HC Deb 17 March 1893 vol 10 cc400-16

17 March, Page 400, line 3 from bottom, for "O'Dowd" read "Clode."

capacity had to give 800 opinions in the course of a single year. The Committee would, therefore, see that the office of Judge Advocate General was no sinecure. The office had been given to Sir Francis Jeune—a Judge for whom he had the very highest respect—but he had got his hands full already. He believed that Sir Francis Jeune had just finished a case which had taken him eight days, and it was probable he would have other cases which would occupy him the same time. How, then, could he find time to dispose of the cases which came before him as Judge Advocate General? It was absurd to think he could do it. He would like to know how many cases Sir Francis Jeune had been called upon to decide since his appointment as Judge Advocate General. There was another objection to the appointment of a Judge to such an Office. They all knew that the Queen administered Military Law by virtue of her prerogative. They all knew that the Queen could do nothing wrong, and the reason why the Judge Advocate General was, as a rule, a Member of the House, was that in Military Law the Queen might be advised by the Judge Advocate General. The Manual of Military Law said— The Administration of Military Law was checked by the Judge Advocate General, a Privy Councillor, and usually a Member of Parliament, and often a Minister of the day, who advised the Sovereign on the legality of the proceedings of Courts Martial. The Queen administered the law through the Judge Advocate General who was responsible to the House; when he was Judge Advocate General he was often asked questions on Military Law in the House, as, for instance, he was questioned about Lieutenant Carey, who got into trouble in connection with the death of the Prince Imperial. If they appointed a Judge to the position they appointed a man who was responsible to nobody. He certainly was not responsible to the House. Though fortified by the decision of a Select Committee, his right hon. Friend had been guilty of a rather unconstitutional course in appointing a Judge to the position. There was another question on which he should like to have an answer from his right hon. Friend. Last year they voted a sum of £1,000 for the salary of a Judge Advocate General. What had become of that money? It could not have gone to the late Judge Advocate General for he had only held office for four months, and it could not have gone to Sir Francis Jeune for he had been expressly appointed without salary. This was a very important constitutional question, and he hoped he would be able to get a satisfactory answer from his right hon. Friend.

