§ Motion made and Question proposed, "That a supplementary sum, not exceed- 240 ing £13,000,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1900, for additional expenditure, in consequence of the war in South Africa, in respect of the following Army services, namely:—
|Vote 1. Pay, etc., of the Army||2,400,000|
|Vote 2. Medical establishments: pay, etc||70,000|
|Vote 3. Militia: pay, etc.||250,000|
|Vote 4. Yeomanry cavalry: pay and allowances||5,000|
|Vote 5. Volunteer corps: pay and allowances||15,000|
|Vote 6. Transport and remounts||5,000,000|
|Vote 7. Provisions, forage, and other supplies||3,000,000|
|Vote 8. Clothing establishments and services||500,000|
|Vote 9. Warlike and other stores||1,600,000|
|Vote 10. Works, etc.: cost (including staff for engineer services)||1,30,000|
|Vote 13. War Office salaries and miscellaneous charges||10,000|
§ —(Mr. Wyndham.)
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN () Stirling Burghs
I am obliged to demur somewhat to the absolute doctrine laid down by the First Lord of the Treasury as to the scope within which the discussion of this Vote should be confined. It may be quite true that in the ordinary discussion of the annual Army Estimates it is convenient to the House to take the larger discussion of policy on Vote A, and then on Vote I, which contains an infinitude of details, to discuss the detailed proposals. But on this occasion I cannot accept, subject, of course, to your ruling, Mr. Lowther, the doctrine that we are, in considering a Vote for such an enormous sum of money, prohibited from considering the general policy on which the demand is made. After the discussion which has proceeded for some days we are able to look upon this matter in the light of the criticisms which have been passed on the proposals of the Government, and we are better able to understand the distinction between the proposals which are permanent and those which are temporary. With all his skill, my hon. friend in his speech the other night was not able to altogether disentangle these two classes of proposals. So far as the temporary provisions are 241 concerned, our position—and the position, I believe, of the vast majority of those who are listening to me—is perfectly clear. Anything that is necessary for the energetic and successful prosecution of the war we will give without stint and without measure; and anything that is necessary for completing the military defence of these islands we are also prepared to assent to without demur, and without being too minute or fastidious in our criticisms of what may be proposed. I think the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary, and the Secretary of State in another place, dwelt a little too much on the conjectural and experimental nature of these proposals, because they gave colour to the conception that they were somewhat of a haphazard character, put forward without such full consideration as should have been given to them. I am sure that was not their intention. The case is rather that the Government wish to use the disposition naturally engendered by the war, and affecting the warmest sentiments of the people, to make—I will not say demand—but to make arrangements with regard to the bettor training of the Militia and the Volunteers which would not, perhaps, lie possible in ordinary times, and which may be somewhat in the nature of a test of what those two forces may be prepared to undergo in quieter times. When the Under Secretary for War laid his proposals before the Committee I ventured to express a fear that the burden which he was seeking to lay upon those forces was more than they could bear, because the Volunteers are men occupied in business of various kinds, and not having the disposal of their time. The Militiamen are also for the most part men who take their two or three weeks training as an annual holiday, and take it joyfully, doing their service with satisfaction to themselves and with benefit to the country. But if those two or three weeks are extended the men might be altogether unable to serve. To that extent, therefore, the alarm created by the proposal in the first instance was perfectly justifiable; but explained as it is—and it was explained at the time, though it escaped observation—that it was only for this year, by way of a test and also in order to take advantage of the natural patriotic feeling in military matters that possesses the country at this moment, I think there is not much objection to be taken to it, 242 especially as all those arrangements are of a purely permissive and voluntary character on the part of those who are affected by them. One other point of detail, and the only one I will refer to, was raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Forest of Dean. It was, I think, one of the most important—namely, that in all our arrangements with regard to the constitution and recruiting of the Army we should preserve elasticity—that with this voluntary Army of ours there should always be a choice of the conditions of service offered to those who wish to join the Army. Some men desire to make a long career of Army service. If they are suitable men let them do it. Others may desire to go into the Army for a short time. If they are suitable men, let them go in. I would go further and say that there should be opportunities at certain periods of their training whereby they may pass from one of these categories to another, so that our voluntary Army should be a willing service throughout. The Government propose to invite a large number of time-expired men of suitable age to revert to the colours in order to fill up the immediate deficiencies in the force. That, as I say, is a most natural and also most useful part of the proposal. At the same time I suppose these men will go on for pension. In either case you are, as it were, shifting the balance of the Army more in the direction of long service. I think care should be taken, and I have no doubt it is the intention of the Government, that there should be a free opportunity for men to enlist for the short period of three years, because if you do not encourage that kind of enlistment at this moment your Reserve will lie in a parlous condition in the course of a few years. It has been almost emptied at the present moment, and therefore it ought to be particularly our aim to encourage short service now for the future development of that force which has proved itself so useful in this emergency and has earned the admiration of the whole country. I wish to direct attention now to some of the larger aspects of this question. I have been amongst the first to declare that we should concentrate all our attention upon the immediate situation, and leave the consideration of the future of the Army to some better and fuller time, and to some calmer opportunities of discussion: but views and doctrines have 243 been put forward which call for some immediate notice. How is the Army of the future to be constituted, what addition is to be made to its strength, and, as underlying these two questions, what estimate are we justified in taking of our future military requirements? These are problems which rise before us. There is no need to contemplate these questions in any spirit of panic. There is no occasion for panic at the present moment. There is a piece of advice with which we are familiar—although, T think, we quote it more often than we act upon it—"Let us clear our minds of cant." I think that we should clear our minds of panic. We should steel our hearts against panic, for there is no occasion for it at the present time. I see that many writers and speakers express alarm and astonishment that we should be put in difficulties by two little fourth-rate States. That is not a true appreciation of the situation. Putting aside altogether the question whether the Government ought to have made larger preparations for the war than they did, the fact remains that the war is a more difficult war than was anticipated in any quarter. Why? Let us be frank and honest towards our opponents. It is not only because of the difficulties of the country, but because of the enemy to whom we are opposed, for I venture to say that, man for man, there is no country in the world that could produce in the field a force so formidable as that we are meeting. To meet it we have, or shall have shortly, a force in South Africa of nearly 200,000 men. That is a fact of which we may well be proud. I venture to say that during the last thirty years there has not been a man, whether he be an Army reformer or an Army anti-reformer, a critic or an apologist, who has contemplated the need of this country taking from its shores a force of even half that number. What has caused the degree of denudation we hear of is that we have sent away not only what we regard as our largest available field force, but we have been obliged to send away a large part of the force we relied upon for the defence of these shores. Such a war was never contemplated by any Army authority I have ever been acquainted with, and equally little was it ever contemplated by those exultant, self-confident gentlemen who for the last half-dozen years have been piling up responsibilities 244 for this country in every part of the world. Everyone is conscious of one fact in those debates, that there has been something hanging over us—namely, the question of compulsory service. Whether you regard it as a will-o'-the-wisp, or as an ogre, or as a sword of Damocles, or as whatever figure you choose to employ, it has been impending over us; and there are some people who imagine that, notwithstanding the disclaimers that members of the Government and their supporters have made, these conjectural expedients, as they are called, which have been put forward have been expected, if not intended, to pave the way and prepare the mind of the country for the adoption of larger and more strenuous methods. Let me say I am not one of those who entertain that suspicion. It is too Machiavellian altogether for a number of English gentlemen to entertain any such scheme. I do not believe it. I believe the Government honestly rejected that method of obtaining sufficient forces for this country. The Government is one thing and the Prime Minister is another. We constantly find that assurances are given by the Government and that then at some early opportunity the Prime Minister throws doubt on all the assurances we have received and takes up doctrines and theories which have been rejected deliberately by his colleagues in the Government. The Prime Minister made a speech last night, and, so far as its general sobriety and general tone are concerned, we are thankful for it. But in the course of that speech he oratorically shrugged his shoulders and talked in this way. He said that other nations depend upon compulsory service and we stand alone in rejecting it, and therefore our resources are purely conjectural; we have no examples or precedents to guide us; the difficulty lies in the form of military organisation which you have deliberately chosen and to which you still adhere. If that is to argue against conscription I should like to know what arguing in favour of it would be. "Practically," said Lord Salisbury—this is my interpretation of his words—" we cannot adopt this wise and beneficial system because of the stubborn infatuation and prejudice of the British people." I agree as to the stubborn prejudice of the British people, but that is not by any means the whole 245 case; it does not stand upon that alone. It is perfectly true that the idea of compulsory service is repugnant to our people; but the greater, if not the higher, more forcible and more tangible objection is that it is wholly inapplicable to our Constitution. There is no analogy between our case in this respect and that of foreign countries. In the first place, foreign countries have not colonies mi any great scale. You could never take a conscript and send him to garrison and defend a tropical colony a great distance from his own soil. Then, again, Continental countries have to guard against the conterminous enemy who can hurl over the frontier his legions to an extent which is only limited by the number of men of fighting age he can put into the ranks, and, therefore, every country has to lay hold of every available man and thrust him into the line of battle in defence of his home. How do we stand? We are surrounded by the sea, and we have the Fleet to defend us. It is said the Fleet may be overwhelmed and possibly destroyed, or, at all events, overcome. In that case no armed force we could have in this country could save us. It may be said that the Fleet may be temporarily disabled, or that some calamity of that sort may befall us. Then, I would say, take half a dozen of your best soldiers and half a dozen of your best sailors, and lot them estimate what is the largest force that could in such circumstances be landed in this country. They would disagree among themselves, we know from experience. Take the biggest of their estimates and go to your skilled soldiers and say—How many men do you require in order to overwhelm this force? Then you know the force that is necessary for the defence of the country. But supposing you have conscription, whether for the Militia or for the Line, you would have a force far larger than could lie conveniently placed in line against any invading army. In fact, you would have a preposterously large force which you would not require. We are told it would not be universal compulsory service, but something like the ballot applied to the Militia. I am old enough to remember dim echoes of the grievances under the system of the Militia ballot many, many years ago. Are you to allow substitutes in your system of ballot? In that case you merely put a heavy burden on the poor 246 man from which the rich man is entirely relieved. But I presume you will not allow substitutes. Then what happens? You have the great duty of the personal defence of the sanctity of our country and the security of our homes, which ought to be the duty of every man capable-of bearing arms, committed only to the-few, and those are to be put into that position by what I should say is compulsion tempered by the ballot-box. Universal conscription I can understand, and in Continental countries it may be necessary; but conscription with the ballot seems to mo to be nothing but a combination of the press gang and the roulette table, which is neither a very dignified nor effective way of defending the country; and the application of any such system would have the effect, which it has had in the experience of this country in previous generations, of, if not absolutely wiping out, at all events greatly impairing the work of our voluntary system, so far as that existed alongside of it. Now, there are many other arguments, but I think I have said enough. If compulsion is to be discarded, and if a great addition to our forces is required, how is that great addition to be secured? The Government propose to encourage and develop the voluntary home army of defence. In that policy I entirely agree, and I am sure it will have the approval of every member of the House. But as to the Regular Army, what are we to do? Let it not be forgotten that we are, according to the experience of many years past, almost at the extreme limits of our recruiting resources. It comes and goes. Sometimes we have a good month, sometimes a bad month, according to the state of the labour market and other circumstances; but, roughly speaking, we are about at the limits of our recruiting resources. The recruiting business is always a nervous business. We are never quite sure if we will get the recruits we want. At present we take our men from the lower and less settled, perhaps more adventurous classes of the community, which has this one advantage, that we abstract little or the least that is possible from the wealth-creating and industrial resources of the country. But as I have said, we have well-nigh got to the limit of the supply from that class of the community. What are you to do if you want more men? You must increase the pay, it is 247 said. But, if you are going to increase the pay, let it be distinctly understood—and I am sure that in this I am speaking the opinion not only of civilians, but of all soldiers who have had to do with this matter—that you will do no good unless you give a very large addition to the pay. The mere giving of a penny, halfpenny, or twopence a day has been tried again and again, and although I will not say it was money thrown away, it has had no perceptible effect. If you want to have a larger supply of recruits, you must tap another class of the community altogether; you must compete in the well-paid labour market, and if you do so you will have to face three results. In the first place, you would incur a prodigious cost; in the second, the additional money paid for the existing class of recruits would be thrown away, because you would have got them at the present terms; and in the third place you would lose the services, as creators of wealth, of the men whom you would take from that higher class. It may be necessary to do this: but let us at ail events do it with our eyes open; let us understand that it will mean a heavy burden, in all these three respects, upon the country. But is this necessary? Our Army must be based upon our military requirements. Our military requirements depend upon our policy. The Prime Minister said last night—I do not admit that the trouble we are now in is due to any extension of the Empire. Our difficulties arise entirely from this war with the two Republics, and certainly that has arisen out of no extension of the Empire.I do not wish, Mr. Lowther, to raise over again the controversies that are in full existence and force between us on the subject of this war, but I am afraid there are many of us at least who think that the extension of the Empire, the acquisition of fresh territory, is certainly to be found among the influences which led to this war. As I have said, I do not wish to recall that matter, which has been debated at considerable length already; but, leaving that aside, do our difficulties Arise solely from this war with the two Republics? Suppose we could cover our heads and hide from our eyes with a "white sheet" the rest of the surface of the globe except these two Republics—if we could keep out of consideration all the globe except the British Empire and the two Republics, what a relief it would be 248 to our minds! But how can we confine ourselves solely to them? Have we no complications, difficulties, and dangers in other parts of the world? Leaving out of consideration other continents, let us look at the continent of Africa alone. Is there nothing in North Africa, in West Africa, in East Africa, which may not at any moment call for the use of troops? We have gone on for some years anxious apparently for one thing only, namely, that we should be beforehand with our neighbours in securing the possible future advantages of great undeveloped countries; we have thought of the possible advantages, and have let the risks take care of themselves, and thus we have mortgaged our strength. This is the policy whose fruit we see in the present difficulties. Last year I ventured to express my doubts on this very ground of the wisdom of our great enterprises, brilliant and successful as they were, in the Soudan. I pointed out the tremendous strain upon our military resources—the difficult and dangerous position it may develop into in the course of time—involved in our having a great equatorial Empire in the heart of Africa. Is there no cause for anxiety there now? Is there no one there ready to take advantage of our I South African embarrassment? If there is not, and I hope there is not, it is very fortunate for us. Is there any one of those possessions or spheres of influence for which we may not, at any moment, receive a demand for troops? But it is not, however, the possible demands from localities that we have to consider mainly. It is rather the temper and disposition towards us which the line of policy persistently pursued by this country has created in the minds not only of Governments, but of peoples, with whom we, the masses of the people of this country, have no interest and no desire except to remain on the most friendly and cordial terms. I am only dealing with this question now as it affects the Army. I am quite ready, let it be understood, to assent to any proposal for increasing the Army, in the way of building up deficiencies either in any particular branch of the service or in the equipment of the Army in order to make it efficient and strong. But what I wish to make clear before hand is that we shall be no party to any such alteration in the character of our military forces as may be designed here- 249 after to facilitate an aggressive or ambitious policy. Our Empire, Sir, is vast and it is strong. Why is it strong? Because it is an Empire of peace, of commerce, of kindly relations between self-governing communities. It cannot be maintained, this great Empire, as a military Empire. It is beyond the power of man to do it. By bringing into it the military spirit, by making a great part of it rest upon the sword, you will not add either to its extent or its strength. On the contrary, you will take from both, and you will be the worst friends of the Empire which you profess to serve.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
Sir, I am the last person to complain of the right hon. Gentleman's intervent on in this debate and I do not even complain that he has chosen this rather late hour in the debate for making the important and interesting speech which he has just given us, because, as I gather from h s speech, it really has had its birth and origin not in any of the debates that have taken place in this House, but in an important and interesting discussion which has taken place elsewhere. But let me begin by congratulating the right hon. Gentleman, at all events, on having wholly avoided one fault which has not been so successfully avoided by another important speaker elsewhere. I was glad to hear that there was no note of panic in any word which the right hon. Gentleman has said in this House. He did not come here and in tones trembling with emotion tell us that the Empire is in danger unless we mobilise the Fleet. The right hon. Gentleman looks with a colder and saner eye on the present position of the country—a position of great and unexpected difficulty, which we are bound to do everything in our power to remedy as rapidly and as effectually as possible. Nevertheless, it is a position which does not justify tones of panic, least of all from any gentleman or noble Lord who has, and deserves to have, the right to lead public opinion in these great Imperial matters. Then the right hon. Gentleman went on to discuss the question of compulsory service, and here again he made the text of his speech some words which fell from Lord Salisbury in another place. He was candid enough to read the words of Lord Salisbury, and anybody listening to these 250 words as read would certainly have been extremely puzzled to extract from them the meaning which the right hon. Gentleman put into them. He put upon them the interpretation that the Prime Minister-of this country was ardently desirous of instantaneously introducing a system of compulsory service, but was prevented by the crass stupidity and want of public spirit of his countrymen. I do not think any such meaning can, by any process of interpretation or exegesis, be read into Lord Salisbury's words. There was a speaker in another place last night who did refer in language almost unambiguous to-the subject of compulsory service, and who indicated obscurely, but not unintelligibly, that his leanings were in that direction. That speaker was not Lord Salisbury, but a late colleague of the right hon. Gentleman, not named by him in his speech, but against whom, I rather collected, almost every word of that speech was directed. The right hon. Gentleman advised the Government to put into one room six of the most capable sailors and six of the most capable soldiers they could find, and to ask these representatives of the two great services to fight it out amongst themselves and come to some conclusion, if possible, as to the number of soldiers which any foreign Power could land on these shores on the supposition that our fleet at sea had been defeated or temporarily decoyed away. As the right hon. Gentleman himself anticipated, the debate he wishes to get up under these conditions would probably prove a stormy and inconclusive one, and he did not contemplate as a possibility that a unanimous verdict would be given by this particular jury. But let me remind him that a calculation, not arrived at precisely in that way, but arrived at after an interchange of ideas between representatives of the Admiralty and the War Office, has long been made; and that the general outcome of that was that this country ought to have, in order to make itself absolutely secure against any contingency reasonable men could contemplate, three army corps, as well as a sufficiency of forces to garrison our principal arsenals and military stations.
