HC Deb 22 March 1886 vol 303 cc1506-37
MR. HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

, in rising to move— That, in the opinion of this House, for the efficiency and development of the Volunteer Force, an immediate increase in the Capitation Grant is absolutely and urgently necessary, said: There are so many hon. Members around me intimately acquainted with the condition of the Volunteer Force from service therein, that it will not be necessary for me, I hope, to detain the House at any great length. The circumstances attending the formation of the present Volunteer Force will be well within the recollection of the House. At the mere rumour of the possible invasion of this Island by a foreign nation, tens of thousands of all ages, of all callings, and of all classes, flocked to arms. As you, Mr. Speaker, doubtless remember, working men vied with nobles and with each other in their demonstrations of patriotism and of loyalty. The danger, if it ever existed, passed away; but not so the National Army created by the apprehension. In 1859 the supreme importance of national defence was indelibly impressed upon the hearts of a large proportion of British subjects; and it is there, Sir, to-day, after 27 years of stern proof, stronger than ever. Few, indeed, were able to believe that so vast a force could be long held together by national spirit alone. Prophets were not wanting, as they never are, who loudly declared that so soon as the danger disappeared, and, forsooth, that as soon as the novelty of military exercise or of uniform wore off, the Volunteer Force would fall away and die. But, as every man in this country and every hon. Member of this House knows, the prophets and the critics were wrong, as they usually are. The Volunteer Force encountered much ridicule, much discouragement, and much opposition. But, to the glory of the British nation, it has come triumphant through it all, and now is entitled, I submit, to take rank as one of the most remarkable national institutions in the world. It evokes the admiration, it excites the envy of foreign nations. They cannot understand how an Army now nearly 250,000 strong can possibly be maintained, not only without compulsion, but without pay, or the receipt of any civil advantage of any sort or kind. The British Volunteers gladly sacrifice both leisure and money, and undergo much discomfort and inconvenience, to submit themselves to military discipline, and undergo military training. It cannot fail to be a source of pride to be associated with such splendid men in a position of authority; but many hon. and gallant Members will share the difficulty I feel, after commanding two Metropolitan regiments, in understanding why men should go through so much as do the Volunteers for such scanty recognition at the hands of their countrymen. Let the House but reflect for a minute upon what the Volunteer Force has done, and is still doing, for the country. There can hardly be a doubt, Sir, that had it not been for this glorious institution we should ere this have been compelled to adopt some form of compulsory service. Some hon. Members may disagree with me; but I submit that it would have been impossible for Great Britain to have remained passive while every European country converted their able-bodied manhood into soldiery. Our concern with Continental affairs may be small by comparison; but a few miles of sea would not have been sufficient to insure our insular safety, if we had not felt that a large proportion of the male population were training themselves to defend our shores against any invader. I do not hesitate to say that we owe it to the Volunteer Force that the yoke of conscription does not oppress the necks of our youth. But the Volunteer Force has rendered yet another service to the country, and this not of a military character. It has promoted the physical development of the nation, and it has added a great interest to the lives of hundreds of thousands of young men. It has fired their laudable ambition, and provided them with honourable recreation. There is, I feel sure, not an hon. Member having many persons in his employ who does not look with favour upon those under him joining the Volunteer Force. He knows that healthy recreation is the surest preparation for good and useful work. It is for this, among other reasons, that great mercantile houses such as Shoolbreds, Maples, Broad woods, Trollopes, Lamberts, and dozens of other patriotic firms, spend large sums annually upon the Volunteer Companies recruited, among their employés. They recognize the great moral value of the Volunteer Force. My hon. Friends below the Gangway opposite will agree that many working men share this feeling. There is, indeed, hardly a place of business in the country whose best hands have not been, or are not, Volunteers. The national and patriotic feeling, I say without fear of contradiction, is strong among the working men of Great Britain; and it is glorious to see them, after their labour is done, shouldering their rifles in their country's cause, and drilling for hours without fee or reward, and often in the cold and wet. But the Volunteer Force has not only averted conscription, not only been of moral advantage to the nation, but it has also, I feel assured, earned a claim to the gratitude even of those whose opinions are ably reflected in this House by the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil (Mr. Richard), for it has preserved peace by showing a readiness for war. What then, Sir, has been the attitude of the State towards the Force? I am glad to be able to say that the prejudice and discouragement it had at one time to encounter are now of the past. At the present time the Volunteer Force receives every encouragement and assistance from His Royal Highness the Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chief, and the whole of the Military Authorities. The Army no longer regards the Volunteer Force with jealousy and ill-disguised contempt, but as a valued Auxiliary Service, providing many of its best recruits. The House will learn this, I trust, this evening from far more competent lips than mine—as, for instance, from the distinguished and gallant Ge- neral who represents Birkenhead (Sir Edward Hamley), and the hon. and gallant Baronet opposite the Member for Durham (Sir Henry Havelock-Allan). The Volunteer Force, Sir, now consists, as I have already stated, of nearly 250,000 men. They are divided into 213 battalions of Infantry, 60 corps of Artillery, 17 corps of Engineers, and 4 corps of Volunteer horse. Of the total strength of 224,012, no less than 218,207, or 97 per cent were returned last year as efficient according to the requirements of the War Office. These are that they should do 60 drills in the first two years of their service, and subsequently nine drills, besides firing either 60 rounds of ball cartridge on passing into what is technically known as the second musketry class. The War Office conditions being fulfilled, an allowance of 30s. per man is granted to the corps six months after the lapse of the Volunteer year, which begins on November 1, and terminates on October 31. I ask the pardon of the House for entering on these details; but it is of the utmost importance that hon. Members should thoroughly understand the present position of affairs, and I and my hon. Friends who will support me are but the spokesmen of a very large section of our countrymen. The Government gives a further allowance of £1 a-year for those officers and non-commissioned officers who have gone through a course at a school of military instruction, or have passed an examination. The House will be glad to learn that there were last year no less than 18,368 proficients under this head. They also allow 10s. a-year to the 727 zealous officers who have passed an examination in tactics. Out of the aggregate of these sums every single expense has to be defrayed by the officers and members of Volunteers corps, with the exception of the pay of one Adjutant, an officer of the Regular Army, detached for five years for drill purposes, and three or four Sergeant Instructors per battalion. Rifles and bayonets are, it is true, provided, and there is an allowance of 2s. per day for a limited number of men to go into camp. With these exceptions, and one or two small allowances, everything has to be furnished by the corps. They have to provide uniform, clothing, and equipment for the men, and to hire head-quarters and offices, to rent drill places and ranges, to pay journey ex- penses in transit to and from reviews—in short, to find everything. When it is considered that the provision of uniform alone, without great-coats, costs nearly the whole of the Capitation Grant of 30s. a man for three years, and that the men, in default of private agreement, are by law entitled to leave after a fortnight's notice, the House will readily understand that the expenses are very much in excess of the Government grant. It is, of course, highly essential that in the consideration of this matter the House should confine its attention entirely to necessary expenditure. If I were to seek to lead hon. Gentlemen into other channels I should be taking up the time of the House unnecessarily, and