§ GENERAL SIR CHARLES FRASER (Lambeth, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he will now appoint the Committee of the House of Commons that he promised in this House on the 25th June, 1891, to investigate the cases of alleged grievances of certain purchase officers of the Army, a classification of their cases, drawn up in view of that pledge, having been under his consideration for a considerable period?
§ *MR. E. STANHOPE
I am, of course, ready to do what I have already indicated. I have always declined to re-open the principles upon which the purchase system was abolished, and which were fully considered and settled at the time; but I added that, if there appeared to be any class of cases as to which there was substantial doubt as to the mode in which these principles have been carried out, I should be ready to agree to refer it to a Select Committee. My hon. and gallant Friend has submitted a number of cases setting forth alleged grievances, many of which simply indicate a desire to re-open the whole purchase question. I have replied to him very fully. It will now be for him and his friends to show whether in the case of any of these classes a reasonable case, within the lines above indicated, can still be put forward.
§ SIR CHARLES FRASER
Does the right hon. Gentleman repudiate his promise to refer the grievances of these officers to a Committee of this House?
§ *MR. STANHOPE
No, I entirely adhere to it; but I decline altogether to allow the principle on which purchase was abolished to be re-opened. I can only consent to the class of cases I have mentioned being investigated.