HC Deb 28 February 1901 vol 90 cc91-167

1. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £5,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1901, for the Houses of Parliament Buildings."

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

I have long been waiting for this opportunity, and I hope the question I am about to raise will not be debated upon party lines. I allude to the necessity of providing for the Members of this House a new and a more airy smoking place. Those of us who make a practice of attending steadily and regularly to our duties in this House have been long groaning under an intolerable grievance in the shape of the present smoking-room accommodation.


How does the hon. Member propose to raise such a discussion upon this Vote?


IT is for the cost of certain alterations in the House of Commons


But these alterations do not relate to the smoke-room.


My point is that they ought to relate to the smoke-room.


The discussion must be confined to the matters dealt with in this Supplementary Estimate.


How are we to know what is included? The items are not set forth.


If the hon. Member will look on page 4 he will see them.

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

This Vote relates to the new rooms which have been placed at the disposal of the House, and I ask therefore is it not in order to discuss to what use they should be put?


It is obvious that there is no relation between the late clerk's residence and the provision of a smoking-room.


Would those rooms not enable us to have another smoking room?

MR. FLYNN (Cork, N)

The present smoke-room was changed not long ago, and I believe the alteration is a portion of the expense in connection with this Vote. It will be remembered that the smoke-room has quite recently been removed to the other side of the corridor, and the present room is a very great inconvenience to the majority of the Members of this House


The hon. Member, to bring himself in order, must show that the late residence of the Chief Clerk ought to have been converted, or might have been converted, into a smoking-room. If he can show that, then he will be in order in discussing that, but if he is suggesting that other rooms should be devoted to a smoke-room, or that the accommodation of the present smoke-room ought to be improved, then he is not in order.


I confess that I did not think you would draw the rule so close as to say that it should be a room in the residence of the late Chief Clerk. Of course, I can argue my point upon that as well as if it were any other room in the House. This Vote provides some fresh accommodation for the members of the press, and for the warming and ventilating of a portion of the House. My contention is that the present smoking-room is not sufficient accommodation for the Members of the House who frequent it, and I do think that it is a monstrous thing that in the House of Commons we cannot have decent accommodation in the smoke-room and the dining-room. I would prefer to take the new smoke-room from the House of Lords, but I can see that I cannot argue in favour of that proposal under your present riding. My primary object is to get this accommodation wherever we can, and I am quite ready to accept an additional room if the First Commissioner of Works can offer one of those which belonged to the residence of the late Chief Clerk. What are the conditions to which we are subjected? In the first place the room is not large enough, and I myself and other hon. Members have gone and found it impossible to get in, the room being so crowded, and the atmosphere absolutely unhealthy, and calculated to make one weary and ill, instead of making Members refreshed to return to business in the House. Not only is that the case, but the present smoking-room is situated over the kitchen or some other subterranean place where fires are kept up in the summer time. It looks into a closed yard in which there is no free circulation of fresh air, the consequence of which is that when summer comes it is absolutely intolerable, and I have seen the thermometer there standing at 90 degrees day after day, so that it was, practically speaking, uninhabitable. I think that that is a condition of things which the Members of the House of Commons ought not to be subjected to. At all events, if we are to have no other smoking-room accommodation except the present room, then I would ask that some attempt should be made, by a system of ventilation, to relieve the vitiated atmosphere of the room.


The hon. Member is not confining himself to the subject. The house of the late clerk is the point to which the hon. Member must confine himself.


Perhaps it will shorten the debate upon this subject if I state now what the Government propose to do, and it may save a good deal of time. I fully admit the inadequacy of the present smoking-room accommodation, and it has been my earnest endeavour to improve the ventilation of that spot. Owing to the vacation of the late clerk's residence we have been able to make a different allocation of the rooms, and at the present moment there are some four or five rooms which have not been allocated on the Terrace front. I had intended to ask the House at the commencement of this session to reappoint the House of Commons Accommodation Committee, so that they might make some recommendations upon this point. Besides further smoking-room accommodation, some hon. Members opposite require further accommodation for their private secretaries and for typewriting, and it has always been the practice of this House, that whenever structural alterations of the building take place, this should only be done upon the Report of a Committee of this House. I did not see fit last autumn to make these alterations, because I intended to move for the re-appointment of this Committee for that purpose. It is quite possible to make a decent smoking-room on the site to which I have alluded. I am not certain that it would be adequate for the large number of hon. Members who use the smoking-room, but, at all events, it would be a great improvement on the existing room, and not being over the kitchen, would he free from the smells of which the hon. Member complains, as it would be possible to ventilate it thoroughly. I will do my best to: provide this extra accommodation. In regard to the other small requirements of the House, I think these had better be left to the Committee, and if the hon. Member is satisfied with my explanation I will put down a notice for the appointment of the Committee.


I rise simply to convey my grateful thanks to the right hon. Gentleman. Nothing could have been more satisfactory than his statement.


asked if an additional smoking could not be provided.


That is a point to which the attention of the Committee will be directed. Of course Ave shall be guided by the recommendations of the Committee, and we had better wait until it reports.


When will you appoint the Committee?


I will put it down on the Paper as soon as I can.


said they all knew the condition of many parts of the House on a hot July day, and he would make a suggestion as to the ventilation of the lobbies—


No question arises on the lobbies,


thought that the statement of the right hon. Gentleman in regard to the appointment of a Committee was quite satisfactory, and it would be more convenient for hon. Members to bring any suggestions they had to make before the Committee rather than discuss them there. A reference was made in the Estimates to ventilation. Members had suffered greatly from the thoroughly bad ventilation of the big Committee rooms upstairs. He understood that experiments were promised a long time ago with the object of determining whether the ventilation of these rooms could be improved. He did not know whether this would come within the scope of the reference to the Committee, but he would ask whether the right hon. Gentleman could not adopt some of the simple expedients now common in other places—such as electric fans— so as to make the ventilation quite right. There was also a reference in the Vote to the increased cost of fuel. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman could give some information on the point which might be interesting to the House, for other people had suffered from the increased price of coal. Would the right hon. Gentleman say what the Government were doing in the pur- chase of fuel, and whether the price was going down, so that this difficulty might soon disappear.


said he wanted some-information in regard to the item under the heading D,—"Cost of furniture I etc., in connection with the opening of Parliament by the King in person." He objected to this Vote in toto, not because the King had opened Parliament in person, but because the whole of the arrangements had been most unsatisfactory and most undignified. He would like to know what that additional furniture was and where it was-placed. He had never seen any of it. The sum—£800—was not very great, but the principle involved in this Vote was important. The House had to find the money for these ceremonies, but hon. Members were deprived of any accommodation to witness them except that which they would not give a lackey. He himself had taken no part in the proceedings, because he had a distaste for ceremonials of that kind, but he had been assured by hon. Members who were there that the only accommodation they could get enabled them to gain a peep view over their neighbour's shoulders. In fact, they had no more opportunity of catching sight of the King and Queen than a man in a theatre had of securing a view of the stage if he sat behind a lady wearing a tall feathered hat. The result was that hon. Members had suffered considerable pain of mind and body. He had great sympathy with hon. Members on both sides of the House who had been engaged in the discreditable football rush towards the-bar of the other House, and who, when they got there, could not even see their Majesties.