entering upon the endless field of individual extravagance. In 1878, following a conference of Volunteer officers at the Royal United Service Institution, in which I bore a somewhat active part, a Committee was appointed by the War Office to inquire into the requirements of the Volunteer Force. Many changes for the better resulted therefrom. But as they were precluded from entering into the financial question the position of the Volunteers was not improved, and this notwithstanding that a Return called for elicited the fact that the expenditure of 23 Metropolitan regiments was £9,135 in excess of the receipts from Government. I have lately been favoured with details of the necessary expenses of nearly every regiment in the force, and have them here open to the inspection of hon. Members. Under this head of necessary expenses I include rent of head-quarters or drill places, payment of interest on money borrowed for the purchase of buildings, rent of rifle ranges, uniforms and equipments, travelling expenses to and from reviews, united drills, parades, and ranges, salaries and allowances, bands, issue of orders, printing, and other necessary incidentals. I venture to think that hon. Members will agree that every one of these items is absolutely necessary to the efficiency of the force. A regiment must have a head-quarters, a drill hall wherein to train in the long winter nights, and ranges whereon to shoot. It must be clothed in uniform and pay for transit to reviews, have a certain staff for the transaction of necessary business. It is very desirable that it should go into camp for a few days in the year, and a band has always been found necessary, at all times, in every military body. I will not weary the House by going through the whole of these Returns; but taking 100 regiments, representing about 75,000 men, at random from the whole, I find that for head-quarters, drill places and drill halls, or interest on money borrowed for their erection, they paid last year, in round numbers, £28,000; for rifle ranges, £14,500; for uniform clothing, £53,000; for travelling expenses, £20,000; for salaries, £9,600; for camps, incidentals, and bands, £34,000. The total obligatory expenditure, then, last year of these 100 regiments, representing about one-third of the force, was more than £32,000 in excess of the Government allowances. How was this enormous deficiency of £32,000 provided? It had to be found, in greater part, by the officers, in addition to the expenses they incur of uniforms, prizes, social gatherings, and a dozen other claims. What is the inevitable result of such treatment at the hands of the country to whom we give our time, our study, and the best service we are able to render? It is that great difficulty exists in finding suitable officers. Men without private means are almost excluded from the commissioned rank. Those military men who are compelled by existing Regulations to leave the Army in the prime of life are debarred from continuing their military work, are shut out from the Auxiliary Service, to which they would be simply invaluable, by the great expenses involved. The Volunteer Force now lacks upwards of 1,100 officers, and the difficulty of obtaining them increases from year to year. Surely, Sir, the House will no longer tolerate this short-sighted policy. I trust that hon. Members have noticed the remarkable letter on this subject in to-day's Times from Lord Bury—one of the most competent authorities on the subject. He points out what is undoubtedly the fact, that in the early days of the Volunteer Force many rich men were in their ranks. They have, however, now given place to others less blessed with this world's goods, but more valuable from a military point of view. Subscriptions used to flow in freely. Now they are very difficult to obtain. Will the House permit me to give a single instance of this? I wrote to the late Duke of Wel- lington to help me to raise a small sum to acquire head-quarters for the corps I have the honour to command here in Westminster. The expenditure was and is absolutely necessary. His Grace, well known for his liberality and admiration of the Volunteers, said he disapproved of private individuals being called upon to put their hands into their pockets to discharge the duty of the State. The same answer is now nearly always returned. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury, then, as now, Prime Minister, animated doubtless by similar reasons, refused the use of his great name on the Committee formed for the purpose. The War Office refused to advance the money even on the undoubted security of a lease of 99 years. The then Home Secretary, now the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir William Harcourt), found it necessary to eject us from Westminster Hall, where, with the London Scottish and London Irish, we had drilled for a quarter of a century. I only mention this as a single instance of the great difficulties under which the Volunteer Force labours. The experience of all is the same. In large towns rents are enormous; ranges are difficult to obtain within accessible distance, and the drill has often to take the form of a peaceable demonstration amid an admiring mob. The Volunteers make no unreasonable demands. We seek no impossibilities from the Government. We seek nothing for ourselves—no civic advantages—not even the relief from jury duty, which the patriotic democracy of America gladly affords the members of its National Guard. But what we do humbly ask of the Representatives of the people of this great nation are the means to provide ourselves with what is absolutely necessary to discharge our duty to our Queen and to our country. If a deaf ear is turned to our entreaty, which is practically that of every Volunteer in Great Britain—of 225,000 men now serving, of 500,000 more who have served—then the Volunteer Force cannot fail to decline. It is a question of the utmost urgency. The force is here to day at the service of the country, full of vitality, but not ready for the field, badly equipped, without great-coats, without knapsacks, without transport, with bad accommodation, cramped and held back in every way by a false and petty economy. What would not Germany, France, Italy, or Russia do for such a force? I hope the hon. Member for Leith opposite (Mr. Jacks), who knows the feeling abroad on the subject, will tell the House what is thought in Germany of the treatment of the British Volunteers by the British Government. We do not seek the charity of our countrymen. We appeal to the gratitude, the patriotism, the foresight of the people of Great Britain and Ireland. These Returns I hold in my hand prove beyond all question that the absolutely necessary expenses of the Volunteer Force are upwards of £100,000 a-year in excess of the Government grant. We may be content to spend £100,000 more, with the help of our friends, towards special matters connected with the efficiency of our regiments and the popularity of the Service. But we do ask the State, in the name of justice—the State for whom we devote ourselves—to give us the means of obtaining the absolute necessities for military duty. This can only be done effectually by an increase of 10s. per head per efficient in the present Capitation Grant. That is a sum of £110,000. The need is urgent, clear, and positive. No inquiry can throw further light on the matter. I can well understand the anxiety of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to incur no unavoidable expense. The anxiety to relieve the taxpayer is shared up to the hilt by hon. Members on these Benches. But let me very respectfully assure the right hon. Gentleman that when he is no longer Chancellor of the Exchequer, but again a Parliamentary candidate, liberality in this respect will repay him a hundred-fold; and future generations, too, will arise in gratitude. We seek but the 1,000th part of the cost of a single day of war, of a single battle, of the mere rumour of invasion. I invoke the generosity of the House. I invoke the patriotism of Her Majesty's Government. I appeal to the liberality of hon. Gentlemen opposite. I appeal to the national feeling of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway on the other side. I appeal to hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway on this side of the House; and, lastly, I trust to the undivided support of hon. Gentlemen around me, of the Party in the State whose very name truly symbolizes its one guiding principle, the conservation of the unity of the Empire. The Volunteer Force plays an important part in this sacred duty, and, as such, it appeals with confidence to the generosity of Parliament. It remains now for me, Sir, to thank the House for the attention with which it has been pleased to listen to me, and to beg the indulgence of hon. Members for the very imperfect way in which I have attempted to lay before them the salient requirements of the free and National Army. I beg, then, to submit, for the unanimous and generous consideration of this House, that for the thorough efficiency, maintenance, and development of the Volunteer Force, an immediate increase in the Capitation Grant is absolutely and urgently necessary.

