HC Deb 06 July 1899 vol 74 cc82-135

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [3rd July], "That the Bill be now read a second time."

Question again proposed.

* MR. BUCHANAN (Aberdeenshire, E.)

I was speaking the other night when the discussion came to a close of the practice which had grown up and increased so much of late of discharging a large part of the financial liabilities for Army purposes not out of voted money but out of borrowed money. Since the present Government came into office they have spent out of borrowed money, mainly for naval and military purposes, no less than ten and a quarter millions. They have still an unexhausted amount of borrowing power under the Military Works Act to the extent of something like £4,000,000, and now there are the present proposals for £4,000,000 more. Let us look at the history of this Bill. It was promised in the statement of the Secretary of State for War in February last, when it was described as an integral part of the military programme of the year, and we were assured the Bill would be very shortly issued. In March, when the Estimates came before the House, we were again told that the Bill would very shortly be brought forward, and it was stated in general tennis what were the purposes for which the money was to be borrowed. It appears to me that as this Barracks Loan Bill was "an integral part" of the military proposals of the year, it ought to have been introduced at the same time as the Military Estimates, so that we might have had the whole military programme of the Government before us. Everyone will acknowledge that when this Bill was introduced the Under Secretary of State for War made what was practically a Military Estimates speech. Such a course is entirely contrary to the constitutional practice of this House. We ought to have one statement it of our military expenditure and military necessities for the year, and it should be made at the beginning of the year, so that we should know the whole of our liabilities. Not only is this proposal an integral part of the military programme, but it is, or ought to be, an integral part of the financial programme of the year, and yet from beginning to end of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget speech this proposal to borrow money was not even mentioned. In the course of the Debate on the Army Estimates the Under Secretary of State for War said he could not give any further particulars as to the purposes for which this money would be required, but that the amount would be more than £5,000,000. How are we to account for that statement when this Bill only asks for power to borrow £4,000,000? We have had two schedules laid in our hands. Schedule B has really nothing directly to do with the works which are to be completed out of the £4,000,000 here asked for, but the total amount in that schedule is £6,900,000. I ventured to say the other night that the Government were endeavouring to commit their successors to the carrying out of a policy which they themselves hesitated to lay in full before this House. The Chancellor of the Exchequer demurred to that statement, but it certainly comes to this, that if their successors do not carry out all the works they will be blamed, but the reply will at once be, "Why did you not ask for the money? "The form of a Bill of this sort is a very important matter. This Bill consists of one single clause, which incorporates two sections of the Military Works Act, 1897. We are told there will be an honourable understanding that a statement of estimated expenditure from year to year should be laid before the House, but why should it not be put in the statute itself, as is done in the Naval Works Act? There is an honourable understanding existing already as regards the Military Works Act, 1897, and although such a statement was promised as long ago as last March we have not yet received it. On the other hand, the statement enjoined by statute under the Naval Works Act was presented and laid on the Table of the House at the time the Naval Estimates were introduced. The most important defect in the form of the Bill is that there is no detailed schedule of the works to be constructed out of this money. We are told that the precedent of the Military Works Bill of 1897 is being followed, and that upon that occasion no complaint was made of the absence of detailed schedules. But the hon. Member's memory must have failed him, because an Amendment was moved on the Second Reading, and largely supported, demurring to voting the money until we had fuller details as to the works upon which the money was to be expended. It is not merely a matter of form, but there are practical inconveniences caused by the absence of detailed schedules. For instance, when the noble Lord the Member for York stated he intended to bring up the specific subject of the money spent on Wei-hai-wei, it was pointed out that owing to the absence of a detailed schedule attached to the Bill, the point could only be raised on an Amendment directed against the total sum of £4,000,000. That is a very awkward method of raising such an important question of public and military policy as the occupation of Wei-hai-wei. But there are other objections. The House will notice the very general and ambiguous terms in which the official schedule to the Bill is couched. It is copied from the schedule to the Military Works Act, 1897. In that schedule one head is "Ranges, including accommodation for manœuvring and mobilisation." I do not think anyone will imagine that under that general head could have been included the purchase of all those properties at Salisbury Plain, amounting to a sum of £350,000. The possibility of the Government being able to hide from the sight of the House a purchase of such magnitude under such a term as "Ranges, &c.," is really an abuse of the forms of the House, and deprives the House of Commons of a legitimate opportunity of criticising large and questionable expenditure of money. Upon the question of ambiguity, let us see the effect of such general terms upon the financial control of the House over the expenditure of public money. One of the sub-sections of the Act of 1897, which is included in this Bill, is that by which any diversion of money from one head of the schedule to another can only be carried out with the consent of the Treasury. As the Bill is drawn, that power on the part of the Treasury will only apply to the schedule attached to the Bill, comprising the four large heads, so that it will be possible for the War Office. under the item, say, of £2,750,000 for barracks, to divert money, without the consent of the Treasury, from expenditure at Aldershot to Gibraltar, or from Malta to the Curragh, or from a large work to a small work, or from any one work to another. That is a power which ought not to be entrusted to any public Department, and the Bill, if for no other reason than that, ought to be furnished with a complete detailed schedule. I cannot see what fair and legitimate argument can be brought forward in support of presenting a Bill of this character without such a schedule. It is given every year with the Naval Works Act, and we hear no complaints as to the Admiralty being hampered in the expenditure of the money. It is a legitimate and necessary control which this House and the country ought to exercise over large spending Departments like the Admiralty and the War Office, that they should not be able to divert expenditure for a specified purpose to one which was not contemplated or sanctioned. I hope still that the Government may see their way in Committee to insert in the Bill the substance of this White Paper with the details of the expenditure.

SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

My hon. friend has called attention to die financial character of this Bill. I think everybody who has looked into the matter will admit that there is something extremely formidable in the rapid growth of the public expenditure of this country. Year after year large sums have been added to the annual expenditure of the country, until it has reached the enormous figure at which it now stands. But there is something even more formidable than the increase in the expenditure, and that is the laxity of the practice of the Administration as regards the financial measures which have brought about this expenditure. There was nothing more valuable to the country than the careful watch which what I may call our fathers bestowed upon public expenditure. If expenditure were really needed, the House of Commons was always ready to vote it; but ever since the days of Mr. Hume there have been fixed Parliamentary rules for the control of public expenditure, which have been of inestimable value to the finances of this country. Now, these rules controlling public expenditure are broken every day, and I regard that laxity of control as one of the greatest financial dangers that can befall the country. I protested most strongly against the system introduced by the Naval Defence Act of the penultimate Administration. I had knowledge and experience of the mischief it produced on the public accounts. Therefore, when the last Liberal Government were in office, and when we introduced a Naval Works Bill, the first thing we laid down was that the work to be done should be specified, and what is more important still, that it should be annually brought before Parliament, so that Parliament should have control over those works and be able to call the spending departments to account. We established in that way the financial principles of the country. I think our action was not disadvantageous to the Navy, because we had most useful Debates in this House. But what do we see now? The Government takes hold of four, five, or ten millions, and scatters them about utterly regardless of the old checks on public expenditure which formerly existed. That, I say, is an extremely dangerous and mischievous course of procedure. My hon. friend who spoke last has pointed out that it has always been the rule in this House that in the early part of the year, before the introduction of the Budget, the House should be placed in possession id the intentions of the Government with regard to the finances of the country. But instead of that, the Estimates introduced before the end of the financial year bear no relation whatever to the expenditure of the Government, or even to the intentions of the Government. We see year after year Supplementary Estimates of a magnitude that were never known before—not generally arising out of unforeseen incidents, but part of the financial schemes of the Government, which they had in view, or ought to have had in view, before the finance of the year was settled. But the greatest outrage against our system of financial checks is committed by this very Bill. In the Budget we had a scheme for diminishing by two millions the minimal provision for the reduction of the Debt; and that was laid before us without our having the means of knowing that this Bill was to be introduced for increasing our indebtedness by four millions. Was there ever such an example of burning the candle at both ends? I say that when the proposal to diminish the annual provision for the reduction of the Debt was laid before the House we ought to have been told of the present proposal to increase the Debt. This is most lax and dangerous finance. The House of Commons ought to have been in a position to discuss on the pro- posal to diminish the provision for the Debt by two millions the figures and objects of the measure now before us. Apart from the merits of the proposal before us I venture to add my protest to that of my hon. friend against this most dangerous laxity in the financial policy of the Government, a laxity which is increasing year by year. I cannot understand why in the Military Works Bill we cannot follow the principle which I thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer approved of with regard to the Naval Works Bill. There is not to be an annual Bill because the Government are not spending the money in one year. You are following in that respect the Government of Lord Palmerston with reference to fortifications thirty or forty years ago. I think it is a sound rule that the House of Commons should be able to examine and criticise the proposals in this Bill. I say that this Bill has not been placed before the House of Commons in the shape and in the manner and with the securities which the House has always demanded in the case of financial proposals, and which are absolutely necessary in order that the House may exercise control over the expenditure of the country.


Unfortunately I was not in my place when the right hon. Gentleman rose, as I had no idea that this question, affecting such large matters, would be raised. But I gather that the complaint of the right hon. Gentleman is this—that at the time I introduced the Budget, which contained a provision for diminishing the amount annually applied to the reduction of the permanent Debt of the country, the House was not in possession of the other proposals which Her Majesty's Government intended to make this year by which the temporary Debt would be increased. But a circumstance occurred long before the date of the Budget which, I consider, exonerates the Government from any blame whatever in this matter. That was the circulation of the Memorandum of the Secretary for War upon the Army Estimates, before the introduction of these Estimates, in which it was stated that a scheme was being prepared for the provision of new barracks for the additional troops about to be raised, for the improvement of the existing barrack accommodation, and for other military works, and that the money for the purpose would be obtained by loan repayable by terminable annuities rather than by estimate.


There was no statement of amount.


Yes. When introducing the Army Estimates my hon. friend the Under Secretary for War, answering a question interjected in the course of his speech, stated that the sum for the works would probably amount to five millions. I think, therefore, that the complaint of the right hon. Gentleman that the House had no information about this Bill until after the introduction of the Budget is a little absurd.


It is not a question of information; it is a question of control.


