HC Deb 20 June 1889 vol 337 cc397-400

Resolutions [18th June] (see page 127)

First and second Resolutions agreed to.

Third Resolution postponed.

Resolutions 4 to 12 agreed to.

On Resolution 13,


As this Vote covers the salaries of the officials in the Hydro-grapher's Department, I desire to draw attention to a statement made in Committee of Supply bearing upon that Department. The hon. Member for Preston (Mr. Hanbury) stated that there was in the British Museum a chart of Comino Channel with the rock upon which Her Majesty's ship Sultan struck —a chart prepared by a Colonel Wilkinson. I have inquired into the matter, as some reflection seemed to be cast on the Hydrographer's Department, and I have found that there are one or two maps of the channel in question, but they are on a very small scale. Search has been made to see whether there is anything to mark the rock, and since the discussion a second search has been made, but no map has been found with that particular rock marked upon it.

MR. HANBURY (Preston)

Can the noble Lord say whether any chart has been found at Malta with this rock marked on it?

MR. SHAW LEFEVRE (Bradford, Central)

I may perhaps be allowed on this Vote—for the First Lord's salary —to ask a question I desired to put on Vote 10. That Vote was originally taken out of its order in Supply without notice, and I was not present when it came on. Again, to-night I was absent when it was reached. I did not wish to take part in a Division which was impending just now, and consequently was in the lobby when Vote 10 was called from the Chair. I desire to ask what it is intended to do in the matter of the repair of Alderney Harbour. I believe the money spent on that harbour absolutely thrown away, and I believe the House has already determined by direct Vote that the item shall not appear again. I will move to reduce the Vote if necessary, in order to raise this question.


Does the right hon. Gentleman move to reduce the Vote?


I want to hear the noble Lord's explanation first.


There is no intention of extending or developing any works at Alderney. The only purpose for which this small sum is voted is to keep in order a small break-water.

Resolution agreed to.

Resolutions 14 to 19 agreed to.

On Resolution 20,

* MR. LEES (Oldham)

May I ask why it is thought necessary to insist on the tails of cavalry horses being so long? If horses with their tails docked were accepted we should get better animals. Anyone who knows anything about a horse-breeder is aware that if a horse has good shoulders he docks him at once in order to get a better price for him as a hunter, and that if he has not good shoulders he leaves the tail undocked in order that he may sell him to the Government. The Government send round cavalry officers who are good judges of horses, at considerable expense to the country, to select these horses, and all the cavalry officers who choose the horses have to do is to consider the length of the tails and to reject the horses that have not long tails. It is a perfect farce, and really an old woman with a measuring tape would do just as well.


The measurement of the length of horses' tails is a purely military question on which I express no opinion. I understand that at present we are able to get an ample supply of horses with the requisite length of tail, and therefore the question raised by my hon. Friend, which is no doubt of great importance, hardly arises.

Resolution agreed to.

On Resolution 21,

* DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)

. I was prevented from being present at the discussion of this Vote the other evening from circumstances over which I had no control, and I wish to say a word respecting it. I desire to thank the Government for having taken up the question of soldiers' rations, and also to thank the Committee on the subject for their very able and practical Report. I believe that, as the Committee say, the nation of the soldier is probably sufficient; but I think the period between dinner and breakfast next morning is not sufficiently bridged over. Colonel Burnett, commanding the First Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles at Mullingar, has presented a very ad- mirable Report respecting what he has been able to accomplish by dint of economy and good management. He provides his men with an excellent breakfast, giving them some kind of relish besides the ordinary plain fare, a good meat dinner, something good for tea, and some supper. This is really done by utilizing the bones which would otherwise be thrown away, and not a single farthing is charged to the regiment beyond the ordinary ration price. I am rather surprised that the Committee did not deal with the special wants of the recruit, who has not the same stable equilibrium of frame as the ordinary soldier, who has to provide for the wants of a growing body, and who has to do a great deal of work of a new kind. I am sorry it has not been found possible to print the evidence taken by the Committee. I think the Report, however, is a very good one, and I thank the Committee for their excellent work, and the Government for having taking up the matter.

Resolution agreed to.

Remaining Resolutions agreed to.

Postponed Resolution to be considered upon Thursday next.