§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a further number of Land Forces, 135 not exceeding 120,000, all ranks, be maintained for the service of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at home and abroad, during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1900."—(Mr. Wyndham.)
§ *MR. WILLIAM REDMOND () Clare, E.
It will be in the recollection of most hon. Members that during the last session of this House in October I took the opportunity of opposing the Vote of ten millions for the prosecution of the ' war. I did everything in my power to oppose the prosecution of the war, believing it to lie unnecessary and utterly unjust. In continuation of the protest I made last session, I now rise to offer opposition to the Vote which is before the House to increase the Army by 120,000 men and give £13,000,000 more to prosecute this war. I have reason to know that the action of hon. Members who oppose the war has created a great deal of displeasure both in this House, and in the country. English Members i who have opposed the war have in some instances been offered actual violence when addressing public meetings in this country. In Ireland it is different: there we have the support of our constituents; but we who represent Ireland have during the Parliamentary session to live in: England, and I may say there is not a post delivered in this House which does not bring to me and other Members numbers of letters reviling us in the most virulent terms because we have the common courage to state here that which we know expresses the feelings of our constituencies. Mr. Lowther, no amount of intimidation of this character will prevent me from honestly saying that which I feel is right, and what I should be a coward not to say. Hon. Members representing Unionist constituencies have sometimes quoted speeches made by me in Ireland in connection with this war. I am prepared to repeat here every sentence of the speeches I made in Ireland on the subject. It is not because we are confronted with the representatives of the British people that we would abate our tone in the slightest degree, or one sentence of our sympathies with regard to this war. Whatever you may think of our sympathies, treasonable and disloyal as you regard them, scandalous as you may regard our views of an 136 Imperialism which has cost so much blood and treasure, you must admit that we have the courage of our opinions, and that with our voices and by our votes we are to oppose every step which is taken to prosecute this war. I cannot regard with admiration, or even common respect, the attitude of the great bulk of the Liberal party in regard to this war. With a few brilliant exceptions the Liberal party has funked the whole matter. Speeches have been made stating that the war is unjust, cruel, and not warranted by circumstances. It has been denounced in all the moods and tenses, but when it comes to the point of voting millions of the hard-earned money of the taxpayers there will not be half a dozen Liberal Members with sufficient courage to walk into the lobby against the Vote. Yesterday a meeting was held at the Westminster Palace Hotel, and a number of resolutions were passed; by the first, it was solemnly declared that this war was a crime and a blunder; by the last of a long string of resolutions, unbounded confidence was expressed in the Leader of the Opposition and the leaders of the party generally. What does it mean? To a plain man it is extraordinary to find great politicians in a party of this country stating in one breath that the war is a crime, and in the next voting-millions of money for its prosecution. The argument seems to be that this war is unjust, but it is to the advantage of England to prosecute it to a conclusion. However unjust, however criminal, it is necessary for the honour of the country, the glory and the good name of England, that the war should be prosecuted for many more months to come, with untold shedding of blood and spending of treasure. I say that every additional day, week, and month the war lasts is calculated to bring greater dishonour, shame, and loss of glory to England. If the people had any regard for their good name, and desired to do that which would cause every people in the world to respect England, they would say there was a mistake made in commencing this war, and the best way we can repair that mistake is to admit that it was made and withdraw from this proceeding, and acknowledge before the world the error of judgment which led us into it, and give the people of South Africa that independence for which they are prepared to lay down their lives. Then all the world will say 137 when England made a mistake she had the courage to acknowledge it—a great deal more courage is often shown by acknowledging an error than the prosecution of a war. We hear about the disaster of Majuba. I was one of those who rejoiced at it, but even we could not restrain from paying a tribute of admiration to the action of Mr. Gladstone, and the then Liberal Administration which had the courage to face the fanaticism of the Tory jingo Imperialists of the country and make peace with the Transvaal, giving back to the Dutch people in South Africa the right to govern their own country, because it was the right thing to do. And nothing has redounded more to the honour of England throughout the world than the policy of Majuba. I listened to the speech of the man whose conduct has at least filled every generous-minded Irishman with admiration, the late Member for Plymouth, Sir Edward Clarke, a strong Unionist, who had the courage of his opinions, and who vacated his seat in Parliament, but who by so doing has gained the respect of every politician in the world. I should like to see some Liberal statesman exhibit some of the spirit and manliness of Sir Edward Clarke, but they think it is better not to take a course which may cause their constituents to call upon them to resign. Although the big battalions behind the Government were compelled to go into the lobby against him, the House is obliged to admit that the balance of argument was with Sir Edward. The most remarkable part of this discussion appears to me to be the complete change of front on the part of the Government.
Order, order! The question the hon. Member is now going into is not relevant to the question before the Committee. The policy which led up to the war cannot be discussed; only the policy of continuing it.
§ *MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
Then I will go no further than to say that all last session we were told of specific grievances, and now the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary says that the war has not been brought about by any specific penny of Imperial money is to be given to grievance, but is the consequence of old, relieve, and when we shall be asked to strained relations, existing even before 1881. That is a complete change of front 138 It is said that the object of the war is to make peace. Are the Government sanguine enough to believe that after months, and perhaps years, of bloodshed in South Africa, after thousands of homes in South Africa have been rendered desolate and miserable, that the Dutch and English will sit side by side in friendship and amity. Where is there an historical parallel in the world which goes to prove that a bloody campaign of this kind tends to the peace of two races? I was reading a short time ago a speech of one of the greatest statesmen of his age, Edmund Burke. He was speaking on the American War, and he used these remarkable words, which are, I venture to think, applicable to this war—Force alone is but temporary, and a nation is not governed which is perpetually to be conquered.'You have been using force against the Boers for the whole of the century, and the result is that so far from there being peace, the lines of separation are wider than ever. It is no use to sanction the increase of 120,000 men to the Army without dealing with the cost, and we shall be asked to sanction a Vote of £13,000,000. £23,000,000 has already been spent on this horrible campaign. From an Irish point of view can anybody complain if we raise our voices to protest against this enormous expenditure when we see the dire necessity in our own country for the expenditure of capital, and if we view with dismay and indignation the initiation of a policy which denies Ireland everything she wants, and lavishes on what we believe to be an unjust war such expenditure. I am glad that I am not an English Radical Member to be compelled to sit silently on these benches and vote million after million, when the House knows perfectly well that that money should be devoted to matters of greater and more urgent importance in the interest of the masses. I am not going to enter into any alternative schemes in regard to this matter; but when we have, as we have at this time, a famine in India resulting in 4,000,000 of the Indian subjects of Her Majesty suffering all the horrors of misery and starvation, and which I am told not a penny of Imperial money is to be given to relieve, and when we shall be asked tomorrow to vote £13,000,000 to drive to their last rest 100,000 men in South Africa 139 whose only crime is their love for their country, I say it is a scandal and a disgrace. I venture to predict that England will never be secure until she learns the lesson that other peoples have the same spirit of patriotism and national pride which they themselves possess, and that they should also be allowed to live and be proud of their country. I served on the Committee on Old Age Pensions last year, and everybody who has studied this question knows that the one great difficulty, and the one argument that could be adduced against establishment of old age pensions in this country—for the relief of aged working men who can no longer toil—was that the necessary funds could not be found, that the money was not available, and no Chancellor of the Exchequer could be found who would give it. That being the only argument against a measure which, in principle, received the support of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary, I say here, Sir, that I thank God I am not a Radical or a Liberal Member of Parliament to sit silently in this House and vote millions of money for this unjust war; while relief is denied which might sweeten the old age of working men whose right arms are no longer strong, and who are suffered to drag their weary limbs through the streets of this land, in absolute misery and want to the end of their days, or beg their way to the workhouse. I do not know what the immediate result of this war will be. I do know that great enthusiasm exists throughout the country in regard to it; and whether inside or outside this House, the general cry seems to be, "Hang the expense!" "Send out the money," say they. "The great thing to do is to plant the Union Jack in Pretoria." That is the prevailing sentiment of the day. Ah, but a revulsion of feeling will yet succeed this frenzied cry for war, as sure as I am standing here to-night. It may be later, it may come soon; but sooner or later the time will come when not only the Government, who are responsible for this extravagant expenditure of blood and treasure, but every man in this House who gives his vote to this resolution will be called to account by the country and his constituents. You will be asked why you sanctioned this expenditure, when at the same time you offered no relief to your starving fellow-subjects in India, and made no provision for the 140 old age of your kith and kin in England,, Scotland, and Ireland. You are aiding. in prosecuting a war which no one can say will under any circumstances bring; glory to England. One hundred and twenty thousand men are being asked for in this Vote. I wonder if it has ever occurred to the people of this country what a great disparity there exists between the forces now opposed to each other in South Africa. I wonder if the outside public realise that at the present time there is in South Africa in the uniform of the Queen and under the command of Lord Roberts an army of soldiers-under arms larger in number than the whole Boer population—men, women and. children—in the Transvaal and Orange Free State combined. I give the figures. Figures, like all statistics, may vary to some extent, but I say that nobody who has inquired into the statistics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, or who has secured his information on the spot can deny that approximately the figures I have given are correct. Excluding the Uitlanders and the people of British blood in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, there are 180,000 Boers, men, women,, and children, in those two small provinces. I have heard it said by one authority that there are 10,000 more, and by another that there are 10,000 less; but I have never heard it stated by anyone speaking with authority that there are, even on the widest estimate,, more than 200,000 men, women, and children in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. Accordingly with your 200,000 men you have a soldier with a weapon in his hand for every man, woman, and child in the two Republics you are invading. And yet we are now asked to-vote for 120,000 more men. I have not yet heard it explained by the Under Secretary of State for War what is to be-done in the way of garrisoning South Africa when the war is brought to a close. After you have planted the Union Jack in Pretoria you will require 100,000 men to permanently garrison South Africa,, and they will have to be maintained there a longer time than you would care to prophesy on the occasion of this Vote. The rural population of the whole of these vast territories is almost entirely Dutch, and to guarantee peace you must make your garrisons strong; enough, and I say therefore to prevent 141 the outbreak of a revolution you must permanently lock up your 100,000 men there, and that will inevitably force you into a scheme for conscription. The proposed new Army scheme is neither voluntaryism nor conscription; it is a sort of half-hearted steering between the two, but it cannot possibly work, and in the end, as I have said, the country will be driven to adopt conscription. But will they do it? I say it will be impossible for nine-tenths of the Volunteers and the young men of this country to give up their employment and go under canvas for one month; their employers could not sanction it; it would derange the whole commercial life of the country. I say that when this war has passed away, and when the people see things in their proper colours—at present they can see nothing but khaki colour, an extremely unpleasant colour, in my opinion—it will be found that this little war in South Africa has landed the country into an expenditure of what in the end will be 100 millions. We hear a great deal just now about the way in which the colonies have supported the mother country, and no doubt the colonists have warmly responded to the call. The principal reason for that, I take it, is that you gave them the Home Rule which you won't give us in Ireland. Be that us it may, the colonists have supplied you with quite a number of men; but I know them intimately, and I venture to say that the colonies will not give you one single penny piece towards the future extra cost of your increased regular Army. If, then, you are going to increase your standing Army, and to depart from the old British principle of a small standing Army, with a, goodly complement of Volunteers, I would ask you who is going to bear the increased cost? It will have to be borne solely by the people of this country. Sir, it seems to me that this war inaugurates a sad and serious era in the history of England. It is an era of unjust and unnecessary warfare waged against a small Christian country. It is leading us into a policy of maintaining a huge standing army, which is the beginning of a ruinous system of militarism—a system that is already sapping the life's blood of the Continent. What is to be gained by it? Supposing you disarm every Dutchman in the Transvaal to-morrow, what better off will you be? You would have the territory, it is true; 142 but God Almighty knows that this Empire has territory enough already. If this war is to be continued, in the name of common honesty let the mask of hypocrisy be torn from the face of those who are prosecuting it, and let the people see their mistake, that it is not a conflict in the cause of right or of good government, but in the furtherance of a policy of aggrandisement and land-grabbing. An hon. Member asked the other day—How can the Boers in the end expect to withstand the force of the British arms? Where are they to turn for help? Germany won't help them. America is too far away.Ay, it was a sad, a miserable day for the Boers that their country was not nearer to America. Had it been otherwise the wings of the American Eagle—that glorious emblem of liberty and equality—would have sheltered them in this time of stress and trial. As my hon. friend said, however, they can put their trust in God. Most sincerely do I believe, Sir, that the defeats and disasters which have overtaken the British forces hitherto have not been due to want of pluck and courage on the part of the men, or for want of gallant leadership by their officers. I solemnly avow my firm conviction that they are due to the interposition of Heaven because the war is unjust. The right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary wound up his speech last session by a quotation from Shakespeare, saying, with a jaunty air, as though the battle was won, that his quarrel was just. That was one of the wise sayings of William Shakespeare, but it applied not to your cause but to that of the Boors, for of them it may be said with perfect truth—Thrice is he arm'd that hath his quarrel just;And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel.Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.
