HC Deb 22 April 1901 vol 92 cc1029-48

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

[Mr. J. W. LOWTHER, Cumberland, Penrith, in the Chair.]

Clauses 1, 2, and 3 agreed to.

Clause 4:—

*SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean) moved an Amendment on line 9 in order to ascertain from the Government whether the Bill applied to "all" courts of inquiry. The authorities on this subject were very much divided. A great number of courts of inquiry had been held during the present war in South Africa which were not held subject to the rules laid down in the rules of procedure. If the Government denied that, then they would know where they were, and they would come to the discussion of the Amendment which the hon. and gallant Member for Taunton had on the Paper with a clear opinion of what it was they were going to discuss.

Amendment proposed— In page 3, line 9, to leave out the word 'all.'"—Sir Charles Dilke.

Question proposed, "That the word" 'all' stand part of the question."


said he could not accept the Amendment, because it was exactly contrary to the intention of the clause. The intention of the clause was to give power in certain cases to courts of inquiry held under Clause 70 of the Army Act to administer oaths in order to make the inquiry more formal. It was not intended to affect courts not held under Clause 70.


said he understood the right hon. Gentleman in the first part of his speech to imply—although he did not distinctly state it—that he took the view which he (Sir Charles) had put before the House, namely, that this change in the law would not apply to all courts of inquiry. But in the last words of his speech the right hon. Gentleman seemed to go back on that, because he said that in South Africa some persons had been involved who had not been heard, but had been reported on by courts of inquiry as though these had been formal courts. If the Amendments were not to apply to all courts of inquiry he would withdraw his word "all," which was moved in order to elicict this fact.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

said that the clause took one's breath away. He had understood that the evidence was in all cases to be taken on oath, but it seemed to read that evidence on oath could only be taken in one, the first, class of courts mentioned in the clause. Officers ought to have some better and clearer guidance.

MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)

thought the hon. Member for North Louth was right in his contention. Section 70 of the Army Act applied only to courts of inquiry constituted under that Act, and the proposed Amendment on Clause 4 would also be restricted to that class of courts of inquiry. He understood that the point raised by the right hon. the Member for Forest of Dean was that there were investigations which might not be courts of inquiry in the sense of the Act, but which were held under the general prerogative of the Crown as head of the Army, and the question was whether the proposed new rule that evidence might be taken on oath would apply to these courts.


was understood to say that it would not.


said if the amendment to Clause 70 of the Army Act was only to apply to statutory courts, the evils against which his hon. and gallant friend the Member for Taunton wished to protest would continue to exist. Having elicited the facts, he# asked leave to withdraw his amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


said that the rules of procedure actually carried the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Taunton.


said his object was to get the words inserted in the Act, and to add "or efficiency," which words were not in the rules of procedure. As a matter of fact, in courts of inquiry in South Africa the rules of procedure had been left on one side, and the reason given was that the word "character" did not involve an officer's military efficiency. Efficiency ought to be added, because efficiency was a very great portion of an officer's military character. His reason for inserting the words in the Act of Parliament was to make it beyond dispute that, whenever evidence was taken on oath, the officer should have an opportunity of being present, of cross-examining the witnesses, and of making his defence. He believed that courts of inquiry had been held in South Africa which had seriously affected officers and non-commissioned officers, who had been judged in their absence. Evidence taken on oath could be produced at a court-martial, and therefore it would be inevitable that the person incriminated would have an opportunity of being present at the proceedings, of cross-examining the witnesses, and stating his own defence. It was perfectly true that during a campaign it might be necessary to hold advisory courts to collect evidence, but that evidence could be collected in the ordinary way by a prerogative court, and what he wanted was that, in cases like the surrenders in South Africa, the persons implicated should have the right to be present at the courts of inquiry, and to cross-examine the witnesses, and that the evidence should be taken on oath.