said he had placed on the Notice Paper a motion to reduce this Vote by the sum of £1,300. He would not have done so if it had really been the opening of Parliament for which they were asked to pay the reasonable expenses. But it was not the opening of Parliament, but the opening of an assembly of ladies and friends of the Lord Great Chamberlain; and it was too much to ask the British taxpayer to pay the expenses, at this time, of such a ceremony. He believed that the people who went to see this show and who had no constitutional right or necessity to be there, should pay the expenses, just as they would pay for seats at the opera or theatre. A great constitutional question was involved in this Vote, because if Parliament was to be opened by the Sovereign in person, and if the King was to deliver his gracious Speech from the Throne to the Lords and his faithful Commons, the Commons ought to be there, and it was for them that room ought to be supplied. He was not making any attack upon the right hon. Gentleman opposite. He knew it was not the right hon. Gentleman's fault, and that the matter was entirely in the hands of the Lord Great Chamberlain. He spoke not only for Members of that House, but also for Members of the other House, who had been worse treated even than the Commons were, and had been deprived of their usual seats. It was most important that the House should show that they meant to be as loyal and faithful to His Majesty the King as they were to the late Queen; but if they passed this Vote it was as much as saying that they did not value the privilege of access to His Majesty, and that they did not care to hear his gracious Speech from the Throne. He thought that, having been prevented from obeying the first command given to them by His Majesty after his accession, they should make this protest; and he hoped hon. Members would take that, the only opportunity they had, of testifying their loyalty to His Majesty by refusing to vote this sum. He moved that the Vote be reduced by the sum of £1,300.

Motion made and Question proposed, "That a sum not exceeding £3,700 be granted for the said Service."— (Sir Brampton Gurdon.)


said he might fairly support the Amendment for the reasons given by the hon. Member. He had not been in the crush, but everything had been done to put hon. Members in a position in which they were very likely to be crushed. When he got to the House of Lords he had a view of several very handsome peeresses, very prettily dressed, but he saw very little else, and had only a peep at His Gracious Majesty. But he had a much more serious reason for moving the reduction of this Vote, as he had intended doing. He thought that it would have been far better if the King had not come to open Parliament on that occasion, and the £1,300 would have been saved. Her late Majesty, when she came to open Parliament, was fulfilling a very important part of the Constitution, and therefore she was to be encouraged in doing so; but on this special occasion the King ought not to have come, and his reason for saying so was that he wished His Majesty had put off making the Declaration calling him an idolater.


Order, order! That has nothing to do with the Vote before the Committee.


said he might not be allowed to argue the question, but he could not be compelled to vote £1,300 to pay the expenses of His Majesty coming. as was alleged, to open Parliament. He did not blame the King. He knew that whatever His Majesty said, he was advised to say by his responsible Ministers. If he was not allowed to give the reasons for the vote he was going to record, everyone should know why he objected to the Supplementary Estimate asked for. Not only every Roman Catholic Member, but every enlightened Protestant ought to join in the endeavour to cut it down.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

said that all this bother in the House of Commons was. as usual, due to an hereditary gentleman—the Hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain. He was perfectly convinced that if the matter had been left in the hands of the right hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner of Works, the House of Commons would not have been treated in the fashion it had been, and that hon. Members would have had allocated to them a fair space in the House of Lords when His Majesty came to deliver his gracious Speech from the Throne. He would like some- one to explain how far the functions of this hereditary gentleman—the Hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain—went. He had an objection to vote anything as long as that gentleman had the disposal, in any sort of way, direct or indirect, of the funds voted by the House of Commons. He believed that there was a time when this Hereditary Great Chamberlain exercised a jurisdiction over all the palaces in the country; but, by degrees, he had been disestablished in every palace except that of Westminster. He really thought it was full time that they should claim that the Palace of Westminster, being the seat of the Legislature of the country, should be in the hands of some responsible Minister, like the right hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner of Works. He would point out that the Hereditary Great Chamberlain was a peer, and looked after his own friends — especially the peeresses. He (Mr. Labouchere) was as fond of a show as anyone else, but he had had no opportunity of seeing this one. Surely, if it became a question as to whether peeresses or the Members of the House had the privilege of witnessing the show, representatives of the Commons, who were a component part of the Legislature, had the first call in regard to space. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would take some steps to take the control of the Palace of Westminster out of the jurisdiction of the Lord High Chamberlain, and place it in the control of a responsible Minister.

*MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)

expressed a hope that the right hon. Gentleman who asked for the Vote would take notice that what had been said was a faint echo of the widespread dissatisfaction that existed in regard to this matter. On the occasion of the opening of Parliament hon. Members endeavoured to squeeze themselves into a place which could not accommodate them, and the arrangements made were such as to mar the dignity and decorum which everyone desired should permeate such an occasion. He did not look at the matter from a spectacular but a constitutional point of view. The Sovereign, the Crown, the Lords, and the Commons were the component parts of Parliament, and it was the King's command which took hon. Members to the other House; and, putting the spectacular aspect of the matter on one side, the only proper way in which the King's command could be obeyed was for proper accommodation to be made for the Commons to assemble in the House of Lords, as was desired-He had been shocked to see the way in which the House of Lords had been transformed. If the Lords cared to have. their benches put up and stacked away and narrow wooden benches erected for themselves and their peeresses, certainly he did not object. But outside the space of the actual technical House of Lords the Commons had the first claim. He would like to know why Members were deprived of the possibility of going into the galleries in the House of Lords which were reserved for them, especially when those galleries were not fully occupied. The-only remedy for preventing a recurrence of the unseemly spectacle which was: witnessed on this occasion was that steps should be taken—and they could be taken at the beginning of a new reign, for of course the Crown was above precedent as regards its own high officials —to put the Lord Great Chamberlain in his proper place in these matters.


also protested against the arrangements which were made for the reception of the House1 of Commons when they started to obey the King. Many reasons had been given: to show that the First Commissioner of Works was not to blame, but he considered that that Gentleman was entirely to blame. In the unseemly crush which took place when the House was summoned to hear the Speech from the-Throne, he had been content to put up with the loss of a hat, but one hon. Member had been so injured that he had never been out of bed since. Until the House received some kind of apology from the right hon. Gentleman for what had occurred, when he knew, under the circumstances, that all Members of the House would like to attend, he should consider he was to blame for not making arrangements with the Lord Great Chamberlain on the subject.

*MR. STEVENSON (Suffolk, Eye)

was glad that this opportunity had been, taken for adequately expressing the wide- spread feeling of dissatisfaction which prevailed on this subject. A short time since he had put a question to the First Lord of the Treasury as to the advisability of appointing a Committee to consider the comparative merits of Westminster Hall as a place where Parliament might be convened. The proceedings on the opening day marked a complete divergence of the theory and the practice of Parliament, and they were, in so far as the House of Commons was concerned, a positive scandal. Until the reign of Henry VII., and possibly on some subsequent occasions, the opening of Parliament took place in the Painted Chamber, the Lords sitting on the one side and the Commons on the other; and at this date, when the Painted Chamber was no longer in existence, the chamber which most closely approximated was Westminster Hall. The cost of utilising what was acknowledged to be the grandest hall in England would not greatly exceed the cost at present involved in opening Parliament.


said it appeared to him that in this particular case the House of Commons was in the same position as an Irish county council in connection with the court-houses in Ireland. They built and maintained the court-houses, yet those court-houses were not in their control, but in the control of the High Sheriff. In this ease the House of Commons paid the money, and the control was in the Lord Great Chamberlain. He should certainly go into the lobby against the Vote asked for. He intended to vote against the proposal as an expression of his feeling in connection with the proceedings at the opening of Parliament.


