HC Deb 11 March 1889 vol 333 cc1403-5
THE SECRETARY FOR WAR (Mr. E. STANHOPE,) Lincolnshire, Horncastle

May I by the leave of the House make an appeal to the noble Lord (Viscount Wolmer) and the hon. Member (Sir G. Campbell) who have notices on the paper to be moved upon going into Committee of Supply, to allow the House at once to go into Committee on the Army Estimates? I do not for a moment dispute the importance of the subjects raised by the notices, but, unluckily, the time at our disposal is very short, and there is a strong feeling in many quarters in favour of deferring the discussion on them until after the Government proposals have been made known. I venture, therefore, to hope that the noble Lord and the hon. Member will see their way to postpone their observations until the House had had an opportunity of hearing the Ministerial statement on the part of Her Majesty's Government. The noble Lord desires to call attention to the Militia, but this can very suitably be done in Committee, and I, therefore, hope that my noble Friend would wait until he had heard the full statement of the position taken up by the Government. I think also the Motion of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy could be better discussed in Committee.

SIR G. TREVELYAN (Glasgow, Bridgeton)

Last Session, at the request of the right hon. Gentleman, I postponed a Motion of great importance, and, although I should have liked to raise it on the present occasion, I think the appeal is so reasonable that I earnestly trust my hon. Friends will allow the Minister to have the cream of the time of the House this afternoon.

VISCOUNT WOLMER (Hants, Petersfield)

Although the Motion which stands in my name will be recognized by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War as one of great importance, I will defer to the wishes of the right hon. Gentleman, and to the appeal of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bridgeton, if the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy will do the same.

SIR G. CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy)

A burnt child fears the fire; but after the strong appeals that have been made to me I do not feel justified in pressing my Motion, although I hold it is necessarily preliminary to the Estimates. I hope the statement to be made by the right hon. Gentleman will shadow forth a scheme for dealing with the defences of the island as a whole.

DR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.)

I wish to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether it is intended to proceed with the Supplementary Estimates to-night?

MR. HANBURY (Preston)

May I be allowed to put this Question? If we allow you to go into Committee, will there be opportunities for further discussion of the Estimates, instead of their being postponed for an indefinite period?


I wish to say it is the desire and intention of the Govern- ment to give an early day for the further consideration of the Army Estimates, and not to drive them off. I am afraid there is no chance of reaching the Supplementary Estimates to-night.


Of course it is distinctly understood that a general discussion will he in order in Committee.


On the Vote for the men there is perfect liberty for a general discussion. Sometimes by favour of the House it is allowed also on a later Vote.


Before the House adjourned last year I intended to raise a discussion in reference to the Channel Islands Militia. I should not like to be excluded from raising it tonight, and, therefore, I wish to know if I shall have an opportunity of doing so? I do not, of course, want to hinder the right hon. Gentleman making his statement.


I am sorry the hon. Member did not tell me of his desire. The difficulty is that the Channel Islands Militia do not come under the War Office; but I certainly will raise no technical objection to an early discussion of that question?