HC Deb 20 October 1899 vol 77 cc385-405


Message again read.


I beg to move "That an humble address be presented to Her Majesty thanking Her Majesty for her most gracious Message communicating to this House Her Majesty's intention to embody the Militia and to call out the Militia Reserve forces or such part thereof as Her Majesty may think necessary to be forthwith called out for permanent service." This proposal, as the House knows, is in accordance with precedent, and I hope that the House will agree to the resolution without discussion or debate, not that I think that the question is not a very important one which ought to be discussed and debated, but because I think the more convenient time for discussing it will be when the Under Secretary for War brings forward his proposals with regard to the Army Estimates. The calling out of the Militia is not an isolated and separate proceeding which can be considered or judged by itself. It is part of a general scheme of mobilisation intimately connected with the calling out of the Reserves and the despatch of an army corps; and it is only in connection with that general policy that any proper judgment upon it can be passed by the House. I would, therefore, venture to suggest that, as my hon. friend the Under Secretary is going to make a general statement on the policy pursued in connection with mobilisation, and as on that, and the Estimates which will be produced, questions can be asked and arguments brought forward and replied to on a subject which legitimately can be raised on this Address, the House should allow the Address to pass without discussion, and reserve discussion—the importance of which I am far from minimising, and which I in no way desire to restrict—to a more convenient opportunity on the next Order on the Paper.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, thanking Her Majesty for Her Most Gracious Message communicating to this House Her Majesty's intention to cause the Militia to be embodied, and the Militia Reserve Force or such part thereof as Her Majesty should think necessary to be called out forthwith for permanent service."—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)


Before we agree to what the right hon. Gentleman suggests, and which, prima facie, appears reasonable, I think there is one point I would like information upon—namely, whether the two subjects so precisely overlap each other as the right hon. Gentleman assumes. I will mention one fact which will at once show what I want to bring out. There is, in the Estimates, provision for the addition to the Army forces to be maintained of 35,000 men. That is made up, I assume, of 10,000 transferred from the Indian Establishment and 25,000 men of the Army Reserve called out. But what of the Militia Reserve? That is the point which illustrates what I want to submit to the House. If we have to postpone until the moving of this Supplementary Army Estimate the consideration of this Address relative to the Militia, we must be sure that what is included in the Address relative to the Militia is included also in the Army Estimate. The question of the embodiment of the Militia is one thing; the question of calling out the Militia Reserve is another. In other words, will the Under Secretary tell us whether these 35,000 men include the Militia, or are they entirely composed of men transferred from the Indian Establishment and Army Reserve men?


This question illustrates how closely the two matters are interlocked, for in order to answer it I should have to anticipate what I was going to say on the Vote. So perhaps I may reserve it. Let me, however, say plainly that the only immediate and probable step which might be taken in pursuance of this gracious Message is the embodiment of the Militia, and not the calling out of the Militia Reserve. Personally I cannot contemplate the possibility that we shall call out the Militia Reserve, but, Parliament having been called together for a particular and unusual purpose, and it being within the competence of no man to tell what will be the issue of the war, we felt that it was right to obtain all the power which may, though we hope it may not, be called forth by the prosecution of our operations in South Africa.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

I rise for the purpose of moving an Amendment.

*SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

I wish to ask a question.


Shall I lose my chance if I now give way, Mr. Speaker?


No, I will call on the hon. Member in due course.


I wish to know whether, in the event of its being necessary to exercise the powers to which the Leader of the Opposition has alluded before Parliament meets again, 35,000, which is the maximum force now added, will be exceeded.


I wish to be candid, because, as we are asking a favour from the Opposition, I should be sorry that they should be under misconception. The 35,000 men is the outside limit of the whole number of men who in. any capacity may be called to the colours in addition to the establishment of the home army.