What the right hon. Gentleman complained of was the absence of information. If he had noticed the note in the Memorandum he might have taken advantage of it to call attention to the point which he has now formulated—namely, that while we are reducing the sum to pay off the permanent Debt we are adding to the temporary Debt, raised by terminable annuities, by the amount required for the purposes of this Bill. I understand that is the complaint, and I venture to maintain that so far as possible without the actual introduction of the Bill the House of Commons and the country were informed in detail long before the introduction of the Budget what was to be done. Further complaint is made that the Bill is not in accordance with the Naval Works Act, and no doubt that is true; but it is also true that in 1897, when the last Military Works Act was introduced, we adopted a different form for the very good reason that we were dealing with matters the cost and progress of which is much more easily anticipated than that of many of the works included in the Naval Works Act; you are much more confident of the extent of work and the amount required for construction of buildings of this kind than if you are dealing with docks or works under water. But that was not all. The Naval Works Act of 1895, which, if I remember rightly, was introduced by the late Government and not passed until long after the Budget, was framed in a manner which may have been simple enough at the time, but which, I am afraid, in later Bills of the same sort has become extremely complicated by the number of accounts and columns showing amounts and totals of estimated expenditure on various works and of actual expenditure in each year, and in former years. Such a formidable array of figures is presented as makes it extremely difficult for anyone not acquainted with the minutiæ of the system to ascertain what it all means. This, at all events, is a simple, intelligible form. So many millions are to be expended, and it is stated in the schedule laid on the table of the House, and by which the Government are as much bound as if it were in the Bill, what works will be undertaken. I can assure the House that the schedule in 1897 was found in practice quite as binding upon the Government as if it had been in the Act. We examined matters before introducing this Bill. We found we had ample means authorised by the Act of 1897, not only for continuing the works already sanctioned by Parliament, but also for initiating works proposed in the Bill now before the House; but when we came to consider the matter we felt it would not be right to divert any of the money Parliament had voted on the strength of the schedule we had laid on the Table, specifying certain works, to new works altogether. Therefore I think the House will see that the form of the Bill binds the Government in the matter of expenditure quite as much as if the schedule were in the Bill, as in the Naval Works Acts. I was not aware the right hon. Gentleman was going to raise these questions, but I think I have answered his principal points.


My right hon. friend the Member for West Monmouth has reiterated a complaint as to the omission of the schedule from this Bill. The defence of the Government, as stated by the Under Secretary for War, appears to be that in practice the House has as much information and control under the system they propose as under the system of the Naval Works Act. So far as information is concerned, we have only to compare the printed paper circulated by the Government with the Bill and the schedule to the Naval Works Act of 1897. There is the greatest possible difference between the two. This schedule gives no information at all as to defences, but the Bill simply takes power to spend a million on defensive works. As to barracks, certain details are specified, but nothing like the amount of information is given with reference to past expenditure, the total estimated expenditure, the estimated expenditure for next year, and other particulars which were given in the Naval Works Act Schedule, and which enabled the House to follow the proceedings of the Government from year to year in the carrying out of great works. It seemed to me most valuable that we had this schedule in the Naval Works Act, because it enabled us and the Auditor-General to test the progress of the Government with regard to works which they were authorised and directed to carry out. Part of the defence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was that it contained too much information.


I did not say it contained too much information, but I did say that the number of columns complicated the matter so much that it was almost unintelligible.


It could not be unintelligible if you had in the Bill of 1897 the same arrangement as was in the Act of 1895. The Chancellor of the Exchequer may call it complication to give detailed information year after year, but I call it enlightenment.


As these are all new services we have no information with regard to last year, but next year I hope to give the kind of information to which the hon. Member refers.


Will the hon. Gentleman do what was done in the Naval Works Act of 1895? If he does, then the criticism of my right hon. friend on that point will be met. Now I come to the question of control. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware of what was said on the question of Parliamentary control by the Under Secretary for War. The Under Secretary startled me by the boldness of his assertion as to the amount of Parliamentary control given under this scheme. He said we could have as much control under the schedule as if it were part of the Act. Just consider the position. Here is a Bill and here is a schedule, and our demand is that the schedule should be made part of the Bill, and we make that demand on the specific ground that it will enable the House in Committee to have control over every item of the proposed expenditure, and that we may be in a position to reject one item, to reduce another, or to add an item not originally proposed by the Government. All that we could do if the schedule were part of the Bill. Can we do it as the Bill stands? I understood the Under Secretary to state that any hon. Gentleman could move to strike out the item for Wei-hai-wei altogether by moving a reduction of the total sum by the amount put down for it. Suppose I do that. The question on which I am beaten is that £4,000,000 stand part of the clause. Someone else comes along who has no objection to Wei-hai-wei, but wants to raise another question. Suppose, for instance, the hon. Member for King's Lynn wants to raise a question about Halifax. Can he raise it? The £4,000,000 stands part of the Bill, and how is a reduction with regard to Halifax to be moved? That shows that under this Bill we have not the same control as we had in the Naval Works Bill. It is the same with the schedule. I can only move the reduction of the items mentioned in it. I move to reduce the Barracks Vote by a certain sum and I am beaten, and the original sum stands, and accordingly every Member of the House is precluded from discussing any other item, because I have been beaten. Is it not absurd to say, therefore, that the House has the same control over the details of this proposed expenditure as it would have if this schedule were part of the Bill? The House would then have complete control over each particular item. I welcome the expectation held out by the hon. Gentleman as to the change in the form of the schedule in future years. I would press him to go a little further, and to accede to the motion that will be made to put the schedule in the Bill, so that the House will have complete control over every item of expenditure.

* COL. BLUNDELL (Lancashire, Ince)

I am glad the Leader of the Opposition has spoken in favour of permanent works at the mouth of rivers like the Clyde and the Mersey. In Lord Nelson's memorandum on the defence of the Thames he said: Stationary floating batteries are not from any apparent advantage to be moved, for the tide may prevent their resuming the very important stations assigned them. And Captain Mahan remarks: Nelson was evidently alive to the advantage of permanent works which puts it out of the power of panic to stampede them. I touch upon that because a very great question bears upon it; that is, you cannot rely upon ships that are stationed at the mouth of rivers being where they are wanted at the right time. Many influential Members of the House, notably the hon. and gallant Member for Yarmouth and the noble Lord the Member for York, think that this country can rely on its navy alone for its defence. I wish to traverse that statement in the strongest possible manner. I ask anyone who differs from that view to read the history of this country. We were first invaded by William the Conqueror, and at that time the ships did nothing. We were invaded by the Prince of Orange. At that time our fleet was at Harwich, but the Prince of Orange, with four or five hundred ships, passed the Straits of Dover, and he landed at Torbay with 14,000 men. Our fleet did nothing whatever. I know I may be met by the statement that now we have telegraphs and steam, and these things could not occur again. But we all remember that Nelson was decoyed half round the world, and the people of England were glad to see him home again. I strongly urge that this country cannot solely rely on the Navy for its defence. We must have a military force able to meet the enemy when he arrives. I believe our Navy was never in a better condition than at the present time. It is an admirable force, but you cannot rely that it will not be decoyed away at the critical moment just when wanted.

COLONEL KENYON-SLANEY (Shropshire, Newport)

There are one or two matters connected with this Bill to which I think the Under Secretary of State for War might have given a little attention. I was not fortunate enough to hear the speech of the hon. Gentleman in introducing the measure, but there are a cer- tain number of points as to which the hon. Gentleman will, perhaps, furnish us with some information. In the first place, a proposition has been made both outside and inside the House for the provision of cubicles in the soldiers' sleeping rooms in the barracks. As far as I have been able to gauge the situation, I take it that the provision of a sufficient number of recruits of a better class is a matter that is engaging the attention of thinking people. It is pretty manifest that we want to lose no chance of tapping any source of supply of recruits, when rival countries are spreading their nets as wide as they can in order to get as many recruits as they possibly can for the service. It seems to me that there is one source of supply which has been somewhat lost sight of, and which it would be worth the while of the authorities to devote particular attention to. I refer to the better educated and more refined class of men who hitherto have not, in a very large degree, entered the ranks in this country. Nothing would be a greater inducement for this class to join the Army than the knowledge that they would have, in their own personal life, as much privacy and decency and similarity to civil life as can possibly be allowed. If this application were to be made for the Army alone, I should, of course, be exposed to the charge of seeking to provide a luxury. But what do I see? I see that in all I, other walks of life this very provision is being made. In the police barracks there are now in some cases private cubicles, and in the great lodging houses which are now being erected in London, the experiment of introducing the cubicle is being largely tried, and I believe, as far as experience can speak, it has been found to be very largely successful. I want, therefore, to suggest to the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues that it would be a pity to put on one side this idea because certain soldiers do not think the cubicle is necessary. I cannot foresee anything that would be of greater advantage to the Army than to attract into its ranks that large floating population of good fighting material who are not absolutely driven into the Army by sheer necessity, but would he attracted to it by ambition and a real desire to see a little fighting in foreign service. These are the men to whom I think this arrangement would be a considerable advantage. They are men accustomed to a certain amount of decency and privacy, and they would set a certain value upon this provision which cannot possibly be found when the beds are arranged in one large room. Might it not be possible to take some tentative steps in this direction, and to equip some portion of the new barracks which are to be built, or some portion of the old barracks which are to be repaired, with sonic arrangement for cubicles? Might it not also be possible to arrange that the possession of these cubicles should be a certain reward for good behaviour in the barrack room? I do not myself attach much value to the arguments urged against it. I have been told that it would be less possible to maintain order and discipline in the barrack room if there were cubicles than if there were not. To that argument I attach no value whatever. I believe order and discipline would be just as well maintained in the barrack room under the system of cubicles as under the open system now in vogue. I have been told that the sanitary arrangements, ventilation, etc., would suffer from the cubicle system. I do not think that that objection could hold water if the matter were thoroughly investigated. Stress has been laid upon these points by many who have more authority to speak on this subject than I have, and articles have been written and evidence of all sorts produced. For instance, I notice, in a valuable article recently in the Nineteenth Century, a writer of great authority says that the great want of the private soldier is some privacy, however restricted that may be. We cannot afford in these days to treat our soldiers as if they were different from their brothers outside the ranks If there is the longing for a little privacy in other walks of life, the same holds good in the army as well. I should be the last person to advocate the introduction of cubicles if it could be shown that it was likely to break down discipline in any degree, or to interfere with the authority of the non-commissioned officers. I am inclined to think, however, that there would be no infringement of authority, and that there would be no other result than the provision of an increased attraction to a better class of men to join the Army. I would therefore urge upon my hon. friend and those who are associated with him to give this matter his serious and, if possible, favourable consideration. Another point that I desire to draw attention to is the provision of rooms for the special use of the members of the Army Temperance Association. Facts and figures in relation to this matter are very significant. In India, where our Army may, perhaps, be said to exist under circumstances in which its health and condition and discipline are even more vitally important than at home, out of 78,000 men, 24,000, or about a third of the Indian Army, are members of the Army Temperance Association. We are therefore obliged to be practical in dealing with this question. We cannot afford to be run away with by sentiment, however attractive that sentiment may be. But what seem to be the hard facts in connection with the work of this Association? Yon may judge it, if you like, by courts martial——


Order, order! I do not see the connection between the Army Works Bill and the temperance question.


