§ SUPPLY—considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ MR. CHILDERS
I beg to move—That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £446,000, 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 1881, for meeting Additional Expenditure beyond the amounts already granted for Supplies and Warlike Stores for the Army.This Supplementary Estimate refers solely to the expenditure in connection with the war now going on in Natal and the Transvaal; and I think that I should best consult the convenience of the Committee if, after what passed an hour or more ago, I made no reference whatever to the policy of the war, but confined my remarks to the military expenditure included in the Estimate. I will state, therefore, in as few words as possible, that the whole of this £446,000 which I ask the House to vote is proposed in connection with the operations in the Transvaal; and under these circumstances:—When Her Majesty's Go- 1539 vernment took Office in the spring of last year I found that the Estimates of this current year had been prepared upon the basis of four regiments being employed in Natal and the Transvaal during the financial year which is now about to close. One Cavalry regiment was also to be employed during the first half of the year until October; and the land transport was to be on a peace footing. That Estimate had been so prepared by the late Government before there was any clear idea that a larger amount of force would be required to be kept up in the Transvaal during the year; and so it was only determined to provide for land transport upon a peace footing. If it became necessary to provide land transport on a war footing a Supplementary Estimate would have been required; but when we took Office we came to the conclusion, after carefully considering the recommendations of Sir Garnet Wolseley, and after conferring with Sir George Colley, who had been appointed by our Predecessors, and who went over to the Transvaal a few months afterwards—we determined not to revise the transport arrangements, but to leave them as they had been for some time; and to wait until Sir George Colley made his report to us after he had taken over the civil and military government of the Colonies in question. Sir George Colley was to report what he might consider desirable with respect to the maintenance of the Land Forces in the Transvaal. Sir George Colley did so report the cost of the arrangements that were then contemplated; and even if we had not been engaged in the present war which has, unfortunately, broken out within the last few months, the Estimates, as far as the Transvaal is concerned, would have been exceeded to a small extent. It is right I should state this, in order that there may be no misapprehension whatever as to the intentions of the late Government and the present Government in this matter. In the month of December the occurrences took place in the Transvaal which led to this unfortunate war; and the present Estimate is the Estimate of the expense which we consider it would be necessary to incur at the end of the present financial year, that is, to the end of the present month. A right hon. Gentleman opposite asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, during 1540 the time of Questions, whether it was intended to ask for any Supplementary Estimate for the expense of the Transvaal War during the present year? [Sir STAFFORD NORTHCOTE: During the year 1881–2.] I beg pardon, during the year 1881–2; and I refer the right hon. Gentleman to his own Estimates for the year, which show a considerable sum would have to be expended during 1881–2; and that the sum so estimated by him, up to the end of January last, is between £500,000 and £600,000, so that the Estimates at present before the Committee amount altogether to the expenditure of about £1,000,000 in connection with the Transvaal War, so far as the expenditure was determined to the end of January last. Of this sum £440,000 are due to the current financial year; and between £500,000 and £600,000 will be expended in connection with the next financial year. Of course, whether this sum is sufficient or not must depend on the result of the negotiations now going on. If the Transvaal War should be continued for a considerable time, it would be necessary, no doubt, in the spring of next year to ask for a further Vote; but it is only my duty, at the present moment, to state what we require in respect of the present financial year. Towards the end of January last we anticipated that the necessary expenditure would be about £440,000. But then, I may be asked, what has occurred since then? We are now some way on in the month of March; and it is necessary to know what the expenditure is likely to be for the current year. This, I need scarcely say, has been my own question to those who advised me in this matter for some weeks past. I have constantly pressed upon the officials, both military and financial, of the War Office to keep me very carefully informed, so that if in their judgment these Estimates are not sufficient, I might at once ask for a second Estimate. But after careful inquiry, such as can be made here, and by telegraph in South Africa, I am satisfied that it would not be proper to ask the Committee to vote a further sum. I do not at all say that it is impossible, when the Accounts are made up, that a further sum may not be necessary; but, as far as we can reasonably estimate, from the information in our possession, we consider that amount to be sufficient. 