If evidence of that kind were to be given, he believed it would be the means of greatly increasing a serious defect in the organisation of the Army as compared with that of the Navy, namely, a want of responsibility in taking action against those who were inefficient in the field. He was sure that that could not be said of his right hon. friend, for he bad acted bravely in his position, and he admired him for it. But what was the practice of the Army as a whole? The practice was to avoid responsibility, and for a general to shield himself behind a court of inquiry. It would be very simple for a general if he wished to get rid of an officer, instead of taking the responsibility himself, to fall back on the proceedings of a court of inquiry taken upon oath and to say to the officer that that evidence was taken on oath, that there could be no doubt about it, and that, therefore, he must recommend that the officer be removed from his command. He believed that the great object of the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman was to deal with the cases of surrender which had occurred in South Africa, and to abolish the present system of first having a court of inquiry and then a court-martial, in favour of a system of one inquiry upon oath, which would finally decide how a surrender had been caused. Very great injustice might result. He did not think it was possible in all cases to assimilate the procedure in the Army to that in the Navy. In the Navy the commander of a ship was responsible, but a military commander might be tied by an order just received before a disaster. Military officers, therefore, could not be tried as naval officers invariably were. What he desired was that if the rule of collecting evidence on oath by courts of inquiry were to be enforced, then most decidedly the safeguards for the officers and men incriminated should be inserted in the Act of Parliament and not left to rules of procedure, which, although they had to be laid on the Table of the House, might be overlooked, and a change might creep in which the House did not desire. As an officer, he unhesitatingly said that the words he proposed should be inserted in the Act. If they were not he believed it would be far better to leave things as they were. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed— In page 3, line 11, after 'that purpose,' add 'provided that whenever any such inquiry affects the character or efficiency of an officer or soldier, full opportunity shall be afforded to the officer or soldier of being present throughout the inquiry, and of making any statement he may wish to make, and of cross-examining any witness whose evidence, in his opinion, affects his character or efficiency, and producing any witnesses in defence of his character or efficiency.'"—(Colonel Welby.)

Question proposed, That those words be there inserted.

MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire, South Molton)

said he agreed with the hon. and gallant Gentleman that the words proposed by the right hon. Gentleman were hardly needed. In the rules of procedure it was laid down that courts of inquiry were to give no opinion as to the conduct of any officer or soldier. Why, then, was evidence to be taken on oath, when it was not to be admissible at any subsequent court? The court of inquiry had no judicial power, and was in strictness not a court at all. Why, therefore, have evidence upon oath? He would further point out that the officers forming a court of inquiry were not themselves sworn, whereas in the case of a court-martial the first thing that was done was to administer an oath to each officer composing the court to well and truly try the case. As far as he could understand it, a court of inquiry was merely an assemblage of persons directed by the commanding officer to collect evidence with respect to a transaction as to which he could not conveniently make inquiries himself. It seemed to him to be merely a preliminary inquiry to satisfy the commanding officer, who would decide, after having studied the evidence, whether there was a prima facie case against the officer concerned. He could not conceive why the right hon. Gentleman wished to insert the words, because the court was not a judicial court but merely a court, to collect facts.


said that the court of inquiry would assemble not to give a verdict, but in order to provide the Commander-in-Chief with reliable information as to what had occurred, and experience showed that the more formal the evidence was made, by placing witnesses upon oath, the more certain would be the assurance of obtaining reliable information. His object was to make a court of inquiry a reality, and to make it reliable, not for the purpose of using the evidence as evidence before a court of law or a court-martial, but for the purpose of providing accurate information for the guidance of the Commander-in-Chief. He would ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman to accept his assurance that the rules of procedure would achieve the object be desired, and he was prepared to amend them by adding the words "or efficiency" as proposed, but he did not think it necessary that the Amendment should be inserted in the Bill.


said he thought that the right hon. Gentleman had fully met the point raised by the hon. and gallant Gentleman. He would, however, respectfully submit that the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman was really putting a soldier or an officer in a position of greater danger than an ordinary civilian when his character or conduct was challenged. All laws made in a time of panic were bad, and the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman was meant to meet a particular grievance which had suddenly arisen, and which could not be considered as fairly as if it had arisen in the ordinary course. The right hon. Gentleman said he proposed to invest courts of inquiry with a solemnity which they otherwise would not have. That was the very vice of the clause. It should be remembered that an officer or a soldier was not empanelled before a court of inquiry. He neither got a verdict of acquittal nor was he adjudged guilty, yet his character was ripped up and torn to pieces, and he went blasted before a court-martial. He would ask the Government, was it fair as a result of the war to start a novel procedure and to subject a soldier or an officer to a position of difficulty and doubt to which an ordinary person was not subject? He did not think the proposal was an improvement, or that it should he considered in Committee after midnight. He thought it should be considered by a Select Committee, upon which Army experts should be represented. The only case in which evidence could be taken on oath behind the back of the accused was that of a deserter. Now, forsooth, the Government proposed to place; an officer or a general in command on a level with a deserter. That would be the effect of the clause. So far as he, was concerned, personally he had not the smallest interest in the matter except the constitutional interest one took in the trials of one's fellows. But he would beg of tin; Government to pause before they introduced such a fatal change. Let the officer have the option of a court-martial in the first place, and let not his character be blasted beforehand by a court of inquiry.


