§ Order for Second Reading read:—
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now Read a Second time."
§ MR. T. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
moved to leave out from the word "That," to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof the words—it is desirable before proceeding with the Second Reading of this Bill to have further information as to the necessity for the proposed works and fuller details as to where the expenditure is to be made.He said that the object of the Bill was to obtain 5½ millions without putting that amount into the ordinary Estimates, and by that means the expenditure was withdrawn from the cognizance and control of the House. Upon this arose a question of principle. 730 He quite admitted that there might be occasions when it was necessary to proceed by loan—when a very large expenditure for some definite purpose was required. But he desired to submit that, for the works specified in, the schedule of this Bill, and with the fuller particulars which had since been distributed, to proceed by loan was not a very convenient manner, and he did not think the precedents which the right hon. Gentleman quoted would help him through all the difficulties which his present proposal raised. The chief precedent which he quoted was the Barracks Act 1890. The last Return issued by the Financial Secretary to the War Office showed that one and a quarter millions were available under that Act in the year ending the 31st of March 1896. The expenditure in the last year for which they had particulars, was only £500,000, and in the year before that £600,000, so that according to the expenditure for the last two years there ought to be enough to go on with for a year or two under the Barracks Act of 1890. He submitted that it would be made convenient to put them on the ordinary Estimates. The "reposai of the right hon. Gentleman was to take a certain amount, but not to spend it all immediately. Probably the amount he would expend in each year would not be more than £500,000. If the Act was passed he would have to provide in the Estimates something like £250,000 every year, so that if the Act were not passed it would only be necessary to add £250,000 or £500,000 to the Estimates; and then all the purposes the Government had in view would be secured. He was of opinion that the particulars they got in the Estimates would be a great deal better than they had got in the schedule of the Bill. They had really only the rough amounts given to them in the schedule, whereas in the ordinary Estimates they got information under four columns. First, how much the total work was to cost; second, how much had already been spent; third, how much required for the present year; and fourth, how much would be required to finish it—representing opportunities for discussion on the Estimates, which this Bill did not offer. Under the first head was "Barracks, £3,000,000," and in connection with that, further particulars had been distributed by the right hon. 731 Gentleman. His point was, that if it were one large expenditure that was required, such as £2,000,000 for the fortification of Dover, this procedure by loan would be very good, but where there were a number of small items, then it would be much better to proceed by means of the ordinary Estimates. There were many small items here. There were £18,000 for Devonport; £13,000 for Halifax; and £11,000 for Ceylon. It would have been much better to have placed these small items on the Estimates so that they might be properly criticised by the House in the ordinary way. The largest item was the one for St. Lucia, £260,000, which was described as the completion of the scheme for the transfer of headquarters from Barbadoes. He had been trying to get some particulars of the scheme, but they had not had them, so far as he knew. St. Lucia was one of the most insignificant islands in the Windward Islands, and, although it was supposed to be a convenient coaling station, it was rather an unhealthy spot. The whole population was only about 40,000, and yet they were going to spend there £260,000 to make it the headquarters of the district. They had had no argument in support of it yet, and he thought they ought to have some explanation before they passed such a large item as this. There was also an item of £169,000 for the Mauritius. He thought it would be desirable that they should hear something about this item too. The chief item, perhaps, out of this country, was the Irish expenditure. There was no less than £600,000 provided here for the building of barracks in Ireland. He protested against that expenditure. At the present time the Irish were raising a very grave question with regard to their treatment financially, and if this expenditure was approved of, he ventured to say it would be urged as a, sort of set-off to the claim that might be made on financial matters by Ireland. Whether that were so or not, he could not help thinking that it would prove to be a gross waste of money if all these barracks were built in Ireland. Under the Act of 1872, no less than £300,000 were spent on buildings in Ireland. Under the Act of 1890 another £500,000 had been spent, and now they were asked to spend £600,000 for barracks, and, he supposed, something 732 like £400,000 for making Berehaven and Lough Swilly impregnable. This he regarded as a waste of something like £1,000,000 in Ireland. The waste was something tragic, for many of these barracks were now useless. His point here was that as the old idea of scattering the troops in small barracks all over Ireland was very costly, and had been abandoned, so the present idea of building huge barracks at the Curragh and Dublin would also prove not to be a lasting one, and that the largo sum they were now asked to spend would be totally wasted. He wished to take another point. Under the Barracks Act of 1890 a grave scandal arose in connection with the Royal Barracks in Dublin, and formed a splendid illustration of the mistake of proceeding by loan. It was estimated that the Royal Barracks would be completed for about £60,000, but the result was nearly £200,000 was spent, and he estimated that about £130,000 was wasted in this single bit of extravagance. These largo sums, he submitted, would probably be wasted, in the first place, because he believed that the buildings would not be found to be permanent, and, in the second place, because in carrying out work by means of loan instead of by the ordinary Estimates that came regularly before the House, there was a tendency to create great waste and extravagance in the execution of the work. No justification had been made out for this expenditure. He had shown that under the one Act which the right hon. Gentleman had quoted, great waste had taken place in proceeding in this matter. He thought they might take out some of the small items in this schedule and modify the scheme relating to the barracks. The next item was for defence works, £1,140,000, and they had received very scanty information on this head. They had been told that four harbours were to be made impregnable. Falmouth was the only harbour that commended itself to his judgment, and he should like more detail with regard to the precise proposals, as all the money spent at the other three places mentioned would very likely be wasted. He believed the understanding was that coaling stations were to be provided in the harbours which were to be made impregnable. But the theory 733 recognised by the highest military authorities was that there should be no attempt to make the coaling stations impregnable against a fleet, but only sufficiently to guard them against the predatory raids of a hostile cruiser. A very distinguished writer in The Times also fastened on the expression that the harbours were to be made impregnable, stated that a large expenditure upon them would be out of place, and that they only should be fortified to the extent he (the hon. Member) had indicated. It was in connection with proposals of this kind that they had seen the greatest waste of money, and they ought to hesitate before they sanctioned the spending of such a large amount. He thought that Falmouth was a good case, but to spend money on making impregnable places like Berehaven and Lough Swilly, which were almost impregnable in their natural state, seemed to be a mistake. The next proposal involved an expenditure of £1,149,000 on ranges and manœuvre ground. He thought they should provide any ranges they required under ordinary Estimates, which would avoid suspicion of jobbery. The proposal which excited most interest under this head was that which related to the fortification of London.
§ *MR. BRODRICK
I have never used any expression "fortification of London," and I entirely denied, in answer to a question put to me, that that was the intention.
§ MR. LOUGH
said the exact words of the light hon. Gentleman would show that there really was here a proposal of an alarming character, which the Committee ought to look, into with care. The right hon. Gentleman said, in explaining this matter:—"The principle on which our troops will be employed for defence in case of invasion was drawn out ten years ago by the most eminent soldiers of the day, and was then approved by the Government. London must be surrounded by defensive positions strongly held and fortified."
§ *MR. BRODRICK
"Fortified by artillery." That means strengthened. I did not mean to convey that a line of forts was to be built.
§ MR. LOUGH
observed that the words the right hon. Gentleman used were that "London must be surrounded by defensive positions strongly held and fortified with artillery as a second line of defence. Since 1888, thirteen sites have been acquired, and storehouses erected, and work commenced." In order to show that he had not taken an unreasonable view of the right hon. Gentleman's language, he would quote from the communication which recently appeared in The Times. [An HON. MEMBER: "Who wrote it?"] He did not know who wrote it, but he heard the writer was a good military authority:—London must be surrounded by defensive positions strongly held and fortified with artillery as a second line of defence. If, however, this extraordinary proposition is carried into effect, it would be not a second, but a fifth line of defence. The first line is the Navy observing; or blockading the ports from which an invading army is to issue. The second is the Navy operating against the enormous fleet of transports when it has sailed. The third is constituted by the extensively fortified ports of the United Kingdom, backed by the action of the Navy. The fourth is the field army. To these are to be added defensive positions strongly held and fortified by artillery, at a cost of £164,000. The idea of creating any valid defences on a line of at least 120 miles for such a sum as this is absolutely illusory.The right hon. Gentleman told them that £68,000 had been spent on this matter during the last seven years. He should like to ask him if only, £68,000 had been spent, because he observed from the letter in The Times it was believed that a very much larger sum must have been spent over the scheme? Assuming that the expenditure was £68,000, it was argued that because they had spent that amount they should proceed to expend the £96,000 more which was asked for in the Bill. He would commend to the right hon. Gentleman the maxim that the first loss was the best loss, and if they were to stop a bad proceeding they should stop it now, when only £68,000 had been spent, rather than to-morrow, when £160,000 might have been expended on this rather absurd proceeding. What justification had the right hon. Gentleman given? He told them that the sites had been chosen deliberately, and the object had been to form storehouses there in order that the supplies concentrated at Woolwich might be scattered over more convenient places, and 735 that it was the opinion of officers who assembled ton years ago that it would take six weeks to distribute the stores, in the event of war, from Woolwich. Distribution was the science of commerce best understood in London, and if this proceeding was to be justified on the ground that it would take six weeks to distribute supplies from Woolwich, sight must have been lost of the costly and splendid railway system which had been created in London, and which would be available for this purpose. Anything in Woolwich Arsenal could be got out in from 24 to 48 hours, with the assistance of the railways, and if the War Office could not do it, let them call in one of the great distributing merchants of London, and he would soon do it. The right hon. Gentleman cited as an authority for these proposals the Emperor Napoleon. Was ever anything so absurd? Napoleon did not know anything of the railway system, which had more to do with mobilising an army and with distribution than anything else. These were antiquated notions, and not the kind which ought to govern their consideration of this Bill. He believed the Government were right in distributing the stores from Woolwich Arsenal, but wrong in creating storehouses on the tops of hills within a range of a certain number of miles around London. They would have to carry their stores up the hills by horses and men, and when they had got them up they would be no use there. To erect the storehouses on the line of railway where ingress and egress were easy, would be far more practicable than the Government proposal. Then there was the item for the purchase of a manœuvre ground on Salisbury Plain. That was an idea that commended itself to a great many people, but it was one which, nevertheless, ought to be looked into. He did not think 100,000 troops would ever be got together in time of peace, and if they could be, he did not think Salisbury Plain would be a healthy or useful place whereon to manœuvre them. It would be very different from the ground an army would encounter in actual warfare. It might be an interesting experiment for two or three years, but the permanent purchase of a large piece of land would not be necessary for the purposes for which the Government intended to acquire it. He suggested 736 that huts and similar buildings would be required, and that the purchase of land would lead to the development of a great camping ground. It would be a healthy place for a, camp, and some of the money proposed to be spent at Aldershot and the Curragh would be more wisely spent there. Too much money was being spent on military enterprises, but, as far as the sanitary housing of soldiers was concerned, if a moderate scheme were presented he would not oppose it. Mixed up with what was good and useful were some large, and doubtful, and bad proposals, and the Under Secretary for War would do well to agree to the Amendment and withdraw the Bill for further consideration.
