would be allowed. But, inasmuch as the higher posts were held to be posts of selection, it could not for a moment be supposed that an officer selected to command at one place might not be equally able to command a regiment at another place. Doubts had been expressed as to the possible failure of the regulations under which it was proposed to allow exchanges to be carried on. All that he could say on that point was, that the House had heard the Secretary of State declare, under his responsibility as a Minister, that it was his intention to take whatever stop might be necessary for the complete enforcement of the regulations. He would not weary the House by an account of the forms which had been observed in carrying out the exchanges, or of the alterations which it might be necessary to make in them. But he thought the House might rest assured that the regulations would be sufficient for the purpose for which they were intended, and that the Secretary of State would see that they were properly carried out. He wished, before he sat down, to correct a misapprehension under which some hon. Members seemed to labour. It was stated that it would be possible under the Bill for an officer in the position of a captain and lieutenant-colonel to exchange with an officer commanding a regiment. That, however, was an error, because there was a Warrant which distinctly said that an exchange could be effected only when there was corresponding Army rank. He might, perhaps, be allowed to add a few words personal to himself. He was, he believed, the only Member of the Conservative Party who voted in favour of the Abolition of Purchase Clause proposed by the late Government, and if he thought the abolition of Purchase would be interfered with by the present Bill, he should not hesitate to make the greatest sacrifice which a young politician could make, rather than take a course which would have that effect. It was, however, because he was satisfied there was no such danger, and because he wished to see a remedy provided for a grievance which the Commissioners regarded as a genuine grievance, that he was in favour of a proposal which would, he had no doubt, recommend itself to the country. He preferred, to use a common expression, an ounce of practice to a pound of theory, and, seeing there was a substantial cause of complaint, he desired to see it removed. By taking such a course, the House would be doing not only what was right in itself, but would be giving the officers of the Army the assurance that they might look to it with confidence for redress; and, entertaining those views, he gave the Bill his cordial support.


The hon. Financial Secretary to the War Office has told us, and the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State said the same thing—that he did not believe for a moment that this Bill would have the effect of bringing back Purchase in the Army. If it were a matter of the veracity and honour of those two hon. Gentlemen no assurance could be more satisfactory, and nothing more would be required. But weighed in the balance of probability, reason, and expediency, I must say, without any disrespect to those hon. Gentlemen, that I decline to accept their convictions in the place of the reasons and arguments which they failed to produce. The hon. Financial Secretary held out to us an inducement to pass the Bill, in the shape of an Order or Warrant which is to be issued; but the House must not look to the good intentions of the Government, but look at the measure itself as a piece of legislation. Warrants, we know, are things easily framed, recalled, and modified, and when modified, they will be sure to be modified in a manner to gratify the popular feeling for the time being prevalent in the Army. The question then comes back to this—what is the real nature of the proposal before us; and is it, or is it not, likely to promote the welfare of the Army and the good government of this country? The question before us has boon, I think, a little lost sight of. The matter is very simple. In 1809, in the very crisis of a bloody and desperate war, and at, probably, the darkest hour of that crisis, the Parliament of that time had the magnanimity to enact that any pecuniary dealings in reference to the purchase of commissions in the Army, should render the parties liable to be cashiered, and the brokers concerned in it to be punished for misdemeanour, and that, too, at a moment when, if ever, it was most necessary to offer every inducement to officers to enter the Army. But there was a clause introduced qualifying that enactment, to the effect that if the parties agreeing for an exchange did agree under such regulations as might be made by His Majesty, as to the sum to be paid, then they should be out of the operation of the Act. Now, the present Bill does not authorize exchanges for that is done already; it does not require the consent of a superior authority to the exchange, for that, too, is done already; it does not authorize the payment of such necessary expenses as may be required, in order to enable a poor officer to take advantage of his right to exchange, for that, also, is already done; but the whole object of the measure is simply to repeal so much of the Act of 1809 as renders it necessary that the payment made shall be in accordance with the Regulations made by Her Majesty. The effect of the Bill, in short, will be neither more nor less than to give an unlimited licence of paying and receiving whatever amount the parties to the transaction may choose. Is the House to repeal the Act passed in the middle of the French War, and thus enable officers to give and receive larger sums than ever were contemplated by the Legislature of that day they should pay and receive? That is the question before the House, and all the arguments, therefore, which have been urged in the course of the discussion, as to exchanges being good things in themselves are altogether beside the subject. Yet almost every speaker on the opposite side of the House has addressed himself to the single point—the point that exchanges cannot take place as often as is desirable, unless the power to pay and receive large sums is given. Hon. Gentlemen who are in favour of the Bill content themselves merely with showing that which nobody seeks to deny—the advantages of exchanges in a large Army, such as that which this country possesses. They assign no good reason why a policy which has prevailed among us since the time of Edward VI. should be overthrown, or an Act which was due to a noble public spirit should be repealed, in order to legalize unlimited payments between officers, the fact being entirely ignored that the exigencies of mankind drive them to make exchanges with each other without any such payments. If one man wants to stay at home and another desires to go to India, what necessity, I should like to know, is there to break down those barriers which now exist, in order to enable the one to pay, and the other to receive, a large sum of money? The arguments, then, which have been urged on the other side so far, in my opinion, from making out a case in favour of the Bill, go in a contrary direction. Being unable to find any arguments in support of conferring the unlimited power which it is sought to give in the discussion itself, I am obliged to look back to the source in which the Bill has its origin—the extrajudicial deliverance of the Commission, which made a proposal on a matter which, I contend, had never been referred to it, and which concerned the discipline of the Army, with which I think it would have been better not to have interfered. The Commissioners advance several arguments, one of which is a mere assertion. They say, in answer to apprehensions of a return to Purchase, "We don't think so." They argue, as was done in the case of Bellarmine—Bellarmine says this. Bellarmine is a liar. So now that we have confuted Bellarmine, we will proceed. Nothing short of demonstration is so clear, as that what we are asked to do will ultimately set aside that which we had made so many sacrifices to attain—namely, the abolition of purchase. In the first place, they spoke of exchange and of the distinction between exchange and purchase, and they thought when they called the two things by different names, they had established a difference between them. But what is exchange? Exchange is the giving of one thing for another, neither of those things being money. Sale is the giving of money for some other article. Well, then, I ask, if I give a commission and money in exchange for a commission, why should we call that exchange more than sale? Money passes and a commodity passes. We choose to ignore the money and to call the transaction exchange; but it is as open to me to call it sale, as to you to call it exchange. But when we come closer and look at the substance of the thing, we cannot doubt that whatever the evils are that are inherent in sale, they