MR. GURDON (Norfolk, Mid)

said, he had much pleasure in seconding the Motion of the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Howard Vincent), and in doing so he (Mr. Gurdon) might observe he fully agreed with all that the hon. Member had advanced in his eloquent and convincing speech. The hon. Member had told the House from his own experience what were the wants and requirements of Volunteer corps in London; and he (Mr. Gurdon), speaking on behalf of country corps—to whom every argument that had been adduced applied with threefold force — could from a long experience say that they in the country required drill sheds, armouries, magazines, training grounds, shooting grounds, &c., equally as much as they were required in London; and, though they were not congregated together in such large bodies, yet, owing to the scattered character of the corps, these requirements were, if anything, more necessary and little less costly. When a battalion consisted of six, eight, or 10 companies, distributed in small and scattered towns, there must be drill shed, rifle ground, armoury, and magazine for each company, and this involved a greater expense in the aggregate than would be necessary if the arrangements could be more concentrated. In fact, the demands upon Volunteers, officers and men, were so heavy that an increase of the Capitation Grant was absolutely necessary if the force was to be maintained in a state of efficiency. At present considerable expenditure over and above the amount allowed by Government as Capitation Grant — however economically the Capitation Grant was spent—was incurred; and the deficiency had to come out of the pockets of officers and men, and those pockets were not just now particularly full. He (Mr. Gurdon) had been so long connected with his regiment that he had begun to think it time to retire to make way for a younger and more active man; but he could not find anyone ready to take his place; and he was convinced that the explanation was that young men feared to undertake the heavy expenditure which the position rendered necessary. This increased the difficulty of finding gentlemen to take the places of officers who wished to retire after years of service. There were still plenty of recruits to be got as privates, as good men as ever entered the force, well-behaved and of good position and standing; but there was the greatest possible difficulty in obtaining officers to fill up vacancies, in the country especially. It was of the greatest importance—and in the country it was even more necessary than in the towns—that a thoroughly efficient body of officers should be maintained. The expense was, of course, not the only reason why officers could not be obtained. He admitted that young men of the upper and middle classes were often strangely idle and lazy, and did not realize, as they ought to do, their duties to the State; but, nevertheless, he believed the question of expense was the main difficulty, and he thought the Government ought to do something towards meeting it. The friends of the Volunteer movement did not ask for a large sum of money—for their great boast was that the Volunteer Force should be a cheap as well as an efficient Volunteer Army—but they asked for a very moderate increase in the Capitation Grant, an increase which would not altogether relieve officers and men from individual effort and sacrifice, but which would do something to help them in making such efforts successful. They regarded the present Chief Secretary as their friend; and as the existence of Governments was sometimes rather precarious, and the right hon. Gentleman might not be in Office another year, they desired to make the most of the present opportunity, and hoped the House would pass the Motion.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "for the thorough efficiency, maintenance, and development of the Volunteer Force, an immediate increase in the present capitation grant is absolutely and urgently necessary," — (Mr. Howard Vincent,) —instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

MR. ISAACS (Newington, Walworth)

said, he desired to support the Motion as an old Volunteer officer who for 10 years had been treasurer to a Metropolitan regiment—an office he could not recommend anyone else to undertake. It was a continuous struggle to make the income cover the expenditure, and expedients that were not satisfactory had to be resorted to in order to raise the necessary funds. The regiment of which he was treasurer was 800 strong. The Capitation Grant of 30s. per head, with extras to officers and others who passed certain examinations, amounted to £1,369. The heads of expenditure were as follows:—Rent of head-quarters, interest on money borrowed for erection of drill hall, &c., £250; rent of rifle range, £126; uniform and equipment of members, £750; travelling expenses to and from ranges, &c., £150; salaries and allowances of staff, £107; band and cost of issuing orders, £250—making a total of £1,633; so that the deficiency was £264. This fell upon the officers, and they had to appeal to their personal friends to assist them in keeping the regiment out of debt. Resort was had to bazaars, theatricals, and concerts to raise the money. In reply to an invitation to take part in the forthcoming Easter review, Colonel W. J. Alt, the commanding officer, had been obliged to write to the Colonel of the Coldstream Guards to the effect, that, in consequence of the heavy expense the corps was put to in the matter of rifle ranges, &c., it could not afford to take part with an Easter marching column, or to attend any review that would necessitate a railway journey. The result of this would be most discouraging, and its effect upon recruiting most disastrous. He thought it should not be necessary for an officer to have to return such an answer as that.

COLONEL SALIS-SCHWABE (Lancashire, S.E., Middleton)

said, he was sorry to have to support any Motion which would swell the already enormous sum of their Army Estimates; but he was of opinion that the money which should be spent for the Volunteers might be obtained from economies elsewhere. The moment to point that out would arise on the Estimates. The Volunteer Forces were already kept up to a great extent by the officers, and the officers were getting rather tired of having always to pay, and it was only for a limited period that they would continue to pay. A great many Volunteers, especially those in Lancashire, put forward the statement that if they got extra money they would give extra efficiency, more especially with reference to better shooting. Some Volunteers thought that the recent Orders granting extra rank and the right of wearing uniform on retirement were offered as a sop in lieu of uniform. He did not think so, but would be glad if the Secretary of State for War would confirm his view. He hoped whatever was decided upon would be retrospective with regard to this year. Even then the officers would not benefit until April next year.