*COLONEL LONG () Worcestershire, Evesham
I have listened attentively to the eloquent speech which has just been delivered, but the whole of the argument stands or falls by the point whether or not this war is a just one. As the great bulk of my countrymen, after due consideration of the whole matter, have come 143 to the conclusion that it is a just war, I do not propose to follow the hon. Member along the well worn path of argument which has already been so often trod in this House. Rather will I take the humbler part of asking the Under Secretary for War for a little further information and light. It appears to me that the lines upon which the Government have brought forward the proposed scheme are, perhaps, the only lines upon which they could act at present. But whether the proposals will produce a real and effective force, or whether they will prove abortive, depends entirely upon how they are carried out, and the steps that are taken with details. Therefore, without desiring the Under Secretary for War to go into all the petty detail, I would ask him in certain directions to fill in a little more the somewhat slight sketch with which ho has favoured the committee. When the great war was going on between North and South America both sides organised army after army, and rapidly turned large numbers of men into good fighting material. The problem which was then solved by the Northern States, appears to me to be the problem at present before this country. There is something extremely tangible in the proposals of the Government to raise a certain number of extra battalions and the long wished for artillery, for the regular forces of this country. But under ordinary circumstances it would undoubtedly take eighteen months or two years for those forces to become really effective and available. How do the Government propose to accelerate the bringing of these new men to an effective condition? If it is to be done rapidly, it is evident the ordinary routine of passing a man from the recruit stage to that of a regular soldier must be entirely altered. Setting up drill, general smartness, precision of parade movements are all most desirable in an army, but they are not really necessary for the actual matter of fighting, whereas shooting, skirmishing, the art of entrenching and making cover, and outpost duty are absolutely vital in modern war. Therefore, if these various units are to be brought together rapidly, it is evident that every single moment which, without over-working the men, can be devoted to instruction must be given, not to the merely ornamental portions of soldiering, but to the vital necessities of the fighting line. It may be said 144 that this is the mere ABC, and will, of course, be attended to. I would ask the hon. Gentleman to remember that any officer who finds himself in command of any of these units, whether they be battalions or batteries, and sets aside tradition and proceeds to devote himself simply to the essentials of the fighting line, will risk his professional reputation and run the chance of professional ruin if he happens to be inspected by an old-fashioned officer who still retains the old tradition about this and that being necessary. The only safeguard will be clear and distinct orders issued from headquarters. I would ask whether the Horse Guards really recognise this condition of affairs, and are prepared to issue definite orders as to the instruction to be given to these new units. As to the proposals in reference to the Militia and the Volunteers, they are only semi-tangible. The whole of the remaining battalions of Militia are to be called out and placed in camps. In our country there are only about six months during which men can be instructed in camp, and many of the Militia regiments are certainly not up to strength. Therefore the proposals, as far as the Militia are concerned, rest on a series of "ifs." No doubt these battalions in camp will, m the course of five or six months, form a very excellent fighting body if sufficient recruits arc forthcoming to make them up to full strength, if that body of recruits are forthcoming during the next couple of months so as to enable them to go through a course of instruction in the summer months, and if a course of instruction in the real essential points of the fighting line is carefully laid down and followed. On those three "ifs" rests the probability of the Militia proposals resulting in a really effective force either for home defence or for South Africa. I should like the Under Secretary for War to tell us whether these things will be carried out. The War Office have no doubt about their ability to get recruits, but I have not come across anybody else who takes quite the same view. Moreover, the very figures given us by the Under Secretary of State for War during the debate bear out the idea that although in the course of time the numbers may be forthcoming, they will not be available in time for a complete course of instruction during the coming summer, because the Under Secretary for 145 War reckoned to be able to get men at the rate of 3,000 per month. From the fact of starting below strength, combined with the drain that will take place on the Militia, we shall probably require from 21,000 to 30,000 men to bring the battalions up to full strength. That means that with a recruiting power of 3,000 per month, seven or ten months must elapse before the battalions are in full force. We should not, therefore, in all probability, in the course of this year be able to get our Militia battalions thoroughly effective. Under these circumstances I would ask whether the Government would be prepared, if they find they are not getting sufficient recruits, to fix a period at which they would have recourse to other means, namely, the ballot. I know the Government objects to any compulsion. But, in the first place, the Ballot Act is very different from conscription; secondly, wherever I have gone during the last month or so in my own constituency I have found all classes alike—shopkeepers, fanners, and labourers—recognising the necessity of there being in the future some means whereby the requisite men can be raised for the defence of the country; and lastly, the Ballot Act has undoubtedly been retained in order that in a case of great national emergency there should be some means of obtaining men promptly. Surely now, when our military resources are strained to the utmost degree now, when it is quite possible that within a few weeks we shall hear of the surrender of 10,000 of the very flower of the English Army, now is a moment of emergency. Will the Government undertake, if the necessary recruits are not forthcoming within some given period—I should like to say by the end of April—to bring the Ballot Act into force? If the Government were prepared to take any such action, they of course would have, in the intervening time, to take steps to make the Act available (it being at present suspended) and the machineiy workable. With regard to the Volunteers, I understand the proposal to be that corps should lie asked to go into camp, if possible, for a month. Under the peculiar circumstances of the moment it is possible that some battalions, at great personal sacrifice to many of the men and to many employers, may go to these camps. But the idea is entirely antagonistic to all the conditions of the Volunteer force, and there must 146 be many battalions who would very much I like to accept the invitation, but will not be able to do so. There is one thing I should like to direct attention to in this connection. Now that recruiting for the Volunteers is thrown open, vast numbers of individuals will come forward and join—men with a certain amount of leisure, and who can afford to give the time. I should like to ask whether arrangements will be made whereby such men can go through a complete and thorough course at these camps, no matter to what corps they belong. Such an arrangement would no doubt result in great efficiency. I would further ask whether it would not be possible that some of those town corps which cannot go to the big central camps might lie allowed and assisted to form camps close to their local ranges, so that the men would be able to go to their work during the day, and in the early mornings and the evenings to do much excellent work, both in learning to shoot and in going through the necessary drills. This has in the past been successful in some cases. My last point is about the standing camps. I shall be very glad to be told that there will be at all events two or three organised, not merely as camps of instruction,, but as real military camps of not less than divisional equipment—that they will be provided with the whole proper staff' of a division, medical staff, commissariat and transport, so that they will each be able at the end of six or seven months to turn out a division capable either of going to a point in England for home defence, or, if necessary, as a corporate body to South Africa to continue the war. I think if the Under Secretary for War, without going into too much detail, will throw a little more light on the general scheme, he will relieve a great deal of the anxiety at present felt by many people throughout the country, and who, like myself, cannot really, as the scheme stands, feel very much confidence as to its ultimate success.
§ LIEUT-COLONEL PRYCE-JONES () Montgomery Boroughs
I have listened to nearly the whole of the debate, and have noticed that very few Members have referred in detail to the Volunteer force of the country. It is proposed to invite tee Volunteers to camp for one month.
147 I do not like that invitation at all, because I am satisfied that the Volunteer forces throughout the country will not be able to respond to it. The Government are not treating the Volunteers in the right spirit. At the present time the Volunteers are expected to go to camp for one week during the year. It is generally admitted that those camps are anything but successful, because, taking a battalion of 1,000 men, only half the battalion are in camp for, say, three days, and the other half for the remaining three days. The whole battalion, therefore, is not together for more than one day, on the average, during the training. Accordingly, to ask the Volunteer force throughout the country to respond from patriotism to the extent of one month when they cannot do it for one week, is certainly unfair and not right. [An HON. MEMBER: Where does the patriotism come in?] I will tell the hon. Member where the patriotism comes in presently. I do not suppose that five per cent., or ten per cent, at the outside, of the battalions of Volunteers will respond to this invitation, but I will assume that ten per cent, do so. What will be the result? It will be impossible even for that very small percentage to be in camp for a month and to do work efficiently as soldiers, for the very same reason that the Volunteers throughout the country cannot do it for the shorter period of one week. It is impossible for some members of even the most efficient battalions in the country to give a month for their country's service. Take the concrete case of a clerk earning 25s. per week. That man may be worked up to concert pitch for the honour of his corps, and in his patriotism responds on behalf of his battalion. He goes to camp for one month, everything is found for him—although the allowance in the past has not been sufficient.
§ LIEUT.-COLONEL PRYCE-JONES
Yes, I am. At the end of the month this man goes homo, and what is his position? During that time he has been without his wages, and his family have had to suffer. Is it reasonable for this, the richest country in the whole world, to expect that from a man who cannot do it without stinting his family? Therefore, to give this invitation to the Volunteers is like asking a man to dinner when you know very well that he is going to refuse. What will be the effect? Members of Volunteer battalions who do not respond to this invitation will not be thought much of, and it will be supposed that while they could do a week's camping, as a sort of picnic, they refused to go to camp for a month when their country invited them. Such a state of things will have a very serious effect upon the Volunteer force in the future. It may be said that the employers of labour ought to pay the wages of these patriotic men. But I do not think that that is right. Why should an employer who perhaps has a number of Volunteers in his employ make this sacrifice? For these reasons I do not hail with satisfaction the proposals of the Government in this respect. I hope that in the course of next week we may have some promise from the Government that the ordinary capitation grant may be increased irrespective of whether or not the Volunteers respond to this invitation for one month's training.
§ LIEUT.-COLONEL PRYCE-JONES
But we do not know exactly to what extent. I hope the grant will be sufficient to enable even the humblest Volunteer to go to camp without having to stint his family while he is away. My reason for making these few remarks is that during the short time I have been in Parliament I have found that unless the Under Secretaries of State are spoken to pretty directly they take it for granted that it is all right, that their proposals are perfectly satisfactory, and that the House of Commons does not want the capitation grant increased. I hope the hon. Gentleman will bring pressure to bear upon the Secretary of State in his 149 department, so that justice may be done to the Volunteers, and a capitation grant; given of at least, £1 per man more than at present. If that is done I have not the slightest doubt that the Volunteer force in this country will in a short time lie more than doubled in number. We in this House are all imbued with the same idea, namely, to avoid war and to maintain peace. The way to do that is to induce everybody to become a Volunteer, to get up to a standard of efficiency in drill, and to be able to handle his rifle. Then when we have got our countrymen to become Volunteers, when the people of the colonies and of the home country are all Volunteers, and we are able to defend ourselves if ' attacked, we shall be able to defer war indefinitely, and to use the great influence, power, wealth and intelligence of this country to promote increased prosperity in the future, and to strengthen the commercial predominance that we enjoy, f am in favour of this proposal to increase our Volunteer forces. When conscription was mentioned a great many hon. Members of this House cheered it to the echo, but I know many hon. Members do not hold that opinion privately, and I am one of them. I think it can be avoided, and the only way to do it and maintain the greatness of our Empire is by adopting a moderate application of the Ballot Act. The knowledge that a man may be unsuccessful in the ballot: and have to be a soldier for three months in the year will cause him to say to himself: "I am not going to run the risk of being balloted for; I will join the Volunteers." By that very stroke you would increase the Volunteers by hundreds of thousands, and though I am opposed to war—and there is no Member of this House more averse to it than I am—I say frankly that if I thought our country was absolutely unprepared to meet the great emergencies that we have had to meet during the last three or four months I certainly should have hesitated to have given my vote for this war. In my opinion, no blame attaches to the Colonial Secretary or to the Cabinet for this war, and in regard to it we have been living in a fools paradise. We little thought that this Empire would have been put to such straits, and if it had not been for our colonies and their assistance both of men and money—putting on one side altogether their moral 150 worth throughout the world—our difficulties might have been still greater. We have seen the noble patriotism shown by the Volunteers and the Yeomanry, and others from civil employment, who have readily responded to the appeal made to them to assist us in seeming for our fellow-countrymen out in the Transvaal what the nation has considered almost to a man is their due as regards political rights and liberty in a distant country. It is not a question of Government or party, but it is a question of our military system. We live in an age of railways and electric power, and yet as regards our military capabilities you can compare them to nothing else but the old feudal system, the days of canals and coaches. It is a fact that our military system is at present no better than the antiquated feudal system, without its advantages, and I was delighted when the Government, of which I may be considered a hearty supporter—and I have given them more votes, I believe, than most members on this side of the House—at the very outset decided that they would take the chivalrous part of saying that they would defend the actions of their Department. When I heard that I was more than satisfied, and I look forward to the time when the war clouds have passed by and when victory will be on our side [An HON. MEMBER: Question!] There is no question about that, for it is bound to come. When that time arrives we shall do full justice to the Boers, and we shall give them more justice than their own Government gave them. We shall give equal rights to all races in South Africa, and they will enjoy the same freedom and independence as is now enjoyed in our colonies and by ourselves. When the war is over I trust that we shall have a thorough and most impartial inquiry into the shortcomings of our military Department, and that no victory, however triumphant and complete, shall stop this.