1541 There is one reason why it is not necessary to increase the charge which must be familiar to all who are conversant with Army and Navy expenditure. Since the Estimate was asked it is quite true we have sent out further troops to the extent of several regiments; but, so far from increasing the Army Charges, this fact diminishes the Army Charges, because when the troops are aboard ship they are, in respect of provisions for the men and forage for the horses, at the charge of the Navy, and not of the Army. Such is the financial arrangement between the two Departments; and, taking this fact into careful consideration, after consultation, and after going carefully through the Estimate, and after criticizing it in every possible way, in the judgment of my Military and Naval Advisers, the sum of £440,000 which we ask for now will be sufficient for the expenditure of the year. But there are elements of uncertainty in the matter—for instance, it is hard to know and difficult to guess what is going on in the beleaguered garrisons. The only thing we know is that, being beleaguered, they cannot easily get any money; and, therefore, if some expenditure may be taking place at Pretoria, it is taking place on credit, and the charge may not come into the present financial year. I may add that I have honestly done my best, and I cannot do more, in order to satisfy myself as to whether we ought to ask for more. If it had been necessary to do so, I should not have hesitated to make the demand; but, on the whole, I think the Estimate now submitted is a fair charge. I have one or two words to say on another matter. I wish particularly to answer a suggestion which was made the other day outside this House, in rather a pointed way, in reference to the manner in which the Department over which I have the honour to preside has conducted the war that is being carried on at this moment. It is, whether we have properly complied with the requirements of our commanders in the field, or have stinted and starved them in reference to what they wanted? I am in a position to say that that is not only not the case, but the reverse of the case; every requirement which has been addressed to us from the Cape, whether for food, material, or stores, by the Generals and officers in the Transvaal and Natal, has 1542 been complied with, and more than complied with. When the first telegram was received of the impending difficulties, we sent a regiment without waiting for a formal requisition, which, however, we did afterwards receive by telegraph. This was on the 19th December, and on the 24th or 25th Sir George Colley asked for a regiment and a battery. We sent him both, and ordered a further regiment of Cavalry, a regiment of Infantry, and three batteries of Artillery. Sir George Colley asked that if any troops were going home from India they might call at Durban for orders, as he was not quite certain whether he would want them or not. Afterwards he said that he did want them, and he had them. In the same way, on the 4th of January, we complied with a further requisition of the Governor; and on the 29th January, after the unfortunate occurrence at Laing's Nek, within a few hours of a request to that effect, two Cavalry regiments and a battery of Artillery were sent out. I do not wish to take any credit for that promptness on our part; but I think it right, without speaking of myself, that those who are responsible for military operations of this kind should receive the credit of having acted, even beyond the requirements that were made. I have just one word to say as to the manner in which these reinforcements have been sent out. I think it is my duty, having served some years at the Admiralty myself, and knowing something of the difficulties which surround a sudden demand for transport on that Department, to bear testimony to the admirable manner in which the Transport Department has complied, and is complying still, with the requirements of the War Department. There is a standing Committee of officers from the different Departments who work out all the details as to the method of conveyance in all large operations of this kind; and everything was decided after a conference between the Admiralty, the Colonial, and the War Offices, presided over by Lord Northbrook, Lord Kimberley, and myself. We have consulted our different officers, and in this way we have been able to despatch, at three or four hours' notice, the large force which has been sent out to the Transvaal. I hope that I have not taken up too much of the time of the Committee in stating the 1543 nature of these Votes. I think that all that has been done up to this moment has been done with great success and promptitude; and I now beg to move the Vote which I have placed in your hands.
(1.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £446,000, 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 1881, for meeting Additional Expenditure beyond the amounts already granted for Supplies and Warlike Stores for the Army.