asked whether it was the intention of the Government to discourage non-statutory courts or prerogative courts, and to substitute courts of inquiry on oath in their stead It was difficult to discuss the question as if the Committee had not certain cases in their minds; but when they were discussing what was to be done, they ought to consider whether in effect they were making a change which would in future guide such cases, or whether such cases would continue to be dealt with as in the past? The hon. and gallant gentleman referred to officers who would be affected in their absence, but in another part of his speech he showed that courts were in the habit of conducting proceedings in the absence of the officer concerned. That was because such courts were outside the section, and the Committee ought to understand that the proposal they were now discussing did not touch them at all. The case the hon. and gallant Gentleman had in his mind was the case of an officer who was affected by an inquiry into the conduct of another officer. In that inquiry all the things which the rules of procedure laid down should not be done were done. The Committee ought to know from the Government whether they proposed to substitute the procedure now under discussion for the ordinary procedure. The courts which were held for the collection of information for future use were not under the provisions of the law, or of the proposal by which they were now reforming them. The Secretary of State for War had adopted that view. He knew that high legal authorities held a contrary view. Undoubtedly many courts held during the present war have been outside the statutory courts, because they had done things which the statutory courts were forbidden to do. Surely the Committee ought to know whether it was the intention of the Government to supersede the existing procedure by the procedure now proposed.

SIR ROBERT REID (Dumfries Burghs)

said his right hon. friend assumed that the law only referred to what he called statutory courts. On reference to the Act of 1881, however, it would be seen that the rules of procedure dealt with all courts of inquiry. He was not aware of any statutory court of inquiry except that referred to in Section 72. The heading of Rule 124 was as follows: "Regulations for Courts of Inquiry other than Courts of Inquiry held under Section 72." Therefore the Secretary of State for War, who among his many advantages had not the advantage of being a lawyer, would find that very grave doubt existed on the matter. His own opinion was that the Amendment would refer to all courts of inquiry. For his own part, he agreed that it was desirable to give solemnity to evidence by taking it on oath on all inquiries affecting character. His hon. friend the Member for North Louth did not agree with him, but the only question, if they were to have such courts of inquiry now, was whether the evidence was to be taken in a more solemn and formal manner than in the past. He thought it was better that the evidence should be solemnly and formally than taken without any formality at all. On the larger point, he was of opinion that the Amendment referred to more the statutory courts. He thought it would refer to all courts of inquiry such as the courts referred to in Rule 124.


said there seemed to be a general agreement that the Secretary of State for War had fully dealt with the Amendment before the Committee. The hon. Member for North Louth seemed to think that there might be some aspersion cast on an officer or soldier if the evidence were taken on oath, but he would remind the hon. Member that the character of an officer or a soldier was protected to the same extent as if the evidence had not been taken on oath, and it was from that point of view he# asked the Committee to accept the proposal. With reference to the remarks of the hon. and learned Member for Dumfries Burghs. Section 72 dealt with the case of soldiers absent without leave.


