§ SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT
rose to call attention to the present position of recruiting for the Army, the waste and crime of the Army, and their effects upon the efficiency of the Army and of the Reserves.
Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members being found present,
§ SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT
said, he hoped the "Count out" which had been attempted was not an ominous sign of the present condition of the Army. But there could be no more important question at the present moment than that which he wished to bring under the consideration of the House. He would admit that this was rather an unfortunate time to bring forward an important question of this kind. But in that House they were not their own masters, and they must take any and every opportunity they could get when they thought that an important public duty demanded that they should ask the consideration of the House to a most important subject. He would venture to invite the attention of Members to this question, and also the attention of those organs of the Press which conveyed to those outside all the important discussions in that House. On Army questions, especially, the technicality of the details was such that many did not care to weary themselves by going through them; but, at the same time, it was of very great importance that a true and accurate statement of the facts should be fairly given to the country. No one 1523 would deny that the public Press had now taken a different view of the subject. The Times had recently had two remarkable articles on the crime and present condition of the Army, and had, in fact, admitted that there were two sides to the question. Matters in the Army had come to such a pass that it was necessary to look them in the face, and the country should know its real position, for then it would not be backward in finding the means required for placing the Army in an efficient condition. He could assure the noble Lord the Secretary of State for War that he did not wish to treat this as in any way a Party question, and he hoped that the question of the Army might never be made a Party question; but he would ask the noble Lord, first, with regard to the Indian Army, whether the 50 battalions of Infantry had been made up to their full complement, or whether they were not, looking to their present numbers, five battalions short; and whether the nine Cavalry regiments in India were only equal to eight regiments in numbers? The Artillery and Engineers were also short of their full complement. With regard to the Cavalry, Artillery, and Engineers, the short-service system had come for the first time into actual play, with the result of a serious falling off in numbers. He had been informed that the Artillery wore between 1,500 and 2,000 men short; and there was also a great falling off in the Engineers. The short-service system had a serious effect upon the Cavalry. Cavalry could not be made in a day, and they certainly were never anxious that short service should be introduced into their ranks. It was most unwise to cut down the length of service of a Cavalry soldier, because it took a long time to make him efficient. If long service was necessary for the Cavalry, it was still more necessary for the Artillery, especially having regard to the progress of science in that branch of the Service. If short service were to prevail, what sort of Artillery would they be likely to have, considering how long it took to make a man an efficient gunner? If, then, in India they had five Infantry battalions short, and one Cavalry regiment short, what was the condition of things at home? It was said that recruiting was now proceeding more briskly; but that did not alter the case at all. At home they had no less 1524 than 9,000 men short; and certainly neither the men nor the regiments were efficient. It was difficult, owing to the manner in which the Returns were made up, to ascertain the real condition and state of efficiency of the several regiments; and he would ask the noble Lord in future to make the Returns in such a manner as to show the absolute strength of the regiments each year, and the percentage of crime in each regiment. He held in his hand a Return for a district, not far from London, from which it appeared that four Infantry regiments had a total of 511 men short. He had also been informed, on good authority, that there were two regiments which had only 30 men between them fit for duty. He had further been informed by an officer of the Guards, who was at Alder-shot at the time, that a regiment there was so absolutely inefficient that, whilst it found the non-commissioned officers, it had to borrow men from another regiment to do the necessary guards—the non-commissioned officers being in green, and the men in red. It was difficult to believe that such a thing could exist in an Army at home of 100,000 men. Then, going to the Western part of the country, there was a regimental depôt, or depôt centre of two regiments, of which one was at home and the other was in India. In the regiment at home 1,400 recruits had passed through its ranks in a little over two years What sort of discipline could be expected under such circumstances? But these 1,400 men did not come from the Western county, but 30 per month were sent from London, and 30 from Ireland, simply because recruits could not be obtained in the neighbourhood. That was the result of the territorial system, which, in some instances, had turned out such a complete failure. Then these men, after having been three weeks or a month in a regimental district, were transferred to their regiment. What happened then? The regiment was anxious to perform its duties; accordingly the men were forced on point by point, and then put into the ranks before they had been properly drilled. They were placed under young non-commissioned officers, with the result that the discipline of the present day was exceedingly lax as compared with that of the old days, for men were hurried into the ranks before they knew their 1525 duties. A General Officer, whom they all respected—but he could not mention names—had said that the greatest evil they had to contend with was the young and inexperienced non-commissioned officer. Cases of insubordination occurred from want of tact. Sergeants who had re-engaged, if offered a good situation elsewhere, absented themselves in order to get tried by court martial and reduced, which involved being discharged. The fact was, that the question of non-commissioned officers was a most serious one, which deserved the fullest consideration from the noble Lord. If they went a little further as regarded crime, they would find the offences of a very curious character. They consisted chiefly of violence to superiors and insubordination. In the olden days he was sure that that sort of offence did not exist to the same extent. In 1872 there were 1,153 cases; in 1877, 1,377; in 1881, 1,862; and in 1882, 1810. Those were at home. The increase was 57 per cent over 1872. Abroad, in 1872, 898; in 1877, 900; in 1881, 1,502, or 67 per cent increase. The reductions of noncommissioned officers were—in 1872, 1,001; in 1877, 1,171; in 1881, 1,830; and in 1882, 1,337, or 34 per cent over 1872. Abroad, in 1872, 1131; in 1877, 915; in 1881, 1,582, an increase of 40 per cent over 1872. The reductions with imprisonment were, in 1872, 81; in 1877, 169; in 1881, 293; and in 1882, 219, or 170per cent over 1872. Abroad, in 1872, 98; in 1877, 125; in 1881, 293, or 199 per cent increase. He took an average of 100,000 men. He would then refer to the short-service system. In the first eight years of that system 184,110 were enlisted. Of these 123 per 1,000 disappeared before the end of the year; 240 per 1,000 before the end of the second year; and 290 before the end of the third year. He thought those facts very serious. The Return showed that 13 per 1,000 died; 39 were invalided; and 50 per 1,000 purchased their discharge. Those figures showed, he believed, that the Service was for some reason or other unpopular. The noble Lord said the other day that things were looking more hopeful, but he did not think that these figures showed that to be the case. The fact was, they had destroyed the old regimental system, which was, by the whole of Europe, considered the most perfect, efficient, and 1526 effective in the world. Under that system the officers knew every man under them. The men liked their officers, and matters worked satisfactorily. But now the old regimental system was gone, and the esprit de corps which it was so necessary to maintain had been seriously impaired. Of the long-service men enlisted only 28,800 were serving in January, 1882, and at present only 7,811 were still serving. He regarded that as a most serious matter. As to the strength of the Reserves, on the 1st of January, 1882, there were 24,085. The transfers to the Reserves in that year were 6,910, making a total of 30,995. The number that joined the Army from the Reserves during 1882 was 10,840, less those who rejoined the Reserves on demobilization—namely, 1,460. The actual strength of the Reserves on the 1st of January, 1883, was 16,479, the loss during the year being 5,136. He should like to ask what had become of these men, and whether they were still serving? If they were to have a Reserve they ought to have a sufficient and contented Reserve, and the men ought to know what they had to expect. That brought him to the question of the enlistment of the men, and the great fault of that was that the men did not know, or said they did not know, for what period they were enlisted. It might be for seven, eight, or nine years; seven years with the Colours, eight if going abroad, and nine if there was a war. But there was something more than that; for sometimes they only served for five years, which was considered by them the greatest hardship of all. It happened in this way—at the end of five years' service their regiment might be ordered abroad, and because they had only two years more to serve they were sent into the Reserve, whether they liked it or not. If it was found, that by giving all these different times they did not get either the class or the number of recruits they desired, then they must look and see how they could manage the enlistment better; and that brought him to another point. Each time-expired man in India was offered 50 rupees to go on with his service, and to re-engage for the rest of his 12 years; and the number that had responded to that call was only 411, showing that, even with the bounty proposed to be given, they were not willing to carry on their service. Everyone knew that the Guards 1527 were one battalion short, and he was told that the Government were prepared to give £2 10s. per man to those men now coming home from India if they would go into the Guards. He would like to know if that was the case, and whether that did not show the unpopularity of the Service, that they should have to offer bribes to the men? No doubt, the great amount of sentry duty now required of the Guards in London might have something to do with the question; but he believed that at the present moment they could not get the men for what they were offered. He had seen a letter written to The Times by a Major General, giving an account of time-expired men, whose only object, it said, was to go on in the Service. It was quite clear that the soldier was a man out of whom they would take everything they could get, and whom they would then throw over, simply that he might not come to the State for a pension. When one considered that the Army had to be in every clime, it was high time that they should consider under certain conditions whether, when they had men adapted for the Service and willing to continue, they should not give them the right to continue for five years longer. He thought they might serve 10 years with the Colours and five in the Reserve, and after a service of 15 years, he said, a man was entitled to have some pension. But, as they were at present, the soldier, though he fought our battles abroad, was treated with less consideration than the police at home in