I have an Amendment to move in the following terms— But we humbly represent to your Majesty that, inasmuch as there are only 40,000 adult males in the South African Republics, and these are not trained soldiers, we are of opinion that the embodiment of the Militia Reserve is unnecessary, and that the forces already at the disposal of your Majesty are amply sufficient for the purpose. It appears to me that the attitude of the Government in this matter is the most unparalleled and unjustifiable that has ever been assumed by any executive Government of any country in the world. Let us recall to our minds for a moment what is the character of the war which has been so unhappily and so unnecessarily launched. We are sending the trained forces of this Empire against two small countries, with whose population I will deal presently. But first I desire to deal with the point that the Boers have no trained army—that these men who by the cruel and infamous blundering of the Colonial Office—or by some more malign influence which I could not characterise properly, perhaps, without being called to order—have now been forced into a dreadful war and a hopeless struggle against the resources—the overwhelming forces of this great military Empire. Our troops are trained soldiers. The Boers are not, but have had to go from their farms and their families, which probably they may never live to see again. And yet, in spite of the fact that these two small races are not possessed of trained soldiers, the Government is sending out 78,000 trained men, nearly twice the strength of the force which was despatched to besiege Sebastopol, and five times the purely British force which Wellington had with him at Waterloo. Was there ever in the history of civilised mankind so humiliating or so disquieting a spectacle? Yet, in spite of all that, the Government is afraid that the British soldier is no match for the Boer farmer. It is not enough to send out a British soldier to fight every single Boer, but more must be sent to fight the Boer women. According to Government returns, the population of the Transvaal was 345,000. That included the Uitlanders. There were 137,947 males and 107,000 females. It has been said over and over again that the Uitlanders constitute the great majority of the adult males of the Transvaal, so that if the Uitlanders are put at 87,000, that will leave only 50,000 Boers. Then that includes children and old men, who have been called upon, rightly or wrongly, to engage in a war for their liberty and their country—a war forced upon them by a crowd of adventurers who came into their country to seek for gold, and who now want to rob them of their country. I believe that in the commandeering which has gone on boys of fourteen and fifteen and men of eighty have been called upon to carry rifles. From the total which I have given must be subtracted at least 15,000 to cover the children, the sick, and the decrepit, and this leaves only 35,000 fighting men, who are not trained soldiers, and who are merely farmers. Now I come to the Orange Free State, the population of which, according to the last census, is about 77,000, made up of 40,000 males and 37,000 females. Of course, the Uitlanders there were not so numerous, but they may fairly beset down as 5,000, and deducting 10,000 for children and old men, there were left but 25,000 fighting men. Thus there are 35,000 fighting men in the Transvaal and 25,000 in the Free State. Against this untrained force of 70,000 are 78,000 of the flower of the British Army, immense parks of artillery, and all the appurtenances of war. And yet the Government are not satisfied, and wish to call out the Militia Reserve! Anything more mean, cowardly, and disgusting I have not read of in history. It suggests the question, if such stupendous exertions are required for this South African expedition, where you have no organised military force opposed to you, what would the country do if called upon to fight a great European Power, say France, Germany, or Russia? Four or five or even ten thousand of these Boers may be slaughtered, and their wretched women and children left to starve and sorrow in the Transvaal, because it is desired to avenge Majuba Hill, and hon. Members yesterday could not conceal their desire to have a holocaust of victims for that small skirmish. But I believe I am expressing the views of even Members who sit opposite when I say that in its present proceedings the Government is affording to the world a spectacle of brute force which is most disgusting. Every Member in the House will be prepared to admit—I am not speaking from the point of view of an Englishman, for we in Ireland have suffered a great deal of injustice which has taught us to sympathise with other races who are suffering, but I say that even Englishmen must admit that the action of the Government has tended to create an uneasy feeling, and to cause the blush of shame, for the impression created is that British troops man for man are not to be trusted to deal with the farmers of the Transvaal. I am astonished that military men in the House have not pointed that out. Why could not the matter be left to the troops on the spot? I personally believe they could carry the thing to victory. But I have a firmly fixed conviction in the irresistible power of trained soldiers, with the enormous material resources of the Empire at their back. After this debate, after the revulsion of feeling caused by sending out this enormous force to carry on this unequal struggle, is there not reasonable ground for the suspicion in our minds of vast schemes of conquest and reconstruction of territory and the crushing and humiliation of the free Boer population? There are portions of the, in some respects, horrible speech of the Colonial Secretary that encourage the suspicion. He spoke of harmony in South Africa. I am inclined to ask how many men must be slaughtered before harmony can be brought about? I detected in the right hon. Gentleman's speech, in which he spoke of the conspiracy and insolence of the Boers, a determination to make this country the dominant Power in South Africa—a spirit which is still more openly avowed in the columns of the Jingo Press. The fact is, the real object of the war is to crush, humiliate, and trample in the dust the Boer people; to substitute British for Boer rule. I ask, is that the way to conciliate feeling between the two peoples? It can only increase suspicion and dis- like of your policy. Even Englishmen themselves ought to be ashamed to send out such a force to fight the Boer farmers.

