HC Deb 05 March 1875 vol 222 cc1359-67

(7.) £2,000 (Supplementary 1874–5), Furniture in Public Departments.

(8.) £5,500 (Supplementary 1874–5), Survey of the United Kingdom, &c.

(9.) £750 (Supplementary 1874–5), for the Wellington Monument.


desired to know what progress the work had made, and when it was likely to be finished?


said, he was happy in being able to give an encouraging account. Mr. Stevens, the sculptor, was recovering his health, and had resumed work with great energy. In May, 1874, the marble work was completed and in the Cathedral. There remained to be completed all the bronze work, if that was of a purely sculptural character. At the present time the effigy of the illustrious Duke and the upper part of the sarcophagus were cast in bronze. One of the side groups was in the hands of the founder, in process of casting. The second group would be ready for casting in three weeks' time, and the lower part of the sarcophagus was also nearly finished. That would be the last of the sculptural works connected with the monument. In conclusion, he wished to bear testimony to the zeal exhibited by Mr. Stevens since the recovery of his health. He would give more detailed explanations on Monday.

(10.) £4,000 (Supplementary 1874–5), for British Embassy Houses, &c, China, Japan, and other places.


asked for an explanation of the Vote?


said, the item was intended to enable the Government to purchase a new Legation house at Lisbon.

Vote agreed to.

(11.) £3,000 (1874–5), for additional accommodation at Marlborough House.

(12.) £600 (Supplementary 1874–5), Home Department.

(13.) £1,250 (Supplementary 1874–5), Colonial Office.

(14.) £3,108 (Supplementary 1874–5), Charity Commission.

(15.) £1,100 (Supplementary 1874–5), Exchequer and Audit Department.

(16.) £25,000 (Supplementary 1874–5), Stationery and Printing.


wished to call the attention of the Committee to the fact that the total charges under this head amounted to something like £500,000 a-year. Those charges were, he believed, susceptible of great reduction; but he would urge that economy would never be enforced in this branch of the public service until the heads of the different Departments personally took the matter of methodizing expenditure in hand and dealt with it.


said, he, too, also thought that something must be done to check this expenditure, the total charge for the year being enormous.


suggested that expense would be saved if the number of Blue Books and Papers now sent to hon. Members as a matter of course—out of which they were unable to read a tenth part—was decreased.


said, he would suggest, as a means of saving money in the Printing and Stationery department, that hon. Members should refrain from moving in the House for the production of Returns, Papers, and Reports, unless they were absolutely necessary.


said, he agreed with the suggestion of the hon. Member for Newark, for one great cause of the large expenditure incurred was the printing of so many Returns called for in the House. The item charged for Stationery was certainly a large one, and it had for some time past been engaging the attention of the Treasury. It was hoped that economy in the matter would be speedily effected by establishing a form of accounts between the different Departments, which would clearly bring home to each the amount expended on account of it for stores and working materials of all kinds.


concurred in the suggestion of the hon. Member for Newark.


wished to know whether the Vote included any of the parchments and vellum which had been stolen from the offices in Dublin?


said, he would ascertain.

Vote agreed to.

(17.) £962 (Supplementary 1874–5), Register Office General, Scotland.

(18.) £375 (Supplementary 1874–5), Offices of Chief Secretary for Ireland.

(19.) £1,604 (Supplementary 1874–5), Local Government Board, Ireland.


said, he should be glad if the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland would inform him whether this sum included anything for the Local Government Board Poet. A new Department appeared to have been created, with a Government Poet in it. Though he knew that officially that was not necessary, seeing that they had a Poet Laureate, he would first give the House a sample of Government poetry which had been published by this Department— There's a skin without and a skin within, A covering skin and a lining skin; But the skin within is the skin without, Doubled inward and turned inside out. The rules of prosody were very much violated in those lines, and he did not think they would pass muster in a literary review; but as a sample of Government poetry they were curious, and he wished to ask how much of the Vote was intended for the Government Sanitary Poet in Ireland?


replied that the office of Sanitary Poet to the Local Government Board in Ireland might perhaps be a very useful one, but as far as they had gone they had not yet sanctioned the appointment. No doubt, if they were to do so, they would have plenty of applications. The hon. Mem- ber would see by the Vote what the items were.