are just as much inherent in a transaction in which I give a commission and money, as if I gave the whole in money. What are the evils of sale? They are the haggling, the bargaining, the brokerage, as the Act somewhat cynically calls it—the watching the turn of the markets, the touters who try to find out who wants to sell and who to buy. These things degrade a noble profession down to the level of the lowest practices of the Stock Exchange. It is sought to deny that the element of sale enters into exchanges; but I contend that for all practical, for all moral purposes, they may just as well be called sales as exchanges. The House is, in fact, virtually asked to legalize sales. It is assumed that the sale of a commission for a consideration wholly consisting of money is conduct so disgraceful that no penalty can be too severe for it; but in respect of contracts which consist partly of sale and partly of something else, Parliament is called upon to repeal the wise policy on which it has acted, and to say that that will be a proper and a legal transaction. This is what we are asked to tell the Army—" Here are two things; if one is guilty, both are; if one is innocent, both are; but we desire you to consider the one to be innocent and the other to be guilty." Can we believe the officers of the Army to be so simple as to follow the artificial line thus put before them, or to accept the monstrous proposition—that of two transactions absolutely identical in moral value, they should regard the one as innocent and the other as guilty, merely because Parliament says that it is so? It is manifest in respect of the two systems—the system of the sale of commissions veiled and coloured, and carried on under the form of exchanges, and the system of sale of commissions unveiled and open—that the prohibition of the one and the permission of the other cannot permanently go on together. The one must kill the other. Either the nobler element will prevail and put down the viler; or, what I fear as more probable, the viler will prevail, and be the means of breaking down the nobler, and setting up in its place the exploded doctrine of Purchase. It is said—"Oh, but we will maintain our law of prohibition." Well, my humble experience shows me what is the value of a law of prohibition, when the interests and passions of mankind run counter to it. The most solemn obligations, the most binding oaths that could be administered to human creatures have been disobeyed, universally I might say, and that by men who probably on all other subjects are miracles and paragons of honour, chivalry, and virtue. With that lesson before us, we must remember that what we really have to trust is not so much laws and institutions as to the spirit we may infuse by them. If we break down the dislike for these transactions which we are trying to create and infuse into the Army, we shall, with it, really break down the only safeguard on which we can rely to prevent the return of those evils of which we hoped we had got rid. Therefore I look forward, notwithstanding the authoritative declaration of the Commissioners—"that they don't think so"—if this policy be carried out, with very great confidence to this—that it will break down the whole system we have been building up, and we shall, by having Purchase legalized in one case, have it legalized generally by a tacit understanding. Everything will then return to its own old state. That puts me in mind of the interview between the First Consul, Napoleon, and the celebrated traveller, Monsieur Volney. Napoleon said—"Well, you see, Monsieur Volney, everything returns to its old state." "Yes, First Consul," said M. Volney, "everything except the 3,000,000 Frenchmen who have died in order that these things might not return." So I say it will be in this case, if the Bill is forced, as it may be, through this House. Everything will return to its old state, except the £7,000,000, which in that case we have thrown away upon the abolition of Purchase. But the Commissioners argue that what is proposed ought to be done, because the Army wishes it. Well, I quite admit it is undesirable that we should disregard the wishes of the Army in this or any matter; but, at the same time, I entirely decline to say that we have arrived at a point when we should take the wishes of the Army as a guide in questions of right and wrong. The Army—and I say it with all respect—is like fire—a good servant, but a bad master. No doubt, the public opinion of the Prætorian Guards was entirely in favour of the selling of the Roman Empire, but I question very much whether posterity will ratify that verdict, and agreeable as it was to themselves in the first instance, it did not turn out entirely to their advantage, as they discovered when Severus decimated them. So, in the present instance, I apprehend we have better means of knowing and judging what is for the advantage of the public than the Army, and if we believe they take a mistaken view of what is for their good, it is our business and bounden duty to disregard any unpopularity, any clamour that may arise, and do fearlessly what we think is right. Then there is the other ground that has been urged, and that is with regard to India. It is said to be extremely convenient that exchanges should be made to India. That is perfectly true, and therefore provision has been made for exchanges. But that only illustrates this, that there are already such enormous conveniences prompting and pushing men towards these exchanges that there is no necessity for the additional stimulus of pecuniary inducements. In the letter that was read, a poor man in this country without a shilling is spoken of who has an excellent constitution and a desire to go to India, and on the other hand, we have a man in failing health in India, with a sickly wife and family, anxious to return. Does the House think that an exchange could not be managed between those men without the intervention of a pecuniary consideration? Where things will move naturally there is no need to accelerate their motion. It is only where they will not move that such a step is at all justifiable. Then there is the last and most striking assertion of all, of which I will speak lightly, for the admirable speech of my hon. Friend the Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) has really covered the whole ground—namely, that the proposal is for the good of the service. But will it prove to be so? I must be permitted to say that it does appear to me that hardly anything can corrupt our soldiers and officers. The material out of which they are made is so good that they are proof against trials and temptations which would be the ruin of any other set of men in the world. If I wanted to devise a scheme utterly demoralizing to the Army, disgracing officers in the sight of their men, and making the men turbulent, discontented, and disobedient, I could not imagine any scheme better than that which is exhibited when a regiment goes to India. What I understand takes place is this. The thing is generally foreseen by gentlemen of good connections with friends in high circles; they have generally long intimation before the event takes place; they take their measures accordingly, and they gradually deliver themselves from the prospect of going to a horrid foreign climate. As Nym and Bardolph said of the bridge in Henry V., "The humour of it is too hot"—and they do not choose to go to India. Then there are gentlemen of a lower grade of society who cannot be so well informed; they have not time to take these preliminary steps, and, of course, they go to India. But having money in their pockets it is wonderful with what facility they return to England. Thus the spectacle is presented to the soldiers in India of officers by whom they have been drilled, and to whom they have become attached, just because of the change of climate leaving them in the lurch, some of them deliberately beforehand and others almost as soon as they have got to their destination, one by one, at a time most trying to the soldier, when he has got to undergo all the things to him most new and strange—heat, insects, and ennui. The soldier is, in fact, deserted by all who should support him and handed over to strangers of whom he knows nothing. Is that the way in which we are to promote the good of the service? Is that the way in which you are to bind your officers and men together? And if, by reason of the extraordinary goodness of the material, it does not have all the evil effects which it may have, can we shut our eyes to the necessary consequences of such things? And that leads me to one other consideration which is in my eyes higher than all, and of which I can speak more freely, as it is not purely technical, and that is this. Mischievous as is this system—great as is the waste of money—great as is the injury it is calculated to produce on the service—I look upon all these things as