§ MR. T. B. CURRAN () Donegal, N.
I rise, Sir, to add my voice to the number of those who from this quarter of the House have unanimously denounced the war which has been entered upon in the Transvaal as an unjust and unnecessary one, and being convinced of the injustice of the war I intend to record my vote against the granting of any sum 151 which will be utilised for the continuance of what I regard as an unholy enterprise. I hold the opinion, and I hold it in common with not only my own countrymen, but many an honest man throughout the length and breadth of Great Britain, that if the Boers were only allowed to live the lives God had given them in peace, and if there had been no gold in the country, there would have been no war in the Transvaal to-day. It is the greatest nonsense for Members opposite to say that the Uitlanders were suffering under any grievance which could justify a war. I think the remarkable figures and unanswerable facts quoted the other evening to a crowded House by the hon. Member for Carnarvon must have proved conclusive to any mind which was at all open to conviction that the rate of wages and conditions of life under which the Uitlanders lived and prospered in South Africa should be the envy of the working classes of this country, and certainly of Ireland. If Her Majesty's Government, instead of embarking upon this awful war, had looked around them at home in their own country, they would have found ample room for the rectification of serious grievances, not alone in this country, but especially in Ireland. To hear hon. Members opposite constantly referring to the unjust rule of President Kruger, and expressing their abhorrence of Transvaal tyranny, one would scarcely think that they were the same hon. Members who refuse to wipe from their statute book a law which deprives the people of Ireland of the greatest bulwark of all liberty—trial by jury. Again, Sir, who would think that the liberty-loving legislators opposite—who are prepared to spend priceless blood and millions of the taxpayers' money for the sake of a few-votes in the Transvaal—are the same gentlemen who bolster up a second chamber in their own country—a chamber for the election of whose members nobody can cast a vote—a chamber, too, which has power to nullify the enactments of men elected by the votes of the people themselves? I think, if I may venture to predict, that the time is not far distant when the people of this country—whatever their views may be to-day—will curse the war and those who created it. When the present Government came into office they hummed and hawed when questioned as to old age pensions, as they did about their financial arrange- 152 ments with Ireland. Then they talked about enormous expenditure. Yes, but old age pensions could only benefit the poor of the British Isles. But, Sir, when an occasion arose which would ultimately bring gain to the rich shareholders of the Chartered Company, the Government, with very little ado, plunged the country into a war which will cost the country some forty or fifty million pounds and your own national prestige as; well. Then, Sir, with regard to the question of England's interference with; the Boers and the internal affairs of their country. I believe that the Boers had a perfect right to say on what terms they would allow votes to foreigners who came I to their country to make use of their land. Every country in the world exercises that right, and why the Boers should be deprived of it I cannot understand.
The hon. Gentleman is not entitled to go into the causes I of the war or the policy which led up to I it. He is entitled to protest against the I continuance of the war.
§ MR. T. B. CURRAN
We are told I also by right hon. and hon. Members opposite, and by a largo section of the press of this country, that the Boers were arming themselves, and that sooner or later war must come. Why should there be war, unless brought about by the attitude of this country, or by the conduct of another Jameson? Considering the raid of 1895, what fools the Boers would have been if they had not armed themselves. Which one of us when once surprised by burglars would not at once write oft' to Birmingham for a stout lock and a six-chambered revolver; and talk as you may, we have no evidence to show that the Boers made any preparations of a warlike nature until after the raid—a raid which was contemptible in its conception as well as in its execution. Who was the arch-conspirator in this raid? Who can deny that it was Mr. Cecil Rhodes himself?
The hon. Gentleman is really contravening my ruling. I have already pointed out that he is not entitled to discuss the policy which led up to the war. That does not arise on this Vote.
§ Mr. T. B. CURRAN
I regret, Mr. Lowther, if I have departed from your ruling. I will conclude, Sir, by joining in the general condemnation from these benches of this unjust and unholy war; and being unjust, should not he continued. When this war is over, what will you gain? No matter with what success your arms meet in even the immediate future, the prestige which was yours but a few months ago is shaken, if not shattered to-day. The war is unjust, audit is costing you millions of money and priceless blood; and from the policy which Her Majesty's Government seem determined to pursue, it looks as if blood is still to flow and money is still to be spent. We in this quarter of the House, representing as we do a people asking for their own liberty, have had no part in this crime against civilisation. On the contrary, we have voted against it, we have spoken against it. It is a war which can only bring shame and disgrace on those responsible for it—a war which will add another, blot to the already besmirched escutcheon of England.
§ COLONEL WYNDHAM MURRAY () Bath
Mr. Lowther, the proposals of the Government have perhaps already been discussed from the military aspect, but after all these are Army Estimates, and with the approval of the Committee I should like to make a few remarks from the military point of view, and ask for information on certain points. I may say at once that I entirely approve in the main of many of the proposals of the Government, and I take this opportunity of expressing my admiration of the manner in which the mobilisation of the troops has been and is being carried out by the War Office. I did not believe it could have been carried out with such success. Twenty years ago some troops were sent in a great hurry to Zululand—only a fourth of the present force in South Africa—a fortnight after the receipt of the news of the battle of Island Iwana, but on the arrival of the troopship at St. Vincent it was found that it had no coal to enable it to proceed, and the troops had to remain at St. Vincent for nearly a fortnight. The present enormous force has been sent out without any hitch or any difficulty at all, 154 and I give great credit to the War Office for the manner in which the mobilisation was carried out. We have been able to mobilise a very large force for home and foreign service, but we have no provision for the future—no force ready to take the field at a moment's notice. That is, I have always contended, our weak point. On the outbreak of the war in South Africa we had not a single regiment ready to take the field. The Under Secretary for War says that the War Office could send troops from the Mediterranean, but it is forgotten that those garrisons must be relieved have always supported the short service and reserve system, but I have also, strongly advocated that we should always have a force ready DO take the field at a moment's notice. What the country would like to know is whether we have a strong force ready now to go to South Africa if required and telegraphed for. Whenever one force is sent out there should always be another force ready to take its place here and follow it up when required. We are sending a large number' of Militia and Volunteers to South Africa, but I consider it is not masses, that we require, but efficient and thoroughly trained men. I cannot understand why all these bodies should be called army corps. We have no commanders for these army corps in England, and a division is far more suitable and more pliable for us in this country. The organisation of the United Kingdom is quite sufficient, and I would ask why it is considered advisable to complicate that organisation by imitating the German system. If army corps are required they can easily be made up by three divisions, which is the normal number in an army corps, and we can add the artillery and cavalry, which should always be kept ready. I consider that different training-is required for our troops from that to which we have been accustomed in years gone by. Marches past and drills of that kind are not sufficient. Instead of that class of drill I consider we should have-far more rifle practice. I have advocated that before in this House, and also in the country. All the infantry should have a course of rifle practice for two months at least, instead of for only three weeks as at present. The Volunteers are allowed, I believe, seventy-five rounds, but many men often fire only twenty rounds. When the new regulations come into, force, each 155 man will, I understand, be required to fire forty-two rounds, but every round of ammunition served to the Volunteers to fire should be required to be fired in order to qualify for the capitation grant. I hope this subject of shooting will receive the most careful consideration of this House and the Government. We see the value of good shooting in South Africa now. The Boers are admirable shots, and we have unfortunately seen the value of their good shooting. I would like to ask the Under Secretary for War whether there is a large amount of ammunition in South Africa, not only for the purposes of the active part of the war, but also for practice on the lines of communication, and if not whether a sufficient amount will be sent out. Then there is the question of rifle ranges in England, which is no doubt a very difficult one. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for War, in answer to a question of mine, said he did not think that much could be done with the large number of ranges closed since the Lee-Metford was issued to the troops, because they would be dangerous. I think he is mistaken. Ranges abroad are almost in the towns, and by a careful system of walls and arches small ranges might be made perfectly safe and very effective. I consider a 300 yards range is far better than no range at all. It gives practice to the troops in firing from the shoulder, and with a small dark-coloured target, very different from the large mass of black and white now used, it would be a very satisfactory range. Another point I should like to impress on the Under Secretary is that there should be at least a general officer to superintend the shooting in the Army. Until the outbreak of this war there was a junior colonel in charge of the rifle shooting of the British Army, but he is now in Lady-smith doing admirable work, and no one is in charge. I consider that a general officer should have the superintendence of this most important duty, because I am convinced that not big battalions but straight shooting will win the battles of the future. The troops should have far more practice with the rifle than at present, to the exclusion, if necessary, of the old-fashioned drill. At inspections the general officer inspects a regiment in many details, but he rarely inspects its capacity in shooting at ranges or in scouting.
The time has arrived for a change in the 156 fighting dress of all our troops. We; began the change in the Zulu War, when our men were in red and our officers in; blue—as bad a combination as possible. But in 1885 Sir Charles Warren, during the Bechuanaland Expedition, which was most admirably conducted, turned the colour of the dress of the force from that of a butterfly to a chrysalis—from red to brown. All the officers were armed with rifles and bandoliers, there was hardly a sword in the force, and no distinguishing, marks. Yet, with such an experience before us, troops went to South Africa lately with kilts, badges, and swords, and they suffered accordingly. The Yeomanry uniform is quite unsuitable for mounted infantry. I would ask what dress has now been decided on by the War Office for service on the Continent, or for drill here in England? Rod is a most conspicuous colour, and it is ridiculously impracticable to train men in peace time against men in red, when they will never see a bright colour in war. In stalking we try to see our game, and to prevent the game seeing us; but in South Africa we reverse the process—the Boers see our men, but they do not see the Boers, except at bayonet distance. It is absolutely necessary to have a dress for drill in the United Kingdom which our troops would be able to take abroad for active service. It is most expensive to the country that there should be so many sorts of uniform. Troops have been sent to South Africa with hardly a single article used in peace service, except the kilts of the Highlanders and the black belts of the Rifle regiments. It is also a great expense to officers. I understand that young officers who at the beginning of the year had got most expensive kits were unable to take with them to South Africa a single article of that kit. The Guards actually required four new coats. These are small details, but some of these details, especially in the dress and accoutrements of the soldiers, mean the lives of men. I hope this subject has been very fully considered by the War Office. The time has arrived when the country asks for less of the, show and more of the business of war.