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
I am exceedingly glad to hear the full explanation which the right hon. Gentleman has given to the Committee as to the amount of this Vote. It certainly would appear, to an uninstructed person, that the Vote was much smaller than was necessary. The original Estimate of £446,000, which is now before the Committee, was for a much smaller force. Since the Estimate was prepared, certainly more than double the number of men and horses have been sent out, and yet it has not been deemed necessary to increase the Vote. The explanation which the right hon. Gentleman has given is, no doubt, a sufficient explanation of the economy with which the whole affair has been conducted; but I confess, for my own part, that I should hardly have thought that the saving in food and forage, during the period occupied in the voyage out to the Cape of Good Hope, would have been so very large as to balance the increased charge for warlike stores, which must be something very considerable, and also the very heavy charge for land transport from Durban up to the scene of operations. I have no doubt, however, that the right hon. Gentleman is sufficiently informed on these points; but I notice with satisfaction that he has reserved to himself the possibility of having to make a further demand for these particular Services. I am exceedingly glad that the right hon. Gentleman has thought it necessary to pay a just tribute to the exertions of the Transport Department of the Admiralty. The course which the right hon. Gentleman has described was pursued by the Admiralty during the three or four years I had the honour to serve there, and I wish to bear the strongest possible testimony to the zeal of the officers of the Transport Department of the Ad- 1544 miralty, and to the readiness with which they met the officials the War Office deputed to arrange with them for the despatch of the troops, and the complete and energetic manner in which they sought to carry out the work, and to the efficiency as well as the economy of all their arrangements.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
was sure the Committee would be very much comforted by the statement which had been made by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War. He had certainly experienced the same feeling as the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. W. H. Smith), and had been somewhat puzzled to know how it was that the original Estimate for South Africa had not been exceeded. At the same time, he was quite sure there would be no disposition on that side of the House to question the accuracy and care with which the Secretary of State for War had framed his Estimates; and, therefore, they were justified in feeling much comforted. The right hon. Gentleman would forgive him if he reminded the Committee that Estimates in regard to war expenses on previous occasions had been fallacious, and that the House was very apt to be sensitive on the subject. The only points on which he would ask the right hon. Gentleman to give the Committee further information were these—The right hon. Gentleman had said that, if necessary, transport would be imported from abroad; and he (Sir George Campbell) had read, in a Scotch paper, that large purchases of horses and mules were being made in Buenos Ayres for despatch to Natal. He wished to know if that was so, and if the cost was paid in the shape of ready money out of this grant, and whether the enormous expenditure for carriage which must, undoubtedly, be going on in South Africa at the present moment was supplied from money sent from this country to the Military Chest? Was the practice followed now that was followed formerly in South Africa, by which the local military authorities were able to raise money in the Colonies by drawing long bills on this country? It had been sometimes found that by that means a much larger amount of money was expended in the current year than Parliament was asked to pay in the same year, or than they were aware of, Those were 1545 the only points upon which he asked for an explanation from the right hon. Gentleman—namely, whether the Government were paying ready money for transport and other expenses now being incurred in and for South Africa, or whether bills of which, as yet, we knew nothing were being drawn upon this country and were being allowed to accumulate, which, unhappily, we should be called upon to pay upon some future occasion? He knew that it would be impossible to give any assurance with regard to the expenses for the ensuing year; but, in reference to the current year, it was desirable the Committee should know whether we were spending ready money or running up bills on credit.
§ MR. RYLANDS
confessed that he was unable to participate in the comfort felt by his hon. Friend the Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir George Campbell) in regard to this Vote. His hon. Friend seemed to derive some comfort from the fact that Her Majesty's Government were of opinion that an expenditure of £500,000 would carry us through these unfortunate transactions up to the end of the present financial year. But Her Majesty's Government at the same time told them that in the Estimates for next year it would also be necessary to provide a large sum, amounting to another £500,000. His hon. Friend the Member for Kirkcaldy, while deriving comfort himself, took care to give very little comfort to anybody else, because he went on to show that, under the late Government, there were large charges in connection with transactions in South Africa that were paid out of the Military Chest, but which did not come to the knowledge of Parliament until some time after they were expended. His hon. Friend wanted the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, here in England, to be able to assure Parliament that expenditure was not going on in South Africa to increase the cost of the war before the 31st of March. He (Mr. Rylands) had no doubt that the Government would take every means in their power to keep down this dreadful expenditure; but with all the anxiety they might show, and with every attempt they might make, if the war went on they might expect to be called upon to provide a very large sum in the future—much larger than any of them were able to 1546 calculate at present. He had simply risen to say that, while he could not, under the circumstances, refuse to vote the sum of money now asked for, he should vote with the greatest possible reluctance, and only on the full assurance that an ample opportunity would be afforded hereafter for discussing every matter connected with this expenditure. He was quite alive to the reasonableness of the appeal of the right hon. Gentleman, that they should avoid any such discussion now; but, at the same time, in voting as they were about to do, he thought they ought not to deceive themselves by supposing that sum would necessarily cover all the expenditure that might go on up to the 31st of March. What the Government assured them was that this amount, in the form of a Supplementary Estimate, would be sufficient, in their judgment, to place the accounts of the year in a fair position in regard to this war expenditure. He could not say that he was fully prepared to believe that it would cover everything; for he knew that military and naval expenditure in a state of war was like the letting out of water, and that it was almost impossible to control it. He must say, therefore, that he should not rely with perfect confidence on the present Estimate.
§ SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT
said, he was not going to raise any question as to the policy of the Transvaal War. The right hon. Gentleman had put the case very clearly. He asked the Committee not to go into the policy of the war, and deliberately promised that they should have a full opportunity of discussing the question in all its details and in all its varied aspects. But he was bound to say, and he did it with some regret, that they were placed there in a very awkward position; they were not enabled to know what was going on. They had not, however, on that side of the House pressed Her Majesty's Government in the difficult position in which they were placed. Nor was he going to press the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War one inch further than he had already gone. At the same time, the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister must remember that the late Government were not treated with the same courtesy and consideration; and, although the Government were asking a great deal from hon. Gen- 1547 tlemen who sat on that side of the House, yet, under the peculiar circumstances of the case, he, for one, at any rate, would not attempt by one hair's breadth to interfere with anything that might now be going on. He would only venture to hope that at the earliest opportunity, not only the House, but the country, might have an opportunity of knowing all the circumstances, which they had certainly not yet had placed before them. He trusted that the right hon. Gentleman would not lose a moment in placing the House in full possession of the facts in regard to the Transvaal.
§ LORD ELCHO
said, he noticed his right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone) shake his head when his hon. and gallant Friend (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) remarked that the courtesy and consideration now asked for by the Government was not extended to the late Government. He (Lord Elcho) had a strong recollection of something like strong demands—he might even call them denunciations—having been addressed to the Government for not having, at a time when delicate and intricate negotiations were going on, taken the House of Commons into their confidence. He had a perfect recollection that that was the tone taken at the time. He was quite prepared, if the question had been raised now, to discuss it, and he thought it would have been well if the Government had placed the House in the possession of a little further information; but the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War thought it would be contrary to the interests of the country that such a debate should arise, or that any such information should be given. Without desiring to dispute the policy of the course suggested by the Government, he wished simply to point out that the Government, on the question of negotiations in reference to peace, appeared to have two voices in reference to South Africa, because, when negotiations were pending between the Basutos and the Cape Colony, a telegram was read which certainly expressed the views of the Government on the subject. He would not pursue the matter further now than to say that he trusted that in whatever was done by Her Majesty's Government they would maintain the honour of this country and add to the security of our South African possessions. There were only two points on which he would ask 1548 for information. He understood that a Commission was to be appointed to settle the terms of peace. He thought the Committee ought to know who the Commissioners would be; and he would express the hope that, at any rate, they would be gentlemen who had not hitherto, in dealing with the matter, been committed to either side of the question. The other point was that the Government ought to state whether Sir Hercules Robinson had been consulted with regard to the terms that were offered to the Boers. These were mere matters of fact, which did not involve any question of policy, and there would be no difficulty in giving an answer upon them.
In regard to the last question of my noble Friend, I have no hesitation whatever in stating that the Secretary of State for the Colonies has been in communication with Sir Hercules Robinson in all the negotiations arising out of the painful circumstances under consideration, and I have no difficulty also in stating that Sir Hercules Robinson will be one of the Commissioners. I am unable to give the Committee the names of all the Commissioners this evening; but I hope to be able to do so in the course of a day or two. In regard to that mysterious shake of the head referred to by my noble Friend, I wish to say that I should not have shaken my head at all, or given any sign on this occasion, had the hon. and gallant Baronet (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) been content with stating that, in his opinion, the late Government had not been treated with the wisdom and the forbearance which have been shown on the present occasion. If that had been all I should not have shaken my head at all. The hon. and gallant Baronet is entitled to entertain that opinion; but what made me feel under a moral obligation to shake my head was that the hon. and gallant Baronet said that I should recollect that it was so. That would involve a most awkward admission, which I have no idea of making. I am very thankful to the House for the consideration it has shown. I can only assure hon. Members that it would have been a great comfort and a great relief to us if we could have ventured in some degree to divide the responsibility which has been cast upon us. But from day to day we have considered the question, and from day to 1549 day we have found that we could not, without seriously prejudicing the great interests involved, make partial disclosures to the House. That being the case, I have only to mention that since I last addressed the House a telegram has been received, in which we are informed that Conferences were proceeding yesterday. There is nothing to anticipate the result, nor is there anything in the telegram which at all tends to abate any hopes previously entertained.