The Military Works Bill has to do with the provision of barracks, and my point leads me to the provision of Army temperance rooms as part of the new barracks proposed by the Bill. This temperance association depends for its vitality and usefulness on the provision of these rooms, and if it cannot have these rooms the association will languish and decay. If, on the other hand, we have these rooms, the association will flourish and be full of vigour. It is an advantage to the Army that this temperance association should exist, and if that is the case, is it not worth the while of the hon. Gentleman in charge of this Bill to consider the advisability of attaching these rooms to the new barracks which, under this Bill, he proposes to erect? If these rooms produce the result which the figures seem to show, I think it is obvious that the moment the money is to be spent on the creation of the new barracks is the time that that provision should be taken into consideration. I hope, also, if the hon. Gentleman takes the same view as others do of the great advantages resulting from the Army Temperance Association, he will possibly see his way to deal with it more generously in the form of finance than it has been dealt with hitherto. The only other point to which I wish to draw attention is the need of proper hospital accommodation for the garrison in London. I think it has been brought within the personal knowledge of my hon. friend—at all events it was within his power to acquire the information very easily—that the military hospital in London is hardly sufficient for the needs of the London garrison, and it too often happens that cases have to be hurried away before they are really in a proper condition to leave the hospital. Those are the three points I wish to emphasise, and I hope in due time the hon. Gentleman will give them his consideration.


It is from no want of sympathy that I disagree with the remarks of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down; but I rise for the specific purpose of moving an Amendment. I move it, not out of any hostility to all the Expenditure Bill, but because I believe there is a serious danger of reaction against wise, deliberate and judicious expenditure of public money unless there is that consideration given to these matters which they undoubtedly deserve. I do not believe that there can be that control over these matters which there should he unless this House insists upon full details being laid before it. The Amendment which I propose to move would have the effect of incorporating in the Bill the full details which are given in the Schedule which has been made out since the Bill was introduced, and therefore giving to the Schedule the effect of a legal enactment. The rule adopted of raising this money by a loan is a considerable improvement upon the old procedure of Votes of Credit under which large sums were received and expended without proper control being exercised. It has always been considered, since the system of loans was adopted, that for permanent works it is the legitimate method of raising money, but hitherto there have been two characteristics of this system. No one can deny but what there has been considerable extravagance, and that unnecessary outlays have been the result of this system of loans; and no one can doubt but what these things have been carefully limited for some time by the schedules attached to the Bills. In 1886–7 or 1887–8 the preparedness of the country according to the standard then held was so efficient that the then First Lord of the Admiralty, now the Secretary of State for India, was able to come to the House with a reduced expenditure. We are now enjoying a period of un-exampled prosperity, and there is no doubt the naval and military expenditure will not be much felt; but in the lean years which must follow these fat years we shall see that a large expenditure has been incurred, which we shall then have to pay, and there will be a violent reaction, which was the chief evil at the time that this expenditure was provided for by Votes of Credit. Everyone knows, who is conversant with naval and military expenditure, that in no branch has there been more useless expenditure than the outlay on buildings and barracks. It must be remembered that we are at present in an uncertain position. The paper addition of men to the Army is 25,000, the real addition has not been one-fourth of that number, and without some radical change in the system of recruiting, it is doubtful whether we shall be able to complete the establishment at the number at which the Government has fixed it. Every effort has been made by the recruiting authorities to meet the excessive call that has been made upon it to raise troops, and the efforts have not been successful, and when you are in a difficulty of that kind, and are not sure of your ground, it is unwise to erect these great buildings and large camps all over the country. Then look abroad. The colonies, like ourselves, are realising their responsibility for their own defence, and we shall have a greater claim to call upon them to take their share in Imperial defence as time goes on; and that being so, why should we embark in this expenditure? We look forward to the time when the garrisons of South Africa will be much smaller than they are at present. At the present time in that country we have an abnormal number of troops. Can there be anything more calculated to check and repress the feeling of responsibility on the part of the colonies than to make useless provision for large permanent garrisons in such a country? My objections to the Bill are that in the first place it does too much, because if the second part of the schedule does anything, it lays the responsibility upon the Government whether they like it or not. It has been laid down over and over again that any money proposals which the Government bring forward should be complete in every detail, and that principle has been directly infringed in the present Bill. A complete scheme is not dealt with by the Bill, and it puts upon the Government a responsibility which they have not been; able to consider. Therefore the Bill does too much in one direction, and it does too little in another, and that is shown when you compare tins schedule with the Act of 1862, the Fortifications Act as it was called. In that case the Bill would have been lost if the schedule had not been included, and if that schedule is looked at it will be found to be complete in every detail and that it is actually attached to the Bill, so that it has the force of an enactment. It gives details which the Government is not willing to give us. The Under Secretary divided the expenditure into two parts, home expenditure——


The distinction we have drawn is that we give details as to barracks, but not as to defence.


Let us take home defence first. Home defence is not less important than the defence of our colonies, and I think the Government are drawing an unjustifiable distinction between the two. Take Wei-hai-wei the Army Estimates. Every man is provided for: the surveyors, the dredgers, and the Chinese soldiers of the Queen are given in the Estimates in a most minute form, and such information is now withheld. Such a procedure will have the inevitable drawback of the loss of control over these advances. I notice in Schedule A of this Bill £55,000 for barracks at Colchester, and in the Estimates another item of £165,000 for the same purpose. Upon what principle is the Government acting? It cannot but be productive of evil. Ministers on the Treasury Bench apparently wish to exert full control and to prevent expenditure rightly put into the Estimates being transferred to loans. But the only means by which these things can he effectively controlled is by this House, and there will be a serious loss of control if the practice I suggest is riot followed. I urge the Government to be a little more frank to the House. There is another consideration. There are large sums to be expended by the Government under former loans. There is £155,000 under the barracks loan after allowing for the expenditure of this year, and I question whether the Government will be able to expend that sum in the time. I think the House will agree that the information as to this expenditure ought to be embodied in the Bill itself, and that being so I beg to he allowed to move: "That this House declines to allow this Vote, unless full details are given as to the expenditure."

* MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

I rise to second the Amendment moved by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Forfar. I really think the Under Secretary should be prepared to furnish this information. We are told that the amounts expended will be in the Votes next year, but we want to consider the proposed expenditure before the money is spent and not after it has disappeared. I have not had an opportunity of going over the barracks in England to ascertain whether the same practice prevails as at Fort George, but I sincerely hope that the right hon. Gentleman will give his serious attention to the state of the barracks to which I have alluded. It is very remarkable that hon. Members have to go through such a large number of documents and accounts in order to see how much money is to be spent upon any one particular barrack. The system in regard to Scotland is very bad indeed in this respect. In England we have £4,250,000 expended on barracks and other works; in Ireland the total is £750,000, but in Scotland it is only £65,000. Now I do not think that this is quite fair to Scotland, for we have to find our quota of soldiers and sailors, and we possess the finest Naval Reserve station in the kingdom. Yet we cannot get from the War Office a sufficient sum of money to provide decent accommodation at Dingwall for the staff of one of our finest Highland regiments.


Order, order! The hon. Member must confine his remarks to the question under consideration.


I hope the hon. Member will go to a division against this system of conducting business at the War Office, which is not upon a sound principle. If he does I for one will go into the Lobby with him. We shall be beaten by the battalions behind the hon. Member opposite, but we shall at least have the satisfaction of recording our protest against this secret system of conducting business at the War Office.

Amendment proposed— To leave out from the word 'That,' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words 'this House declines to proceed further with a Bill authorising the expenditure of public money upon military works unless full details of the purposes for which this outlay is to be made are contained therein.'"—(Captain Sinclair.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

* SIR J. COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)

I think when it is remembered that this is the last Bill of a whole series for military loans it is somewhat surprising that there does not appear to be any very great attention being given to the matter by the majority of the Members of this House. Looking at the improved condition of the working classes, and looking to all the circumstances of the time, if you are going to keep an efficient army at all I think you will have to pay a much higher rate to your soldiers than you are paying now. Therefore, you must of necessity face the certainty of a very large increase of the soldiers' pay, and that means a large increase in the annual Estimates. It is, therefore, more than ever necessary to consider this question seriously, and we are bound to examine and carefully scrutinise any proposals connected with military expenditure. Now, this Bill is for £4,000,000, and £3,000,000 of that total will go for barracks, and £1,000,000 for what is called defence works. As the latter question involves so many considerations I do not wish to say much about barracks, but I do feel that, in view of what has been said about the expenditure of public money and the extra cost we shall have to bear for extra pay for soldiers, it is my duty to call attention to the barrack policy as a whole. We all agree that it is necessary to do everything that is reasonable and possible for the comfort and convenience of soldiers living in barracks both at home and abroad. The proposal in this Bill is only another step in the barrack policy which was commenced in 1872, for in that year there was a loan of £3,500,000 for the construction of barracks, and it took over twenty-four years to carry that policy out, for the Auditor-General in 1896 reported that the work was not completed. In 1888 the House, through a Parliamentary Committee upstairs, called the Randolph Churchill Committee, had practical evidence from the Inspector-General of Fortifications as to barracks. On the 8th of June, 1888, this is what he said: I should like the House of Commons to know that the probability is that to place the whole of the barrack establishments throughout the Empire upon a proper footing, and to make everything thoroughly efficient, would cost between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000. That is my opinion. That was in 1888, and there you have a specific statement from the Inspector-General of Fortifications. Since then we have spent £10,439,000 on barracks, or more than double the amount which the Royal Engineer, who in this matter was the spokesman of the War Office, said in 1888 we should have to incur. Now the Bill tells us that £3,000,000 is wanted immediately, and the schedule of the resolution tells us that £2,594,000 must follow at once. If we leave out the £1,600,000 which is to be expended for Salisbury Plain, and is, therefore, a new item, which it is not fair to bring into this calculation, we find that £11,384,000 is the amount required to do what the Royal Engineers told us eleven years ago would probably cost between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000. Therefore, when the scheme contemplated by the schedule of this Bill is complete, you will have spent on barracks, between 1872 and the completion of the scheme, £16,533,000. What does that mean? You may take the equivalent of barrack expenditure at £100 per man, and that means that between 1872 and the completion of this scheme you will have built barracks representing accommodation for 165,330 men. Hon. Members know that we have not done this. Looking at this barrack policy in connection with what I have said, I think that anybody who studies the subject must be convinced of two things—that the War Office has had no continuous policy as to the distribution of troops, and by constantly changing its policy it has created the necessity for erecting barracks on different sites; and the other thing is that this proves clearly the false system of the War Office in putting into the hands of the Royal Engineers these gigantic building works, because the Royal Engineers are for sapping and mining, going up in balloons, laying telegraphs on land, and putting explosives under water; therefore I am not surprised that you have this enormous bill and so very little to show for it. Passing from this point the real novelty exhibited by the schedule is not the expenditure for Salisbury Plain, which I think everyone will approve of, but the expenditure of £130,000 for permanent barracks at Wei-hai-wei. As far as tins Bill is concerned this is all we know of the amount of money going to be spent at Wei-hai-wei. I should like to know, however, how much of the blank cheque of £1,000,000 for defence works is going to be spent at Wei-hai-wei, for we have no information on this point, which I think is one deserving attention. As a loyal supporter of the Government I regard the withholding of information, which has always been given, as to the general purposes to which this money is to be applied, as a very great mistake. Nobody asks for detailed information. The Act of 1860 gave full information; the next step which extended the principle was that taken in 1884, when papers were circulated by the Treasury under the head of "Garrisons and Coaling Stations Abroad," which proposed a large expenditure on ports abroad, and in which was set forth the details, not only of the amount of money to be spent at each place for defence works, but also of the amount to be spent on armaments and the nature of those armaments. In 1888 the precedent of 1860 and 1884 was followed. There you had the schedule and the statement, and you had it also put explicitly in the memorandum of the War Minister that so much was for each place and so much was for armaments. Now the Government withhold from us any information at all.