being slight in comparison with the mischief of the principle you are about to establish. I would not struggle so strongly against it as I do, were I not satisfied of the evil it will work. Government in their didactic capacity are poor, very poor, teachers. How often is the Proclamation against Vice and Immorality read, but did it ever prevent a person from stealing a sixpence, or is any one the better for it in any way. When the Government go forth to tell people what they should do, they are like Wisdom "lifting up her voice in the streets "—no man regards them. But, on the other hand, lot the Government, with all the power it wields, and the influence it can command, uphold any unsound or mischievous principle, and mark what then becomes of it. There is nothing unsound or mischievous which a Government cannot plant among its people and root strongly, provided it sets itself deliberately to do so. In the reign of Edward VI., people did not know how to read and write, they were not so enlightened as they are now. People were burnt at the stake; they used torture freely; persons were hung, drawn, and quartered for very slight offences; slavery was in existence; they did not know whether the earth went round the sun or the sun round the earth. But they knew and recognized one thing, and that was, that the sale of a public office was a gross outrage against public morality. They knew one thing, which many of us have forgotten, and that was, that a public office ought to be held for behoof of the public; that it was not a property, but a trust and a duty; that it was not an object by which a man was to make money; that it was not, in fact, a thing to be bought and sold; but was a much higher and holier thing, a thing not to be held for the sake of the man in office, but for the good of those for whom the office was held. These simple, half-barbarous men understood nothing but this—that if a office was a property, then sell it; but if it was a duty, then do it. And so it will be found, that in the reign of Edward VI., while they permitted the sale of a freehold office, because it was a property, they distinguished it altogether from an office of trust or an office of a judicial character. That statute does not touch the present question, because a standing Army, as we have it now, did not then exist; but nobody can doubt that it would have touched it, if such an Army had existed. That statute has remained unrepealed from that time to the present; and so good is it thought that, as I have said, in the year 1809, when we were in the agony of our war with Napoleon, so far from breaking down the rule in order to attract rich men into the service, Parliament took the opportunity of extending that rule, which we are now asked to take away. That has been our conduct up to this time; and now, in the fulness of our wealth and prosperity, when there is no difficulty of getting any number of officers, we are asked, at this time of day, under the cynical name of "brokerage" to repeal these Acts. Why, Sir, I abhor the name of brokerage. As far as I know it has been a term of the vilest abuse, and I should have thought it would have been the very last name adopted in any Act of Parliament for a practice which Parliament considers should be respected. I remember Junius said of the Duke of Grafton, when he wished to lower his character, that, "he had degraded his position down to being a broker of commissions." Now, Sir, that is the very object of this Bill. We are to do away with the Acts which prevent the brokerage of exchange. Honest Troilus in Shakespeare, shall speak for me in his own plain language— Hence, broker, lackey! ignomy and shame, Pursue thy life, and live aye with thy name. And that is the actual term that the House will be expected to use in an Act which it may, and. very likely will, adopt. But does the House think that they can do that without doing enormous mischief? What I urge upon the House with regard to the impossibility of working, side by side, a system of absolute purity in regard to the sale of commissions, and absolute venality in the matter of exchanges, may be urged with even greater force when we speak of the rest of the community. What is the feeling of mankind, what would be the feeling of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War himself, or of the First Lord of the Admiralty? Suppose there are two clerks in either of their offices who come to what is called a question of pecuniary inducement for exchange. Suppose that one is to give the other—say, £100—to exchange places, and suppose—I do not put it offensively—the right hon. gentleman consents to that proposal, and it comes to the knowledge of the House. What would the House say to it, or what would become of the right hon. Gentleman? How long would he be at the head of the War Office or Admiralty, or how long would the clerks be allowed to remain in their offices? Suppose two Judges—one Judge A in the Court of Common Pleas, and Judge B in the Queen's Bench, who is overworked. Suppose Judge B giving Judge A £2,000 for an exchange of offices, and the Lord Chancellor giving his consent to the transaction—how long would they remain Judges, or how long would he be Lord Chancellor after it came to the knowledge of the House? I would ask in all seriousness, whether we should not resent it as the greatest insult that could be offered to us, if it could be supposed for a moment that we could enter upon such a transaction ourselves, or sanction them in any of those over whom we have jurisdiction? I want to know what the Army has done that they should be placed on a lower moral level than anyone else? I have heard that "What in the captain is a choleric word, is in the soldier flat blasphemy;" but I never heard before that what would be in the right hon. Gentleman or any other Minister a gross piece of corruption, which would cover him with ignominy, is to be tolerated in another Department. If that public office is venial, why let us make a good thing of it and put up all the offices of the State for sale by auction. We may in that way save all the salaries, because the employés would pay themselves by robbing the public. If, however, we are not prepared to adopt that principle, and if we adhere to the idea of Edward VI.'s time—that it was not right that offices should be sold as property, and that they are held for the good of the State, let us not throw on our noble Army the disgrace of being subject to the infamy of practices which we would not allow to be done by ourselves in other Departments. I have now done. I have endeavoured as far as I can to raise this question out of mere military technicality to one of morality and public spirit. It is no doubt a ridiculous thing that, in this age, any one should think of anything being unfit to be bought or sold. It may be thought romantic and unbusinesslike that any such doctrine should be broached but I hold it nevertheless; and I venture to believe, and I assert it, notwithstanding all the ridicule that it may bring down upon me, that there are, at least, three things which ought not to be bought or sold: one is the virtue of a woman, another is the integrity of a statesman, and the third is the honour of a soldier.


said, that after the animated oration they had just heard, the remarks he had to offer would, he feared, appear to be very tame and flat, because he should have to represent the "vile," while the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London (Mr. Lowe) claimed to represent the "noble" element in this question. He must ask the House, in other words, to come down from the clouds to a little near the earth, and, to allow him to ask whether the Bill was the atrocious measure referred to in the glowing periods of the right hon. Gentleman. He did not like to throw himself like an armed advocate into the contest—not that he was not in favour of the present Bill—but because he had taken up a very responsible position as one of the Commissioners to inquire into this matter, and the feeling he had when he sat with Lord Justice James and Lord Penzance was altogether one of judicial responsibility. That feeling still pervaded his mind, and he might therefore seem perhaps to speak with some coldness on the matter. The hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) had sought to disparage the authority of the Army Commission by referring to a previous Commission which had sat on this subject. The hon. Member read a sentence from the Report of the Over-Regulation Price Commission, and he asked the House whether it could trust the opinions of Gentlemen who had given utterance to such sentiments?


said, he had cast no reflections upon the Commission of Sir George Grey. He agreed, on the contrary, with every single word of the passage he had read; but he contended that it was incompatible with the Report of the Commission of 1874, on which the present Bill was based.