I am not at all surprised at the dissatisfaction which has been expressed by the Committee with regard to the arrangements made at the opening of Parliament. As many hon. Members on the other side of the House were kind enough to say, those arrangements were not in my hands or in the hands of the Government. It has always been my wish on these occasions to represent in the proper quarter that accommodation of a suitable character should be found for the House of Commons. But so far as I am concerned, I have no power in this matter to act for the House of Commons. With regard to the particular question and the jurisdiction of the Lord Great Chamberlain, I venture to offer the protest that this is hardly the opportunity when complaints in regard to that distinguished officer can be made. All we are asked on the present occasion to do is to vote a sum of money with regard to certain arrangements made for the opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, arrangements made not by the Great Chamberlain's office, but by the Department I represent. I hope I shall be able to justify that expenditure and show, if pressed, that the actual amount of money spent has been represented by the goods provided. But with regard to the general question of the convenience of Members on that occasion. I would point out that I recognise that the House of Commons is properly dissatisfied with the arrangements then made, but I think that that dissatisfaction is general not only to the House of Commons, but to the other House and to the public at large. I am quite sure that there is no one in this country more anxious to provide proper accommodation for his faithful Commons than His Majesty the King. With regard to Westminster Hall, the hon. Member who has just sat down has made an appeal to me, and although I agree with him as to the suitability of the building, I wish to put on record a protest with regard to the expenditure likely to be incurred. I should like to guard myself in that maattr, because undoubtedly the expenses would be considerable in providing accommodation.


My only point with regard to expenditure is that Westminster Hall would require little decoration.


With regard to decoration, yes; but with regard to stands and other things I may tell the hon. Member that I have taken pains to go into the figures, and to get these things would involve considerable expenditure, but I do not think there need be a difficulty; if both Houses are agreed and if the King is pleased to agree in making the necessary alterations. May I point out that not only did we recognise that the accommodation at present is unsatisfactory, but that we have at once met the appeals made to us from both sides of the House to find some remedy, and my right hon. friend the Leader of the House at once consented to the appointment of a committee to take into consideration not only the accommodation available in the House of Lords, but also the advisability of substituting Westminster Hall for use on similar occasions? That motion has been on the Paper two or three nights, and it is only owing to the action of hon. Members from Ireland who complain of the general arrangements on that occation that that motion has not received the approval of the House of Commons. I hope that the motion may be carried to-day, especially after the discussion we have had. Before that committee the whole of the subject can be raised in a much fuller way, with all the materials required before it, than can be the case on the present occasion. I trust, in view of the anxiety expressed by the (government to meet the views of Members on both sides, the Committee will not only agree to the expenditure which has been incurred for the opening of Parliament this year, but also allow us to proceed with the motion to-night for the committee to inquire into the providing of proper accommodation on a future occasion.

MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)

thought the House would recognise the very sympathetic reply of the right hon. Gentleman. He was sure they were all agreed that if the arrangements had been in his hands the state of things that existed would not have occurred. The right hon. Gentleman had told them that this was not the occasion to raise this point. The hon. Member would like to know when the occasion would arise. This gentleman's salary did not come up on the Estimates, and they had practically no other occasion whatever for raising the question. It appeared to him that if they were dissatisfied at the insult offered to the House of Commons it was the duty of the House to refuse to vote this money, as a protest against the system. If the individual responsible for what had happened had brains he ought to have foreseen the state of things. He himself did not attempt to get into that portion of the House of Lords which was allocated to Members of the House of Commons on that particular day. The individual responsible must have known that the House of Commons would be summoned to the House of Lords, and if he had only calculated the space required he would have come to the conclusion that it was impossible to have his own particular friends and the peeresses present on that occasion. There was another matter, and that was the ridiculous arrangements made for the press on that occasion. The accommodation for the press was materially limited, in fact only comparatively few selected newspapers were represented, and many important journals in the country were unable to have their representatives there. In fact, in his opinion, they were treated in the most contemptuous way by the individual responsible. That was a state of things which deserved severe condemnation, and showed utter incapacity on the part of the person responsible. There were persons in the House of Lords that day who had no more claim to be there than the man in the street. It seemed to him to be part of the general policy pursued in reference to recent processions and other things. If it were in order to discuss them now he should say something of the arrangements made on the occasion of her late Majesty's funeral, but it was impossible to enter upon that matter now. It showed to him that there was a feeling practically of contempt with regard to that House on the part of the individual responsible, for this treatment was continued. This official seemed to think that he might pursue that course, because the House of Commons did not vote his salary.

SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT (Sheffield, Ecclesall)

said everyone who experienced the inconvenience arising from the arrangements made for the opening of Parliament must feel that there was great neglect of the interests of that House, but he was not at all sure that they were fair in laying all responsibility, or indeed any very large share of it, on the Lord Great Chamberlain. No doubt these affairs were governed by precedent. He thought there was great want of a sense of responsibility on the part of the Government to see that the House of Commons was properly looked after on the occasion. The right hon. Gentleman said he was not responsible. What he wanted to know was, which member of the Government —there were twenty of them—was responsible for seeing that the House of Commons was treated with ordinary decorum? The hon. Member for the Kirkcaldy Burghs had referred to the want of arrangement on the occasion of Her late Majesty's funeral. That want was most deplorable.


That matter cannot be raised on this Vote.


Quite so. He would say no more about it. He only referred to it, not to argue the matter, hut as an illustration of the necessity for some new arrangement being made in the interests of the House of Commons. He suggested that either some special official should be appointed to look after the interests of the House of Commons, or that the Government should distinctly depute his right hon. friend the First Commissioner of Works to deal with this question. Then no doubt they would have all the arrangements satisfactory. He was quite certain that there was no person in the realm who would regret the want of proper accommodation for Members of the House of Commons more than His Majesty himself. He thought if proper representations had been made to him by someone, the interests of the House of Commons would have been better looked after.

MR. DALY (Monaghan, S.)

said the interest of the Nationalist Members in this question had reference to the money involved. He had no sympathy at all with hon. Members who got jostled in the rush to the House of Lords. He thought those who were crushed deserved all they got on the occasion. He rose to ask the right hon. Gentleman a question with regard to the new smoke-room.


said it would not be in order to raise that matter on this Vote.


said he was very glad that, on the occasion referred to, the side galleries, usually available in the House of Lords for Members of the House of Commons, were not open to them. If they had been he was quite certain that a larger number would have shared in the discomforts of the occasion. He did not think that any of the Members who had spoken had grappled with the real difficulty of this question. It was not to be solved by making the office of Lord Great Chamberlain an elective one, or by any method of that sort. The real difficulty was to get the quart of the House of Commons into the pint of the House of Lords. The House of Commons could not attend His Majesty as a whole, and it would be well to consider whether some small number of Members should not be selected to represent the House.

MR. BARLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)

said he would vote for the reduction of this Vote. The Government had proposed a Committee to deal with this subject, but the Committee would have no legal right to go to the Lord Great Chamberlain and ask him to do anything on their behalf. If the House had the moral courage to protect its own dignity and constitutional rights in connection with the granting of money when they were treated as they had been, things would be managed differently on such occasions. He would support the Government and the Committee in the action they were taking.


said he should be sorry to allow it to be supposed that the Irish Members had any grievance in not getting into the House of Lords. They had not the slightest desire to enter the House of Lords, and they watched with amusement and surprise the degradation of others of the House. If the Members of the House had any proper sense of their own dignity they would let these high and mighty persons know that if they were going to treat them with contempt they must put their hands into their own breeches pockets. If the House of Commons refused to pay the bill, ample accommodation would be forthcoming on the next occasion. He heartily agreed with the sentiment expressed by one hon. Member who said that on the occasion referred to they had been treated as they deserved to be. He had never attended any of these ceremonials, but during the time he had been in the House he had seen Members come there after great ceremonials weeping, lamenting, and bewailing the gross insults with which they had been treated. On one occasion they went in procession through Victoria Street to present congratulations to the Queen in connection with the Jubilee, and they were practically kicked downstairs, and he found the House of Commons literally boiling with indignation over the treatment to which they had been subjected. That had been repeated over and over again, and until the House of Commons did some specific act different from grumblings and growlings, and showed that they were not going to submit to that treatment, they would be treated in the same way. They had a simple way of stopping it if they chose, and that was by stopping the supplies. Let it be known that if they were going to carry on ceremonials at the public expense they must treat the House of Commons with civility, and that otherwise the House of Lords could raise a subscription for these entertainments. He thought they would then find that the Lord Great Chamberlain would become civil to the House of Commons. The right hon. Gentleman opposite had on these occasions done his best for the House of Commons. He trusted sincerely that if they passed the Vote they would get kicked out as before.


said he rose to call attention to the accommodation provided in the press gallery of the House of Commons. He was not sure that it was in order to do so under this Vote.


said the Amendment which had been moved related solely to the provision for the opening of Parliament, and the debate must be confined to that.


gave notice that on another occasion he would call attention to the fact that, in his opinion, there was not proper accommodation in the press gallery.