MR. BECKETT () York, N. R., Whitby,

said he thought they might all congratulate themselves on the favourable character of the statement of the Minister of the War Department. He did not think, however, that the right hon. Gentleman wished them to believe that they had the best possible Army and that they might dismiss all anxiety with respect to it from their minds. He admitted that much good had been done in the matter of recruiting, but there was still room for improvement. The right hon. Gentleman had pointed out that the number of recruits this year was greater than in any of the years of the immediate past; but the hon. and gallant Member for Colchester had shown to what that increase must be attributed. Anyone looking over the Army Returns would find that the number of recruits always increased when there was a depression in trade. The truth was that in these times men were driven by hunger into the Army, and with that powerful auxiliary at their back it was not surprising that recruits were increasing. In some respects recruiting had also been improved by the adoption of the short service system. They had had an increase in the quantity of recruits, but the important question was, what about the quality? Did they get the right men? A distinguished officer had told him that the Army was choked with bad characters. If they looked at the figures they would see what that meant. In ten years 32,000 men had joined the Army, and out of these, 110,000, or one in three, had been imprisoned. That showed the character of the recruits. The right hon. Gentleman had said that the number of offenders had fallen from 1 in 11 to 1 in 18, but the latter was still a high figure. How would it compare with the London Metropolitan Police Force, for instance? He did not think they could get the Army up to the standard of the London Police Force, but they should endeavour to do so as far as possible. If they wanted a proper Army they should do something to make it popular. He admitted that the life of the soldier had been greatly improved by the reforms of the past twenty years, and altogether it was not now a had life. The soldier had nearly everything found for him, he had 4s. or 5s. a week in his pocket; he was not too hard worked, and he had a smart uniform which was a great attraction, especially in the eyes of the other sex. There were a few other points to which he wished to direct attention. In Cavalry regiments the soldiers had to provide out of their own pockets the cost of the material for keeping their uniforms clean, so that the smarter a man kept himself the more he had to pay. That, he thought, was an injustice, and was a premium on slovenliness. As the men were expected to keep their uniforms clean, the material for doing so should be provided. The right hon. Gentleman had said the men were to be allowed to keep their clothing. The Report of the Committee on the Army Estimates pointed out that the Commander-in-Chief and the Adjutant General were both opposed to the clothes being made over to the men, as it offered temptations to the men to do away with the clothing improperly, with the result that men were seen going about in worn-out uniforms, which had a very bad effect. He regretted to see that only 3 per cent. of the men re-engaged on the completion of their service. Old soldiers were the backbone of the Army, and everything should be done to induce them to remain. Since the introduction of short service into the Army, the number of old soldiers had very much decreased. In 1875, out of every 1,000 men 340 were over 15 years' service; in 1880,236; in 1886,246; and in 1889, the number had shrunk to 211, which was a very serious falling off indeed. Let them compare the Army in that respect with the London Metropolitan Police Force. In that Force there were, in 1879, 1,900 men of over 15 years' service, and in 1888, 3,900. He thought some means should be used to try to induce men to remain in the Army, for it was a very serious thing to have such large numbers leaving year after year. He also found that in ten years 320,000 left the Army, and yet the strength of our Reserve only amounted to some 55,000 men. That showed a great waste was going on in the Army. Nearly 250,000 men, on whom the State had spent an enormous amount of money, had passed in ten years out of the Service and into the ranks, perhaps, of the unemployed. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that there was a Field Force of 20,000 men ready to take the field at the shortest notice. He would like to ask what was behind that Field Force? Could the right hon. Gentleman assure them that behind that Field Force there was an Army Corps of 60,000 men ready to take the field at a moment's notice? They were told that they had a Field Force of some 20,000 ready to take the field at the shortest notice, but he wished to tell the Secretary for War that if that was all they had they were not at all prepared for emergencies. They should have an Army Corps ready for action at a month's notice. The right hon. Gentleman must see that the Army wanted elasticity and adaptability. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War had said the other night that these qualities were demanded. My right hon. Friend (Sir James Fergusson) said that the men in the Guards stayed on longer because they received more pay than others. But the fact remained that they did not get as much pay as men in other employments. In his opinion they stayed on longer because they belonged to one of the first branches of the Service, and if every branch was treated as well as they were more men would stay on. One point that required attention was that of stoppages from pay. When a soldier came into the Army he expected to receive so much, and he was very much disappointed when he found that he did not get the promised sum in cash; a certain proportion was deducted, and this the men justly regarded as a grievance. Another point was the important one of pensions. The soldier wanted to have something to look forward to, and when doubts arose as to the payment of a pension the decision was more frequently in favour of the State rather than of the soldier. Then there ought to be some extra pay for service abroad. By this they might hope to have good men in the Service. Englishmen liked the soldier's life and profession; their military instincts were very much developed, and he believed that if they adopted a shorter term of service more men would enlist than they could induce to enlist under the present system. The men were now bound for a certain number of years, but they were not so bound in other occupations, and they must not impose conditions that did not exist elsewhere. A man who would not join now would be willing to join for six months, at the end of which time he would be able to say whether he was satisfied and whether he would stay or not. He would enlist for six mouths, whereas he would not enlist for a term of years. Under the present system, undoubtedly, they got a large number of men, but it was too often the case that when a man was taken with the soldier's life he was uncertain of the character of the Service he had committed himself to, and the result was that he was very much disappointed and then he deserted. The expense of desertions was very considerable, as it meant that a man had to be captured, brought back, tried, convicted and imprisoned—all of which cost money; and besides, when a man came out of imprisonment he was very much inferior as a man and a soldier. He would recommend to the right hon. Gentleman that if a man was not willing to remain in the Service it would be much better to let him go. Another point was that the soldier's life might be relieved of the sense of perpetual constraint. The soldier was not always supposed to be on duty, and when he was not he should be allowed liberty and relaxation. For instance, he should be allowed occasionally, and for special purposes, to go about in plain clothes—subject to the civil law and not the military—and if that were done he felt that the number of imprisonments under the Military Code would very much diminish. When a soldier was tried it was almost invariably the case that he was imprisoned. Only one in 60 was allowed off. Why should they not be given advantage of the civil law for certain offences? He claimed that the soldier should have more relaxation, and that he should have the same privileges as were to be found elsewhere. If they looked to the Royal Irish Constabulary they would see that in that Force the relaxation of discipline in this respect tended to make the Service more popular and more attractive. The men of the Constabulary could hardly be equalled anywhere in point of discipline. Then, again, the men might be punished by fines rather than by imprisonment. If they did not wish to have a bad man in the Army they would soon be able to get rid of him, and to procure a good one in his stead. If the right hon. Gentleman looked into these points he would undoubtedly have better value for the expenditure on the Army.