MR. DAVITT (Mayo, E.)

I rise to second the Amendment. I do so because I look upon the calling out of the Militia by Her Majesty's Government as a step in an organised infamy, for which, of Course, Her Majesty is in no way personally responsible. But I feel that if I remain silent I should be to some extent sharing the responsibility for this war. I agree with my hon. friend who has given the figures as to the populations of the two Republics, and I assert with him that there is no necessity for sending out this large army to South Africa in addition to the troops that are already there. The House has heard from the Under Secretary for War news which proves that the troops who are already in the field are quite able to take care of themselves. Hon. Members opposite cheered loudly when it was announced that the Dublin Fusiliers had gone to the front. They bore testimony by their cheers to the bravery of my fellow countrymen, and I ask them, therefore, in gratitude, that, when the wounded return, proper workhouse accommodation shall be provided for them and their families. We know that many old soldiers are found in Irish workhouses.

MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, S.)

Yes, Crimean veterans, even.


I agree that the proper time for discussing this matter will be when the Under Secretary makes his statement, but I think we are justified coming from a country which is overtaxed for its connection with this Empire, in raising a strong protest. We took no part whatever in promoting this war; there are no Irish interests involved in this conflict, and whatever the result may be it can bring no satisfaction to Irishmen. No matter how unpopular the Irish Members may make themselves either inside or outside the House, they are called upon to enter this protest against an infamous war. My hon. friend has gone into figures which justify his contention. There will be an enormous amount of money spent in sending out these troops, which will not go to defray the cost of war, which will probably be over before the transports reach South Africa, and that money, or most of it, will go into the pockets of huge shipping companies, of the makers of rifles and ammunition at Birmingham, and of contractors. The First Lord of the Treasury declared last night that one of the objects of the war was to secure the humane treatment of the native races. Now if that were true, if that were one of the objects of the war, I hold that we, as Irish Members, would be obliged, in consequence of our sympathy with native races rightly struggling to be free all the world over, to sympathise with such a purpose. A good deal has been said about the treatment by the Boers of natives, but I think if we go into past history and contrast the record of the bad treatment of the native races by Boers and that of the British treatment we shall find that the comparison is not in favour of this country. I need not go into the treatment of the Matabele or the natives on the Niger River.


Order, order! The hon. Member must keep to the question, which is the question of the necessity of calling out the Reserves.


I will not pursue that point any further, but will conclude my observations by saying that the Irish Nationalist representatives would not dare to face their constituents at the next General Election unless they opposed this infamous war by every means which the forms of the House permitted.

Amendment proposed— At the end of the Question, to add the words, 'But we humbly represent to your Majesty that inasmuch as there are only about 40,000 adult males in the two South African Republics, and that these are not trained soldiers, the embodiment of the Militia Reserve is unnecessary, and that the forces already at the disposal of your Majesty are amply sufficient for the emergency.' "—(Mr. Dillon.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there added."