§ * SIR JOHN COLOMB () Great Yarmouth
Will my right hon. friend say when that interchange of ideas between these departments took place?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I think it was in 1888, but I am not aware that there has been any change either in the military situation in Europe or in the balance of power between European nations which has rendered that estimate, necessarily a rough one, inadequate. The object of the Government, acting on that professional conclusion, is to find, if possible, these three army corps and these necessary garrisons. The right hon. Gentleman has pointed out that by the very nature of the case that cannot rapidly be satisfactorily or effectually done. We admit fully and freely that having sent out this vast number of men to South Africa we have not, by the nature of the case, in his country the material, in a sufficient state of trained preparation, that we should like to have. We have never tried to hoodwink the public upon it, we have never represented our position as bettor than it is, but what we have said is, "Given that position, we have put a plan before the House which, in the main, we do not think the criticism of the last three days has effectually shaken." While it is perfectly true and natural, and, in my opinion, justifiable, that the scheme of the Government should be received without enthusiasm, without any great expression of satisfaction, it is equally true, and even more important, that nobody, as far as I know, has been able to suggest any great source of strength which we have left untapped. If that lie so, I do not think it necessary to labour any further the details of the scheme. But one point has been raised which I must deal with before I sit down. The right hon. Gentleman has in the course of his speech attributed our present difficulties to the increase of our Empire and to the new responsibilities which that increase has brought upon us. Sir, is there any justification in the facts of contemporary history for that contention? I myself am not one of those who watch Imperial expansion wholly without misgiving or wholly "without a sense of anxiety." I think it is necessary, but that it ought not to be undertaken with a light heart. But when I am asked whether our present difficulties, or any difficulties we may contemplate in the future, are due to that expansion, I think an impartial and critical survey of what is going on in all parts of the world would lead to precisely opposite conclusions. I agree that Egypt has increased our re- 252 sponsibilities. That has been admitted by every Imperial politician either in this country or out of it. But these responsibilities were undertaken nearly twenty years ago by a Government of which the right hon. Gentleman was a member, and I do not believe the right hon. Gentleman or any section of the party to which he belongs will come to this House and say our Egyptian responsibilities are responsibilities out of which we should creep. There they are, and we must support them, and any military burden which those responsibilities throw upon us must be cheerfully borne. But, turning away from Egypt, on which the right hon. Gentleman is in harmony with us, what colonial expansion has there been of recent years which can, in any serious sense, be said to have added to the military burden of the Empire?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Does the hon. Gentleman seriously mean to suggest that if Rhodesia had not come within the British sphere of influence we should have had no troubles in South Africa? This contest between us and the two Dutch Republics, merely looking at it in its military aspect, proves that not Rhodesia, not Natal, but the possession of any colony in South Africa might at any moment have brought us into conflict with these two Republics. We are told that a more dexterous diplomacy might have put it off. I do not agree with that. I will not argue it. It does not touch the question of military responsibility—indeed, the longer the contest was put off, from a military point of view, so much the more obviously, if it did come, would the contest be a burden on the military resources of the country. How does colonial expansion in South Africa increase our responsibilities? What great burden has it thrown on our Army system? Although we did not know it, and it was concealed from us and the most expert military critics, inside and outside the War Office, and even the omniscient Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean—none of them ever suggested that one reason why we should augment our military forces in this country and keep them in the highest state for immediate action was that we had on our borders a not friendly, but 253 very powerful military State in the shape of the Transvaal Republic. Again, surely that shows that these military responsibilities date from nothing which has occurred of recent years, but from that initial operation by which we became possessed of our colonies in South Africa.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Then there is one other part of the world in which we must, I am afraid, contemplate an increasing burden of military responsibility, or, at all events, a burden which time is not likely to lessen, and that is India. Is the military burden which India throws upon us due to recent expansion? Is that due to the aggressive policy of this party or that? Is it due to the greedy appetite of John Bull for more territory? No, Sir. It arises from the inevitable progress of events in Asia, the character of which is well known to the House. That burden of military responsibility I boldly say has nothing whatever to do, is not even remotely connected, with any expansion of the Empire which has taken place within the memory of man. Well, then, surely it was unnecessary for the right hon. Gentleman to drag these anti-Imperialist ideas into the present discussion. If he believes, as he tells us lie believes, that our responsibilities in Egypt are there and must be recognised, if ha tells us, as I believe he would tell us, that it is our bounden duty to maintain against the possibility of warlike aggression our colonies in South Africa, if he tells us, as I have no doubt he would tell us, that our Indian Empire must be safeguarded against the possibility of aggression, then he agrees with us that the many divisions of our Empire, all the most burdensome in a military sense of our responsibilities, have nothing to do with the expansion which he condemns, hut are based deep upon incidents in the history of the Empire, they are rooted in the past, and have nothing whatever to do with any recent transactions for which this Government or our immediate predecessors are responsible. I should have been glad if the right hon. Gentleman had ended with some suggestion as 10 how our increased responsibilities should be met. He occupied a great deal of time in showing how all the schemes hinted at by his political friends in 254 another place were not schemes he tolerated or would adopt, but never from the beginning to the end of his speech did he make a single practical suggestion for increasing our means of military defence. In that it seems to me the speech, of which I otherwise have nothing to complain, suffered from a disease which has attacked many speeches made in the course of these debates, that they have been critical but not constructive; and at this time we specially want constructive suggestions, and mere criticism, barren criticism, is largely thrown away. We have no bigoted affection for our plan. I do not for a moment contend that it will do more than fill up in a not wholly satisfactory way the great gaps the war in South Africa has left in our defence, and we would welcome from any quarter of the House practical suggestions by which that plan might lie improved.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
But however valuable speeches may have been, our hopes of constructive suggestions have been disappointed, and I am only sorry the right hon. Gentleman, making as he did a speech wholly without party bias, or at any rate not couched in controversial terms, moderate in its tenor and admirably free from any note of panic—I can only regret that, making a speech having all these merits, the right hon. Gentleman was not able to add anything, so far as I know, to the scheme we have laid before the House, or in any way to aid the Government in the difficult and heavy task which has been thrown upon their shoulders.
§ * CAPTAIN NORTON () Newington, W.
Now that we have had the opportunity of considering the scheme which has been laid before us by the Government, and the further advantage of hearing and reading speeches of great importance made, not only in another place, but also here by the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition, I desire to offer a few criticisms with reference to the scheme as a whole. I think it will not be denied that it has not created much enthusiasm throughout the country at large. I have no desire to criticise the scheme in any unfriendly spirit, but the scheme as a whole, as it has been developed and put 255 forward by the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for War, seemed to be very much like the prospectus of a company promoter. It consisted in a great measure of "castles in the air," and unless the Under Secretary of State for War has some fairy godfather I fail to see how the scheme he developed is to be brought into operation. The fairy godfather in his case may be said to be Patriotism. I do not deny that a great wave of patriotism is now passing over the country. But if we are a patriotic people we are at the same time a practical and businesslike people, and with regard to some of the views put forward in connection with the Volunteers, and more especially in connection with obtaining a sufficient number of recruits, the anticipations of the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for War may be said in a great measure to be based on imagination. I am not one of those who are going to complain of the expansion of the Empire. I believe you cannot avoid the responsibility. If we are to be, as we are now, the greatest commercial nation of the world, and maintain command of the seas, we cannot do so without great risk of expansion of our Empire, in order to neutralise the expansion which other nations seek. My complaint is that the Government of the day has failed to take this state of things into consideration in conjunction with their state of military preparations. There will be, I am afraid, a tendency to go back to the old happy-go-lucky style without initiating a scheme of complete reform of our military system. I desire to look at the scheme from two points of view—first of all as an emergency measure, and secondly as a scheme of home defence. I ask the Under Secretary of State for War first, what is the object of putting in this 110,000 men as being still in the country belonging to the regiments? Does he not know that of this number 98,000 consist of immature men, that is to say, boys, and of men invalided or who from a physical point of view are not fitted for service abroad? Under those circumstances there would not be any advantage derived by the forces from having a large number of men not fit to go to the front at the present moment. If they are not fit to go to the front in South Africa they are not fit to defend us in this country. Then with regard to the fifteen new battalions, where are they to come from? Where is the hon.
256 Gentleman going to get 50,000 men in the course of twelve months? Fifty thousand men will be necessary to keep up those fifteen battalions, together with the general recruiting.
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. WYNDHAM,) Dover
I obtained 40,000 men last year.
§ * CAPTAIN NORTON
Quite so; but how many will be wanted this year? You require 15,000 men to form the new battalions, and, in addition to that, you want sufficient to feed the army in South Africa. We may have to send out another 50,000 men to South Africa, and shortly after another 50,000, owing to the difficult character of the country and the difficulty of safeguarding the lines of communication, and the number of troops required will be very large. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition made a suggestion with regard to recruiting, but he did not solve the question. Now, there are others who believe there is a solution to the question, and that solution is undoubtedly to have a Volunteer army, which shall be highly paid, and to have as an adjunct to that army forces for home service, and for home service only. I shall be told, perhaps, that the Volunteer forces and the Militia will answer that purpose; but is it possible for Volunteers. to give the necessary time to become efficient soldiers? My suggestion, therefore, is that instead of attempting to increase the Volunteers and Militia in. great numbers, the right hon. Gentleman should weed out those who cannot follow up the plan he has laid down, and there is no doubt the Volunteer force would be a better force if it was not so large, but more efficient. Now, the standard of troops has been lowered to 5ft. 2in. in order to obtain drivers in the artillery, who do the hardest work in the Army. There are a large number of undersized men in the country who are not fit to do the work of artillery drivers, but would be of undoubted use as mounted infantry. Does it not occur to every Member of the House that a large number of the men expected to form Reserve battalions are married and settled down, and are not likely to leave their present positions for the sake of the £30 bounty which it is suggested should be offered? Furthermore, it would be a very expensive force, seeing that this bounty means a sum of nearly £1,000,000 257 added to the Estimates. As regards the Militia, where are those 30,000 men, of whom that branch of the service is short at the present time, to come from? This question of producing recruits for the Army, Militia, and Volunteers resembles a game of "post." Certainly, as regards the two first of those categories, almost the whole of the recruits come from the same class; while as for the men in the Volunteer artillery coming out for three months, the idea is preposterous. Where are the men to come from who have three months leisure to give to military duties in the course of the year? The Under Secretary for War stated that his scheme as regards the Volunteers had been so arranged in order that certain regiments in certain districts—presumably mining and other districts where men could spare the time—might be able to go in for the month's training, and that whore battalions could not go for the larger period they might go for the shorter time. It is extremely doubtful whether even in this year and under the present circumstances you will get many battalions to camp out for more than one week, and then it is only right that they should be paid handsomely. I would advocate as a minimum that £1 per man should be added to the capitation grant. As regards the cavalry, of which I may be presumed to know something, the idea of producing these proposed extra regiments, even in the current year, is ludicrous to the last degree. If we were able to procure the very best class of men, the men most likely to produce cavalry soldiers, the most efficient cavalry officers in the Empire could not train them to a state of efficiency by the end of the year. There is one very important portion of the service which has not been alluded to, in which I take some interest, and the deficiencies in which I have pointed out year after year—the Army Medical Department. I was told in this House that two army corps could be despatched to South Africa complete in all respects, including the Army Medical Department, and yet no sooner has war broken out than we have to draw upon the civilian element. L do not mean to infer that the civilian element is not thoroughly competent in all respects, but there are administrative duties in connection with the Army Medical Department, and those who have no training as regards administrative duties cannot by any possibility be 258 expected to discharge them efficiently As far as the question of home defence is concerned this scheme is a transparent fraud, and is merely throwing dust into the eyes of the people of England. You talk about 400,000 men. Those 400,000 men exist only on paper. They have neither transport nor guns, and the necessary transport and guns cannot be produced without months and months of hard work. As has been stated before, our real defence lies in the Fleet, and I hope when the First Lord of the Admiralty brings in his see that something is being done with reference to the Reserve Fleet, and the question of producing a full supply of men to man the fleet in case of emergency. There are other matters in which the Army can co-operate with the Navy. I take it as a foregone conclusion that mine fields have been laid down in all our great harbours, and that steps have been taken to place quickfiring guns in all our forts. But even then it is absolutely necessary that you should have a mobile force complete in all particulars, as to both guns and to transport; otherwise, in the event of a mishap to your Fleet, your 400,000 men in the auxiliary forces, including the remnant of the Regular Army still with us, would be perfectly useless. There is another point to which I have not yet alluded. The Volunteers happen to be at this moment 75,000 below their strength. I would be glad to know, with the present crisis in view, how many of those 75,000 have been procured, and whether we are likely to obtain that number when we are at the same time making greater demands upon that force both as to efficiency and as to the length of time the men must serve. I can only say that if the Government succeed in sending the necessary number of troops to South Africa, in filling up the voids in the Militia, at the same time creating this force of cavalry, and bringing up the Volunteers to full strength, in my opinion the miracles of Bible history will sink into insignificance compared with the miracle which will then have been performed by Her Majesty's Government. I have already alluded to weeding out the Volunteers, but may I venture to suggest with reference to that particular service that some attempt should be made to form a Volunteer reserve, composed of men between the ages of twenty 259 and thirty-five years, who shall be bachelors, get a larger capitation grant, and be drafted into what I will call a first-class Volunteer reserve. There are many men in this country with fixed occupations, who, while they loathe barrack life, would be extremely anxious to see active service. Many of these men exist in the Volunteers, and that they would be glad of such an opportunity has been proved by the way in which they have volunteered for the front in the present emergency. They would, of course, be men in the prime of life and of the highest efficiency. As the men married or their avocations became such as to prevent their going to the front they would fall into, so to speak, a second class Volunteer reserve, and be liable for; garrison duty at home. Then I would strongly advocate the advisability of forming standing camps in as close proximity as needs be to the large centres of population, so that there should be great facilities for Volunteers to go under canvas for a few days whenever they had the opportunity. It would not only please the Volunteers, but add greatly to their efficiency, if some officer cognisant of the views and ideas of that force was put upon the staff' at the Horse Guards, assisted by other officers equally conversant with the Volunteer movement. But the most important point concerning, detail which I should like to bring to the notice of the hon. Gentleman is the question of the supply of officers. If there is one thing more than another that would popularise both the Militia and the Volunteer forces as regards officers, it would be the giving of a certain number of commissions, not only to the junior ranks, but here and there a certain proportion to officers in the higher ranks of those forces. There are many men now serving in those branches of the service who by accident have not been able to enter the Regular Army, but who would make great sacrifices to do so, and it would certainly give a tremendous incentive to the entire force if some small proportion of picked men in the Militia and the Volunteers were selected at the present time for commissions in the Regular Army. I have already urged the advisability of promoting men from the ranks, and the hon. Gentleman gave me a pledge that that would be done. But several months have now elapsed since the outbreak of hostilities, during which 260 many non-commissioned officers have-greatly distinguished themselves, and the country is waiting to see when they are to be rewarded. It is a question in which the country feels the deepest interest. There are many men in the non-commissioned ranks who are admirably fitted for the positions of officers, and I would suggest that those who have so distinguished themselves should be promoted at once, or with the least possible delay. There is one aspect of the question concerning which we have had no information whatever, and that is the question of the expense. Not the slightest indication has been given as to the approximate cost of this entire scheme when carried out. I have always thought the late Commander-in-chief of the British Army put the matter very concisely when he said that it was for the British nation to consider whether they were prepared to pay the blood tax, or what proportion they would pay in hard sash. Our military expenditure may be enormous, but I am disposed to think that, all things considered, the people of this country would rather pay a very much larger sum in taxation than be obliged to undergo any form of conscription. The Leader of the House said that the scheme had not been shaken in any respect. I think he takes a somewhat hopeful view of the situation. Many of us cannot see where the men are to come from to fill up the Regular Army, while as regards the Auxiliary forces the consensus of opinion throughout the country is that the scheme is impossible. However, I hope the Under Secretary for War will do me the honour of paying some attention to the few suggestions I have ventured to offer. I think he will agree that I have not attempted to criticise his scheme from any party point of view or in any really unfriendly spirit.
