HC Deb 13 June 1876 vol 229 cc1781-2

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)


said he wished to call the attention of the Secretary for War to what he regarded as a defect in the Bill—namely, the omission to associate civilians with the officers in command for the making of regulations with regard to cattle, &c. It was most important that the landowners and farmers should not be under the impression that they were liable to be roughly treated on the occasion of these Autumn Manœuvres. Should any such apprehension go abroad the most serious consequences might ensue. In the previous Acts relating to the Autumn Manœuvres it was provided that a commission of local gentlemen should be associated with the commander of the forces, to act jointly with him in doing certain arbitrary acts, such as the shutting up of cattle and sheep. This gave confidence both to the landowners and the farmers, and he regretted, therefore, that the present Bill was not similar in that respect to the previous Acts. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would introduce a provision such as he had suggested.


thought it most important, in the interests of the Army, that the suggestion should be acceded to. The popularity of the Army depended very much upon associating the civil element with the military in all transactions with the civilian. The change proposed this year would tend to render the Army unpopular. The Bill proposed to place in the hands of the military men entirely the decision of questions affecting cattle and crops. One of the instructions of the Bill was that the officers should make a regulation for the protection of cattle and sheep. Probably not one of the officers employed to command those stations mentioned in the Bill ever had a cow or sheep in their possession.


said, that on the Report of the Bill he would propose an addition to the 5th clause which would introduce the civil element which the hon. Gentleman required. There would be nine separate areas for training troops, and he would propose that the Lord Lieutenant of the county should appoint a person to act with the commanding officer in the drawing up of regulations to prevent damage being done to cattle or crops. He hoped that proposal would satisfy his hon. Friends.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2 postponed.

Clause 3 agreed to.

Clause 4 postponed.

Clauses 5 to 12, inclusive, agreed to.

House resumed.

Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Thursday.