I desire to offer a few observations in support of the Amendment which has been proposed by the hon. Member for East Mayo, and I may say that I am strengthened in my determination to oppose this arrangement by speeches which we heard last night from Gentlemen in this House who certainly cannot be accused of being Irish rebels. I refer to the speeches of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Plymouth and of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bodmin, who amply bear out and completely justify the opposition, if indeed any justification be necessary, which the Irish Members have offered, and will, I hope, continue to offer, to every stage of the arrangements now being made to crush the Dutch population of South Africa. We are told sometimes that these military arrangements are being made simply for the purpose of bringing into subjugation the inhabitants of the Transvaal, but I venture to suggest that the very magnitude of the arrangements shows that there is something more in contemplation than the mere subjugation of the inhabitants of the two Republics. It has already been pointed out, and it is perfectly true, that the number of inhabitants in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State is so small that the gigantic military preparations now being made are out of all proportion to the task to which it is said the Government has set itself. Can it for one moment be contended that, if the plain and sole object of the Government were the subjugation of the Transvaal and of the Orange Free State, these enormous military preparations would be necessary? No doubt at the present time the strength of the Boers in South Africa is not under-estimated by this country, and they are being approached with a great deal of caution born probably of a realisation of the intense bravery these men have shown in wars in years gone by. But making every allowance for the undoubtedvalour and determination of these men, I still say the preparations you are making must, to the ordinary observer, point to some greater intention than has yet been announced. And one result of this war must be to alienate altogether whatever sympathy the Dutch inhabitants of the Cape and Natal may have had for the paramountcy of this country. If you wanted to bring home conviction to the mind of every Dutchman in Cape Colony and Natal that your object is the complete subjugation of the Dutch race in South Africa, you could do nothing more calculated to secure that end than the despatching of this enormous army—an army altogether out of proportion to the announced objects of the war in which you are engaged. What is meant by the calling out of the Militia? What is meant by the despatch of your immense Army Corps, the largest force, I believe, that has ever left the shores of England? What can it be considered to mean except this, that the time has arrived when, acting most unfortunately under the influence of a number of capitalists in South Africa, the majority of them being Germans and not even of your own race, you are resolved to strike a blow at the independence, at the self-respect, and at the national feeling of the Dutch population, not only in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, but in Cape Colony and Natal as well? By so doing you strike an immense blow at the hearts of those Dutch people in the colonies who at the present moment are not disaffected or at war with you. Now, Mr. Speaker, I know that in speaking on this particular Amendment it is very hard to refer in general terms to the circumstances which it is alleged have made these military arrangements necessary. But I say here that, as far as I am concerned, I will take the opportunity of this Amendment as I will take advantage of every Amendment and every Vote in Committee of Supply, to register my protest against a war which I consider to be unjust, cruel, and dishonest, a war ostensibly for the purpose of restoring harmony in South Africa, but really waged as every honest man knows in his heart with the object of robbing—


Order, order! I would remind the hon. Member that the question now under discussion is whether the forces already to be employed are adequate.


I know that Irish Members here can make at best but a feeble protest, and that it is difficult for them—


Order, order! The hon. Member must not suggest that I make any distinction between the Irish Members and other Members of this House.


I had not the slightest intention of doing that, Sir. I was not referring to your ruling at all. I was referring to the manifest impatience exhibited by hon. Gentlemen opposite whenever any of us Irish Mem- bers rise to speak. [Cries of "Oh, oh."] I suppose that hon. Gentlemen opposite think themselves extremely patient, but I can assure them that that is not our opinion. I find not only do they receive with every manifestation of impatience protests coming from the Irish Members, but when those protests are made by English Members, such as the hon. and learned Member for Plymouth and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bodmin, they express an almost equal amount of impatience. In fact, the Conservative Members seem to have come to the conclusion that nobody is entitled to speak on military matters or to give an opinion as to what is good for the Empire unless he happens to be a Liberal Unionist politician who at one time was found in opposition to themselves. I again ask, does not the despatch of this unnecessarily large force constitute a menace, not merely to the people of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, but also to the whole Dutch race throughout the length and breadth of South Africa? It certainly does seem, to say the least of it, in the eyes of the world a cowardly proceeding on the part of the Government of a country like this to say that they cannot enter into a small war of this kind without despatching a force, very little inferior, if it be inferior at all, to that which would be necessary were we to engage in war with France, Germany, or some other first-class military Power. As the hon. and learned Member for Plymouth put it last night, what preparations would this country be called upon to make for a war with a European Power, if all this preparation is necessary to enable it to deal successfully with the farmers of two unfortunate little Republics? Hon. Members opposite seem to think it is a strange thing for Irish Members to protest against this war, but remember we are within our right; we are here, and you cannot get rid of us unless you give us Home Rule. It is true you sometimes induce Irishmen who are to be found starving at street corners to join your Army and fight your battles, but do not forget that Irishmen have been found fighting in every army in the world. You cannot deny, with any semblance of truth, that we Irish Members do represent the vast majority of the Irish people, and if you like to test the feeling at the polls, you will soon find out that our constituents will bear out our protest. It is not a pleasant thing for us to place ourselves in direct opposition to the feeling which prevails inside and outside this House in regard to the war. Some of us have already been insulted in the streets because of the attitude we have taken up, and because we have given expression to our conscientious convictions. We say we are entitled to oppose this proposal of the Government, because it will entail expenditure of taxes raised in Ireland.