Vote agreed to.

(20.) £150 (Supplementary 1874–5), Public Record Office, Ireland, and Keeper of State Papers, Dublin.

(21.) £830 (Supplementary 1874–5), Office of Public Works, Ireland.

(22.) £540 (Supplementary 1874–5), Register Office General, Ireland.

(23.) £15,887 (1874–5), General Survey and Valuation of Ireland.


inquired whether the sum included any amount for the new scale of salaries recommended?


said, that the question had better be asked when the Estimates for the year were before the House. These Estimates were on account of the past year.


said, that in his opinion it would not be right to settle this matter on a Supplemental Vote a year after power concerning it had been taken away from the grand juries.


said, that the grand juries had not been interfered with. By the Act of last Session the sums to be paid by the grand juries were settled upon a fixed instead of a varying sum, and they were great gainers.

Vote agreed to.

(24.) £10,000(Supplementary 1874–5), Law Charges.


said, he thought it would be satisfactory to the House to know whether in that sum were included any particulars of the cost of the prosecution of the case of the Queen v. Castro.


said, that a complete Return of the expenses in the case referred to was made last Session. When the whole of the expenses incurred had been paid, the amount would be something under £60,000.

Vote agreed to.

(25.) £1,540 (Supplementary 1874–5), London Bankruptcy Court.

(26.) £210 (Supplementary 1874–5), Miscellaneous Legal Charges, England.

(27.) £957 (Supplementary 1874–5), Court of Bankruptcy, Ireland.

(28.) £365 (Supplementary 1874–5), Registry of Deeds, Ireland.

(29.) £1,547 (Supplementary 1874–5), County Prisons and Reformatories, Ireland.


objected to the dual system of prison Inspectors in that country, and hoped the attention of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland would be directed to the question.


said, the subject had frequently occupied his attention during the past year; but, so far as his observation had gone, his opinion did not accord with that of the hon. Gentleman.

Vote agreed to.

(30.) £150 (Supplementary 1874–5), Dundrum Criminal Lunatic Asylum, Ireland.

(31.) £750 (Supplementary 1874–5), Miscellaneous Legal Charges, Ireland.

(32.) £296 (Supplementary 1874–5), National Portrait Gallery.

(33.) £1,547 (Supplementary 1874–5), Learned Societies and Scientific Investigation.

(34.) £18,700 (Supplementary 1874–5), Public Education, Ireland.

(35.) £100 (Supplementary 1874–5), National Gallery of Ireland.

(36.) Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £223, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1875, for the Queen's University in Ireland.


said, he would move that the Vote be reduced by £120, the sum granted for medals. Than the Queen's University, he maintained there was no more gigantic educational imposture in Europe, kept up by the sheer force of grants of money from the Imperial Exchequer—while they were exceedingly economical on subjects in which the Irish people were more concerned.

Motion made, and Question, "That the Item of £120, for Medals and Prizes, be omitted from the proposed Vote,"—(Mr. Sullivan.)—put, and negatived.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(37.) £2,000 (Supplementary 1874–5), Diplomatic Services.


asked when the North American Boundary Commission would be at an end?


said, it was going on now, and it was impossible to answer the question.

Vote agreed to.

(38.) £3,186 (Supplementary 1874–5), Grants in Aid of Expeditions in certain Colonics.