§ MR. HUDSON KEARLEY (Devonport)
seconded the Amendment, and said he thought the Mover was amply justified in taking exception to this money being secured by loan instead of being voted in the Estimates. The precedent of 1860 was an extremely bad precedent for two reasons: first, it was the first time such an expedient was adopted; and, secondly, the major part of the money voted was, wasted. Lord Palmerston recognised at the time that the proposal was not one that could be justified. But there was this excuse for him, that the country was in a state of panic from the widespread belief that France contemplated invading us. Lord Palmerston said it was contrary to principle to raise money by loan for the expenditure of the country in time of peace. For many of the purposes to which the money was to be applied, such as the re-construction of Winchester Barracks, money was usually voted in the Estimates. The House was asked to acquiesce in the Bill because it was said the work to be done would be speedily accomplished, whereas if they voted the money in the Estimates it would drag along some time. But when this Bill was passed the House lost all control over the expenditure of money; whereas, if placed in the Estimates it could be criticised annually. It had become far too much the fashion for Governments to come down and toll a plausible story and get Members of the House to surrender one of their most cherished rights to criticise the expenditure of money from the national purse. He objected to this money being taken out of the control of the House for that reason. But the proposal 737 that chiefly excited his opposition was that to erect defences on "fortified positions" round London. It was said these positions were to be strengthened by artillery, and to contain entrenching tools and ammunition. The work that could be done for the money asked for would be utterly insignificant, and if more were required a large sum would have to be expended. He objected to the proposed fortified positions because he believed they would be worthless, and positively dangerous. If an invading army once succeeded in landing on our shores it would make straight for London. The first duty of our military commanders would be to bring this invading army to an engagement, and concentrate the whole of our forces for that purpose. But the proposal under the Bill meant locking up large bodies of men. They would not only be locked up but concentrated over a circle of 120 miles. They would have a great amount of fighting force locked up in these positions, and for that reason alone he considered that these fortifications would be a failure. The right hon. Gentleman had refused to give them any information as to where these fortifications were to be erected, but all Europe would know in a few months. He objected to the scheme, further, because it was a waste of money, and in this connection he should like to quote to the House an opinion given by Lord Palmerston in 1860, when he was bringing forward his proposal. Someone said to him, "Why not fortify London?" He replied that no doubt London might be open to attack, but London was too vast to be surrounded by fortifications. He said, "You cannot fortify London. London must be defended by an army in the field." If they were going to erect fortifications here, what about the other large commercial centres? Why not fortify Liverpool, Glasgow, and Manchester? ["Hear, hear!"] There were plenty of strong natural positions between the coast and the metropolis, and these could easily be turned to account when the occasion arose. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would make a point of dealing with the contention he made, that these places would occupy a large body of men. He wanted to take a, view apart from the military question; he wanted to keep up the heart of Londoners. Londoners had a great affection for these hills. They were 738 in great request for residential purposes, but if the War Department once got possession of them it naturally followed that no houses would be erected there. He had some experience of what happened when the War Office got hold of places for defensive purposes. In Devon and Cornwall the coasts were in several directions in possession of the War Office, and very necessarily, but the public were warned off, and the neighbourhood which the War Office held became a wilderness. The people did not mind that, but if they came to do the same in London it would be very different for the Londoners, who would protest against it. The amount proposed to be taken showed that they did not contemplate putting up any valuable works. What was proposed was something for which the Londoners would not thank you. He hoped that this proposal would be dropped so far as these fortifications were concerned. The idea was not a new one. He thought every military faddist had propounded some wonderful scheme to protect London from an enemy, and the only thing he was surprised at was that they were not already overburdened by some grand scheme; but the good sense of the House had resisted any such proposal. Take the case of Paris, where the fortifications on which millions had been spent were useless. Then what was the use of talking about fortifying London? If they had carried out all the schemes which had been recommended this country would have been bankrupt years ago.
§ *GENERAL RUSSELL (Cheltenham)
said he should only make a few remarks on the Amendment of the hon. Member for West Islington. He saw that he had taken exception to the expenditure on barracks. There was the sum asked in connection with St. Lucia, a small and unhealthy island; regarding this he thought the House ought to have some explanation. He thought hon. Members from Ireland, so far from complaining of the amount of money spent in Ireland with regard to barracks, ought to rejoice. He regretted, however, he could not approve of some of the money spent there. For instance, the Royal barracks in Dublin, which were pronounced unhealthy, the Messrs. Guinness wanted to purchase the site for a storehouse for their corks, but it was refused, although they offered to build new barracks on a site which they 739 proposed to purchase. Since then, much money had been wasted, and many soldiers and officers had died in those barracks, in which now only about 700 men were accommodated. Let them, again, take the Island Bridge Barracks. It was most unhealthy, on the banks of the Liffey, below a churchyard, and had been condemned long since. The railway company offered to buy it from the Government and build a barracks anywhere near Dublin on a healthy site without cost to the Government. The site of the barracks would have been extremely useful for their works, but the Government refused this offer, and kept on patching up those old buildings, and now the whole site was condemned and the entire barracks were to be constructed elsewhere. He wished especially to make some remarks regarding the objections taken to what was termed the fortification of London. Hon. Members opposite appeared to have entirely misunderstood the whole of this scheme. He thought he was in a position to assure them that the scheme brought forward now was the result of careful inquiry, and the deliberate judgment of the principal authorities for the last 20 years. It had been confirmed and accepted by successive Governments, and it was now being carried out in by no means a too liberal manner by the present Government, in accordance with the wishes of their predecessors. There was no question of the fortification of London. He was sorry to say that this word was used in The Times by one who was spoken of as a distinguished writer, who in many ways talked great nonsense. About 20 years ago it was his good fortune to visit the Russian Army, and to see the preparations for defence being carried out in Turkey. He reported to the Home authorities that war was inevitable, and would be declared as soon as the roads were clear for transport. In reply to various Members of the Government of the day, who were good enough to send for him, he also expressed his conviction that there was nothing to prevent the Russians from reaching Constantinople about three or four months after they had declared war, that was to say, about two months after they succeeded in crossing the Danube. That Report was not accepted by the Military 740 Authorities or by Her Majesty's Government; the only exception to that was the present Commander in Chief, who pointed out to him the line of operations which the Russians would take, and predicted that they would disregard Varna and Shumla, and that unless something unforeseen occurred they would be in Constantinople in the middle of August. The Russians adopted the line of operations which the present Commander in Chief had predicted. They disregarded Varna and Shumla, and they would no doubt have been at Constantinople in August, or if not, early in September, if it had not been that they were delayed in crossing the Danube, which gave the Turks the opportunity of erecting temporary fortifications at Plevna, very similar to those which it was now contended should be made round London. The Russians were consequently delayed two months before Plevna until the bad weather set in, and did not reach Constantinople until January. Similarly, when war seemed imminent, our Government, with the sanction of the Turkish Government, sent out engineer officers to survey certain lines round Constantinople, on which temporary fortifications might be erected, and no doubt these would have saved the capital if it had not been for the treachery of the Turkish Commander, who allowed the Russians to encamp within them. These works which were now proposed, consisted simply of block houses, or points d'appui, to hold stores, at the important points where it would be necessary in time of invasion to raise temporary fortifications round London. They had heard that it would be almost impossible to invade London. ["Hear, hear!"] The hon. Member for Islington said "hear, hear," but that was not the opinion of foreign strategists. It had been his good fortune to have conversation in a friendly way with some of the principal and most able strategists of the continent, and without exception, they had always said that the invasion of England was not only possible but under certain circumstances quite feasible. If that event ever happened what an enormous boon it would be if it were possible for our troops to occupy defensive positions in intrenchments which, by means of the huge population available in London, could be 741 thrown up in three or four days. So impressed were the Russians with the advantage of such defensive preparations as were here contemplated in the case of London that they had planned no less than two or three such positions on the line of the supposed march of an army from the western frontier to St. Petersburg. If it should so happen that we lost the command of the Channel what an advantage it would he if our Volunteers, by intrenching themselves behind such defensive works as were now indicated, could hold any hostile columns in check before London for, say, a week. The objections of hon. Gentlemen opposite were entirely opposed not only to the military experts in this country and on the Continent, but to the practice and preparations which foreign countries had adopted for their defence in case of invasion. It would be utterly impossible to get the stores out of Woolwich in four days, as had been suggested. He thought that some of the criticisms in The Times were, to say the least, injudicious, and he could not accept them. He hoped that the House would pass this Bill without delay, especially that part of it which related to the defence of London, which he regarded as the most important and best part of it. ["' Hear, hear!"]