Order, order! The question of cost is not raised by this Amendment.


I quite recognise that when we get into Committee of Supply the time for this portion of my protest will be more appropriate. I only wish to point out that beside a feeling of sentiment we Irishmen have a practical grievance in this matter, and we should not be doing our duty to our constituents if we did not take every opportunity of pressing it upon the attention of the House. I am sure that hon. Gentlemen opposite must feel in their hearts a little bit ashamed of the proceedings which are being taken. I always understood that Englishmen liked to meet their match, and did not care to attack a weak man whose strength was out of all proportion to their own. I am afraid that when these arrangements are read of in Europe England will earn for herself the title of the bully of Europe and of the world.

*SIR ELLIS ASHMEAD-BARTLETT (Sheffield, Ecclesall)

The hon. Member has made one or two statements which require very brief examination. He has told us that the Militia are being called out in order to crush the independence and freedom of the Dutch population of Cape Colony.


I am sure that even the hon. Gentleman would not wish to misrepresent me. I said nothing of the kind. I said, on the contrary, that the calling out of the Militia Reserves was consequent upon the despatch of an overwhelming force to South Africa.


I may point out that the object or result of the proposal is not involved in this Amendment.


But the hon. Member made the statement without being called to order, and I thought I was in order in referring to it.


I gave the hon. Member considerable licence, but I did call him to order.


At any rate, I will only say that the effect of calling out the Militia appears probable to be exactly opposite what the hon. Member suggests. He speaks of it as an exhibition of enormous brute force prompted by a desire to crush the inoffensive Boers. It appears to me that the foreign countries to which he has so frequently referred are far more likely to regard this measure as evidence of the extremely unmilitary character of this country, seeing that the despatch of 50,000 or 60,000 troops to South Africa actually depletes our home defences. The real reason of the Militia being called out is that they are to be used for manning our home fortifications. Hon. Gentlemen have adopted a totally different tone tonight in dealing with the question of the display of military strength deemed necessary to crush the Boers, who, be it remembered, have attacked us. In their previous speeches they asserted that it would require the whole forces of this Empire—or, at least, 100,000 men to put down these lamb-like Boers in the Transvaal.


May I ask the hon. Gentleman if he can quote a single sentence uttered by me or anybody else to the effect that it would take 100,000 British soldiers to put down the Boers?


I did not say the hon. Gentleman made that observation. I do not remember which of his colleagues made it, but I could undertake to produce the words and the date of the speech. At any rate I am justified in saying that the whole of their arguments have been in the direction that not only would it require an enormous force to crush the Boers, but that the war would awaken inextinguishable race-hatred. I am rather disposed to agree with the hon. Gentleman that the necessities of the force to be sent have been rather over-rated. It is all very well to apply the argument of "the bully" to the case of schoolboys, but it is a mistake to apply it to war. If you want to make this war as merciful as possible you must send out an overwhelming force in order to bring it quickly to an end. By such means you may not only speedily crush the resistance of the Boers themselves, but you will prevent the possibility of misguided Dutchmen in Cape Colony and Natal joining in the rising.


Under your ruling, Sir, I shall be confined to a very narrow field in discussing this Amendment, but I shall keep very strictly thereto. I will not accuse the right hon. Gentleman of discourtesy; he is incapable of it; but he has not treated this Amendment with the gravity it deserves. The Amendment is framed almost word for word on the Amendment of 1878, which was discussed for two nights and supported with great eloquence by the Colonial Secretary, who was one of the tellers in the Division. The Member for Sheffield is a most useful and necessary Member of this House. He said that an overwhelming force was necessary at the Cape. And why? To overawe the Dutch population not only in the Transvaal, but in Cape Colony. That is a most interesting observation which I hope will be telegraphed to the Cape. It harmonises magnificently with that most significant observation of the Colonial Secretary last night, in which the right hon. Gentleman went out of his way to pay a pronounced compliment to the Colony of Natal where the population is English, and left out the Cape Colony where two-thirds of the population are Dutch.