the matter of pension. Looking at all these considerations, he thought the noble Lord would do well if he would consider these cases, because they all knew that the great object ought to be to have an efficient and effective Army. It was a startling fact that, in order to send out an Army of 18,882 men to Egypt, it was necessary to call out 11,649 Reserve men, of whom 10,593 were taken on the strength of corps, 4,363 going to Egypt with their corps. That, surely, condemned the whole system from beginning to end. They all recollected the Crimea, and the condemnation of everything then; but the country had been at peace then for many years; and surely the country ought at this time to have been able to send out a sufficient Force, without calling out the Reserve. They had also had to take 7,558 men from the 1528 Mediterranean garrisons, and had also to take 5,863 men from India; and that showed the position the country would have been in if it had had a strong and resolute enemy to deal with. That was a very serious question, and deserved the attention of the House. But yet they were told it was a triumph of the short service. The average age of the men at Tel-el-Kebir was 25 years and four months, and the average service five years and eight months. In more than one regiment they were obliged to leave behind as many as 500 men as being absolutely unfit to fight against even Arabi and his Army. He knew one regiment in the First Army Corps which could not sail till nearly the last, because it had been denuded of all its men in the Zulu War, and their places, of course, had to be filled up with large drafts. He should like to read an extract showing the opinion of Sir Frederick Roberts on the question. Sir Frederick Roberts protested against the system of having regiments of which the men were unknown to each other and to their officers. The following contained that gallant Officer's opinion:—The testimony of Sir Frederick Roberts has also been given to the world since Lord Airey's Committee reported. In speaking of the 2nd Battalion of the 8th Foot, which bears a name second to none, and has distinguished itself on many a hard-fought field, he says that it had been stationed in one of the healthiest cantonments in India during the two years it had been in the country, and had every opportunity given it of recovering from the effects of a system, which, two years previously, had collected together in the battalion a number of untrained boys, unknown to each other and to their officers. The result proved that two years were not sufficient to remedy the evils of the system; and he adds, 'that, except under very unusual circumstances, no regiment of Infantry with less than three years in India should be ordered to the field.' Before the regiment had marched 100 miles, his attention was drawn to the youthful appearance of the men, to a listlessness in the performance of their daily duty, and to their frequent admissions into hospital, so that, after repeated and careful examination, he was forced to represent to the Commander-in-Chief that he did not think the battalion was in a fit state for a campaign; without any forced marches or exceptional difficulties, the regiment had dwindled down to a weak half-battalion when it had only advanced 70 miles from our own territory. On the day when he advanced to attack the Peiwar Kotal, the whole battalion mustered only 366 men fit for duty. Fortunately, the other troops with him were older soldiers; but Sir Frederick Roberts asks—'What would have been the fate of the Kuram Field Force, if it had been called upon to storm and capture the 1529 Peiwar Kotal with the troops originally allotted to it?' His answer should be well pondered by everyone who has the interest of his country at heart. He replies—'I have no hesitation in stating my firm belief that the Force would hare been annihilated.'In olden times, it was exactly the reverse—officers knew their men; and, as a matter of fighting power and esprit de corps, the new system would not bear comparison with the old. The age of recruits also demanded their most serious attention. It was useless to have men who had not filled out, and who, as regarded weight and chest measurement, were not men, but boys. In time of war they would only die, as Lord Raglan said, "like flies." Last year the Government got only 23,802 recruits, instead of 32,302; and he should like to ask how many recruits they wanted this year? It was useless to answer that recruits were joining the Army at a satisfactory rate, without, at the same time, describing the class of men the Government were getting—whether they were men who would make soldiers, and not men who never could. What was it that took place on the march to Ulundi, when a body of Engineers were constructing an outwork—they were supported by Infantry, under the command of a field officer? Why, a scare took place, and the men were ordered to fall back upon the laager. The Infantry did so; but before the Engineers could retire they were fired upon from the laager. They might again be placed in a similar position, and, unless they had an Army which would stand fire, they could not expect to carry on operations successfully. The number of men who were so small in frame as to be useless as soldiers was on the increase, he regretted to say; and last year there were 174 per 1,000 who only weighed 8 st. 8 lbs. What was 8 st. 8 lbs. for a soldier? It was the weight of a Derby jockey, and not of a man fit for a campaign. Some of the statements he had made he had taken from a letter of Sir Lintorn Simmons, which appeared in The Morning Post, and which deserved the attention of the Secretary of State for War. It was therein declared that more than one-third of the recruits were under 5 feet 6 inches; and the extraordinary result followed, contrary to what might have been expected, that with an increase of one year in age they got men of less breadth, weight, and size generally. Was this the class of 1530 men we wished to have in the Service? It would be all very well if we could afford to feed them well for three or four years, and then send them abroad; but we did not do that, and by passing such recruits quickly through the Army we destroyed its efficiency. We had about 30,000 non-commissioned officers, and it was the great ambition of many to serve on, and get a pension. We ought to allow such officers of good character to remain in the Army for 12, or even 21 years; and if a man who had been in for 14 or 15 years happened to offend, and be reduced to the ranks, he ought to be allowed an opportunity to recover his position, or to retire as a private at the end of his term on a reduced position. Such changes would go a long way towards securing the non-commissioned officers we required in lieu of those we had who were not fit to look after the interests of their men on the field of battle. Similarly, private soldiers ought to be allowed to go on for 21 years and pensions, or 15 years and pensions if they then entered the Reserve. Men who had served all over the world deserved no less, and if they were treated well they would respond to the calls made upon them. In this way they might hope to improve the condition of the Army, to make it more attractive to a better class of men, to render it worthy of the country, and to place it in a position to maintain the unbroken traditions of a glorious past. We could not have conscription, and we must bear the alternative burden if we would have an efficient Army to secure our food supply and protect our trade. But we could not expect efficiency if we simply kept men as long as it suited us and then turned them out upon the world, or if we ruined their prospects by harsh punishments for trifling offences. Treat the men well, give them such indulgences as were possible, and you would find they would faithfully perform those duties they had undertaken. He had made these remarks, because he was quite certain that the noble Lord would do his best to ameliorate the condition of the soldiers and to place the Army in that state of efficiency which they had a right to expect.
§ MR. CAINE
Mr. Speaker, I desire to show that the waste and crime in the Army is generally attributable to intemperance. The hon. and gallant Member for West Sussex (Sir Walter B. 1531 Barttelot) has stated that some 250 per 1,000 of the men recruited deserted before the end of the first year's service. This is not to be wondered at when these lads of 19 are picked up by the recruiting sergeants in low gin-shops. The bulk of them are drunk when enlisted, and they come to their senses to find themselves crimped into a Service which they find irksome, and in some cases loathsome. Of course they desert. The hon. and gallant Member for West Sussex has told the House that 500 men were left behind from one regiment in the Egyptian Campaign. It would be an interesting Return to lay upon the Table of the House, giving the reasons why these 500 men were unfit for service, and why they were left behind. It would be found, I think, that the cause of their unfitness in regard to many instances was drunkenness and debauchery. Lord Wolseley said in a speech delivered after his return from Egypt that he had never seen a drunken soldier all the time he was in Egypt. But that statement does not agree with what the Judge Advocate General said last March, that there bad been 364 courts martial in Egypt in seven months, and that—Trials for drunkenness have been unusually frequent, especially when the troops have not been actively employed. In fact, I find that the more the men have to do, and the less they have to drink, the better they, as a general rule, behave."—(3 Hansard,  932.)Why, Sir, the Khedive was so shocked at the continual scandal of drunken British soldiers in Cairo, after the war, that he asked Mr. Thomas Cook to get the temperance people in England to send out someone to try and get the soldiers to become teetotallers and go to coffee-shops instead of low pot-houses. This has been done. The Rev. J. Gelson Gregson, Secretary to the Soldiers' Total Abstinence Society, went out at once to Egypt, and the result of his visit has been that over 3,000 soldiers have joined the society, and a large coffee palace has been established for their use. I will venture to trouble the House with a few remarks taken from the General Annual Return of the British Army for the year 1881, showing the terrible amount of drunkenness prevalent in the Army. Is it to be wondered at when such fatal inducements are held out to young soldiers as that of obtaining beer 1532 at a low rate at the regimental canteen, that privilege being classed in the opinion of the War Office in the recruiting circular issued through the Post Office as of the same advantage as the use of a library or a gymnasium and the opportunity of learning a trade? I do not want to go through the figures which have been brought out so ably by the hon. and gallant Baronet the Member for West Sussex; but I should like to call the attention of the House to the amount of crime referred to in these statistics and resulting practically from drunkenness. I have taken the Returns for 1881, instead of 1882, because the latter Returns are not yet complete. I find that in the year 1881 there were 44,108 cases, in which 23,470 men were fined for drunkenness, and of these I find that 2,633 were fined four times or over. The courts martial at home were 13,324, and abroad 9,913, making a total of 23,307. I have no hesitation in saying that the great majority of these courts martial resulted directly from intemperance. Indeed, the Judge Advocate General, in reply to a Question which I put to him in this House, admitted that such was the fact. He said that he was unable to give the number of crimes which arose directly from drink, but that a very large proportion were attributable to the influence of drink. The Court Martial Returns show that cases of violence resulting from drink amounted to 1,650, and of insubordination attributed to the same cause 1,472, making a total of 3,022.
THE JUDGE ADYOCATE GENERAL (Mr. OSBORNE MORGAN)
Will my hon Friend state what the Return is which he is quoting?