said, he was strongly in favour of the Motion. He hoped the House would not object to hear some remarks from one who, though not connected with the Volunteers, had made a careful examination into the position of the force, and who had acquired thereby a great interest in it, and a profound conviction of its inestimable value to the country. It would suffice if he stated why he attached high value to the force, and why he thought this increase was urgently necessary. Our Volunteers were nothing short of a great defensive Army, which, with a little more generous aid, and with the public interest in its affairs which was so essential to the prosperity of any institution in this country, would, he believed, become capable of meeting an equal force of Continental troops, if such should be landed on our coasts. He did not assert that the force was now efficient to that degree, but that it was capable of easily becoming so. In an investigation he had occasion to make last year he was led to conclude that of all the forces—Regulars, Militia, and Volunteers—which might be assembled for the defence of the Kingdom, the Volunteers would constitute two-thirds, and on the basis of the present Estimates it appeared that each efficient Volunteer last year cost the country 63s. He quite agreed with his hon. Friend who moved the Resolution (Mr. Howard Vincent) that if any of the great Military Powers on the Continent had happened to possess such a force, so cheap, so capable of becoming formidable, and so dependent for its existence on the will of its individual members, that Power would have sedulously fostered and cherished it, and studied how to render it thoroughly efficient and content. Of course, it was impossible that a Volunteer Army should exist in any country where conscription prevailed. Volunteers and conscription were incompatible. In one respect, at least, the advantage was enormously in favour of the Volunteer system, of which our Volunteers were the fullest development. It had often been assumed by those who instituted comparisons between our Army and those of Foreign States to our disadvantage that a conscript Army, whatever else it might be, was a cheap one. That was a delusion. A conscript Army was terribly costly. The expense of its pay and maintenance afforded no test of the burden which conscription inflicted upon a nation. It took the best of the youth of the country from the labours of the field, the workshop, and the desk, and forbade them in the most active part of life from contributing anything whatsoever to the wealth or productiveness of the nation; and it was in that way that huge conscript Armies pressed the life almost out of foreign States, and rendered existence a burden to the population. But our Volunteers did not cost the country one penny beyond the sum he had stated. They first performed their duties as citizens, and then gave the hours which they might well devote to recreation or repose to learning their duties as soldiers; and this they did so effectively and so thoroughly, and in such excellent temper, that only a very small percentage of them ever failed to attain the requisite degree of efficiency. It was in this way that the Volunteers contrasted so favourably with the Armies of the great Military Powers; and he believed, wherever the discipline was most strict, there it was most cheerfully submitted to. The officers endeavoured to make themselves proficient in the science of their profession; and from all he and the country knew of the character and quality of the force, it might be relied on to be found always on the side of law, order, and good government. This body of citizen soldiers, of which the country had uncommon reason to be proud, and which he, for his part, could never think about without wonder and admiration, was a National Force such as no other nation in Europe did or could possess, and yet it was one that had always led a struggling existence. On the theory of the survival of the fittest it must have been very fit to have survived so long. He did not know whether any Minister had ever bestowed any gracious words upon it; if so they had given it very little else. The men had subscribed out of their own pockets for travelling expenses, and had contributed to a fund for maintaining the efficiency of the corps; while their officers had contributed to the fund in a far more considerable degree. He had a letter from a commanding officer, in which that gentleman said that during the period of his command he had spent thousands of pounds on the efficiency of his corps; that he could no longer continue to do so; that the prospects of the force were never so gloomy as at present; and that officers, otherwise willing to join, were deterred from doing so by the prospect of the expense in these depressed times. Thus it would be seen that it was at a serious crisis in the history and affairs of the force that they now asked the House and the nation to bestow on the Volunteers the great advantage of preserving that force to the State; and he hoped the country would not allow it to suffer, to fade, and die out from mere inanition. They should consider what our condition would be without this force, and the strength which the Government would derive in dealing with foreign countries from the sense of security at home. He knew that there were hon. Gentlemen opposite who professed to regard invasion as a bugbear, and were ready to vote away Army, fortifications, and defences of all kinds in their ardent desire to conciliate the taxpayer, who was also an elector. But there were other hon. Gentlemen who might be supposed to know something of military questions, who believed that invasion was a very possible calamity, disregarded only because it had not happened in our own time. Napoleon contemplated it, and had made mature pre- parations for landing, which had only been prevented from being carried out by the vigilance of Nelson. The facilities for invasion were far greater now than in the time of Napoleon; and as for the precautions which the country took to protect its wealth and itself, the army which King Harold marched to Hastings was better qualified to keep the field than any proportionate force which could now be brought to defend the country against invasion. And what a rude awakening would successful invasion, however temporary, bring! Empire and liberty and self-respect—our lofty aspirations and our great pretensions—England as the home of freedom, and Britannia as ruler of the waves—would all vanish in the smoke of an enemy's camp. Even the Treasury Bench—"yea, all which it inherit would dissolve, and leave not a wreck behind." If they were now to meet these moderate demands, and by this slight assistance check the ebbing tide in the Volunteer movement, which had set in owing to the long neglect and small encouragement given to it, they might be sure that they could not lay out money in a better form than in increasing that Army which must always form the main element of our national defences.