MR. JORDAN (Fermanagh, S.)

said there were no details given of the expenditure, and they were absolutely in the dark as to what the money was asked for. They did not know whether they had got fair value for the money or not.

MR. O'DOHERTY (Donegal, N.)

said the remark made by the hon. Member for South Fermanagh showed the Ulster keenness about pounds, shillings, and pence. As an Irish Member he had no fault to find with the accommodation provided at the opening of Parliament, but ho suggested that in connection with the Coronation ceremony a few hundred pounds should be spent in providing ambulances for Members of the House who at risk of life and limb attempted to attend. Moreover, it would be as well that Irish Catholic Members should not be asked to go to the House of Lords on such occasions to hear their religion insulted.


thought that to go to a division was the only means the House had of apologising to the King for not obeying his command. Furthermore, as the hon. Member for Rushcliffe Division had truly said, if the Lord Great Chamberlain had removed the benches from the House of Commons, that House would very soon have wanted to know the reason why. The Lords, however, have no constitutional privileges in this way, and so were obliged to suffer. The House of Commons, therefore, should have some feeling for the House of Lords, and help them where they could not help themselves.

MR. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick's)

would not have intervened but for the remarks of a previous speaker. Being an Irish Member he had no desire to assist in the House of Lords at the opening of Parliament, especially when the King used an Oath which in the opinion of Catholics was blasphemous—


Order, order! I have already pointed out more than once that the matter is not one to be discussed on this Vote.


did not propose to discuss the matter further than to say that as an Irish Member—


The hon. Member is not entitled to say anything further after I have told him it would be disorderly to refer to the matter. He really must not go on with the subject.


said that while the Irish Members had no desire to go into the House of Lords, they insisted on sufficient accommodation being provided for Members of the House of Commons. He could not understand why an invitation should be given if no accommodation was provided. If the noble Lords, who occasionally came down for a few minutes to carry on or to obstruct the business of the country, occupied all the available room, there was no use in requiring the Members of the House of Commons to attend, and the Vote should be opposed by all hon. Gentlemen who had any respect for their own dignity.

MR. TULLY (Leitrim, S.)

asked for further details as to the expenditure under discussion. There was an item of £200 for the extension of electric lighting to the Royal Gallery; another £200 for additional supply of electric current; and £1,100 for additional cost of fuel, mainly in respect of steam coal used by the engineering branch. What was the steam coal required for? No justification had been given for the expenditure of such a large sum. The electric light was supplied from the electric mains; therefore, why should there be this additional expenditure in regard to steam coal?


Those items are not in connection with the opening of Parliament at all. The £1,400 is mainly in respect of steam coal used by the engineering branch during the year, and, as everyone knows, the price of coal has enormously increased during that period. With regard to the £200 for supply of electric current, that is an additional sum owing entirely to the fact that Parliament met for an autumn session, and also for a short

period in January of this year, over and above the period for which the estimate was made. As to the provision of the electric light in the Royal Gallery, that is not merely for the occasion of the opening of Parliament, but for all time; it is for the supply of standards and so on in a portion of the House which has not been used for forty years for similar purposes. The furniture consisted of curtains, etc., and seating accommodation in the House of Lords, the Royal Gallery, the Robing Room, and other apartments in that portion of the House.

Colonel NOLAN

Are they the perquisites of the Lord Great Chamberlain after the ceremony is over?




thought the valuable information the right hon. Gentleman had volunteered proved that the criticism from the Irish benches had some foundation. As to this £800 for furniture, was that of a permanent character, or would a similar amount be required each time the King opened Parliament in person?


This is not a sum which will appear again. The furniture was required in consequence of the fact that it is something like forty years since Parliament has been opened in state. This furniture will always be available in future.


asked whether the furniture in question was supplied under contract, or were tenders invited?