was glad to accept the correction. He (Mr. Hunt) had understood the hon. Gentleman to point to that sentence as incapacitating those who were parties to it, and he was very glad to find that the hon. Gentleman did not entertain that view. All he could say was, that the Report of that Commission was framed by Sir George Grey, whose name could never be mentioned in that House without respect, and it was signed by all the Commissioners. With regard to the Commission on Officers' Grievances, he (Mr. Hunt) was told by Lord Cardwell, when he asked him to become a Member of it, that it was in the nature of a judicial Commission, and it was in a judicial spirit, that in concert with his Colleagues he entered upon his labours. What was it their duty to do? To be guided by the evidence, and it was on the evidence contained in the book in which was to be found the Report, that he rested the case for this Bill. They had been told that they only hoard evidence upon one side, and that if the witnesses had been cross-examined, a very different state of things would have been made out. Well, though no person was present to cross-examine the witnesses in a hostile sense, he thought he might say the witnesses were cross-examined very severely by the Commissioners themselves. It was said that the Commissioners assented to everything that was brought forward by ex parte witnesses. Those who made that charge he thought had not very well studied the evidence together with the Report. What was the fact? That the Commissioners rejected a great many of the claims that were brought forward by officers. The claims of a large class of officers were set aside by the Commissioners, the class of officers in whose favour it was said this Bill was introduced—namely, the more wealthy class of officers, because they repudiated the claims of the Foot Guards and of the Household Troops, and said they had no case on which they could stand. And yet the House was told the Commissioners only had ex parte evidence before them, and, therefore, their judgment was not to be regarded as worth anything. He regretted, exceedingly, that one of his Colleagues on the Commission was not at present addressing the House. He regretted that the Commission had not an abler representative than himself. The House had been told by the hon. Member for the Border Burghs, and by the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, that this was an extra-judicial decision of the Commissioners with regard to the introduction of exchanges. He (Mr. Hunt) maintained it was not, and he might, therefore, inform the House how the Commissioners dealt with the matter. They had to consider the grievances which the officers alleged in their memorial, and whether any compensation, and what compensation, was due to them. Well, the Commissioners were convinced, at an early stage of the inquiry, that the officers had made out a case of grievance by reason of the abolition of the old power of exchange, and that it was their duty, of course, to consider whether any compensation should be awarded on account of that. Then, in looking at this question, they said—" But is this question of exchanges necessarily involved in the abolition of Purchase? Does the principle which governs the Warrant abolishing Purchase really affect the question of exchanges? "And he believed they could hardly deal with the whole subject without considering that particular question. He could say this for himself, that he had no yearning for a restoration of Purchase. He never thought that Purchase in the Army could be advantageous in principle. He certainly thought at the time—and he thought now—that the abolition of Purchase would entail an immense burden on the country. He never thought that abolition should be achieved at the expense of the officers instead of at the expense of the country; and he believed that when the ultimate result of the abolition of Purchase was known, the predictions of those who took that line of argument would be fully maintained. Apart from that, he said, he had no affection at all for the system of Purchase. He was quite sure his Colleagues on the Commission entertained the same views as himself on that subject. As he said just now, the Commissioners had to look at the evidence, and he denied that it was exclusively ex parte evidence. Though there was no one to represent the Government before the Commission, the Commissioners called all the most experienced persons in the administration of the Army before them. They had before them the Commander-in-Chief, the Adjutant General, and the Military Secretary. He would not trouble the House with reading their evidence, because it had been quoted from very largely. They agreed that the old system of exchange was beneficial to the service as well as beneficial to individuals. Well, the House had been told to-night that this was a measure in favour of the rich man and against the poor man, and descriptions had been given of the hardships the poor man would endure if this measure were allowed to pass. That was not at all the impression he had derived from the evidence that was given before the Commission, not only with regard to the question of exchanges, but with regard to the question of the abolition of Purchase. It had been proved, he thought, abundantly, that those who were likely to suffer most were the poor officers of the Army in the case of the abolition of Purchase. It was proved with regard to exchange that the poor officer would suffer equally with the rich as long as the Regulations of the Warrant were adhered to. He thought there were one or two passages that bore on this question in the evidence that had not been referred to by hon. Gentlemen. At all events, while he had been in the House he had not heard them quoted, and he hoped the House would allow him to read them. An officer in the 78th Highlanders, in answering Question 994, said— The practical prohibition of the payment of money for exchanges has also acted injuriously on officers and on the service in general. Men, rich and poor alike, were benefited by the system, as while the former were able to seek the climates best suited to their health, the latter profited largely in pocket. I myself, having had a severe fever in India, after the Mutiny campaign, was able to exchange to my present regiment by the payment of £650, and yet I have remained in the service, and I hardly know an instance where an officer has exchanged and has not continued soldiering for a reasonable time. It was only the other day that one of our very best subalterns sold out simply because he could not exchange. If he had been allowed to go to India, he could have lived upon the Indian pay; but he has now gone into a foreign service. He is a very great Joss to the regiment. Well, the House was told that there was no one to cross-examine in favour of Lord Cardwell's Warrant. This question was put to two witnesses—"What possible advantage could accrue to the State by allowing exchanges?" The answer of a Major of Carbineers was— There is a possibility of the State reaping advantage by allowing exchanges in this way. They retain the service of an efficient officer if his health is restored by exchanging to England. By the prohibition of exchanges there is a possible advantage to the State in a pecuniary point of view, by the officer remaining and dying in an unhealthy climate, whereby the State would become benefited by the money which he had paid for his steps. His right hon. Friend, in his opening speech, alluded to the evidence of Mr. O'Dowd, one of the Purchase Commissioners. He was sure that gentleman could by no means be regarded as an ex parte witness in favour of the views of the officers, and he stated his opinion most unhesitatingly on the subject; the question was put to Mr. O'Dowd— Supposing that the power of exchange was restored, do you think that it would be liable to be abused under the present non-purchase system?—So far as the public are concerned, no; and so far as individuals are concerned, I would say no, with sharpness on the part of the authorities. You mean with ordinary vigilance on the part of the authorities?—Yes. That was the evidence of a person who he (Mr. Hunt) thought could not be regarded as prejudiced in favour of the views taken by himself and his right hon. Friend on this occasion. He regarded Mr. O'Dowd as a most impartial witness; he was a man entirely acquainted with the subject, he being one of the Commissioners to carry out the arrangements consequent upon the Army Warrant of Lord Cardwell. The hon. Member for the Border Burghs had drawn a picture of what the state of things would be if this Bill passed. He supposed a wealthy officer would by finding money for exchanges get men in his regiment to make way for him, and that thereby he would obtain promotion. Well, the argument would be perfectly legitimate if it was a Bill to allow unlimited exchange, without any regulations. The War Office, however, would cause an inquiry and put a stop to any abuse of the practice. Then the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Longford (Mr. O'Reilly) drew a picture of the state of things after the Bill passed, and compared what prospects a wealthy man would have as compared with the prospects of a poor man with regard to his chance of promotion and his chance of being required to go to an unhealthy climate. But he (Mr. Hunt) wanted to know whether that state of things ever occurred before the Warrant of Lord Cardwell was enacted? The suffering of which the hon. and gallant Gentleman drew a picture was to a very great extent the product of his imagination. Then he (Mr. Hunt) had been asked what would be the state of things if the captain of one ship were able to exchange with the captain of another ship. All he could say was, that the case of a ship and the case of a regiment stood on a wholly different footing. A ship was commissioned for three or four years, and a regiment was going on continuously. Upon a ship the officers could not have their families with them, whilst the families were often with officers in the Army. If he was appointing two officers to ships in different parts of the world, and he found that the climate of one was more suitable for the other, he would be willing to consult their convenience. [Mr. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN: For money.] He did not say for money. He had pointed out the difference between a captain of a ship and an officer of a regiment; and, in regard to the latter, there were many circumstances to be considered that did not exist in the case of the former, and therefore the interposition of the hon. Gentleman did not affect his argument. With regard to the health of officers, it was the commonest thing in the world for an officer to represent to the Admiralty that service in a particular climate would be detrimental to his health, and he always felt they were bound to consider the health of their officers. He had been challenged on that point, and therefore he had thought it his duty to notice it. Looking to the whole question—having regard to the evidence laid before the Commission, and after hearing all the arguments which had been advanced in the debate—he adhered to the opinion expressed by the Commission, that these exchanges would be for the benefit of poor and rich officers, "and would probably be beneficial, and certainly not detrimental, to the service." He had heard nothing that evening to shake his opinion as to the soundness of the views expressed by the Commission, and he hoped the House would maintain those views by passing the measure introduced by his right hon. Friend.