Sir, I make no scruple in interposing myself between hon. Members of the House, because I think it is necessary that the House should know the position in which the Government stand in relation to this question. I hear this Motion recommended as usual upon grounds of economy—upon the ground that this is an extremely cheap force. The hon. and gallant Gentleman (Sir Edward Hamley) who has just sat down I do not think conceals that an increase to all kinds of the forces is what he desires, because, according to him, nothing has been done. The fact that we have more than doubled the defence Estimates of this country within a moderate number of years does nothing at all, in the minds of a certain class, except darken the colours in which the state of the country are painted, sharpen the appetite for further augmentation, and increase the pressure brought to bear upon the Government for enlarged expenditure by a House of Commons which, according to the Constitution, is sent here not to enlarge, but to diminish the expenses of the country. That is the function of the House of Commons in our Constitution, and it is a function to which I, for one, mean to adhere, and I mean not to be a party to a transgression on the part of any House of Commons beyond the lines that the Constitution prescribes to it. It is the duty of the Executive Government to consider and to determine what proposals shall be made to Parliament in regard to the military as well as to the other expenditure of the country. It is the duty of Parliament to accept, or reject, or alter those proposals; but the Constitution does not permit the Parliament to increase the sums that are asked by the Executive Government for the defence of the country. The House of Commons, Sir, has no title to increase the charge upon the people beyond what the Executive Government demands. [Cries of "Oh, oh!"] Yes. I hear those murmurs coming from what is called by itself the Constitutional Party; but I am speaking the language of history, the language of law, the language which the Tory Party of 50 years ago would have been the very first to support and to re-echo. The Tory Party of to-day is a very different Party. Of its opinions I am not the judge; but I am the judge of my own opinions and of my own actions. Now, here is a proposal in which, although the House of Commons is not allowed to increase, and has no power to increase by a single farthing, the expenditure of the country, the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Vincent Howard) has contrived to sail pretty near the wind by his Resolution, for this House of Commons, which cannot increase the expenditure, is invited by him to vote that for the thorough efficiency, maintenance, and development of the Volunteer Force an immediate increase in the present Capitation Grant is absolutely and urgently necessary. Now, if we were persons regardful only to meet, as is sometimes charged upon us, the wants of the hour and the convenience of the hour, nothing could better suit our purposes than to accept the present Motion, because it will not bear to the extent of a single shilling upon the expenditure of the present year—I beg pardon, I mean by the present year the year of the present Session in which we are legislating—but on the expenditure of the coming financial year. The present arrangements—the arrangements that it will be the duty of my right hon. Friend near me (Sir William Harcourt) to propose, in the course of two or three weeks from the present time, would not be in the slightest degree affected, consequently we have no interest connected with any immediate financial or other difficulty of our own in opposing this Motion. It is quite evident, from the way in which this Motion has been received, that our immediate interest lies all the other way. I wish to state our position in reference to the Motion as it is, and as it will be, if, unfortunately, the Motion should be passed. It will be exactly the same as it is now. It will not be altered, so far as I am concerned, in the slightest degree. If this or any other House of Commons wants a Minister who is ready to accept, independently of his own judgment, the orders of the House of Commons for an increase of the taxes of the country, all I can say is, I have no doubt it will find such a Minister; but that Minister will not be the one who now addresses you. My right hon. Friend near me the Secretary of State for War (Mr. Campbell - Bannerman) has given his best attention to this Motion. He has had to apply himself rapidly, but carefully, in the first instance, to preparing the Estimates of the year; and, in the second instance, to the varied business of the Department to which he has so recently succeeded. He has, I believe, had the advantage of receiving a highly informed deputation on this subject. He has met that deputation in no hostile spirit; he has promised an examination of the question; and he has promised that examination in terms which, in the first place, do not bind him to refuse the proposal now made; and, in the second place, if they are to be interpreted at all, would be interpreted in the sense of its being very far from unlikely that he might see cause to make some proposal of the kind. But the right hon. Gentleman has asked of those with whom he has communicated that he may be left free to examine this question; and that is what we ask, and that is what we claim. It is our duty to claim it as the Executive Government of the country—it is our duty to claim it, and it is our duty to exercise that freedom; and that freedom will remain, and will be exercised in precisely the same manner, whatever course may be taken by the House of Commons with reference to the Motion of the hon. Gentleman; and in making that announcement I am saying what belongs to the elementary truths of the British Constitution. I am a witness of the practice of a long period. I have strong convictions as to what is necessary for the welfare of the country. I believe that the welfare of its finance lies at the root of the well-being of the country. There is nothing so easy and nothing so vulgar as to tamper with sound finance. There is nothing so easy and nothing so vulgar, because that tampering is recommended by the almost certainty that there will be, for some length of time, no intolerable inconvenience as the result. It is the nature of financial difficulty to be first felt when it has become hopeless and incurable, and therefore it is that it is the business of the Executive Government to be specially the steward of sound finance; and of all the points belonging to that stewardship there is none so weighty and none so sacred as the reserving in their own hands, for their own free and deliberate judgment, the determination of the proposals which they make to the House of Commons. It may be said—and it would be said with perfect truth—that it is their duty to listen carefully, and to listen respectfully, to all that can be urged in the House of Commons on a subject of this nature. I am not deprecating the debating of such subjects; I am not deprecating the expression of opinion by highly-instructed persons like the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just sat down (Sir Edward Hamley), or even by less-instructed persons, although I must say that those expressions of opinion have, within the course of the last 20 years, cost the country enormous sums of money. I hope that it may all have been well and judiciously laid out; but on that subject I am, perhaps, a little too old to learn, and a sceptical habit has, in some degree, got possession of my mind. I wish to say that it is not to limit the liberty of debate—it is not to deny the special duty of the Executive Government to attach importance to what they hear, and to the information they receive, and the authority brought to bear upon them everywhere, and most of all here; it is with regard to the attempts that have now become fashionable to leave upon the Executive Government the responsibilities of taxation, and to assume for popular speaking and popular Motions in this House the duty of determining expenditure. It was my duty only a few days ago to protest against a Motion made in this House which, as I said, tended to confuse the provinces of the Legislative and Executive power, and to make the Legislative into the Executive. But, Sir, the objection which was felt by hon. Gentlemen opposite upon that occasion applies with tenfold greater force to the Motion that is now before us. There is nothing in which it is so dangerous to make the House of Commons, being the Legislative, exercise the functions of the Executive, as in the power of raising the public charge—there is nothing so dangerous as that the responsibility of raising the public charge in this country should be separated from the responsibility of discovering and proposing the means of meeting that charge. It is that severance at which the hon. Gentleman opposite who has made this Motion aims at effecting. He wants to make us impose larger burdens on the people. He proposes to increase the Volunteer charge—is that not a larger burden on the people?


What I say is, that by increasing the grant you will prevent a greater burden falling on the people.


I beg your pardon. The hon. Member has made his speech, and I heard it. I am not going to enter into an argument with the hon. Gentleman upon the question whether an addition to the Volunteer charge is not an addition to the public expenditure. He says it is not an addition to the public expenditure; I say it is an addition to the public expenditure; and although I am extremely sorry to disagree with him, my experience compels me to reject the high authority of the hon. Gentleman. But I say there is no one point in which it would be so dangerous to assign to the House of Commons the functions of the Executive as in separating the power of increasing the public charge and the responsibility of finding the means of meeting it. I have frankly laid my protest on this subject before the House. I do not wish at all to misrepresent in any direction the attitude of my right hon. Friend near me (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) or the attitude of the Government; but I sum up that which I have had to say—this not very agreeable announcement I have had to make—in declaring, for my part, that in the days or months which may remain to me I must adhere to the unquestionable principles of this House's constitution, and must decline to accept orders from the Representatives of the people sent here to diminish the public burdens. I must decline to accept orders from them to increase the public burdens. I reserve to my right hon. Friend and to the Government the duty of prosecuting the inquiry into this matter in the spirit in which he met the deputation the other day. We will not be biassed against the Motion—against the proposal involved in the Motion—by anything that may take place here. We will endeavour to give careful and respectful attention to all arguments that may be urged in its support. If the judgment of the Government be that this augmentation of a charge which has grown with great rapidity, happily owing to the enormous increase in the number of our Volunteers, whom the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Sir Edward Hamley) who spoke last appears to speak of as a decaying, if not a dying force, is desirable, he will not be deterred by anything that may be done here, however we may object to it in principle, from giving that fair and candid examination to the subject which he has already promised; but his responsibility for proposing, upon his own judgment and the judgment of his Colleagues, the charge that he may think necessary for maintaining the Volunteer Forces, as well as the other forces of the country, must remain entire, and cannot be taken off the shoulders of the Government by any vote, however important in itself, that may be given in the House of Commons.


