HC Deb 03 August 1888 vol 329 cc1549-51

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £652,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge for Transport and Remounts, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1889.

MR. M. J. KENNY (Tyrone, Mid)

asked the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War (Mr. E. Stanhope) if he proposed at that hour of the night to proceed with the Army Estimates?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

said, he hoped the Committee would allow these Votes to be taken, as they were of a non-contentious character.

DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

said, he rose, not in his own interest but in that of hon. Members opposite, to oppose the taking of any more Votes. The right hon. Gentleman knew very well that several hon. Gentlemen on his own side of the House, who were supporters of the Government, took serious views of the various Army and Navy Votes, and surely it was not fair to take advantage of their absence. What was the right hon. Gentleman trying to do now, at 25 minutes past 1 o'clock? He was afraid of the arguments which might be addressed to him from his own side of the House. As they knew very well, Her Majesty's Government did not care a bit for arguments or remonstrances, no matter how sound, which might be addressed to them by their political opponents; but when an attack was made on them by hon. Gentlemen who sat behind them, then they began to quake. Why, if they kept on vexing their supporters in the way they had done, they would soon find themselves out of Office. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War to attend to the remonstrances which had been addressed to Her Majesty's Government in regard to the Naval and Military Votes, and to give the noble Lord the Member for South Paddington (Lord Randolph Churchill), and other hon. Gentlemen interested, an opportunity for properly discussing them. Had he not better consent to report Progress than try to get money surreptitiously at such an unseemly hour? Surely he would recognize the truth of the old proverb—"A stitch in time saves nine," and, instead of trying to get the Saddlery Vote, agree to report Progress. Of course, he knew a Minister would always take as much as he could get. He did not like to detain the Committee, for he certainly felt great sympathy with the Chairman; but it was their duty to prevent the country being robbed; they could not properly discuss Money Votes at that hour of the night, and he therefore hoped the right hon. Gentleman would consent to report Progress, and thus give his own Friends a proper opportunity of criticizing the Votes.


These are non-contentious Votes, and I hope I shall be allowed to take them.


said, that nearly an hour had passed since the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury (Mr. W. H. Smith) appealed to the Committee, in consideration of the early Sitting of the House on Saturday, to close the discussion then going on, yet the Committee, having voted more than £7,000,000 for the Public Service, were now being asked by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War for another £500,000, on the ground that it was a non-contentious Vote. It was noticeable that hon. Members who had shown themselves so anxious to secure economy were absent from the Committee, and no more Votes ought to be taken at that hour of the night. If there were any reality in the appeal of the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury for consideration for the hon. Gentleman the Chairman of Ways and Means, surely it was very unbecoming in the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War to ask for another Vote, even if it were of a non-contentious character. He would be much more likely to get the Vote on the following day than at that Sitting.


Very well, I will not press it.

Motion made, and Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again," put, and agreed to.

Resolution to be reported To-morrow.

Committee also report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.