thought it extremely desirable that the amendment of the law proposed by the Government should be made, whatever might be the scope of the inquiry. Whenever a question arose affecting the character or efficiency of an officer, it was infinitely better that the evidence, instead of being more or less a haphazard collection of gossip and irresponsible statements, should be evidence which had attaching to it the solemnity of an oath, so that if false statements were made prosecutions for perjury could follow. But notwithstanding the explanation of the Attorney General, the Committee were still in doubt as to the scope of the proposals. It was quite true that Section 72 of the Army Act referred only to courts of inquiry in cases of desertion, and in that case the statute conferred the power to administer an oath. Therefore, as far as that case was concerned, there was no necessity for this Amendment. What, then, were the "other courts" referred to under Section 70? No other courts were mentioned in the Act of Parliament; therefore, Section 70, which was perfectly general in its terms, and gave power to the Secretary of State to make rules as to the procedure, etc., of courts of inquiry, must be referring to courts of inquiry other than or beyond those mentioned in Section 72. Prima facie there was no restriction whatever as to e, the courts of inquiry to which it referred. Section 124 of the regulations apparently applied in terms to all courts of inquiry of any sort or kind except those under Section 72, and the only J power to make Regulation 124 was the power contained in Section 70 of the Act. It seemed to him to follow that Section 70 of the Act applied to all courts of inquiry of any sort or kind; that Regulation 124, which otherwise would be ultra vires, applied also to all courts of inquiry; and thirdly, that the amendment which the Government proposed to introduce, namely, that evidence might he taken on oath, applied equally to all courts of inquiry. Before the matter was disposed of he thought the Committee should come to some understanding, because this point had a very vital bearing on the future administration of the law.


asked what would become of Regulation 124 if this clause became law. The position would be that they would have a court which was not a court, evidence which was not evidence, and oaths, apparently, which had no effect whatever. The regulation said "a court of inquiry has no judicial power," and yet the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fifeshire thought there might he prosecutions for perjury if false witness was borne on oath before a court which bad no judicial power. Be might be right in that view, but certainly His Majesty's Ministers were putting forward a new puzzle. The Regulation further staled that the court "is in strictness not a court at all." Was there ever such a proposition as that a man's character might he blasted for ever by evidence taken upon oath before a court which had no judicial power and which was not a court at all? The Government had recently issued an order that any man who in future exhibited the white flag should be court-martialled. The opening section of the Army Act stated "any person who shamefully abandons or delivers up any garrison, place, post, or guard, should on conviction by court martial be liable to suffer death." Here was a case, then, in which a man's life might actually be at stake; but being a military man he would be in a position of greater inferiority than the humblest servant or subject of His Majesty. All this was being done because of the panic which had arisen in consequence of the unfortunate occurrences in South Africa. But if, as they were told, the war was nearly over, why could not the matter wait a bit? This was an important clause, affecting about 300,000 men. Where would these courts be held? On the veldt, perhaps, in some ramshackle place, with the men up to their knees in water, without any of the forms or decencies of judicial procedure. Without rhyme or reason the whole British constitution was being turned topsy-turvey. As the clause stood, the court would have no power to compel witnesses to attend; in other words, the accusing party, which would always be the party of discipline, would have power to compel men to come forward, but the accused would not have the power even to issue a subpoena. One side only, and that the accusing side, would be presented, with the result that the moment the court of inquiry started there would be a presumption of guilt. Further, "the court of inquiry will give no opinion on the conduct of any officer or soldier." The Committee were told that the court was really intended to assist the Commander-in-Chief, and yet it could not even make a Report. Such regulations would not be allowed even for an Irish petty sessions court, and yet it was calmly proposed to pass this important clause between one and two o'clock in the morning.


thought the clause might do great harm and produce a very extraordinary state of affairs. The members of a court-martial were practically selected in turn, and the individual opinions were not recorded. Such a body could, therefore, be very independent. With a court of inquiry it was totally different. The Commander-in-Chief put whatever men he liked upon a court of inquiry, and it could be ascertained how each member voted. The proceedings were secret, and the evidence was really only a string of affidavits, not subjected to the sifting of cross-examination. This proposal would put an enormous power into the hands of a central clique. If, however, the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Gentleman were accepted, so much harm would not be done.