said, he regretted extremely that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War had thought it necessary to bring in this Bill. Speaking on the part of the War Department under the late Administration, he was glad to acknowledge that, judging from the Estimates laid upon the Table, and from the usual sources of information, they had no reason in the main to complain of the manner in which the right hon. Gentleman had carried on the policy of his Predecessor. The right hon. Gentleman had, he believed, impartially inquired into the many disputed and vexed questions involved in the recent changes with regard to the re-organization of the Army, and had satisfied himself of the wisdom of giving the policy of the late Government at least a fair and adequate trial. It was, therefore, in no carping or jealous spirit that he (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) had considered the Bill now before the House, and if it were nothing more than a reversal of something the late Government had done, he, for one, should not have been there to oppose it. The Act of 1871 and the abolition of Purchase generally touched such a variety of interests that it was difficult to foresee with precision how all those interests would be affected; and if it could be proved that any portion of the scheme worked injuriously to the Army, and if some remedy had been proposed which left the main principle of that measure unimpaired, and which would be followed by no evil results, he should have been only too happy to support the right hon. Gentleman. But, having considered the Bill, he came to the conclusion that it was entirely uncalled for, that it would work evil in the Army, and what was of greater importance still, that it would introduce for the first time, a most injurious and mischievous principle into the public service of the country. The reason he said the Bill had been uncalled for, was this—there had been a great mistake underlying the whole of the present debate, because it had been treated as if this was a Bill to introduce exchanges, whereas they did not require to be introduced, as they already existed. But the real question was, whether exchanges should take place for money payments. At present, if an officer was desirous of exchanging, he applied to the Military Secretary through his commanding officer, and if there was no disciplinary objection to the exchange, leave was given for it, the officer making a declaration on his honour that no money had passed either directly or indirectly, beyond the necessary expenses, a schedule of which had been delivered at the time of application, and the only thing which the Bill did was to do away with this declaration, and introduce the practice of one officer paying money to another officer. That he considered to be a vicious principle. It was, in effect, a Bill to introduce this system—to invest the occupants of certain offices under the Crown with the right, under the express sanction of Parliament, to traffic in those offices, and deliberately to invite them, on the one hand to avoid, on payment of money, the discharge of unpleasant duty which it had come to their turn to discharge, or, on the other hand, to make gain by undertaking something which the public service did not require them to undertake. He did not know which of these objects was the more objectionable. But not one tittle of evidence had been shown that the introduction of such a principle was necessary. The exchanges which existed were quite adequate for the public service. In a Return in the Appendix to the Report of the Royal Commission, there was shown the number of exchanges in the Army between 1861 and 1870, and in 1872 and 1873. He found that the number of exchanges which took place to and from regiments of the Line in the 10 years from 1861 to 1870 were 904, or an average of 90 each year, and a large proportion of those exchanges were intimately connected with the Purchase system—officers exchanging from one regiment to another in order to buy promotion cheaper or to obtain higher over-regulation prices. He believed it was a small computation to conclude that half of those exchanges were directly due to that cause, so that we were left with a residue of 45 exchanges per annum due to those reasonable causes connected with climate and personal convenience before the abolition of Purchase. It must be observed also that about the time of the abolition of Purchase something occurred which had greatly affected the question, because the troops which were before scattered all over the globe were concentrated in this country, and therefore the legitimate reason for exchanges on the ground of climate and personal convenience was greatly reduced, and yet, in the two years 1872 and 1873, he found that in the Infantry alone 99 exchanges had taken place, or 50 in each year, so that the number since was equal to the number that occurred before. Therefore, he called upon the Government to state some better ground than they had yet stated for the necessity of introducing this measure in the interest of the public service. But so far as the Royal Commissioners were concerned, they did not put it on that ground. They said that the prohibition of paying and receiving money for exchanges was "a serious hardship to some officers and a serious loss to others." It was quite true" that they afterwards said the exchange itself was "an unmixed benefit to both, and certainly not detrimental to the service." He quite agreed with them. The late Government did not object to exchanges, and they had never done so, nor was it on these benches that were to be found the rigid devotees of the regimental system, and of strictly continuous service in one regiment throughout an officer's career:—what they did object to was, exchanging for money. That the Commissioners should have to come to the conclusion they did was not altogether surprising, if they acted entirely upon the evidence given before them. It was an inquiry into pecuniary grievances, and therefore it was quite natural that the witnesses should dwell upon the pecuniary aspect of the question. He would read some few extracts from the evidence of officers, but he must not be understood as blaming the officers themselves, for they had grown up under the system, and this was one of the incidents of that system for which they were not to blame. One officer complained that "no pecuniary advantage was now derived from exchanging; "another that he" was unable to obtain the money he would otherwise have obtained; "and another that an immense loss had been incurred by officers by the prohibition of money exchanges—that there used to be a "market price" of exchanges, and that "poor men were obliged to watch the market." He estimated his own power of exchanging as lieutenant-colonel at £800 to £1,000; and he contemplated a case in which an officer might effect an exchange in each rank up to lieutenant-colonel, receiving