said he hoped the Secretary for War would state his views on the question of deferred pay, and state also whether it would be possible for him to adjust the rates of pay, and make them proportionate to the length of service. He believed that in certain cases in civil employment the man who gave a month's warning got a higher rate of pay than the man who gave a lesser term of warning. It was a question whether they should not have some such arrangement in the Army. He also wanted to put it to the right hon. Gentleman whether he could not have the Financial Branch of the War Office opened to officers of the Army. At present the Department was served by civilians; but he thought the appointment of officers of the Army, as he suggested, would lead to economy and efficiency in the Service. He would like to say, in conclusion, that the Army was very much gratified on hearing of the appointment of the present Secretary for War—one who was sympathetic with the Service in all its branches.

SIR RICHARD TEMPLE (Surrey, Kingston)

said he would not detain the Committee for more than a minute. He had one or two questions to put to the Secretary for War. In the first place, he wanted to ascertain whether the garrisons for the Australian coaling stations at Thursday Island and St. George's Sound had been completely arranged, and, if so, whether the arrangements had been made through the Colonial Government, or through the Imperial Government — in fact, whether the garrisons were to be furnished by the Regular Army, whose pay was being voted to-day, or by some Colonial troops? A large portion of the public was greatly interested in the maintenance of those very important strategic positions, and he would venture to hope that the garrisons would be established in sufficient strength. He would not be allowed on this Vote to advert to the fortifications and armament, but he believed that these had been nearly completed.

COLONEL KENYON - SLANEY (Shropshire, Newport)

said, he wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he could not hold out some hope of equipping, or partly equipping, the officers' messes at the various quarters permanently occupied by the troops? This was a step which would give much satisfaction, since it would obviate much inconvenience and save the officers expense incurred when changing from one station to another. He also wished to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman would do anything towards equipping the barrack quarters occupied by the officers? He did not ask for any luxurious equipment of furniture, and he would not suggest that the right hon. Gentleman should follow the lines laid down in Ouida's novels; but surely something more and better might be supplied to the officer than the bare table and chairs he found in his room when he first entered it. Another subject of importance had been mentioned by the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford—that was, to the reduction of the number of officers on the Staff—but he did not think the Army generally would approve of such a step, as it was in the Staff appointments that our young officers very often found their first opportunities of securing an education, or training, which was open to them in no other channel. He could not believe that any officer of experience would agree with many of the suggestions which had been made by the hon. Member for the Whitby Division. For instance, as to the suggestion that the soldier should be allowed to walk out at times in plain clothes, he must say emphatically that such a privilege should be sternly reserved to the higher class of non-commissioned officers only. He could imagine nothing that would be more subversive of discipline, or that would tend more to bring the Army into ridicule, than to extend such a rule to every private soldier. A matter in which both soldiers and civilians took a great interest was the enlargement of the pensions, which the right hon. Gentleman, following in the lines of his Predecessor, proposed to give to the veterans of the Army who had served in the Crimean Campaign and in the Indian Mutiny, but he would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he intended to take any steps to discover the whereabouts of those men, or whether he intended to wait for them to make applications for the allowance? The point was not unimportant, for many of the men were hidden away in corners of the country where they would be unlikely to hear of the grant, and he believed it would be satisfactory to the country generally if some means could be set on foot to reach them. Was the right hon. Gentleman going to do this? In his (Colonel Kenyon-Slaney's) own neighbourhood an enterprising newspaper had found out quite a number of these men, and unless the right hon. Gentleman adopted the suggestion he feared it would be very difficult for him to carry out his just and useful plan of recognising the services of these brave veterans.