, in reply, submitted that the section alluded to did give a, very considerable protection to those who might be in danger from courts of inquiry.


thought an opportunity should be afforded the men of being present during the inquiry. The verdict in regard to the Lindley surrender was that Colonel Spragge could have held out longer had not some irresponsible person held up the white flag, yet those men were not called. Was an Amendment to remedy this going to be inserted in the Act, or did they intend to discharged it? They practically charged the men in this case with cowardice—


The hon. Member misunderstands the finding of the court, which was that persons not directed by Colonel Spragge to raise the white flag had raised it; and therefore no blame attached to Colonel Spragge.


pointed out that the inquiry was to investigate the circumstances under which Lieut.-Colonel Spragge and others became prisoners of war. A lieutenant and a corporal were accused by this court of inquiry of having held up the white flag when they had no business to do it. The lieutenant was severely wounded, and could not attend, and the corporal had been discharged before the inquiry was held. Was it not plain that those men ought to have a right to be present at the court of inquiry He thought this case afforded a very good reason for inserting the hon. and gallant Gentleman's Amendment in the Act.


it is impossible to provide that all men, wounded or unwounded, shall be present. These matters had to be brought to an issue promptly, and if such conditions were made obviously no court-martial or inquiry could be held at all.


We have had several questions put pointedly to the Government. My right hon. friend the Member for East Fife and my hon. and learned friend have asked questions which have not been answered, and after all this discussion we shall still be legislating absolutely in the dark upon the main question. We do not know whether the law we are making is to apply to the principal courts, nor do we know whether the Government are going to discourage the holding of these inquiries. The hon. and gallant Member seemed to think that in courts held during the present war these rules had been observed, but that is not so. Inquiries have been held, and they have been called courts of inquiry, and their decisions have been printed in the usual form, and action has been taken on the decisions of those courts. That is entirely contrary to these rules, for those courts were entirely outside what we are dealing with to-night. The Member for East Fife has argued that these words must apply to all courts. I prefer the other alternative, that these courts have been courts outside the statute. I think some answer ought to have been given to the argument of my right hon. friend the Member for East Fife. We are still being asked to legislate in the dark.


assured the right hon. Gentleman that the intention of the Government was to discourage prerogative courts, and as far as possible to employ the new machinery of courts on oath under the rules of procedure.


said he thought the Attorney General was in error. Why, in a matter so important as this, should not the statute he made perfectly clear? The object they all had at heart was the same.


said he could not see that the definition clause affected the question in the least.


said if that was really the case, why should it be left in any doubt?


said he was satisfied with the explanation of the Secretary for War that the object he had in view was provided for, and he therefore asked leave to withdraw the Amendment. [Cries of "No" from Irish Members]

MR. TULLY (Leitrim, S.)

said he thought this a most useful Amendment. He objected to the sanction of an oath being given to camp gossip. Africa had been called the land of lies, but if this clause was carried in its present form they would have in addition to call it the land of blasphemy. He thought the procedure to be set up under this proposal was something very like the procedure adopted by the French, and which we had been condemning, in the case of Captain Dreyfus. That was the procedure we were going to apply under this section to our own officers.

Amendment negatived.

Question proposed, "That Clause 4 stand part of the Bill."


suggested that the questions which had been referred to in the debate on the Amendment should be considered by the Government.


assured the hon. and learned Member that they would take care to consider these matters.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—