§ MR. CAINE
I am quoting from the General Annual Return of the British Army for 1881. As I have already stated, the Judge Advocate General informed me on the 9th of June, 1882, that a very large portion of these offences were committed under the influence of drink. The Returns for 1882 are not yet out. Therefore, I am taking those for 1881, and I have calculated that one-half of these cases were committed under the influence of drink. That would give a total of 1,600, which is a very largo number indeed. I find in another case that of all offences of an aggravated character committed by soldiers when in a state of drunken- 1533 ness, there were 2,661 of drunkenness on duty, 2,147 of drunkenness, and 660 of disgraceful conduct, making 5,468 altogether of aggravated drunkenness. There is another cause of punishment in' the Army—namely, absence without leave. Anybody who knows anything of the Army will be aware that those are cases which result almost entirely from drunkenness. I find that the total number in 1881 amounted to 3,293; and there, again, attributing one-half to drink, we have a total of 1,600; altogether, nearly 9,000 cases of crimes of violence, drunkenness on duty, and absence without leave, resulting directly from the drunken habits of the British soldier. The hon. and gallant Member for "West Sussex has called attention to the waste in the Army resulting from these punishments for drunkenness. That waste is very serious. The courts martial resulted in 104 soldiers being sent to penal servitude, and there is consequently, a loss to the Army of the services of those 104 men altogether, in addition to which the nation will have to maintain them in penal servitude. Then there were 3,820 cases of soldiers who were reduced to a lower grade or to the ranks; 42 were discharged with ignominy; and about 13,000 were imprisoned for various periods with or without hard labour. The total of these punishments in 1881 for drunkenness, taking the fines and courts martial together, was 52,776, inflicted upon over 30,000 men, &c. When we remember that our Army is only 180,000 strong, with a large and increasing number of teetotallers, amounting already to 25,000, this gives a terrible account of the drunkenness in the Army. It means that in 1881 there were no less than 340 punishments per 1,000, and that every sixth man in the Army gets drunk during the year. The percentage is even higher when it is borne in mind that there are so large a number of men who never drink at all. [Laughter.] The laugh of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Lancashire (Colonel Stanley) reminds me of a statement which he made when we were discussing the question two years ago—namely, that if they could only be found out, civilians were really quite as bad as soldiers in the matter of drunkenness. If that be really so, it is a terrible commentary upon the drinking habits of the country.
Perhaps I may be allowed to explain. I think I said on the occasion to which the hon. Member refers that drunkenness in a soldier is much more likely to be challenged than in a civilian, and that many cases are put down as drunkenness punishable in the soldier which in a civilian would pass unnoticed.
§ MR. CAINE
Now let the House suppose for a moment that the town of Bradford, which has a population of 180,000, had something like 52,000 cases of persons brought before the magistrates every year charged with drunkenness and disorderly conduct; I am inclined to believe it would not be very long before the people of Bradford would insist upon an Act being passed to deal with such a frightful state of affairs as that in an intelligent Yorkshire town. Now, during the last two years I have brought this question before the House in various ways; but I have been able to get no satisfactory declaration from the Judge Advocate General that anything has been done, or will be done, to deal with this very great scandal in the Army. The War Office recently appointed a Committee to investigate the question of buttons and belts and colour. I do not know exactly what was the important point raised—whether these buttons were to be made of brass or bronze. All I know is, that a Committee was appointed to inquire into the subject; but in regard to this terrible crime of drunkenness existing in the Army, I can hear nothing of any inquiry or any expectation being held out that anything will be done with it. The Judge Advocate General, in answer to a Question which I addressed to him, said it was not the canteens which were the cause of the drunkenness, and therefore I will say nothing upon that point to-night, though I reserve my opinion. But he said it was the low public-houses clustering around the barracks. He said—That the real cause of drunkenness in the Army was not the beer sold in the canteens, which was of a wholesome quality, but the abominable stuff which the soldiers obtained under the name of spirits at the low public-houses in the neighbourhood of their barracks.Then, will the Home Office and the War Office lay their heads together and say what can be done with these low public-houses? The magistrates in garrison 1535 towns appear to neglect their duty most shamefully. Under a Return dated the 17th of August, 1882, we see that there are in the town of Chatham 20 public-houses known to the police as brothels and disorderly houses. They have been reported by the police to the magistrates, year after year, for 10, 12, 14, and in some cases 17 years in succession, as disorderly houses and brothels, and yet the licensing magistrates in Chatham go on licensing them year after year. In Shorncliffe, amongst others, "The Skylark" has been reported 14 years in succession, and is still a brothel. In Colchester, "The Lifeboat" was placed out of bounds by the commanding officer in 1876, and was reported by the police to the magistrates as a disorderly house in 1881, but its licence was duly renewed, and it is still a public-house. The "Gardeners' Arms," in the same town, has been five years in succession reported by the police to the magistrates as a common brothel. It was placed out of bounds for immorality by the commanding officer in October, 1881, but it is still a licensed house. "The Alma," at Colchester, was reported seven years in succession as a brothel by the police to the magistrates. In 1875 the licence was opposed at the licensing meeting, on the ground that the house had become a scandal to the neighbourhood, and an endeavour was made by the ratepayers living in the neighbourhood to see what could be done with Local Option through the magistrates, in whom Local Option is now unhappily vested, but in spite of this seven years' record, and the opposition of the neighbourhood, the licence was renewed, on condition that the house was not used as a brothel; but in June, 1881, the same house was again placed out of bounds by the commanding officer of the garrison, nevertheless, the Colchester magistrates renewed the licence without hesitation. At Maidstone, the "Turk's Head" public-house has been reported to the police as a brothel and disorderly house 12 years in succession, and 12 years in succession this den of infamy has had its licence renewed by the magistrates of Maidstone. I will not take up the time of the House with other instances, but I might report them ad nauseam. I must, however, call attention to the scandalous state of things existing at Aldershot, where Her Ma- 1536 jesty's Government may be supposed to have some influence. In 1881, according to the Judge Advocate General, there were 11,639 soldiers stationed at Aldershot, and besides 19 licensed canteens there were 49 public-houses and 51 beerhouses existing for the demoralization of the soldiers. In August, 1882, the Judge Advocate General told the House, in reply to a Question, that the punishments for drunkenness amongst the soldiers at Aldershot during the year had been up to the average of the whole of the Army.
§ MR. CAINE
. I take the report of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's remarks from Hansard, and I find that he stated that over 3,000 punishments had been inflicted on about 2,000 men, out of an average number of 11,500 troops. These cases occurred, according to the Judge Advocate General, not in the canteen, but in the public-house, and, therefore, the 100 licensed public-houses and beerhouses of Aldershot and Earn-borough manufactured 3,000 drunkards during the year. That is quite enough for my purpose. The Army Returns show that 2,000 men have been punished 3,000 times out of 52,000 cases of punishment. Where do these men get drunk? According to the Judge Advocate General, it is not in the licensed canteens, but in the public-houses of Aldershot. On another occasion, I had to trouble the Judge Advocate General with another Question, and I thank him for the pains he has taken to supply the House with information on the Question. He told me, and I trust the House will note the right hon. and learned Gentleman's answer, that not one of these licensed houses had been brought before the magistrates charged with permitting drunkenness or supplying liquor to drunken people. The 35 & 36 Vict, says—If any licensed person is convicted of permitting his premises to be a brothel, he shall be liable to a penalty of twenty pounds, shall forfeit his licence, and be disqualified for ever.It seems to me that a very little pressure on the part of the Home Office upon the magistrates of Aldershot would be sufficient to induce them to put the Act of 35 & 36 Vict, in force; if not, let the Home Secretary remove them from the 1537 Commission of the Peace, as unfit for the exercise of their duties. The same Act has a penalty for permitting drunkenness or serving liquor to drunken persons, or keeping a disorderly house—£10 for the first, £20 for a second offence, and afterwards the loss of the licence. The magistrates of garrison towns habitually ignore these provisions, and let these hells upon earth, for I can call them nothing else, ply their brutalizing influence on our soldiers unchecked. Really, the waste and crime in the Army is largely attributable to the drunkenness which prevails. I hope that a Committee, either of the House or of the War Office, will be appointed to inquire into the question of drunkenness and to see what can be done. We, outside of the War Office altogether, are of opinion that a very great deal can be done, and has been done, to improve the condition of the Army by means of temperance missionaries and by the establishment of temperance canteens outside the barracks. We therefore wish the War Office carefully to consider whether or not, in addition to chaplains to look after the spiritual welfare of the men, there should not be temperance missionaries to try and persuade the men to become teetotallers, and, above all, temperance canteens inside the barracks. Becoming teetotallers does not interfere with the efficiency of the Army. There is one fact which I should like to point out. In the recent Afghan Campaign the-issue of rum greatly increased the difficulties and cost of transport, and led to the constant infliction of flogging upon the men. I will not trouble the House by reading the opinions of eminent men that I have collected here. They are the opinions, however, of some of the most distinguished men who have served in the Army. I will only quote one of them—namely, that of a distinguished General whom the House has been recently delighted to honour by conferring upon him a Peerage and a pension. I refer to Lord Wolseley, who says that his experience in India bore out the fact that the men were better without drink than with it. Lord Wolseley recommends the Government to restrict the allowance of liquor and to increase the allowance of tea. It is well known that the most brilliant Infantry charge of modern times was made on cold tea, instead of the usual spirit ration. I am 1538 proud to say that there was only one man in the famous charge at Tel-el-Kebir who was under the influence of drink, and he was promptly chloroformed by the doctor to prevent his making a noise and so marring the effect of the charge. With that one exception all those engaged in that charge went through it upon a ration of cold tea and without spirits at all. General Roberts gives testimony to a similar effect; and I do not think there is any intelligent officer in the British Army—certainly no intelligent surgeon-major—who will not agree that the work a soldier is called upon to perform can be done better without the aid of intoxicating liquor than with it. If that is true, and if it is also true that drunkenness is the direct cause of crime in the Army, I would certainly urge upon the War Office and upon the Government the propriety of seeing whether something cannot be done to remove this stain from the British Army.
