HC Deb 25 July 1900 vol 86 cc1162-4

As amended, considered.

MR. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, Mid)

I wish to call attention to Sub-section (b) of Clause 2, and to ask your opinion, Mr. Speaker, whether it is in order, or whether it is not necessary that the matter should be first dealt with by a resolution of this House. I submit that this section involves a charge on the Imperial Exchequer, and, before it can be incorporated in the Bill, there ought to be a preliminary resolution. It provides that under certain circumstances the pay of a soldier shall cither be increased or reduced. It is quite true that there is the alternative of reduction, but I think it may be assumed that the probability is that there will be an increase of pay, inasmuch as men of good character going into active service, and thereby entitling themselves to an increase of pay, are likely to be far more numerous than men whose pay will be reduced through punishment. Experience has taught us that that is the case, and, therefore, as the Bill involves a charge upon the Imperial Exchequer, I submit there ought to have been a preliminary resolution before this particular proposal is embodied in a Bill.


The Bill cannot be regarded as creating a new charge, because the possible expense ultimately involved must be included in the ordinary Estimates of the year, and will, therefore, receive the sanction of the House in due course. It is really only a statement that the pay of the soldier should be at a certain rate, and therefore it is not a matter needing a resolution, as the hon. Member suggests.


Then I beg to move an Amendment providing that the Bill shall not apply to men in the second division of the first class of the Army Reserve who entered the division before "the passing of this Act," instead of before the first day of June, 1900. I believe the Government are willing to accept this Amendment.

Amendment proposed— In line 15, to leave out 'the first day of June, 1900,' in order to insert 'the passing of this Act.'"—(Mr. Caldwell.)


I am quite prepared to accept this Amendment. It is a question of form rather than of substance, for, as a matter of fact, none of the Reserves called out are being transferred in the way suggested.

Amendment agreed to.

Bill read a third time, and passed, with Amendments.

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