The hon. Member is hardly carrying out the intention he expressed at the opening of his speech.


Yes, Sir, I am afraid I misbehaved, but that statement was worth ten calls to order. This war is a theatrical war, and I believe it will be henceforth called an "orchid" war. Now, Sir, as regards these forces. I have been to South Africa, and know the condition of the country pretty well. I have no great affection for the Dutch, because when I was there I was accused by Mr. Hofmeyr of stirring up racehatred. However, in my opinion, to bring out an enormous military force of this kind, numbering more than the whole Dutch male population in the colony, to crush them is a shocking and unheard-of thing. The very overwhelming character of this force gives very strong foundation for the widespread belief that this is simply a war of extermination in the interests of the Stock Exchange. This force will number close upon 75,000 men, and when it is remembered that its purpose is to crush a population who have twice left their homes in order to have independence, and who will fight to the last ditch for that independence, the proceeding looks very ugly, and unworthy of the best traditions of English history. I am sorry the undertaking has been entered upon, and when the debate becomes more general in its character, I hope to be able to say a few words in which I will bring the Cabinet into close connection with the Stock Exchange in this matter.

MR. MADDISON (Sheffield, Brightside)

As one holding very strong views regarding this war, and believing the present to be a very grave moment, I have been a little perplexed at the state of the House of Commons during the last speech or two. In accordance with your ruling, the ground to be covered is not very wide, but I simply wish to say, after listening carefully to the debate yesterday, a very deep impression was left on my mind that the war we are now engaged in is an unnecessary one, and therefore a wicked one. But I am faced with this situation: we have done our best to protest against the policy of Her Majesty's Government—


Order, order! The hon. Member is going beyond the scope of the Amendment.


It was only a phrase to get to a point which I think you would say was in order. What I desire to say is that the policy of Her Majesty's Government has been sanctioned by the House of Commons, and now all the responsibility of this war rests upon them. They want power to draw on some 35,000 of the militia reserves, and I, for my part, cannot take upon myself either the responsibility of opposing them, or the responsibility of supporting them. The whole responsibility is theirs. Another reason which weighs even more strongly with me is that these wretched Boers are entirely at your mercy; you can and you will crush them: and it is to the interest of the Boers that the force you send should be overwhelming. Because I believe that, not because I support the war, not because I think you can get any glory out of it—on the contrary, your victory will be just as disgraceful as defeat would be—I shall not oppose the Government, but upon you, and not upon us who have protested against your policy, the responsibility rests.

MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

I rise for the purpose of expressing myself upon the specific question before the House, viz., the Message of Her Majesty. From what I understand from the statement with which this matter was introduced, I feel that we have not sufficient information or explanation of what actually is proposed to be done with regard to calling out the Militia, and before the question is finally put from the Chair we ought to have adequate information on that point. All hon. Members who are familiar with the discussions of the last few years upon this matter must be aware that the whole question of the employment of the Militia is coming forward practically in a new shape so far as we are concerned. In view of those discussions, and in view of the proposals which have been made in another place, I think we are entitled to know a little more fully what is intended to be done with regard to the Militia. In another place, Lord Lansdowne said with regard to this question of the employment of the Militia— It might be necessary for us to provide for the safety of these islands during a very severe and protracted crisis, during which there had been a serious strain upon our military forces, and after we had exhausted all other means of keeping them up to their necessary strength. Those words were used by the Secretary of State for War during the last session, on July 7, in the House of Lords. As far as I understand the proposal at present before the House, the Government are taking power to make up the deficiencies in the numbers of the Army; I presume that means that they are taking power to set up what is known as the compulsory ballot—


This is out of order on this Amendment. The hon. Member does not seem to be aware that an Amendment has been moved. I understand he is speaking on the motion for an Address, but an Amendment has been moved raising merely the question of the necessity of embodying the Militia on this occasion. It is not in order on that to go into the question of the methods to be employed.


