§ MR. JACKSON (Leeds, N.)
It is the opinion of the Committee on War Office Contracts, of which I am the chairman, that in order to ensure strict justice in our inquiry, it may be necessary to hear counsel on behalf of the parties interested. The Committee, being unable to hear Counsel without the consent of the House and without an order of the House, has requested me to seek from the House such power.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Select Committee on War Office Contracts have leave to hear Counsel to such extent as they may think fit."—(Mr. Jackson.)
Mr. JAMES LOWTHER (Kent, Thanet)
I think this motion requires some consideration. The Committee consists of fifteen members and is to meet twice a week. That will not be the slightest good. If the House wants to get to the bottom of these contract scandals the Committee should be reduced to five members, and sit de die in diem until the work is done. If this Committee is going to sit only twice a week for a limited period, and hear counsel, I think it will become an absolute farce.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 184; Noes, 82. (Division List No. 115.)1065
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Fry, Lewis||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Arnold, Alfred||Garfit, William||Myers, William Henry|
|Asher, Alexander||Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Gladstone, Rt. hon. H. John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Oldroyd, Mark|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Green, Walford D (Wednesbury)||Pease, H. Pike (Darlington)|
|Baird, John Geo. Alexander||Greene, Hn. D. (Shrewsbury)||Penn, John|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gunter, Colonel||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Baldwin, Afred||Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r)||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo.||Pilkington, Rich (Lancs Newt'n)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds)||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Pilkington, Sir G. A.(Lancs, SW)|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Harwood, George||Purvis, Robert|
|Beach, Rt. Hn Sir M.H.(Bristol)||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Rankin, Sir James|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Heath, James||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Biddulph, Michael||Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Blakiston-Houston, John||Hill, Sir Ed. Stock (Bristol)||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstd)||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Bolitho, Thomas Bedford||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson|
|Brassey, Albert||Hobhouse, Henry||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Houston, R. P.||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel W.|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Howard, Joseph||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Butcher, John George||Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Caldwell, James||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cameron, Sir Charles(Glasgow)||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Sidebotton, William(Derbysh.)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. JA(Glasgow||Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez Ed.||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Cavendish, R F. (N. Lancs.)||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Stanley, Sir H. M. (Lambeth)|
|Cavendish, V. C.W. (Derbysh.)||Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt. Hn Sir U||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, E.)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn.J.(Bir'm.)||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Chamberlain, J. A. (Worcester)||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Kitson, Sir James||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Ox'fd Univ.)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lewis, John Herbert||Tennant, Harold John|
|Cotton-Jodrell, Col. E. T. D.||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'nsea)||Thornburn, Sir Walter|
|Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H.||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Vincent, Col. Sir CEH (Sheffield)|
|Cruddas, William Donaldson||Long, Rt Hon Walter(Liverpool)||Wallace, Robert|
|Curzon, Viscount||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Lowe, Francis William||Weir, James Galloway|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E (Taunt'n)|
|Denny, Colonel||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Macdona, John Cumming||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. D.||Maclure, Sir John William||Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Doughty, George||M'Killop, James||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H.(Yorks.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Maple, Sir John Blundell||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Maxwell, Rt. Hon. Sir H. E.||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd)|
|Elliot, Hon. A. R. Douglas||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Evans, Sir F. H. (Southampton)||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Wrightson, Thomas|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Milward, Colonel Victor||Wylie, Alexander|
|Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward||Monckton, Edward Philip||Wyndham, George|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. Manc'r||More, Robert Jasper (Shrops.)||Young, Commander (Berks, E.)|
|Finch, George H.||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Younger, William|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose-||Muntz, Philip A.|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund||Murray, Rt. Hn A Graham(Bute)|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Birrell, Augustine||Carvill, Patrick G. Hamilton|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Coghill, Douglas Harry|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Broadhurst, Henry||Colville, John|
|Bainbridge, Emerson||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Curran, Thomas (Sligo S.)|
|Baker, Sir John||Burns, John||Daly, James|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Burt, Thomas||Dewar, Arthur|
|Billson, Alfred||Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Dilke, Rt. Hon, Sir. Charles|
|Dillon, John||Lloyd-George, David||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Doogan, P. C.||MacDonnell, Dr M. A (Queen's C)||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)|
|Dorrington, Sir John Edward||Maclean, James Mackenzie||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Spicer, Albert|
|Emmott, Alfred||M'Ghee, Richard||Steadman, William Charles|
|Fenwick, Charles||Maddison, Fred.||Stuart, James (Shoreditch)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Mather, William||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Thomas, Alfred(Glamorgan, E)|
|Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis||Monk, Charles James||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Morley, Rt. Hn. J. (Montrose)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay, T.|
|Gold, Charles||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)||Wason, Eugene|
|Gurdon, Sir Wm. Brampton||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)||Whiteley, George(Stockport)|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)|
|Hogan, James Francis||Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)||Wilson, Frederick W. (Norf')|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Pickard, Benjamin||Wilson, Jos. H (Middlesbrough)|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||Price, Robert John||Woods, Samuel|
|Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth||Reckitt, Harold James||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Lambert, George||Runciman, Walter||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. James Lowther and Mr. Strachey.|
|Langley, Batty||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Leng, Sir John||Schwann, Charles E.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ MR. JACKSON
I beg to move "That the Report and Minutes of Evidence of the Select Committee on Public Departments, etc., of 1873–74 be referred to the Select Committee on War Office Contracts." In 1873–74 a Select Committee was appointed by the House which took a great deal of evidence with reference to certain contracts made by the War Office, and the Select Committee now sitting think it would be of great service to them to have the Report of that Committee, and the evidence then taken, referred to them.