§ * MR. JEFFREYS () Hampshire, N.
I think the country has received with satisfaction the proposals of the Government, and I hope measures will be taken to put; our Army in as strong a position as the Navy has been put in recent years. When I hear that the Army has been increased by twelve battalions, when I bear in mind: that last year the increase was only to the extent of three battalions, and even then; there was a great difficulty in raising them, I cannot help thinking that if we are to increase our Army by twelve battalions 261 we shall have to increase the rate of pay. The hon. Gentleman has already said something about increasing the pay. In a year like the present, when men are anxious to join the colours, it may not be difficult to raise this number, but in ordinary years we shall not get them without making the pay higher. Throughout the country labourers are getting higher wages than formerly, and when we have to compete with labour we cannot expect them to join the colours under present conditions. But there is a very important matter to be considered before we increase the Army, and that is we must build barracks for them. I remember the class of huts at Aldershot, which were not fit to house anybody. They were erected after the Crimean War, and had been made to last over thirty years. Therefore, I say that before we raise these twelve new battalions barracks should be built to house them. Farm labourers have to be well housed, and the only way to get them is to give them good houses to live in. I am perfectly certain that you cannot attract men to the colours unless you provide them with good barracks. With regard to the Auxiliary forces, I am glad to hear that the Artillery is to be increased, because it is one of the most important branches of the service. I should like to ask if my hon. friend intends to take steps to provide them with modern guns and ammunition. I do not wish to go into the details now as to the ammunition or guns, because the country is now at a very critical stage, and the hon. Gentleman would not like to expose his hand to foreign critics. I should like the authorities at the War Office to consider what would have been our position at the beginning of this war if we had not been able to borrow guns from the Navy. I think the Army ought to have a very good reserve of guns, and it is a very dangerous policy to borrow from the Navy, because in certain circumstances the Navy might have required those guns. I merely throw this out as a suggestion, for this war has certainly brought home to us the fact that unless we have a good reserve supply of guns and ammunition for the Army and the Navy, we might find ourselves in a very serious position when opposed to foreign countries. It has been said that the Militia have to go out for five or six months training. This is an exceptional year, and I have no doubt employers will 262 allow them to go. I understood also that in future years the Militia period of training is to be increased, and instead of going out for twenty-eight days they are to go out for about three months. I hope my hon. friend will clearly state whether that is not the intention. That is the impression in the country, because I have received a letter from a gentleman asking if it is true that the Militia have to go out for three months, and stating that if it is so it would be impossible for farm labourers to join the Militia. If the hon. Gentleman will make it clear that it is only in case of emergency that this is so, I think it will tend to assure employers throughout the country. There is now a very strong patriotic feeling in the country, but I believe that at the present time the Militia are 30,000 short of their establishment, and employment is good in all parts of the country. Of course when there is an emergency like the present and the men are called for, I have no doubt that they will respond readily to the call, but when wages are higher in all other industries, so the wages of the Militia will have to be higher before you can substantially increase the service. I desire to ask my hon. friend what he proposes to do with the reserve of officers, for at present there are a great many men who retire in the prime of life. I heard of a man, forty-two years of age, who is a retired captain in the Army. Surely such gentlemen in the reserve of officers ought to be called up to be officers in the Auxiliary forces, or to serve in some other department. A great many of our retired officers are receiving high rates of pensions, and are doing nothing. If you encourage them by a payment of about another £50 a year they would, no doubt, be glad to undertake this work. I cannot help thinking that it would be a much wiser policy to employ these officers, if not in our Regular forces, at any rate to officer the Auxiliary forces. My hon. friend alluded in his speech the other night to the country gentlemen, and said he hoped they would stand by the Government in this emergency and try and supply men to the Volunteers. I am quite sure that the country gentlemen have done that. Men have flocked to the colours of all kinds, and I know rich men who have gone out to South Africa to serve as ordinary troopers in the Yeomanry, and all honour to them 263 for doing so. I know of farmers' sons who have given up their business and joined the Yeomanry to fight the battles of their country, and the men of all classes in the rural districts have nobly responded to the call of duty, and I believe that in any year of emergency my hon. friend may call upon them to join and they will readily do so. When my hon. friend's turn comes to make a speech I hope he will state clearly that when these men are called upon to join the colours and go out for five or six months it is only in case of an emergency, and that the Volunteers are to go tinder canvas for one month only this year, and that in after years they will not be asked to go under canvas for a longer period than they have hitherto done.
§ MR. LOUGH () Islington, W.
It seems to me that in the speeches we have heard up to the present we are having a rehash of the debate which has been now extended over three days. Our object tonight is to vote a very large sum of money asked for by the Government for this war, and I should like to draw attention to the amount of this Vote in order that we may do our duty in regard to these large sums which have to be paid by this country. It is said that the country is willing to pay anything that is necessary for the war, but this does not do away with the right of criticism on our part as to the amount, and as to the form in which the Vote is asked for. I have tried to get some answer from the Under Secretary of State for War with regard to the particulars which have been given to the House, but so far the answer I have received is very unsatisfactory. They make one thing clear, and that is that with regard to the particulars of the expenditure which we may obtain this afternoon we shall be unable to get sufficient information to enable these matters to be fully considered by this House. The hon. Member told me yesterday that details of every sixpence of the expenditure would be published. The particulars would, however, be published about two years hence, and I do not think anyone will consider it worth while to discuss them then. Therefore, let us take the only opportunity we have got, and look at this large sum, and perhaps the Government will be able to throw a little more light upon it. The Vote is for £13,000,000, but the Paper deals 264 with £23,000,000, which includes £10,000,000 voted in the short session last year. The original Estimates amounted to £20,000,000, but now the Estimates are increased to £43,000,000. I think some idea of the necessity for further information on the subject will be obtained if hon. Members will look at the large book published containing full details of the Army Estimates in regard to the expenditure of the first £10,000,000., whereas we get nothing but this wretched little leaflet—which is a mere skeleton outline—about the other £13,000,000. I would like to ask one or two questions about this. How has the amount of £23,000,000 been fixed upon?
* THE CHAIRMAN
Order, order! The hon. Gentleman is entitled to speak about the £13,000,000, but he cannot go back to the £10,000,000, because that has already been disposed of.
§ MR. LOUGH
Then I desire to know how this £13,000,000 has been arrived at. The hon. Member told us that the first £10,000,000 was based on estimates made when this question was first brought before the House. But all the estimates of the Government have been wrong in regard to this war, and surely some more details should be given to us of the basis upon which this large sum has been arrived at. I would just like to draw attention to the form in which the particulars are given to us. It is a sort of imitation in blank of the Army Estimates. There are altogether thirteen Votes in the Army Estimates, and all of them are increased in this Paper. Some of them are increased by very large amounts, and amounts so large that surely some further explanation ought to be given about them. Vote 1 is increased by about £3,000,000, and I would like to ask a. little information on this subject of the pay of our soldiers. How has this excess been arrived at? Perhaps only £2,000,000 refers to the present Vote., but wherever the excess may be, I should like to know something about the calculation that has been made. I am sure the country would like to know a little more about the question of the pay of the soldiers. One of the most effective ways of getting men for the Army, would be, without going so far as to pay them on the scale of artisans, to show a-little more liberality in the pay of the- 265 soldiers. That is a question which comes up very strongly in connection with the arrangements being made in regard to the present war. I desire to ask how will the Volunteers and Yeomanry and other additional forces sent out be paid? With regard to the colonial troops, will they be paid by this country as well as by the colonies 'Allusion has already been made to this subject, and I think we ought to have some more information upon it.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I do not deprecate criticism. If the hon. Gentleman has an alternative proposal let him state it, but let him not suggest when I have given them.
§ MR. LOUGH
I have not the g intention of reflecting on the hon. Gentleman. There is, however, a great deal of dissatisfaction in the minds of ordinary soldiers because they are only getting a small amount of pay while they are fighting with equal gallantry with other men receiving four o or five times more pay. I may have been misinformed, hut I am told that is true, and if the hon. Gentleman would throw some light on it it would be a considerable satisfaction. Anything which tends to create dissatisfaction in the minds of men fighting for the country should, if possible, be avoided. I observe that the Vote for medical services is increased by £70,000, making in all an increase of £120,000. I am sure the country would like a little information regarding this Vote. I have already observed that the hospital work is being well done, and that those great surgeons who have gone out deserve a great deal of credit. But the amount now asked for appears very small considering how disastrous the war has been. I cannot think that £70,000 now with £50,000 before is sufficient, considering the extra work which has been and will be thrown on the Medical Department up to March 31st, and I would ask 266 the hon. Gentleman to tell us how this estimate has been arrived at. There are three other Votes to which I will jointly refer—namely, the Votes for the Militia, the Yeomanry, and the Volunteers. I am astonished that the Vote for the Yeomanry is increased by only £5,000, and that for the Volunteers by only £15,000, up to March 31st. After all we have heard in these debates, these increases seem to me to be extremely small, but perhaps the smallness of the items may be explained by the fact that the pay is included in another Vote. Still I think the increase for the Yeomanry is exceedingly small, and I hope the hon. Gentleman will throw some light on it. That increase is as strikingly small as the next Vote—the Vote for transport—is strikingly large. An increase of £5,000,000 is asked for transport, making £10,000,000 altogether. We have not had any explanation of this Vote. I do not think it was referred to in October, and some details regarding it would be acceptable to the Committee. There have been some very unpleasant criticisms regarding the inadequate arrangements for the transport of horses, and in some of the transports there was a great deal of suffering and many horses were lost. I believe, however, there has been a considerable improvement, and if some details were given as to the steps taken to provide suitable transports they would be received with satisfaction. In connection with this Vote there has been a great deal of criticism as to the ships which were chartered, and the very extravagant rates which were paid, but I can imagine the difficulty of getting everything ready in a hurry. However, a statement as to the principle on which the Admiralty and the War Office acted in the matter would be acceptable. The only other item to which I wish to direct attention is the increase for arms and ammunition. I wish to ask if the chief expenditure has been at Woolwich, and if at Woolwich, has the staff been greatly increased or has it worked a longer number of hours. In putting these questions I desire to say that I readily appreciate that the money cost of the war is the smallest cost. The country has incurred a far greater cost in loss of life; but, nevertheless, if the hon. Gentleman would give us information on the points I have mentioned it would be received with satisfaction.
§ MR. BARTLEY () Islington, N.
I do not wish to criticise the Estimates in ' any way, because I am quite satisfied that all the country desires is that the Government should ask for everything necessary in order to bring this war to a complete and satisfactory termination. I should like, however, to say that I consider this arrangement entirely as an emergency arrangement. I consider that this large expenditure—which I think not too large—must be regarded as an emergency expenditure, and that the country feels that it is voting this money willingly and ungrudgingly on the distinct understanding that when the war is over there will be a complete inquiry into everything that has taken place. There are many questions; which we have no right in the public interest to inquire into at present, but which we are bound to inquire into later, not factiously, but with a very serious mind, and in voting for this money and for everything else the Government want to carry on the war I am voting on the distinct understanding that all these arrangements are temporary, and that when the war is over there will be a complete inquiry into all these matters. Nothing less will satisfy the country. To suppose that the scheme before us is for the future management of our Army seems to me quite out of the question. Everyone will agree that the various items which the Under Secretary for War said were to be permanent should be permanent in any scheme, such as the large increase in artillery, which was obvious. But what I feel, and what I am sure my constituents feel, is that in doing everything we can to support the Government we distinctly understand that as soon as the war is over there must be a complete investigation, and that steps will be taken to render it impossible that the misfortunes which have happened in this war shall happen again.
§ MR. POWER () Waterford, E.