§ LORD EUSTACE CECIL
said, he would not follow the hon. Member who had just spoken into the drink question, for it seemed that the hon. Member had Local Option, Sunday Closing, and Contagious Diseases on the brain; but he would remind the hon. Member that between 1872 and 1882 drunkenness in the Army, both at home and abroad, had diminished 12 per cent.
§ LORD EUSTACE CECIL
said, he was very glad to hear it. He would, however, not pursue that question further. Like his hon. and gallant Friend (Sir Walter B. Barttelot), he would disclaim all Party motives in the few remarks which he should make. He thought it was a somewhat retrogressive step that the age for recruiting had been reduced from 19 to 18. Then the noble Lord had given some intimation that he was going to deal with the system of bounties, which Lord Cardwell so much denounced. He hoped that whatever was done would not be merely of a temporary nature, but would prove a permanent solution of the question. He feared there might be something in the direction of a return to the bounty system, and to long service. There was one great difficulty in a return to long service, and that was that men were not 1539 willing to enlist for long terms; and in former days, when an option was given between long and short service, the greater number preferred the shorter period. He would say a few words as to the general character of the men who now joined the Army. At the present moment he believed we were in a worse position than we had been in for many years as regarded the number, quality, and conduct of our soldiers. There was no great difference of opinion between the Inspector General of Recruiting and those who had most experience of the men, although the Inspector General, in his Report, was naturally anxious to make things look as pleasant as possible. The Inspector General stated that in the year 1882 there was a diminution in the number of recruits for the Infantry alone of 3,896. If the Artillery were added that number would be increased. Sir Lintorn Simmons, who had recently written an interesting letter to The Times on the subject, said the decrease was something like 6,000 men, and that about 14,000 or 15,000 new recruits were required every year. Then, as regarded quality, the Inspector General reported that in 1880,407, in 1881, 432, and in 1882, 439 out of every 1,000 intending recruits were rejected as physically unfit. He supposed that the men no longer came to so large an extent from the country districts. Sir Lintorn Simmons said that the number of recruits who weighed no more than 8i stone had considerably increased. Then, in 1879, there were only 87 recruits who were no taller than 5 feet 5 inches, whereas, in 1881, there were 272. Then the height required for admission to the Guards had been reduced from 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 7 inches. He had been assured by an old Crimean officer that even during the pressure of that War the height had never been reduced below 5 feet 6½ inches. The troops had not only fallen off in physique, but also in numbers. In the State parade on the Queen's Birthday at Aldershot, in the First Scots there were four companies of 25 files each; ill the First Dorset, six companies of 21 files each; in the Shropshire Regiment, four companies of 17 files each; and in the First Surrey, four companies of 13 files each. Taking them altogether, that gave on the average, at the outside, about 240 to 300 men in a battalion; and he had 1540 heard the other day that one company at Aldershot paraded with only nine men. It was a matter of notoriety that so weak was the battalion guarding the convicts at Portland that they had to send to Portsmouth for reinforcements. These matters were of great importance, and all went to prove the same thing—namely, that the quantity and quality of the troops of the present day were nothing like what they ought to be or had been. Then, as to conduct, he had been able to get certain figures giving some idea of what crime had been compared with what it was in 1872. He chose that time for comparison because the great revolutionary changes in the Army had taken place then, and he had compared the old with the new system to show that there were then means of procuring an Army finer in physique and better in conduct than the Army of the present day appeared to be. In the crimes at home, he found that, in 1882, desertions had increased G per cent; violence and insubordination, 57 per cent; sleeping on posts, 59 per cent; drunkenness, 129 per cent. Disgraceful conduct had decreased 36 per cent, and absence without leave 33 per cent. Making away with necessaries had increased 2 per cent, and miscellaneous offences 42 per cent. But what he thought was most serious was that crime among non-commissioned officers appeared to have increased very much. What he really wished to call the attention of the House to was, that our Army now, in quantity and quality and in conduct, was inferior to the Army that existed 10 or 15 years ago. Then he came to the question of waste, which they knew, from disease, desertion, and discharge, was very great, and no less than 25 out of every 1,000 recruits vanished in two years, at a cost to the country of £500,000 a-year, which was worse than a scandal, for it was a serious calamity. He wished he could say the number of the Militia was any better; but there was no question that they had fallen off, as it was admitted by the Inspector General of Recruiting. The one answer for such a state of things was that the duties, both in the Regulars and the Militia, were far more severe than they used to be. There had been a great deal of police duty done, both in Ireland and England, and he could not understand why soldiers should be employed on such duties. He thought 1541 that if any assistance was required in the Police Force the Force itself ought to have been increased. As to what he might call the "dynamite scare," and the duty required of soldiers of guarding public buildings, all he could say was that, great as was the confidence he had in the British soldier, it seemed to him that one policeman on such a duty was worth at least three soldiers, who could not leave their posts even though the dynamite was being exploded at their backs. Now-a-days the soldier had not only harassing drill to attend to, but he had to go to school as well. By-and-bye, when the national system of education thoroughly permeated the country, they would probably be able to get recruits who could both read and write, who would not require to go to school; but, at present, the soldier was much harassed by the number of things he had to do. No wonder then that after a few months he got disgusted. When they considered the matter of pay, the wonder became, if possible, still greater. It had been computed that a soldier's pay, all told, was £39 a-year, or about 15s. a-week, and when that rate of pay was compared with the price of wages all over the country, it was hardly to be expected that men would enter the Army in large numbers. These were points the authorities ought to put their fingers upon with a view to diminishing harassing duty; and if the executive of the Army turned their attention to them, a great deal might be done. The Army Estimates, as the House well knew, were higher than they ever had been since the Crimean War, and if they were to raise the pay of the soldier by, say, 6d. a-day, which would no doubt increase the strength of the Army, that would probably increase the Estimates by £1,500,000. In these circumstances, he could not help thinking that they would have to come sooner or later to the question of more or less diminishing the quantity of White soldiers in the Army and improving its quality. Something, he thought, would be gained by enlisting Coloured men at semi-tropical stations to replace a certain number of White soldiers. There were at the present time, in addition to the 94,000 men at home and the 10,000 or 12,000 in Egypt, no less than 22,000 men scattered over Colonial stations at Ceylon, Mauritius, Bermuda, Canada, the Mediterranean, 1542 Hongkong, and so on. He believed in many cases it was possible to substitute Coloured men for Whites with perfect safety. The Coloured soldier would cost only about half what a White soldier did, and especially in tropical and semi-tropical climates there would be an enormous gain. Since Canada had, as it were, started on its national life it had established a National Army, and now Canada almost entirely supplied the Army which in former days came from this country. Australia was doing the same. If the policy he recommended were carried out—not abruptly, but judiciously—there were certain Colonies where in time a very considerable local Force might be raised and paid for by the Colony, and to that extent at once relieve the Imperial Exchequer and meet the difficulty of raising White troops. For one thing, he hoped the noble Lord the Secretary of State for War would not have any more Committees or Commissions. They had had Committees and Commissions ad nauseam; but the misfortune was that, after they had sat for months, or even years, and spent vast labour upon their Reports, a War Minister would probably step in and upset the whole of their recommendations, as was done, for example, by the present Chancellor of the Exchequer in regard to Lord Airy's Committee. They seemed, indeed, to be constantly going round in a vicious circle. He would ask the noble Lord to try an experiment with regard to one branch of the Service. Let him take the Foot Guards. They were 1,000 men below their strength. Let him try to raise them to their full strength on some system likely to be of a permanent nature. Illustrious and distinguished officers often told them that a great deal could be done if there was more money; but, without gainsaying that proposition, what the House and the nation ought to see was that they got their money's worth. Year after year they went on in this House calling for a reduction of the Estimates, saying the Army was not so efficient as it should be, and yet things seemed to go on without any change whatever. He could assure the Government, in conclusion, that no obstruction, veiled or unveiled, would be offered by that side of the House to any plan, if it was a good one, which the noble Lord the Secretary of State for War might submit to deal with the 1543 question. They all wished for an effective solution of the difficulty, though at the same time to see the Estimates kept within bounds. A partial meddling with the question would not do; it must be dealt with fully and comprehensively, and he was certain that a merely temporary solution would prove a failure.
§ THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL (Mr. OSBORNE MORGAN)
said, it was of great importance, in dealing with this question of crime in the Army, to arrive at the actual truth, "nothing extenuating or setting down aught in malice." He fully believed, as had been observed, that if they could get rid of drunkenness in the Army they would greatly diminish every other kind of crime; and he could assure his hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough (Mr. Caine) that there was no man in that House more anxious than he was to secure that result, because, unfortunately, there was no one who saw so much of the effects of drunkenness as he did. But the question was whether there had or had not been an improvement? With reference to the figures quoted by his hon. Friend, he regretted that he selected the statistics of 1881 rather than those of 1882. It was true that the figures for 1882 were incomplete, as they applied only to the Forces at home; but drunkenness was greater among soldiers at home than among those abroad, and therefore they might be fairly taken by him as an indication of the state of the Army generally on this point. There was, then, a very considerable improvement between the two years 1881 and 1882. Taking 100,000 men as the basis of calculation, the number of courts martial for drunkenness on duty in 1881 was 1,232, and in 1882 they fell to 1,076. The cases of simple drunkenness in 1881 was 1,059, and in 1882, 888. The number of men per 1,000 fined for drunkenness in 1881 was 129, and in 1882 it was only 115. Those figures showed a great and satisfactory decrease in the crime. The hon. Gentleman had said the great extent of this crime was due to outside influence. Of course it was; but as to the low public-houses in garrison towns, to which reference had been made, the military authorities could not interfere with them, injurious as their influence was on the Army. Hon. Members might easily imagine what an outcry would be raised if commanding officers had power to suspend 1544 the licences of public-houses within a mile of the barracks in a town like Manchester or Bradford, as proposed by his hon. Friend. That would be Local Option, or, rather, Personal Option, with a vengeance. At present, all they could do was to place such houses "out of bounds," a course which was adopted to a great extent in large towns. The comparison which the noble Lord (Lord Eustace Cecil) made between the years 1872 and 1882 was hardly fair, because the former was an extraordinarily good year—in fact, one of the best they had ever had as regarded crime in the Army. But, as a matter of fact, the condition of the Army in 1882, in this respect, would bear comparison with any previous year. In the five years previously the figures were nearly stationary. In 1881 the number of courts martial at home was 9,421, and in 1882 it fell to 8,319. The number of offences at home decreased from 13,324 in 1881 to 11,927 in 1882, while the sentences fell from 9,251 in 1881 to 8,196 in 1882. There was also a remarkable diminution in the percentage of offences by non-commissioned officers, something like 33 per cent. There had, in short, been a considerable reduction in every kind of offence, except one, in the Army serving in the United Kingdom. A great deal had been said on the subject in regard to the troops in Egypt, who were on active service, and he had been anxious to obtain for the information of the House the number of courts martial held in that country. He should state, however, that the records of general or district courts martial only came to his Office. He did not receive those of regimental courts martial. The total number of courts martial held among the troops in Egypt up to that day, and received by him, was 480, of which only 12 were general courts martial. Surely that was not an unsatisfactory state of things.
§ COLONEL COLTHURST
said, he quite admitted that it would be difficult now to induce men to enlist at once for 12 years; but we should recognize the fact that there was a difficulty in obtaining recruits, and we should give the recruit the advantage of a good bargain. He would, therefore, suggest that if a man enlisted for six years, and at the end of that time he elected to remain for another six years, and then for nine years longer, he should be allowed to do so, 1545 in order to become entitled to a pension, provided, of course, that he was a good shot, and so on. It was said that if we induced a man to remain 12 years with the Colours we got all that he was worth out of him. But if at the end of six years we offered a man no inducement to remain for 12, he would go out, because if he remained until he was 31 or 32, and then went out, his position was far worse. When it was found impossible to retain in India all but a very small proportion of men, that was all that need be said, because it was notorious to everyone who had served in that country that service there was the most popular of all, and that by giving £3 or £4 bounty half the regiment might be got to re-enlist. If the noble Lord would give what he would call Free Trade in the Army, if he would give the men a choice of going into the Reserve or going on with the Colours at their discretion, he might retain from 20 to 30 per cent of old soldiers in every regiment. And even the most fanatical advocates of short service, with the exception of Lord Wolseley, all said that it was desirable to have from 20 to 30 per cent of old soldiers, independent of non-commissioned officers, in each regiment. What we wanted to get rid of was uncertainty. Even non-commissioned officers below the rank of sergeant had no certainty. He hoped the noble Lord would take into consideration the suggestions that had been made.
§ GENERAL FEILDEN
said, that the officers of the Army had been most unfairly charged with maladministration of justice, so much so as to be a cause of additional crime. But the greatest danger possible was likely to arise to the Army, unless the reins of discipline were drawn closer. Of this he was sure—that the best officers and those who had the best regiments were the men who were at once the most strict and the most kind. You could not command a regiment or an Army unless you had the iron hand in the velvet glove. Unless a change took place we should have an Army that would disgrace us. It had been said by officers of ability that if the Transvaal and the Egyptian Campaigns had lasted much longer it would have been necessary to have men shot. Complaints was made of the waste of the Army; but 1546 the fact was that those punishments most likely to be efficacious in preventing the waste had been abolished at the very time when they were most required. And with regard to the want of men in the ranks, we had simply sacrificed the First Line to the Reserve. If Lord Cardwell's original scheme of six years with the Colours, and 25 per cent of old soldiers to be retained in each regiment, had been fairly carried out, we should have seen the Army in a very different condition to-day from that in which we now found it. The country must be prepared to spend more money on the Army if they desired to have an efficient one; and, at the same time, Members of the House must take more interest in the question, and must teach their constituents to take more interest in one of the most important questions which could be brought to the attention of the House.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
Sir, I do not think the figures given by my right hon. and learned Friend the Judge Advocate General, although some difference of opinion may have been expressed in regard to them, bear out the view that there is any serious defect in the discipline of the Army. On the contrary, I think, the House will be extremely gratified to know that Lord Dufferin, on leaving Egypt, wrote to the General commanding the Army of Occupation, expressing entire approval of the manner in which the troops had behaved both at Cairo and Alexandria, and adverting to the almost total absence of crime and the manner in which the men had conducted themselves in reference to the Native population with whom they were brought into contact. When soldiers are hard at work, and have not much time to themselves, it is not to be wondered at that crime is comparatively rare; but when they are at leisure and in idleness, as they were at Cairo, it appears to me to reflect great credit on the Army that there has been so great an absence of crime. I entirely concur with the hon. and gallant Member for North Lancashire (General Feilden) in regretting that subjects of this kind do not appear more attractive to the House than is to be gathered from the present empty Benches; upon a question of so much importance as that which has been raised by the hon. and gallant Member for West Sussex (Sir Walter B. Bartte- 1547 lot). It must be somewhat discouraging to officers and soldiers, and it certainly is discouraging to those who are charged with the administration of the Army, to find that matters so important have to be discussed before almost empty Benches. The hon. and gallant Baronet has brought forward a subject of great interest in a speech as usual of very great ability, but I think it would have been more convenient if the hon. and gallant Member had confined himself more closely to his text, and had addressed his observations to the subject of recruiting and the present condition of the Establishments of the Army. We are all perfectly aware that the hon. and gallant Member has never concealed his dislike to the changes introduced by Lord Cardwell and his Successor at the War Office, and I cannot help thinking that the aversion the hon. and gallant Member has always avowed has somewhat coloured the view which he takes of the present condition of the Army. He has referred throughout his speech to the difficulty of making men good Cavalry and Artillery soldiers in a short time, and of the prejudicial effect upon the discipline of the regimental system which passes a large number of men so rapidly through the ranks. He has deplored the loss of the regimental system, and he has expressed a hope that in some form or other it may still be found necessary to revert to the old system. All of these subjects appear to me to be wide of the immediate question, which, having regard to the Notice placed on the Paper by the hon. and gallant Member, he "desires to bring under the consideration of the House. There was one allusion the hon. and gallant Member made which I regretted still more to hear; that was when he spoke of what he described as the disgraceful scare which took place among our troops in the South African Campaign. I believe there is no Army, however well-organized it may have been or can be under any system, which can always be entirely exempt from incidents of panic. But the South African Campaign, like our campaigns in India and in Egypt, has shown that young soldiers are capable of very gallant conduct; and I think it is to be regretted, and it cannot produce good effect, that attention should be pointedly drawn to an incident, possibly susceptible of explanation, of a 1548 character which in my opinion no Army has been or ever will be entirely exempt from. The hon. and gallant Member referred to the bad effect produced upon recruits by their being rapidly hurried to duty before they have entirely acquired their drill. That is an observation in which I heartily concur, and an order has been given for the issue of a Circular for the drilling of the recruits for three months at the depôt before entering upon the ordinary duties of the regiment. The hon. and gallant Member also referred to the strength of the Reserve, and he complained that the present system is not only a failure in securing a sufficient number of men with the Colours, but that it has also failed in securing a Reserve. He quoted the number of the Reserves. He stated that on the 1st of January there were not more than 16,000 of the Reserves. But I have already pointed out that the Reserves cannot be in two places at once, and that men serving with the Colours cannot be with the Reserves. A large number at that date had been mobilized, and were on the 1st of January, although not actually present with the Colours, counted in the Returns as forming part of the Establishment of the Army. That fact I mentioned in the statement which I made in moving the Army Estimates. The course taken in demobilizing the Reserves was to allow the Reserve men six weeks' furlough, during which they received pay and rations, before they were discharged. The greater part of the men who had been called out were at that time taking their furlough which was preliminary to their discharge. They have now rejoined the Reserve, and the Return on the 12th of May was not 16,000, but 28,700. The hon. and gallant Member also referred to the dissatisfaction and discontent which he says has been caused among the Reserves owing to the bad treatment which they have received. This is the first time I have heard of any complaint. I explained at some length, in moving the Army Estimates, the course taken in regard to them. I do not think it is necessary that I should recapitulate what I have already said on this subject. During the time they were on furlough they were receiving pay and ration allowance, and I think every man was able to leave the battalion and look out for fresh work or take up his old employment with £2 or £3 in his pocket, 1549 If there is any discontent I greatly regret it, but I think it is hard to say that the discontent has been caused by any action on our part. The hon. and gallant Member also spoke in strong terms of the extreme inefficiency of the system which rendered it necessary to call out a Reserve of 15,000 or 16,000 men for the purpose of despatching a small expedition like that to Egypt. But in moving the Army Estimates I also dealt with that subject. I showed that a very small portion of the Reserves called out were actually employed in Egypt at all. I stated that 10,582 actually joined the Colours, and that of the 9,700 Infantry only 1,500 joined the Home and Mediterranean battalions; that 2,200 were sent out to form depots; that 2,200 were absorbed in the formation of second depots, which were prepared but not sent out; and that there volunteered for the Army Hospital Corps and Transport Corps 460, leaving available for the establishment of a third Division, if it were necessary to send it out, 3,340 men. Therefore, it is very far indeed from the fact that the battalions actually sent out for service in Egypt were composed mainly, or to any considerable extent, of Reserve men.
§ SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT
I do not wish to interrupt the speech of the noble Lord, but I stated in my remarks that the number actually sent out was 4,363.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
I understood the hon. and gallant Member to state that in order to send out a very small expedition it was found necessary to call out 10,000 Reserve men. But the 10,000 men were mainly called out as a precaution, and it was not found necessary, nor was it the fact, that those men were actually sent to Egypt. My right hon. Friend (Mr. Childers) explained in the early part of last year the steps which had been taken for making an efficient Army Corps, and that, as the scheme had only just been adopted, it had not its full nor anything like its full operation. The hon. and gallant Gentleman and the noble Lord the Member for West Essex (Lord Eustace Cecil) have referred to what they described as the deterioration in the quality as well as in the numbers of the troops, and the noble Lord went in great detail into an examination of tables from the Reports of the Inspector General of 1550 Recruiting to show that the size and weight of the troops had diminished. The noble Lord has taken a very extraordinary course, however, because what the Inspector General of Recruiting in his Report says is that in the past year a much greater number of men who presented themselves as recruits were rejected than heretofore. In the year under review he says the duty of examining recruits by the Army Medical Department, as a rule, had been strictly performed; and the Medical Returns showed that the number of rejected had risen from 407 in 1880 to 432 in 1881 and 439in 1882; whereas, in 1876, 1877, and 1878, the numbers were respectively 273, 293, and 298. Then, I do not understand by what process it is argued that because a larger number of recruits are rejected by the medical authorities, therefore the physical quality of the troops has deteriorated; on the contrary, it appears to me that the inference to be drawn from the fact is that the recruiting authorities are more strict than heretofore, and the probability is that the physical quality of the troops is improving rather than deteriorating. Appendix C, which was quoted by the hon. and gallant Gentleman, is one which gives the age, height, and weight of the recruits inspected; but it is not stated, and it is not the fact, that of those recruits the whole were taken. On the contrary, a large percentage of the whole number were rejected; and, therefore, it must not be supposed that the physical qualities of the troops have deteriorated. My right hon. and learned Friend the Judge Advocate General has, however, dealt with the subject, and I need not go into it again. In respect of crime in the Army, reference has been made to the state of crime in 1872; but hon. Gentlemen opposite have thought it right altogether to ignore the fact that during the last five years the statistics of crime of every description have been steadily improving. I now come to a subject which has been specially dealt with by the hon. and gallant Gentleman—namely, deficiency in recruiting; and in commenting upon the deficiency in recruiting in moving the Army Estimates a few weeks ago, I pointed out that the deficiency is one of entirely recent growth, and is in no way to be attributed to short service. One would have thought, from the observations that 1551 have been made, that deficiency in recruiting had hitherto been entirely unknown, and was due to the adoption of the system of short service; but the facts are entirely the reverse. Whatever objection may be urged to the system of short service, up to last year recruiting never failed to provide the necessary number of troops for the Army. On the contrary, under the old system of long service it was absolutely impossible to obtain the necessary number of recruits. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman refers to a table given at page 10 of the Army Returns for the present year he will find an account of the effective strength of the Establishment on the 1st of January every year from 1862 to 1872, and he will see during those 11 years that the deficiency varied from 3,000 to 9,000 men, at which it stood in one year—I think the year 1871—while in every year, with two exceptions since 1872, during which period the short-service system has been in operation, the number of recruits on the 1st of January has been in excess by an amount varying from 1,000 to 2,500. Therefore, I think it is rather hard on short service that the first year any difficulty is found in obtaining the necessary number of recruits, the system should be immediately attacked, as if to it, and it alone, was due the difficulty of obtaining the necessary recruits for the Army, when it is clear that the difficulty existed to a still greater extent under the system of long service. I quoted from the Report of the Inspector General of Recruiting what, in his opinion, were the causes of the deficiency in the number of recruits obtained last year. The employment of a considerable number of Reserve men in the Army had, of course, the effect of withdrawing them from other employment; and when increased means of employment were found, those who would otherwise have come forward as recruits were withdrawn. Another thing to which the deficiency of recruits last year was due was the step taken by my right hon. Friend last year in raising the limit of age from 18 to 19 years. In the year 1881 there were enlisted 3,901 recruits between the ages of 18 and 19; whereas, in 1882, only 197 recruits were so enlisted. We were exposed to an exceptional drain from two causes. Last year a very large number of men 1552 who had enlisted under the long-service system were entitled to take their discharge; and, at the same time that this exceptional number of long-service men were obtaining their discharge, the full force of the new system of men passing from the Colours into the Reserve was beginning to be felt. These two circumstances caused a considerable drain. The hon. and gallant Member has asked me what is the actual state of the Army at the present moment. I will state the numbers. On the 1st of May, in the British Establishment the Cavalry were 182 in excess of their strength, the Artillery were 1,450 below it, the Engineers 48, the Foot Guards 940, the Infantry 6,206, and the Departmental Corps somewhat in excess; giving a balance of deficiency in the Army in the British Establishment of 8,520 rank and file. In India the Cavalry were 111 below the strength of the Establishment, the Artillery 548 in excess, and the Infantry 758 below; making a total net deficiency of 8,841.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
That was the actual state of the Army on the 1st of May. Of course, the position will be, on subsequent Returns, somewhat worse. About 5,000 reliefs from India would probably be on their passage home on the 1st of May, or about to take their discharge, and this would make the subsequent Returns show an increase of deficiency amounting to somewhere about 5,000 men. Of course, that deficiency would be repaired as recruiting proceeds, and it must be remembered also that the deficiency is, to a certain extent, an artificial one. It is a deficiency of the actual number below the Establishment. The Establishment, however, was raised for the purposes I described in moving the Army Estimates, on the 1st of April, by 2,700. Therefore, the deficiency has been increased by that increase of Establishment. Again, there always has been, and there always will be, to a great extent, in the future, what may be called a normal deficiency below the Establishment in the month in which we are at present. The Army has generally, during the month of May and June, been several thousands below its Establishment, and this will be more the case 1553 in the future as the number of short-service men increases. That this must be the case will be evident to the House upon a few moment's consideration. The Army is like a cistern filled evenly by a process which goes on during all the months of the year. The recruiting does not vary very greatly, and the supply is gradually obtained in every month of the year. But the greatest part of the drain takes place in two or three months only of the year, when the men are arriving from India. The men from India do not come home at the exact moment they complete their service, but they come home in large drafts, and as soon as they arrive at home they are discharged. The greater part of the annual drain, therefore, of the Army takes place in the months in which we now find ourselves, and there is, and always will be, a deficiency in the present month. The increase in the Establishment voted by Parliament and the usual deficiency which always takes place at this period of the year will probably account for 6,000 or 8,000 men. I am very far from saying that that is not a serious matter, and one which requires the earnest attention both of the Government and of the House; but I venture to think that it is wrong to attribute it entirely to the organization which has recently been adopted. The noble Lord the Member for West Essex (Lord Eustace Cecil) called upon me not to adopt any temporary measure which might be advisable. Well, Sir, considering the peculiar circumstances of last year, we may fairly consider the deficiency temporary.
§ LORD EUSTACE CECIL
The noble Lord has rather misunderstood me. I hoped he would do more in the shape of a permanent addition than of a temporary addition.