§ *MR. WASON () Clackmannan and Kinross
I would not have intervened in this discussion but for the speech of an hon. Member who spoke of this war being unjust, and one which would be- 157 smirch the fair fame of this country. I am one of the youngest Members of this Parliament, and have recently gone through a contested election in which the war in South Africa was practically the sole topic discussed. I condemned the negotiations which led up to the war, but I maintained that if the President of the Transvaal had been as desirous of peace as his friends said he was peace would have been maintained. I was sent here, Mr. Lowther, by my constituents on the express understanding that I would vote for the necessary men and money to bring this war to a triumphant issue, and I am glad to have had the opportunity of saying these few words with reference to what my attitude was at my election. I have listened to tins discussion throughout, and have been much interested in the various speeches made in the various quarters. I listened with great attention to the speech of the hon. Member for Salford division. He is an old athlete, and told us something of the athletics at the public schools. He and the hon. Member for the Woodstock Division of Oxfordshire were officers together in the early sixties at Rugby. When we went to the University together my hon. friend continued his volunteering experience by joining the Oxford Volunteers. I did not do so because I had a commission already in South Ayrshire, which I carried on for some time. When I came to London I got too heavy for rowing, and was no longer able to enjoy the pursuits of my youth, but I joined the Inns of Court Rifle Volunteers, otherwise called the "Devil's Own." Reference has been made to the difficulty of getting Volunteers to meet together. That has not always been a difficulty. When I was an officer in Scotland we thought nothing of going eighteen or twenty miles to drill, although these were not the days of bicycles. I would impress on the Under Secretary for War, the necessity of giving every possible encouragement to the Cyclist Volunteer Corps in this country. We have excellent roads. Cyclist corps are a cheap and a mobile force. Their mounts do not require stabling, food, or grooming, just a little oiling and dusting now and then, and they can do their fifty or sixty miles a day without fatigue. I think that the Volunteers have had too much of the cold shoulder from the War Office in the past: and they require to be en- 158 couraged in every possible manner. It has been said that a cavalry officer must have a private income of £400 or £500 a, year; but no young man can become a Volunteer officer unless he has private means at his command. I should like to see means taken to get the best young men with the best brains as Volunteer officers, irrespective of their private income. I heard a story the other day of two soldiers who wore going out on active service to South Africa, and who were talking of the Volunteers who were also going out. One said to the other, "Now we shall see what these damned twopenny-halfpenny Saturday afternoon soldiers can do." I venture to say that the Volunteers will give an extra good account of themselves, and that they are only too proud at this moment to be of service to the country. I trust, therefore, the War Office will encourage the Volunteers in every possible way. I was glad to sec in The Times today the letter of Lieutenant-Colonel Loft-house, who commands the Inns of Court Volunteers, suggesting that if there is to be a Militia ballot, which I should strongly deprecate, Volunteers who have passed as marksmen may very well be exempted.
§ *SIR W. THORBURN () Selkirk and Peebles
I have first of all to congratulate my hon. friend the Under Secretary for War on the speech with which he introduced this measure of Army reform. I also sincerely congratulate him on a former speech, which raised him to the front rank of debaters of this House. I congratulate the country that at last we have got a Government which is prepared to put forward a real measure of Army reform for homo defence. I do not profess to be an expert in Army matters, but I feel pretty sure that the proposals of the Government will, upon the whole, be received with satisfaction in the country. I regret, however, that I cannot endorse the proposals which are made in regard to the Volunteers. I very much fear that these will be somewhat abortive. First of all, I believe that, unless the Government are prepared to give the Volunteers very substantial pay, the proposal to put them for a whole month under canvas will not be successfully carried out. As a large employer of labour I know the difficulty to which employers of labour will be put if that plan is carried out. It 159 might be successful if their going under canvas was limited to every second year, for in that case I am sure employers would do their utmost to facilitate such an arrangement.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAS (MR. WYNDHAM,) Dover
It is limited to only this year.
§ *SIR W. THORBURN
I am glad misapprehended the hon. Gentleman. I am prepared to go very much further than the Government in the matter of Army reform. I am quite prepared to go the length of modified compulsion, and one way of effecting that would be to put the Militia ballot into force, exempting all members of the Volunteer force who became efficient. If not efficient then they should be liable to the ballot, and if drawn be compelled to serve. After some years training of both the Militia and the Volunteers I believe you could commence a system of Reserves which would provide an enormous and efficient military force for the purposes of home defence, available to meet any emergency. I agree with the hon. and gallant Member for Bath that the Government should encourage rifle clubs, and also that special attention should be devoted to rifle shooting in the Army. Reforms of other kinds are absolutely wanted. The cost of living for officers in the Army, especially in the cavalry regiments, is so great that no one but a man of wealth can join. That is a state of matters which no other country in Europe would permit. The expense officers are put to in connection with their uniform is also too great, and would not lie permitted in Germany, France, or Russia, perhaps the greatest military Powers in the world. The Army should be held out as a profession, and I do not think an army officer should be ashamed to walk about the streets in his uniform. The khaki uniform is comparatively inexpensive, and, as a fighting garment, nothing could be better. I hope the Government will take this matter of clothing into serious consideration, because in the present day the scarlet uniform is discredited, and has become absolutely impossible. Although not quite germane to the present debate, I wish to take the opportunity of congratulating the War Office on the extraordinary ability shown 160 in sending our forces to South Africa. A number of leading journals and military critics have been very severe on the Government, but I hold the Government deserves the thanks of the nation for what they have done. We have not had the experience of a great war for many years, and the fact that the War Office, in conjunction with the Admiralty, has been able to land a fighting force of 200,000 men in South Africa, in the short time at their disposal, is a very admirable performance. In conclusion, I again press upon the Government the careful consideration of some modified form of compulsory military service, without which I do not think we can have a thoroughly equipped force ready for any emergency and under all circumstances.
§ MR. BROADHURST
I wish to call the attention of the Under Secretary for War to the view which is held by many hon. Members with regard to the Volunteers. If the Government persist in a month's drilling in camp for the Volunteers in each year, I rather fancy they will find that they will kill the Volunteer system altogether. It is impossible for the class of men to whom the Volunteers belong to leave their employment for a period of a month at one time. The Under Secretary intimated, that he did not yet know what grant would be made to the Volunteers for their month under canvas. Even supposing you give them a pound or two, that would not help their employers for and it would the loss of their be found that it would prevent young men being engaged in responsible positions in shops, offices, factories, and other places if it became known that they arc-under contract with the Government to leave their employment for a whole month to go under canvas. That would be a fatal part of the scheme, and an equally fatal part would be the prolonged of Militia training. It would t and. upset all industrial employment to such an extent that it would prove highly detrimental to the interests of both these branches of home defence. At the present time it is exceedingly difficult to get any considerable number of Volunteers to go under canvas for one week, and many who go once do not attempt to go again, because of the great 161 inconvenience. If you inquire among Volunteer officers and non-commissioned officers, you will find that the enormous difficulty they have in whipping up a sufficient number of their regiment to make a decent appearance in camp is not: imaginary, but real. [An HON. MEMBER: Not in Lancashire.] After all, is this not true, and has it not been proved by this war, that men who have never been in camp or under military training in large numbers are equally efficient in the field as fighting soldiers as those who have spent a long time in barrack life and in reviews and parades. The real thing, if you want to make this enlarged branch of our home defence effective, is to teach the men to shoot. That is a thing you have never taught the men. I agree that rather than have no range at all a 100 yards range would be better. There can be no difficulty in obtaining a 300 yards or a 500 yards range. If you are going in to be a military nation, with universal service in the; Army, the landowners will have to contribute their part to the scheme by surrendering their property for rifle practice, without which home defence or any other defence is a mere delusion and a snare. In regard to the artillery, only a month i back I met a gentleman who was on his way to volunteer his services for South Africa, and he assured me that only in one week, all the years he had been in the Volunteer service, had he had any practice with a breech-loading gun. What use is there in wasting men's time and causing expense if they have not the proper materials to perfect themselves upon? These are things which, in the interest of everyone concerned, it is desirable for the Government to take seriously into consideration. I understand the Government said that they detest conscription. Ah! but there are hon. Members sitting behind the Government, men of experience and authority in military matters, who have expressed an opinion in favour of it, who say that you will be compelled to come to it, but that you must first take the Militia ballot. But what is that but conscription? It is conscription in the instalment form for home service. The Government have, no doubt, got to the end of their tether in regard to the usual common mode of voluntary enlistment, and I doubt if they will be able to find the men, even if we give them the money, without adopting other means 162 than those now before the House. One of the hon. and gallant Members opposite, in the office of candid friend, said—Your present scheme will not avail you, and will you tell us at what period in its failure you will come to the House and ask for general conscription?The hon. and gallant Gentleman had in his mind, no doubt, that the Government could not get the men by the proposals which are under discussion. I do not think they will, and I am sure the Government themselves do not think they will, and if they attempt some of the reforms to which I have referred, they will not only not increase the Volunteer force, but decrease and ultimately destroy them. Now I do not want to see the Volunteers destroyed or discouraged, or any step taken which will strike a blow at their efficiency or numbers. I am not approaching this in any unfriendly spirit; I only wish to say I hope nothing will be done that may injure this branch of the service. I hope the Government will tell the hon. Member for Evesham at what period of the failure to obtain men they will come to the House and ask for authority for the Militia ballot. That is a very important question, and one which I should not have dared to ask. We are to-night on the threshold of a great military future; we are initiating a scheme by which, in time, every youth of eighteen years of age will have to do so many years service in the Army of this country. I am not arguing the rights or wrongs of the question, but we ought to have some information with respect to it, and not have it thrust upon us without warning. I wish the Government could in its wisdom pension off some of its prominent members and their associates; if they could do this we should not want this increase of home defence. Your policy of unrest is the cause of our military difficulties, and while you are expending money and shedding blood abroad, many of your people at home are dying from want of the necessaries of life. I am not prepared to refuse the demands of the Government now. A great conflagration has been started and the only thing to be done is to extinguish it as soon as possible. But I hope the responsibility for the outbreak will be brought home to the hon. Gentlemen to whose actions the war is due, and that 163 they will have to give an account of the crime which has necessitated the expenditure for which we are voting the supplies to-night.
§ MR. WYLIE (Dumbartonshire)
said the scheme proposed by the Government for increasing the efficiency of home defence was a very judicious one. He did not agree with hon. Members who advocated some modified form of compulsion. In the Volunteers we had a quarter of a million of men who had passed through the ranks, of whom the nation might well be proud, and in times of war such as this, this great body of able men had been a source of great comfort to the country. Private endeavour had supported the Volunteer movement in the most magnificent manner, but he regretted that on the part of the Executive the support had been of the most parsimonious description. He was very grateful, therefore, to hear that the capitation grant was to be increased. The amount by which it was to be increased had not been stated, and whether it was to be 2s. or £2 nobody knew, but he would urge the Government in any case to grant a very substantial amount. He would suggest the capitation grant should be raised to double its present amount, so that the Volunteer force might be put upon a sound financial basis. He urged the Government to give an increased capitation grant to Volunteer corps which did not possess either rifle ranges or drill-halls, and also to assist regiments whose officers had incurred financial obligations by establishing drill-halls. If the Government resolved to give the Volunteers substantial financial aid, they would be supported by the House and by the country, and would experience no difficulty in procuring the extra number of men now required.
