HC Deb 19 May 1899 vol 71 c1049

What he desired, however, to bring before the House was the persistent disregard, as far as Scotch wishes and opinion were concerned, of the various subjects which came before the House this Session. There had been an utter disregard of temperance reform, and he asked the First Lord of the Treasury not many days ago what the intentions of the Government were in view of the facts given in favour of a Local Veto Bill in Scotland. The Government did not seem to be aware of the fact that there had been a very strong demand from Scotland for over a quarter of a century in favour of temperance reform. He thought great fault was to be found with the Government in regard to their deliberate policy of concealment from this House as regarded the furnishing of statistics showing the strength of the various battalions of soldiers. He hoped that an opportunity would be found upon the discussion of the salary of the Secretary of State for War of bringing up this matter more fully. He emphasised the fact that as long as the same physical qualifications at present in force obtained, accuracy as regarded the age of soldiers and other statistics was impossible. They would obtain more accuracy as to age by looking at the teeth than by the present system, and the practice which obtained in this country of enlisting boys was absolutely inhuman, and the sooner it was changed the better.