§ SIR CHARLES CAMERON (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
The right hon. Gentleman has not referred to one Committee that went very extensively into this whole matter and exposed any number of flagrant contracts.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! That is not relevant. If the hon. Member wishes at any time to move that certain other Papers be referred to the Select Committee he can do so.
§ SIR CHARLES CAMERON
I simply wished to point out to the right hon. Gentleman that the Committee to which I referred was that which inquired into commissariat and transport in the Egyptian War, and which dealt with subjects entirely germane to the investigations of this Committee, and if the right hon. Gentleman is going to refer some Papers I would suggest that he should also refer the Report of and evidence taken by that Committee.
MR. JAMES LOWTHER
Would it not be better to add to the motion "or 1066 any other documents that they may think fit to call for"?
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I think I am entitled to ask for some explanation of the reasons for moving this. I have not sat on many Committees, although I have been a long time in the House of Commons, but I do know it is within the power of any Committee to take into consideration the minutes of evidence and Reports of any previous Committee. That being the case, where is the necessity of the House passing a resolution referring a certain body of evidence and Report to this Committee? What is the object of it?
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I cannot understand what advantage there can be in certain evidence and Reports being referred to the Committee, because the evidence and Reports of every Committee are open to Members of the House. I assume there is some purpose in the resolution. Is it to act in the nature of an Instruction to the Committee? Is it to give the Committee some power which without it they would not have? If so, I think it is doubtful whether the resolution is wide enough. On the other hand, is the resolution a suggestion which limits the Committee? It seems to me it is a distinct intimation to them to limit their consideration to that special Report and evidence. I certainly can see no reason for passing it, and unless the resolution is made more general, or some further ex- 1067 planation is given of it, I shall feel bound to vote against it.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
This is a very usual application, made in quite a common form. It is generally simply handed in at the Table and put on the minutes as a matter of course. It is quite true that hon. Members may obtain and read copies of Reports which have been printed, but a Committee, as a Committee, cannot take notice of them and have them before them as evidence unless an order of this kind is made. It is a matter of common form, which is gone through constantly in respect of Private Bills.
§ SIR JOSEPH PEASE (Durham, Barnard Castle)
I take it any Member of the House can move a resolution to refer to any Committee any document he may think fit?
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
Is it not the rule for a Parliamentary Committee to take power generally to have documents before it, and not to specify particular Papers? We do not want the precedent of the South African Committee to be repeated.
MR. JAMES LOWTHER
Has not the Committee already got power to send for persons, Papers, and Reports? This motion indicates only one Report. I want them to have any Reports that may be thought desirable.
§ MR. JACKSON
The only object is to obtain the information which was obtained by a previous Committee. The Committee on War Office Contracts are under the impression that the only way in which they can secure the obtaining of the information is to ask the House to refer to them the Papers specified. There is no other object in the motion.
MR. JAMES LOWTHER
I wish to ask whether the Chairman of the Committee and his colleagues have not power to send for any records they think fit.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
Yes, I presume so, though I have not seen the Order of reference, but when a Committee wishes to have before it the proceedings of a previous Committee it has always been 1068 the custom to make such an Order. The usual course has been followed in this case.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
And it has this practical effect, that the Stationery Office is enabled to supply every member of the Committee with copies of the documents.
§ MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
The motion for the appointment of this Committee contained these words—"The Committee shall have power to send for persons, Papers, and documents." I am at a loss to understand why this motion is made. [VOICES: Agreed!]
§ Ordered, That the Report and Minutes of Evidence of the Select Committee on Public Departments (Purchases, etc.), 1873–4, be referred to the Select Committee on War Office Contracts.—(Mr. Jackson.)