was understood to reply that all furniture was supplied under a contract extending over a period of years.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 167; Noes, 219. (Division List No. 20.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Burt, Thomas
Allan, William (Gateshead) Blake, Edward Buxton, Sydney Charles
Allen, Charles P (Glouc., Stroud Boland, John Caldwell, James
Ambrose, Robert Boyle, James Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Brand, Hon. Arthur G. Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Brigg, John Carew, James Laurence
Atherley-Jones, L. Broadhurst, Henry Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton
Barlow, John Emmott Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Cawley, Frederick
Cogan, Denis J. Hobhouse, H. (Somerset, E.) O'Mara, James
Coghill, Douglas Harry Holland, William Henry O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Colville, John Hope, John D. (Fife, West) Palmer, George Wm.(Reading)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hutton, Alfred E. (Merley) Partington, Oswald
Craig, Robert Hunter Jacoby, James Alfred Philipps, John Wynford
Crean, Eugene Jameson, Major J. Eustace Power, Patrick Joseph
Cremer, William Randal Jones, David Brynmor (Swans'a Price, Robert John
Crombie, John William Jordan, Jeremiah Rea, Russell
Cullinan, J. Joyce, Michael Reckitt, Harold James
Daly, James Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth Reddy, M.
Dalziel, James Henry Labouchere, Henry Redmond, John E.(Waterford)
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Langley, Batty Redmond, William (Clare)
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Layland-Barratt, Francis Reid, Sir R. T. (Dumfries)
Delany, William Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington Rickett, J. Compton
Dewar, John A.(Inverness-sh. Leng, Sir John Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Dillon, John Levy, Maurice Robson, William Snowdon
Donelan, Captain A. Lloyd-George, David Roche, John
Doogan, P. C. Lough, Thomas Russell, T. W.
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Lundon, W. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Duffy, William J. MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Scott, C. Prestwich (Leigh)
Duncan, James H. M'Arthur, William (Cornwall Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Dunn, Sir William M'Crae, George Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire
Edwards, Frank M'Dermott, Patrick Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Elibank, Master of M'Fadden, Edward Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Emmott, Alfred M'Govern, T. Soares, Ernest J.
Esmonde, Sir Thomas M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Stevenson, Francis S.
Farquharson, Dr. Robert M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Sullivan, Donal
Farrell, James Patrick Mansfield, Horace Rendall Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Fenwick, Charles Mooney, John J. Tennant, Harold John
Ffrench, Peter Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Field, William Morley, Rt Hn. John Montrose Thomson, F.W. (York, W.R.)
Fison, Frederick William Moulton, John Flethher Tomkinson, James
Flavin, Michael Joseph Murphy, J. Tully, Jasper
Flynn, James Christopher Nannetti, Joseph J. Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.) Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Fuller, J. M. F. Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Furness, Sir Christopher Nussey, Thomas Willans White, George (Norfolk)
Gilhooly, James O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) White, Patrick (Meath, North
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Brien, Kendal (Tippera'y Mid Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Grant, Corrie O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Guthrie, Walter Murray O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Haldane, Richard Burdon O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)
Hammond, John O'Doherty, William Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd
Harmsworth, R. Leicester O'Donnell, John (Mayo. S.) Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Hayden, John Patrick O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Yoxall, James Henry
Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale O'Dowd, John
Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir A. D. O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Helme, Norval Watson O'Kelly, James (Roscommon N. Sir Brampton Gurdon and
Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H. O'Malley, William Mr. Robert Wallace.
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F Bill, Charles Compton, Lord Alwyne
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Blundell, Colonel Henry Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)
Aird, Sir John Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn) Cranborne, Viscount
Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden Brassey, Albert Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)
Allsopp, Hon. George Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Cubitt, Hon. Henry
Arkwright, John Stanhope Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh. Dalrymple, Sir Charles
Arrol, Sir William Bulliard, Sir Harry Dewar, T. R.(T'r H'mlets, S Geo.
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Cautley, Henry Strotber Dickinson, Robert Edmond
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Dickson, Charles Scott
Austin, Sir John Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Bailey, James (Walworth) Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cocktield
Bain, Colonel James Robert Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon
Baird, John George Alexander Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J (Birm. Dorington, Sir John Edward
Balcarres, Lord Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Baldwin, Alfred Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton Doxford, Sir William Theodore
Balfour, Rt, Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Churchill, Winston Spencer Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W(Leeds Clare, Octavius Leigh Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton
Banbury, Frederick George Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas
Barry, Sir Francis T.(Windsor) Cohen, Benjamin Louis Faber, George Denison
Bartley, George C. T. Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Fardell, Sir T. George
Beach, Rt Hn. Sir M. R. (Bristol) Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward
Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J. (Manc'r Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Round, James
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Leigh-Bennet, Henry Currie Rutherford, John
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
Firbank, Joseph Thomas Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Fisher, William Hayes Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S) Samuel, Harry S.(Limehouse)
FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose Loyd, Archie Kirkman Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos Myles
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Sasson, Sir Edward Albert
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Fletcher, Sir Henry Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison Shaw-Stewart, M. H.(Renfrew)
Forster, Henry William Macdona, John Cumming Simeon, Sir Barrington
Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Maconochie, A. W. Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East)
Gore, Hon F. S. Ormsby M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.) Smith, H. C. (Nrthmb. Tyneside
Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)
Goschen, Hon George Joachim M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Smith, Hon. W. F. D.(Strand)
Graham, Henry Robert Majendie, James A. H. Spear, John Ward
Green, Walford D. (Wednesb'ry Malcolm, Ian Spencer, Ernest (W. Bromwich
Greene, Sir E W (B'ryS Edm'nds Maple, Sir John Blundell Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)
Groves James Grimble Martin, Richard Biddulph Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart
Hall, Edward Marshall Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Hambro, Charles Eric Melville, Beresford Valentine Stone, Sir Benjamin
Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G. (Midx Milward, Colonel Victor Stroyan, John
Hamilton, Marq. of (Londndrry Molesworth, Sir Lewis Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Hanbury,Rt. Hn. Robert Wm. Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Oxf'd Univ
Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Thorburn, Sir Walter
Hare, Thomas Leigh More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire) Thornton, Percy M.
Harris, F. L. (Tynemouth) Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Tufnell, Colonel Edward
Hay, Hon. Claude George Morgan, Hn. Fred (Monm'hsh.) Valentia, Viscount
Heath, Arthur, H. (Hanley) Morrell, George Herbert Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H. (Sh'ffld
Heath, J. (Staffrds., N. W.) Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Henderson, Alexander Morton, Arthur H. A.(Deptford Walker, Col. William Hall
Hermon Hodge, R. Trotter Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute Warr, Augustus Frederick
Higginbottom, S. W. Murray, Charles J. (Coventry Wason, J. Cathcart (Orkney)
Hogg, Lindsay Murray, Co). Wyndham (Bath) Welby, Lt-Col. A. C. E. (Tauntn
Hope, J. F. (Sheffi'ld, Brightside Welby, Sir C. G. E. (Notts.)
Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Newdigate, Francis Alexander Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne)
Hoult, Joseph Nicholson, William Graham Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Howard, Capt. J. (Faversham) Nicol, Donald Ninian Willoughby de Eresby, Lord.
Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Willox, Sir John Archibald
Hudson, George Bickersteth Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Wills, Sir Frederick
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Platt-Higgins, Frederick Wilson, A. S. (York, E. R.)
Johnston, William (Belfast) Plummer, Walter K. Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H. Pretyman, Ernest George Wilson-Todd, Wm.H.(Yorks)
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop Purvis, Robert Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R (Bath)
King, Sir Henry Seymour Pym, C. Guy Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Knowles, Lees Ratcliffe, R. F. Wylie, Alexander
Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm. Reid, James (Greenock) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Law, Andrew Bonar Renshaw, Charles Bine Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Lawson, John Grant Renwick, George TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Lecky, Rt. Hn. Wm. Edw. H. Ritchie,Rt Hon. Chas. Thomson Sir William Walrond and
Lee, Capt. A. H. (Hants, Farehm Ropner, Colonel Robert Mr. Anstruther.

Question put and agreed to.

Original Question again proposed.


asked whether the Committee to be appointed would be empowered to inquire into the necessity of better accommodation for the press, and of a fairer distribution of the seats already provided?


replied that in answer to a similar question on the previous day the First Lord of the Treasury said the matter was barely within the reference.


What I am dealing with is the Press Gallery in this House.


Oh, I beg the hon. Member's pardon.


That will not arise on this Vote at all. I thought the hon. Member was referring to the accommodation in the House of Lords.

2. Motion made and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £2,500, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1901, for Expenditure in respect of Art and Science Buildings, Great Britain."


asked whether a corresponding supplementary Vote would be submitted with, regard to similar buildings in Ireland?


I do not think that really arises here, but I am only too glad to answer any question. I understand the lion. Baronet to ask whether there is a corresponding Vote required for Ireland. I will endeavour to obtain that information, but I am not responsible for any buildings outside Great Britain.


said the Committee knew there would not be a corresponding Vote for Ireland, as the present represented the whole of the Civil Service Supplementary Estimate for the year. This Vote was claimed simply and solely on account of the increased price of coal. The point of the hon. Baronet was why, if this Supplementary Estimate was necessary in regard to public buildings in England and Scotland, was not a corresponding Vote required in connection with similar public buildings in Ireland? There should be some proof that this was a bonâ fide claim due to a real deficit caused by the increase in the price of coal. Were the Committee to understand that in Ireland when coal rose in price the unfortunate inhabitants were obliged to shiver and do without coal in order to keep within the Estimate, while in Great Britain a different principle was applied?


As I pointed out to the Committee, I am quite prepared to justify the Vote which I am asking for in regard to the extra expenditure due to the higher price of coal, so far as it affects those buildings for which I am responsible. But it is not for me to say whether the Secretary to the Treasury, who administers the public buildings in Ireland, has been more fortunate in his contracts. I can only tell the House what has occurred in regard to the price of coal in the buildings for which I am responsible in England. I will take this opportunity of answering the question put to me by the hon. Member opposite, which applies to all these Votes. The reasons for the extra cost in the coal contracts for the year are two. In the first place there was a very large increase in the cost of steam coal since the time that the original estimates were prepared. There has been a very great increase in this respect, and consequently we have had to ask for more money for the warming and the lighting of these buildings. The other reason is because we have a different system in vogue now to that which has hitherto been the practice. We are paying this year for fourteen months supply of coal in the place of twelve months, because we are now supplying ourselves directly from the pit's mouth, instead of supplying ourselves through the middlemen and contractors in London; and we are paying ready money for our coals instead of paying quarterly, so that we are asking for a larger sum than if we bought under the old system. This is an advantage, because we get a very much better class of coal, and we have the control of the supply in our hands. We also get the advantage of the overweight which is always given when dealing direct with the colliery. We have saved in efficiency at least 15 per cent., and at least 5 per cent, in the overweight, besides securing a better quality of coal.


thought that in view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman had been buying coal at cost price, and also getting the overweight, he would have been able to reduce and not increase the sum required for coal.