Ayes, 148; Noes, 64. (Division List No. 136.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Dickinson, Robert Edmond
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Brookfield, Col. Montagu Dorington, Sir John Edward
Anson, Sir William Reynell Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Doughty, George
Arkwright, John Stanhope Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Arnold Forster, Hugh O. Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Duke, Henry Edward
Arrol, Sir William Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Chapman, Edward Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J. (Manc'r
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds) Charrington, Spencer Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst
Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Ceilings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Fisher, William Hayes
Black, Alexander William Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon
Blundell, Colonel Henry Colville, John Forster, Henry William
Bond, Edward Cranborne, Viscount Fuller, J. M. F.
Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H (City of Lond. Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Ridley, Hon. M. W (Stalybridge
Godson, Sir Augustus Fred. Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsm'th Rigg, Richard
Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin & Nairn) Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Macdona, John Gumming Ropner, Colonel Robert
Gordon, MjEvans- (T'rH'mlets M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Goschen, Hon. George Joachim M'Calmont, Col. H. L. R (Cambs Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Graham, Henry Robert M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E. Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles
Greville, Hon. Ronald M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Hamilton, Rt. Hn Lord G (Mid'x Majendie, James A. H. Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew
Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'ry Malcolm, Ian Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Rbt. Wm. Manners, Lord Cecil Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Hare, Thomas Leigh Max well, W J H (Dumfriesshire Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Harris, Frederick Leverton Melville, Beresford Valentine Spear, John Ward
Hayne, Rt. Hn. Chas. Seale- Middlemore, John T. Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanl'y Molesworth, Sir Lewis Stock, James Henry
Heath, James (Staffords, N. W. More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Helme, Norval Watson Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Higginbottom, S W. Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightsde Morrison, James Archibald Valentia, Viscount
Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Mount, William Arthur Walker, Col. William Hall
Howard, John (Kent, Faversh. Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute Warde, Colonel C. E.
Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkn'y)
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop Newdigate, Francis Alexander Welby, Lt-Col. A C E. (Taunton
Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Nicholson, William Graham Willox, Sir John Archibald
Law, Andrew Bonar Nicol, Donal Ninian Wilson, A. Stanley (York, R. E.
Lawrence, William F. O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. E (Bath)
Lawson, John Grant Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Wylie, Alexander
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Partington, Oswald Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Feel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley Wyndham-Quin, Major H. W.
Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S Pemberton, John S. G.
Levy, Maurice Penn, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Llewellyn, Evan Henry Platt-Higgins, Frederick Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham Purvis, Robert
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S Reid, James (Greenock)
Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.) Grant, Corrie O'Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ry Mid
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Haldane, Richard Burdon O'Dowd, John
Boland, John Hammond, John O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Boyle, James Hayden, John Patrick O'Mara, James
Burke, E. Haviland- Healy, Timothy Michael O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Caldwell, James Hope, John D. (Fife, West) O'Shee, James John
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Power, Patrick Joseph
Channing, Francis Allston Jordan, Jeremiah Reckitt, Harold James
Clancy, John Joseph Joyce, Michael Reddy, M.
Cogan, Denis J. Kennedy, Patrick James Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lambert, George Redmond, William (Clare)
Crean, Eugene Leamy, Edmund Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Cullinan, J. Leigh, Sir Joseph Sullivan, Donal
Daly, James Lundon, W. Thompson, E. C. (Monaghan, N
Delany, William MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Tully, Jasper
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles M'Govern, T. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Doogan, P. C. M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Duffy, William J. Minch, Matthew Woodhouse Sir J. T. (Huddersf'd
Edwards, Frank Murnaghan, George
Farrell, James Patrick Murphy, J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Flynn, James Christopher Nannetti, Joseph P. Sir Thomas Esmonde and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.
Gilhooly, James Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.
Goddard, Daniel Ford Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)

Clause 5 agreed to.



wished to draw attention to the schedule, which provided that only one penny was allowed for the soldier's breakfast. That was absurd, especially when they remembered that sugar was taxed now. The allowance ought to be threepence at least.


Do I understand the hon. Gentleman to move an Amendment on the schedule?


said he would sooner have no schedule at all, and he moved that these words be omitted.


If the hon. Gentleman will look at Clause 3 he will see that it refers to the schedule. There must be a schedule to the Act.


said he moved to leave out all after line 18 to end of the schedule.

Amendment proposed— To Leave out from line 18 to the end of the schedule."—(Colonel Nolan.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the schedule."

MR. O'SHEE (Waterford, W.)

said licensed victuallers were only allowed 1s. 3½d. for a hot meal to soldiers billeted on them, and 4d. for lodging. Where no hot meal was served only 4d. was allowed for lodging, attendance, salt, pepper, and vinegar. That seemed unfair, apart from the great inconvenience which was caused to publicans by billeting soldiers upon them. It dislocated the whole of their domestic life, especially when servant boys and girls had to give up their beds to the soldiers. For the 1s. 3½d., for the hot meal, the publican had to provide 1¼ lb. meat, 1 lb. bread, ¼ lb. potatoes or other vegetables, vinegar, salt, pepper, and two pints of small beer, and that could only be supplied at a loss. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would be able to offer some explanation with reference to the breakfasts, and why there was no reference to them in the Act of 1881.


said it was clear that the hon. Member was not aware that in 1891, as a result of complaints from the licensed victuallers, the whole question of billeting was reconsidered. At the same time it was decided that a simple breakfast, consisting of half a pound of bread and a cup of tea, should be provided for 1½d. The hon. Member was probably not aware that the State provided a soldier with bread and meat, and that he provided himself with the remainder; therefore only bread and meat was paid for by the State on billet. He did not think that the licensed victualler had much to complain of, and it was always

held that the country had the right to call on him to provide billets.