as lieutenant £300, as captain £500, as major £600, and as lieutenant-colonel £800, or £2,200 in all. He stated further that he himself received as captain £100 and his passage, "but then," he added, "I got Indian pay and immediately saved a lot of money." That was very much what would be the pecuniary effect of the existing rule. Then there was an instance of an officer in a Cavalry regiment who entered the service as a poor man. He got money for exchanging to India equal to the amount he paid for his commission as lieutenant. He complained that a vacancy as major occurred in his regiment which he could have purchased if he could have exchanged to India—he could have raised £2,500 by an exchange to India: and on being asked how he would have done it, he said, "I should have gone to Cox and Co., and said—Find me an exchange to India." Now, that evidence clearly pointed to the close relation between money exchanges and the purchase system. Indeed, the right hon. and gallant Member for Shropshire (Sir Percy Herbert), the cause of whose absence from that House they all deplored, and who acted as procureur général for the Purchase officers before the Royal Commission, expressly put the matter on this ground. He said— It was open to an officer previously to that regulation being passed, and previously to the passing of the Warrant, to receive a considerable sum for an exchange, and thereby if he was a poor man to obtain the means either of purchasing his promotion at a future time or of repaying money which he had borrowed in order to purchase his promotion. From all this, he (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) maintained that there was an intimate connection between exchanges for money and the Purchase system—that the former were, in fact, an appanage and outcome of the latter. In the evidence given before Sir George Grey's Commission, an officer stated that the £2,000 he got for exchanging was precisely the difference between the selling value of his commission in England and its selling value in India. Money passing for exchanges might be a very good thing as long as they compelled officers to buy promotion, because they thereby furnished them with the means of recouping the money they had spent; but now that commissions were not bought there was no necessity for re-introducing the system of exchanging for money. A good deal had been said about the convenience of the officers, and that the system helped to put money in the poorer officers' pockets. No doubt, the Army had to serve in unhealthy climates and in unpleasant places, and reasonable facilities should be given for an officer coming home, if another could be found to go out; but that should be done at the public expense. If necessary, let the pay of officers on those stations be increased, or some other mode of overcoming the difficulty be adopted; but let them not attempt to meet a public convenience by introducing a mischievous principle. As to the case quoted of the officer in the 78th Highlanders, had he gone to India instead of entering a foreign service, it would have been more advantageous to him, and he would have been placed, in a pecuniary point of view, in a better position. There was absolutely nothing to prevent his doing so, for there was no difficulty in exchanging to India without any money bonus. At present, if a rich or a poor man wished to go out to foreign service, there was nothing to prevent him from doing so. There was no difficulty in finding an exchange to India: there was always some one who was willing to come home. There sometimes might be a difficulty in finding an officer to go out to replace one in other stations such as China, but if the latter was a rich man, he had, at least, the means of mitigating the severities of the climate by surrounding himself with luxuries; while as to the poor officer, whom they were told the Bill would benefit, if he wanted to come home with a sick wife and family, the Bill would impose on him a very heavy burden, for in addition to anything he had to pay at present he would have to give a large bonus to his remplaÇant. The effect, in fact, would be, so far as the poorer officers were concerned, that the poor officer at home might by going abroad put money in his pocket in a way that was not desirable, while the poor officer serving abroad would be absolutely shut out from all hope of exchanging to this country. The right hon. Gentleman had said that money passed at present, and it was true, but under this Bill there would be all the difference in the world, not, perhaps, always in the sum which passed in the case of exchanges, but in the effect on the tone of mind of the officers, as compared with the present practice. The officers must regard the matter in a different light when the money they received was the actual expense incurred, and when a douceur went into the pocket of the one at the cost of the other. Then it was said that the system of exchange increased promotion, but this was not the case. If two captains exchanged and went to the bottom of the list in their new regiments, no doubt those below them gained each a step; but the exchanging officer's loss was precisely equal to the other's gain, and the sum of promotion remained the same. And he would like to know how, in a case where a pecuniary transaction between two officer benefited other officers, the right hon. Gentleman proposed to guard against those other officers sharing in the transaction. He did not say that all the evils of Purchase would come in with this system; but he much feared that the difference would merely be this, that whereas formerly the rich man paid money and went before his poorer senior, now the poor man would receive money, and go behind his richer junior. The question ought not, however, to be looked at simply as an Army question, but as one affecting the general public service. That was the first time in the history of this country that Parliament had been asked to legalize that principle. In 1809, no doubt, an Act was passed recognizing the regulation prices of commissions—the system then in existence; but if Parliament had done away with them, it would have had to compensate the officers for them, and surely 1809 was of all years the one in which that was least likely to have occurred? But to recognize an existing system under those circumstances was one thing, and deliberately to set it up when they had a tabula rasa was quite another. The evils attending the traffic in offices had been well known in past times; Parliament, in its wisdom, had raised barriers against them; and the present House was asked to pull these barriers down, and to renounce the principle which hitherto had governed the public service of England, Naval, Military, and Civil—the principle that men entered the service not that the poor man might make gain, nor that the rich man might indulge his fancy, but in order that rich and poor alike might do their duty.


