§ SUPPLY considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ (1.) £486,560, to complete the sum for the Army Purchase Commission.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
, in proposing the Vote, said, that when he came into office a Commission appointed under the auspices of his predecessor, almost judicial in its character, was inquiring into certain grievances on which the officers had memorialized the Government. Her Majesty's Government had desired to carry out the provisions of the Army Regulation Act, not in letter only, but in spirit, and he had adopted as far as he possibly could the recommendations of that Commission, but the questions raised by them as to the desirability of keeping up the system of promotion as it existed during the existence of Purchase was now being investigated by another Commission. The Committee would find under the sub-heads of this Vote that there were three new Votes to be taken. One was for what was called bonus, which was a sum which was paid to officers who retired. As had been said by the Royal Commission, there was no sound distinction between an exceptional over-regulation price and an exceptional bonus. Practically, it was an over-regulation price which was not permitted under the Army Regulation Act, but which the Royal Commission unanimously recommended should be paid. The second Vote was for over-regulation prices granted to officers who were on full-pay at the time of the passing of the Act. The third Vote was one which he was sure the Committee would readily accept, which was recommended by the Royal Commission—namely, that those officers who had been put compulsorily on half-pay, many of whom had performed distinguished services, particularly those who had served in India, should, on being brought on full-pay, receive over-regulation prices.
§ GENERAL SIR GEORGE BALFOUR
said, he was glad the right hon. Gentleman proposed to carry out the arrangements of Lord Cardwell. He thought a list should be furnished of the names of the officers who had received money under this Commission in order that the 284 effect of the arrangement might be known.
§ MR. CAMPBELL - BANNERMAN
hoped that no objection would be made to the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman in favour of the officers in question, who had a strong equitable claim.
§ SIR HENRY HAVELOCK
urged the claims of those officers who had been compelled by the passing of the Act to retire on half-pay, although they had been previously selected for Staff appointments and the rank of major.
§ MR. STANLEY
pointed out that the case of the officers referred to had been fully investigated by the Royal Commissioners, who reported that the claim they put forward was of too vague a character to be entertained. His right hon. Friend was, on the one hand, anxious to give the fullest consideration to claims which were favourably reported on, and, on the other, to guard the House from a too wide and over liberal extension of the terms on which the original procedure in this matter was taken.
§ SIR HENRY HAVELOCK
expressed his regret that the case of officers who had, in his opinion, a just claim for compensation had not been favourably considered.
§ Vote agreed to.