The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for War stated this evening that he always endeavoured to give information courteously. For my part, and I think I may also speak for my colleagues in the matter, we have never received from the hon. Gentleman anything but courtesy. Our experience of the hon. Gentleman goes back to the troubled days when he was 268 private secretary to the First Lord of the Treasury, when the right hon. Gentleman was at the Irish Office, and I think I may say without fear of contradiction that even in those days our communications to him were always treated with courtesy. I have listened for many years to the criticisms passed in this House by military Members and others with regard to the military organisation of this country. There was one test as to whether these criticisms were valuable or not, and that test was the stern reality of war, not with Dervishes, but with a civilised foe, and I am bound to admit that the actual reality of war has proved that these criticisms, and perhaps especially the criticisms of the hon. Member for West Belfast, had a great deal of truth in them I think the Government will have very little or no trouble in getting this sum or any other sum they ask for during the war fever. For my part I regret it, but I know that, whether the Government are right or wrong, hon. Members will support them. As a man said to mo, "It is all very well to support your friends, but the support we want is to be supported when we are in the wrong." What has this country to gain by this war, and this vast expenditure? It has no glory to gain from an unjustifiable and unwarrantable I war, which was entered into in the interests not of the people, but of the capitalists of this country. I must say that the criticisms of hon. Members in this. House have been free from the vulgarity prevailing in this country at present. Hon. Members have not endeavoured to run down the merits of their foe, and I think it is only dignified and honourable that the Boers should be regarded as a foe worthy of your steel. I trust a large part of the money voted will be devoted to medical appliances. The Boers have proved themselves not i only brave but humane. Their treatment of the British prisoners who have fallen into their hands redounds to their credit, and their consideration for them has been, greater than you have shown towards Boer prisoners. You have put these Boer prisoners on board ship, where they have little or no exercise, and the very-fact of being on board ship is a penalty to some people. I was very glad to hear I the First Lord say that arrangements have been made for placing these Boer prisoners on land, and I only regret that 269 these were not made long since. The treatment which the Boers have meted out to your prisoners, and the dignified reception they have given them in Pretoria, prove that these men, heroic and gallant in the field, know how to behave to brave men who fall into their hands. Of course, we hear stories of the Boers firing on the white flag. I am not inclined to believe them. I firmly believe that many of these incidents occurred from misapprehension; and coming from a country which has been maligned in the same manner, we on these benches discount a good many of the reports of outrages by the Boers. I want to know what praise is to be gained by this war? Had anyone told you last October that the Boers, who had then invaded your territory, would be still there at this date, you would have said he was a fool. The Boers have proved themselves worthy of independence, and of their share of victory, which I, for my part, hope they will obtain in the struggle in which they are now engaged It may be asked what interest we Trish Members have in this war? Well, we have a very substantial interest a dismal interest as well—that Irish blood is being poured out on both sides in what we believe to be a most unjustifiable war. If diplomatists had used the language which soldiers in this House have used we would not have been at war to-day; but the melancholy fact is that the diplomatic language and speeches of the Colonial Secretary were worthy of a Cheap Jack.
* THE CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member knows that he is not entitled to enter into that question. I have mentioned that several times, and he must confine himself to the Vote under discussion.
§ MR. POWER
I recognise, Mr. Lowther, what you have said, and I will try and confine myself to the lines you have laid down. In this large Vote we are asked to pass I find a considerable sum for' Volunteers. Well, in that matter we have no interest, although we shall be called upon to pay the piper for your Volunteers. I suppose it will be recognised that the Protestant Volunteers in Ireland in 1782 produced Grattan's Parliament, and if those Volunteers had not been disbanded the Union would not have been carried. We are called upon 270 to pay an enormous proportion of the cost of this war, with which we have no sympathy; and the most aggravating part of it is that you know you are calling upon us to pay an unfair proportion.
* THE CHAIRMAN
I must ask the hon. Member to adhere to the ordinary rules of debate. If he does not intend to approach the Vote under discussion he must resume his seat.
§ MR. POWER
We all know that we pay a proportion of this large sum which is absolutely beyond our capacity; but if you, Mr. Lowther, lay down the ruling that I cannot enter on to that subject I will not persevere. My hon. friends beside me think it their duty to protest by every means in their power against this war, which we believe might have been avoided, and which is bringing untold suffering on many of our people. Whether it be pleasant or unpleasant, we will be bound to vote at every opportunity against the continuance of the war, which brings you no glory, and us unbearable expense.
§ * MR. PENN () Lewisham
The Under Secretary for War has spoken of the very large increase in the artillery, the supply of which is putting pressure on the Department at Woolwich. I would suggest that the supply of guns might be met by tapping fresh sources. It is within my own knowledge that at the time of the Crimean War a large demand was made on the marine engineering firms in this country—so large that they were unable to meet it themselves. They got over the difficulty, however, by distributing working drawings and gauges to engineers in places unconnected in every way with marine engineering,, and so got pieces of machinery which they put together. I venture to state that if the War Office took some such line as that, they might obtain from private manufacturers, altogether unconnected with ordnance making, who were not able or willing to undertake the production of complete guns, pieces of guns which could be put together and finished at Woolwich. By such a system the pressure at Woolwich, Elswick, and other places where artillery is manufactured, might be very largely relieved. The hon. Gentleman has asked for practical sugges- 271 tions, and I venture to throw this out for the consideration of the War Office.
§ * MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN () Kilkenny
I have endeavoured to get some information from the Under Secretary for War by questions as to the treatment of some regiments of Irish Militia, but have failed, and if we do not get that information I shall later on move the reduction of this Vote. I see it has been stated in the press in England and Ireland that undue pressure has been put upon these Irish Militia regiments to induce or compel them to volunteer for service at the front. People like myself, who are not versed in military matters, would like to know what are the legal methods by which Militia regiments raised in Ireland and transported to England can be compelled to go abroad on active service. I do not lay anything against the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary himself; but there seems to me an organised system of evasion in the War Office to prevent a straight explanation being given. It is in the interest of the War Office to state plainly what the law is. It is reported that the men of a regiment of Militia now stationed at Sheffield were by some means, by hook or by crook, induced to consent to go abroad. It is to the credit of an Irish journal that it put before the men their rights on this matter, and the conductors of that journal were accused of disloyalty, and all sorts of attacks were made upon them in the London press. Surely the representatives of the Irish people in this House are within their rights in following these poor Militiamen to Sheffield or Dover, and giving them the protection which the law provides, just as they would have done in Ireland. I understand that the North Cork Militia, now stationed at Dover, is under orders to go to South Africa on the 21st inst. From statements in the press and letters from the men themselves we are told that the men had no knowledge whatever of the intention to send them abroad, and that if the question was put to them as to whether they would volunteer for foreign service they either did not hear it or did not understand it. Well, if that be true, I say it is monstrous. I do not profess to have a knowledge of military law, but I have consulted the authorities on the subject. The official "Manual of Military Law," issued by the War Office, at page 812 says that the Militia cannot be taken out of the home 272 district without the voluntary offer of such Militia; and every Militiaman must have the fact that his offer must be entirely voluntary explained to him by the commanding officer previous to any acceptance of such offer by the Sovereign. Here are the precise words of the Act—A commanding officer shall not certify any voluntary otter previously to his having explained to every person offering so to serve that the offer is a purely voluntary one on his part.Now I want to know, did every commanding officer in every Irish Militia regiment in England comply with that law? If he did not, surely the word "kidnapping" could alone properly describe not only their being taken out of England, but out of their own country. Another authority, Gunter's "Outlines of Military Law," says—"The main principle of the English recruiting system is voluntary enlistment." Then the author goes on to show that no pressure is to be exercised to enlist recruits, and that "recruiters are forbidden to offer any inducements beyond those set forth in the pamphlet officially issued by the War Office." Further, "The recruiter gives to every man who offers to enlist a notice form setting forth the conditions of enlistment and particulars of attestation or swearing in before a justice, and time and place of this." Now, I want to know was that notice served on each man of the regiment I have mentioned? If not, I say not only is the act an illegal one, but that these men would be justified—and I would take the responsibility in advising them to do so—in resisting by force any attempt to get them out of the country to take part in a war which they abhor in their hearts. I will read a letter from one of the 3rd Royal Munster Fusiliers now stationed at Dover, addressed to my hon. friend the Member for Waterford—As an Irishman I beg of you to take immediate steps to help me, and many others beside me. We have the name of having volunteered for the front. Now, dear Sir, me, and many others beside me, were not on parade the day we are supposed to have volunteered. I went to the orderly-room to explain my case, and the sergeant major hunted me away. We are told here that the majority of the regiment takes us all out; that means that if the majority of the regiment volunteered the rest are compelled to go. Now, dear Sir, I am not a Reserve man, nor a special-service man, and I must go, but I want 273 you to come to my help, for I did not volunteer. Hoping, dear Sir, that you will take some steps in the matter immediately, as the regiment leaves on the 21st of this month.That is a letter of a simple man telling a tale in his own way. Perhaps the Under Secretary for War will kindly tell us what was the plan adopted in getting these men to volunteer. My information is that in more than one case the regiment was paraded and the colonel did not ask the question, "If any man wants to go to the front let him step out." On the contrary, he said, "Those who do not wish to go to the front step out." That was done not only in England but at the barracks of Temple-more. Well, we all know what the pride of a soldier, and especially that of an Irish soldier, is; and if such a question as that were asked he would feel shy of stepping out, in case he should be sneered at by his comrades. Moreover, he does not know his rights. If the authorities which I have quoted are right each man should get a separate notice informing him that it is open to him to go or not as he pleases, and that he should have three months to determine. I will read the authority—On appearing before a magistrate or justice of the peace, the latter must see that the man is sober and understands what he is doing. He is asked if he consents to Ids enlistment; but he may reconsider his decision without paying any tine. If a recruit objects to his attestation, on the grounds of error, etc., within three months, his claim must be investigated at once.I say that if proper inquiry were made it would be found that very few of the men of the North Cork Militia who were induced to volunteer to go out to South Africa were sober at the time, because care was taken by the petty officers to ply them with drink from money which had been put into their hands, so that the men would not know what they were doing. I commend that information to the hon. Member for South Belfast, who has a horror of whisky, even when diluted with 30 per cent, of water. Now, how are those men, who are at present at Dover, but have to go on board ship on the 21st inst., to have a chance of deciding within three months whether they will go out to South Africa or not? I hope that the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for War will tell us how many men in the regiment I have mentioned have really, in compliance with the law, volunteered for this war.
MR. GRANT LAWSON () Yorkshire, N. R., Thirsk
From the point of view of a mere civilian who wants value for his money in the matter of expenditure, I will not make any destructive criticism of the proposals submitted by the Government, but I will venture to make one or two suggestions as to how the evils that I complain of may be possibly remedied. The force of which I wish to speak is the Militia, of which there is a great camp in my constituency, and of which I hear much. There is a sum of £250,000 set down in the Estimate for the Militia. That appears to me to be either too large or too small—too large if the Militia is allowed to remain as at present, and too small if that force is to be put into a state of efficiency. I know it is only meant to cover the period to the end of the year, but I also know that a considerable expenditure will require to be made to put it in a state of efficiency. The Militia is a very old force. The preamble of the Militia Ballot Act of 1802 says—Whereas a respectable military force under the command of officers possessing property within Great Britain is essential to the constitution …. and the Militia, as by law established, through its constant readiness on short notice for effectual service, has been found of the utmost importance for the internal defence of this realm.What is the state at the present moment of the Militia? I am not exaggerating when I say that it is grossly under its strength, that it is inefficiently trained, and that it greatly lacks officers, especially non-commissioned officers. I do not say that the officers and men would not try to do their best. I am sure that they are quite willing to go out and fight our battles, but there arc not enough of them. It is said that the only way to remedy that is to put into force the Militia Ballot Act. Now, I have tried to make out what the exact condition of the Militia Ballot is. The foundation of it is the Act of 1802, which consists of no fewer than 178 clauses. It has been amended by three different Acts of very considerable length in 1815, 1852, and 1860: and it is perfectly obvious to me that it could not be put in force by Royal Pro clamation. It is also said that the Militia could be brought up to its proper strength by paying it better: but the Chancellor of the Exchequer would ask, "Where is the money to come from?" I say it 275 might come from those who do not serve their country in the ranks of the Army, I am one of those who could not so serve, and would make no objection on that score to pay. If that were done, it would have a double effect: it would bring the Militia up to its strength, and enable the Government to demand from the Volunteers, who would also be exempt from the tax, a greater efficiency. As to the Militia being insufficiently trained, the Secretary of State for War might remedy that, for he has the power now to require from every recruit that he should be trained as a recruit for six months. But that power is not at present exercised. All that the recruit is required to do now is to undergo forty-nine days drill, with no musketry exercise in the first year, and twenty-eight days drill, preceded by fourteen days musketry instruction, in the second year—that is, just about three months training in two years; whereas the Secretary of State for War might exact seven months training in the two years. The main point I wish to call attention to is the deterioration in the non-commissioned ranks of the Militia regiments at this moment. There are two classes of sergeants in the Militia—those on the permanent staff' and the Volunteer non-commissioned officers. Now, the number of the permanent staff sergeants is very often not up to the establishment; strength, and when they are thoroughly established you take them away in order to drill the details of the Line battalions. The Militia officers are the best men in the regiment, and you draft them into the Line to such an extent that the unfortunate colonel of a Militia regiment in times like this is left with hardly any non-commissioned officers at all. I think there are many old soldiers in the country who would return to drill the Militia if inducement was offered to them in the shape of benefit, and also if they were able to serve for pension on their return. There are a great many places in the marine store houses now held by men in their first terms of service, and ail the work could be done by these men when they ceased to train Militia recruits.
§ * MR. T. D. SULLIVAN () Donegal, W.
rose to protest against the Vote. He characterised the war as unnecessary and unjust, and the speeches made in its defence as both unreal and insincere. The 276 real motive for the war was easily apparent to anyone who studied the map. The two Republics lay like an egg in the midst of British possessions, and when the egg was found to be a golden one the temptation to the British' people to seize it was irresistible. In public schools it was always considered a mean and paltry act for a big boy to beat a little one, but here was a nation with 40,000,000 of people embarking on a war with one of 200,000, and using all the might and resources of its empire to crush and subdue a noble, patriotic, and brave peasantry. Whatever the result of the war might be, the civilised world would condemn the action of Great Britain, while the Boers had won for themselves immortal honour.