§ GENERAL SIR GEORGE BALFOUR
said, the estimate of the Secretary of State for War for the expenditure occasioned by the Transvaal War included two items—one of £440,000 this year, and one of £500,000 for next year, or about £1,000,000 in all. He confessed that he had fully expected a much larger sum—probably £2,000,000. He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War whether it was likely that any recourse would be had to the old method of accounting for military operations in South Africa? His hon. Friend the Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir George Campbell) was quite right in saying that under the system which formerly existed the money expended in the Transvaal would not be brought to account in the current year. Certainly a different state of circumstances had arisen, since a Committee had been sent out last year to investigate the matter. He believed that useful results would be obtained from their inquiry; and he wished to know from the Secretary of State for War if we were not now more likely to receive more promptly all the vouchers for the expenditure during the year than we ever were before? He would also express a hope that the Secretary of State for War would lay on the Table a Return of the expenditure for military operations in South Africa in the last 40 years. He (Sir George Balfour) believed it would be found that a sum of between £40,000,000 and £50,000,000 had been expended during that period. He was satisfied that if the country had clearly laid before it all the facts and the cost incurred in acquiring territory in South Africa, it would be most reluctant indeed in attempting the further extension of our territory in that part of the world.
§ SIR HENRY HOLLAND
would not go as far as the hon. and gallant Member for Kincardineshire (Sir George 1550 Balfour). He did not think they required Returns for so many years back as the hon. and gallant Member seemed to desire; but he trusted that the Secretary of State for War would, as his Department had hitherto done, use every effort to obtain the necessary vouchers for every kind of expenditure incurred in South Africa. They knew from the Public Accounts Committee that their great difficulty had been to secure that there should be a thorough examination of the expenditure. He was satisfied the right hon. Gentleman would continue the efforts hitherto made by the Department. He felt bound to express his hearty concurrence in the course which had been adopted of not debating the very serious questions that might arise in respect of the Transvaal and the Transvaal War at the present time, especially as there would be, as the Prime Minister had pronounced, a full opportunity of discussing the whole question hereafter. Everyone must feel, whatever his sympathies might be in the matter, that it would be extremely disadvantageous to enter into a long discussion at the present moment.
§ MR. R. N. FOWLER
said, he would not detain the Committee at any length, because, after the course properly taken by the Prime Minister, it was not necessary that they should enter into the general question. He would, however, venture to express an earnest hope that Her Majesty's Government, when the negotiations were going on, would bear in mind the necessity of protecting the Native races.
§ MR. CHILDERS
said, he had been asked various questions which it was desirable he should reply to. He had been asked what course was being taken in regard to the purchase of animals for the Transport Service, and whether the cost would come into the present Account? He might say, with respect to that matter, that the animals would only be paid for when they were delivered at Durban, and that they would not come into the Account before they were delivered. He thought that was a very good arrangement, and that it would work well. We had only had a small experience of it at present; but there was every reason to believe that it would work better than the arrangement which had been previously adopted. He was asked, further, whether they were going 1551 to postpone any of the payments, and to adopt the late method of having recourse to the Military Chest. The year before last his right hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Stanley), who was then at the head of the War Office, sent out a Committee to investigate that subject on the spot, and he quite concurred in the Report which that Committee had presented. As an earnest of what they were doing, he might say that before the present war assumed large proportions they had sent out a gentleman from the Accountant General's Office to test on the spot the arrangements that were made two years before. They were doing their best to get the vouchers in, and they desired to make the payments as they were made in this country; but in respect to the garrisons there were no means at present of communicating with them, and, as they had no money, he presumed that they must be receiving some credit. The general instructions were to make prompt payments, and he hoped that they would be carried into effect.