On the return of Mr. SPEAKER, after the usual interval,
§ MR. W. H. MYERS (Winchester)
said that the hon. Member for Devonport had said that there was no urgency in the matter of the rebuilding of the Winchester barracks. He ventured to think that there was very great urgency in the matter in view of the great inconvenience caused by the present state of affairs. As the House was aware, only part of the barracks were burnt down in December 1894. Two blocks of buildings remained intact and only the central block, which formed the quarters of the married men of the depôt. Consequently temporary accommodation had to be found for those turned out of their quarters. 'He hoped his right hon. Friend would endeavour to press this Bill on with all speed, not merely on the ground he had mentioned, but also because Winchester was a very first-rate military centre, lying within a convenient distance of Portsmouth, Southampton, and London, and also of the new 742 manœuvring ground it was proposed to set up near Salisbury.
§ MR. D. F. GODDARD (Ipswich)
looked upon the Bill from two standpoints—the standpoint of the policy involved and the standpoint of finance. He was not for a moment prepared to raise any technical objection to the defence works proposed, but it seemed to him that the estimate for these works was altogether inadequate. It could not be seriously supposed that this expenditure of £1,120,000 would anything like complete the works that were contemplated. Was it not a fact that 18 years after the Act of 1860 was passed, under which £11,000,000 were voted for certain military works, the whole of the money was expended, but not a single one of the works really completed? What the ultimate cost of those works was likely to be no one knew. It had become mixed up with other figures, and probably it would be half as much again as was asked for. It seemed to him that the Government were falling into exactly the same error. They were really formulating a programme of military works which they knew perfectly well could never be completed for the money asked for. The note at the bottom of the schedule of this Bill stated that these works were partly new works and partly works begun and not completed under the Imperial Defence Act of 1888 and the Barracks Act of 1890. Payments under those Acts were being made now, and some of the money for which the Government were asking would go to defray liabilities incurred some time ago. With regard to the proposed earthworks, shelters, and storehouses, he would like to know whether the military authorities had not seriously questioned the utility of such works. If there was the slightest doubt as to their utility in the minds of the military authorities the House ought to be told of it. They had been assured that the shelters were required to contain the tools of workmen building earthworks. If that was the only purpose of these shelters why should the structures be very substantial? Why should they be of considerable magnitude and strength, as if intended to resist an enemy's shot? Was tins Vote for the defences of London after all only a part of an outlay which it was intended to incur at a future time? Was there some undisclosed plan for the complete fortification 743 of London? In that case they had good reason to complain. There was, he feared, rather a tendency to give information piecemeal in these matters, and he would like to know whether the Imperial Defence Council had really recommended the policy of spending this large sum of money in the defence of London. A good part of the proposed expenditure on barracks he gathered from the schedule was rendered necessary by the contemplated increase of the Army. That raised a question of policy which they had a right to discuss in that House. Did we want this increase of the Army? ["Hear, hear!"] Was there a real necessity for it, or was it not some better organisation of our existing forces that was wanted? We were paying about 21 millions for our Army and there ought to be some really searching inquiry into the expenditure so that the country might ascertain whether it was getting the full benefit of it. He complained of the lavish expenditure to which the Government were committing the country. ["Hear, hear!"] Last year on the Budget night the Chancellor of the Exchequer made a very strong and earnest appeal for aid in checking the large expenditure that was going on. The appeal of the right hon. Gentleman was worthy of very serious consideration. They had before them the indeterminate cost of the Egyptian campaign, and they were confronted with these quickly recurring Works Bills. He warned the Government that when the taxpayers came to understand thoroughly how la vishly their money was being spent upon these works, for some of which it was difficult to find any justification, they would resent it greatly. He knew the stock argument that these things ought to have been done long ago, that they had been neglected; but he did not think that the argument was available, because large sums of money had been spent from year to year for these purposes. He agreed entirely with the Amendment that had been moved, because he was of opinion that enough information had not been supplied to the House. By passing this Bill they would be giving the Government a free hand to lay out some £5,500,000 on some kind of military works or other. The money would be beyond the control of the House of Commons. Against that he thought it right to protest. It was true 744 that mention was made in the Bill of a reference to the Treasury, but he regarded that as worth very little. The reference would simply be from one public Department to another, and that could not be held to constitute an effective check upon this enormous expenditure. The term of thirty years was too long for the repayment of these loans, and they were confusing, because they overlapped. Then some of this expenditure ought to be provided for in other ways. Take the item for converting the female prison at Woking into barracks for the Royal Artillery, was that the kind of expenditure that ought to be met by a loan for a long period? He held not, and he held the same opinion with regard to the expenditure for replacing wooden huts by others at the Curragh, Colchester, etc. He thought that the application of a surplus, if there was any, for the purposes of this Act was a highly objectionable method of doing business. It seemed to him financially that it was becoming the practice of the Government to apply surpluses to extraordinary expenditure. That was a very serious point to consider. It raised the whole question of method in our National Accounts; it raised the whole question of the National Debt and its system of liquidation; and this question ought to be very carefully considered if the practice was to become common. Let the full expenditure of the country be disclosed to the taxpayers in an account as plain as it could be made, so that they might know what was being expended on different departments. Then there would be a chance of getting sound and correct judgments on such a proposition as this. This system of finance was a bad one, and needed to be altered; this system of finance at any rate did not show a very robust confidence in the approval of the country for the Measures which the Government were bringing forward for the expenditure of this money. He should vote against the Bill.
§ COLONEL MURRAY, (Bath)
speaking on the Bill from a military point of view, said that if the proposed works around London were to be in the form of storehouses, connected by lines of entrenchment, if necessary, later, but without regular forts, they would be valuable in imparting strength to concentration in the event of an imminent invasion. For 745 hundreds of years the Navy had kept the country free from invasion, but it was desirable to have a backing of troops. Many of our troops were suitable as a mobile force; there were other troops whose qualification lay more in a passive form; and for these it would be a source of great strength if earthworks were constructed. Without finding spots of concentration regiments would be scattered around London without any organisation, and with no means of taking a proper share in the defence of the country. London was the central point in our system of defence, and we should have a local chain of strong points. He therefore congratulated the Government on the decision they had made to construct this chain of works round London, and he hoped they would carry the proposal forward with determination. As to manœuvre on Salisbury Plain, he thought it would be very satisfactory to have a large drill ground. We had outgrown Aldershot, which was too small for extended drills, especially for cavalry. He urged the Government to acquire certain rights of movement over ground near Salisbury where troops could manœuvre freely without disturbing game.
§ MR. JOHN DILLON (Mayo, E.)
said he had listened with astonishment to the speech of the hon. and gallant Member. According to his argument, the conditions of modern warfare required troops not to have any fixed plan or places of fortifications, while it was necessary for the Volunteers if they took the field to fight from behind trenches. The hon. Member's speech was really an argument against wasting money on one of the most monstrous propositions ever submitted to the House of Commons, namely, the fortification of London. The hon. Member said that he was proud to hear that these fortified places were to be connected by trenches or long lines of defence, so as to make them one continuous position. That would mean trenches 120 miles round London, and the only argument the House had heard in defence of the plan was the suggestion to waste £150,000 in defence of London because £60,000 had already been wasted. If London was beset by an army largo enough to surround the City or seriously to threaten it, the people would be eating each other within 746 a fortnight. He therefore supported the Amendment of the hon. Member for West Islington. He objected to the Bill on two grounds, first, because of the inadequacy of the arguments as to the necessity of these armaments; and, secondly, because he was opposed root and branch to all these monstrous increases in expenditure on the Army and Navy. Apart from that, in carrying out this policy, the Government were pursuing a most vicious course in providing extraordinary Budgets for the Army and the Navy, and, following the German method, withdrawing the expenditure from all control or criticism in this House. Last year the House of Commons assented to an enormous increase on naval armaments, and the First Lord, who then talked of the splendid isolation of England, stated that between 1889 and 1899 there would have been an aggregate expenditure of nearly 55 millions upon construction. The taxpayers were entitled to expect, having made such sacrifices in order to place the fleet ahead of all the other fleets of the world, that at least the burden would be lightened as regards military expenditure. They were now assured that, owing to some kaleidoscopic change, England was no longer in a position of splendid isolation, but was bound hand and foot with other European Powers, so much so, that even though people were being roasted alive, she could not move the most powerful ships afloat unless other nations gave her permission to do so. All the millions voted had not enabled England to redeem the honour of her flag or to strike a single blow for civilisation and Christianity in the East of Europe. He did not think a single shred of justification had been afforded by the Under-Secretary for these demands. He objected to increased expenditure in the Army. If England was determined to strain her almost boundless resources so as to retain the undisputed mastery of the sea, there might be a great deal to be said for it, only he could wish she would use her power in a more humane and decent way; but she ought to apply herself to reducing expenditure on the Army. The British Army was a very small concern. If England would give up her monstrous system of land-grabbing in all parts of the world there would be no shadow of reason for calling for 747 increased expenditure upon the Army, and though at the present moment everybody must recognise—
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order. I must remind the hon. Member that there is no question of increasing the Army in this Bill.