THE MARQUESS OF HAETINGTON
If the evil is found to be a permanent one, I entirely agree with the noble Lord that it would require a permanent remedy; but it is difficult to know precisely what is the extent of the deficiency, and I think we should be making a great mistake, if we were to rush suddenly into new changes or any considerable alteration of the system, until we are satisfied that the difficulties we have to face are not temporary, but permanent difficulties. The effect of the measures we 1554 propose to take has already been explained to a certain extent. We have decided, as I stated in March last, to relax the stringency of the rules in regard to recruiting. We have not reverted absolutely to the limit of age of 18, at which recruits may be taken; but we think that confidence may be placed in the recruiting officers, and we have, therefore, allowed them a discretion, and we do not compel them to reject men who, in their opinion, would make eligible soldiers simply because they have not arrived at the age of 19. A large discretion has, therefore, been given to the recruiting authorities, and, with the experience they have gained, I think they are capable of exercising it to the advantage of the Service. The chest measurement of the gunners of the Artillery has been reduced from 35 to 34 inches, and the standard of height of the Foot Guards has also been reduced. The hon. and gallant Member has heard that recruiting is now going on favourably; but the hon. and gallant Member warned me beforehand that he was not conciliated by the fact that recruiting for some weeks has been going on advantageously. I am informed that in the opinion of the recruiting authorities the quality of the recruits obtained has not in any degree fallen off. If the recruiting of the first four months of the year, and more especially of the last few weeks, be maintained—and we have been recruiting lately an average of 600 men per week, and last week we recruited 740 men—we shall obtain from 29,000 to 30,000 recruits in the year, which will certainly be sufficient and more than sufficient to meet the normal requirements of the Service, although, perhaps, not sufficient to supply the deficiency which I have stated to exist. Now, the question is, what steps are to be taken in order to supplement the supply of recruits, and to fill up the deficiency which now exists in the ranks of the Army? Of course, the first step to be taken is to endeavour in every way to check the ordinary waste of the Army—the waste by desertion, and the waste of all kinds. So far as our experience of the present year goes that object has been to a certain extent attained. For the last few years the annual average of desertion has been 4,843, and the number of desertions during the past months of the present year has been very little 1555 more than 1,000, so that if the rate of desertion does not increase in the present year the total desertions this year will only be 2,500 against an annual average of 4,843. The number of men discharged by purchase is also decreasing. We propose to take measures for the purpose of temporarily checking the flow of men from the ranks into the Reserves. I agree that nothing would be more to be deplored than that the formation of a Reserve should be checked or impeded permanently; but I agree with what the hon. and gallant Member has said on that subject, that if we are to have a deficiency anywhere, and if we cannot get the men, the deficiency of recruits upon the Establishment with the Colours is the first thing to be considered, and the Reserves, if necessary, must bear a temporary loss. With that object we propose, as has been stated, to give a larger bounty to men who are in India for the purpose of inducing them to extend their service. The matter is not decided yet, but it is under the consideration of the War Office and the India Office. The noble Lord the Member for West Essex (Lord Eustace Cecil) has referred to the fact that I said to-day that only 400 men accepted the bounty offered last year. I believe that is greatly due to the fact that the offer was not made last year to the men in sufficient time. If the offer is made to the men in time to enable them to make their arrangements and to consider the subject before having arranged to return home, I believe a moderate bounty would probably secure an extension of service on the part of a number of these men. If, on the other hand, it is only offered after the men have made their arrangements for returning home, a comparatively small number only would accept it. It is also proposed to offer a small bounty to men at home who would be eligible for drafts to extend their service for five years. For the present, all men who would be entitled to take their discharge in six or seven years will be allowed to extend their service so as to complete 12 years, and at the expiration of 12 years they will be eligible for re-engagement in order to entitle them to a pension.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
It will be held out to all men who wish 1556 to extend their service. All men who wish to extend it for the period of six years will be allowed to extend their service up to 12 years. Of course, these steps will retard the formation of the Reserve; but as soon as they have effected their object of filling up the ranks of the Army, it will be perfectly possible to recoup the Reserve. It ma3' appear that in these proposals there is some risk of increasing the Pension Vote; but that, in my opinion, is not a very serious risk, because at the expiration of 12 years the men will be entitled to £36 as deferred pay. But they would not be entitled to that deferred pay until they leave the Army in the event of their re-enlisting, and the prospect of receiving £36 in ready money will weigh very strongly with them when they consider whether they should re-enlist or leave the Army. Of course, the length of time during which these measures will go on will depend on the state of recruiting, and on the number of men who appear inclined to avail themselves of our proposals. At all events, the change will furnish us with an answer to those who say that we are discouraging large numbers of soldiers who desire to continue their service with the Colours by insisting that they should leave the Army at a particular period. On the other hand, what we propose will, I think, have a beneficial effect, because we shall now ascertain exactly whether there is any considerable number of men who are disgusted by being forced to leave the Army after the lapse of a certain number of years. For the Guards, we propose to make a certain change in the manner of enlistment. We propose to enlist men for 12 years, three of which will be spent with the Colours, and nine with the Reserve. At the same time, we shall allow the men at any period of service to extend the period of three years with the Colours. We hope by this means to increase the number of recruits, and we shall be enlisting men for the shortest period that is at all desirable with a view of securing their thorough training. On the other hand, we propose to allow men who desire to extend their period of service to extend it either up to the six years or even to a. longer period. The hon. and gallant Member has referred to the subject of the general waste of the Army, and he has referred also to the Report of Lord 1557 Airey's Committee. I do not think, at this time of night, that it is necessary for me to go into the general question of the waste of the Army. I entirely admit that it is a most serious and important question, and one which ought ever to be present to the minds of those who are responsible for the administration of the Army. But it seems to me almost useless at this particular moment to revert to the question of the waste of the Army and the recommendations of Lord Airey's Committee. The House has had those recommendations before it for two years, and proposals have been made on the Report of that Committee. It was the subject of discussion in this House two years ago. If the waste in the Army was increasing it might be necessary to refer seriously to the consideration of the question; but it is altogether erroneous to suppose that it is increasing. On the contrary, it is a diminishing quantity. In the speech to which I have been obliged to refer more than once I gave figures upon that subject, and I do not think I can place the matter before the House more shortly than I did then. I showed then that, in 1878, the waste of men recruited in that and the two previous years was 270 per 1,000; and that, in 1881, the waste of men recruited in that and two previous years was 208 per 1,000. The diminution continued in 1882, the latest year for which we had Returns, and if it were continued in 1884 it would be 146 per 1,000, an improvement in the whole period of 124 per 1,000, or nearly one-half the waste which prevailed in 1878 among the younger soldiers. We are, therefore, to a very considerable extent, achieving the object which Lord Airey's Committee had in view—namely, in checking the terrible waste among our younger soldiers which formerly prevailed. That waste is now gradually diminishing, and we may hope that it may cease altogether in the course of time. The adoption of short service in the Army has given us useful information on many subjects; and if we could find among soldiers recruited for an obligatory service with the Colours of three years a number of men willing to extend their period of service sufficient for the needs of India and the Colonies, I think we may yet arrive at a solution of the difficulty of the whole question. 1558 If we can adopt a plan for the whole Army, by which men agreeing to enlist for three years would consent to extend their service, then I think, to a great extent, our present difficulties would be got over, and in that way, I think, we should be able to check the waste of the Army. These are the measures which we propose to take. Some of them have a temporary and others have a permanent character. I do not think at present that it is desirable to make greater proposals. On the whole, I hope the House will be satisfied with the explanations I have given, and with the result of the discussion which has been raised on this subject by the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite.
I think, Sir, the House will agree with me that it is almost impossible to over-estimate the importance of the statement which has just been made by the noble Lord. The discussion, commenced by the speech of my hon. and gallant Friend behind me, delivered, I fear, in rather a thin House, has been well worthy of the attention of the House. At any rate, it has had the effect of bringing forth a most important announcement from the noble Lord. I think he is to be congratulated upon having looked in the face the grave state of things that exists, and for having frankly and honestly proposed to the House such remedies as he deems necessary. The noble Lord, it is true, entered in some detail upon a criticism of something which had been said in regard to the shortcomings of the Army, and he has rightly enough pointed out that the deficiency in the Army which has taken place within the last few years is mainly due to the short-service system, which has now been in existence for 12 years. I am bound to say that the statement the noble Lord has made, so far as I am able to judge, can hardly be looked upon as anything less than going back to a permissive system of long service. As I understand it, his statement amounts to this, that, at all events at the present time, any soldier who enlists can claim the right to re-engage—that is, that he can go on for a pension after his 12 years of service.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
The first operation is not re-engagement, but an extension during the period of his enlistment. He is enlisted for 12 1559 years, and what he is able to do is to extend his service with the Colours.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
If he goes on for 12 years, and is a man of good character and fit for service, he is entitled to re-engage.
I will not express any opinion upon the question at this moment, but I want to get at the facts first. The matter is a very important one, and it is necessary to take it in detail. I understand that he enlists for 12 years, and he has a right to extend, as the noble Lord puts it, the Colour service to 12 years. After that time he may, of his own option, reengage for a further period of nine years, going on for a pension?