*SIR HENRY FLETCHER () Sussex, Lewes
For the last twenty years I have taken part in every military debate that has taken place in this House, and on this occasion I wish to say a few words on the proposed increase in the number of men which is now asked for. I wish the Under Secretary would see his way to ask for a far larger number of men than he has, because the temper of the House 164 and the country and the men who are likely to come forward is such that no difficulty could arise in his obtaining whatever number he desired. I was very pleased to hear the hon. Member for Leicester say he would support this measure, although he somewhat threw cold water on the scheme by saying he did not think the men would be found. I have no doubt that if the War Office authorities set about the business in a proper straightforward manner, they will have no difficulty in filling the battalions. I can carry my recollection back to the time of the Crimean War, at which time we had to raise something like twenty-five battalions; but the system which was adopted then could not be carried out now. Twenty-five battalions were raised, and in many instances command was given to officers, colonels by rank, who had retired from the service. In those days the system of purchase was in vogue, and the colonel had the privilege of giving ten commissions as ensigns to ten gentlemen who desired to enter the Army. Each ensign had the power to bring in 100 men with him, and battalions of 1,000 strong were very soon formed. That system cannot be adopted now owing to the abolition of purchase. Another reason was that many of the commissions were given to officers of the Militia who brought their men with them. It is now different. I am glad to say the Militia is embodied and is at the front. I do not, however, despair of the result of this scheme. A number of the men whom the Under Secretary thinks he will be able to bring into the ranks will be men who have served with the colours and in the ranks for twelve years, and when we consider that many of the men who have served their twelve years are now only thirty, there are many between thirty and forty years of age who will willingly come forward and join the colours again in such numbers that the Secretary of State need not in any way fear the success of his scheme. With regard to the Militia, I do not wish to offer any observation. The Militia is represented in this House by hon. Members qualified to speak for it in a proper manner. Turning to the Volunteers, with which I have been connected ever since the initiation of the force forty-one years ago, and which I am still serving, I can say what is the feeling of the force in regard to this 165 scheme. There is no doubt that the Volunteers are flocking by hundreds to be enrolled in the existing regiments, and the movement is progressing in a rapid and successful way. I thank the authorities and the Secretary of State for. War for the words he uttered the other day in another place that it is the intention of the Government to ask certain Auxiliary officers of high rank to take a seat in the War Office in order to act as advisers to the military authorities. We Volunteers, therefore, are now recognised more than heretofore. I can recollect in the early days it was very uphill work. We were, I will not say hardly tolerated, but we were looked upon with very little satisfaction by the military authorities. We have now reached that reward which the military authorities have been pleased to bestow on us during the past few years. The great question is will this scheme as put forward by the Government in all its phases be satisfactory? They will get the number of men they want, but as to the question of camping. There is one who has had a battalion in camp for twenty-six years past who will tell the authorities they will have great difficulty in getting the employers to allow, or the men themselves to remain in camp for a month. I have often thought, on the last day of the camp week, when I had had 800 or 900 men, who after their week's exertions had proved themselves well drilled, fairly disciplined, and satisfactory in every way, I have often thought, what a hardship and what a mistake it was that they were obliged to be disbanded and sent back into their civil life, when a few weeks more must have fitted them so much more for their soldier life. But I have thought all this over, and see great difficulty in the proposition put forward by Her Majesty's Government, that Volunteers shall or may, I believe that is the correct word, remain in camp for a period of one month. But if such is the wish of the authorities, I can assure the Government that as a commanding officer and one who has taken an interest in the force for many years, I will use every endeavour to carry out the wishes of the authorities, and I can say this for all commanding officers, in order that we may prove ourselves civilians first and soldiers afterwards. May I here say a word on the question of ranges. That is a matter which has occu- 166 pied my mind and attention for many years. This is in my opinion the crux of the whole system of the Volunteer force. Provide the battalions with ranges within a near distance of the headquarters, and don't attempt to send them by rail two or three hours on a Saturday afternoon to go to their class firing. No amount of money the Government may offer to pay travelling expenses will meet that vexed question. Every endeavour should be made that suitable ranges should be found as near as possible to headquarters. And if I may otter a suggestion, let the military authorities have looked over, and once more have inspected, some of the disused ranges we had to give up when the Martini was exchanged for the Lee-Metford, and I feel sure, from my knowledge of rifles and ranges, that many will be found perfectly suitable now for the Lee-Metford. The hon. Member for Leicester said, and I agree with him, that if we cannot find ranges of 800 or 1,000 yards we should get ranges at 200 yards. I have always laid down this principle. We ought to endeavour to teach a Volunteer to shoot well up to 500 yards. I do not care what becomes of a man afterwards if he cannot carry out his class firing at a distance beyond that. Ranges of this kind at least can be obtained, and the Government at this time must use every endeavour to get such ranges for the Volunteers. I wish also that a little longer time were given to go into this important question. Another very serious matter is that connected with the transport of the Volunteers. That subject I have taken up for years, and in this House, on those benches and on these, I have urged on the military authorities and the Government the necessity of finding some proper means of providing transports for the Volunteers. The "man in the street" has told me that a few years ago a Committee sat in the House of Commons on that question and reported. And last year the Under Secretary for War put before the House the proposals of the authorities with regard to the transport allowed to Volunteers. I must say that it was not a satisfactory offer which the authorities made to us last year. The amount is not sufficient, and I do not think it will be found that any single commanding officer or brigadier has taken any steps to provide the transport or the allowance 167 the Government offered. We were told that we were to be provided with hired transport. Well, I only hope that if we are to be provided with hired transport we shall be allowed to have a liberal allowance, and to find our own hired transport. Do not let us be thrust upon Messrs. Brown, Jones, Smith, or Robinson of any big town or city, because if this is done it will only be handed by them over to others who will possibly fail to carry out the requirements necessary. Give us a liberal allowance and then I feel satisfied that the question of transport, though it be only carried out by the Volunteers, will be far more satisfactory to the Volunteer force than it has been in the past. If the authorities are going into the question of the reorganisation of the Volunteers, may I suggest to them one matter, personal though it may seem, because it affects those in a position like myself—the system of brigadiers and brigades in the Volunteer force. At present the position held by myself and others is perfectly anomalous. We know nothing of what is going on in connection with our brigades, with the exception of the one week they are serving under us in camp. If the brigade system is to be carried out, if the Volunteer officers are to be made use of, give us more work to do, give us a little more insight into the working of the system than we have at present, and I hope and trust, whatever is done in the reorganisation or the resettling of the Volunteer force the Government will not lose sight, and the military authorities will not lose sight of it, that we are now a body of men over 215,000 efficient, I think the Under Secretary of State for War said, who are determined, if we are treated in a proper way and placed in the position in which our services can be used, we are men who have forgotten all that is past, and are determined to do our duty in whatever place the authorities may choose to send us.
§ *MR. JOHN BURNS () Battersea
Sir, I am not a military man, I am not a Volunteer, and, like nearly every other man of sense in the country, I am not a friend of the War Office. I wise, however, to speak on certain points raised by the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for War, in his speech, because I wish to protest against the scheme he 168 proposes in some of its details-, and against merging some permanent arrangement for defence at home with some different scheme for attack abroad: I protest against the amalgamation of both, plans because it may be capable of political' misinterpretation in the constituencies,, and because I think emergency, schemes of military preparation ought not to be dragged into the arena of party controversy; and it would have been better for the Government had they confined themselves entirely to emergency proposals,, whether for South Africa, whether for the Militia, or whether for the Volunteers, and to have kept them almost religiously apart from the question of permanent defence and, probably, ultimate conscription, and which undoubtedly add needlessly to our military expenditure to an enormous extent. The people who support this War did not ask for this scheme that could have been produced when the Army Estimates came on. People want the machinery for this war perfected; they demand concentration from the War Office, and get confusion; they want quicker transport, more and better guns; they want routine abandoned,, red tape discarded, conflicting plans harmonised, the various movements co-ordinated with the ease and simplicity the Boers have displayed. They want the adaptation of means to ends, and that with promptitude. And, having said that, I protest, as a practical man, against the scheme because it savours of panic. It is very much like the speech of Lord Rosebery in another place this evening, in which his Lordship asked for many more men in. addition to those which you have already dispatched. But in this he is practically alone, and the reason; for the demand I the people cannot understand. The average British elector is quite convinced that there are quite enough men in. South Africa, if you only had better tactics, better strategy, and better leadership than we have had up to now. What we want is not more British' troops, but Boer generalship; and the sooner the War Office comes round to that view the better it will be for us. If this scheme is intended to impress foreign Powers, I say it has absolutely failed, because looking at the foreign newspapers—mind, I do not at all agree with all that the French and German and Austrian newspapers say of us—you find that section of Continental opinion, which you cannot 169 judiciously ignore, is flatly against you. Again, if the scheme was intended to help the emergency in South Africa, it is, according to the military critics, useless. Once more the War Office has shown its inadaptability to meet difficulty with resource. What I wish to know is, where is the military expenditure of this nation going to stop? We are told that we want more men. Do we.? Well, the Transvaal Republic in population is about as large as the parish of Lambeth, or about two-thirds of the size of (that single London constituency which I have the honour to represent, and yet we are told that to fight an enemy of such proportions, 200,000 men are not enough. The total of our forces in this country, on the seas, and in our colonies and dependencies numbers nearly a million men. Yet we are told that is not enough. We are told that the Militia Ballot Act is to be abandoned, and that conscription will ultimately be necessary. I do not believe that this country will have conscription, and may I not suggest to the House of Commons that there is an alternative to this militarising of the people in the abandonment of our spread-eagle imperialism and our long-spoon diplomacy, and the telling of people abroad to mend their manners? Let us look at what it is leading us to, and glance at the figures of the expenditure during the short space of fifteen years. In 1885 we spent £30,000,000 on the Army and Navy; to-day we are spending the abnormal sum of £51,000,000. Where is this extravagance to cease? We are now spending £10,000,000 more than Russia; £14,000,000 more than Germany; and £10,000,000 more than France in naval and military armaments; yet we are told that it is not enough. Well, Sir, the British workman and the masses of this country have a knack of expressing themselves in no uncertain way at the poll against panic schemes of this order, and I believe the answer will be emphatic when his opinion is asked. There was one thing in the speech of the Under Secretary of State for War which was highly satisfactory, in as much as it conveyed an official repudiation by the Government of any attempt at conscription. That is the one spark of consolation that shone in his speech. But why does the Under Secretary for War repudiate conscription? Because he knows that conscription the people of this country won't have; and I put it boldly before the House now, that if the 170 people of England have to choose between the lopping off of some of the colonies—that are not so valuable as some men seem to imagine—and the loss of a few millions a year in trade: if they are to choose, I say, between that and conscription they would rather lose those colonies and their attendant millions than have all the moral and social disadvantages that conscription imposes on an nation ["No, no!"] Some hon. Members say "No"; and the hon. Gentleman opposite nods his head. Does he want to reproduce in England the autocratic intolerance of Germany? Does he wish to see England smitten with the disease which Spain and Italy and France are suffering from in the terrorising despotism of military control? If he does, militarism, and its product, conscription, will do it. But conscription has been avoided by the Government less because of its national effects than for class convenience. One reason why I believe conscription was repudiated is that if it were once introduced the Army would no longer be the appanage of the aristocracy and the perquisite of the rich. Conscription would break down the family arrangement by which the titles get the salaries and the untitled get the work. In my opinion, the proposals for the training of the Volunteers are unworkable, and in this connection I have a suggestion to make on a problem which the War Office can readily solve if it is really in earnest. They have only to ask the Government to slip a clause into every railway Bill that passes through Parliament that Volunteers when engaged in travelling to I and from the shooting ranges shall lie carried free. That is a contribution I that railway companies ought to pay towards the Volunteers making themselves efficient in the art of defending their property in time of war. The Volunteers also want more efficient commanding officers than they now have, as merit in the Volunteer