§ * MR. BILL () Staffordshire, Leek
There is no doubt that before this war commenced the Militia was very much under its strength; but for many months recruiting has been exceedingly active, and I think the mere fact that thirty battalions-are either in South Africa or on their way or under orders goes to show, at any rate, that there are a great number of Militia battalions fully up to strength and able to carry themselves bravely along with the Line in South Africa. Besides those there are six others doing service in the Mediterranean, and others, among which: is my own battalion, are doing service: elsewhere. With regard to the Militia in Ireland being invited to volunteer for I foreign service, I would just like to say that my regiment, now at Newry, was called together and the captains of each company had to find out from the men, individually, whether they would be willing to serve in South Africa. Five hundred and seventy men expressed their willingness to go abroad, and 111 men said that they were not willing, some of whom afterwards retracted their refusal. The: rest will, of course, be left at home. If the numbers of the Militia are below par from time to time it is to a great extent due to the recruiting for the Line. I recollect the Under Secretary of State for War telling us last year that the number of Militia recruits in 1898 was 40,000, and that of that number no less than 15,000 passed on into the Line. I see with pleasure that the Militia has, almost for the first time in its existence, received honourable recognition from the War Office authorities. This is a great and 277 important fact. The Militia only asked for a fair field and no favour. They do not want to be patted on the back and told that they are fine fellows merely because they are ready to do their duty. We of the Militia are perfectly satisfied that we have a most important place among the armed forces of the country, and I most warmly support the War Office in their efforts to make the transport service more efficient. One word more I have to say in regard to the appeal given by the First Lord as to increasing the supplies of men. There is one class of man who has hitherto been neglected by the War Office; I refer to the man who has served his twelve years, five years with the colours and seven years in the Reserve, and who is then absorbed into the civilian ranks. They are the most valuable men that the War Office could possibly get hold of, and they ought never to be allowed to disappear as they do into private life. They are discharged at a time when they are most fit for military service, many of them being no more than thirty or thirty-one years of ago; they are men knowing their work, and who, if they could only be given a small bounty, might be held over and brought into the reserve force of the country for six or seven years further service. I do earnestly appeal to the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for War that he will take great care that this very valuable class of man is not overlooked in the future.
§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER () Belfast, W.
I do not desire to take any prolonged part in this debate; but I must call attention to what has taken place this evening in one of those conjunctions between the two front benches which I think are always sinister and always portend some disadvantage of the first magnitude to the public interest in regard to the War Office and Army matters. The War Office and the Under Secretary of State for War once more find themselves in agreement over this matter: but I have never found any particular advantage resulting from an agreement between the two front benches. Hitherto it has generally been the presumption that when the two front benches agree they are right. I hope in the future we shall reverse that presumption. The right hon. Gentleman the late Secretary of State for War spoke of 184,000 men 278 going from this country to South Africa. I am sure that was a more slip, because it is absolutely alien to the facts of the case; but slips of that kind are important when made by men of the rank of an ex-Cabinet Minister. I want to point out that so far from that statement being true, the whole number of Regular troops which have gone from this country is something like 85,000. Why I attach importance to this is because I see-plainly that the line of defence to be taken up by the War Office is that we-have had a stupendous call made upon us by this war, which would never have been made under other circumstances, and which could not have been contemplated in the past. That is not correct. We have sent 85,000 Regular troops from this country, and our whole Regular resources are absolutely gone. We have stripped the Colonies, we have stripped India and the Mediterranean. Every man beyond that is an emergency man, created for a purpose never contemplated in any War Office organisation. Now, the right hon. Gentleman opposite said that we ought to have contemplated this drain upon our Army. His whole speech points to that. He said that the great responsibilities we had undertaken would always lead to there being made larger and still larger demands upon our troops. But so far from it being true that 85,000 men is an exceptional demand, the very next time we go to war with any Great Power we shall have a demand for 20,000 men to garrison India, and instead of our being able to take men from the Mediterranean and elsewhere we shall have to reinforce those garrisons. I attach great importance to these facts, and if we do not look ahead and prepare for such contingencies now, we may say farewell to reforming them in the future. I should like to remind the House of what is the complaint we make. We have been told to-night that it will be hard to get men in the future, and hon. Members have been asked for suggestions. I do not believe in the sincerity of that request. I rather resent it, as everybody knows that this is an emergency measure hurried through as soon as it can be, in order to get whatever advantage we can out of it. Well, we have taken 85,000 men out of our Army. I should like to ask—is there any sane person who regards with satis- 279 faction the fact that 85,000 men should be the product of 185,000? We have 109,000 men at home, and not one single organised unit of that number can be used. There is no army in the world organised on such a basis that it requires 109,000 ineffectives to produce 85,000 effectives. I suggest that our arrangements should be so altered that the 185,000 can be utilised in a more generous proportion than this. We are told that we want to spend more money. Why is it that this thing is so expensive? Why is it that we are squandering money like water? It is because of the tremendous waste of the system. For every 2½ men—if I may use the expression—whom we enlist in the Army, only one single man goes into the Reserve. We are squandering twice the whole enlisted force of the Army. We have heard that 40,000 men were enlisted last year. How many will go out into the Reserve? Something like 14,000 men. I would suggest that before the Under Secretary comes down and asks for twelve more battalions, which he won't get, he should apply himself to the problem of how to stop this terrific waste, which deprives the Army of such an enormous number of young soldiers. Well, I do not like to submit tamely to the proposition adopted by the two front benches this evening. This is an exaggerated demand which is absolutely certain to occur again, and at a time when probably we shall not be able to meet the emergency with the men which we have had at our disposal on the present occasion in India and the Mediterranean. I think my hon. friend was misinformed when he told the Committee that only four battalions have been withdrawn from the Mediterranean and dispatched to South Africa. I believe it is nearly double that number.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
When I made that statement I was dealing with the original call. As a matter of fact 10,000 men have been withdrawn from the Mediterranean.
§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER
I am very glad my hon. friend has taken the opportunity of correcting a misapprehension that I know for n fact had been caused by his original statement. The figures show that the men taken from the Mediterranean are very far from being the whole of the Mediterranean gar- 280 rison. But I desire to record my protest now as to the scheme itself. We must take it for what it is worth. I believe that the one solid feature about it is the creation of the new batteries of artillery. I noticed that the Secretary of State for War only the other day said that it had "struck" the War Office that they were lamentably deficient in a large number of stores.* That is an expression quite worthy of Micawber, and it ought surely to be put on record. I have been struck by the fact myself, and a great many other people whom I have come across have been struck by it. We have a right to protest against what is almost an impertinence, coming as it does from a highly paid and very responsible officer of the Crown, the Secretary of State for War. He comes down to the House, and without one word of remonstrance says it has "struck" him now, in the emergency we are placed in, that we are largely deficient in a number of stores. Well, what are we to do? Whom are we to trust? Whose business in the whole wide world is it to know a thing-like this if not that of the Secretary of State for War? Whom are we to employ if the Secretary of State for War cannot find out a thing like this till the emergency is upon us? Why is it that we are now buying guns from Japan? Why are our men working night and day at Woolwich in the making of small arms and some 13,000 rounds of ammunition? Why is it that the great resources of this country are strained to the last fibre in order to make ourselves equal to this not very amazing occasion? I do resent the speech of the First Lord of the Treasury in his appeal to us for suggestions by way of assisting the War Office, who have got us into this hole. At present it is their business to get us out of it. We are ready to support them through thick and thin, but I think the expression used by the Secretary of State for War is a little beyond what is permissible in a great Government department; in short, it is a mockery to ask us to make suggestions in an emergency like this.
§ MR. FLYNN () Cork, N.
pressed for information as to what he described as the shady and uncandid manner in which the North Cork Militia had been treated,*See The Parliamentary Debates [Fourth Series], vol. lxxviii., p. 1181.281 and the reflection which had been cast upon the courage of the men. He also commented on the large amount of £46,000,000 asked for in the expenditure on military preparations, and this at a time which, except for the present war, might be described as one of comparative peace. How much of this expenditure was to be considered temporary, and how much might be looked upon as permanent? The hon. Member was complaining of the association of officers with co-operative supply societies, when—
* THE CHAIRMAN
Order, order! The hon. Member is not entitled to make the same speech to-night that he made on Tuesday. I recognise a great part of what he has said as having been said on Tuesday.
§ MR. FLYNN
said he only wished to add that this was not merely a question of gigantic expenditure of money and a terrible and mournful loss of gallant lives. It was a question of principle, and historians would hold the Government responsible for not foreseeing the contingencies of this unjust and unnecessary war.
§ MR. YERBURGH () Chester
The language used by certain hon. Members reminds me of similar utterances made during the Peninsular War, when people thought it was incumbent on the country to retire from the Peninsula as soon as possible, just as certain people are now clamouring for the retirement of the British from South Africa. I cannot but deprecate the speeches of some leaders of public opinion who pander to popular excitement and popular nervousness in times like the present, and blink the true facts of the case. The true position is that we have had to meet an enemy in his own country, a superior mobile force to our own, and entrenched behind strong natural fortifications. It is vain under such conditions to say that we should have commanded success from the very commencement of the campaign. It appeal's to me that we have done everything with the means at our disposal that could possibly have been expected. I would remind the House that a large proportion of the 200,000 men we shall shortly have in Africa will not all be available for fighting and pushing the war into the enemy's country. A large proportion of these men 282 will be necessarily employed in guarding the line of communications, and thus the Boers are numerically superior to our troops, and have the advantage of attacking us at points of their own choosing and from practically invulnerable natural fortresses. I think it would be wise to recognise that our troops are still not numerous enough, and that though Lord Roberts has so far succeeded in his enterprise that the brilliant march of General French has put him in touch with the Kimberley garrison, still one success like that does not finish a campaign. Large demands will still be made upon us, and, I think there is a good deal in the argument that another 50,000 men will be required to accomplish the task we have set ourselves in South Africa. That will not be a counsel of perfection, but a counsel of common sense; for the more men we have the sooner must be the victory, the shorter the campaign, and therefore the greater economy in blood and treasure. On the question of conscription I think a great deal of misconception exists. Conscription means taking men against their will, and using them for military service either at the Cape, in India, or the Soudan. It is a different thing, however, inviting men to undergo a certain amount of training in the use of the rifle. This becomes obligatory on every citizen who has the welfare and security of his country at heart. I would go further than that and say it would be a good thing for the men themselves, because at the present time the working classes of this country have no occupation whatever for their weekly half-holidays other than looking at a football match or something of that sort. They do nothing themselves, but I suggest they should be given a little drill and taught the use of the rifle. If I am told that that would be doing no good to the military resources of this country, my answer is that whenever you are engaged in a big struggle you will have no go behind your Regular Army and ask for-Volunteers. It therefore stands to reason that a large body of men familiar with the use of the rifle would be far better material and much sooner organised and far more fit to put in the field against whatever enemy you were engaged with than a. force not so trained. There is one other point, namely, the question of commissions being given to our colonies. Such a. proposal is peculiarly 283 appropriate, seeing the excellent services: the colonies have rendered in connection with this war. I was particularly struck by a statement in a letter in The Times the other day to the effect that in one action when the Yorkshire Regiment lost their officers, and for the moment wavered, it was a captain of the New Zealand contingent who put himself at the head of the troops and called upon them to charge. The men followed him and took i the position. With regard to the Volunteers, I understand that the matters which most interest them are the question of ranges and the question of expenses. I was told the other day at a dinner given to the men who were leaving for the front that they did not like to feel that, owing to the officers having to pay, out of their own pockets, there was a flavour of charity about die system. I understand from the statement of the hon. Gentleman that the Government are prepared to remedy that. There is one other point, and that is the question of mounted infantry. There are a large body of men in this country win for various reasons do not care for either the Yeomanry or the Volunteers, but who would be quite prepared to enter a corps of mounted infantry, provided you did mot make the conditions of service too hard and they were not away from their homes for too great a length of time. With regard to the question of mounting these men might I make a suggestion? At the present time certain money prizes are given to encourage the breeding of horses in this country. I would suggest that included in the class of horses for which prizes are given should be pony sires as well as thoroughbred sires. In that way I think you would improve the breed of pony required for the mounted infantry. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition said that you: have great difficulty in procuring recruits for the Army because you have to compete with a high labour market. There is an answer to that in the fact that in the past the Army has stunk in the nostrils of the people. In Lancashire it has been looked upon as a disgrace for any member of a family to join the ranks of the Army. If a youth enlisted he was looked upon as being certain to go to perdition, and efforts would be made to buy him out. It is quite obvious that that feeling is now passing away. The interest taken in the Army on all sides shows 284 that it will be regarded as an honourable profession, and behind that you will have a great force, and one you cannot afford to despise, namely, the opinion of the women of this country. Provided the soldier has fair and liberal treatment, has ample opportunities given him in after life, is looked after when wounded, and his family cared for if he is killed, you will not have the difficulty in filling the ranks that is anticipated by the right hon. Gentleman. I thank the Government generally for the desire they have shown to meet the present situation. The only thing I would ask them is to consider whether it is not within the bounds of their policy to send more men to South Africa, not in any spirit of panic, but simply on the principle that the more men you have there the sooner the campaign will be over, the more complete will be your victory, and the more economical the result both in blood and in money.
§ MR. J. P. FARRELL () Cavan, W.
I rise for the purpose of taking part in this debate from a totally opposite point of view from that of the hon. Gentleman who has just addressed the Committee. Like the hon. and learned. Gentleman the Member for North Louth, I have no Imperial soul, and therefore I cannot enter with any sympathetic spirit into the somewhat discursive discussion which has taken place on this question of giving the Government power to raise 120,000 men and to collect £13,000,000 from the taxpayers. We Irish Members have a right to approach this question from a more local point of view. My sympathy has to a very considerable extent gone out to the hon. Gentleman in charge of this Vote, while listening to the multitudinous suggestions which have been flung at his head by gentlemen interested in the Imperial side of the question. For my part I feel that the hon. Gentleman has discharged his duty fairly enough in endeavouring to meet the points raised. He has done all that is needful as a representative of the Government to enlighten the various Members who have contributed to the debate, but I am afraid he will have much greater difficulty in satisfying the different wants of the different gentlemen who require amendments of the proposals as regards Volunteers, Militia, Line men, and the other branches of the service which are now to be brought up to full strength if possible. I desire 285 to associate myself entirely with everything which has fallen from hon. Members on these benches in opposition to this Vote. I am probably prohibited from entering on the side of the question dealt with by the Votes taken last night, but had I been fortunate enough to catch the Chairman's eye I would, from our point of view, have presented a case against Irishmen, at all events, being supposed to be anxious and willing to fight your battles. I also understand from a ruling given earlier this evening, that I am prohibited more or less from dealing with the financial aspect of the case as it affects Ireland. My contention would have been that we as Irishmen are interested in this Vote of £13,000,000 to the extent of at least £1,200,000. As, however, I should be out of order in pursuing that subject, I will pass to another branch of the question. This Vote of £13,000,000 is but one of a series of Votes. You have already obtained £10,000,000 in October last, and this £13,000,000 will make a sum expended so far of £23,000,000. But no one contends for a moment that this enormous sum will meet the emergencies of the case. I am informed on reliable authority that you are conducting this war at a cost of £2,000,000 per week. It may be more, but, at any rate, it may be taken for granted that these sums on account represent only a very small portion of the total sum that will be required before this unjust and ill-advised war is brought to a conclusion. The Vote here is divided into thirteen items, some of which I am not in a position to criticise, but upon others of which I desire to make a few remarks from the Irish point of view. On the Vote for "Medical Establishments, Pay, etc.," you have set down a sum of £70,000. How much of that £70,000 have Irish medical practitioners been given the opportunity of earning? I understand that a number of highly qualified and very eminent gentlemen in the medical profession in Dublin tendered their services at the outbreak of war, but only a very few favoured ones succeeded in securing appointments from the Government. We also want to know something as regards the pay of the Militia under Item 3, for which you ask £250,000. I entirely associate myself with the condemnation from these benches of the kidnapping, as it has been 286 properly termed, of Irish Militiamen in connection with this war. The action of the authorities in regard to the North Cork Militia, one of the first Militia regiments supposed to have volunteered, is open to the gravest suspicion and objection. A great number of the men were practically ignorant of the question put to them, and it was not until they were entrained and the doors locked that they knew they had started for the war in South Africa. That was not the action of an honourable Government; it was taking advantage of these poor men's ignorance in a way which is open to the gravest criticism and censure. Only yesterday in the Irish daily papers there was a letter from Cardinal Logue calling attention to a case of equal gravity in connection with the Monaghan Militia. In this case a man named Duffy, on appealing to his Eminence for spiritual ministrations, informed him that when he enlisted in this Militia regiment he had no intention of being called out on active service, and he asked his Eminence to endeavour to obtain for him such legal rights as he was entitled to. There is also the case of the Louth Militia, who, although you have them over here in England, were paraded under circumstances similar to those of the Cork Militia, and wore not treated properly in the matter of volunteering. On that ground alone, if on no other, we should have the right to criticise in the strongest manner the action of the Government and to press for such explanation as will allay the anxiety which is felt in Ireland on this subject. What are the facts? How do you treat these Militiamen? You take a man away from his family. That unfortunate man would probably be a day labourer, whose labour was of the utmost importance to his family. But what have the Government done? Whilst taking away the main prop and support of the family they have given the family nothing, but have left them dependent upon the Soldiers' and Sailors' Association or other similiar institutions. I pass over the Vote for "Yeomanry cavalry," although a number of well-known gentlemen—who in the near future, provided they are not shot by the Boers, may come back to get the reward of their services from a grateful Government—have volunteered in Ireland under a noble Lord who has some connection with the county in which I live. I come to Vote 5, in connection 287 with the Volunteer corps. Why should you ask Irishmen to take even the smallest part in providing your Volunteer corps in England with better munitions of war, better clothing, and better treatment altogether, when Ireland, which, according to your law, is an integral part of the British Empire, is deprived of the right of having any such thing as a Volunteer corps at all? So far from being allowed to do that, your resident magistrates have been specially instructed not to allow the most respectable farmers in the country to have or to carry a gun for the purpose of destroying vermin on their ownland. Something might be said from the point of view of years gone by, when things political were very hot in the country, and it may have been necessary to give your resident magistrates this power: but you first of all deprive the people of their Parliament, of their right to manage their own affairs, and then you deprive them of every liberty which a free people should enjoy. I contend that one of the first privileges of a free people is that of carrying arms for their own protection as well as for the advantage of knowing how to use them in case of necessity. After depriving the people of that privilege I say you have no right to come here and make them pay for the equipment and training of your Volunteers for the purpose of a war which we condemn as immoral and unjust. With regard to Vote 7, dealing with provisions, forage, and things of that kind, you ask for the very large sum of £3,000,000. Last session and the session before I put a number of questions to the Financial Secretary to the War Office with reference to this matter of forage. It came to my knowledge that instead of following the old rule which obtained in Ireland before the introduction of the short service system you have disposed of a great number of contracts not to Irish vendors, but to co-operative stores having their headquarters in Dublin or Cork or London, and the money charged in your account as part of your set-off against us was in reality paid into the coffers of these co-operative societies.
* THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. J. POWELL-WILLIAMS,) Birmingham, S.
May I point out to the hon. Gentleman that there is no charge whatever in this Vote for anything paid to any co-operative society, 288 nor does the Canteen Vote come into the question at all.
§ MR. J. P. FARRELL
It will come later on then, I suppose. It is put down here en bloc—£3,000,000 for "Provisions, Forage, Field Allowances, and other Services"; and, as the representative of an agricultural constituency, I am entitled to ask how much of this sum it is proposed to expend in our country. In regard to Vote 8 it will not be denied that there are in Ireland ample facilities for the expenditure in a wise and careful manner of a considerable amount of money. I would ask how much of the £500,000 for "Clothing Services" you propose expending at the Limerick Army Clothing Stores or in any other portion of the country. There are other items I might discuss were it not that I am anxious not to stand between other hon. Gentlemen who wish to speak and the Chair. I want now to express a view which perhaps will diverge somewhat from the views of my hon. friends in connection with the whole subject. I say this quite apart from any political aspect. If you have any cause to complain of your failure to enlist recruits in either the Regular Army, the Militia or the Volunteers, I say that primarily and essentially the fault for that state of things exists with the Government and with no other persons whatever. Why? Because after the men who enlist have given you the best years of their lives they are turned out on the street to become either loafers at the street corners or public mendicants or inmates of the Irish workhouses. I have repeatedly called the attention of the Financial Secretary to the War Office to cases of the most lamentable neglect, which are nothing: short of glaring outrages on humanity, in which men joined your Army, went through your campaigns, lost their health, and were then left either with, such a totally inadequate pension that they could not support life at all, or, what is worse, without any pension, whatever. Such is your complicated system, and so impossible is it for any justice to be obtained in even the smallest matter, that beyond saying, "I will cause inquiry to be made," or, "I will have the case looked into," nothing whatever is done for these poor men. That is one of the things which is calcu- 289 lated to make your Army unpopular in Ireland, because these poor men, who give their lives and suffer, and lose their health in your service, have been cast aside as so much useless lumber, to be come chargeable to the rates, or die of hunger in the streets of your towns. I feel that the whole system under which you govern our country is radically wrong. You do not understand us—
§ MR. J. P. FARRELL
I was only going one word further to say this. I feel that so long as you treat us with distrust and suspicion; so long as you refuse to allow us to carry arms in our own country; so long as you refuse to give us the facilities which every other free country has to learn the use of arms, you have no right to complain of us and find fault if, when we find you in a difficulty, we refuse to come to your assistance. Apart from that there is the greater and the more practical question of the incidence of taxation. This is a war which you have undertaken against the will and the wishes of nine-tenths of the Irish people, and of their representatives in this House. You have ignored our advice on this subject, and while you have the power to compel us to contribute we are bound to resist you. Although we protest against this Vote you will compel us to pay our share, but you cannot compel us to refrain from expressing our sentiments and our protest against the injustice which you are enforcing upon us.
§ COLONEL WYNDHAM MURRAY () Bath
The few remarks which I have to make will be directed to the question of the prosecution of the war now being carried on in South Africa. On this Vote I wish to ask the Under Secretary of State for War two questions. I consider it of the utmost importance that in South Africa there should be a large quantity of rifle ammunition beyond what is required for use in action, so that all infintry should have constant practice. They have no made ranges, and no special targets. There is the open veldt for a range, and a soup-plate against the back of a stream or the side of a kopje for target; and for improvised moving targets, a barrel rolling down 290 a hill or floating down a stream is considered quite sufficient. All troops require constant practice. I have been lately engaged in assisting to raise a "sharpshooters corps." Even those who are first-class shots will require practice on the veldt. It is an admirable opportunity of training troops, and of giving practice under service conditions, which are the best, to large bodies of men upon whose efficiency with the rifle we may require to rely elsewhere than in South Africa. I wish to ask if there will be plenty of ammunition available for this. My second question is, as to the class of gun to be supplied to the thirty-six new batteries of field artillery. This I consider also a most vital subject. How it happened does not matter, but there is no doubt our field guns have been outclassed in the campaign in Natal. We have practically little difference between the organisation of horse artillery and field artillery. The rôle of horse artillery is with cavalry, and they must be fast moving; such necessity docs not exist with field artillery, which works with infantry. The only real reason for rapid movement of field artillery is that no time should be lost while guns are changing position. But I see every reason why some at least of our field artillery batteries should have far more powerful guns, moving not necessarily at a gallop, but guns which could be used as guns of temporary positions, and moved forwards or back to fresh positions as required. We are raising this large number of batteries, which means probably 216 field guns, exclusive of horse artillery guns, and I should be glad to hear that the military authorities are fully considering the subject of some of these batteries being organised as movable heavy batteries.
§ * MR. WILLIAM ABRAHAM () Cork County, N.E.
In the few observations I intend addressing to the Committee I shall not enter at all into the question of policy. That question has been amply discussed, and we on these benches have expressed our opinions, not alone by our voices, but by our votes, as to what we think of this war, and as to the unfortunate circumstances by which all the negotiations which have led up to it have been conducted. But we cannot remain here as representatives of Irish constituencies without letting this House know that we 291 are representing the views of Irishmen who sent us here to express our utter detestation at the continuance of this war, and to use every means within our power, few though we be in number, to use every rule and form of the House to prevent the continuance of this war and the passage of these resolutions, by which £13,000,000 are to be expended in the prosecution of the war, which is unjust in its inception, and has been carried out in a way which is hurtful not alone to the interests of this country, but detrimental to the interests of Ireland. Let me say at the outset that we have no interest whatever in the proposals made for the increase of your defensive army at home. We look upon all these proposals as being simply a step in the direction which the Imperial policy of the Government is plainly leading this country to, and which means that, if you are to carry out your Imperialistic ideas, as expressed and mainly exemplified and stated by the Colonial Secretary, will lead this country eventually to the militarism which prevails upon the Continent and which eventually will make the entire people of this country rise up when the proper time comes and hurl from power any Government who attempts to impose such a policy upon the country. We are told a good deal about the benefits which are to accrue to the Militia by the advantage of an increase of threepence a day for moss allowance. We are paying our toll at all events, in the Irish Militia regiments. We are paying our toll in blood for this iniquitous war. You have taken very good care on all occasions to place the Irish regiments in the front of your forces in every attack you have made upon the Boers. We are bearing our share in this war and spending Irish blood upon it in a far greater proportion than we are entitled to do. We are not ashamed of it, because if an Irishman, contrary to what we believe to be the wishes of the vast majority of his countrymen, enters the Army or Militia, we do not believe he will break his oath of allegiance. He will fight, as every Irishman has always done, with bravery in the ranks of your Army, but we say that you have placed us in an unfair and improper position. You have done more, for you have induced and persuaded Irish Militia regiments by what I will not attempt to characterise in this House—because no language I can use would be sufficiently 292 strong—by unfair means you have induced Irish Militia regiments and men to volunteer for active service upon this ground, that they were simply to hold garrisons in Gibraltar and Malta, and when you had so cajolled them and persuaded them you shipped them over to South Africa to the front, and behind these Irish regiments will be found Englishmen fighting under their guidance, and thereby you are saving the blood of your own troops in this matter. What do you do with the question of the raising of those Militia in Ireland? You do not leave them in Ireland for the purpose for which they were raised, but you send them over to this country, and you send the English Militia regiments to Ireland. Do you expect those Irish Militia will return to their country, after a sojourn with you, and be more agreeable to your Government when they return? On the contrary, I think they will go back to Ireland more determined than ever to help their country whenever the occasion arises to recover all her rights and her political independence, and all those privileges and liberties which Irishmen prize and intend to fight for until they prevail. I lament, I confess, as an Irishman, the unhappy position in which this country has found herself at the present time. Here we have this great Christian country of England, at this period of the Christian era: England, who has always boasted that she is a country which is to carry not her own civilising influence alone, but the benefits of Christianity all over the world, to be prosecuting a war against what I will pronounce one of the most Christian nations on the earth; and she has the absolute hypocrisy, after declaring in favour of this war, to pose before the world as the advocate of Christianity. I say that the greatest setback that has been given to the progress of Christianity in the world has been given by this unjust and cruel war which you are now waging against a fellow-Christian nation. What is the use of you appealing from your pulpits for money to spread the blessings of the Gospel to the heathen tribes, when you yourselves claim to be the custodians of the Word of the Almighty? You have proclaimed yourselves to be the greatest Christian nation of the world, and you are absolutely fighting with a country whose creed is more pure than your own; and this religion, forsooth, you propose to carry 293 to the benighted heathens with the Bible in one hand and the sword in the other. I think when the history of this war is written in future years, and when the historian commences the record of what I pronounce to be the commencement of the decadence of the British Empire, upon those pages will be written "Ichabod! thy glory is departed"; because you who have hitherto posed as the pioneers of freedom, who have rejoiced to say that in every country struggling for liberty their faces were turned towards England, you are now fighting not for the common rights of humanity, but for the simple, sordid advantage of a few stock-jobbers in the City, and for these you are trying to crush out and take away the liberty of these two Republics; and when your war is ended, as it must be ended, by success to your arms—because it goes without saying that if your power is five to one in South Africa you will be sure to succeed—when you come to deal with those Republics, and the Dutch in Africa, remember that you will not have an Ireland to deal with. We in Ireland are deprived of the rights of every free country—we are not allowed to carry arms to defend ourselves and maintain our rights; but when you come to deal with Africa and the Dutch you will not have that power. You may oppress them for a time, but the children of the fathers you are now slaying in this unholy war will rise against you again as armed men. I should fail to believe even in the Almighty if I did not believe that your unjust and cruel war must end eventually in disaster to you and in success to these men do not propose to trespass at greater length upon the time of the House to-night. It is idle for us to discuss these propositions of yours. If I were to attempt to criticise these proposals that you have made for increasing your Army, I might heap ridicule upon them as has been done by the "man in the street" in London to-day. When you talk about your Volunteer forces going for a month under canvas, and your Volunteer artillery going three months under canvas, you are laughed at by every Volunteer in London, because everybody knows that there is not an employer in England that would consent to his employees going away for one month and leaving his work. These proposals of yours are ridiculed by everyone; and, if that be so, I want to know what; 294 have we got to do with this question? As far as Ireland is concerned, we have not a single Volunteer, for you never propose to give us any. I suppose the Member for South Belfast will tell us that we are all rebels, and therefore we cannot have those arms. That may be so, but I am not ashamed in this House to be called an Irish rebel. If we Irishmen had the government of our own country we would not come begging to you in this House for the restoration of our rights which you have filched from us, but as you have the power you keep us in that position. But the time will come, whether in our days or in the days of those who follow us, when you will regret that you have not made peace with your Irish brethren, and made Ireland one part of your Empire, when we would willingly have united with you in pushing forward all those reforms which are common to us all. As an Irish representative I should be wanting in my duty to my constituency and averse to every feeling in my heart if I had not expressed myself as I have done in regard to this iniquitous and unjust war.
§ * MR. TULLY () Leitrim, S.
My hon. friends on these benches have spoken in opposition to the Vote for this war. It has been stated here by Irish Members who have spoken—and you, Mr. Lowther, have ruled them out of order, and I do not want to be called to order for repeating it—that the taxation of Ireland for this war is out of proportion, to the incidence of the taxation in this country. That being so, we shall have to pay more in proportion to our resourees than Englishmen; and, therefore, I think we have all the more reason as Irishmen to object not only to this expenditure, but to also object to the mistakes and blunders which hon. Gentlemen representing Her Majesty's Government are making in prolonging this war or making it one of greater difficulty. The more blunders you make in carrying out this war the greater will be the expense, and the greater will be the tax which will fall upon Ireland. It is to that aspect of the question that I wish to direct the few remarks which I intend to make this evening. I think that the action of Ministers on the opposite bench within the last day or two has been such that, instead of bringing this war to a speedy 295 termination, it will probably have the effect of making the war very much more destructive and ferocious. We were told yesterday—the hint was given by the Secretary for the Colonies, and repeated by the Leader of this House—that in this war in South Africa you intended, under certain conditions, to use the natives and allow them to defend their rights. As far as my reading goes of the literature of this war, I have seen it stated in the papers that the Dutch population in Africa, especially in Cape Colony, have a great horror of the arming of the natives in South Africa. It was stated early in the war that if there was any proposal made from the English side to arm the natives that would be the one match which would light the powder magazine, and probably bring about an explosion and rebellion among the Cape Dutch. The statement made by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House, yesterday, will be read by the Dutch in Cape Colony as an indication that the Government intend to resort to this extreme measure of arming the natives in this way. That is just like some of the other statements made by the right hon. Gentlemen composing Her Majesty's Government which led to this unhappy war. It was a statement made by the Secretary for the Colonies which was largely responsible for bringing about the present state of things, and we have a right to protest against having to pay more than our share, and against the statement made that you intend to arm the natives and use them in this war.