But there are no armaments on this Vote.


May I ask my hon. friend if I am to understand that the whole of tins £1,000,000 is for defence works without any guns at all?




Then this £1,000,000 is to provide for works without any guns at all. That statement, I am afraid, will compel me to vote for the Amendment unless a much more explicit declaration, as to where the works are to be, is forthcoming. No reason has been given for silence as to the application of this loan. Only an excuse has been given, and my hon. friend says:— There is a great deal of value to be gained by leaving the exact location of defence shrouded in a little mystery. I am bound to say that we are not asking for mysterious details, but I do claim to know where the money is to be spent, and how much of it is for works and how much for armaments. We know now that £1,000,000 is to be spent on works without any guns, and if I misunderstood my hon. friend it is not my fault, but the fault of the War Office in departing from all precedents in this matter. The next point is, what have we got to shroud in mystery? With our system of "open doors" and open ports how are you going to conceal bow and where the money has been spent? Every foreign officer will see it with his own eyes, and he will report to his own Government, and the Foreign Governments all over the world will know it. The only people you are shrouding in mystery are the supporters of the Government: how are they to defend a policy which you will not explain? I think more evil will come at home from shrouding public expenditure in mystery than anything you are likely to gain abroad by the delusion that you can conceal what you are doing from foreign Governments. If you are going to spend £1,000,000 in China why not say so? The people of this country will give you their confidence if you give them yours; but if you are only going on the lines of 1860, 1884 and 1888, why are you departing front the precedents of those Bills? Is it a fact that most of this £1,000,000 is going to Wei-hai-wei?


In two different speeches I have mentioned five different classes of expenditure under this Bill in the order of their importance, and the hon. Member knows perfectly well that Wei-hai-wei is only intended as a secondary naval base.


Then, all I have to say is that there is no such term as "secondary naval base" in the Estimates, or anywhere else that I know of, which determines expenditure. When you talk about a secondary naval base what do you mean? Is it to be a naval base to Hong Kong, or to ports in the United Kingdom? I am compelled, in view of this mystery as to where this money is going, to deal more fully with this question, and I will, as briefly as I possibly can, look at this subject from the general aspect of the defence of the Empire. We won our empire not by sitting down and waiting for attack, but because we possessed two things—a free Fleet and a free Army, ready to apply everywhere and anywhere when required. That was the principle of our British defence down to the year 1860. That policy proved completely successful in the Napoleonic War. Then, in 1860 in a public panic we were frightened by France and Cherbourg, and in a hurry we voted a Military Works loan, and great works were established, and the evil results of those works is stamped upon our policy to-day. In 1872, frightened by Germany and Paris, we enormously extended that policy, and in 1888 we deliberately further extended it, and practically applied it all over the world, whereas before we had only applied it to the United Kingdom. Since 1888 you have had two great object-lessons, which I think should be well borne in mind. You have had a war between China and Japan, and you have had a war between the United States and Spain. Both these wars show the folly of the principle which this House gave way to in 1860. Both these wars simply illustrate and repeat on a small scale the teaching of our own history, and the two great lessons are these—that the Power having mastery of the sea and a free army at its command, can go anywhere and do anything; while an inferior sea Power can go nowhere and do nothing, but has to wait for attack, no matter how numerous its army may be. Great fortresses and purely garrison armies for the purposes of defence are the rôle of the weak naval Power, and not of the strong. Here is policy which I think has put our military machinery out of gear. Under modern conditions of steam, no sea supremacy can, however, secure immunity from insignificant raids upon ports. Therefore, the superior sea Power cannot altogether dispense with moderate local defences at its naval bases; hence the British policy must produce three things—a naval force to secure the mastery of the sea, a mobile army to strike, and moderate local defences for the naval bases and naval depôts. But the policy of 1860 and its subsequent expansion and development down to the present time, finds us in this position—on the water we have recovered, since 1889, our old position, and we are quite ready, at a moment's notice, to assert that sea supremacy. But on the land and at our ports we are, except in India, endeavouring to fulfil at enormous cost, the military rôle of an inferior naval Power. The two things are incompatible, and simply spell military waste and weakness, and we are drifting on with an ever-increasing military expenditure on garrisons, and an ever-decreasing army available for field service. My opinion is that had the Admiralty to provide for local defences of naval ports and depôts, or to recoup the Army Estimates for the outlay on so-called naval requirements, I myself am absolutely certain that the Admiralty would at once declare the elaborate fortification and huge garrisons at most of these places were quite a superfluity of military naughtiness on the part of a Power dominant at sea. The House, I hope, will forgive me if I occupy their time at so great a length, but this matter is very serious as regards Wei-hai-wei. If you take the trouble to note the effect of the policy which was commenced in 1860 upon the constitution of our army you will find something like this: by a gradual and unobserved process you have absolutely changed the constitution of the British Army, which in 1860 was one constituted almost entirely for field service, and now you have got a military force the larger proportion of which is devoted to garrison service and garrison service only. Our old motto of ancient days was "Fleet, not works," and now it is "Fleet, and works," and plenty of them. The truth is that the military policy of the country has really originated out of proposals of the Royal Engineers, whose real duty is to devise fortifications. I calculate that nearly £3,000,000 of the military expenditure is to meet so-called naval requirements, and the cost of the personnel of the array applied to exaggerated requirements at naval bases. I exclude Malta from that calculation, as it is a military place d'armes, and I find that if you compare last year's estimate with this year's estimate, the cost of these garrisons at naval bases has increased in one year by £76,000 a year, and I got from my hon. friend the Financial Secretary to the War Office an answer yesterday which shows that Wei-hai-wei alone is going to put £67,000 a year extra on the Army Estimates. Therefore I say that this £1,000,000 for defence works, without any guns, Whether at Wei-hai-wei or anywhere else, must mean the locking up of more of your troops in garrisons. That is what I strongly object to. I desire to say one word about the selection of a naval base. Observing that a naval base should, if possible, be on an island, and not on the mainland, where you have to defend a land frontier; I will now pass at once to China. Hong Kong is not an island from a strategic point of view, for it has become necessary to acquire a considerable amount of territory in the neighbourhood, and you have now got a land frontier there. Therefore that fact alone will necessitate the employment of a larger military force than you ever had there before. That is also an element to be considered in the general question with regard to Wei-hai-wei. At Wei-hai-wei you have got a frontier which you know nothing at all about, because the First Lord of the Treasury has told us that the area is unknown because the land frontier has not yet been delimited. Put those two things together, and look how your mobile army is going to be eaten into by Hong Kong, which at must protect, and Wei-hai-wei. Only fourteen years ago what did you do in North China? Why, you suddenly seized Port Hamilton. On the 8th of April, 1885, nothing was known at the Foreign Office as to the proposed hoisting of the British flag at Port Hamilton. Before that week was out the Secretary to the Admiralty wired to the admiral on the China station: Occupy Port Hamilton and report proceedings. The Admiral on the China station wrote back and protested that Port Hamilton was by no means a desirable place to hold, and that it world be a constant source of weakness to this country, yet the Foreign Office continued to offer to pay £5,000 a year for Port Hamilton in the face of repeated reports from the Admirals that the place was no use to us. A year afterwards the Lords of the Admiralty felt the danger of the whole position. Now the grounds of the Admirals' objection are important in view of the acquirement of Wei-hai-wei. The first Admiral also said that it would be: More convenient in case of operations for all necessary colliers and store ships to accompany the squadron. Then we get another Admiral sent to China, who is ordered to investigate and report whether or not in time of war an occupation of Port Hamilton would be a source of strength or weakness to the power of our squadron, and the Admiral replies: Considering that military defence is a work of time, it cannot be expected that Port Hamilton can become, as Sir Cooper Key considered necessary, a first-class fortress for many years. Until it is properly fortified I look at its occupation as a source of weakness in war time. He also says: I quite concur with my predecessor as to our true base for naval work being a steam flotilla, which can always be obtained here, to accompany the fleet with all necessary coal, provisions, stores, etc. Then another Admiral says: It is supposed that in war a coaling station in the northern part of our command is necessary. I am not of that opinion. Steam colliers properly fitted must be filled with Welsh coal at Hong Kong and follow our ships. If it is intended to make Port Hamilton a regular colonial possession and fortify it like Gibraltar and Malta there can be no naval objection. So you see that the whole of the Admirals at that time did not regard a naval base in North China as necessary. What has happened since that time, only fourteen years ago? The speed of our ships has enormously increased, and the staying power of our ships has also been increased and, strategically speaking, Hong Kong is nearer now to the Gulf of Pechili than it was then. The broad lesson from that is this, that we have a happy-go-lucky way of dealing with great problems of imperial defence. The Parliamentary history of Wei-hai-wei shows that we have not mended our ways to any great extent in this respect. It is briefly this—that Wei-hai-wei was first heard of in this House in April, 1888. By questions in this House it transpired that there was no actual survey at the port of Wei-hai-wei Until July last year, and that it was not fully completed till the end of September, therefore the report of the naval survey could not be in the hands of the Admiralty much before Christmas. Now that fact is very important, for in the mean- time, and early in the year, the Government sent out a Royal Engineer and other officers to prepare a military survey for the defence of a port not navally surveyed.. Down to the end of last year the Government could not possibly have had full detailed information at all about Wei-hai-wei. I object strongly to treating these great problems, with only a small army to rely upon, in a precipitate manner. The only point I will venture to touch upon in this respect is this. It may be said—you forget that since Port Hamilton was abandoned Russia has gone to Port Arthur. I may be told to look at Port Arthur, and look at nothing else, and to look at Russia and nothing else. But that is the thing which I most object to. I say that you cannot look at a particular sea, or a particular point, and deal with it as an abstract question, but you must look at it with a full knowledge and a full review of the whole of your naval and military position all over the world, If you go to war with Russia you will not carry on your operations at Port Arthur only, but you will also carry them on in the Baltic, Central Asia, perhaps in the Persian Gulf, perhaps in the Black Sea, and other places. Therefore, I decline to look at this question from a limited point of view. What are you going to gain by the acquisition of Wei-hai-wei? I do not think you are going to gain anything except a great outlay upon fortifications. I shall be told that the Admirals say on that station that we ought to have Wei-hai-wei, but how was this question put to them? If you said to them, "Would you like this place as a fortified port and naval base with an army there to defend it?" of course they would say "Yes." But if you asked them, "Is it so desirable a place for a naval base that naval money should be spent on it?" they would say "No." As to the probable amount of the expenditure which you will have to incur nobody can forecast the consequences. If in Northern China you are pursuing this policy of acquiring one port because some other country takes another are you going to do the same thing because of Cuba and other places? You will say probably "No," because the Americans are our kith and kin. I cannot forget, however, that the bloodiest and most costly war of this century was a war waged on the Continent of America, and you cannot ignore the possibility of war with the United States. And what about Japan? In either of these contingencies, or combination of the two, will Wei-hai-wei be anything but a source of danger and weakness to you unless you make it a Gibraltar? I say it will he it danger, and, consequently, I ask for information. I ask for a clear statement and not for mysteries. It may seem very easy to criticise and to find fault, especially by one who has not the information possessed by the Government, but the alternative to embarking on this gigantic military expenditure is that you should exhaustively survey that little group of islands, the Mia-Tan, in the Gulf of Pechili before you embark upon this expenditure at Wei-hai-wei. If the Government are in earnest in considering the whole position I do not think they would be rushing into this permanent expenditure until they were quite sure that they could see the end of it if Russia were now to acquire those islands. If any foreign country could establish a torpedo depôt and a torpedo flotilla at those islands your position might not he a very comfortable one, especially if the islands were acquired by Russia. I desire to say distinctly and clearly that the Government were perfectly right in acquiring Wei-hai-wei for the reason that it gave us diplomatic strength at Pekin. But my point is not the acquirement of Wei-hai-wei, but that the Government ought not, without adequate inquiry and examination, to rush precipitately into a permanent expenditure a few months after acquirement without being able to see the end of it. I contend that we should not begin these permanent works at Wei-hai-wei until we know more about the place. It will be quite sufficient to do what we should have done 100 years ago, and that is to scull 100 marines there with a flagstaff and a flag and leave them there. I may be told that this is all very fine, but if the fleet is away the place will be captured. But what of that? If a Russian fleet goes in there and captures the marines it will have to evacuate the place immediately or else be caught in a trap: therefore, I say send 100 marines and a flag and do not embark upon this great policy without further inquiry. The advantage to be gained will he this: We have got that port, and having got it no power can take it in time of peace, and therefore the flagstaff, the flag, and the marines are sufficient; in time of war we should be able to use and hold it as long as we keep the supremacy of the sea. I for one deeply regret that the Government should embark on a policy of asking this House to provide blindfold £1,000,000 for creating defence works mainly, perhaps, at Wei-hai-wei. I regret it, and I feel strongly upon this point; and if we do not get some more satisfactory explanation I shall certainly vote for the Motion for the adjournment of the Debate.