§ MR. T. D. SULLIVAN moved that the Vote now before the Committee be reduced by the sum of £300,000. He stated that he did so as a protest against this unjust war of oppression and annexation. Hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House had expressed great objection to the making of this war, and of similar wars in other parts of the world; but their sentimental sympathy amounted to very little indeed, because, when they were asked for money, they were always ready to vote it. He begged to move that the Vote be reduced by the sum of £300,000.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £146,000, 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 1881, for meeting Additional Expenditure beyond the amounts already granted for Supplies and Warlike Stores for the Army."—(Mr. T. D. Sullivan.)
§ MR. CHILDERS
thought that, after the understanding which had been come to not to discuss the policy of the war on the present occasion, the hon. Member would hardly wish to press his Amendment. He did not know what the effect on the Government might be if £300,000, which had been spent in perfect good faith on that war, were now to be refused.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
said, it would also be inconvenient to the Committee if a division were taken. He thought, if the Committee were called upon at that moment to enter into the question of the war in the Transvaal, the discussion could hardly be conducted with advantage, especially in the absence of much desirable information. Therefore, he trusted the hon. Gentleman would not press his Motion to a division, which course would be contrary to the understanding arrived at.
§ MR. T. D. SULLIVAN
desired to protest against the voting of large sums of money without due consideration. If protests under circumstances similar to the present were more frequent, England would, in his opinion, be involved in fewer small wars. The sword of this country was continually red with the blood of peoples and tribes adjacent to our possessions. He would have no part in voting the money, and would press his Motion to a division, as a protest against a war which he regarded as most nefarious and oppressive in its character.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
, bearing in mind the expenditure in the case of the Abyssinian War and similar wars, desired to know whether any efficient arrangements had been made in the case of the war then going on in South Africa with regard to the institution known as the Military Chest. It had been found on former occasions, that while Parliament voted comparatively small sums of money for Military Chest purposes, that very large sums came from that source, the money being borrowed, and that the advances made to meet the obligations incurred in consequence had never been repaid to that day, and there was very little hope that they ever would be repaid. He asked, Were the payments from the Military Chest now existing in South Africa confined to the expenditure of the sums placed to the credit of that Chest by Her Majesty's Government, or had any military or other authorities power to draw upon Colonial resources?
§ MR. CHILDERS
agreed with the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy in his objections to the manner in which the expenditure 1553 from the Military Chest had, on former occasions, been conducted. That sink, however, he hoped, had been effectually stopped by the arrangements made by his Colleagues. The official who had been sent out to South Africa for the purpose of supervising the Accounts had instructions to bring charges incurred at once to account, and to see that the instructions given by the House were strictly carried out.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
said, that to limit the expenditure from the Military Chest was, no doubt, the true course. It was the only way in which they could put a check upon an expenditure which might reach an enormous amount. It was, no doubt, frequently the case that many amounts to be devoted to the Public Service had to be met on the spur of the moment, and even with the telegraph it was not always possible to send home for authority. On the other hand, if there were to be authority in the hands of every Governor of a Colony to draw for what he thought necessary for the Service at the moment, there was great risk of drafts being made, not improperly, but extravagantly, and the country involved in Accounts that might turn out to be extremely inconvenient. A Governor of a Colony found it necessary for him to make preparations on a sudden for the defence of his Government; he had no money in hand; he might have reasons for not going to the Colonial Bank. In that situation he applied to the officer in charge of the Military Chest, who advanced the money, and it then often became a question whether it was ever repaid. Therefore, he should be glad if a limit could be placed to the power which Governors had to draw from the Military Chest.
§ MR. CHILDERS
pointed out that Her Majesty's Government were now able to communicate by telegraph with the Governor of the Colony, and that stringent instructions had been issued that he was not to draw for the Colonial Military Service without permission, in order to prevent a repetition of what had occurred with regard to the expenditure in previous campaigns.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
thought it was only fair to mention that telegraph communication had been established since the campaigns referred to took place.
§ Original Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 109; Noes 6: Majority 103.—(Div. List, No. 163.)