That is a very important qualification, and I think that on some future occasion the noble Lord will find it well to clear up the expression he used to the effect that this extension to long service might be temporary or otherwise, according to the necessities of the Service and according to what the Secretary of State may think necessary for the service of the time. I want to draw attention to that point at once, because I think whether we advocate short or long service makes no difference. People will agree almost on all sides that one of the great difficulties attending recruiting has been the uncertainty in which the men have found themselves. It is a great thing to be able to draw men into the Service—to be able to say that at the present time a man may engage for 21 years' service and a pension. But if the Secretary of State, whoever he may be a few years hence, is able to say to those men—"I do not want you now in the ranks, and you must leave the Service altogether," there will still be that uncertainty which really spoils recruiting. I quite agree with the noble Lord in the step he has taken. I do not think he expressed it in words, but his arguments led up to it, that the state of things to which we have come is one very little removed from the Service which existed formerly. We are to have the service extended by seven, eight, and, in some instances, nine years with the Colours. It is comparatively a small step, but I 1560 am far from saying that it is not a wise or an unnecessary one. On the other hand, it must be borne in mind that exactly to this extent you are doing away with the chances of the Reserve, which was one of the main institutions of Lord Cardwell's scheme. It is quite true that the Secretary of State looks upon this as one of the advantages which may countervail to a certain extent the advantage of pension. On the other hand, the man who does not go on for a pension to 21 years would receive deferred pay at the end to the extent of his Colour service, whatever that may be. That to a certain extent will apply; but as I understand, on the other hand, there is no corresponding extension of service for 21 years in the Reserve. At the present time, the total service with the Colours and with the Reserve is 12 years. I do not know whether the noble Lord intends to extend the period of Reserve service also, with a view of meeting the deficiency which would otherwise take place. There is no doubt whatever that difficulties may be experienced in regard to this matter, and that it is a very grave state of affairs. According to the statement of the noble Lord himself, there were 8,700 men below the strength on the 1st of last month, and 5,000 are now on their way home, or shortly will be from India, and a large proportion may not be disposed to re engage. Even deducting the 2,700 men by which the noble Lord increased the Estimates when he proposed them this year, even omitting those men, it is perfectly clear that the Army is practically at least 10,000 men below its strength. It must be borne in mind that the Reserve system was established not only to meet the necessity of filling up the battalions to take their place in the field, but was also instituted to remedy the deficiency of battalions when in the field. Therefore, I hope the noble Lord will carefully consider whether, now that he has increased the amount of inducements to remain with the Colours and to take on for longer service, he will not also correspondingly take into consideration some system of extension at least to the amount by which he has reduced the Reserve at the present time. There is no doubt that, for some time past, people have been asking whether the price we have been paying in money and in men for the Reserve was fully compensated 1561 for by the advantages of the present system? Of course, the noble Lord's Predecessor was placed under great difficulties in trying in this country a similar system of short service by voluntary enlistment which in other countries is carried on under compulsion. In this matter in this country we must put our pride in our pockets, and we must confront the fact that, with the voluntary service, we must get the men upon their terms and not upon ours. Therefore, whatever advantages there may be in the system which has been proposed, I still think that the importance of the Reserve is one the magnitude of which it is almost impossible to exaggerate. Nevertheless, I think the noble Lord takes the right view of the situation, when he says that when it becomes a question between the Establishment with the Colours and that with the Reserves the Establishment with the Colours is most undoubtedly the first thing to be considered. Now, this is a great change, and I hope we shall not be thought unfair if we press for a good deal of further information. In the first place, the whole estimate as to the growth of the Reserve is interfered with; and I should very much like to know if the noble Lord has had any calculations worked out as to what the growth of the Reserve is likely to be under his system—whether he has had worked out any Papers, corresponding to those laid upon the Table of the House when the deferred pay system was introduced, showing what, after a term of years, would be the effect of the growth both of deferred pay, and what undoubtedly will now be the growth of the Pensions Vote accompanying it? It was felt that the amount would increase more after a certain time; but it was also said as an inducement to the House that, after a particular period, the decrease in the Pensions Vote would more than counterbalance the increase in the Deferred Pay Vote. Now, all these calculations are, of course, entirely set aside by the change which the noble Lord has intimated to the House, and I hope, therefore, that on the earliest possible occasion he will allow us to obtain from him such further information as I think the House has every right to expect. At this hour, and after the important announcement which has been made, I do not wish to go into some 1562 matters which have been treated by several other hon. Members in the course of the debate. I entirely agree with what was said by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Cork County (Colonel Colthurst)—namely, that you want in these matters freedom of trade. You want to get men who will come into the Army on the best terms you can afford to offer, and when you get good men you want to keep them, if they so prefer it, with the Colours, or in the Reserve, if they find that condition suits them best. In a voluntary system like ours, as I have said before, pride must be a secondary consideration; you have to consider how you can carry out your system of voluntary enlistment. It must be admitted that a great change is taking place day by day in respect of the Reserve; and, after the experience of the last few years' deficiency of recruits, I think the feeling of the House and the country will be that this grave evil must be promptly and efficiently grappled with, and I am far from saying that the noble Lord, in the changes he has made, will not have the support even of those who are unfavourable to the scheme.
§ COLONEL KINGSCOTE
said, he would not go at that moment into the question as to the great lack of recruits, although there was much which invited him to do so. There could be no doubt as to the deficiency that now existed; it was even greater than people supposed, and the difficulties in the way of getting recruits, so to speak, made his hair stand on end. He hoped the noble Lord would remember that there was no more certain way of getting recruits than by letting them know exactly what they might expect. We might enlist a certain number of men for a few years who had got into some scrape, or who joined the Army because they wanted to have a lark; but the men who wished to make the Army their profession were those to whom longer service was necessary. It was such men as these that they ought to try to keep in the ranks either as privates or non-commissioned officers. Therefore, he rejoiced that the noble Lord had taken the step he had announced, and, if it proved to be successful, he hoped it would be extended.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
said, he congratulated the noble Lord on the decision he had announced that evening. 1563 He had frequently expressed his belief that they would never succeed in obtaining a suitable Army for India until they had an Army composed of long-service and short-service men. That would be the effect of the plan of the noble Lord. But he rose also for the purpose of saying that the change would not necessarily have the effect that had been attributed to it, of diminishing the Reserve. If men were allowed to enlist for a short period, with the certainty that they would not be sent to India, he believed that a large number of recruits would be attracted to the ranks. The system would be beneficial, not only in maintaining the Army abroad, but in maintaining at home the number of men necessary to defend the country.
§ MR. STANLEY LEIGHTON
said, he was somewhat disappointed with the speech of the noble Lord, because he endeavoured to create an impression that everything was right in the Army, and that no reasons existed for alarm or anxiety. The noble Lord had failed to disprove what had been so amply shown by the figures of his hon. and gallant Friend, which constituted a tremendous indictment against the present system. His hon. and gallant Friend urged that in the last decade crime in the Army had gone on increasing; the noble Lord mot this by saying that it was not increasing this year. His hon. and gallant Friend had proved that the number of cases of desertion was never greater than it was at that moment. As to recruits, it was allowed by the noble Lord himself that we were 8,000 short of the proper number; and that fact alone was quite enough to make hon. Members who did not belong to the Army, and the people at large, feel that there was something wrong. Esprit de corps, if it had not disappeared from the Army, was seriously weakened; while as to the territorial system, it had broken down altogether. He asked any hon. Gentleman who lived in the neighbourhood of any of the local military centres to visit the barracks, and he would find there 30 or 40 men only in place of 400. It was a fact that 25,000 men out of an Army of 95,000 were unfit for service; one-third of the Army that went to Egypt was taken from the Reserve, because that proportion of the Regular troops were unable to go. But the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Judge Advo- 1564 cate General thought he could get over all these difficulties by issuing Circulars. That was his method of curing drunkenness in the Army, of which the hon. Member for Scarborough. (Mr. Caine) complained so justly. The real difficulty was that they had fallen into the habit of getting non-effective soldiers too young or too weak for service, and veiling the real state of the Army from the public. He observed that some of the expressions used by the noble Lord, and by his Predecessor in Office, the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, on this subject were identical. The words of the late Secretary of State for War were—"Every week we are getting more men and better men, and we are able to allow a number of men of less than six years' service to go to the Reserve." That was pretty nearly what the noble Lord had said; but it was merely throwing dust in the eyes of the public. Lord Wolseley, in one of his despatches, had stated that "Her Majesty's recruits acted with as much valour and courage as Her Majesty's oldest soldiers." Such a statement from such an authority was absolutely misleading. The complaint was not that boys could not fight courageously, but that they could not endure the hardships of a campaign. He said that the system pursued by the Government in that House and throughout the country was to blind the public to the real state of things in the Army. The noble Lord had acknowledged in his speech that for years to come we should want 36,000 recruits annually, and that at the present moment we were only getting them at the rate of 26,000 a-year. And how were we getting them? By lowering the standard of physique. As the result of that system, the waste of the Army was at the rate of 6,000 men a-year. Was not that a statement which should cause grave anxiety to the country? Desertion alone had cost in the last few years £3,000,000 sterling to the country. These were facts which ought to be plainly stated to the House by the Minister responsible for the Army, who should not endeavour in any way to cloak or conceal from the country the actual state of affairs. The House and the country had a right to know precisely how they stood with regard to the Army in all its weakness and in all its strength. The truth in this case could do no harm; the real danger 1565 lay in misleading the House by concealment of the truth. Supposing that during the War in Egypt the Italians, or or some other European Power, had thrown themselves into the battle against us, where would that Army have been which was strong enough to fight those who ran away, but melted away before the ravages of disease and climate? He said it was nothing less than gambling with the National Assurance not to state in that House, in its full extent, the failure of the present system of recruiting, and its injurious effect upon the Army, for we might be perfectly certain that there was not a Foreign Office in the whole of Europe that did not well know its actual state.
said, the House must be aware that the statement they had heard from the noble Lord that evening was one of a most important character. Amongst other things they were, to a great extent, to go back to the long-service system, the abandonment of which had cost the country so large a sum of money. That change would not only reverse what had been done, but it would assuredly bring heavy charges upon the country in the future by way of pensions to the men. He should be glad to know if any calculation had been made as to what those future charges would be? Another point to be considered was the effect which this change would have upon the Reserve. But on that subject they had heard nothing. He rose principally for the purpose of asking the noble Lord what opportunity the House would have of discussing these great changes? He hoped that that opportunity would be afforded at no distant date. It was impossible that the changes could be discussed at that Sitting; and, moreover, they were of such a character as to require much consideration before they were debated. He hoped to hear that the Army Estimates would be brought forward early, or else that some other opportunity would be afforded by the Government.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
asked the noble Lord if he could lay upon the Table an Estimate of the cost of the changes he intended to make, because he understood that the Government not only intended to return to the old system, but that they proposed to institute a more expensive form of long service? He believed that under the old system 1566 the soldier had only the right to a pension, but he would hereafter have a right to deferred pay also. Therefore, it was evident that the Non-Effective Vote would be gradually increased, and that the House, before discussing the matter, should he in possession of the probable coat of the alteration.
§ SIR ARTHUR HAYTER
said, it would be necessary to take the Army Estimates during the present month of June, since additional money would be required for Military services during the last week. He had already explained to the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Lancashire, who understood the proposal, what was the case with regard to deferred pay; but he would again state publicly that the soldier would earn deferred pay to the amount of £3 a-year during his first period of service. At the end of 12 years, he would, therefore, be entitled to £36 on that account. If the soldier re-engaged, he would be entitled to a pension, but would not earn £3 of deferred pay during his second period of service. His deferred pay would not be paid—the £36 previously mentioned—until the close of the second period, whenever the soldier was finally discharged.
§ Motion, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," by leave, withdrawn. Committee inferred till Monday next.
asked the Prime Minister if he would be good enough to state, as he had promised to do, what Business would be proceeded with on Tuesday, in the event of the two Annuity Bills not continuing after a certain time?