I have been very much surprised at the extraordinary and, if I may venture to say—with all respect to the right hon. Gentleman—what appears to me the entirely uncalled-for nature of the Prime Minister's reply to the Motion of my hon. Friend (Mr. Howard Vincent). The right hon. Gentleman has accused my hon. Friend of tampering with the principles of sound finance, of ordering Her Majesty's Government to impose increased burdens on the people, and of attempting to usurp the functions of the Executive power, and all because my hon. Friend, being most thoroughly acquainted with the circumstances of the case, has ventured to call the attention of the House to the present position of the Volunteer Force, and to impress upon Her Majesty's Government the necessity of improving that position. Well, if it were a question of the principles of sound finance, I think my hon. Friend might, with some justice, reply that on the Motion which he has proposed he had made what, in the opinion of many hon. Members of this House, would be a measure of extremely sound finance by adding to the efficiency of the cheapest military force which this country possesses. I do not suppose any hon. Member in the House will question the Constitutional doctrines of the right hon. Gentleman that it rests with the Executive Government, and not with any other Member of the House, to impose an additional burden on the people; but it is the first time I have ever heard that well-known Constitutional doctrine brought forward as a reason why a Member of the House of Commons should not call attention to what he considered to be a grievance and a fault in the constitution of any of Her Majesty's Forces, and to call upon the Government of the day to remedy it. [Mr. W. E. GLADSTONE: I said so.] We are all as anxious as the right hon. Gentleman can be not to interfere with the proper functions of the Executive power. We supported him loyally in that view the other night; but there was nothing that I can see in the Motion of my hon. Friend that for a moment renders him susceptible to the accusations of the right hon. Gentleman. The Prime Minister told us that the Secretary of State for War (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) had received a deputation on this subject, and had considered it in no hostile spirit. I do not know what reply the right hon. Gentleman made to that deputation; but if the tone of his reply was similar to that of the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, I am afraid I can hardly say that the deputation was received in no hostile spirit. What is the request made by my hon. Friend? It is that Her Majesty's Government shall consider at as early a date as possible the present position of the Volunteer Force in this matter, with a view of remedying the difficulty in which it at present stands. The Prime Minister has admitted that if the Resolution were carried no additional expenses would be imposed on the taxpayers during the ensuing year. But it would be, I must say, a very significant statement to Her Majesty's Government, and a statement which this House has a perfect right to make, if it thinks fit to make it, that this is a subject urgently and immediately demanding their attention, with a view to placing the Volunteer Force in a better position than that in which, it at present stands. No one can deny that it is not only competent for, but the bounden duty of, the House of Commons to consider a question of this sort, and if it believes a change to be necessary to recommend such change to Her Majesty's Government. Well, now, what are the circumstances? We have had some speeches in this debate, made, I am quite sure it will be admitted by hon. Members opposite, from no Party point of view whatever. The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister did his best to impart a Party tone to this question; and if we chose to do so, I think we might fairly ask whether he who is responsible for the expenditure—the waste of millions of pounds—in the Soudan ought to be the man to object, on the score of sound finance, to this additional expenditure which is asked for? But, Sir, I do not want to dwell upon considerations of that kind; what I do want is the House and the Government to consider the Motion of my hon. Friend, made by him as it has been in a speech of extreme ability, displaying intimate knowledge of the subject, supported as it has been by two hon. Members on the Ministerial side of the House, also well acquainted with the circumstances, and backed up with the high authority of the gallant General behind me (Sir Edward Hamley)—I do want the House and the Government to consider whether this is not a Motion which fairly and properly calls for their attention. Is it true, in the first place, that there is a very large expenditure, and an increasing expenditure, imposed upon the officers of the Volunteer Force by the necessary requirements of that force? That has not been denied by the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister. Can it be denied by the Secretary of State for War? Well, if it be true that the necessary expenditure imposes such a burden on the officers of the Volunteer Force—that year by year it becomes more and more difficult efficiently to officer the Volunteer Force—surely here is a matter urgently demanding the attention of the House. Will it be said that this expenditure is not necessary? Why, if it is not necessary? it is the duty of the War Department to put a stop to it; but I do not think that can be contended for a moment. You have the force depending upon the voluntary work of the people. That work is cheerfully and anxiously done; but it is not fair for this country to call upon those who are ready to give her their services in this way to incur great and swamping burdens in their attempt properly to fulfil their duty. I do hope that, after the remarkable effusion of the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, we may have some more soothing statement in reply from the Secretary of State for War; and I do hope that the Volunteer Force, who form so large a part of the law-abiding citizens of this country, are not to be told, in reply to the Motion of my hon. Friend, that this Motion is made merely with the view of increasing the expenditure on the Army, which hon. Members on that side of the House are always ready to put forward as one of the most earnest desires of anybody on the Opposition Benches who ventures, to touch upon these matters. The Motion has been made by my hon. Friend because he believes it to be absolutely necessary for the continued efficiency of the Volunteer Force that the Capitation Grant should be increased. I am anxious to hear the reply of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman), who is responsible to this House and to this country for the continued efficiency of the force, and I do hope that he will deal with this matter in the non-Party spirit, the fair spirit, in which it was introduced by my hon. Friend, and that he will not descend to the unfair and the clap-trap arguments of the Prime Minister.


I wish to say a word with regard to the form of the Motion. The right hon. Gentleman (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach) who has just sat down rather judiciously avoided referring to the terms of the actual Motion. He said that they were entitled—and no one would deny it—to call attention, to the condition of the Volunteers, and to show that certain changes are necessary and expedient for the improvement of the condition of the Force. But those are not the terms of the Motion. The Motion declares that an immediate increase in the Capitation Grant is absolutely and urgently necessary. I can read this Motion only as a distinct declaration for an increase of the charge upon the people. There will be no end to the increase of expenditure in this country if Motions of this character, popular in themselves, can be made and carried. This is a popular Motion for this reason—that the Volunteer Force is deservedly one of the most popular bodies in this country; and certainly I, for one, shall say no word against any amount of praise being bestowed upon that force. But I say that it is a most dangerous thing to pass general Resolutions of this kind, calling for increased charges, but not indicating whence the means are to come to meet those charges. Consider the position in which this Motion would place a future Chancellor of the Exchequer? That is a point which deserves the attention of the right hon. Gentleman (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach). The present Chancellor of the Exchequer may escape the consequences of this Motion, which amounts to a proposal to increase the charge upon the people a year hence. This is rather like drawing a bill at a long date for somebody else to meet. If it is objectionable in Committee of Supply to give a Vote for the immediate increase of a charge, it is ten times more objectionable to give a Vote for a charge which is to take effect in a more or less distant future. I hope that the House will not pass the Motion in its present form. If the desire of the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Howard Vincent) is to do good to the Volunteer Force he ought to avoid a form of Motion which cannot but lead to controversy between the two sides of the House. If his intention is to call attention to the condition of the Volunteer Force, to point out the manner in which that force is defective in its organization, or in other respects to awaken public opinion on the subject, and to aid the judgment of this House, let his Motion take that direction, and then he will further what I am sure is the object of every hon. Gentleman in this House — namely, to act in a generous and grateful spirit towards the great Volunteer Force of this country.