(39.) Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £18,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1875, for Tonnage Duties, Bounties on Slaves, and Expenses of the Liberated African Department.


said, he objected to the sum of £12,000 charged as compensation for the destruction of certain dhows by Her Majesty's Ship Thetis, and would move the reduction of the Vote by that amount. He believed Captain Ward had been too zealous in the pursuit of prize money, and that innocent persons had suffered, many pearl-fishing dhows having been destroyed. The Treasury Letter said that if the amount had been a smaller one, they would have required him to pay it himself; but as it was a large sum, they let him off with a reprimand.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Item of £12,000, for Compensation for Destruction of Dhows by Her Majesty's ship 'Thetis,' be omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Mr. Anderson.)


said, the naval Department had expressed disapproval of the conduct of Captain Ward, and it was not likely to be repeated.


thought a reprimand was not sufficient.


could not find, after reading the Correspondence very carefully, that Captain Ward had been guilty of more than a great error of judgment.


wished to know what had become of the loot from those 10 dhows which were plundered?


said, he thought the solution was that Captain Ward had not sufficient instructions. While in Bombay recently, officers had complained to him several times of the insufficient instructions they had received from the Admiralty. In that case, it was hardly fair to blame the captain of the Thetis.


said, the occurrence was much to be regretted. There was a good deal of cunning exercised by the Natives in carrying on their illicit trade, and he had no doubt that Captain Ward, in the absence of explicit instructions, and not being acquainted with the coast, had taken too zealous a view of his duty. That, however, would be remedied by more detailed instructions which had been prepared.


said, that under the circumstances, he would pass the matter over this time.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed, to.

(40.) £2,760 (Supplementary 1874–5), Temporary Commissions.

(41.) £2,830 (Supplementary 1874–5), Miscellaneous Expenses.


said, that when the Civil Service Estimates came on, he should call attention to the Office of Lord Chamberlain, in regard to his control of the theatres. He thought that it would be much more satisfactory if the theatres were placed under the Home Secretary, who had the administration of the police. The Lord Chamberlain did not possess at present a sufficiently large staff to enable him to enforce his authority in this matter.

Vote agreed to.

(42.) Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £13,247, he granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1875, for the repayment of certain Miscellaneous Advances to the Civil Contingencies Fund.


said, he wished to strike out of the Vote the sum of £500 given to Lieutenant Wood for bringing homo the despatches from Coomassie. He did so with the view of asking on what principle officers were selected for such service?

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Item of £500, for a Gratuity to the Honourable Henry J. L. Wood, Lieutenant 11th Hussars, for bringing the Despatches announcing the fall of Coomassie, be omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Sir Charles Dilke.)


said, that Colonel Milward, who brought homo the despatch in the case of the Abyssinian Expedition, was an officer who had been very useful; but he did not know if there had been any previous service to entitle Lieutenant Wood to the distinction, and suggested whether it was desirable that it should be a mere fancy gift in the hands of the Commander of the Expedition.


said, that the same precedent had been followed in this as in previous cases, and the practice had been in existence from time immemorial. The Commander of the Expedition selected the officer whom he wished to entrust with the message, and he (Mr. P. Stanley) did not know that there were any circumstances which placed the present on a different footing from previous cases of the kind.


said, he was of opinion that there was a distinct difference between that and previous cases. There was a certain appearance of passing over officers of greater service, and it was desirable that there should be some established principle of selection for the post.


hoped the hon. Baronet would not put the Committee to a division. The gratuity had been recommended by the Commander-in-Chief of the Expedition, and if it was now disallowed, it would be to pass a Vote of Censure on Sir Garnet Wolseley.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn. Original Question put, and agreed to.

(43.) £33,992 (1874–5), Gratuities and Prize Pay to Officers and Men of the Ashantee Expedition.

(44.) £4,859 (1874–5), Mediterranean Extension Telegraph Company.

(45.) £123,620 (Supplementary 1874–5), Post Office Telegraph Service.

(46.) £25,000 (Supplementary 1874–5), Ashantee Expedition.

House resumed.

Resolutions to be reported upon Monday next;

Committee to sit again upon Monday next.