force, like the Army, is often over-ridden, because social position without military skill too often counts for promotion. Then we come to another branch of the scheme—and I am very sorry that we have not that fine old English gentleman, the gallant Sir George Chesney, with us this evening to reproduce on the floor of this House one or two of the frequent criticisms he wrote in that little booklet of his, nearly twenty years ago, as to what Great Britain needed for its expe- 171 ditionary wars. He said, among other things, that we should always have an army of 30,000 men, which he specially defined, ready to take the field in less than twenty-four hours. A force mobile, ubiquitous, unencumbered by the useless gear a British army always has. Of course that is a principle which I expect would not find favour at the War Office. There is the insuperable obstacle, of officers baggage to take into consideration. This kind of thing ought to be stopped. Officers ought not to be allowed to encumber their regiments on the march with all the baggage I saw at Aldershot. Boot-trees should be left at home, as well as golf sticks, tennis racquets, and opera hats, and surplus uniforms. All this mountain of impedimenta affected by British officers, and which is bound to hamper the progress of an army, should be discarded when thousands of gallant lives are hanging in the balance. It is all very well for the Under Secretary to put up a Bill calling for men, to try to summon spirits from the vasty deep. I do not think men will respond after the war fever has passed. I am sorry to say that the middle and professional classes, who have clamoured for the war have not volunteered as they should have done. There are only two classes who pay the blood tax of their country—the aristocracy in the officers and the labouring classes in the men. This war has typified the mental and administrative decay of the governing classes. If the London County Council had managed its fire brigade with no more ability and promptitude than the War Office has displayed in the management of this war, people would have been burnt in their beds three nights a week. I am almost inclined to suggest that the management of the next war should be left to the fire brigade committee of the County Council. The Under Secretary has not mentioned the noncommissioned officer. How long is he to be debarred from that treatment his energy, ability, experience, and capacity deserve? The governing classes have drawn a ring fence round the commissioned ranks of the Army; and they have nipped in the bud the aspiration of the non-commissioned officer to gain his commission. This should not be allowed to continue when the margin of our officers is so rapidly dwindling in the present war by the pluck and 172 gallant leadership of the officers. If you want to test the accuracy of my statement go to Aldershot, as I have done, and see for yourselves. You will see whole batteries going away in charge of youths of eighteen or nineteen years of age. We have colour-sergeants and sergeant-majors who with their experience are infinitely better than a dozen of these young fellows, thrown together. Why do I emphasise that? Because there is no mention of the-non-commissioned officer in the scheme. If hon. Members doubt the capacity of our non-commissioned officers let them go and see that splendid soldier Sergeant-major Foules, of the 1st Grenadier Guards, manage his battalion. In manner, ability, knowledge, and all that goes to make a good soldier he makes those men work bettor than the famous Guards I saw reviewed at St. Petersburg. We hear a good deal of the precision and drill of the Berlin Guards. Sergeant-Majors Foules' and Best's, of the Grenadiers and Cold-streams, are two of the best drills I have ever seen in Europe. But you will not give these men command of a regiment. Why? There is some reason. It is not because rankers are not fit or capable, it is because you have put a ring fence round the commissioned ranks that must be broken down if the Army is to be efficient and popular. Remove the-reason for refusing promotion from the ranks, and you will have abler, stronger, and better men in your Army than you now have, and until you do so-your Army will not be so popular as it deserves to be. The hon. and gallant Member who spoke on the other side suggested that we wanted more troops in Africa. I do not agree with him. What does the Figaro of yesterday say in criticising our military arrangements? It says that the reason the British soldier: has succeeded in all parts of the world, especially in hot countries, is that the-British military system has insisted on quality as against quantity. Instead of throwing a mass of 100,000 men, whether from the Volunteers or Militia, at the heads of the British I taxpayer, I believe you would do much more good if your unintelligent War Office were to insist on greater efficiency in the Army than we now have. By doing that you will follow the best traditions and experience of Greece and Rome in fighting, and you; will justify the opinion of every military 173 critic on the Continent that we hold India and our colonies not by the number of our troops, but because of the pluck of the rank and file and the greater average efficiency of the unit in the voluntary Indian Army than is possible under conscription. I agree with that view, and it is because I have thought this matter out that I say the need of the Army is not great masses of troops, but the highest quality of efficiency that only a free enlistment system can yield. With regard to the dress of the soldier, I am one of those who have been subjected to a great deal of adverse criticism, because years ago I ventured to say what every military critic is now thinking, that the dress was unsuited to the work, and that the British officer too frequently dressed like a gilded popinjay. I repeat that statement on the floor of the House: it is justified by fact and by experience. Immediately a war breaks out you strip the officers of their upholstery, because it is a mark for the enemy; you take the gilt off the gingerbread, you have to leave the helmet with its attracting glitter at home, and all the gay and gilded trappings are discarded. When your troops should be ready and on the way to the front, needless delay is caused by your having to reclothe them tit for their proper work. The hon. and gallant Member who suggested an improvement in dress ought to know there is nothing connected with the soldiers that more requires reform, yea, revolution, than the dress of the private soldier. Of course, we all like to see both our soldiers and our sailors smart, but you can have smartness with efficiency in uniform and indistinctness in colour. Take, for instance, the regiment if the hon. and gallant Member for Essex—the Grenadiers. [An HON. MEMBER: The Cold-streams.] Very well, the Cold-streams—in dress they are all alike, and they are, though very showy, all equally bad. With his undress uniform you give him a hat that does not protect him from the rain or sun; it is a sort of inverted collar-box, and ought to have been condemned years ago. You stuff him into a tight-fitting tunic, distinguishable to the enemy and unpleasant to work in at home or abroad—so unpleasant that at Chitral and Dargai, where the men had to fight, the first thing that many of them did was to take their bayonet or knife and rip their tunics open, loose though they relatively 174 are. At home the soldier prefers to do the most elementary duties in his shirt sleeves, because his dress does not give him freedom of physical movement. As to full dress, look at his busby! In the summer it is beastly hot, and in the winter it makes the man more miserable, because the rain comes down all over his face, and the longer he is in the rain the heavier the busby becomes. Coming from his head to his feet, look at the kind of boots you give these big fellows in which to do their drill and marching, the chief portion of a soldier's work. You spend £9 on his busby and 8s. on his boots. I would reverse the operation. I would not have him put into hard and unsympathetic boots such as you see him walking about the streets of London in. You ought to follow the example of the County Council in regard to their park-keepers, and spend 16s. or 18s. per pair for boots for your soldiers so as to make them comfortable, because a very good soldier ought to be a good walker. Now I come to my last point. You have difficulty in getting men. Why? The Nemesis of the English landlord has arrived. We are beginning to realise now that it was a mistake to depopulate the Scotch glens centuries ago. We are beginning to see, by the shrinkage of the Highland population, by the unwillingness of the Scotch to enlist, that it was a mistake to have the straths and valleys which formerly had 300 cottages with only two or three in them now. Deer have taken the place of men. But now the Nemesis of the landlord has arrived, and the governing classes cannot get strong, big men from the highland valleys and the Irish glens as was formerly the case. And what is more, England, rural do populated England, is now telling its tale in the difficulty of getting soldiers to fight your battles. When I am told there is a difficulty in getting recruits, my answer is that you, especially the gentlemen of England, are responsible for it. You have rendered it impossible for the countryside to find its modern archers, the men who saved you at Cressy, Poictiers, and Agincourt, to be reared in the villages, because you have turned them out—you have driven your yeomen to the towns. Your land system, the espion—age of your parson, the social inquisition of the country side, the petty tyranny of rural life are now beginning to tell in the outposts of empire. I also 175 want to tell you this, when you talk about conscription remember that Britain is unlike Germany, France, or Italy. You can have a conscript army in Germany or other Continental countries. Why? Because the recruit serves as a rule in his own district and near his friends. But the very essential basis of the British Army is that you should have a foreign service of able, healthy, and o voluntary men. Therefore, when men ask in this House for conscription I tell them that it is unsuited to the work the British Army has to do. Immediately you impose conscription the efficiency of the British Army abroad will disappear, and you will want an army three times its present size, which will present the rapidity of movement, fitness of the unit, and decisiveness of action that our Colonial and Indian system of warfare demands. Above all, if you want the British Army to be as it should be, follow out what Napoleon did: take your Ney or Murat from the ranks where he has distinguished himself as a private or non-commissioned officer, make him an officer, and let ability and merit alone count for promotion in the British Army. If Napoleon had been conducting this war 500 commissions would have been given on the field to soldiers of the rank and file. Unless you do that you will discourage your Army; it will be unattractive, which means inefficient for its purpose. Then, when you have your Army reorganised and on a popular basis, I sincerely trust you will give the men greater freedom than they now enjoy. Treat them more like men and less like children. And, above all, when you have got your men and got your Army, do, in the name of England's honour and our best traditions, use them in an infinitely more just and better war than that in which our soldiers are at present engaged in South Africa.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I found it a little difficult to follow the speech of the hon. Member who has just spoken. He was kind enough to say that in the speech I made few days ago the only clear point was my repudiation of conscription. The only thing which to my mind is clear in the speech to which we have just listened is that the name of the War Office with the hon. Member is a term of generic reproach which he applies to anything which he reads in the newspapers or hears in the streets from which he differs, or 176 which gives him a moment's annoyance. The hon. Member told us he was going to make one or two suggestions, but surely he underrates his contribution to the debate. The hon. Member ransacked the newspapers of every country and has gone far a field for his examples, but the upshot of the matter is that he is profoundly dissatisfied with all classes in this country. He blamed what he calls the aristocracy, because they were extravagant and stupid, but in the next portion of his speech he paid a tribute to their courage; and he proceeded to attack the middle classes. It is very difficult to follow all this, but in another part of his speech he said it was really too hard to expect any employer of labour to give his men leave for a week, a fortnight, or a month in the course of the year for a special emergency. But while he was so tender on behalf of employers of labour as a whole he saw no hardship whatever in asking the shareholders of railways to carry 300 or 400 men for nothing during the busiest months of the summer. I take a very much higher view than the hon. Member of the patriotism of employers of labour. In a year when it behaves us all to do what we can in order to make good the absence of the greater part of our Army in South Africa, I am convinced that the employers of labour will be among the first to assist us in that manner which lies best in their power. The hon. Member made a Special attack upon the arrangements for transport in South Africa. There is a great deal of misapprehension about that. I have here a letter from General Forestier-Walker, commanding the lines of communication, in which he says:—It will lie observed that there was on, and, indeed, some time previous to, December 31, a large unused balance of ox-transport amounting to 548 wagons with oxen complete and also a number of loose oxen.That is a little fact to be set against all this rhetoric. The hon. Member made one definite criticism of our scheme; he said that we had been very ill-advised in not keeping the permanent part of this scheme separate from the emergency part of the scheme. But is that possible? The hon. Member may think so, but those in this House who are experts in the matter will not agree with him. The permanent part of this scheme is necessary unless the country is prepared to contemplate sending the forces that have been sent to South Africa and having no force in this country trained to take the 177 swift offensive in the event of our being-threatened by any other Power. I will not argue with the Hon, member, because I know that the whole balance of military opinion in and out of the House is with us in asking for these batteries of artillery which are essential. As to the new infantry battalions, any one who has studied our duties in other parts of the Empire—the necessity of garrisoning India and the colonial stations—knows that the Army has been racked and strained because we have not a sufficient number of infantry battalions. Hon. members have been insisting that after this war is over we shall have to keep a garrison in South Africa, Is it, therefore, unreasonable to submit to this House a proposal for additional infantry battalions and additional batteries of artillery? We cannot keep this apart from the emergency scheme, because the need for both has arisen at the same time and from the same cause. I think I can now perhaps pass from the speech of the hon. Member. Before we had had a very variegated debate. There had been some speeches of one kind and other speeches more numerous of a very different kind. Of the first type there were the speeches of hon. Members representing Irish constituencies. With regard to these speeches I do not propose to take up the time of the Committee in dealing with them at very great length. The hon. Member who spoke first said that he had the courage of his convictions, and was prepared to support them by speech and vote. I never imputed any want of courage to him. gentlemen who came from Ireland.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I say this in no offensive spirit, but there are others of the countrymen of hon. Gentlemen from Ireland who are doing something more than talk, and giving something more than votes—who are giving their lives. I feel that there is no need for me to answer the words of hon. Gentlemen with my words, when their own countrymen are giving an answer with deeds and death in South Africa. Long after this somewhat factitious attempt, this gallery display, got up for the benefit of foreign countries, is forgotten—for it will not take up two lines in the Annual Register or any future history—the gallantry of Irish soldiers in South Africa will be re- 178 membered. It will have several lines in history; and the most distinguished of the hon. Member's fellow-countrymen—Lord Roberts—will have some paragraphs, and perhaps some pages. The hon. Member said that our expectations that this war would be followed by peace would prove to be unfounded, and that no such result had followed any parallel event in history. The hon. Member cited the American war of the last century, but yon cannot prove that there is no parallel by merely quoting one instance in which a parallel could not be traced. For a better parallel I would direct the hon. Member's attention to the American war of this century. That was a war waged by white races, by Christians, by men each who believed that they were fighting for their rights, and that a great principle was at stake, and the side which took the larger view of what the development of humanity demanded—the side which was fighting for results beneficial not only to themselves, but to the whole future of the country which they inhabited—won in the end, but after great sacrifices and prolonged effort. That is the parallel which I would submit to the House.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