§ MR. DILLON
said there was a large increase for barracks and accommodation for troops in all parts of the world, but, of course, he would not pursue the argument in the circumstances. He objected, then, to the whole policy of the Bill, but he also very much objected to the finance of the Bill, and the way in which the money was to be provided under Clause 2. As to the borrowing powers under Clause II., by means of terminable annuities to be paid out of the moneys provided by Parliament for Army services, he wished to know whether moneys provided by Parliament were to be specifically earmarked for those annuities. Clause 3 appropriated the surplus for the year 1896–97, and suspended the Sinking Fund Act of 1875, which provided that the surplus of each year should go to the payment of the National Debt. He objected to this scheme. The English people at least were enjoying a period of exceptional and enormous prosperity; yet not only was an eight-penny income tax being maintained, but fresh debt was being contracted to provide this enormous naval and military expenditure, and the Sinking Fund, which ought to provide a reserve for periods of emergency, was being destroyed. Now England was at the top of the wave; presently she would be in the trough. The Radical Party, as the party of economy and sound finance, always came into power when the country was in the trough, and when they had built up a surplus the Tory Party came in to squander it, and to disorganise finance. The great surpluses, provided partly by the new Death Duties and partly by increased prosperity, ought to have led to a revision of the whole taxation, with a view to further concessions to the working classes, but all the surpluses had been seized upon for bloated expenditure on armaments, and even the £120,000 which last year was to have gone to the Voluntary Schools had been swallowed up. As to Ireland's relation to this Bill, about £600,000 was to be spent on barracks 748 and huts and harbours. He wanted particulars as to those harbours. Were they to be available for the people? He had no objection to money being spent in Ireland, but, in view of a coming inquiry, it became important to know whether this expenditure would be charged as local expenditure in Ireland. He claimed that if £600,000 were to be spent in Ireland, it should be spent in a way which would be beneficial to the country. This was a year of great depression in Ireland, and the money could be applied to a better purpose than the building of barracks. If the Government would take this sum out of the Bill, and apply it to the relief of those districts in which the people were on the verge of starvation, he would reconsider his attitude to the Bill.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said that there was a great deal in the hon. Member's remarks about Clause 3, which dealt another serious blow at the settled financial system of the country. It destroyed the "annuality" of our accounts, which secured that each year's revenue and expenditure should be complete in themselves, and that any surplus should go to the reduction of the National Debt. That was a very proper and necessary arrangement, which should only be disturbed in times of emergency. Of recent years it had become the practice of Governments to interfere with the proper financial relations of the Empire. As to the provision of ranges and manœuvre grounds, he believed them to be necessary for the Army. In buying a large tract of country in and about Salisbury Plain, the Government would be acquiring the best site available. New barracks were eminently necessary also; and by replacing the insanitary barracks now existing, money would be saved, because it would no longer be necessary to be continually moving regiments about, so that all might have their turn of the healthy and of the deadly barracks. As to the defence works, however, the scheme was open to serious objection. He could not understand why not merely the Navy, but the Army, should be wild to go into bricks and mortar. It was not by them, but by action in the open field, that the country was to be defended. The chain of forts by which Paris was surrounded only served to prolong the 749 agony of the siege; and as to forts for defending London, why, if the enemy got as near as that, the game would be up. Nothing could be more injudicious than a chain of detached forts round London for the purpose of defence. It was said that only storehouses were proposed; but the storehouses would only precede and be the foundation of the forts. If not, what was the purpose of the stores? He hoped no Minister would rely for the defence of any part of the country on forts, but would depend on coping with the enemy in the open field. But the part of the defence works in which he was particularly concerned was that relating to the Scilly Isles. He believed he was the only Member of the House who had ever asserted that the Scilly Isles would make a most important naval strategical station. He had constantly urged that the first and most necessary thing to do was to make them an absolutely good and safe naval station by building a breakwater. The forts might come in their proper order. Undoubtedly, the first step to take was to build the breakwater across the Broad Sound and make a proper and safe anchorage. Unless that was done it was useless to build forts in any case. To build forts before they built the breakwater seemed to him the height of absurdity. He could understand the building of the breakwater without the forts, but could not understand the building of the forts without the breakwater. What was suggested reminded him of the words—he believed they were Swift's:—Here is proof of Irish sense, here Irish wit is seen,When nothing's left that's worth defence, they build a magazine.[Laughter.] He took great interest in the naval affairs of the country—["hear, hear!"]—and his belief was that the more forts we built the more difficulties and not facilities we placed in the way of the Navy. Bricks, mortar, and mud were useless. This country was only to be defended by ships. Once the line of our warships was broken through, we were gone and nothing was left.
§ *MR. REGINALD McKENNA (Monmouth, N.)
hoped the House would not suspect him of being an authority on military questions. He made no such pretence; but this Bill had an aspect 750 which was not at all military—namely, a financial aspect—and it was upon that point he proposed to address a very few words to the House. Part of the Bill was to provide for barracks, and the money for that purpose amounted altogether to nearly three millions sterling. The expenditure on barracks was to a certain extent a permanent one, and it was therefore perhaps reasonable that the whole charge for barracks should not be included in the Estimates of any one year; but, until they had a careful system of separating annual and permanent expenditure, it appeared to be most unreasonable to mix up the accounts of the Estimates with the accounts in Bills like the present. What took place as a matter of fact in practice? An item for barracks might be put down in the accounts for the Estimates, and the Secretary of State might think the item would not look well in the Estimates. He could at once put it in a Loan Bill. The House had never before it the actual expenditure being made from year to year; never did they get a complete and comprehensive view of the whole of the Army expenditure. Anyone with any regard to finance must see that that is a very undesirable method to pursue. If the House were to retain any control whatever over the Army expenditure they must know from year to year what they were expending. Although all the items for barracks should not appear in one year because the works were permanent, why should not the charges be spread over several years' Estimates? A great deal of the money expended under such Bills as that now before the House was money they would not be willing to continue to expend if they ever had an opportunity of revising their judgment. It was ludicrous to consider that London could be defended by the methods suggested in the Bill. If the authorities wanted a Metz they must spend millions and not £96,000. A letter which recently appeared in The Times appealed very strongly to him. The writer signed his name Lieutenant Colonel J. R. Povah. That Gentleman said:—Lord Lansdowne's present scheme is offered as the sole alternative to asking the country for £225,000 more; at the same time he asks for £96,000 alone for works on the North Downs. Now, there seems some doubt what 751 these works really are to be. Are they to be merely quartermasters' stores for mobilisation, or real fortifications? If the latter, no money is asked to arm them; while the idea of fortifications in any shape is opposed to all naval and military expert opinion. But works without guns are less useful than even soldiers without rifles, because men unarmed can run away, but permanent works cannot; while they are positively more dangerous to a defence, as they may be turned by a victorious assailant on their original garrison.That was an expert opinion, and a, most reasonable and common-sense one, upon these supposed fortifications. It certainly appealed to him, if it did not to hon. and gallant Gentlemen opposite. No case had been made out for the expenditure of £96,000, and he asked right hon. Gentlemen to accept the Amendment in as far as it meant the postponement of the Bill possibly for another year.