§ * MR. TULLY
Passing from that there is another objection to this Vote. You are going to hand this £13,000,000 to a department which we have heard criticised very strongly in this House. You are going to hand it over to be expended by the War Office. I object to the expenditure of this money by the department which has been so much criticised in this House, and in the newspapers. I have read a speech made by the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite, which is reported in Hansard, in which he describes the War Office as "the epitome of centralisation gone mad." I am surprised that he does not use similar 296 language now about that department. You are handing over this £13,000,000 to be expended by the War Office, and if we look up during the progress of this war the conduct of that Department, we find that there has been one continual series of blunders and mistakes. It looks very strange before the world that these two Republics, composed of pastoral people and farmers, are able to beat you, who boast that you are the best manufacturing country in the world,, in the matter of munitions and armaments. It reflects very much on Great Britain that, in a struggle like this, two Republics in this far away corner of South Africa I are able to get better guns and rifles than can be put into the hands of the soldiers who are sent from this country. Why is it that this state of things has come about? I find when I read the criticisms and statements in the press, and listen to speeches in this House, that it is duo to the incompetence and bungling of the War Office. That is one of the reasons why I object to this Vote being handed over to the same Department where the public money has been wasted in the past. In the descriptions of the battles at Colenso and Magersfontein, where your troops have suffered reverses, all the correspondents have laid stress upon the fact that the Maxim-Vickers gun which the Boers had was a terrible gun, which spread consternation and destruction amongst your troops wherever it was used. And you send out your own troops without similar guns to face it. The statement has been made here that in 1892 the patent of that very gun was offered to the British War Office, and because of the influences that regulate matters there they refused that gun, and allowed it to fall into the hands of President Kruger and the Boers. The result of that blunder alone is that; hundreds of lives—more especially the lives of Irishmen—have been lost because the Boers have been better equipped and better armed, and provided with better material than have been placed in the hands of the soldiers sent out from this country. I have read descriptions by correspondents who have described, this gun as the "pom-pom" gun. No satisfactory explanation has been given as to why you allowed the patents, for these guns to be acquired by foreign Powers. Then, again, there is the question of the Creusot guns. It has been stated by your own generals that your 297 guns were outranged by the Creusot guns in the hands of the Boers, and that that was the reason of some of the defeats which attended your operations. It was the shelling of the Creusot guns that made Dundee untenable, and caused General Yule to retreat to Lady smith. At the battle of Modderspruit the British guns were also outranged by the Boer artillery, and it was only yesterday I read that the British troops were driven from their position in Coles Kop by one of the Creusot guns. That shows the bungling and inefficiency of the War Oriice to whom we are now asked to hand over thirteen millions. It was stated in the Daily Mail at the opening of the war, when it was thought that no armaments could be imported into the Transvaal, that the Boers had eighty Creusot guns on order, and that they were ready for delivery when the war broke out. These guns were on offer at the Creusot works in France, and I believe a private individual offered to buy them and sell them again to the British War Office, and yet on account of the influence prevailing at the War Office the guns were not bought, with the result that you have been trying to cobble with naval guns in order to meet the Boer artillery, which has absolutely outclassed your own. Now I come to another matter which I think is one of the most serious connected with the war, and that is the question of powder. I served on a Committee upstairs, and I happen to have some experience of one of the gentlemen mixed up in this matter. We know it is stated that the inventor of cordite is Sir Frederick Abel. I have here a report of the debate which took place on this subject in 1893 in this House, when right hon. Gentlemen now in power were in opposition, and in that debate the present Secretary of the Treasury made a remarkable speech on what he called the "Cordite scandal." He said, "The result was that we had got a bad smokeless powder." It was stated then that when the War Office were anxious to get a smokeless powder—which had been in use on the Continent for years—they advertised for tenders and appoint d a committee of experts to inquire into them. That committee, consisting of Professors Abel, Dewar, and Dupre, received tenders from seventeen or eighteen inventors, and rejected them all, and at the end of six months Sir Frederick Abel came forward as the 298 inventor of cordite. The objection to the specification sent in by one of the inventors—Mr. Maxim—was that it contained nitroglycerine, but cordite contains more nitro-glycerine than any other explosive used in war. Dealing with this question, if Sir Frederick Abel—
§ * MR. TULLY
I find in this Vote £1,600,000 for warlike and other stores, and I oppose it because of the policy pursued by the War Office with reference to this matter. The question was discussed by hon. Gentlemen who have since been made members of the Government, probably to prevent them repeating the arguments they had used when on this side of the House. In the debate of 1893 the present Secretary to the Treasury, speaking of Sir Frederick Abel having picked the brains of foreign inventors in order to pretend that he had invented cordite, which he passed oft' on the British nation as an excellent powder, said that if Sir Frederick Abel and Professor Dewar had not the authority of the War Office for selling these secrets to foreign Powers they came within the Official Secrets Act, and ought to be prosecuted. Sir Frederick Abel had taken out patents for gun cotton—
* THE CHAIRMAN
That has nothing whatever to do with the present Vote. The powder may have been good or bad, but the part Sir Frederick Abel or others took in inventing it has no connection with this Vote.
* THE CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is allowed to debate it, but I do not think he is entitled to go into matters seven years old in order to criticise the part taken by Sir Frederick Abel or others in inventing a certain powder.
§ * MR. TULLY
But that is the very powder which has led to the disasters in South Africa. "The Cordite Scandal" was discussed in the Pull Mall Gazette and The Times, and it was stated then that the first time England got into a war with a Power armed with modern weapons 299 she would find that the powder she had was inferior. That is what has happened, and the reports sent home from the front state that the British rifles would not carry within 800 yards of the rifles used by the Boers, and that the British artillery was also outranged. That was caused by bad smokeless powder, and I was trying to trace how it was imposed on the country, and I find it was done by offcials of the War Office—the very department which is now asking us for thirteen millions to waste and squander in the same way. That is one of my objections to this Vote. You will find still existing the same spirit, the same influence, and the same desire to make money out of the British nation—and incidentally out of the Irish taxpayer—that have caused the War Office to reject excellent weapons, such as the Maxim-Vickers, and the Creusot guns, while Sir Frederick Abel is making thousands of pounds out of the powder he claims to have invented. The War Office also allowed Professor Anderson to be a member of a company supplying them with material, and when he was asked to give up his connection with the company he simply transferred his shares to his wife and son. These are the kind of transactions which have prevented you from getting the best weapons and ammunition for this war. You are now sending out poor Irish soldiers with rifles which will not carry within 800 yards of the Boer rifles, and without the protection of artillery when engaged in these mad and blundering frontal attacks, No other country in the world would hare submitted to the generalship shown in this war. In any other country General Buller would have been cashiered after Colenso, and Lord Methuen would have been placed against a wall. [An HON. MEMBER: And shot.] To vote thirteen millions to a Department managed in this manner—
* THE CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member: has already referred to that matter two or three times. I must call his attention to the Standing Order which forbids repetition.
* MR. J. POWELL-WILLIAMS
I can give an answer at once. There is not a particle of truth in the statement of the hon. Member.
§ * MR. TULLY
That is very rough on. the Daily Mail, whose statements you took as gospel when you were promoting this war, although you are inclined to attach less importance to them now. Then, as to lyddite, we were told in the early part of the war that lyddite was such a terrible explosive that it would exterminate "acres of Boers"—that was the extraordinary expression used. It was also said that General Joubert protested against its use to Sir George White. We now find that lyddite was not exactly the success it was expected to be. I read the other day that the garrison of Lady smith—and; many of us would rather Ladysmith had been relieved than Kimberley on account of one gentleman who is in Kimberley—that the garrison watched the explosion off these lyddite shells and saw a black smoke. I asked an authority on the subject, should there have been a black smoke after explosion, and he said "No," and that it proved the shells were useless. The Government came into office on cordite: they may possibly go out on lyddite.
§ MR. HAYDEN () Roscommon, S.
I do not think I would discharge my duty to my constituents, who are keenly and bitterly opposed to this war, if I did not join my colleagues in entering my protest against this Vote. We are opposed to the war because we think it is unjust, unnecessary, and criminal, and therefore we would oppose the vote of a single-pound as much as the £13,000,000. We means to use the forms of the House, so far as in our power, to oppose every Vote that may be brought forward for the prosecution of the struggle against the' Boers, in which they are fighting the cause of liberty. They, like us Irishmen, are fighting against a Power which seeks to expand its territory at the expense of a small but brave and gallant race. Now, in addition to our having our feelings of opposition strengthened by the fact that the war is against the freedom of a brave and gallant race, we have also a deep financial interest in this question. Already a very large sum has been voted for the prosecution of this war. In October last 301 we were told from the Government benches that strong hopes were entertained that the ten millions then voted would be sufficient to bring the war to a conclusion. Now we find the same Government officials asking a further sum of thirteen millions, not for the purpose of bringing the war to a con-elusion, because there is no man in this House sanguine enough to think that twenty-three millions will bring the war to a successful close, but merely as a Vote on account. The Government will require to come down to the House and ask for many more millions. I remember that when the hon. Member for East Clare stated here that it would cost you at least fifty millions of money to conquer the Transvaal he was sneered and laughed at from the opposite side of the House. This brave and gallant race, by their determined resistance to your large armaments, have shown themselves worthy of the freedom for which they are fighting so well. We wish to bring this war to an immediate close, because we think it should never have been entered upon. We are told that a blunder is worse than a crime, but this war is both a crime and a blunder.
§ Attention called to the fact that forty Members were not present (Mr. MCDERMOTT, Kilkenny, N.). House counted, and forty Members being found present:
§ MR. HAYDEN (continuing)
I was saying that having made the mistake of entering on this war, which we, at least, regard as a blunder and a crime, the country would l>e well advised to bring it to a close as soon as possible—not to the conclusion which has been advocated by hon. Members on both sides of the House, not by the suppression of the liberty of that brave and gallant race, not by the extermination of a people who have shown how worthy they are of freedom, not by continuing the war until much blood, both British and Boer, is shed, not until many more millions of money are wasted, but by an act that might be described as generous and magnanimous on your part. You are a great Empire, your opponents are only two small Republics. You are strong enough, big enough, powerful enough, and rich enough to afford to do this magnanimous act. I do not think, however, there is much hope that at the present time such an act of magnanimity will be shown. But, at any rate, we on these benches, who represent a people who 302 consider themselves oppressed by you, and who from time to time, whenever the opportunity offered, have risen in arms in order to gain for themselves that freedom of which the Boers have proved so deserving, mean on this occasion, and on every other occasion, to offer the strongest opposition to this war, in resisting applications for more men or more money, and in every other shape or form. We have a deep interest ourselves in this matter, because of these thirteen millions which are now asked for we shall have to bear a far larger share, in our opinion,, than even if we were assenting and enthusiastic supporters of the war we would be entitled to pay. Seeing that our country is so opposed to this war, we say it should be exempt entirely from any tax on account of it, but we shall be compelled to pay, not only a share of the expense, but a grossly disproportionate share. I have no desire now to go into the financial relations between the two countries, nor should I be allowed to do so, but I may say that we believe we are unjustly taxed, and this Vote and every other of which this is a small part in connection with the war will add greatly to that injustice of which we complain. Now, mention was made to-night of the way in which Irish Militia regiments were urged and compelled to volunteer for this war. The Third Leinster Militia now stationed at Woolwich were absolutely compelled to appear to volunteer. They were placed on parade, and a high officer in command, not even their own Colonel reviewed them, and then asked that every man who did not wish to go to the war should step forward. The men, naturally confused, thought that the order was that those who would go to the war should step forward, others who; appreciated the position did not like to step forward because it might place them in a ridiculous light. Information was; then sent that the whole of the Leinster regiment had volunteered. As a matter of fact very few are willing to go to this war, and none of them volunteered in the strict sense of the word Another trick of the War Office is, when an officer is requested to volunteer and does not see his way to do so, to send him an envelope containing two white feathers. The British Government ought to be above such mean and petty resources and intimidation for the purposes of bringing in men who have already served in the Army. I wish merely to join in the pro- 303 test which has been made against this war, and to say that I do not consider I should be doing my duty to my constituency or the people of Ireland, who are so bitterly hostile to the war, if I did not offer every opposition in my power.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
As several specific questions have been addressed to me, I feel that I must rise to answer them, and that is the limit I propose to myself on this occasion. I see that the Leader of the Opposition is in his place, but he will not expect me to reply to a speech that had already been replied to. In fact, that speech contains a phrase quite sufficient for my purpose as the Minister in charge of this Vote. The right hon. Gentleman said he was quite prepared to support the Government in securing all the resources necessary for the prosecution of the war and for home defence, and that he would not accompany that support with any fastidious criticism. That is enough for my purpose, and I should be committing an outrage on him if I dealt further with his speech. We have listened to-night to a number of very useful speeches containing valuable suggestions by hon. Members interested in this question of defence. The hon. Member for Lewisham suggested that we should expand the trade of gun manufacturing, that we should endeavour to secure certain portions of guns, which could afterwards be put together at the Royal Arsenal. We are proceeding very much on those lines. Another hon. Member asked whether there was sufficient ammunition for practice, both in this country and in South Africa. That is the case. There is no shortness of ammunition at the present moment. Almost every topic has been threshed out except one, and it is to that subject alone that T shall now address my remarks. I am glad to see hon. Members from Ireland present hero, because the subject to which I wish to address myself is that of the Irish Militia battalions—a subject that has apparently excited a great deal of interest in their minds. The hon. Member for Tipperary was the first to bring the matter before us, but since then we have listened to the hon. Members for South Kerry and North Cork. There are one or two points which I will not treat at the outset as in dispute, because we may be in accord. There are uncertainties on questions of facts. Whether hon. Members will agree that the facts are as they ought to be I do not 304 know, but I will state the facts as I understand them. The hon. Member for West Cavan evidently believed that embodied Militiamen and Militiamen who, subsequent to embodiment, were transferred to this country or abroad had to rely for the support of their wives and families upon public charity, and upon public charity alone. That is not the case. So soon as a Militiaman is embodied he is entitled to the allowance which is given to I the Regular soldier, and the wife of every embodied Militiaman receives 1s. 1d. a day, according to the new rates, and 2d. a day for every girl under the age of sixteen and for every boy under the age of fourteen.
MR. J. P. FAREELL
I beg the hon. Gentleman's pardon, but as he is evidently alluding to me I would just like to ask him when this order came into force. Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a number of applications for outdoor relief have been addressed to the guardians of unions in Ireland in consequence of there not being such an order?