I do not wish to interrupt the hon. Gentleman for one moment, but I am sure he will recognise that the parallel is not complete when he reflects that these two peoples were of the same race, not like the English and Dutch.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I doubt whether that improves the hon. Member's position. At the first blush it makes that war more repugnant. But we must not be carried away by emotion and sentiment. We must consider that the view which will bring the most benefit to the greater number of people over the longest period of years is the just view, and that is a view for which Christian gentlemen can fight with confidence. I feel that I have been rather led away by the matter to which I have referred. I pass to the other type of speeches—speeches which were in some measure invoked by the word "invitation" (the word is not in great favour just now, but I used it when I introduced this scheme), namely, an invitation for criticism and suggestion from those hon. Members who bear or have borne Her Majesty's commission, or who take an active interest in the Auxiliary forces. Well, we have had in 179 the course of this discussion some useful suggestions; but I may perhaps be allowed to say that it would be impossible to go in detail all over these various points I which have cropped up. But I wish to: say, with regard to these remarks of hon. Members on both sides, that a great deal of their criticism has been anticipated, and I think they will find that many of their suggestions have been accepted. Now let me answer all these criticisms together, if I can, by this plain statement. Our proposals in respect to the Auxiliary forces are enabling: they are not mandatory. In the main I may say they are emergency proposals, and they are not; permanent proposals. I wish to make: that point quite clear, because one Member after another has got up and said, "Volunteers will never train for a month together. You make a great mistake in asking them to do so." That is very likely. It is very likely that the great majority of Volunteer corps cannot even in a year of great stress and of some legitimate apprehension make this sacrifice, or without the sacrifice falling on the employers of labour rather than on the men. But there are some corps which have asked to be allowed to train for a month. Now, in making our enabling proposal, would we not have put ourselves utterly in the wrong if we had said to all, "We will give you a camp and a water-supply and a payment to cover expenses for a week or ten days, but not for a longer period"? Why, I am sure that several members of this House who have asked for these privileges would have tackled me, and I should have had no defence. But now my defence is complete. If a corps cannot train for a month, let it train for a more limited period. The facilities we should offer will be commensurate with the disposition or ability on their part to train themselves. Then I have been told that the scheme was incomprehensible and impracticable, because I did not mention the exact terms of the inducement which would be offered. That was referred to by the hon. Member who spoke last, but it shows that he knows very little about the Volunteers. As things are now, in order to be efficient, a Volunteer has to do some twelve drills, of which three only need be battalion drills. There are cases where some corps can do battalion drills; easily, and other cases whore battalion drills are difficult of achievement owing to distance. They could not do these batta- 180 lion drills, comparatively easy in some instances, except at an expense of £30, £40, or £50 to the commanding officer. Now how foolish it would have been if we had come down to this House with a cut-and-dried plan, saying we would give so much money for so many drills, which would be too little in some cases and far too much in others. We prefer to make two bold and broad conditions for the future with regard to the Volunteers. We say that, as a permanent proposal, we shall treat them better, and, as an emergency proposal as to this year, we say we mean to offer them facilities for making themselves efficient during the spring and summer. As to the inducements, we say that the expenses of the scheme which we recommend for adoption by the country must come, not out of the private purse of the Volunteers or their officers, but shall be paid for by the taxpayers of the country in return for the security which the Volunteers are going to give to the people of the country. Then we have the hon. Gentleman the Member for Bath, amongst many others, insisting upon greater facilities for musketry, and we agree with much that has been said on this subject. In asking the Volunteers to make themselves efficient, we shall have the greatest regard to shooting. We are asked, "Why not open close ranges?" But it must be remembered you cannot prevent a bullet going as far as it will; although you fire at the butts at 300 yards the bullet may go 2,000. Something more is needed, and the question is being studied. There is an ingenious device which may, and I think will, enable us to construct short ranges. That will be done, and in asking the Volunteers to make themselves efficient, we should give them the opportunity of shooting under the most favourable circumstances. Other hon. Gentlemen have urged that we should not give too much importance to mere smartness or precision in parade movements. Quite true. But some of the speakers do not seem to know that in the regular army a company or squadron are for a period of one or two months handed over to their company officers and instructed in those very duties of entrenching and so forth. I believe that when the Volunteers come under canvas—as they will, in spite of some of the croaking we have heard this evening—they will derive very great benefits not less distinguishable from those which have been derived from 181 what is called company training. Then, us to underclothing. We are working at the War Office on this very subject. It may not prove such an economy as some hon. Members suppose, but every change as a rule costs more than the tiling you uproot. And, rightly so, because with every change you meet legitimate demands which have been too long denied. It is impossible in my opinion—I may be wrong, and I cannot pledge anyone to this—to make a fundamental change in the dress of the soldier without recognising that the State must give the necessary underclothing. It is quite impossible to have one dross for peace and war, for temperate and tropical climates, unless you can increase the cost of the underclothing, and therefore I am afraid that some disappointment will be caused as to the economy to be effected by a most workmanlike and businesslike proposal. Let us, I would say, preserve the traditional dress of the soldier for Sunday. That would not cost money, and traditional sentiment counts for very much, and rightly so. But to tell me that the garb in which the British soldier is now winning such glory and the respect of all races—[Irish laughter]—Hon. Members laugh, but I said the British soldier, and in that expression I, of course, include the Irish soldier. Is it not glorious to face death as they have faced it, and what is victory beside such noble sacrifices and such undaunted courage? That is the soldier's part. Let blame or failure be placed here, not on him. The dress in which he has fought will be a dress that will soon become romantic, and will be invested with more sentiment and with more tradition than those which are, after all, but the memories of the dress in which his forefathers fought.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER () Staffordshire, Lichfield
Would the hon. Gentleman answer the question of the hon. Member for Battersea as to non-commissioned officers?
§ MR. WYNDHAM
That subject is being considered, and is being acted on, as I think I informed the House some days ago. Special instructions have been telegraphed to Lord Roberts to discover, wherever he can, in the non-commissioned ranks of the large forces under his command those men who might make useful officers. But it is not such an easy matter as the hon. Member for 182 Battersea thinks. The bulk of non-commissioned officers and privates wish to be quartermasters, and do not wish to take the heavier responsibility of commanding-troops in the field. But where they are suited for those duties very few impediments, if any, are placed in their path. If the Committee have followed these rather discursive remarks, if they are now satisfied, I will not say with the scheme, but with the principle which underlies the scheme—namely, that it is an enabling, not a mandatory, scheme, I hope that we may now be allowed to take the Vote. We do think that the occasion demands an effort on the part of all in this country. We have put compulsion on one side, not, as an hon. Member said, because the people will not stand it, but because we, the Government, will not have it, and least of all a modified compulsion. Modified compulsion has always led, and must always lead, to immoderate abuse. It is one thing to say to every, young man of twenty it is your duty to serve your country and you shall do it, and another thing to have a kind of lottery in which one out of thirty or one out of fifty would be adventitiously committed to a career which he does not wish to follow, and which, perhaps, involves him, making far greater sacrifices than would; have been made by any one of the other forty-nine. In one form or another that must lead, as it has always led, to the payment of enormous sums for substitutes, and if once you got that, as you had at the beginning of the century, when the use of the ballot was abandoned in consequence, you have corruption at the very basis of your military system. We do away with that if the Committee gives us that for which we ask. If we have three army corps why do you need to fill up the Militia beyond these establishments? If you cannot fill up these establishments it is because the Govern-I merit does not offer sufficient inducements. How does it advance your object to force men into the Militia? The scheme has been openly put forward by many speakers, not as one to build up, the Militia, but in order to drive men: into the Volunteers so as to avoid their' going into the Militia. I think it is more English, and more likely to fit in with the views of our countrymen, if we go to them frankly and say, "We want sc many soldiers, we want so many Militiamen,, and we want as many Volunteers as we can get, and we are prepared to pay you for 183 it if you give evidence that you are determined and ready to make sacrifices corresponding to the inducements we offer." I believe our scheme for strengthening the military forces of the country will improve on acquaintance. I purposely put it forward without blandishment or praise because I think it will stand on its merits, and I on my part will always decline to float any scheme by issuing a highly-coloured prospectus.
§ *MR. WEIR () ROSS and Cromarty
I Intend to support the motion now before the Committee, not because I have any love for the administration of the War Office, for I think that is very bad indeed, but because I consider that at the present crisis in our country we should stand shoulder to shoulder and be prepared to find as many men and as much money as may be required in order to bring this war to a satisfactory conclusion. At the same time I feel that I must protest against the way this Supplementary Estimate has been introduced. I object to this process of mixing Supplementary Estimates with ordinary Army Estimates, and I fail to see why the hon. Gentleman would not have waited another six weeks, when the ordinary Army Estimates would come on. I am aware that as we extend our Empire we must have a larger force. It is no use closing our eyes to that fact. Nevertheless, all these extra men should be provided for in the Army Estimates and not in the Supplementary Estimates, I want to know where you are to find these men? In a time like this there may be no difficulty, but in time of peace then the difficulty will arise. The War Office knows what difficulties have arisen within the last two or three years in regard to recruiting. The Highlands of Scotland have become depopulated, and when you want recruits from that part of the country you will be unable to find them. What you ought to do is to arrange to put the people back on the land in order that we may have men to fill the ranks in the future. There is one matter to which I wish specially to call the hon. Gentleman's attention. In my own county I believe the Militia have to travel 200 miles before they can get to the depot. You should have barracks in Ross-shire, and then you would get men to join more freely. Some of the officers of the Seaforth Highlanders have their quarters 184 in Dingwall, whilst the men have to go all the way to Fort George. The hon. Gentleman thinks it will be easy for employers of labour to allow Volunteers to go for a month's drill. He must not forget, however, that employers have to boar the expenses of management of their business during the absence of their employes, and the ordinary employer cannot afford to grant a lengthened leave of absence to his employes. The hon. Gentleman says it is not compulsory, but many Volunteers are business men, and cannot afford to go away for a long time. I do not believe the Militia will be able to go under canvas for the period arranged. I am sure you will have to arrange the time of the year to suit the men, and not merely to suit the officers. In Scotland, if you take the men during the fishing season, how are they to earn their living the other nine months in the year? You will also have to take care that you provide your Militia and Volunteers with rifles that are properly sighted. It is very discreditable that we should send out men to South Africa with rifles with inaccurate sights, simply to be shot down by the Boers. You should also provide your Militia and Volunteers with machine guns, and not old muzzle-loaders. The men ought to be drilled with the best weapons obtainable. I call the hon. Gentleman's attention to these matters, and I hope he will give them his careful consideration. I heartily support this motion, because I think it is our duty to do all we can to strengthen the hands of the Government at this crisis.
§ *MR. FLAVIN () Kerry, N.