MR. J. H. A. MACDONALD (Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities)

said, that he could not understand what object the Chancellor of the Exchequer had in rising at the particular time he did, unless it was to cool down the debate from the extraordinary heat which had been raised by the Prime Minister. He had the honour to command the largest Volunteer corps in the Kingdom, and, if he were not mistaken, he had the higher honour of once having had the Secretary of State for War himself under his command. [Mr. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN: No, no!] The right hon. Gentleman (Sir William Harcourt) spoke of this Motion as being popular because the Volunteer Force was popular. On behalf of the Volunteers he wished to say that this was not a question at all of popularity or unpopularity. It was a question whether in the opinion of the House it was cheaper by at present doing nothing to run the risk of the Volunteer Force going to the bad, or whether it was right that the House should inform Her Majesty's Government by vote that it considered that state of things as dangerous. If the Government had been able to say that the state of the Volunteer Force was as satisfactory as regarded finance as it was as to efficiency, then they should have had the statement without the impassioned language of the Prime Minister. As they had heard the other day from the Secretary for War, no fewer than 1,090 commissions were vacant in the Volunteer Force, while at the same time the Volunteer movement itself was never more popular than at the present time. The cause of that was that officers, having spent large sums, left the Service when to the great benefit of the country they might have remained, and new officers could not be got owing to the terror of the charges to which they would be subjected. Nothing could be ultimately more demoralizing in a force of that kind than that it should be officered by men who had to make large payments out of their own pockets for their support. The Commanding Officer could not exercise the same discipline, nor could he so easily get rid of non-efficient officers, because he knew that officers had to make large sacrifices of money during the time they had held commissions. Not only so, but there could be no question about the fact that the best officers they could get were young men, and such young men were not generally in a position to make the necessary expenditure. Those on both sides of the House who desired that the Motion should be carried had no idea, even after what the Prime Minister had said, that the passing of the Motion would be tying up the Executive Government in any way. No doubt the money which ought to have been provided might be an addition to the Estimates; but he presumed the finances of the country were not managed on a mere hand-to-mouth footing. If it were the fact that the Volunteer Force would be seriously diminished, and perhaps practically destroyed, if the Motion was not given effect to, then he thought the Secretary for War would admit that it would cost a much larger sum to protect the country from invasion by troops who were not Volunteers. If every hon. Gentleman in the House who knew the real state of the facts voted in accordance with that knowledge it would be a great gain in the future. In his own corps, which numbered over 2,500 men, they had managed to scrape together a sum to meet the general expenses; but he did not believe they would be able, in the course of another year, to get along even in spite of the large sums of money which he himself and his brother officers had expended for a large number of years in carrying on the corps. If that were the case with a large corps, he could certify that small corps could not be maintained unless an addition was made to the Capitation Grant.


I regret extremely, in the interest of the Volunteers themselves, and in the interest of the solution of this important question, that the terms of the hon. Member's Motion are so unfortunate. Undoubtedly, that Motion is open to the construction put upon it by the Prime Minister, and it is objectionable on the high ground that the Executive should not be committed to expenditure in this way. But if the hon. Member's object was—as I fully believe it to be—only to call the attention of the House to the condition of the Volunteer Force, and to provoke discussion, and possibly an expression of opinion, from this Bench, then I think he has done very good service in bringing this matter forward. Now, I was somewhat astonished that the hon. Gentleman made no allusion to the fact that about a couple of weeks ago I had the honour to receive a large deputation, consisting not only of a number of Volunteers, but also many Members of Parliament interested in the movement; and I then stated what I will now repeat to the House—namely, that I am quite aware that there is this difficulty about officers; I am quite aware that many of the corps are not in a satisfactory financial position; but when I am asked suddenly to agree that 5s. or 10s., or any sum of money, should be added to the Capitation Grant, I say it is my duty to be somewhat circumspect in the matter, and to ask for such Returns of the expenditure of the various Corps as will justify me in taking such a course. What happened in 1878 and 1879? There was a similar complaint made on the part of the Volunteer Force, and a Committee was appointed, which had Lord Bury as Chairman, and of which Sir R. Loyd-Lindsay—now Lord Wantage—was a Member, to inquire into the matter. No two men could be mentioned more capable to give an opinion; and I was rather astonished to see in The Times of to-day a letter from Lord Bury, in which he states—and I have been astonished to-night to hear the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Howard Vincent) repeat the statement—that that Committee was restricted from going into the question of finance. I cannot imagine how that idea could have entered Lord Bury's mind. The points of reference were these—first, to inquire what were the necessary requirements of the Volunteer Force; secondly, whether the present grant was sufficient for its purposes; thirdly, in what form increased assistance should be given; and in the Report signed by Lord Bury there is an elaborate analysis of the finances of the Volunteers, founded upon the Returns furnished to the Committee. Now, those Returns furnished for the five years previous to 1878 and 1879 are precisely the Returns I wish to get for the five years previous to 1886, showing the expenditure of the corps under different heads. Well, Sir, the conclusion Lord Bury's Committee came to was that the Capitation Grant was sufficient for its purposes, except as to three items. Supposing that purpose to be the provision of strictly necessary expenditure, the Committee reported they were of opinion that, with proper organization, the present Capitation Grant need not be increased. Now, what did they mean by "strictly necessary expenditure?" I wish to recall to the House the exact character of this Volunteer Force, because it appears to me, from some things that we have heard, that it is in danger of losing its character. We often hear it said that if the men give their time the Government ought to bear the charge of their expenses. But that has never been the principle recognized in the Volunteer Force itself. The principle has always been that the Government should assist Volunteers in maintaining their corps in efficiency—in expenditure, that is, necessary for the requisite efficiency of the corps—and that no other assistance ought to be given to them; but that anything else ought to be furnished from other sources. What does the Report of Lord Bury's Committee say? It says— The Committee proceeded to determine what items of expenditure were in reality necessary to the efficient maintenance of the corps, and were, therefore, properly chargeable against the public. This is a full recognition of the principle I have stated—that that which is properly chargeable against the public is the expenditure in reality necessary for the efficient maintenance of a corps; but that is not what we are told now. We are told that we are to go much further. I have quoted the Report of this Committee, in the first place, to show how vague are the recollections of some of those who profess to be authorities on the subject, and also to show that on a previous occasion, when there was a strong feeling among the Volunteers that the grant was not sufficient, the Committee found that it was sufficient. Well, Sir, what I promised to the deputation to do, and what I have done, is this. I have called upon all the corps in the Kingdom to furnish a tabulated Return of all their expenditure under different heads. When these Returns are received, it will then have to be determined which of those items of expenditure are really necessary and which are not. That will be a difficult matter, to which I shall carefully address myself; and then we shall be able to see whether any or what addition to the Capitation Grant is necessary. I appeal to the House of Commons, not only on the high ground of sound Constitutional doctrine laid down by my right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone), but on the ground of common sense, whether it is not most desirable that, having the responsibility I have, and having means at my command of getting at information which are not open to the hon. Member opposite, I should be allowed to ascertain for myself, on the authority of official documents, the real facts of the case? Then I hope I may be trusted to come to a proper conclusion. I am not going to pass any eulogy on the Volunteer Force, for that is altogether unnecessary, and no one could be more pleased than I shall be if it falls to me to add to their efficiency, or relieve them from the difficulty of which they now complain. I have every disposition in the world to do whatever is right in relieving the Volunteers and adding to the success which has hitherto attended the movement; but I confess it will be impossible for me, on humbler grounds than the high Constitutional ground put forward by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, to agree to the peremptory and abrupt expression of opinion contained in the Motion now before this House.