§ *THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
said that, in introducing the Resolution on which this Bill was founded, he went as fully as possible into the various items of expenditure which the Government intended to undertake, and hon. Members had contended that the amount of money provided could not possibly furnish all the works proposed. By far the more serious criticisms had been directed to the Government dealing with this question by means of loan. ["Hear, hear!"] But, when he introduced the Resolution, he introduced what he believed seemed to many Members of the House the cogent arguments why the Government should deal with the matter by means of loan, and not by means of annual Estimate, and although he was reluctant to recapitulate what he then stated, he would remind the House that it would be absolutely impossible to enter upon big works on the system of annual Estimate without causing either very great financial inconvenience or very wasteful expenditure of money. But, as matters were, one of two things must happen. Either the contractor must, when the Vote for the year was exhausted, suspend, hundreds of workmen at great inconvenience to him, or, if he kept on with a smaller number of men to avoid those suspensions, and a frost occurred or anything to stop the works, the Department would find itself towards the end of the financial year with a large sum of unexpended money, 752 and it would press upon the contractor to spend money which would then surely be expended in a wasteful manner. ["Hear, hear!"] If the Department did not do this, perhaps £100,000 or £200,000 would have to be surrendered to the Exchequer, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have to raise taxes in the next year for purposes for which the people had already been taxed. ["Hear, hear!"] If the House liked to change its whole financial arrangements, and say, what has never yet been said, that it would allow the money voted for one service to be carried on to the next year, or even the year after that, then the difficulty of providing for such works by annual Estimate would disappear. But he repeated that in the present financial arrangements of the House a scheme for paying those large works by annual Estimate would be a wasteful, an extravagant, and a shortsighted policy. ["Hear!"] When he introduced this Resolution he explained that one of the strongest points in favour of bringing forward a Measure of the kind was that it gave Parliament increased control, and enabled it to estimate the expenditure as a whole, and either to modify, reject, or accept it. Let them take the case of the defence of London. That subject was introduced by Mr. Stanhope in a speech in 1889, when he put £20,000 into the Estimates. That sum was voted, and it was renewed in subsequent years, both by Mr. Stanhope and by the Administration of which he late Secretary for War was a member. But under this plan the principle involved in the question was never discussed and decided on by Parliament. ["Hear, hear!"] He, on the other hand, in introducing the Resolution, made a frank statement of what was intended, not merely as regarded the same class of expenditure, but also as to the completion of the original scheme. The plans of the Government, as unfolded by him, had been discussed by the House and the country, and whatever else might be said on the subject, at all events, the result of including that portion of the expenditure in the loan had been a full, careful, and, he hoped, a sufficient consideration of the subject by the House. ["Hear, hear!"] The hon. Member for Islington (Mr. Lough) had continued to talk of the scheme of fortification for London. Subsequent speakers had taken up the point, 753 and while some had urged that the Government were spending far too little if London was really to be fortified, others had contended that the Government were spending too much because the expenditure would be useless. ["Hear, hear!"] Many mutually destructive arguments had been used that night. Let them consider the principle involved. But whatever that principle was—whether good or bad—it was considered and accepted nine or 10 years ago, and he would urge this important fact on the attention of the House—that the Government had not departed one inch from the principle laid down, or from the scale of amounts it was thus proposed to adopt. Those who regarded the Navy as being an absolute defence to the country, and as meeting all the numerous chances of war, would, of course, support no expenditure on the Army at all for National Defence. They might support expenditure on the Army for striking power abroad; but, obviously, if the Navy were an absolute defence, they required no Army and no fortifications on land. Everybody knew there were chances in war. Everybody knew that the highest military authorities, not merely in this country, but also abroad, admitted that there was the possibility of a temporary reverse at sea. The Duke of Devonshire—and he was sure every Member in that House would recognise that the Duke of Devonshire was a man who had given this subject the most careful consideration and was a man of immense weight and authority on the subject—["hear, hear!"]—speaking the other day, said:—Between the permanent loss of the command of the sea and the possibility of a temporary reverse which might expose some portion of our coast to the risk of invasion there is a very wide interval.That was their position exactly. They were preparing against this risk in this way. Undoubtedly, as had been said by many hon. Members that night, the task of the Army defending this country was not to remain stationary. ["Hear, hear!"] They had had some means within the last few days of estimating what the power was of a hostile force to land even on a comparatively small portion of territory protected by cruisers. ["Hear, hear!"] It was not a certain, scientific 754 axiom that they could prevent a force from landing on any particular spot. Supposing there should be an invasion. The organisation of the Army was this in such a case. There would be a mobile force, of very large size, whose duty it was to march on the enemy, at whatever point he might attempt to land, without a moment's hesitation. But there was also the chance, laid clown by the highest military authorities, that, at the same moment their Army was engaged with the enemy which had landed, they might have another force of troops landed at another spot endeavouring to strike in the rear of the Army towards London. It was in respect of that chance that they took up the position around London. When Mr. Stanhope introduced this scheme in 1889 he used these words:—Neither officially nor unofficially has any plan been brought before me for building permanent fortifications for the defence of London. Such a scheme is extravagant, visionary, and wholly unecessary.And then he went on to say:—Everyone hopes and thinks that our first line of defence should be strong enough to defend this country from the possibility of invasion, and the scheme now adopted is an additional security, necessary only in what may be a remote contingency. It is necessary to prepare and strengthen the position they would occupy, so as at once to protect the defenders and to make up for their necessary deficiencies. There are certain strategical positions round London commanding roads and railways which are essential to its defence. These have been carefully examined by our most experienced officers, and places have been marked out where, upon the occurrence of grave emergency, certain steps, arranged in every way beforehand, could at once be taken.[Cheers.] Why did Mr. Stanhope make that declaration, by which the Government stood? That question was brought before Parliament in the year 1887 by Sir E. Hamley, who was admittedly one of the best strategists this country had ever produced, in a most serious speech, in which he called attention to the very action now to be taken. That speech was taken up, amongst others, by the London Chamber of Commerce, who urged upon the Government the serious importance of taking steps to see that there was some second line of defence in this country in case of any reverse of the field Army. Mr. Stanhope then 755 appointed a number of military authorities to investigate the subject, and the action that was then taken was taken on the report of Lord Wolseley, Sir R. Buller, an eminent engineer, and an eminent artilleryman. Those four officers examined and chose certain sites with a view, not of putting up fortifications, but of putting up centres on which the temporary intrenchments that might be necessary would be founded. That was the principle which was adopted by Mr. Stanhope, and accepted by the right hon. Gentleman when he came into office. It had been urged by the hon. Member for Devonport that, as they were going to fortify London, why did not they fortify Liverpool in the same way? But the hon. Member himself supplied the answer. ["Hear, hear!"] He said, a moment before, that any hostile force landing in England would have for its objective the metropolis. That was the very reason they had proposed to defend it, and they proposed to defend it in the way they did because they knew that besides their field artillery they must have a very considerable body of less-trained troops whom they desired to give the strongest positions and all the assistance they could have in defending and executing the defences which they might have to undertake. ["Hear, hear!"] The hon. Member for Devonport said they were locking up a large force in these positions. That was not the case. They were placing them in the very positions in which they would be most available to be trained off into the field army if their services were required. He could assure the hon. Member for Devonport and the House that this subject was not one which had been taken up lightly. It was considered most carefully by the military authorities before the scheme was placed before Parliament. It had been held, too, by every military authority who had had to do with the matter to be the very best scheme that could be adopted. He could quote Lord Wolseley, Sir R. Buller, the present Inspector-General of Fortifications, and the present Inspector-General of Ordnance, who were absolutely at one as to the advisability of this scheme.
§ *MR. BRODRICK
said he could not admit that this question of risk was one for naval authorities alone. The naval authorities would undoubtedly do all they knew to prevent the risk of invasion. But if his hon. and gallant Friend told him that there was no risk and no chance of invasion then he was at issue with him. There was a chance. ["Hear, hear!"] The advice of military authorities was not asked in reference to the formation of the fleet for defence, nor did they invite the opinion of naval authorities as to action to be taken after an enemy had landed. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ *MR. BRODRICK
said before the enemy landed he could not attack London. [Laughter.] His hon. Friend must allow the military authorities to deal with the enemy on shore. Naval authorities might believe that a landing never would take place, but if it did, naval authorities would have their hands pretty well occupied with their own business. Let it not be supposed for a moment that naval and military authorities were at issue. Military authorities wished to provide for their share of the work being properly done if at any time England should be left open to invasion. ["Hear."] Criticisms had passed in reference to the expenditure for barracks at St. Lucia. Troops were necessary for the defence of the coaling station, and it was necessary to have quarters for them; this was the opinion of the Colonial Defence Committee and approved by the late Government. Obviously it was useless to have a coaling station at St. Lucia unless it was defended; and it was necessary that the coaling station should be maintained there, having regard to its geographical position in respect of other Powers. With regard to the other barracks, it must not be supposed that the defence of coaling stations alone made necessary an increase of expenditure on barracks. It was proposed to complete the system upon which the House set its seal in 1890 to replace barracks which were worn out or insanitary by barracks fit for the habitation of troops. ["Hear, hear!"] As he had pointed out earlier, the Government were not going beyond the amount, nor had they reached 757 the amount, which was put before Parliament and Lord Randolph Churchill's extremely economical Committee and received approval in 1888; but they were going ahead as fast as they could with all regard to economical expenditure of money. Let the House notice this. The Government were not asking for more than they hoped to spend in five years, in order that they might not withdraw from the notice of Parliament expenditure beyond a reasonable period. It had been said that these loans were mixed up with the annual Estimates, but that was not in accordance with facts. He did not think that Members would find any items for defence purposes in the Estimates during the time the Defence Loan Works were being carried out. The loan was taken for works of a permanent nature, and in the Estimates were the items for armament, and if at any time the House desired to criticise the expenditure on armaments there was always an opportunity on the Vote for Stores. With regard to barracks, undoubtedly they asked for what was necessary in order that they might at once start with contracts in the most economical manner. His hon. Friend behind him criticised the proposed defence of the Scilly Islands, not because he thought they should not be defended, but on the ground that there ought to be a breakwater. All he could say was they were doing exactly what they were asked to do by the joint Naval and Military Committee, and if they consulted three or four experts from the Admiralty and the War Office, and checked their opinion by the sanction of the Secretary of State and the First Lord of the Admiralty, and brought the result before the Defence Committee to consider and to decide what shall be done, after hearing-all who had a right to be heard, they had as near an ideal system for protection in an expert manner as could be got under our Constitution and Parliamentary arrangements. The only thing a civilian could do was to endeavour to follow out the proposals arrived at, and he might add those proposals had never been seriously challenged as regarded defence of coaling stations, of harbours, and ports. He assured the House it was the desire of the Government to give the fullest information on all points so far as was consistent with national interest and 758 the purpose of these defensive works. The nature of these works was not known in detail in foreign countries and to foreign critics, although Members had asserted that all our preparations were known abroad. That assertion did not square with the immense desire of many foreigners to become better acquainted with the state of affairs. If these matters were so well known, the authorities would not have to be so careful in this respect. ["Hear, hear!"] The Department had furnished the House with a full schedule of all that they thought ought to be known to the world, and if any Member had any doubt on any point he would be glad to satisfy him. There was no desire to magnify official reserve, and they would be glad of advice on any point from those acquainted with the public needs, and any suggestion would be carefully weighed. But at the same time he trusted sincerely that this Measure, having been brought in on the highest expert judgment, having been carefully examined and cut down to the narrowest limits consistent with efficiency, would be accepted in the spirit in which it was proposed to meet the protective needs of the Empire. [Cheers.]