I will not, on this occasion, enter into the discussion which has been raised by the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken with respect to other matters connected with the Army than that which is dealt with by the Bill, as there will be other opportunities for referring to them. I must, however, say one thing, and that is, that I agree most heartily with what has been stated by the hon. and gallant General opposite the Member for Kincardineshire (Sir George Balfour), who said that whatever might be the opinion of the House about Purchase, it is a hardship that the question was not settled at one time. The gallant General sees not only the difficulties which at present exist in connection with the subject, but those also which I am afraid threaten the House with more discussions in the future. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down asks how we are to prevent men from making exchanges with a view of getting promotion through them. Now, I should like to know how the Government of which he was a Member prevented an officer who wanted promotion from giving money for it? They did it by means of regulations of the strictest character and of a declaration; and I am not sure that that declaration, in which a man says he will pay nothing directly or indirectly for the purposes of promotion, would not cover the point which he has raised, and I cannot see the object of putting into the heads of officers that which they have on no previous occasion been known to do. But the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) went on to say that during the last two years, under the present system, exchanges have been as numerous as before. I, however, entirely dispute the accuracy of his figures. I hold in my hand a Return which shows that for the two year previous to the abolition of Purchase there were 159 regimental exchanges, and in the two following only 97. But even if the hon. Gentleman's figures were correct, they would only prove that there are as many exchanges under the present system as under the old, which is that which I wish to revive. I dispute the hon. Gentleman's facts; but if true, they furnish a complete answer to those who set up a very different theory—namely, that exchanges under the Bill would indefinitely increase, whereas, according to the hon. Gentleman, under the former illegal system, to be legally revived, they did not outnumber those under the present. Well, my right hon. Friend the Member for the University of London, in his very humorous and amusing speech, accuses us of dealing with our opponents as was done in the case of Bellarmine. He says—"You merely tell us such and such consequences will not follow the passing of this Bill, but we say they will." Surely we have as much right to make a contrary assertion, and he has given no better answer. "With respect to the patriotic Act of George III., on which my right hon. Friend dwelt with so much unction, I must inform him that that part of it which relates to exchanges was never put into operation from that day to this, and when he tells us that regulations may be altered and set aside, I would remind him that the whole groundwork on which the abolition of Purchase stands, consists of Warrants and Regulations. There is no Act of Parliament abolishing it. It has been abolished by Warrant, and could I but obtain the sanction for such a step of my Colleagues, which, however, I have not the slightest intention of asking, it might be revived to-morrow. But it is said that if we allow men to pay money for the purpose of making exchanges, we shall not be able to deal freely with them as officers of the Army. Now one of the main reasons for introducing this Bill is, that we may have authority over them absolutely and without control. The War Office, I contend, ought not to be driven to estimate these expenses in the manner in which they have to be estimated and to say how much should be paid in such an instance, according to the number of servants or children connected with any officer. But as regards the question of control, I think I may venture to appeal to an hon. and gallant Officer who now sits in this House to say that he himself made an exchange—I believe he was the payer of the money on the occasion—and that he was called upon at the time to go out to India without any regard to what he had done, and that he and the officer with whom he exchanged went out together in the same vessel; and that is the way in which the system ought to be worked. Every officer should be at our disposal no matter what arrangement he may have entered into with another. I may also observe that no claim for money paid in connection with exchanges has been made to the Army Purchase Commissioners, or to anyone else, although the poorer officers complained that for the future they were to be debarred from receiving the advantages which a system of exchanges conferred. In conclusion, I must express the hope that this Bill will receive fair consideration. I utterly deny that there is any ground for those imaginary consequences which some hon. Gentlemen predict as the result of its passing into law. Their predictions are entirely contradicted by that which happened with regard to exchanges under the old system. I do not believe the evils which they so much apprehend will arise under the new. I submit this measure to the House with the utmost confidence that with the exercise of proper care on the part of the military authorities, it cannot do any of the harm which it has been said it will effect.


said, a good deal had been said on this subject; but, in his opinion, a great deal more remained to be said. This Bill dealt with a most vital subject, and as there were points which had been as yet unreferred to, which he and others whose sentiments he spoke wished to urge, he should move the adjournment of the debate.


seconded the Motion.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned." (Sir Henry Havelock.)


I regret that the hon. and gallant Gentleman has made this Motion. The Bill has been amply, and I will add ably, discussed; the debate has been sustained to-night by both sides with considerable ability; indeed, I may say that the question has been completely debated. With reference to the observation of the hon. and gallant Gentleman that there are arguments to be brought forward which have not yet been introduced to us, I am, I must say, somewhat sceptical as to that; but there are other stages of the Bill at which the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends will have every opportunity of bringing forward those arguments. I cannot at all agree with the proposition of the hon. and gallant Gentleman. It is to me one most unusual, considering the manner in which this debate has been carried on on one side of the House and the other, and how equally the two sides of the House have divided the time allotted to us. Besides, there is the fact that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War has been permitted to rise in reply, and it is not according to the custom or the courtesy of Parliament to pursue a debate after the reply. This should not have been permitted if there was an intention to pursue the discussion. I shall, therefore, feel it my duty to resist the Motion.


supported the Motion for adjournment, and hoped his hon. and gallant Friend would press it.


I question, Sir, if the right hon. Gentleman had any recollection of the debate on the Army Purchase Bill, or he would hardly have said that the proposal to adjourn this debate after one night's discussion was an unusual one. I also think it would not have been yielding too much if the right hon. Gentleman had complied with the request which has been made, and the proposal now before the House. There are, to my knowledge, several hon. Members, several hon. and gallant Members, who desire to address the House, and I know also that there are right hon. Friends of mine who wish to speak on this subject. I think it would have been altogether more convenient that a full and complete discussion should have taken place before we proceeded to divide on the second reading, than that we should take the course suggested by the right hon. Gentleman of postponing discussion until a further stage of the Bill. As, however, he has met that proposal by a denial, and as it is distinctly understood that the decision, whatever it may be, which the House may come to this evening will not be the final decision, but that it will be open to hon. Members on this side of the House to oppose the further stages of this measure, I should recommend my hon. and gallant Friend not to take a division upon an issue which may be confusing to some hon. Members, but to take the vote on the second reading, postponing further discussion and reserving full liberty to oppose the Bill at further stages. Sir, before I sit down I will further say that, intending as I do to oppose the second reading of this Bill, I cannot feel any regret that the discussion should terminate at the stage and in the manner in which it has terminated this evening. I cannot say that I am at all dissatisfied with the course the debate has taken, because I think—although it will not be in order for me to discuss the subject upon a question of adjournment—I think I may say that we have not heard from the Government yet, during the whole of this evening, what are the real reasons which have induced them to introduce this measure, neither have we heard from them any answer at all, nothing which professes to be an answer to the grave objections raised against the measure by hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House. The arguments of the Government have been rather palliations of the measure than attempts to defend it. My hon. Friend the Member for the Border Burghs, the hon. and gallant Member for Longford, and the right hon. Member for the University of London, have argued against the Bill upon higher grounds than any which have been urged by right hon. Gentlemen opposite. They have shown grave reasons, in my opinion, against the paying for exchanges at all; while, at best, the system will allow of officers by pecuniary means regulating the terms of their service, they have shown that it may establish vested pecuniary interests on the part of officers which the authorities at the War Office and the Horse Guards may find it extremely difficult to deal with, and they have shown that it is probable, and more, they have shown that it is likely, to open the way to some of the worst evils which the abolition of Purchase swept away. Now, Sir, I cannot admit that the arguments which have been used by hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House have been met on those grounds by hon. Members opposite. Feeling as I do that the more the subject is discussed the stronger will be the feeling of the Ministry against the proposal, and with the hope that some impression may be made even upon the minds of hon. Gentlemen opposite on calm consideration of the arguments used in this debate, I am not by any means dissatisfied that the debate should close where it does. Therefore, if the hon. and gallant Member takes my advice, he will not proceed in his Motion for adjournment, but will take another opportunity of opposing this Bill.


said, that after what had fallen from the noble Lord the Leader of the Opposition, and knowing that opportunities hereafter would not be wanting for further discussion, he would not press his Motion, but would give Notice of his intention of proposing an Amendment on the Motion for going into Committee.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Main Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 282; Noes 185: Majority 97.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Thursday 4th March.