We should have had to pay a great deal more, owing to the extra price of coal, had we not been able to make this economical arrangement under the new system of purchasing direct from the collieries.


said that possibly this explanation was satisfactory, but he did not understand how that explanation could apply to such articles as water and household furniture.


If the hon. Member will look at the bottom of the page he will see that the extra cost is due to the increase in the price of steam coal.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 271; Noes, 71. (Division list, No. 21.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Dorington, Sir John Edward Lawson, John Grant
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lecky, Rt. Hn. Wm. Edw. H.
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Doxford, Sir William Theodore Lee, Capt. A. H. (Hants, Farehm
Allen, Charles P (Glouc, Stroud Duncan, James H. Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)
Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden Dunn, Sir William Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Allsopp, Hon. George Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Leigh, Sir Joseph
Arkwright, John Stanhope Edwards, Frank Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Arrol, Sir William Elibank, Master of Levy, Maurice
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Emmott, Alfred Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Ashton, Thomas Gair Faber, George Denison Long, Rt Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.
Asquith, Rt Hon Herbert Henry Fardell, Sir T. George Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Atherley-Jones, L. Farquharson, Dr. Robert Lucas, Reginald J (Portsmouth
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison
Austin, Sir John Fenwick, Charles Macdona, John Gumming
Bailey, James (Walworth) Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r Maconochie, A. W.
Bain, Colonel James Robert Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Baird, John George Alexander Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)
Balcarres, Lord Firbank, Joseph Thomas M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)
Baldwin, Alfred Fisher, William Hayes M'Crae, George
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Fison, Frederick William M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon M'Kenna, Reginald
Banbury, Frederick George Flannery, Sir Fortescue M'Killop, James (Stirlingah.)
Barlow, John Emmott Fletcher, Sir Henry Majendie, James A. H.
Bartley, George C. T. Forster, Henry William Malcolm, Ian
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.) Martin, Richard Biddulph
Beach, Rt Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Fuller, J. M. F. Max well, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Furness, Sir Christopher Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.
Bill, Charles Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert J. Milward, Colonel Victor
Blundell, Col. Henry Goddard, Daniel Ford Molesworth, Sir Lewis
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Godson, Sir Augustus Fred k. Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Boseawen, Arthur Griffith Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Bousfield, William Robert Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)
Bowles, T. Gibson (King'sLynn Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)
Brassey, Albert Grant, Corrie Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh.
Brigg, John Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds Morley, Charles (Breconshire)
Broadhurst, Henry, Groves, James Grimble Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Guthrie, Walter Murray Morrell, George Herbert
Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh. Haldane, Richard Burdon Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Hambro, Charles Eric Morton,ArthurH.A.(Deptford
Bullard, Sir Harry Hamilton,Rt.Hn.Ld.G.(Midx. Murray,Rt Hn A.Graham(Bute
Burt, Thomas Hamilton, Marq. of (Londndrry Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Hanbury, Rt. Hon Rbt. Wm. Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath)
Caldwell, James Hardy,Laurence(Kent,Ashfrd. Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Hare, Thomas Leigh Nicholson, William Graham
Cautley, Henry Strother Harmsworth, R. Leicester Nicol, Donald Ninian
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Harris,F Leverton(Tynem'th Nussey, Thomas Willans
Cavendish, V.C.W(Derbyshire Hay, Hon. Claude George Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Cawley, Frederick Hayne, Rt.Hon.CharlesSeale- Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hayter, Rt. Hn.Sir Artliur D. Philipps, John Wynford
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Heath, A. Howard (Hanley) Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn.J.(Birm. Heath, James (Staffords.N.W. Plummer, Walter R.
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Helme, Norval Watson Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Chamberlayne,T. (S'thampton Henderson, Alexander Pretyman, Ernest George
Churchill, Winston Spencer Hermon-Hodge, R. Trotter Price, Robert John
Clare, Octavius Leigh Higginbottom, S. W. Purvis, Robert
Cochrane, Hon.Thos. H. A. E. Hobhouse, H. (Somerset, E.) Pym, C. Guy
Coghill, Douglas Harry Hogg, Lindsay Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Holland, William Henry Ratcliffe, R. F.
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Reid, James (Greenock)
Colston, Chas. Edw. H.Athole Hoult, Joseph Reid, Sir R. T. (Dumfries)
Colville, John Howard,Capt. J. (Faversham) Renshaw, Charles Bine
Corbett,A.Cameron (Glasgow) Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Rentoul, James Alexander
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Hudson, George Bickersteth Renwick, George
Craig, Robert Hunter Jacoby, James Alfred Rickett, J. Compton
Cranborne, Viscount Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas.T.
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Johnston, William (Belfast) Robson, William Snowdon
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Ropner, Colonel Robert
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Kennaway,Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Round, James
Dewar.T.R. (T'rH'mlets,SGeo. Kenyon-Slaney,Col.W(Salop) Russell, T. W.
Dickson, Charles Scott King, Sir Henry Seymour Rutherford, John
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Kinloch, Sir John Geo. Smyth Sackville, Col. S. G.Stopford-
Dimsdale,SirJoseph Cockfield Knowles, Lees Sadler, Col. Samuel Alex.
Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Law, Andrew Bonar Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles Talbot,Rt.Hn.J.G(OxfdUniv Welby, Sir C. G. E. (Notts)
Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Tennant, Harold John Whiteley,H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne
Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Thomas, David A. (Merthyr) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Shaw-Stewart,M. H. (Renfrew Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire Thorburn, Sir Walter Willox, Sir John Archibald
Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Thornton, Percy M. Wills, Sir Frederick
Smith, Abel H. (Hertford,E.) Tomkinson, James Wilson, A.Stanley(York,E.R.
Smith,H.C.(Nrthmb.Tyneside Tomlinson, Wm. Edw.Murray Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Smith, James Parker(Lanarks Tufnell, Col. Edward Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Smith, Samuel (Flint) Valentia. Viscount Wilson-Todd, Wm. H.(Yorks.)
Soames, Arthur Wellesley Vincent, Sir C. E.H.(Sheffield) Wodehouse,Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath
Soares, Ernest J. Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B.Stuart-
Spear, John Ward Walker, Col. Wm. Hall Wylie, Alexander
Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset) Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.) Wyndham, Rt.Hon. George
Stewart, Sir Mark J.M'Taggart Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Warr, Augustus Frederick
Stone, Sir Benjamin Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Stroyan, John Wason, John C. (Orkney) Sir William Walrond and
Strutt, Hon. Chas. Hedley Welby,Lt.Col.A.C.E.(Tauntn Mr. Anstruther.
Abraham, William(Cork,N.E.) Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Ambrose, Robert Jameson, Major J. Eustace O'Dowd, John
Blake, Edward Jordan, Jeremiah O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Roland, John Joyce, Michael O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon,N.)
Boyle, James Leng, Sir John O'Mall'ey, William
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Lough, Thomas O'Mara, James
Carew, James Laurence Lundon, W. O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Cogan, Denis J. MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Power, Patrick Joseph
Condon, Thomas Joseph M'Dermott, Patrick Reddy, M.
Crean, Eugene M'Fadden, Edward Redmond,John E.(Waterford)
Cremer, William Randal M'Govern, T. Redmond, William (Clare)
Crombie, John William M'Killop,W.(Sligo, North) Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Cullman, J. M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Roche, John
Daly, James Mooney, John J. Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Dalziel, James Henry Moulton, John Fletcher Sullivan, Donal
Delany, William Murphy, J. Tully, Jasper
Dillon, John Nannetti, Joseph P. White, Patrick (Meath,North)
Doogan, P. C. Nolan, Col.JohnP.(Galway,N. Whiteley,George(York,W.R.)
Duffy, William J. Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Farrell, James Patrick O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Woodhouse, Sir JT(Huddersf'd
Ffrench, Peter O'Brien, Kendal(Tipper'y,Mid Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Field, William O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Yoxall, James Henry
Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)
Gilhooly, James O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Hammond, John O'Doherty, William Sir Thomas Esmonde and
Hayden, John Patrick O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) Captain Donelan.

3. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £2,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1901, for Expenditure in respect of Diplomatic and Consular Buildings."


said this Vote was a glaring example of a custom which had grown from year to year since the present Government came into office, and which threatened to be a great public nuisance. He alluded to the system of covering the Notice Paper with Supplementary Estimates in almost every department of the public service. When he first came to the House of Commons Supplementary Estimates were very few, and it was considered to be a reproach to any Minister to be compelled to put down a Supplementary Estimate unless he could allege some unforeseen circumstances. When a Minister came down to the House of Commons in past years and asked for a Supplementary Estimate he was always on the defensive, and he was bound to make out some special cause for his action. Consequently Ministers bringing forward such Estimates always rose and made a statement in regard to the grounds upon which the money was asked for. Nowadays, Ministers seemed to be proud of Supplementary Estimates, and the number and the amount of them was growing year by year. The original Estimate for Diplo- matic and Consular Buildings was £30,000, and they were now asked, without any details whatever, to add to that sum an additional £2,000 for the maintenance and alterations of those buildings. The reason given for this extra expenditure in the Estimate was as follows— Sundry urgent works, some due to changes of occupation, not anticipated when the original Estimate was prepared, were required to be carried out at, among other places, Vienna Embassy House, Brussels and Lisbon Legation Houses, and Cairo Agency House. What was the meaning of "urgent works"? What were the urgent works necessary in the embassy and legation houses at Vienna and Lisbon? These urgent works were not anticipated at the beginning of the financial year, and why could they not have waited? He should like to know why the right hon. Gentleman had departed from the good and orthodox system of endeavouring to keep within the original Estimate unless something really urgent occurred.


said that this increase of £2,000 was almost entirely due to changes in the personnel in the diplomatic and consular service which had rendered a change of occupants necessary. A certain amount of expense for the redecoration and repair of official residences upon a change of consul or ambassador was unavoidable. It was the custom, even in private life, when a man had been in possession of a house for a certain time to incur a certain amount of expense in order to prepare it for his successor.

MR. J. P. FARRELL (Longford. N.)

did not think that the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman was satisfactory, for this large expense seemed to have been incurred without steps being taken to carry out the work in the most economical way. He thought hon. Members from Ireland were only exercising their ordinary rights in closely criticising the proposals of the Government in the smallest detail. As an Irish Member he strongly protested against the Government having a free hand in expenditure of this kind without taking contracts in the usual way. Unless some more satisfactory explanation was given he would move a substantial reduction in the Vote. He thought they were entitled to demand a more explicit statement in regard to this increased expenditure than that which they had received from the right hon. Gentleman, and he begged to move the reduction of this Vote by £2,000.


That is the total amount of the Vote.


Then I will move to reduce it by £200.

Motion made, and Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £1,800, be granted for the said service."—(Mr. J. P. Farrell.)


said the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman was by no means satisfactory. The only ground given for the increased Estimate of £2,000 was that changes had occurred in our embassies. Changes were always occurring in our embassies or agencies. It was the average state of things, and it ought to have been in the power of the Government to produce a more reasonable Estimate than the one before the Committee. He was aware that it was not reasonable to press unduly for details in the Estimates, because the elaborate details were matters for the Committee of Accounts, but the persons responsible for preparing the Estimates were surely bound to go so far as to let the Committee know where the money had been spent. The Estimates showed that £2,000 had been spent in Vienna, Brussels, Lisbon, and Cairo, and the Committee was entitled to know how much had been spent on each house. The real reason for his protest against this particular Estimate was the extraordinary statement of the First Lord of the Treasury on a previous occasion, that it was the practice of the Committee of Supply never to examine the Estimates. Such a practice would open the floodgates to every kind of jobbery and loose expenditure, if a Minister wished to make any additions to his house, if such openings were afforded by such a statement being made beforehand that it was the settled practice not to examine the Estimate. He protested against such a statement being made. It was the duty of the Committee to examine the Estimates with great care, and to endeavour to remove any abuses and ensure economy in the financial business of the nation.

SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derby, Ilkeston)

desired to emphasise the views just put before the House, and appealed for a more definite explanation of that increase in the Estimate which, though small in itself, was a considerable amount when one considered the amount of the original Estimate. With a very little consideration, the Government ought to have been able to provide in the ordinary Estimates sufficient to cover these charges, but with the want of foresight which was so great a characteristic of the Government, they could not even look twelve months ahead.


said in his opinion the Vote ought to be reduced by at least £1,000, if at all, because although it might be necessary to keep up such establishments at Vienna and Brussels, it certainly was not at Lisbon and Cairo. At the time it was proposed to buy these houses he protested against it because it would lead to increased expenditure. It was unnecessary to bring into the present Estimates the residencies at Lisbon and Cairo, and therefore he should vote for the reduction.

MR. POWER (Waterford, E.)

said that the Supplementary Estimate, although not large in itself, presented a large percentage of increase. He endorsed the remarks of the Member for East Mayo. When the First Lord introduced the Rule for the guillotining of the debate, it was pointed out that it would lead to a certain amount of looseness in preparing the Estimates, and when those who were in the House in the eighties recalled the trouble Ministers took to explain every Vote, they would recognise the change which had come over the practice of the House in the discussion of the financial business of the country, and that every year the amount of information given by the Ministers responsible was less.


said so far as the debate had gone it had shown that very little supervision was exercised over the financial business of the House. The Supplementary Estimate was not large in itself, but at the same time the Committee was entitled to know how it had been expended and how much was spent on each house. The expense of an Agency in Cairo should not have been incurred, seeing that Egypt was a British dependency and, as he understood, was administered at a profit to this country. He supported the Amendment.


disclaimed any desire to detain the House, but felt compelled to say that what he objected to in this Estimate was its unbusinesslike character. He had some knowledge of how a Government contractor did his work; repairs were often made which were absolutely unnecessary, simply for the purpose of increasing the Expense, and whatever might be the position of England, Ireland at all events had not too much money to pay for these estimates. The four items dealt with should have been kept separate and not lumped together in one Estimate, because when it came to a question of voting Supplementary Estimates no one knew where it was going to end. So far as the Irish Members were concerned, they were determined to extract the greatest possible information from the Government in regard to them.


said the House of Commons took upon itself to criticise the work of some of the count councils in. Ireland, but, as a member of a county council, he would inform the Committee that no county council in Ireland could carry on its financial business in the way in which the fiscal business of the Empire was conducted. The fiscal business of the Empire was carried on in the loosest possible manner—the House being expected to vote millions of money on the mere word of a Minister, no financial committee making any examination into the Estimates until they came to be considered by a Committee of the House. Such a practice was not one to recommend itself to a business man. He thought the business of the Empire ought to be carried out on business principles, and therefore he supported the Amendment.


did not know who was responsible for the Estimate, but the Estimate itself certainly showed that very loose management existed in the Department from which it emanated. It showed a great want of economy. He regretted also that as the amount was so small and we were so near the new financial year this Estimate could not have gone over with the ordinary Estimates, but no doubt the reason for bringing it in in this way was in order that the general Estimates should be made to look less. He was pleased the Amendment had been moved, and was of opinion that if a good fight were made by the Irish Members it would tend to make the Government more careful in the future.


thought that the Vote ought to be reduced by at least £1,500, as he saw no reason for maintaining any of these Embassies in Catholic countries.


