HC Deb 06 July 1888 vol 328 cc573-4

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he can state the names of the naval and military officers the Government propose to add to the Royal Commission to inquire into the system of administration of the Services?

THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

The Government have very carefully considered the suggestion contained in the Question which my noble and gallant Friend addressed to me about a fortnight ago. After giving a full consideration to the matter we have come to the conclusion that it will not be expedient to add another soldier and sailor to the Royal Commission now sitting.


In consequence of the very unsatisfactory answer of the right hon. Gentleman I will, with the permission of the House, ask him this further Question—Whether he is aware that the disturbed state of the public mind, in consequence of recent disclosures, has only been somewhat allayed by the announcement that the Government meant to appoint Commissions to inquire into the system of administration of the Services, and also into the necessities for National defence, and therefore ask that the Government will re-consider their refusal to comply with the general wish of both Services, that the Commission presided over by the noble Marquess the Member for Rossendale (the Marquess of Hartington) should be strengthened as suggested?


I may, perhaps, be allowed at once to reply to the Question of my noble and gallant Friend, and to say that the Government have given full consideration to all the questions to which he has referred. They are acting in a full and complete sense of their responsibility; and they believe that they have taken, and are taking, all the steps necessary under the circumstances.