* MR. WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)

I do not wish to follow the hon. and gallant Member for Yarmouth into all the details he has gone into, but there are one or two points I should like to criticise. In the first place I do not think that Wei-hai-wei is even worth the flagstaff, let alone sending the marines. Ever since we have acquired this station the different authorities have been attaching less and less value to it. At first we were told that it was a most valuable strategical base, and now we are told that it is to be a base of secondary importance. I hope the Government will consider seriously whether this money is not being thrown away, as it was in the case of Port Hamilton. I do not wish to find fault with the courtesy of the Under Secretary of State for War in regard to the manner in which he has conducted this Debate. I am afraid he has got a very weak case, and it is a sample of the rotten policy of this Government in two ways This Bill is objectionable because the money is going to be voted without telling us what the money is going to be spent upon. We do not want a detailed statement Which foreign countries will be able to interpret, and find out how many guns we are going to put there, but what we want to know is where these great works, which are to cost £1,000,000, are going to be put. I do not think these defences will be of much value, for they will be no defence to our Empire at all. But, besides this, there is the very grave objection that a good deal of this money is to be borrowed in a year when we have already borrowed an enormous sum of money, and it is being borrowed in a great measure for unnecessary purposes. We are not told where the defence works are to be. I see that there is to be a depôt erected at Caterham, but I should like to know why extra accommodation for the men is required, because the number of men put forward by the War Office only exists on paper. Wei-hai-wei, I am sure, will be a great cost to this country, and will also be a source of weakness, and I would also ask this House to take into its serious consideration the desirability of stopping this tremendous waste of money upon erecting barracks in places where they are not wanted. This money should be spent increasing the strength of the mobile army, which can be sent out to any place where it is wanted. This would be really strengthening the defences of the nation, instead of wasting money employing engineers in work which they are not accustomed to do, building huge barracks at places where they are not wanted, and spending large sums of money upon defences which will be obsolete in ten years. This Bill is an instance of the War Office wasting money which ought to be spent on increasing the efficiency of the Army and the comforts of the soldiers, so that we may have the Army up to the numbers on paper. I hope the Amendment will be carried, if it is only to teach the Government a lesson in economy.


I must say from a military point of view that I cannot understand the reticence of the War Office with regard to defensive works. We all know that in such works there must be constructive masonry. If the War Office by waving a wand or by giving, the word of command could at once set up these works there might be some reason for this reticence. It seems to me that the only persons whom the reticence of the War Office will affect will be the Members of this House. Wherever this policy is put into action, and where works are being constructed, it stands to reason that men will be collected there, and that fact will be known not only in this country, but also in every country in the world that wants to know. What is the reason for this silence? Why should we not know where this money is to be expended? My hon. and gallant friend the Member for Great Yarmouth has drawn attention to the money spent at Wei-hai-wei and to the principle the War Office has adopted—a principle which requires great consideration in this House—of playing into the hands of the Admiralty, and taking on itself expenditure which really ought to be borne by the Admiralty. The Admiralty is unquestionably the more popular service, and why should it not take on it- self all the money it requires. It seems to me that the War Office in taking these Naval bases, whether primary or secondary, are assuming responsibility which is not theirs. I myself cannot see what possible military advantage there is at Wei-hai-wei. If it is of any advantage to the empire it is solely on account of the Navy, and the Army is absolutely uninterested in it. If we were to invade China we would not land a great force at Wei-hai-wei. When we invaded China before we did not land troops there, and the conditions have not changed since. Wei-hai-wei is simply and solely an advantage to sailors. There is great complaint that the money for the Army is constantly increasing, and I believe the country does not get full value for it, but I most earnestly protest against the policy by which the War Office takes on itself expense which really ought to be borne by the Admiralty. I can see the advantage of Gibraltar and Malta, but I cannot see the advantage, from a military point of view, of Wei-hai-wei and many other naval bases throughout the world. Why should they not be paid for and garrisoned by the Admiralty? The argument used is that the marines—the corps d'elite—are only available, and that if you increase their number you reduce their fitness. It would be far better for the Admiralty to increase the number of marines and garrison these naval bases than let the War Office face the difficulty. Short service soldiers put away at Wei-hai-wei for a year or two are not half as valuable as soldiers trained in this country or in India. The whole system of modern warfare requires that men and officers should be thoroughly trained, and they cannot be trained in these places. If we cannot meet the difficulty in any other way, it would be better to return to the old system of garrison battalions. Why should we not have battalions specially reserved for this purpose? My own impression is that one of the difficulties of recruiting is that men are put away in these out-of-the-way places. If, however, we have garrison battalions men would enlist for this special purpose, and there would be no idea of deceiving them. We should also be able to properly train the other battalions and fit them to meet the soldiers of Continental countries. I regret to say that the policy of the War Office with regard to the construction of barracks is very unsatisfactory. A very large sum of money is going to be spent on new barracks on Salisbury Plain, and the result will be that there will be three large camps—Salisbury Plain, Aldershot, and Shorncliffe—all south of the Thames. If ever the time comes—and I am one of those who believe it will come—when Great Britain will have to be divided into army corps districts, you shall have three important camps in one district in the south. It would be better instead of spending this money on Salisbury Plain, which is now an exceedingly good exercise ground, that a camp should be formed in the northern part of England or in Scotland, which would form the central point of the northern army corps. I am very much in favour of the policy of placing cubicles in barracks, and I would urge it on the War Office experimentally, and that a certain number of the best men in every battalion should be drafted into them, and of course if they are misused the men can be replaced. At the present moment the barrack rooms are most unhome-like. I venture to say that in many barrack rooms a soldier who ventures to kneel down Morning and evening is likely to have words, and perhaps things harder than words, thrown at him for doing what he believes to be his duty. I know there will he bad characters in every regiment, but we should try and get good men, and one of the ways to do that is to adapt the accommodation in the barracks to the requirements of modern life. I had the good fortune to see some of the barrack rooms in Russia, where men are compelled to serve, but yet that country is far in advance of us as regards barrack accommodation. I saw the beds in each barrack room placed a certain distance from the wall, and the space between the bed and the wall was partitioned off and made into a little room where a rung could sit undisturbed and read, write, or kneel down. Is it any wonder we do not get troops? It is the old story. The influence of bad characters is a far greater power in the barrack room than the influence of good men, and the result is that when a young man joins the Army he is exposed to infinite temptation. These are some of the difficulties in the way of recruiting. I would urge on the War Office, if they want an efficient and cheap Army, to throw on the Admiralty all responsibility for these naval bases, and, instead of spending money unnecessarily on barracks, to adopt the cubicle or other system which would make the soldier's life more acceptable. By that means they would put from us the urgent necessity, which is coming upon us day by day, of compulsory service, and would enable us to continue to trust to the voluntary system alone.


I do not propose to vote for the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and I think the Government have done much for which they should be praised. Far be it from me to criticise their proposals, but I do hope that in constructing the barracks they will not put the matter into the hands of the Royal Engineers. I think my hon. and gallant friend the Member for Great Yarmouth was perfectly right in saying that the Engineers, being sappers and miners, were good men in laying submarine mines and building wooden bridges, but that they left much to be desired as architects. A good many years ago the Royal Engineers put up colossal barracks at Aldershot at considerable expense, and then forgot to put in the staircases. Then there is the story about plans being prepared for barracks at Hong Kong and Belfast, and the result was that the barrack intended for Hong Kong, with the verandahs included, was erected in Belfast, where it rains five days out of six, and the barrack intended for Belfast was erected in Hong Kong. I desire to support what the hon. Member for the Newport Division of Shropshire said with reference to the comfort and convenience of the private soldier. The time is past when men should be stuck in barracks the whole of their natural lives. I have often been told by decent fellows who joined the Army that the thing which repelled them most was the condition of the troop room. I do not see why the War Office should not take into consideration the question of supplying cubicles in these new barracks. I should like to say word about the temperance men. A great many of them now join the Army, and about one-third of the British Army in India aft the present moment consists of men who have sworn off drink. When a young fellow joins a battalion he has no choice between the recreation room and the canteen, and there is no reason why a temperance room should not be added. It seems to me there is also no reason why soldiers should not be allowed a room to have their meals in apart from the barrack room. In workhouses you don't make paupers have their dinners in the wards, and, whatever hon. Gentlemen opposite may think, the British soldier deserves to be treated at least as well as a pauper. With reference to the sum put down for rifle ranges, I am bound to say that £40,000 is absolutely inadequate. You could not get a rifle range sufficient for the Army at that price even in Essex. It is all very well to say wait. But you must remember land has a tendency to go up in price, and if you do not purchase the land now you may have to pay more for it later. The War Office say they cannot afford to buy the new magazine rifle, but, if that is the case, what is the use of running the British Army at a cost of £21,000,000 a year? If the barracks are made more comfortable and decent the War Office will get better men and save money in the end. Where are they going to get men otherwise? 1 do not know, and I think they do not know themselves. It would be better to induce men to take the shilling than to have recourse to conscription. The authorities of the War Office ought to know that more flies are caught with honey than with vinegar.