I wish to say a few words on the Vote before the House, because I feel it my bounden duty as an Irish representative to protest in the strongest possible manner against any increase in Her Majesty's forces in order to prosecute what I consider is an unjust and unfair war, by which you are endeavouring to take away the liberties of two Republics. I can only say in connection with the position the Under Sccretary of State for War occupies that I regret that such a noble descendant of such a noble Irishman as Lord Edward Fitzgerald should be occupying a position which is certainly not in harmony with the ideas and aspirations of his ancestors. We have heard in the debate that is going on many speeches, some for and some against 185 the war. We have heard speeches made against the war by some gentlemen who feel it their duty to vote for the war. We hold that our position is consistent because from the beginning to the end of this war we felt it our duty to protest against it, because we believe it is unjust. Apart from any feelings we hold as Irish men, I say that on the utterances of your public men—of the Leader of the Government in this House and the Colonial Secretary, and on the opinion of the Leader of the Government in the other House, any Irishman is perfectly entitled on those opinions expressed to come to the conclusion, and form their opinions that this war is unjust and a cruel one. I do not wish to discuss this question at length, but perhaps I may be permitted to state that the Colonial Secretary once expressed his opinion that this war would be as cruel as it was immoral; and the right hon. Gentleman expressed that view on the question of the franchise, I believe, At that time the franchise was fourteen years. When Mr. Kruger made his proposal—
§ *MR. FLAVIN
I prefaced my remarks by saying that I did not intend to discuss that point. [Ministerial laughter.] I repeat, Mr. Lowther, that I did not intend to discuss that point at any length, but I wanted to say in the presence of the Colonial Secretary that what he said in 1896 was either false or true. If that declaration in 1896, that such a war would be unjust and immoral, is true, how much more unjust and immoral is the war now, when the franchise was reduced to five years? For that reason I say that the sooner this war is ended the sooner peace will prevail. The continuance of the war, in my opinion, means a continuance of war and strife in this country and elsewhere. A continuation of the war in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State will not alone mean a continuation of the war there. It may mean larger and more important complications for this Empire. Therefore, I hold that I am perfectly justified in saying that the sooner this war ends the sooner peace will prevail. We have had a statement made here about foreign alliances, and about the friendly expression of opinion by foreign Powers. If these statements are true, why have you an appeal here to 186 night for another 115,000 men? Is it to subdue a population of 150,000 men, women and children, or is it as a menace to foreign Powers, whose alliance and friendship you profess to have? The longer you pursue this war the greater the danger to your Empire. The longer you pursue it the greater quantity of blood will you sacrifice on foreign soil. I ask what proportion of this 115,000 men must Ireland contribute. I am as convinced as I am standing in this House [Laughter]—I can assure hon. Gentlemen opposite that their laughing and jeering won't stop me—I am as sure as I am speaking here that the vast majority of the men who are fighting in South Africa are not fighting for liberty but for slavery. They are not fighting of their own free will, as they fought on the hillsides of Ireland for liberty, but they are fighting to take away that liberty which you yourselves gave, and which you acknowledge the Transvaal and the Orange Free State are entitled to. It is a mere subterfuge to state you are fighting for freedom and equal rights. In our judgment the war should cease, and many hon. Members on the other side know that this is not a war for the franchise but a war for gold. We have heard the very able Lender Secretary for War, in his reply, speak of the glory of British and Irish soldiers facing death in such a cause. I fail to see what glory can come on an Irishman's shoulders in carrying the Union Jack on to victory, and when he comes back minus an arm or a leg, or wounded in the body, he will be treated the same as the Crimean veterans, have been treated. I have made here appeal after appeal on behalf of the men who carried you on to victory in the Crimea, and what is your answer? Why, you gave those veterans an Irish workhouse and a pauper's grave. A man who fought at Alma, Inkerman, and Sebastopol you gave 8d. a day, and why won't you increase his pension? You say it is because the law is not retrospective; neither will it be retrospective when the men come back from the Transvaal. As long as the Irish can carry you on to victory and possess youth and health they are valuable to-you, but the moment they become unfit for service you throw them on the resources of a helpless wife and family, and you shift them about as you have shifted the wife of an Irish soldier who is an Englishwoman. [Laughter.] Yes, it is quite correct, and I will prove the case. Within the last twelve months you 187 took a poor Englishwoman, whose husband died in your Army, and sent her into my constituency to be kept out of the rates at our expense.
§ and claimed to move, "That the question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the question be now put."
§ The Committee divided—Ayes, 236; Noes, 39. (Division List No. 15.)189
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward||Lucas-Shadwell, William|
|Allhusen, Augustus Hn. Eden||Fergusson, Rt Hn Sir J.(Manc'r||Macartney, W. G. Ellison|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Finch, George H.||MacIver, David (Liverpool)|
|Arnold, Alfred||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Maclure, Sir John William|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall|
|Arrol, Sir William||Fisher, William Hayes||M'Crae, George|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.||Fison, Fredk, William||M'Killop, James|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund||Malcolm, Ian|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Manners, Lord E. Win. J.|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Flower, Ernest||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Maxwell, Rt. Hn. Sir Herbert E.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Galloway, William Johnson||Milward, Colonel Victor|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Gartit, William||Monckton, Edward Philip|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Gedge, Sydney||Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hnts.|
|Beaumont, Wentworth, C. B.||Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lon.||Mure, Robt. J. (Shropshire)|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Bethell, Commander||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Moulton, John Fletcher|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Godson, Sir A. Frederick||Muntz, Philip A.|
|Bill, Charles||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Billson, Alfred||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Blakiston-Houston, John||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Murray, Col. Wynd. (Bath)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gretton, John||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Bond, Edward||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Bowles, Capt. H.F.(Middlesex||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Olroyd, Mark|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn)||Haldane, Richard Burdon||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Brassey, Albert||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hanson, Sir Reginald||Pease, Herb, Pike (Darlington)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Hardy, Laurence||Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)|
|Butcher, John George||Haslett, Sir James||Penn, John|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Homer Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Caldwell, James||Hazell, Walter||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Carlile, William Walter||Heaton, John Henniker||Pilkington, R. (Lanes Newton|
|Canston, Richard Knight||Henderson, Alexander||Pilkington, Sir G. A. (Lan. S. W.|
|Cavendish, K. F. (N. Lanes.)||Hill, Sir Edward Stock (Bristol)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Cavendish V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Plunket, Rt. Hon. H. Curzon|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, E.)||Hobhouse, Henry||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Holland, William Henry||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm)||Horniman, Frederick John||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Howell, William Tudor||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil||Purvis, Robert|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Rasch, Major Frederic Carn|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Cooke, C.W. Radcliffe (Heref'd)||Joicey, Sir James||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson|
|Cotton Jodrell, Col. Ed. T. D.||Kearley, Hudson E.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Kenyon, James||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William||Round, James|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Keswick, William||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Curzon, Viscount||Kimlier, Henry||Russell, Gen. F.S. (Cheltenh'm)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kitson, Sir James||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Knowles, Lees||Rutherford, John|
|Denny, Colonel||Lafone, Alfred||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Langley, Batty||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon, Sir Charles||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Shaw-Stewart. M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Long, Col. Chase, W. (Evesham||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Lome, Marquess of||Strachey, Edward|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Lowe, Francis William||Strauss, Arthur|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks|
|Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G. (Oxf'd Univ||Wason, Eugene||Wodehouse, Rt Hon E.R. (Bath|
|Tennant, Harold John||Webster, Sir Richard E.||Woodhouse, Sir J.T. (Huds'fd)|
|Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A C. E.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B. Stuart-|
|Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd||Wylie, Alexander|
|Thorburn, Sir Walter||Whitmore, Charles Algernon||Wyndham, George|
|Thornton, Percy M.||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer||Wyvil, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Tollemache, Henry James||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray||Williams, Joseph Powell-(Bir.|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Willox, Sir John Archibald||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Tritton, Charles Ernest||Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)|
|Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)||Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfolk|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Flynn. James Christopher||Price, Robert John|
|Ashton, Thomas (Gair||Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis||Redmond, J. K. (Waterford)|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Hayden, John Patrick||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Blake, Edward||Kilbride, Denis||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cum'land||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Burns, John||MacDonnell, Dr. M.A. (Q'n's C.||Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Crean, Eugene||M'Ghee, Richard||Tully, Jasper|
|Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal)||Mandeville, J. Francis||Weir, James Galloway|
|Doogan, P. C.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wilson, H. J. (York, W. K.)|
|Engledew, Charles John||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Woods, Samuel|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan||O'Malley, William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Thomas Esmonde and Captain Donelan.|
|Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.)||Parnell, John Howard|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Power, Patrick Joseph|
§ Question put accordingly, "That a further number of land forces, not exceeding 120,000, all ranks, be maintained for the Service of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at home and190
§ abroad, during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1900."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 239; Noes, 34. (Division List No. 16.)191
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Cavendish, V C.W (Derbyshire||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)|
|Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden||Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)||Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm.)||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Arnold, Alfred||Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Garlit, William|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugo O.||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Gedge, Sydney|
|Arrol, Sir William||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Gibbons, J. Lloyd|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Gibbs, Hn. A.G.H. (City of Lon.|
|Asmith, Rt. Hn. Herbert. H.||Colomb. Sir John Charles Ready||Giles, Charles Tyrrell|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd)||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glas.)||Godson, Sir Angustus Frederick|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Cotton-Jodrell, Col. Edw. T.D.||Goldsworthy, Major-General|
|Baird, John Geo. Alexander||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward|
|Balearres, Lord||Cross, Herb, Shepherd (Bolton)||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Man)||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Gretton, John|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Curzon, Viscount||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H. (Bristol)||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Haldane, Richard Burdon|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Denny, colonel||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.|
|Benrose, Sir Henry Howe||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Hanson, Sir Reginald|
|Bethell, Commander||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Hardy, Laurence|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Haslett, Sir James Homer|
|Bill, Charles||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-|
|Billson, Alfred||Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Hazell, Walter|
|Blakiston-Houston, John||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Henderson, Alexander|
|Bond, Edward||Elliot, Hn. A. Ralph Douglas||Hill, Sir Edward Stock (Bristol)|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middels'x||Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn||Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward||Holland, William Henry|
|Brassey, Albert||Fergusson, Rt Hn Sir J. (Manc'r||Horniman, Frederick John|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Howell, William Tudor|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Finch, George H.||Hozier, Hon J. H. Cecil|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Jenkins, Sir John Jones|
|Butcher, John George||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Fisher, William Hayes||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)|
|Caldwell, James||Fison, Frederick William||Joicey, Sir James|
|Cable, William Walter||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund||Kearley, Hudson E.|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Kenyon, James|
|Cavendish, K. F. (N. Lancs.)||Flower, Ernest||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William|
|Keswick, William||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Strachey, Edward|
|Kimber, Henry||Oldroyd, Mark||Straus, Arthur|
|Kitson, Sir James||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Knowles, Lees||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Sturt. Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Lafone, Alfred||Parkes, Ebenezer||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G. (Oxf'd Uni.|
|Langley, Batty||Pease, Herbert Pike Darlingt'n||Tennant, Harold John|
|Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan E.|
|Leese, Sir J. F (Accrington)||Penn, John||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Pierpoint, Robert||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Pilkington, R. (Lanes, Newton||Tollemache. Henry James|
|Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Pilkington, Sir G. A. (Lancs, SW||Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray|
|Lorne, Marquess of||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Lowe, Francis William||Plunkett, Rt Hn Horace Curzon||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Lucas-Shadwell, William||Pretyman, Ernest George||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Price, Robert John||Wason, Eugene|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Provand Andrew Dryburgh||Webster, Sir Richard E.|
|MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Weir, James Galloway|
|MacIvre, Sir John William||Purvis, Robert||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd|
|M'Crae, George||Rentoul, James Alexander||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|M'Killop, James||Richardson, Sir Thos. (Hartlep'l||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Malcolm, Ian||Rickett, J. Compton||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Manners, Lord Edward W. J.||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas Thomson||Williams, Jos'ph Powell-(Birm.|
|Martin, Richard Biddulph||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W.F.||Robson, William Snowdon||Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)|
|Maxwell, Rt. Hon. Sir H. E.||Round, James||Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfolk)|
|Middlemore, John T.||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Milward, Colonel Victor||Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R. (Bath|
|Monckton, Edward Philip||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)||Woodhouse, Sir J T(Huddersf'd|
|Montagu, Hon. J. Seott (Hants.)||Rutherford, John||Woods, Samuel|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wylie, Alexander|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)||Wyndham, George|
|Moulton, John Fletcher||Shaw-Stewart. M. H. (Renfrew||Wyvil, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Muntz, Philip A.||Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.)||Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Hayden, John Patrick||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Blake, Edward||Kilbride, Denis||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Burns, John||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'land)||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||MacDonnell, Dr. M.A. (Q'n'sC)||Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)|
|Crean, Eugene||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Crilly, Daniel||M'Ghee, Richard||Tully, Jasper|
|Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal)||Mandeville, J. Francis||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Engledew, Charles John||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Thomas Esmonde and Captain Donelan.|
|Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.)||O'Malley, William|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Parnell, John Howard|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Power, Patrick Joseph|
§ It being after midnight, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Resolution to be reported to-morrow; Committee to sit again to-morrow.