suggested that the hon. Member should eliminate the word "immediate" from his Motion, which, he thought, had a somewhat peremptory and harsh tone about it, and substitute for it the word "early."

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 187; Noes 166: Majority 21.

Abraham, W. (Glam.) Barclay, J. W.
Abraham, W. (Limerick, W.) Barry, J.
Beith, G.
Acland, A. H. D. Bickersteth, R.
Acland, C. T. D. Biddulph, M.
Allen, H. G. Blaine, A.
Allison, R. A. Bolton, T. H.
Arch, J. Boyd-Kinnear, J.
Asher, A. Bradlaugh, C.
Baker, L. J. Brand, hon. H. R.
Balfour, rt. hon. J. B. Bright, W. L.
Balfour, Sir G. Broadhurst, H.
Barbour, W. B. Brown, A. H.
Bruce, hon. R. P. Jacks, W.
Brunner, J. T. James, C. H.
Bryce, J. Johnson-Ferguson, J. E.
Burt, T.
Buxton, E. N. Jones-Parry, L.
Byrne, G. M. Kay-Shuttleworth, Sir U. J.
Campbell, Sir G.
Campbell, H. Kenrick, W.
Campbell-Bannerman, right hon. H. Kilcoursie, right hon. Viscount
Carew, J. L. Labouchere, H.
Chamberlain, R. Lalor, R.
Chance, P. A. Lane, W. J.
Channing, F. A. Leake, R.
Childers, right hon. H. C. E. Leicester, J.
Lockwood, F.
Clancy, J. J. Lubbock, Sir J.
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Corbet, W. J. Mellor, right hn. J. W.
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Crilly, D. Morley, rt. hon. J.
Crossley, E. Moulton, J. F.
Deasy, J. Mundella, rt. hn. A. J.
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Elliot, hon. A. R. D. Nolan, J.
Ellis, J. E. O'Brien, W
Esmonde, Sir T. O'Connor, A.
Esslemont, P. O'Connor, J. (Tippry.)
Everett, R. L. O'Hanlon, T.
Farquharson, Dr. R. O'Kelly, J.
Fenwick, C. Paget, T. T.
Finlayson, J. Parker, C. S.
Fletcher, B. Pease, Sir J. W.
Flower, C. Pease, A. E.
Forster, Sir C. Pickard, B.
Fowler, H. H. Pickersgill, E. H.
Fry, T. Playfair, rt. hon. Sir L.
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Robortson, E.
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Boord, T. W. Green, E.
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Brookfield, Col. A. M. Hankey, F. A.
Burdett-Coutts, W. L. Ash.-B. Hardcastle, E.
Hardcastle, F.
Campbell, Sir A. Heaton, J. H.
Campbell, J. A. Herbert, hon. S.
Charrington, S. Hervey, Lord F.
Churchill, rt. hn. Lord R. H. S. Hickman, A.
Hill, Lord A. W.
Clarke, E. Holland, rt. hon. Sir H. T.
Coddington, W.
Cohen, L. L. Howard, H. C.
Commerell, Adml. Sir J. Howard, J.
Compton, F. Howard, J. M.
Corry, Sir J. P. Hughes, Colonel E.
Cotton, Capt. E. T. D. Hughes-Hallett, Col. F. C.
Cranborne, Viscount
Cross, H. S. Hunt, F. S.
Cubitt, right hon. G. Isaacs, L. H.
Curzon, Viscount Jackson, W. L.
Dawnay, Colonel hon. L. P. Jenkins, D. J.
Johns, J. W.
Dilke, rt. hn. Sir C. W Johnston, W.
Dillwyn, L. L. Kennaway, Sir J. H.
Dimsdale, Baron R. Kenyon, hon. G. T.
Dixon-Hartland, F. D. Kimber, H.
Douglas, A. Akers- King, H. S.
Duncan, Colonel F. Knatchbull-Hugessen, hon. H. T.
Duncombe, A.
Lawrance, J. C. Sandys, Lt.-Col. T. M.
Lawrence, Sir T. Saunders, W.
Lewis, C. E. Saunderson, Maj. E. J.
Llewellyn, E. H. Selwin-Ibbetson, rt. hon. Sir H. J.
Lloyd, W.
Lowther, hon. W. Seton-Karr, H.
Macdonald, right hon. J. H. A. Shirley, W. S.
Sidebottom, T. H.
Mackintosh, C. F. Sidebottom, W.
Maclean, J. M. Sitwell, Sir G. R.
M'Calmont, Captain J. Smith, A.
M'Donald, Dr. R. Smith, D.
M'Laren, C. B. B. Stafford, Marquess of
Makins, Colonel W. T. Stewart, M. J.
Marriott, rt. hn. W. T. Sturrock, P.
Maxwell, Sir H. E. Talbot, J. G.
Milvain, T. Temple, Sir R.
Mount, W. G. Tipping, W.
Mowbray, rt. hon. Sir J. R. Tomlinson, W. E. M.
Tottenham, A. L.
Muncaster, Lord Tyler, Sir H. W.
Muntz, P. A. Walrond, Col. W. H.
Norris, E. S. Walsh, hon. A. H. J.
Northcote, hon. H. S. Waring, Colonel T.
O'Neill, hon. R. T. Watkin, Sir E. W.
Paget, Sir R. H. Webster, Sir R. E.
Pearce, W. West, Colonel W. C.
Peel, right hn. Sir R. White, J. B.
Pelly, Sir L. Winn, hon. R.
Percy, Lord A. M. Wortlcy, C. B. Stuart-
Plunket, rt. hon. D. R. Wroughton, P.
Powell, F. S. Yorke, J. R.
Price, Captain G. E. Young, C. E. B.
Ritchie, C. T.
Robertson, J. P. B. TELLERS.
Round, J. Gurdon, R. T.
Russell, Sir G. Vincent, C. E. H.

Main Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."