MR. DUNCOMBE (Cumberland, Egremont)

I notice with considerable suspicion that in the schedule the item of £40,000 put down for rifle ranges also includes accommodation for manœuvres and mobilisation. I am afraid that that will absorb a very large portion of this sum, which is already totally inadequate. It is especially on behalf of the Volunteer forces that I make these remarks. Since the introduction of the new rifle a large number of the old ranges have become useless. A Volunteer who is not able to shoot cannot be described as efficient, but unless he has some means of practising it is impossible that he can become even an average shot. While this large sum has been voted for military works I think the attention of my hon. friend should be specially directed to what I know to be a serious drawback to the efficiency of the Volunteer forces, and I would venture to suggest to him that if he cannot see his way to build new ranges for the Volunteers the very least he should do would be to make them generous travelling allowances to enable them to reach the existing ranges.


There has been a most interesting discussion for the last hour or two on questions relating mainly to the comfort of the soldier, and a desire has been expressed by all who have taken part in this Debate on this large expenditure that there should be full consideration for what can be done to increase the comfort of the soldier. I can conceive no more essential object than that. We are apt to forget that the years roll on, and that we are now in a different position altogether from that which we occupied ten or twenty years ago. We have a different class of men to deal with in the Army. The standard of life outside the Army has improved very much, to the benefit of the whole nation, and therefore the sort of life which was thought suitable for the soldier a very few years ago would be, if not absolutely deterrent, at all events very little attractive, to the class of men whom we wish to enlist in the army now. I refer to all that has been said as to the provision of cubicles, dining-rooms, and so forth. I understood from the Under Secretary in introducing this Bill, that he promised that this side of the question would be kept very closely in view. Dining-halls especially I think the hon. Gentleman undertook should be provided. One other point has been referred to which has a great deal of force, and that is the question of temperance rooms. There is hardly an institution I know—and I include in the word "institution" everything from the Secretary of State or a field-marshal down, whether it be a man, a thing, or an organisation—no institution has done so much good to the army as the Army Temperance Association, and yet I understand that it has sometimes occurred that when a battalion in which there is a flourishing branch of that organisation, and to which the large proportion of the men belong has to move to another barrack, there is no place in which the meetings can be held, and that the whole organisation goes to pieces, and the battalion sinks back into the condition in which it originally was. If that is so, or even if there is any danger of its being partially realised, one sees what a tremendous claim, not on the generosity but on the patriotism of the Secretary of State for War, this society and the whole organisation it has established has. The hon. and gallant Member for Yarmouth gave us a long account of his views on the interesting and apparently never-ending subject of Wei-hai-wei, and I heard with sympathy all he said up to a certain point. The hon. and gallant Gentleman argued that Wei-hai-wei was useless. He denounced small naval bases as nothing but nuisances to a naval Power, and he pointed out the impolicy of spending money on fortifications at Wei-hai-wei. Up to that point I was with the hon. and gallant Member, and thought what an interesting and effective speech he was making. But then it turned out that he had his eve upon two or three islands in the Gulf of Pechili which he thought would be much better than Wei-hai-wei, and that we ought to send two or three marines with a flagstaff to take possession of them. There I part company with the hon and gallant Gentleman. But the difficulty with regard to Wei-hai-wei is even greater than the hon. and gallant Member pointed out. Speaking under correction, and with every possible diffidence, I believe it is considered by the predominant naval opinion that it is undesirable to have a small naval base in that position for the purpose of assisting the operations of the Fleet. Besides that we must not forget that naval power is no longer the commanding power in the north of China. We have changed that. We have, by admitting Russia to the full possession of Manchuria, brought her and her army within striking distance of the capital of China, and therefore we are no longer the same formidable Power with our Fleet that we were a year or even a month or two ago. It alters the situation entirely. But Wei-hai-wei was acquired, as the hon. and gallant Gentleman pointed out, apparently for two purposes. The first was to give strength and confidence to the Chinese Government—one does not see how it is to be done, and certainly that object has not yet been accomplished—and the other is that it should be a place d'armes in which We could train and drill the Chinese army for our own purposes. For any of these purposes I fail to see the particular utility of Wei-hai-wei. I certainly regret the money that is being expended or that it is contemplated to expend upon it. But, Sir, the main purpose for which I rose was to support the Amendment now before the House, of the existence of which probably nine-tenths of the Members who listen to me are totally unaware. The Amendment is to the effect that we ought not to agree to the Second Reading of the Bill without a more definite statement in the Bill of the purposes to which this large sum of money is to be applied. Now this is a point on which I made a few observations the last time the Bill was before the House. What we want is, to put it plainly and simply, that the White Paper—the Paper which professes to give us the details of the expenditure—should be made the schedule of the Bill. In the earlier part of the discussion my right hon. friend the Member for West Monmouthshire argued in favour of more information being given and a better control afforded to the House of Commons over the expenditure; and the Chancellor of the Exchequer objected that in the Naval Works Act the schedule was found to be a little too complete—that there were too many details and columns, which were confusing to the uninstructed and ingenuous mind. Supposing that that was so, I myself made a more modest request of the Government—not that they should give the details of what was spent last year and of what was going to be spent next year, although I should like to have that, but that they should at least have a schedule in the Bill which would explain to the House of Commons where and for what purposes this money is to be expended. I should like not only the general heads of purposes all over the world to which it is to be devoted, hut the particular places and the particular services for which it is to be used. Then we would be not only thoroughly informed, but also better able to control the policy involved in this measure. Sir, I am bound to say it requires some control, because these loans come fast and furious upon the House and the country. The present loan proposed for military works comes after the Military Works Act of 1897. Now, as I make out, at the end of the financial year there would still remain unexpended under the previous Act two and three-quarter millions, and yet we are now asked by the same Government which brought in the Military Works Act of 1897 for four millions more. I have often said that I am not one to refuse money when the responsible Government comes forward with the declaration that the money is necessary. The circumstances would be very exceptional which would induce me to do so. At the same time it argues something wrong, some want of purpose, or some indecision or confusion of mind, that we should have a loan of over five minions in 1897, and that, while at the end of this year there will still be unexpended of that loan two and three-quarter millions, we should be asked for another loan of four millions. Moreover, all this time, as one of my hon. friends pointed out, expenditure is going on under the Estimates for the very same purposes, thus creating a state of confusion which no one, I think, is capable of penetrating or rearranging. Take the case of such places as Malta or Gibraltar, quoted by one of my hon. friends. There is also the case of Colchester, where large sums are to be expended under this loan on the building of barracks, although large sums are voted every year for the very same purpose. Who knows which is loan and which is Estimate, and how are the very gentlemen who control these matters and are responsible for them able thoroughly to keep the whole proceeding in check when these different operations are going on at the same time? A loan is, of course, a necessity on many occasions, and in most cases a convenience, because it enables continuous service to be carried on without interruption from the whims of Parliament or the vicissitudes that occur in the voting of money in this House. But a loan running concurrently with Estimates for the very same purposes and dovetailing into them must inevitably lead, I will not say to maladministration, but certainly to lack of proper control in the administration. These are the considerations which, I think, should make us extremely careful when dealing with these loans. What is easier than to have a large Loan Act? It is pleasing to our feelings that we are spending four millions in strengthening the position of the country. The least the Government should do is to let the House know what is included in this expenditure, and to let us know it by putting it into the schedule of the Bill, so that we may have that control over it to which, as the guardians of the taxpayers, we are entitled.


In the early part of his speech the right hon. Gentleman referred to topics which have been ably handled by many hon. and gallant gentlemen—topics which touch the comfort of our soldiers and our efforts to raise the standard of their condition. I have already undertaken that dining halls for the men will form part of the plans for the new barracks to be constructed on Salisbury Plain. The question of the provision of cubicles in the barracks has been earnestly considered by the military advisers of the War Office, but it is a question upon which two opinions exist, and no Government would be justified in making so important a change of policy as that involved in the provision of cubicles unless they were able to say that they were acting on the recommendation of their chief military experts of the day. That the Government are not able to say with regard to cubicles; but we do say that we wish we could give the cubicles, and we engage that the provision of better barrack accommodation shall not proceed upon lines which will preclude the introduction of cubicles should it be decided upon hereafter. Then there is the question of special rooms for the members of the Army Temperance Association. In that case also it is not quite plaint sailing. Hon. and gallant Members are aware that in every barrack, apart from the canteen, there is a recreation establishment, containing a games room, a concert room, a reading-room with books and papers, a coffee bar and supper room, but in which no alcoholic liquor is sold. Now, there are two schools of opinion in regard to recreation rooms. There are some who hope to inculcate habits of temperance by getting the men to take a moderate amount of alcoholic drink. They urge that beer should be allowed in supper rooms. On the other hand, it is urged by others that there should be attached to the recreation room a temperance club to which none but teetotalers would be admitted. If such a chub were allowed, it would introduce cliqueism into the Army, and therefore the War Office has opposed it. The War Office, in fact, takes up a middle course between the two suggestions—we allow no beer in the supper room, and they allow no separate club. The sum of £40,000 does not represent all that is being done to provide rifle ranges. Under the Military Works Act of 1897, half a million was taken for that purpose, and it has not all been expended. Sites have been and are to be purchased. The £40,000 will be devoted to providing ranges for the Volunteers on the principle I have previously explained—that if several corps join and guarantee, say, three-fourths of the cost of a range, the War Office will find the remaining fourth. By this means we may perhaps be able, with the £40,000, to provide from eight to a dozen ranges. As to the policy of the form in winch the War Department puts forward its proposals, £1,000,000 is claimed for a defence scheme without giving particulars, because the nature of the services for which it is required have been explained, and the Government have given the House the high authority on which their Estimates are based. Those responsible locally in different parts of the world have submitted their requirements to a joint Naval and Military Committee at home. That Committee has been assisted by the Colonial Defence Committee, and has reported to the Defence Committee of the Cabinet. The latter has referred the whole question to a small conference of experts. The hon. and gallant Member for Yarmouth said that instead of concentrating our attention on Wei-hai-wei, we ought to look at the naval and military position all over the earth. That is precisely what these Committees have been doing for years, and they have decided that at certain places, from naval considerations, a certain number of guns of a given size and earthen platforms on Which they can stand are needed.


I was told this Vote was not for armaments, but only for works.


The number of guns required determines the extent of the earthworks on which they are to stand. The guns have been placed on the Estimates, and the works are to be provided for by loan. Now as to the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, that we are building at the same place on Loan and on Estimates. On loan it has been thought right to build new barracks and add wings to old barracks in which any increase of the army is to be housed, but the War Department do not under a loan provide for annual repairs. When we are housing additions to the Army—and that is the point of departure for this loan—it might well be that they build a new barrack for a new battalion and add a wing to an old barrack, and that in the Estimates for the year they also improve the water supply and drainage at the same station.