On that point I wish to ask a question. If the Militia Reserves to be embodied are included in the 35,000 men under Vote A, undoubtedly it will be possible under that Vote to discuss those Militia Reserves and their embodiment, and probably the whole question of the calling out of the Militia. But if they be not included in that 35,000, I apprehend it would not be in order, even with the allowance of the Minister, to discuss the embodiment of the Militia under Vote A. If the latter

be the case, the only course open to the House would be to discuss the question on this Address. I am not going to follow the example of hon. Members opposite, and set myself up as an authority on military matters. Their position is that the forces already at the disposal of Her Majesty are sufficient for the work to be done in the Transvaal. Her Majesty's Government and their military advisers are of a different opinion. For my part I am content rather to pin my faith to the professional military authorities than to the distinguished amateurs from East Mayo and other parts of Ireland. I think myself that those forces will not only be sufficient, but sufficient for more than the work they are going to do. When I reflect that this country is about to put 50,000 men at a distance of 6,000 miles across the sea in 60 days, and that without the sight of a redcoat in the streets or the sound of the drum or bugle, but quietly and in a businesslike manner, I say that it will give some food for reflection to the military nations of the Continent.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 36; Noes, 299. (Division List No. 6.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E. Flavin, Michael Joseph M'Ghee, Richard
Allison, Robert Andrew Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Gibney, James M'Leod, John
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Gilhooly, James O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Blake, Edward Hayden, John Patrick O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)
Carvill, Patrick G. Hamilton Healy, Maurice (Cork) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Commins, Andrew Healy, Thomas J. (Wexford) Power, Patrick Joseph
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Hogan, James Francis Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Daly, James Jordan, Jeremiah Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)
Davitt, Michael Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Tuite, James
Donelan, Captain A. Macaleese, Daniel TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Doogan, P. C. MacDonnell,Dr.M.A.(Qn's.Co. Mr. Dillon and Mr. William Redmond.
Field, William (Dublin) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Barnes, Frederic Gorell Brassey, Albert
Acland-Hood,Capt.SirAlex.F. Barry, Rt HnAHSmith-(Hunts Brookfield, A. Montagu
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Barry,Sir Francis T.(Windsor) Brown, Alexander H.
Allsopp, Hon. George Barton, Dunbar Plunket Bryce, Rt. Hon. James
Arnold, Alfred Beckett, Ernest William Bullard, Sir Harry
Arrol, Sir William Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Butcher, John George
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Bethell, Commander Buxton, Sydney Charles
Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. Henry Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Caldwell, James
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bill, Charles Cameron, Sir Charles (Glasgow
Bagot, Capt.Josceline FitzRoy Birrell, Augustine Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin)
Bailey, James (Walworth) Blakiston-Houston, John Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.
Bainbridge, Emerson Blundell, Colonel Henry Carlile, William Walter
Baird, John George Alexander Bolitho, Thomas Bedford Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson-
Baker, Sir John Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Causton, Richard Knight
Baldwin, Alfred Boulnois, Edmund Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)
Balfour, Rt.Hon.A.J.(Manch'r Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbys.)
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds Bowles, T.Gibson(King'sLynn) Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)
Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W. Hermon-Hodge, R. Trotter Moore, Robt. Jasper (Shropsh
Chamberlain, Rt.Hon.J.(Birm Hill, Rt Hn A Staveley(Staffs. Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)
Chamberlain,J.Austen(Worc'r Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstd Morrell, George Herbert
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich) Morton, Arthur H.A. (Deptf'd
Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E. Holden, Sir Angus Mount, William George
Coddington, Sir William Holland, William Henry Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)
Coghill, Douglas Harry Hornby, Sir William Henry Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Horniman, Frederick John Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Colston, Chas. Edw. H.Athole Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Myers, William Henry
Colville, John Howard, Joseph Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Compton, Lord Alwyne Howell, William Tudor Nicholson, William Graham
Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford) Hozier, Hon. James H. Cecil Nicol, Donald Ninian
Corbett, A.Cameron(Glasgow) Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.) Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Cornwallis, Fiennes S. W. Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Oldroyd, Mark
Cox, IrwinEdward Bainbridge Jenkins, Sir John Jones O'Neill, H. Robert Torrens
Cranborne, Viscount Jessel, Captain HerbertMerton Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Crombie, John William Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez E. Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham
Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton) Johnson, William (Belfast) Parkes, Ebenezer
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Jolliffe, Hon. H. George Paulton, James Mellor
Curzon, Viscount Kemp, George Pease, A. E. (Cleveland)
Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh Kenyon, James Pease, H. Pike (Darlington)
Dalkeith, Earl of Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)
Denny, Colonel Kimber, Henry Philipps, John Wynford
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Kinloch, Sir John George S. Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Knowles, Lees Pierpoint, Robert
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Lafone, Alfred Pilkington, R. (Lancs.Newton
Doxford, William Theodore Lambert, George Pilkington, SirG.A.(LancsSW.
Drage, Geoffrey Langley, Batty Pretyman, Ernest George
Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn Pryce Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Purvis, Robert
Elliot, Hn. A. Ralph Douglas Lea, Sir Thomas (Londonderry Pym, C. Guy
Evershed, Sydney Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Rankin, Sir James
Fardell, Sir T. George Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Leighton, Stanley Renshaw, Charles Bine
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edwd. Llewellyn, Evan H. (Somerset Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson
Ferguson, R. C. Monro (Leith) Llewelyn, Sir D.- (Swansea) Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Fergusson, Rt.Hn.SirJ.(Man. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Robertson, Herbert (H'ckney)
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Royds, Clement Molyneux
Fisher, William Hayes Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham) Runciman, Walter
Fison, Frederick William Long, Rt. Hn Walter(Liverpl. Russell,Gen.F.S.(Cheltenhm.)
Fitzgerald,SirRobert Penrose- Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Lowe, Francis William Rutherford, John
FitzWygram, General Sir F. Lowther,Rt.Hon.James (Kent Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Loyd, Archie Kirkman Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Fletcher, Sir Henry Lucas-Shadwell, William Sandys, Lieut.-Col. T. Myles
Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Lyell, Sir Leonard Savory, Sir Joseph
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard
Galloway, William Johnson Macartney, W. G. Ellison Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Garfit, William Macdona, John Cumming Seely, Charles Hilton
Gedge, Sydney MacIver, David (Liverpool) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Gibbons, J. Lloyd Maclean, James Mackenzie Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B)
Gilliat, John Saunders Maclure, Sir John William Shaw-Stewart,M. H. (R'nfr'w)
Goddard, Daniel Ford M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Gold, Charles M'Calmont, H. L. B. (Cambs) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Goldsworthy, Major-General M'Crae, George Sinclair,Capt. John(F'rf'rsh'e
Gordon, Hon. John Edward M'Iver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W. Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Gorst, Rt.Hn.Sir John Eldon M'Kenna, Reginald Smith, Abel H.(Christchurch)
Goschen, RtHnG.J.(StGeorge's Maden, John Henry Smith, James P. (Lanarks)
Goschen, George J. (Sussex) Malcolm, Ian Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Goulding, Edward Alfred Manners, Lord Edw. Wm. J. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley Maple, Sir John Blundell Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)
Graham, Henry Robert Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Stanley Edward J. (Somerset)
Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury) Marks, Henry Hananel Stanley, Sir H. M. (Lambeth)
Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) Maxwell, Rt. Hon. Sir H. E. Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G. Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Steadman, William Charles
Hanbury,Rt.Hon.RobertWm. Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Stevenson, Francis S.
Hanson, Sir Reginald Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Middlemore, J. Throgmorton Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Harwood, George Milbank, Sir P. C. John Strachey, Edward
Haslett, Sir James Horner Mildmay, Francis Bingham Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale- Milton, Viscount Tennant, Harold John
Hazell, Walter Milward, Colonel Victor Thorburn, Walter
Heath, James Monk, Charles James Thorburn, Percy M.
Hedderwick, Thos. Chas. H. Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray
Helder, Augustus Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Tritton, Charles Ernest Whittaker, Thomas Palmer Wyndham, George
Valentia, Viscount Williams, Joseph P.- (Birm.) Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Vincent,Col. Sir C. E. Howard Wills, Sir William Henry Young, Commander(Berks, E.)
Wallace, Robert Wilson, John (Govan) Younger, William
Wanklyn, James Leslie Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.) Yoxall, James Henry
Webster, Sir Richard E. Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B.Stuart- TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Whiteley, H. (Ashton-und'r-L. Wrightson, Thomas Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Whitmore, Charles Algernon Wylie, Alexander

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, thanking Her Majesty for Her Most Gracious Message communicating to this House Her Majesty's intention to cause the Militia to be embodied, and the Militia Reserve Force or such part thereof as Her Majesty should think necessary to be called out forthwith for permanent service.

To be presented by Privy Councillors and Members of Her Majesty's Household.

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