said he had not received a reply with reference to the breakfasts.


said that a breakfast consisting of half a pound of bread and a cup of tea was introduced by the Act of 1891.


said that, there was no mention whatever of breakfasts in the Act of 1881.


said the Act had been reprinted.


said there should have been an amending Act.


said that the Act was reprinted in 1893, having been amended in 1891.


said that if the Secretary of State for War would make the price of breakfasts 3d. he would not divide on the question.


said that the question had been considered over and over again, and there was no reason whatever for making further provision.


said that if the Act of 1881, which he had in his hand, were correctly printed his point was good. The Act could not be changed by merely reprinting it. There should have been an amending Act.


said that the Act of 1881 had been amended from time to time, and he should be glad to furnish the hon. Member with the Act as reprinted.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 131; Noes, 56. (Division List No. 137.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. E. Arrol, Sir William Bathurst, Hon. Allen B.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol
Anson, Sir William Reynell Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Black, Alexander William
Arkwright, John Stanhope Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Blundell, Col. Henry
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Balfour, Rt. Hon G. W. (Leeds) Bond, Edward
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Hare, Thomas Leigh Nicol, Donald Ninian
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Harris, Frederick Leverton O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale- Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanl'y Partington, Oswald
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.) Pemberton, John S. G.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Helme, Norval Watson Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Higginbottom, S. W. Purvis, Robert
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.) Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside Reid, James (Greenock)
Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r Howard, John (Kent, Faversh.) Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge
Channing, Francis Allston Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Rigg, Richard
Chapman, Edward Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop. Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. T.
Charrington, Spencer Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Ropner, Colonel Robert
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Law, Andrew Bonar Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Lawrence, William F. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Cranborne, Viscount Lawson, John Grant Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Doughty, George Leveson-Gower, Fredk, N. S. Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Levy, Maurice Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)
Duke, Henry Edward Llewellyn, Evan Henry Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Long, Rt. Hn Walter (Bristol, S. Spear, John Ward
Edwards, Frank Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Lucas, Reginald J (Portsmouth Stock, James Henry
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Macdona, John Cumming Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B (Cambs Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Fisher, William Hayes M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.) Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W Valentia, Viscount
Forster, Henry William Majendie, James A. H. Walker, Col. William Hall
Goddard, Daniel Ford Malcolm, Ian Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Manners, Lord Cecil Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E (Taunton
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn Middlemore, Jno. Throgmorton Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Molesworth, Sir Lewis Willox, Sir John Archibald
Gordon, Maj Evans- (TrH'mlets More, Robt Jasper (Shropshire) Wilson, A. S. (Yorks, E. R.)
Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Wylie, Alexander
Grant, Corrie Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Greville, Hon. Ronald Morrison, James Archibald
Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'x Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'y) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Nicholson, William Graham
Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.) Gilhooly, James Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hammond, John O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)
Boland, John Hayden, John Patrick O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Boyle, James Healy, Timothy Michael O'Dowd, John
Burke, E. Haviland- Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Caldwell, James Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) O'Mara, James
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Jordan, Jeremiah O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Clancy, John Joseph Joyce, Michael Power, Patrick Joseph
Cogan, Denis J. Kennedy, Patrick James Reckitt, Harold James
Colville, John Lambert, George Reddy, M.
Condon, Thomas Joseph Leamy, Edmund Redmond, J. E. (Waterford)
Crean, Eugene Leigh, Sir Joseph Redmond, William (Clare)
Cullinan, J. Lundon, W. Sullivan, Donal
Daly, James MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Thompson, E. C. (Monaghan, N.
Delany, William M'Govern, T. Tully, Jasper
Doogan, R. C. M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Dully, William J. Minch, Matthew
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Murnaghan, George TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Farrell, James Patrick Murphy, J. Colonel Nolan and Mr. O'Shee.
Flynn, James Christopher Nannetti, Joseph P.

Schedule agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment.


said he hoped the House would allow the Bill to be read a third time. It was necessary it should be passed during the week.


said he thought the right hon. Gentleman was absolutely insatiable. He had obtained the Committee stage very easily.

Bill to be read the third time to-morrow at Two of the clock.

Adjourned at ten minutes before Three of the clock.

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