Sir, I will answer as briefly as possible the questions which hare been addressed to me. First, with regard to the improvement of Colchester Camp, I can assure the hon. and gallant Member for Colchester that the work is being proceeded with gradually and regularly. It cannot be completed at once, although I am quite aware that as little time as possible should be lost in carrying out so essential a work. The Military Authorities are quite aware of the necessity of pushing it on as rapidly as possible. The hon. and gallant Gentleman also made some observations upon the general recommendations of the Wantage Committee, now so familiar to us, and he referred especially to the point of giving free rations to the soldier without any stoppage at all. As I have said before, this would involve a large sum of money, and at present I am not able to contemplate any re-adjustment in the pay which would admit of such a change being made. Then several observations have been offered by hon. Members with respect to the desirableness of increasing, in some small degree, the pay of the soldier, with the view of getting into the Army a different class of men—a higher class. But I would point out to the Committee that, accord- ing to the best evidence that has been received, and, as I think, in accordance with one's own common-sense observation, if we were to endeavour to get a different class of society into the Army, a mere increase of 1d., or 2d., or 3d. a day in the pay would be nothing. To carry out such a suggestion an increase of 1s. or 2s. a day would have to be given. That would be a total change in our present system. It has always been thought, however, that we must be content with getting the young men of the country into the Army before they settle down to any serious occupation, and at present the services of as many of those young men of the labouring class as are required are obtained under existing conditions. In those circumstances, I am not prepared to embark on any large scheme to carry out such a proposal as that referred to—or even to hold out any hope of considering it. As to the squadron sergeant majors, I have nothing to add to the answer I gave on the matter the other day. My military advisers—who are much more competent judges than I am—do not think there is any necessity for doing more than at present in the case of these non-commissioned officers. I now come to the question raised by the right hon. Member for Denbighshire as to the position of the Judge Advocate General. I am not prepared, however, to go into the whole history of this office. The matter has been often discussed, and the general conclusion arrived at, and expressed in the House in regard to that office, is that it should be continued; and in this opinion I strongly share, as also in the opinion that the office should be filled by an official, if possible, of legal eminence, to protect the interests of the soldiers against any possible aggression by his superior officers. The question is, who is to be that officer, and what should be his pay? It has been recommended that he should be a man of the calibre and character I have described, and that he should receive no pay. I am no great believer in the value of services that are not paid for, and therefore in that sense I do not. very much admire even the present temporary arrangement which exists in regard to this office. If I am to answer all the questions which have been asked me by my right hon. Friend, I must state how it comes about that there is no money for the maintenance of this office. The right hon. Gentleman who lately held the office of Judge Advocate General had a somewhat variegated career. He was sometimes paid, and sometimes he was not. Sometimes he was paid in one fashion, and sometimes in another. But I am only concerned with the last year in which he held office, that is the current year which began on the 1st April of last year. The arrangement with the Treasury was that he should receive a fixed salary of £500 a year, and that he should be allowed to receive fees for business actually transacted up to another sum of £500. But it appears that the right hon. Gentleman the late Judge Advocate General claimed his £500 fixed salary, to be paid over to him on the 1st April, us his retaining fee during the year, which thus absorbed half the sum allocated to this office. The year was somewhat risky with regard to the life of the Government; nevertheless, he was paid over the £500 on the 1st April, and he proceeded, with I believe most unusual but very praiseworthy activity, to transact as much business as possible within the earlier weeks and months of the year, so that when the change of Government took place in the beginning of August there was only a balance of something like £150 available for the distinguished public servant who would be appointed to fill this office. That is the reason why there was no money left with us to pay the Judge Advocate General. It was owing to the exceeding devotion to his public duties of the late Judge Advocate General. We are in this position, Sir. We have in Mr. O'Dowd, Deputy Judge Advocate General, an officer who discharges his duties in a most satisfactory way. There could not he a more efficient, a more zealous, or more public-spirited officer, and, I will add, an officer in whom the soldiers of the Army have greater confidence than Mr. O'Dowd, and, therefore, knowing he was so well qualified to discharge the ordinary duties of the office, we contented ourselves with allowing him to fill the duties, and then after the lapse of some time for consideration we invited Sir Francis Jeune to undertake the honorary office of Judge Advocate General, on the understanding that Mr. O'Dowd would dis- charge most of the duties that did not require reference to a higher authority, and that then Sir Francis Jeune would come in. Sir Francis Jeune, in the most public spirited way, accepted the office, and I have received a note from him in which he says that to the best of his experience the arrangement works exceedingly well. I still say I cannot regard it as a satisfactory permanent arrangement, but temporarily I believe it answers all that is required in the case. My right hon. Friend behind me (Sir (G. Osborne Morgan) has shown the large number of cases which he decided personally. But we know the zeal of my right hon. Friend. He is not one of those who would make an office a sinecure, but if associated with anybody else he would make his colleague's office a sinecure, because my right hon. Friend will undertake a great deal more work than falls to one man's share in the ordinary Course of business. We honour him for that, but we must not set up this high standard of merit and activity as a test of what the ordinary, normal condition of the work of the Judge Advocate General ought to be. I now come to the speech of the hon. Member for Whitby, and although I do not agree with a good deal he said I found his speech exceedingly refreshing, because it represented very clearly and with great ability those sides of the question of a soldier's career which are not always brought before us. I quite agree with the hon. Member in this: that it is not only of advantage, but it is necessary as years go on, as the world changes, as the people of this country, from whom we draw our recruits, become more intelligent, to make the Military Service freer and freer. I cannot, however, go as far as the hon. Member, who advocates that a man should be enlisted for only six months. Apart from anything else we should have all the expense and trouble, not only of clothing and feeding him, but of keeping up a staff for the purpose of training him, and after all we should not have the slightest hold on him or anything to ensure that he would be the