HC Deb 08 November 1888 vol 330 cc636-7

asked the noble Marquess the Member for Rossendale, Whether it is likely that the Commission on the System of Administration of the Army and Navy will report this Sitting; and, if not, whether he can state the probable date of report?

THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON (Lancashire, Rossendale)

I am not quite certain whether it would be generally convenient that a Question as to the progress of inquiries by Royal Commissions should be addressed to Members of those Commissions because they happen to have a seat in this House; and it might, perhaps, be more convenient as a general rule that they be addressed to some Member of the Government. As, in the present case, there is very little information to be given to the noble and gallant Lord on the subject, perhaps there would be no objection to my answering the Question. The Royal Commission sat several times before the Recess, and a large amount of information in documentary shape, embodying the opinions of a large number of gentlemen of great experience, has been obtained upon the subject. The Commission will meet again early next week, and I hope the Commissioners will be able to devote themselves very constantly during the remainder of the Session to the subject of inquiry. It is extremely improbable, however, that the Commission will be able to report before the end of the present year. At present it is impossible for me to indicate the probable date of the conclusion of our inquiry.