§ *MR. W. WOODALL (Hanley)
said the interesting and in the main reassuring speech of the right hon. Gentleman was, he thought it would be felt, ample justification for the Motion of his hon. Friend requiring further information before this Measure was proceeded with. The inconvenience and loss which were entailed by the necessary and legitimate enforcement of the rule as to March 31 was a matter too familiar to need emphasising at this time. At the same time the House of Commons must be aware there was a danger incidental to this practice of proceeding by way of loan as to which Parliament ought to be always on guard, and that was evidenced in the figures that had been submitted to them in the memorandum of Lord Lansdowne, in which he explained that the works estimated for in the present War Office Votes were diminished by the fact that the Government had been able to include in their scheme dealt with under the loan system a number of works which, to that extent, reduced the annual Votes for which Parliament was to be asked. As to the defence of military ports and commercial harbours, it would not be contended for a moment that there was anything novel 759 in the proposals. The responsibility for dealing with them had been recognised by every successive Government. He wanted to say a word with regard to the four ports for which defensive works were included in the scheme. It might have been assumed that the proposal to create harbours at Berehaven and Lough Swilly, for example, was a new idea, whereas during the term of office of the late Government the lands were acquired, the works carried on, and the armaments much advanced. He hoped the necessary works would now be pushed on to completion. ["Hear, hear!"] With reference to the barracks, it was impossible to overrate the importance of the proposals of the Government. It was a scandal to see that the huts erected at Aldershot, the Curragh, and other places had been allowed to continue so long. They were in an insanitary condition and, he was afraid, not free from vermin. He was glad they were about to make provision for better quarters for their soldiers generally, and especially for the married soldiers. ["Hear, hear!"] If the right hon. Gentleman was unfortunate in regard to any of his observations, he must by this time feel that he was, at any rate, not happy in his references to the scheme for the defence of London. They now learned with great satisfaction that there were to be stations—in which were to be stored implements and, it might be, ammunition—as rallying points under the scheme of mobilisation. It was perfectly true that this scheme had been recognised at the War Office, and there was a certain continuity in regard to it during the term of the late Government. But what was the extent of the contribution of the late Government to this alarming and sensational work? He believed that during their last year of office there was included in the Votes the sum of £5,000 for establishing stations in which some of the forces assigned to the defence of London could be mobilised as quickly as possible. He thought the House would gather from what had been said in the Debate that any Government charged with the defence of the country would be open to very serious reproach—he might almost say impeachment—if they failed to contemplate the possibility—the grievous and hardly conceivable possibility—of an invasion of this country, of the breakdown of their national defences, and of 760 the failure of the Volunteers and others to prevent the landing of an enemy. He should be very much surprised to learn that at the War Office those responsible for the defence of the country had not provided against the landing of an enemy—he would not say on the south side of London, but in any part of the United Kingdom. He should also be surprised if there were not schemes by which entrenchments might be thrown up and every point of vantage rendered capable of defence, whether the enemy landed in Suffolk, Essex, Kent, or any other part of the coast. That on approaching London the enemy should be met by a carefully studied resistance was also obvious. But that was a very different thing from what the right hon. Gentleman startled the country with in his statement with regard to the ultimate defence of London. His words, to the gravity of which he would again call his attention, startled the leader writer in The, Times and created a sensation throughout the country generally, speaking, as he did, not merely of this scheme of mobilising the Volunteers, the Militia, artillery, and the rest according to the method suggested by Sir Edward Hamley, but going on to say,London must be surrounded by defensive positions, strongly held, fortified with artillery, as a second line of defence.The Under Secretary's explanation diminished the gravity which seemed to lie in his words as to fortified positions round London. There was nothing like the difficulty suggested in getting stores from the Ordnance Department at Woolwich. If it occupied six weeks it would be a grave reproach, and the Under Secretary ought not to give sleep to his eyes nor slumber to his eyelids until such a scandal was removed.
§ *MR. BRODRICK
said he was speaking of ten years ago. Since then decentralisation had taken place which it was intended to carry further.
§ *MR. WOODALL
said that decentralisation was to be approved of, but it was an enormous administrative advantage to have a central point from which to draw stores of all kinds. The adoption of the new rifle rendered ranges of greater distance necessary, the acquisition of which presented difficulties. He gathered that on Salisbury Plain the Government would be able to provide 761 ranges which, would be available for all arms of the service. The Financial Secretary of the War Office, in an address to the Bloomsbury Rifles, indicated that the Government had undertaken the responsibility of providing ranges in different parts of the country accessible to Volunteers. He should be glad if this were so, because hitherto the responsibility of providing ranges had been thrown on the Volunteers themselves. He hoped the idea of acquiring Cannock Chase as a desirable site for ranges, manœuvres, and other useful military purposes had not been abandoned.
§ *SIR J. COLOMB
said he could not vote for the Amendment, because a portion of the money was to be applied to barrack accommodation and ranges, which were very necessary. The Under Secretary for War had given the House an interesting historical sketch of the sums of money that had been spent on fortifications and defences since the time of Lord Palmerston. But £900,000 had been spent on the defence of coaling stations, etc., which had been left out of account. Now, that was an important fact. It was under Lord Carnarvon's scheme that the money was all spent upon the ports. Then, in 1888, they had the Imperial Defence Act. The sum then was £2,600,000, and of that £2,500,000 was spent on fixed defences of ports. Then there was the Naval Works Bill of last year, and between two and three millions more were spent on fixed defences and harbours. Now, again, this year they had this Bill providing 5½ millions over one million of which was to go to defray the expenses of defending the ports. They were not at the end of it, because between this and 1901 there was a further million to be provided to complete the defence of enclosed harbours under the Naval Works Act, so that altogether that House, by this method of procedure would spend between 1884 and 1901 a sum approaching six millions upon one item of defence—the defence of the ports. It was time they should have an end put to the confusion as to who was responsible for these ports. One year they had the Admiralty coming forward, and then in the next year they had the War Office coming forward and advocating the expenditure on naval grounds. Between the two they were, he feared, getting into 762 considerable confusion. He thought it was time that they should differentiate and settle who was responsible for the defence of the ports. The First Lord of the Admiralty came last year with his big bill for enclosed harbours, and he justified it on the ground of strategical necessity. He then ventured to say, if they came to look at the strategical necessities, they would find Berehaven a very important place; but the Admiralty repudiated the importance of Berehaven. [The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY: "No."] When last year the question of Berehaven was raised the Admiralty had not a word to say. What had happened this year? His right hon. Friend comes down to the House and puts Berehaven in the front rank for naval reasons. He wanted to know which Department was responsible for the selection. [The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY: "Jointly."] Then he thought it was very desirable, when expenditure was proposed, a full statement should be made to the House. If they attempted to go into naval affairs on a military Bill or into military affairs on a naval Bill Mr. Speaker would rule them out of order. In conclusion, with regard to—he hardly knew how to describe them; they were sometimes called magazines, sometimes stores, sometimes block houses—the places to be erected round London, when he asked who recommended them, they were told "the highest naval authorities." When he asked his right hon. Friend what naval authorities, he replied, "They have nothing to do with it; it is a military affair." Then there was some talk about "absolute defence by the Navy." He did not know any sane man who talked about absolute defence. When the naval command of the sea had gone, would anybody who knew anything of the economic conditions of this country hold that there would be anything for us but capitulation? He was in favour of reasonable security against military raids, and for the sea faces of the ports, but who was going to be responsible for keeping the ports open? Was the War Office or the Admiralty to provide security for the free ingress and egress of the shipping into and from the ports? He believed that the present method of the Admiralty and the War Office, asking at different times large loans for these 763 purposes, was getting us into great confusion in our defensive policy.
§ SIR WILFRID LAWSON (Cumberland, Cockermouth)
agreed that the present system led to confusion. The Bill asked for 5½ more millions for the defence of the country, and he believed the country was not averse to all this expenditure. There were a few of them, however, who objected most strongly to this enormous expenditure on our armaments. There was an old saying of Mr. Disraeli's, that expenditure was not policy. It was not his policy. He belonged to the Manchester school, which had now got another name, and was called the "Little England" school. He was proud of the name, because he believed that a "Little Englander" was honest. For years past he had listened to the Army Debates, and some grand new scheme was always being brought forward by which it was urged we should attain a state of permanent defence, and of peace and happiness. A few years afterwards, however, he had always heard that nothing was right, that increased expenditure was required, that past expenditure had been of very little value, and that the regiments were all imperfect, that the arrangements were all in confusion, and that all our boilers were bursting. [Laughter.] If the Army could not defend the country, then the money devoted to it was absolutely wasted. Since the days of the Crimea our Army had had the sense not to fight the big Powers, but the very small Powers—which was better far, he admitted. [Laughter.] He should give his vote heartily against this enormous and uncalled for expenditure, first, because they were deprived of discussing the matter on the Estimates, and secondly, because there was no more necessity for it now than in past years. Now that there was a Concert of Europe, and we agreed with everybody, what was there to be afraid of? [Laughter.] He opposed the Bill still more because he agreed with Mr. Gladstone that this country ought not to enter into a system of competition for enormous armaments with foreign nations.