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I do not dispute that. Not this order, but another order has been in force for many years, and the allowance by the recent order has been increased to the figures I have given to the Committee. There is no doubt about it. Some reference has been made to a letter published in the newspapers, from his Eminence Cardinal Logue, and I have received a letter on the subject myself from an hon. Member representing an Irish constituency. It is clear from his Eminence's letter that the Militiaman whose case was brought before him was in the Militia Reserve. I might explain that one Militiaman out of every four goes into the Militia Reserve. When a Militiaman is allowed the privilege of going into the Militia Reserve he receives increased remuneration—instead of £1 a year he gets £2 a year—and for that extra remuneration he accepts extra obligations. Like a man in the Army Reserve, he is liable to go on active service whenever the Army call upon him. It might be that this man was told that he would get another sovereign a 305 year by accepting this obligation, and that he did not understand it; but that happened years ago. He has been receiving £1 a year for some time for the promise of certain services. The time for rendering those services has now come, and he has been called upon to give them. Some hon. Members opposite asked mo why Irish Militia battalions had been moved to England and vice versa. I almost despair of explaining that. It is owing, in the first place, to the limited barrack accommodation; in the second place, that Militia battalions were affiliated to Line battalions; and in the third place to the fact that these Line battalions were moved to Aldershot for mobilisation. A great many movements take place which to the cursory observer must appear arbitrary. There is a chance illustration which perhaps may explain the matter. The East Lancashire Regiment was selected to form part of the Seventh Division. At the time they were stationed at Jersey, but they were brought to Aldershot for concentration and sent from there to South Africa, leaving the men under twenty years of ago at Aldershot. Afterwards, when the Eighth Division was being formed, there was a demand for barrack accommodation at Aldershot, and the details of the East Lancashire Regiment were sent to the Curragh. I will not pursue that topic, for I do not believe anyone but the Inspector General of Fortifications really understands it.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will allow me to ask why in war times like the present you invariably start to train Irish military battalions in England, whereas in times of peace you leave them in their own districts.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
If this House should at any time consider it worth while to spend five millions for extra accommodation in order that these movements may be dispensed with, we shall be absolved from doing things which are so open to the criticism of people who do not understand. I now come to another question, as to the facts of which, I think, there is doubt, and that is whether any compulsion has been placed on Irish Militia battalions to volunteer for service abroad or for active service in South Africa. A man goes into the Militia knowing the obligations he undertakes—namely, to be trained for a certain number 306 of days in the year in time of peace, and to be called out and put in barracks indefinitely in time of war, though he is not to go on service abroad or on active service except by his own consent.
§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
I read a letter from a man in the 3rd Minister Fusiliers in which he stated that he was compelled to go on active service together with a large number of others.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
The hon. Gentleman has laid his finger on the question of fact which I have already said was doubtful. The hon. Gentleman gave an account which does not tally with the conclusions I have arrived at. Most explicit orders have been issued to officers commanding Militia battalions not to put any pressure on the men to volunteer. When a battalion is embodied the practice has been to invite the men in a general parade to volunteer, and not to invite those who do not wish to volunteer to step forward. If that has been done, it is utterly against the spirit and the letter of the orders issued. If such an abuse has crept in, which I doubt, I may inform hon. Members that before any unit is accepted for foreign service the officer who inspects the unit—always a man unconnected with the regiment—gives to the men an opportunity at the last moment of saying, "Well, on second thoughts we prefer to stay at home." It is clear that in England no such difficulty has arisen, for the hon. Member for Staffordshire stated that, whereas 570 men of his battalion volunteered, 111—for excellent reasons, no doubt—preferred not to volunteer. We do not hold these men bound to go. On the contrary, we know that there is competition between the men and the battalions for the opportunity of going. So far as know, only two battalions that have had the opportunity have waived their right in favour of others, and they are composed of men engaged in a trade which at this time of year would have made volunteering on their part most onerous to them. Having said that I invite the Committee to judge. The Committee has heard nothing of the English and Scotch battalions, though we hear a great deal about the Irish battalions, and certainly have gather from the speeches of hon. Gentlemen who represent Irish constituencies that a greater percentage of Irish battalions has been sent abroad. How do they reconcile that with 307 the fact that twenty-two English, two Welsh, four Scotch, and four Irish battalions have been sent away? The percentage of English battalions is sixty-four, and of Irish battalions twelve. The whole tenor of the speeches we have heard is that Irish battalions have been shoved to the front as Uriah was shoved to the front.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
asked whether they were to understand that only four Irish battalions had been sent to South Africa.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
The hon. Gentleman is to understand from me that four Irish battalions have been sent abroad and two others have been invited to volunteer, but have not yet given any definite answer.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I am only discussing the Militia. I do not propose to introduce the question of the Regular battalions unless hon. Members opposite desire it, but I may say that there are sixty-one English, three Welsh, eleven Scotch, and nine Irish regiments at the front, the percentage of the English being sixty-nine, and of the Irish nine. If it is specifically alleged by the hon. Member for Kilkenny that the commanding officer of any battalion has not complied with the War Office orders, if the hon. Member' will write me that he prefers that charge against any officer, I will inquire into it. If the hon. Member does not do so, I will not. I think the explanation of all this mystery is the well-known characteristic of all Irishmen—namely, to make themselves agreeable. All I can say is that if any commanding officer who has been ordered to invite those of his men who wished to volunteer has, in fact, asked those men who did not wish to volunteer to step forward, I can only say he must be an Irishman.
§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
I am bound to say that I cannot express my entire satisfaction with the hon. Gentleman's explanation. I think he had quite sufficient to do to answer the questions. For instance, he was asked whether when this demand for Volunteers was made the men were on parade or not. Surely the Under Secretary could have answered yes or no. It seems to me as if the men were intimidated. The hon. Gentleman 308 was asked whether, doubts being raised as to the facts, he would allow certain Members of this House to go down to the place where the regiment was quartered and inquire whether the men were really free agents in the matter.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
remarked that it would be contrary to all the rules of discipline to permit such a procedure.
§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
still thought they would have been within their strict rights to have insisted upon it. He asked again if the Munster Fusiliers would be free to change their minds. They had been ordered to go out on the 25th inst.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I do not know the case of the Munster Fusiliers, but if the hon. Member will bring me a definite allegation I will endeavour to meet it. The Munster Fusiliers were asked to volunteer, and they consented; and surely they must be taken to know their own minds.
§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
cited a case-where word was sent to the War Office that a whole regiment had volunteered to go; but the truth had now leaked out that not half of them were willing to go. He hoped Members on his side of the-House would keep the interest alive in this debate till they got a satisfactory answer. There was a remedy which Members could have recourse to when: responsible gentlemen like the Under Secretary would not answer questions, or rather—for his uniform courtesy was not to be denied—his Department held him back when his natural disposition was to answer frankly. Under these circumstances he would move to reduce every Vote till he did get a satisfactory answer.
§ *MR. WEIR () ROSS and Cromarty
sincerely hoped that the War Office would order an inquiry into the disaster which overtook the Highland Brigade at Magers-fontein, a disaster which he feared was brought about by gross carelessness, mismanagement, or incapacity. He also complained of the lack of proper arrangements for the troops embarking in bitter weather, the absence of proper shelter for the men, and seasonable meals. Some inquiry should also be instituted into the antiquated surgical instruments which are provided for our Military Hospitals at home, as also the defective sights of the Lee-Enfield and Lee-Metford rifles; 309 £50,000 of the former and many thousands of the latter were inaccurate, not only the fore-sights but back-sights. [Laughter.] This stupid blunder would cost the country from £12,000 to £15,000. It was a very serious matter to send men to the front armed with rifles which could not shoot straight. Who was to blame? Were these defective rifles made in Birmingham?
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL () Donegal, S.
On a point of order, Sir, does this motion for the closure include the whole Vote?
§ MR. FLAVIN () Kerry, N.
I have a notice on the Paper to reduce Vote No. 1, and I have not yet had an opportunity of speaking on it.
* THE CHAIRMAN
It was open to the hon. Member to move his Amendment and he did not move it. [Laughter and interruption.] Order, order! The question is that the Question be now put.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
On the point of order, Mr. Lowther. I gave notice several days ago to move the rejection of several items of the Vote. I have risen more than once this evening for the purpose of moving a reduction, but f have not been called on. That being so, I ask whether it is regular to move the closure in face of the notice on the Paper.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
On a further point of order. Is there any precedent for the Chair receiving a motion of closure on a vote of thirteen millions, in face of the notices of reduction which had been given, and without there being any discussion or opportunity of discussion of the reductions?
* THE CHAIRMAN
That is one of the points which I have to consider in receiving a motion for the closure. I have to consider the opportunities which the Opposition have had for discussing the Vote; and in my opinion in these four days they have had ample opportunity of bringing forward their objections.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
When you say that this discussion has continued for four days, do you consider that the opportunity for bringing forward an Amendment was only given to-night?
* THE CHAIRMAN
The opportunity for moving a reduction was given on the first Vote. One hon. Member had a notice of reduction on the Paper. He made a speech, and I asked him whether he wished to move the reduction. He said that he did not.
* THE CHAIRMAN
Order, order! I must ask hon. Members to proceed to the lobby. When a division has been called it is most irregular to hold a conversation with the Chair.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 189; Noes, 47. (Division List No. 17.)311
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Banbury, Frederick George||Blundell, Colonel Henry|
|Aird, John||Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Bond, Edward|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Barry, Rt Hn AH Smith-(Hunts||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John|
|Arnold, Alfred||Bartley, George C. T.||Butcher, John George|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l||Caldwell, James|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.|
|Bainbridge, Emerson||Bethell, Commander||Carlile, William Walter|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Bill, Charles||Carson, Rt. Hon. Edward|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A.J. (Manch'r)||Blakiston-Houston, John||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh)||Hanson, Sir Reginald||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Haslett, Sir James Homer||Plunkett, Rt. Hon. Horace C.|
|Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Hazell, Walter||Pollock, Harry Frederick|
|Charrington, Spencer||Helder, Augustus||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Henderson, Alexander||Purvis, Robert|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Colomb, Sir John Chas, Ready||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Richardson, J. (Durham, S. K.)|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Hobnouse, Henry||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref||Horniman, Frederick John||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Houston, R. P.||Kidley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Charles T.|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Curzon, Viscount||Kearley, Hudson E.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kenyon, James||Robinson, Brooke|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Keuyon-Slaney, Col. William||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardig'n||Keswick, William||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Denny, Colonel||Kimber, Henry||Russell, Gen. F. S. (Chelten'm|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingtield||Knowles, Lees||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn||Rutherford, John|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Lea, Sir Thomas (Londonderry||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse|
|Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)||Saunderson, Rt. Hon. Col. E. J.|
|Drucker, A.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Lorne, Marquess of||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Dunn, Sir William||Lowles, John||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William H.||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Lucas-Shadwell, William||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Macdona, John Cumming||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Man'r||Maclure, Sir John William||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Finch, George H.||M'Arthur, Chas. (Liverpool)||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||M'Crae, George||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Strachey, Edward|
|Fison, Frederick William||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Middlemore, John Throgmort'n||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Monckton, Edward Philip||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Flower, Ernest||Monk, Charles James||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)||More, Robert J. (Shropshire)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Garfit, William||Morrell, George Herbert||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Gedge, Sydney||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Mount, William George||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Gilliat, John Saunders||Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)||Webster, Sir Richard E.|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Goldsworthy, Major-General||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Wilson, Frederick W.(Norfolk|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Oldroyd, Mark||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley||Orr-Kwing, Charles Lindsay||Wylie, Alexander|
|Graham, Henry Robert||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Wyndham, George|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Pease, H. Pike (Darlington)||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Greene, Hy. D. (Shrewsbury)||Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)||Yerburgh, Robert Annstrong|
|Gretton, John||Penn, John||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Pilkington, Sir G. A. (Lancs, SW|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.)||Flynn, James Christopher||Redmond, J. E. (Waterford)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Hayden, John Patrick||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Blake, Edward||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Lloyd-George, David||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||MacDonnell, Dr MA (Queen's C)||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Clark, Dr. G. B.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)|
|Colville, John||M'Cartan, Michael||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||M'Dermott, Patrick||Tully, Jasper|
|Crean, Eugene||Maddison, Fred||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Crilly, Daniel||Mandeville, J. Francis||Weir, James Galloway|
|Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.)||Moss, Samuel||Williams, J. Carvell (Notts.)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wilson, Henry J.(York, W.R.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||O'Malley, William|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Parnell, John Howard||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Thomas Esmonde and Captain Donelan.|
|Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
§ Question put accordingly.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 213; Noes, 32. (Division List No. 18.)315
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Garfit, William||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Aird, John||Gedge, Sydney||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Pilkington, Sir G. A. (Lanes SW|
|Arnold, Alfred||Gilliat, John Saunders||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Plunkett, Rt. Hon. Horace C.|
|Atkinson, Right Hon. John||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Pollock, Harry Frederick|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Bainbridge, Emerson||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch.||Graham, Henry Robert||Purvis, Robert|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorrell||Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Barry, Rt Hn A H Smith-(Hunts||Gretton, John||Richardson, J. (Durham, S.E.)|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Griffith, Ellis J.||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlepool)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H. (Bristol||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Rbt. Wm.||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.|
|Bethell, Commander||Hanson, Sir Reginald||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson|
|Bill, Charles||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Blakiston-Houston, John||Hazell, Walter||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Helder, Augustus||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Bond, Edward||Henderson, Alexander||Robinson, Brooke|
|Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme||Hermon-Hodge, R. Trotter||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Butcher, John George||Hobhouse, Henry||Russell, Gen. F.S. (Cheltenh'm)|
|Caldwell, James||Horniman, Frederick John||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Houston, R. P.||Rutherford, John|
|Carlile, William Walter||Hozier, Hon. Jas. H. Cecil||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Edward||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E.J.|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbysh.)||Kenyon, James||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wore'r||Keswick, William||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Kimber, Henry||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Knowles, Lees||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Lawrence, Sir E. D.(Cornwall)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Colling, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)|
|Colomb, Sir J. Charles Ready||Lea, Sir T. (Londonderry)||Smith, James P. (Lanarks.)|
|Colville, John||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lorne, Marquess of||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Lowles, John||Strachey, Edward|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Curzon, Viscount||Lucas-Shadwell, William||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Macdona, John Cumming||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Maclure, Sir John William||Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray|
|Denny, Colonel||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||M'Crae, George||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Duke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Drucker, A.||Monckton, Edward Philip||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Monk, Charles James||Wason, Eugene|
|Dunn, Sir William||More, R. Jasper (Shropshire)||Webster, Sir Richard E.|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Morrell, George Herbert||Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd|
|Emmott, Alfred||Morton, Arthur H.A. (Deptford||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Moss, Samuel||Williams, J. Powell- (Birm.)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Mount, William George||Wilson, Frederick W.(Norfolk|
|Fergusson, Rt Hn Sir J. (Munch.||Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G.(Bute)||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks|
|Finch, George H.||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Wodehouse, Rt Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Fmlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Wyndham, George|
|Fison, Frederick William||Norton, Captain Cecil William||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Oldroyd, Mark||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.|
|Flower, Ernest||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)||Sir William Walrond and|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Penn, John||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Abraham, William (Cork, NE.)||Hayden, John Patrick||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Ambrose, Robert||Hogan, James Francis||Redmond, John E (Waterford)|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'lnd)||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Blake, Edward||Lloyd-George, David||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||MacDonnell, Dr. MA (Queen's C||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Crean, Eugene||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)|
|Crilly, Daniel||M'Cartan, Michael||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.)||M'Dermott, Patrick||Tully, Jasper|
|Doogan, P. C.||Mandeville, J Francis|
|Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Thomas Esmonde and Captain Donelan|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||O'Malley, William|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Parnell, John Howard|
§ Resolution to be reported upon Monday next; Committee to sit again upon Monday next.