There is an item of £30,000 to build new barracks at Colchester for Infantry. It is no question of repairs.


Yes; it is an unfortunate case of cross-bookkeeping between the Army and the Navy. The Leader of the Opposition may take it from me that we do scrupulously observe the division I have laid down—that is to say, new barracks are under loan, repairs and so forth are under Estimates. I do not think I need answer in detail the rather wide-flung accusations against this policy of defence. I cannot accept either the history or the statistics which have been given of the barrack policy of the last sixty years. The hon. Member for Yarmouth told us that we took £3,500,000 under the Act of 1872. So we did, but that was for the sole purpose of building depôts for the new territorial regiments which had been linked together. It does not touch any question of finding house accommodation for the Army. Then, when the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire said that we used to find money for barracks under Estimates, I have to remind the House that the fact is that barracks were practically not built between the Crimea and the reawakening of the Government to their responsibilities in the eighties. That is why we have had to come to Parliament for these big loans. By the divisions in the circulated Schedule we have shown the whole policy of the Government. If hon. Members disapprove of that policy, they have the remedy their hands. If they approve of it, I think I may appeal to the House to sanction a measure which, I notice, commends itself even to the Leader of the Opposition.


Although the speech of the hon. Gentleman was extremely able and interesting, it has not dealt, in a single particular, with the Amendment before the House. What is the Amendment? It is that this White Paper should be made part of the Bill; and the reason is that this House should have control, not only over the scheme en bloc, but over every detail, over every individual item of the scheme. When the hon. Gentleman first put this scheme before the House he declared that the House would have the same power of control that it would have if the schedule was in the Bill. I challenged him on that point, and I proved to demonstration that you could not have the same control over every item of expenditure. You may challenge on one item, but, having done so, you must accept every other in the Bill. The hon. Gentleman has chosen to discuss every other point raised in the Debate, but says not a word on the most important of all. To the demand made that the House should have control, not only of the scheme as a whole, but of every item of it, the last word of the Government is "silence."

* SIR JAMES FEROUSSON (Manchester, North East)

I confess to a feeling of great disappointment with the answer given by my hon. friend the Under Secretary for War. He has given us a non possumus to two or three important matters of barrack reform which have been brought to the notice of the Government. My hon. friend, to whose great ability I wish to bear my humble testimony, has said that the military authorities are not at one in the matter of those reforms, which some of us think of great importance in regard to the character of the Army, especially in the matter of comfortable rooms, in which soldiers who are abstainers may meet. Well, the Quartermaster-General of the Army, who was Commander-in-Chief in India, within the last month has made a very strong statement on this point. He said: I believe myself immensely in having separate accommodation for total abstainers. He knew the enormous advantage that accrued to India from temperance. When I was there myself I found as many as 500 in some battalions who were total abstainers. A third of the whole European forces in India are temperance soldiers, but the number is smaller in England. The reason for the increase in India is that the authorities there encourage temperance and provide a comfortable room for temperance soldiers. I consider we should be promoting temperance in the Army and the well-being of the soldiers by providing separate accommodation for those who are total abstainers. I am afraid the Under Secretary of State for War has not expressed his own conviction, but has spoken for the War Office. We ought to encourage decent men to join the Army and endeavour to raise the character of those who belong to it, for it is in this way that it can be made most efficient and satisfactory.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

I entirely agree with what has fallen from the lips of the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, but although temperance is a most important subject in the Army and elsewhere, it is not precisely the question at present before the House. We have a definite and substantial Amendment moved by my hon. friend the Member for Forfar. The Amendment simply means that we want to know how money is to be spent before we vote it. Everybody must admit that the Army expenditure has gone up by leaps and bounds in the Budget, but in addition to that we must remember the vast amounts that have been borrowed during the last two or three years. I do not think the Under Secretary of State for War answered in any sort of way the observations made by my right hon. friend the Leader of the Opposition. My right hon. friend asked why the details of the White Paper were not included in the Bill. I listened with great attention, but I could not gather from the hon. Gentleman's speech that he made any answer. No details have been given as to how the million is going to be spent. The hon. Gentleman said that the Bill has been prepared on a philosophical and argumentative basis. When we get into the philosophical question that is entirely beyond me, but when the hon. Gentleman says it is argumentative I quite agree with him. It is most argumentative, and that is what led me to rise and to argue the matter with the hon. Gentleman. How is this money to he spent? The hon. Gentleman said it was to be spent in all parts of the world upon earth platforms. Does he really suppose that he is going to spend one million sterling in different parts of the world on earth platforms without Foreign Governments being perfectly aware that expenditure is being made? We know perfectly well that Foreign Governments have spies everywhere. The object of one Government is to find out what another Government is doing, and you cannot spend one million sterling on earth platforms without every other Government knowing it. The only secret there is is, that we, the House of Commons, should not be allowed to know it. We give a blank cheque in a free-and-easy way to the hon. Gentleman, and he says, "I am going to spend it on earth platforms in certain parts of the world." We are not asking the hon. Gentleman to give us the details of some particular fortification; we only want to know where the money is going to he spent. It could do no possible harm for the House of Commons to be told in what part of the world this money is to be spent. We are building a barracks at Wei-hai-wei, but why we are doing it I do not know. We have Chinese soldiers there, but those Chinese soldiers are not British subjects. We are going to house these Chinese subjects and give them guns to defend Wei-hai-wei, but against whom they are to defend it I have not the remotest idea. But when we have spent this money on earth platforms we shall be told that we must have a species of fortifications, or these valuable properties will be taken by anybody who comes along. We have heard a great deal about expenditure in the Transvaal. We know perfectly well that there are troops going to the Transvaal. Is any of this money to be spent in Natal or the Cape Colony? The result of the Oldham election which we have just learned in this House shows that the Government is apparently not being supported by the country in this policy or in anything else. In the result of this election the House has a distinct reply to the Government policy; they are defeated hip and thigh. I hope the result will supply an argument to the hon. Gentleman to give up this miserable policy of secrecy—of putting his hand into our pockets without telling us how he is going to spend the money.


This Amendment, I think, goes a little too far, because it rejects the proposals the Government have made on their own responsibility. Undoubtedly it is a strange thing that this House should be asked to raise this money by loan with so little information with reference to it. With regard to the proposed expenditure on barracks the remedy lies entirely in the hands of hon. Members opposite. All they have to do is to move in Committee that the contents of the White Paper be scheduled to the Bill. As regards the first item, however, no details are given, and the consequence will be that the House will be deprived of control over this expenditure. The plea of secrecy is quite absurd. I appeal to the Government to schedule the White Paper to the Bill, and to give the House a detailed statement with regard to the first item.

DR. CLARK (Caithness)

I venture to suggest that one reason why we have not the information is because of the bad faith of the Government. During the Debate on the Estimates attention was called to the fact that Piershill, Edinburgh, in consequence of its bad sanitary condition was visited with typhoid fever, disease, and premature death. The Financial Secretary told us that £100,000 would be granted in this Bill for carrying out the necessary rebuilding. So far as I can see, however, only £25,000 is to be devoted to Edinburgh under this Bill.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

The policy of secrecy in regard to this Bill is, I think, one of the most monstrous acts that was ever attempted by the House of Commons. To tell the House of Commons that it is essential, from motives of policy, to withhold information as to where this money is to be spent is to turn the House of Commons into ridicule, and all other proceedings in connection with this Bill into a farce. No Government, not even the Government of Russia, could conceal from the general public such information. Let us compare for a moment the conduct of the Government in reference to these alleged earthworks and their conduct in reference to the new warships which are being built. In the Naval Estimates of the year the House is informed not only of the names of the ships, but is put in possession of every possible detail with regard to them. But while this is done with reference to the new warships, where secrecy might be attempted, and, to a great extent, successfully carried out, what can we say of the Government which deliberately asks for a million of money without giving any information beyond the fact that a million is to be spent on alleged earthworks? I suspect that a portion of this money is intended for other purposes altogether, and that the Government desire to have a sum of money to draw upon for operations in the Transvaal or other parts of the world as they may think necessary——


I beg to move that the Question be now put.


The Question is that the Question be now put.


(sitting and, with his hat on): I beg to sub-

mit as a point of order that the Question was put after twelve o'clock.


I rose as nearly as possible at twelve o'clock. By the Standing order the closure may be moved at the interruption of business, and the interruption of business takes place when I rise and say "Order, order!"

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided:—Ayes, 159; Noes 64. (Division List, No. 225.)

Anson, Sir William Reynell Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S. Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Arrol, Sir William Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Lockwood, Lt-Col. A. R.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Bagot,Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir. J (Manc'r Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Man.) Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G.W. (Leeds) Finch, George H. Lucas-Shadwell, William
Banbury, Frederick George Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lyttleton, Hon. Alfred
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Fisher, William Hayes Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose- Macdona, John Cumming
Beach, Rt. Hn Sir M H (Bristol) Fletcher, Sir Henry MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Bethell, Commander Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Maclure, Sir John William
Bigwood, James Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Bill, Charles Galloway, William Johnson M'Killop, James
Blundell, Colonel Henry Garfit, William Martin, Richard Biddulph
Bonsor, H. Cosmo Orme Gibbons, J. Lloyd Milbank, Sir Powlett Chas. J.
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Milton, Viscount
Bousfield, William Robert Goldsworthy, Major-General Moore, William (Antrim, N.)
Brassey, Albert Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon More, Robt. Jasper (Shropsh.)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J.(St Geo's Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)
Brookfield, A. Montagu Goschen, George J. (Sussex) Morrell, George Herbert
Bullard. sir Harry Green, W. D. (Wedneshury) Morton, Arthur H. A.(Deptford
Carlile, William Walter Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury Muntz, Philip A.
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.) Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute
Chaloner. Captain R. G. W. Gretton, John Murray, Charles J.(Coventry)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J, (Birm. Gull, Sir Cameron Myers, William Henry
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc. Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George Nicol, Donald Ninian
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W. Parkes, Ebenezer
Charrington, Spencer Hansen, Sir Reginald Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington)
Chelsea, Viscount Hare, Thomas Leigh Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Clare, Octavius Leigh Henderson, Alexander Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A.E. Hill, Sir Edward Stock (Bristol) Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Coghill, Douglas Harry Hornby, Sir William Henry Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Houston, R. P. Rentoul, James Alexander
Colston, C. E. H. Athole Howell, William Tudor Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)
Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow) Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.
Cornwallis, F. Stanley W. Jebb, Richard Claverhouse Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Cox, Irwin Edward B. Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Robertson, Herbert (Hackney
Cranborne, Viscount Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Robinson, Brooke
Curzon, Viscount Johnston, William (Belfast) Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Dalkeith, Earl of Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Round, James
Davies, Sir Horatio D(Chatham Kemp, George Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham
Denny, Colonel Kenyon, James Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William Ryder, John Herbert Dudley
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Lawrence, Sir E. Durning- (Corn Sharpe, William Edward T.
Dorington, Sir John Edward Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Doughty, George Lea, Sir Thos. (Londonderry) Sidebottom, T. H. (Stalybr.)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset) Valentia, Viscount Wyndham, George
Stanley, Lord (Lancs) Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E. Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Stirling, Maxwell, Sir J. M. Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon- Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L. Young, Commander (Berks, E.
Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Thornton, Percy M. Williams, Jos. Powell-(Birm.)
Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. Henry Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) Richardson, J. (Durham, S E.
Barlow, John Emmott Harwood, George Rickett, J. Compton
Bayley, Thomas Ryburn Hayne, Rt. Hon.Charles Seale- Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth) Shaw. Thomas (Hawick B.)
Billson, Alfred Hedderwick, Thomas C. H. Sinclair, Capt John (Forfarsh.)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Holland, W. H. (York, W R.) Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Burns, John Horniman, Frederick John Steadman, William Charles
Cald well, James Jones, William (Carmarvons.) Strachey, Edward
Campbell-Bannnerman, Sir H. Labouchere, Henry Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
Causton, Richard Knight Lambert. George Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Cawley, Frederick Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'I'd) Thomas, David Alfd.(Merthyr)
Channing, Francis Allston Logan, John William
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Macaleese, Daniel Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Clough, Walter Owen MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Warner, T. Courtenay T.
Dalziel, James Henry Maddison, Fred Wedderburn, Sir John
Davitt, Michael Mellor, Rt. Hon. J. W.(Yorks.) Weir, James Galloway
Dewar, Arthur Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Dillon, John Morgan, J. Lloyd(Carmarthen) Williams, John Carvell (Notts)
Doogan, P. C. Oldroyd, Mark Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)
Dunn, Sir William Paulton, James Mellor
Evans, Samuel T.(Glamorgan) Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Price, Robert John Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. M'Arthur.
Goddard, Daniel Ford Provand, Andrew Dryburgh

Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes, 159; Noes, 64. (Division List, No. 226.)

Anson, Sir Wm. Reynell Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Finch, George H.
Arrol, Sir William Charrington, Spencer Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Chelsea, Viscount Fisher, William Hayes
Clare, Octavius Leigh FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Fletcher, Sir Henry
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r) Coghill, Douglas Harry Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G W. (Leeds) Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)
Banbury, Frederick George Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole
Barton, Dunbar Plunkett Corbett, A. Cameron(Glasgow) Galloway, William Johnson
Bathurst, Hon Allen B. Cornwallis, F. Stanley W. Garfit, William
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H.(Brist'l) Cox, Irwin Edward B. Gibbons, J. Lloyd
Bethell, Commander Cranborne, Viscount Godson, Sir Augustus F.
Bigwood, James Curzon, Viscount Goldsworthy, Major-General
Bill, Charles Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon
Blundell, Colonel Henry Dalkeith, Earl of Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St.Geo's
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Goschen, George J. (sussex)
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Denny, Colonel Greene, Walford D.(Shrewsbury)
Bousfield, William Robert Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P. Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury)
Brassey, Albert Disraeli, C. Ralph Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Dorington, Sir John Edward Gretton, John
Brookfield, A. Montagu Doughty, George Gull, Sir Cameron
Bullard, Sir Harry Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S. Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo.
Carlile, William Walter Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Hanson, Sir Reginald
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Fellowes, Hon. A. Edward Hare, Thomas Leigh
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm. Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Man'r Henderson, Alexander
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Field, Admiral (Eastbourne Hill, Sir Edward Stock(Bristol)
Hornby, Sir William Henry M'Killop, James Russell, Gen. F.S.(Chelten'm)
Houston, R. P. Martin, Richard Biddulph Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Howell, William Tudor Milbank. Sir Powlett C. John Ryder, John Herbert Dudley
Milton, Viscount
Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Jebb, Richard Claverhouse More, Robert J. (Shropshire) Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Morgan, Hn. F.(Monm'thshire) Sidebottom, T. H (Stalybr.)
Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Morrell, George Herbert Simeon, Sir Barrington
Johnston, William (Belfast) Morton, Arthur H. A. Deptford Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset)
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Muntz, Philip A. Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute) Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Kemp, George Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Kenyon, James Myers, William Henry Start, Hon. Humphry Napier
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William
Nicol, Donald Ninian Thornton, Percy M.
Lawrence, Sir E Durning- (Corn Tomlinson, W. Edw. Murray
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Parkes, Ebenezer Valentia, Viscount
Lea, Sir Thos. (Londonderrry) Pease, Herbert P.(Darlington)
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Welby, Lieut-Col. A. C. E.
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Quitter, Sir Cuthbert Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)
Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Williams, J. Powell-(Birm.)
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Wilson, John (Falkirk
Lucas-Shadwell, William Rent Rentoul, James Alexander Wyndham, George
Lyttelton, Hon Alfred Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l) Wyndham-Quin, Major W H.
Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir Matt. W. Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Macartney, W. G. Ellison Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Macdona, John Cumming Robertson, Herbert(Hackney)
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Robinson, Brooke TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Maclure, Sir John William Rothschild, Hon. Lionel W. Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Round, James
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. Goddard, Daniel Ford Provand, Andrew Dryburgh
Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)
Barlow, John Emmott Richardson, J. (Durham, S. E.)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Harwood, George Rickett, J. Compton
Beaumont, Wentworth, C. B. Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale-
Billson, Alfred Healy, T. M. (N. Louth) Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Hedderwick, Thos. Charles H. Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Burns, John Holland, W. H. (York, W. R) Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)
Horniman, Frederick John Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Caldwell, James Steadman, William Charles
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Strachey, Edward
Causton, Richard Knight Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
Cawley, Frederick Labouchere, Henry Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Channing, Francis Allston Lambert, George
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Clough, Walter Owen Logan, John William Trevelyam Charles Philips
Colomb, Sir John Charles R. Macaleese, Daniel
MacNeill, J. Gordon Swift Warner, Thomas Courtnay T
Dalziel, James Henry Maddison Fred. Wedderburn, Sir. William
Davitt, Michael Mellor, Rt. Hon. J. W.(Yorks.) Weir, James Galloway
Dewar, Arthur Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Williams, John C. (Notts.)
Dillon, John Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen) Wilson, Henry J.(York, W.R.)
Doogan, P. C. Oldroyd, Mark
Evans, Samuel T.(Glamorgan) Paulton, James Mellor Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. M'Arthur.
Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Price, Robert John

claimed, "That the main Question be now put."

Main Question put accordingly, "That the Bill be now read a second time."

The House divided:—Ayes, 159; Noes, 53. (Division List, No. 227.)

Anson. Sir William Reynell Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Morrell, George Herbert
Arrol, Sir William Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Galloway, William Johnson Muntz, Philip A.
Garfit, William Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Gibbons, J. Lloyd Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Godson, Sir Augustus Fred. Myers, William Henry
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds Goldsworthy, Major-General
Banbury, Frederick George Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Nicol, Donald Ninian
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Goschen, Rt Hn G J (St. George's
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Goschen, George J. (Sussex) Parkes, Ebenezer
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H.(Bristol Green, Walford D(Wednesbury Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington)
Bethell, Commander Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury) Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Bill, Charles Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Blundell, Colonel Henry Gretton, John
Bonsor, Henry Cosmno Orme Gull, Sir Cameron Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-
Bousfield, William Robert Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George Basch, Major Frederic Carne
Brassey, Albert Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Rentoul, James Alexander
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Hanson, sir Reginald Richards, Sir T.(Hartlep'l)
Brookfield, A. Montagu Hare, Thomas Leigh Ridley, Rt. Hon. sir M. W.
Bullard, Sir Harry Henderson, Alexander Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Hill,Sir EdwardStock (Bristol Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Carlile, William Walter Hornby, Sir William Henry Robinson, Brooke
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich.) Houston, R. P. Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Howell, William Tudor Round James
Chamberlain, R. Hn. J. (Birm.) Russell, Gen. F. S. (Ch'It'nh'm
Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawie Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Jebb, Richard Claver house Ryder, John Herbert Dudley
Charrington, Spencer Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick
Chelsea, Viscount Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Shape, William Edward T.
Clare, Octavius Leigh Johnston, William (Belfast) Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H A. E. Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Sidebottom, T. H. (Stalybr.)
Coghill, Douglas Harry Simeon, Sir Barrington
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse kemp, George Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)
Colomb, Sir John C. Ready Kenyon, James Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William Stirling-Maxwell, Sir J. M.
Corbett, A Cameron(Glasgow) Strutt, Hon, Charles Hedley
Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W
Cox, Irwin Edward B. Lawrence, Sir E Durning- (Corn Thornton, Percy M.
Cranborne, Viscount Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray
Curzon, Viscount Lea, Sir Thomas(Londonderry)
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Valentia, Viscount
Dalkeith, Earl of Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Davies, Sir H D. (Chatham) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E
Denny, Colonel Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Wentwort, Bruce C. Vernon-
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Whiteley, H. (Ashton-un.-L.)
Disraeli, Coningshy Ralph Loyd, Archie Kirkman Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)
Dorington, Sir John Edward Lucas-Shadwell, William Williams, J. Powell- (Birm.)
Doughty, George Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Wilon, John (Falkirk)
Douglas, Rt, Hon. A. Akers- Wyndham, George
Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S. Macartney. W. G. Ellison Wyndham-Quin, Major W.H.
Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Macdona, John Cumming Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwvn E. Maclure, Sir John Williams Young, Commander (Berks, E.
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith M'Arthur, charles (Liverpool)
Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) M'Killop, James
Finch, George H. Martin, Richard Biddulph
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Milbank, S. P. Charles John TELLERS FOR THE AYES,
Fishier, William Hayes Milton, Viscount Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
FitzGerald Sir Robt.Penrose- Moore, William (Antrim, N.)
Fletcher, Sir Henry Morgan, Hon. F.(Monm'thsh.)
Barlow, John Emmott Channing, Francis Allston Dunn, Sir William
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Clark, Dr. G. B.(Caithness-sh.) Evans, Sam. T. (Glamorgan)
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Clough, Walter Owen Fitzwaurice, Lord Edmond
Billson, Alfred Dalziel, James Henry Goddard, Daniel Ford
Burns, John Davitt, Michael Harwood, George
Caldwell, James Dewar, Arthur Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale
Cawley, Frederick Doogan, P. C. Healy, T. M. (N. Louth)
Hedderwiek, Thos. Charles H. Oldroyd, Mark Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Holland, Wm. H. (York, W.R. Paulton, James Mellor Thomas, David Alf. (Merthyr)
Horniman, Frederick John Pease, J. (Northumberland) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Price, Robert John Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Labouchere, Henry provand, Andrew Dryburgh Wedderburn, Sir William
Lambert, George Richardson, J. (Durham, S.E.) Weir, James Galloway
Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Rickett, J. Compton Williams, John Carvell (Notts.
Logan, John William Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Macaleese, Daniel Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Smith, Samuel (Flint) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Maddison, Fred. Steadman, William Charles Mr. Dillon and Mr. Buchanan.
Morgan, J Lloyd (Carmarthen) Strachey, Edward

Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday next.