§ MAJOR RASCH (Essex, S.E.)
said that he could not agree with the suggestions that had been made in the course of this Debate that the money required for the purposes of the Bill should form, an item in the Estimates of each year. He entirely 764 agreed with the contention of the right hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for War that it was far better that the matter should be settled once for all by means of a Bill instead of the question being discussed every year in Committee upon the Army Estimates. It must be remembered that the unexpected always happened, and that until an item in the Estimates had been agreed to in Committee no contracts with regard to it could be entered into, because if the Vote were rejected the money it involved would go towards the redemption of the National Debt. For his own part, he was extremely glad that the policy of the late Mr. Stanhope was being carried out. The state of some of our barracks at the present time was shocking, and was a discredit to the country. In some places the troops were placed in a miserable collection of huts and hovels, and the men had to change their cots from side to side of the rotten structures with every change of wind. With regard to the acquisition of the 40,000 acres of land in the neighbourhood of Salisbury Plain under the Bill, he was of opinion that it was scarcely adequate for the purpose of military manoeuvres, seeing that it was only a territory of eight miles long by eight miles wide. At the same time, half a loaf was better than no bread, and he was decidedly in favour of agreeing to the Government proposal upon the point. He could quite understand hon. Members like the hon. Baronet the Member for the Cockermouth Division of Cumberland, who objected to military force altogether, voting against the Army as an entirety, but he could not understand those who desired that we should have an Army voting against a proposal that would insure its efficiency. Everyone who had studied the subject knew that the cause of the defeat of the French Imperial Army by the Prussian Army was that the latter had attained its great superiority by means of its annual manœuvres. The great Austrian manoeuvres of three years ago, which had attracted so much attention from military men, had been conducted on far larger territory than that which was now asked for under this Bill. With regard to the suggested lines of defence around London, he was entirely in favour of the proposals embodied in the Bill, which he thought was the best that the War Department had 765 brought in for many years, and which he should support most heartily.
SIR HENRY CAMPBELL-BANNER-MAN (Stirling Burghs)
said his hon. and gallant Friend who had just sat down had courage enough to compare this loan of several millions to "a ha'porth of tar." [Laughter.] He could not regard it in that light. He thought it was a large and serious step for the House of Commons to take. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ MAJOR RASCH
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman does not wish to misrepresent me; but I only alluded to a part of it, the manœuvre part, as "a ha'porth of tar."
§ SIR HENKY CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
said that even that was a pretty big "ha'porth." ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] At all events, he was not surprised, and he did not think the Government had any occasion to be surprised that the Second Reading of this important Bill should have created a disposition to somewhat prolonged Debate. ["Hear, hear!"] His hon. Friend the Member for West Islington had brought forward an Amendment in favour of further information. There were some points upon which further information could not be given with great advantage to the public. [Ministerial cheers.] Rut he was not surprised on the whole that his hon. Friend should hesitate to give an unequivocal support to the Bill. The House of Commons was within its right when it regarded all Bills involving loans of public money with considerable suspicion. [Cheers.] He was quite aware that under the modern system, which differed from the old system, the House was not altogether parting company with the money, because the annual Estimates would have to show the yearly interest necessitated by the expenditure under the loan and also the yearly sum for the repayment of the loan. That was, perhaps, an improvement on the old system. At the same time it was a, very doubtful point indeed, especially for those who took a high financial ground in those matters—which he was not inclined by personal disposition to take—whether it was altogether sound finance that they should vote this large sum of money, not for any definite, separate, and distinct purpose, but for certain purposes which were also included in the annual Estimates. ["Hear, hear!"] Still, he should admit that he 766 himself had in his official capacity administered Bills of this sort and Estimates of the same character, and had derived considerable advantage from the fact that they were running together. [Laughter and "Hear, hear!"] There was no doubt that a Bill of this sort gave great facilities to a Minister—he had, as he had said, experienced those facilities himself—by enabling him to pass from Estimate to loan, and from loan to Estimate, expenditure according as it might suit his purpose. ["Hear, hear!"] In regard to the question of barracks, the late Mr. Stanhope—whose removal from among them they would always regret.—["hear, hear!"]—was immensely impressed by the necessity for erecting more sanitary, and, indeed, he might say, more decent barracks, for the accommodation of the troops in the country—["hear, hear!"]—and he introduced a loan of this character for the purpose of erecting such barracks. The sum which was then obtained was not adequate for the purpose, and was now pretty nearly exhausted; and the Government now asked for an additional sum to continue the work. So far as that went, there was not a word to be said against it. ["Hear, hear!"] At the same time it verged very closely upon the services, which were affected by the ordinary Estimates of the year, and created a certain amount of confusion; but the object was so good, so necessary, and so urgent that he did not think the House would hesitate to vote the money for the purpose. ["Hear, hear!"] It was when one looked closely into the particular items that were set out in the schedule of the Bill that objection to the course proposed by the Government arose. One of the items deserving of the greatest censure was one to which he personally could raise no objection—he referred to the provision for a military hospital in Edinburgh. [Laughter.] It was a, small sum of £18,000, and had been proposed in the Estimates year after year only to be postponed in favour of some more urgent service. But it justified the suspicion that items which ought to be provided for out of the ordinary Estimates were contained in the schedule of the Bill. ["Hear, hear!"] However, he did not make any very strong point on that ground. One reason alleged for dealing with this great matter of barrack 767 buildings by loan rather than by Estimate was capable of being pushed a little too far—namely, that the Estimates might be passed at so late a period of the year, that building could not be carried on at the best period of the year. That only affected the first commencement of the building. Once the House of Commons had given its consent to a certain work the work could be gone on with in anticipation of the approval of the House. ["Hear, hear!"] Still, he admitted that in the case of a, large undertaking such as was involved in replacing insanitary barracks by more decent accommodation, the House might very well grant a, loan of this character—that, was to say, the House might very well take it that that was a matter not to be borne by the taxpayer of the year, or next year, or the year following, but might justly be spread over the next 20 or 30 years. ["Hear, hear!"] Whether the same argument might not be applied to public buildings under the Civil Service Estimates, such, for instance, as the South Kensington Museum—["hear, hear!"]—he did not stop to inquire, but in the meantime, he thought it was a fair argument that, although in the long gone past loans of this kind were, so far as he knew, confined to definite fortifications or purposes which could be confined within themselves, they were now allowed to be applicable to the building of ships, to the providing of guns and the building of barracks. That principle having been admitted, he did not think the House had any great cause to complain of the proposals of the Government in that respect. ["Hear, hear!"] As to the money to be expended notoriously for sanitary purposes, he quite admitted that within the last ten or 15 years there had been a, not altogether economical expenditure of money on barracks in Dublin, but there were certain barracks in Dublin which were notoriously insanitary, and surely it, was an urgent matter to get over that—["hear, hear!"]—and he hoped no objection would be raised on that head. Another object for which part of this money was required was the acquisition of a, larger extent of land on Salisbury Plain in order to facilitate manœuvres. It was hardly manœuvres in the ordinary sense of the term—["hear, hear!"]—that would be facilitated. It was rather cavalry training. He did not doubt, at all that that would 768 be a very useful thing because there were very few parts of the country in which cavalry could be properly trained by reason of the inclosed nature of the country; but, on the other hand, he was bound to say that would not take the place of ordinary manoeuvres—["hear, hear!"]—for the simple reason that while it might train commanding officers and troops in exercises so far as they were applicable to an open country, it did not train them in taking advantage of the features of an inclosed country, and that was surely the thing most wanted for the defence of this island. ["Hear, hear!"] He had repeatedly pointed out the difference between this country and all European countries he knew. He dared say the right hon. Gentleman opposite would say, Why was not the Manœuvres Bill of last year passed into law? ["Hear, hear!"] That Bill was not passed because it was a little too rigid and repellant in its terms for the ordinary sentiment of the British public. ["Hear, hear!"] The Government were kind enough to say they would accept any Amendments on that Bill which were approved or suggested by the Leader of the Opposition and himself, but they could not undertake the duties of the regular government of the country. [Cheers.] It was a little too much to expect that they should say what should be inserted in that Bill, but if on a future occasion the Government introduced a Bill providing for facilities for manœuvres, a little less drastic and alarming, he would be very glad to see it carried into law. [Cheers.] The Bill also proposed to provide for the fortification of coaling stations, and upon that it was difficult for them to pronounce an opinion. Certain branches of the military profession were likely to be the most competent advisers on the subject of the defence of these positions. As he understood, the greater part of the money was required in consequence of the great development that had taken place in recent years in the quick-firing armament which, in substitution for, or unfortunately, as often happened, in addition to, the old heavier armament, was to be provided in marine stations. He believed that the proposals in this Bill were the result of the joint opinion of the best officers of the Army and Navy. The Under Secretary 769 for War had referred, on a previous occasion, to Berehaven and Lough Swilly as if the works there were novel. As a matter of fact, those places had been provided for year by year for many years past. Now, under naval advice, the Government had aided two other fortified stations, and to that he did not think the House would raise any objection. This was a matter respecting which it was most undesirable that further details should be given. ["Hear, hear!"] He was not in favour of undue secrecy or mystery, but there were points in regard to the defence, not only of these isles, but of our possessions throughout the world, which it was very undesirable to drag before the public so that they should become known to all the world. [''Hear, hear!"] He came now to the most contested matter in the Bill—namely, the money which was to be voted for certain positions in the neighbourhood of London. His withers were unwrong in connection with that matter. When he came into office in 1892 a certain amount of money had been spent in acquiring rights over certain sites in the neighbourhood of London, and in the two or three years over which his responsibility extended certain small sums were voted and expended for the purpose of improving them. He could not say that he had ever been very enthusiastic upon the subject, or had considered this a very vital part of their preparations. It was all very well to say that schemes of this kind had been recommended by the highest military authorities. The name of Sir Edward Hamley had been introduced, and the names of others who had approved of this particular mode of defence, and those names, no doubt, ought to be received with all the respect that was due to them. He was