Adderley, rt. hn. Sir C. Charley, W. T.
Agnew, R. V. Christie, W. L.
Allsopp, S. C. Churchill, Lord R.
Anstruther, Sir W. Clifton, T. H.
Arkwright, A. P. Clive, Col. hon. G. W.
Arkwright, F. Close, M. C.
Arkwright, R. Clowes, S. W.
Ashbury, J. L. Cobbett, J. M.
Assheton, R. Cobbold, J. P.
Astley, Sir J. D. Cochrane, A. D. W. R. B.
Baggallay, Sir R. Coope, O. E.
Bagge, Sir W. Corbett, Colonel
Bailey, Sir J. R. Cordes, T.
Balfour, A. J. Corry, J. P.
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Bruce, hon. T. Egerton, hon. W.
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Cawley, C. E. Floyer, J.
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Chaplin, Colonel E. Forester, C. T. W.
Chaplin, H. Forsyth, W.
Chapman, J. Fraser, Sir W. A.
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Galway, Viscount Lowther, hon. W.
Gardner, J. T. Agg- Lowther, J.
Gardner, R. Richardson- Macartney, J. W. E.
MacIver, D.
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Goddard, A. L. Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Goldney, G. March, Earl of
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Gordon, rt. hon. E. S. Mellor, T. W.
Gordon, W. Merewether, C. G.
Gore, J. R. O. Mills, A.
Gorst, J. E. Mills, Sir C. H.
Grantham, W. Monckton, F.
Greenall, G. Monckton, hon. G.
Greene, E. Montgomerie, R.
Gregory, G. B. Montgomery, Sir G. G.
Guinness, Sir A. Morgan, hon. F.
Gurney, rt. hon. R. Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.
Halsey, T. F. Mulholland, J.
Hamilton, Lord C. J. Muncaster, Lord
Hamilton, Lord G. Naghten, A. R.
Hamond, C. F. Nevill, C. W.
Hardcastle, E. Neville-Grenville, R.
Hardy, rt. hon. G. Newdegate, C. N.
Hardy, J. S. Newport, Viscount
Harvey, Sir R. B. Noel, rt, hon. G. J.
Heath, R. North, Colonel
Hermon, E. Northcote, rt. hon. Sir S. H.
Hervey, Lord A. H.
Hervey, Lord F. O'Clery, K.
Heygate, W. U. O'Gorman, P.
Hick, J. O'Neill, hon. E.
Hill, A. S. Onslow, D.
Hogg, Sir J. M. Paget, R. H.
Holford, J. P. G. Parker, Lt.-Col. W.
Holker, Sir J. Peek, Sir H. W.
Holland, Sir H. T. Pell, A.
Holmesdale, Viscount Pelly, Sir H. C.
Holt, J. M. Pemberton, E. L.
Home, Captain Peploe, Major
Hood, Captain hon. A. W. A. N. Percy, Earl
Phipps, P.
Hope, A. J. B. B. Plunket, hon. D. R.
Hunt, rt. hon. G. W. Plunkett, hon. R.
Isaac, S. Polhill-Turner, Capt.
Jervis, Colonel Powell, W.
Johnson, J. G. Price, Captain
Johnston, W. Puleston, J. H.
Johnstone, H. Raikes, H. C.
Jolliffe, hon. S. Read, C. S.
Kavanagh, A. MacM. Rendlesham, Lord
Kennaway, Sir J. H. Repton, G. W.
Kingscote, Colonel Ridley, M. W.
Knatchbull, Sir W. Ripley, H. W.
Knight, F. W. Ritchie, C. T.
Knightley, Sir R. Rodwell, B. B. H.
Knowles, T. Round, J.
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Learmonth, A. Ryder, G. R.
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Legard, Sir C. Sanderson, T. K.
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Lennox, Lord H G. Scott, Lord H.
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Lindsay, Col. R. L. Scourfield, J. H.
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Lloyd, T. E.
Lopes, H. C. Shirley, S. E.
Lopes, Sir M. Shute, General
Sidebottom, T. H. Turner, C.
Simonds, W. B. Turnor, E.
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Smith, F. C. Wait, W. K.
Smith, S. G. Walker, T. E.
Smith, W. H. Walpole, rt. hon. S.
Smollett, P. B. Walsh, hon. A.
Somerset, Lord H. R. C. Waterhouse, S.
Stafford, Marquis of Watney, J.
Stanford, V. F. Benett- Welby, W. E.
Stanhope, hon. F. Wellesley, Captain
Stanhope, W. T. W. S. Wheelhouse, W. S. J.
Stanley, hon. F. Whitelaw, A.
Starkey, L. R. Wilmot, Sir H.
Steere, L. Wolff, Sir H. D.
Stewart, M. J. Woodd, B. T.
Storer, G. Wyndham, hon. P.
Sturt, H. G. Wynn, C. W. W.
Sykes, C. Yarmouth, Earl of
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Taylor, rt. hon. Col. Yorke, J. R.
Tennant, R.
Thynne, Lord H. F. TELLERS.
Tollemache, W. F. Dyke, W. H.
Torr, J. Winn, R.
Tremayne, J.
Acland, Sir T. D. Cowper, hon. H. F.
Adam, rt. hon. W. P. Crawford, J. S.
Allen, W. S. Cross, J. K.
Amory, Sir J. H. Crossley, J.
Anderson, G. Davies, R.
Ashley, hon. E. M. Dickson, T. A.
Backhouse, E. Dilke, Sir C. W.
Balfour, Sir G. Dillwyn, L. L.
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Barclay, J. W. Dodds, J.
Bass, A. Dodson, rt. hon. J. G.
Bassett, F. Dunbar, J.
Beaumont, Major F. Dundas, J. C.
Beaumont, W. B. Earp, T.
Biddulph, M. Edwards, H.
Bolckow, H. W. F. Errington, G.
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Brassey, T. Fawcett, H.
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Cameron, C. Gladstone, W. H.
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Goldsmid, J.
Carington, hn. Col. W. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Carter, R. M. Gourley, E. T.
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Law, rt. hon. H. Reid, R.
Lawson, Sir W. Richard, H.
Leatham, E. A. Richardson, T.
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Lefevre, G. J. S. Rothschild, N. M. de
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Lowe, rt. hon. R. Shaw, W.
Lubbock, Sir J. Sheil, E.
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Macgregor, D. Simon, Mr. Serjeant
Mackintosh, C. F. Smith, E.
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O'Reilly, M.
O'Shaughnessy, R. TELLERS.
O'Sullivan, W. H. Hayter, A. D.
Palmer, C. M. Trevelyan, G. O.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Thursday.