slightest use to us at all. I am of opinion that all through a soldier's career, and at frequent intervals in that career, there should be opportunities, in the case of a well-behaved man, given to him to exercise a choice whether he should continue to serve with the Colours or whether he should retire into the Reserve. I have no idea of hustling a man out of the Colours into the Reserve, or, on the other hand, of chaining him with the Colours when his interest or inclinations would lead him to the Reserve. But, still, I cannot adopt the free and easy system recommended by the hon. Member. The hon. Member has met someone—a distinguished officer—who spoke of the Army as being choked with bad characters. Let me caution my hon. Friend not to accept too literally expressions of this sort from officers, however distinguished, which are generally the outcome of some prejudice or some tradition which beset the officers in question. If the hon. Member had cross-questioned this distinguished officer he would have found that the assertion was not warranted. I quoted figures the other day which showed that what is known, as crime is decreasing. But, after all, what is military crime? Most of the offences are of a very innocent character from the civilian point of view. Again, I say we must be ready to advance with the times, and I believe there is nothing more prejudicial to the interests of the Army than that soldiers should be constantly liable to being punished and to possible imprisonment for offences which in private life are treated of no account, but which may perhaps be serious in the eyes of a strict disciplinarian officer who is full of zeal for the Service, but still with not sufficient regard for those whose affairs he has to administer in the regiment. If" I see any opportunity, or any room for introducing or making alterations in the system of discipline which would lead to a reduction of these nominal offences, and especially would lead to a more lenient way of dealing with them when they occur, I shall only be too glad to adopt them. The hon. Member complained that the number of old soldiers has very much decreased. I wish to quote some figures which will show that we have not fallen off in this very point of old soldiers, unless you mean by old soldiers men of 35 or 40 years of age. The best men to have in the Army are men from 20 to 30, and nothing is more certain than this: that except, in the case of non-commissioned officers, after 30 years of age, a soldier becomes, I will not say an undesirable thing in a regiment, but at all events there ought not to be too many of that class. What are the ages of the men with the Colours in the latest figures—that is for last year—as compared with 20 years ago? In 1871 there were under 20, 190 soldiers, out of 1,000 in the Infantry; and in 1892, with short service, with the regiments filled with boys, as we are told, and mere lads flooding the whole system, there were 178 per 1,000. There were actually fewer under 20 in 1892 than in 1871. In 1871 there were of soldiers between 20 and 30—which I say is the best age—490, or about one-half, and in 1892 there wore 733. But when I come to the men over 30, of whom I say it is not desirable to have too many in the ranks, I find in 1871 there were 320 per 1,000, and in 1892 only 89; so that these figures are most significant, they make a fair balance of the constitution of the Army at present as compared with previous years, and answer, to a large extent I think, these complaints which the hon. Member says he heard from a distinguished officer, and also those complaints about the Army being flooded with boys, or there being practically no Army at all. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Bolton (Colonel Bridge-man) asked me about the question of deferred pay. The Wantage Committee, or the majority who make the recommendation, did, I think, contemplate the abolition of deferred pay. I have always looked upon deferred pay with a certain amount of suspicion, because it was introduced as a boon to the soldier, without I think a very full appreciation of the extent to which it would rise in years to come and of its ultimate effect. At the same time, I do not see how you can continue the short service and the reserve system without some sort of gratuity or deferred pay to give the soldier when he goes into the Reserve. As to the opinion of the Army on this subject, Lord Wantage's Committee examined six non-commissioned officers and men who were against it, but all the privates except one were for it, and questions were issued to a number of Reservists to see what the opinion on the subject was. 32,948 men were asked, were they in favour of or against it, and what was their experience? Of these, 27,740 were in favour of deferred pay, and only 5,204 against it. In face of that I think he would be a bold man who would propose to make an immediate abolition of deferred pay. But there is one objection frequently urged to deferred pay, and it is this: there is a danger that a man receiving a considerable sum of money the moment he leaves the Colours may spend it in jollification with comrades, or in some other equally unprofitable way, and may thus get no benefit from it at all. What we have done in this matter is to issue orders that such pay over £5 shall be put to the man's savings bank account, which he can draw out at the place where he is going to live after he has left the Army. £3 will be given to him in order that he may not be devoid of money, but everything else, where the amount exceeds £5, is put into his savings bank account, which will have some effect, at all events, in preventing the wasting of it in the way to which I have referred. My hon. and gallant Friend spoke of the Army Pay Department. That is a question to which I have not yet devoted much attention; but I will bear in mind what he said. The hon. Member for Kingston (Sir E. Temple) put to me a question which I cannot answer as to the composition of the coaling station garrisons; but I will endeavour to answer it on the Report. Now, I come to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Newport (Colonel Kenyon-Slaney), who asks me in the first place whether I shall be prepared to contemplate doing something to make barrack quarters more habitable, and also as to equipping the messes so as to avoid the breakage and expense in carriage. That I think would to a considerable extent be an adoption of the system which prevails in the Navy. The Admiralty undertakes to furnish the quarters, and charges the officer a certain percentage to cover the use of the furniture. That would be a great change to introduce into the Army system, but before forming any definite opinion I will look into the matter, and see whether any steps ought to be taken in the direction suggested. Then we come to the question of the extension of pensions to Crimean and Indian Mutiny soldiers. In proposing that an extended number of these pensions should be given, the motive was not a philanthropic, generous, or charitable one at all; but it was taken in the interests of the Army, and to that extent it was therefore a selfish one. It was taken because it was thought it was not to the interests of recruiting or to the credit of the Army that such men should be seen in the streets or elsewhere in a lamentable condition of distress. That rather precludes our giving pensions to men who are hidden away in holes and corners; because if they happen to be hidden away they will not cause injury to the Army. In the meantime, I can only promise to deal with those cases already brought before us, which form a large number, and we must wait to see what the results of our dealing with them is, and we can then consider if it is necessary to pursue that inquiry.