all in favour of the advance that had been made in recent years in perfecting our schemes of defence, both naval and military, but they ought not to be the slaves of those schemes. ["Hear, hear!"] Upon them they should bring to bear such common sense as Providence had endowed them 770 with, and if those schemes, however high the authority for them might be, conflicted with their common sense they ought to be a little cautious about expending money upon them. ["Hear, hear!"] But in the present case he thought that too much had been made of a comparatively small matter. Whether it was the Under Secretary's fault or not he could not say, but an idea had certainly got about that there was some grotesque scheme of encircling London either with a wall, a circumvallation, or with a chain of forts. He need hardly say that by the mass of the people such an idea would be looked upon as perfectly absurd. He shared that opinion himself. But if all that was meant was this, that our technical and skilled advisers, knowing the particular route of any force which by some unfortunate hazard was able to land on our coasts and to approach the metropolis, selected certain positions as those upon which temporary fortifications should be thrown up and a stand could be made against them, and if this was merely a provision for making the subsidiary preparations for such a defence, then he did not think there was much to be said against them. [Cheers.] His idea was if that were contemplated under this loan or in the Estimates, the less said about it the better; and if any disposition had been shown to magnify and make it a rather large item in this expenditure, and a strong point in justification of the House voting the money, then he thought it was a great mistake, because they could not obviously justify it without stating the positions which they were to hold, and if they stated the positions they did away with half the benefit of the whole scheme. He believed that this was one of those cases in which they might trust a little to the opinion of the high military authorities, to whom he should be in any case indisposed to bow the head completely; but the House might trust to them if the scheme only involved a small amount of money, and if they found some slight completion of preparations at the places 771 which they had selected as necessary to employ troops which could not be otherwise used in the defence of the country, and at the same time add to the security of the metropolis and the sense of the security of the inhabitants, then he did not think any great objection could be made to it. His hon. Friends had spoken the language of common sense. They did not profess to be strategists or technical soldiers when they protested against the exaggerated view of those fortified positions. He imagined that there were positions of that kind not only around the metropolis but in other parts of the south of England, which had been selected by our skilled advisers as being the bases on which in case of necessity a rally should be made. If that was only meant why should they object to it? [Cheers.] He agreed with everything that had been said against the idea of anything in the nature of a ring of forts round the metropolis, but if the proposal had only the limited meaning he had referred to he did not think that was any reason for the House rejecting the proposal of the Government. He took what might be called the Scotch side on this question. [Laughter and cheers.] It was the cautious side. [Laughter.] Whether it was likely that an enemy should invade the country and successfully land a body of troops or not, they should be "canny" enough to provide against the possibility even if it did not exist; and in that modified and reasonable sense he was not unwilling even to support this much maligned proposal of the Government. On the whole, therefore, he had sufficient feeling in him that the House ought to support the Government of the day who came forward on the advice of their best advisers to make proposals, and he had sufficient loyalty to agree to them, provided they did not notoriously conflict with the common sense which they all possessed. [Cheers.]
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
felt that the right hon. Gentleman 772 had continued the tradition which had honourably distinguished Parties in the House on a, matter in which Party politics were not really concerned in any sense, but in which it was their duty to carry out, to the best of their ability, the advice of the military and naval experts of the country. The right hon. Gentleman had given that support to the Government of the day which he hoped had been on similar occasions given by those who had sat on the Benches which the right hon. Gentleman adorned. ["No!" and laughter.] He simply rose, having made these few words of acknowledgment, to say he hoped the House would now consent to give the Government the Second Reading of the Bill.
§ *MR. JOHN BRIGG (Yorkshire, Keighley)
said it had been his disadvantage to have lived outside the military atmosphere which appeared to surround Gentlemen opposite. He could even remember the time when there were soldiers pensioned off after 20 years' service who never fired a shot in earnest in their lives. His life's work had been directed to constantly improve the methods of making and saving and extending commercial supremacy instead of military and naval supremacy. He could not, however, but utter a protest on his own account, and on behalf of some quarter of a million of people in his immediate neighbourhood, who, by the fortunes of the last election had now no voice to speak for them in this House, against the tendency to spend the results of our prosperity in expenditure which, to his mind, the advocates of this Bill had not been able to justify. To listen to Members opposite one might think war had already been declared, and an hostile fleet was in the Channel; but it was a comfort to find that our experts not only knew how and where we must place our defences, but could also tell us exactly whereabouts our enemies were going to deliver their attack. He was thankful the danger was not so imminent as they were asked to believe, and that 773 Consols were yet at 112. He watched with the greatest jealousy this spending of our surplus saving, and while our trade and commerce had lately shown signs of life and vigour they must remember it was not a long time since wise men in England believed that the highest tide of our prosperity had been reached; and even now he would be a rash man who would depend upon our present prosperous condition being of long duration. It appeared to him that the Navy having
§ obtained large grants last Session without much difficulty, the Army was now to be treated in the same way. Against this Bill, therefore, he entered, for himself and a large number of his constituents, his earnest protest.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question." The House divided:—Ayes, 194; Noes, 43.—(Division List—No. 34—appended.)775
|Allen, Wm. (Newc, under Lyme)||Drucker, A.||Kenny, William|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William|
|Arnold-Forater, Hugh O.||Dunn, Sir William||Kimber, Henry|
|Arrol, Sir William||Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Knowles, Lees|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lafone, Alfred|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Man'cr)||Laurie, Lieut.-Genera.|
|Baden-Powell, Sir Geo. Smyth||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Fielden, Thomas||Lea, Sir Thomas (Londonderry)|
|Baillie, James E. B. (Inverness)||Finch, George H.||Lecky, William Edward H.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Leighton, Stanley|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r)||Fisher, William Hayes||Leng, Sir John|
|Balfour, Gerald William (Leeds)||Fitz Gerald, Sir R. U. Penrose||Lockwood, Colonel A. R. (Essex)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Fitz Wygram, General Sir F.||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Barry, Francis Tress (Windsor)||Folkestone, Viscount||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverpool)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Forster, Henry William||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H.(Bristol)||Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Lucas-Shadwell, William|
|Bentinck Lord Henry C.||Fowler, Matthew (Durham)||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Bethell, Commander||Galloway, William Johnson||Macdona, John Gumming|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Garfit, William||Madure, John William|
|Bond, Edward||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond.)||McKillop, James|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Malcolm, Ian|
|Bowles, Major H. F.(Middlesex)||Godson, Augustus Frederick||Maple, Sir John Blundell|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)|
|Brookfield, A. Montagu||Gordon, John Edward||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Milton, Viscount|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Goschen, Rt. Hon. G. J. (St. G'rg's)||Milward, Colonel Victor|
|Caldwell, James||Goschen, G. J. (Sussex)||Moncklon, Edward Philip|
|Campbell, James A.||Goulding. Edward Alfred||More, Robert Jasper|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Graham, Henry Robert||Mount, William George|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute)|
|Chaloner, Captain R. G. W,||Green, Walford D.(Wednesbr'y)||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.)||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Chamberlain, J. Auston (Worc'r.)||Greene, W. Raymond- (Camba)||Myers, William Henry|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Greville, Captain||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo.||Northcote, Hon. Sir H. Stafford|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Clough, Walter Owen||Hardy, Laurence||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Heath, James||Plunkett, Hon. Horace Curzon|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Heaton, John Henniker||Pollock, Harry Frederick|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne (Beds.)||Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord Arthur (Down)||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead)||Pryce-Jones, Edward|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hobhouse, Henry||Pym, C. Guy|
|Curzon, Rt. Hn. G. N. (Lanc. S. W.)||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Rankin, James|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.)||Hubbard. Hon. Evelyn||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Dalbiae, Major Philip Hugh||Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice-||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)||Richardson, Thomas|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Isaacson, Frederick Wootton||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.|
|Darling, Charles John||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson|
|Davenport, W. Bromley-||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham)|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Jolliffe, Hon. H. George||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Simeon, Sir Barrington||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray||Willox, John Archibald|
|Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)||Valentia, Viscount||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard||Wodehouse, Edmond R. (Bath)|
|Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Strauss, Arthur||Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Webster, Sir R. E. (Isle of Wight)||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.||Wyvill, Marmaduke d' Arcy|
|Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Taylor, Francis||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES,|
|Tennant, Harold John||Williams, Jos. Powell- (Birm.)||Sir William Walrond and Mr.|
|Thornton, Percy M.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord||Anstruther|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Lambert, George||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Brigg, John||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land)||Souttar, Robinson|
|Burns, John||Leuty, Thomas Richmond||Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.|
|Charming, Francis Allston||Lloyd-George, David||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Colville, John||Macaleese, Daniel||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||M'Hugh, Patrick, A. (Leitrim)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Davitt, Michael||McLood, John||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Dillon, John||Minch, Matthew||Wills, Sir William Henry|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfolk)|
|Gilhooly, James||Morton, Edward John Chalmers||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Woodhouse, Sir J. T.(Hud'rsfld)|
|Harrison, Charles||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Price, Robert John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES,|
|Holden, Angus||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Mr. Lough and Mr. Kearley|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Kilbride, Denis||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
Bill read a Second time, and committed for Monday next.