said these very old soldiers who were hidden away in the holes and corners of the country would be the best recruiting officers if they were treated with consideration, because it was from these rural districts the best sort of soldiers wore drawn, and something ought to be done to improve the condition of these men and thus remove a stigma from the Army.


I shall be glad to consider any proposal, although I cannot promise to take any active steps to increase the number of the claimants, who are already more numerous than we can deal with for the present. I think I have answered all the points that have been raised, and I trust now that the Committee will allow the Vote to be taken.


Before this Vote is taken I should like to say, in justice to my right hon. Friend who lately filled the office of Judge Advocate General (Sir W. Marriott), that the fluctuations in the mode of remuneration to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred were mainly due to my right hon. Friend the Member for Brighton himself. First of all, he was appointed to the office at a salary of £2,000 a year. After he had held it for only a year my right hon. Friend publicly expressed the opinion that £2,000 a year was a larger salary than ought to be given to any Judge Advocate General for the amount of work he had to do, and in order to show his strong sense in that direction he voluntarily resigned the whole salary attached to the office. After a year or two the late Government took exactly the same view that the right hon. Gentleman takes. They thought it was not satisfactory that the Judge Advocate General should he unpaid, and in agreement with the Treasury they fixed the system of remuneration by fees, including a retaining fee of 500 guineas as the remuneration of the office. The right hon. Gentleman received that retaining fee to which he was entitled, and looking back throughout the last six years he held office the average amount of remuneration he received was not a large one.


said, his recollection differed very much from that of the late Secretary for War as to this matter. There was no voluntary retirement of the late Judge Advocate General in the ordinary sense of the word, but the Committee of Lord Randolph Churchill went into this question, and the exertions of the noble Lord, actuated solely by motives of economy, had the effect of procuring a practical retirement. In his (Colonel Nolan's) opinion the office was a useful one, and Sir W. Marriott discharged its duties well. It was a mistake of the House of Commons to loosen their grip on the Army by abolishing this office.

Vote agreed to.