Order, order! The hon. Member is not entitled to go into that question. All that is open to discussion is the amount in the Supplementary Estimates.


drew attention to the fact that in the original Estimates a sum was allowed for this purpose, and he thought that amount ought never to be exceeded.


expressed the opinion that if a county or district council in Ireland prepared their accounts in such a fashion as the Estimates of the Empire were prepared there would soon be a strong complaint from the Local Government Board. Some explanation ought to be given by those responsible for the Estimates such as the Committee had the pleasure to listen to when the Treasury was represented by the present President of the Board of Agriculture. On the Front Opposition Bench there was at one time a party whose cry was Peace, Retrenchment, and Reform, but that party, judging from the state of the bench, had disappeared. It had come to this, that the iconoclastic, revolutionary, and semi-socialistic persons re presenting in that House the people of Ireland were the only persons who looked at the Estimates with a critical sense of economy.

MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)

hoped some explanation would be forthcoming. All that the right hon. Gentleman said was that urgent work was necessary; he gave no details. He submitted that no business man would accept an account which only contained the lump sum in respect of several items, and in this case the House ought to be treated as a customer who, having to pay the money, was entitled to receive a detailed account.


complained that the application by hon. Members for details had not been acceded to, but he thought, at all events, they were entitled to a courteous reply, if it only contained reasons why no details were to be given.


said he had already explained that there had recently been many changes in the personnel of the diplomatic and consular service, and expense had unavoidably been incurred in redecoration and repairs of official residences on a change of Consul or Ambassador. It was the general thing to do. Hon. Members themselves did it when they took a house after the expiry of a lease.


had no objection to putting these houses into repair, that was a thing that everybody did. His objection lay in the fact that no details; being before the Committee, the Committee was unable to form an opinion as; to whether the work had been economically carried out. In all these cases there was a lack of business detail. If the Committee had been in possession of the details of the £2,000 they might, having found the details correct, have agreed to the Estimate. As matters stood, he should vote against the lump sum.

MR.CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, Mid)

said it appeared to him that what was gene rally complained of was a want of specification in the Estimate. The Committee would notice that in Section B there was a Vote for £500 for anything that might not be foreseen. There were a great many changes in our diplomatic service-every year, and the changes of one year balanced the changes of another, and that sum of £500 was put in in order to meet anything extraordinary which might take place. The Estimate ought to have stated what the particular expenses were, and the amount required at each place. The whole complaint

against the Government seemed to be a want of specification.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes. 101; Noes, 175. (Division List No.22.)

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.) Grant, Corrie O'Doherty, William
Allen, C. P. (Glouc, Stroud) Hammond, John O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Ambrose, Robert Harmsworth, R. Leicester O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Boland, John Hayden, John Patrick O'Dowd. John
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Hayne, Rt.Hn. Charles Seale- O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Boyle, James Helme, Norval Watson O'Kelly,James(Roscommon,N
Bring, John Holland, William Henry O'Malley, William
Broadhurst, Henry Hope, John Deans (Fife,West) O'Mara, James
Burke, E. Haviland- Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Caldwell, James Jameson, Major J. Eustace O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Jordan, Jeremiah Power, Patrick Joseph
Cawley, Frederick Joyce, Michael Rea, Russell
Cogan, Denis J. Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth Reddy, M.
Colville John Leese,SirJosephF.(Accrington Redmond, JohnE. (Waterford)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Leigh, Sir Joseph Redmond, William (Clare)
Crean, Eugene Leng, Sir John Rickett, J. Compton
Cremer, William Randal Levy, Maurice Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Crombie, John William Lundon, W. Roche, John
Cullinan, J. MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Daly, James M'Dermott, Patrick Sinclair, Capt. John(Forfarsh.)
Dalziel, James Henry M'Fadden, Edward Soares, Ernest J.
Delany, William M'Govern, T. Sullivan, Donal
Donelan, Captain A. M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Doogan, P. C. M'Laren, Charles Benjamin White, George (Norfolk)
Duffy, William J. Mansfield, Horace Kendall White, Patrick(Meath, North)
Duncan, James H. Mooney, John J. Whiteley, George(York, W. R.)
Edwards, Frank Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Murphy, J. Wilson, Henry J. (York.W.R.)
Fenwick, Charles Nannetti, Joseph P. Woodhouse,SirJ.T.(Huddrsfld
Ffrench, Peter Nolan, Col. JohnP.(Galway,N. Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Field, William Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Yoxall, James Henry
Flavin, Michael Joseph Nussey, Thomas Willans
Flynn, James Christopher O' Brien, Kendal(Tipper'ryMid TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Gilhooly, James O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Mr. Tully and Mr. J. P.
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Connor, James(Wicklow,W. Farrell.
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F. Cavendish,V.C.W. (Derbysh.) Dyke, Rt. Hon, Sir Wm. H.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Faber, George Denison
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Fardell, Sir T. George
Anson, Sir William Reynell Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm,) Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Fergusson, Rt. HnSir J(Manc'r)
Arrol, Sir William Chamberlayne,T.(S'thampton Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Churchill, Winston Spencer Finch, George H.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Clare, Octavius Leigh Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Austin, Sir John Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A.E. Fisher, William Hayes
Bain, Colonel James Robert Cohen, Benjamin Louis Fitzroy,Hn. Edward Algernon
Baird, John Geo. Alexander Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Flannery, Sir Fortescue
Balcarres, Lord Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole Forster, Henry William
Baldwin, Alfred Cook, Frederick Lucas Gladstone, Rt.Hon.Herbert J.
Balfour, Bt.Hn.A.J.(Manch'r Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow) Godson, Sir Aug. Frederick
Balfour, Rt. Hn.G.W. (Leeds) Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Gordon,Hn.JE.(Elgin&Nairn)
Bartley, George C. T. Cranborne, Viscount Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon
Beach,Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Goschen,Hon. George Joachim
Blundell, Colonel Henry Cubitt, Hon. Henry Greene, Sir E. W. (Bury St. Ed.
Bousfield, William Robert Dickson, Charles Scott Greene, H. D.(Shrewsbury)
Bowles, T. Gibson(King'sLynn Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Grenfell, William Henry
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Dimsdale,Sir Joseph Cockfield Gretton, John
Bullard, Sir Harry Dorington, Sir John Edward Groves, James Grimble
Butcher, John George Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Cautley, Henry Strother Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore Hambro, Charles Eric;
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Dunn, Sir William Hamilton, RtHnLordG(Mid'x
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Molesworth, Sir Lewis Spear, John Ward
Hardy, Laurence(K'nt,Ashf'rd Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)
Hare, Thomas Leigh More, Rt. Jasper (Shropsh. Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley Morgan, D. J.(Walthamstow) Stifling-Max well, Sir John M.
Heath, James(Staffords. N. W.) Morrell, George Herbert Stone, Sir Benjamin
Henderson, Alexander Morris, Hon. Martin Henry E. Stroyan, John
Higginbottom, S. W. Morton, ArthurH. A.(Deptford Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Hogg, Lindsay Murray, Rt Hn AGraham(Bute Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr
Hoult, Joseph Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Thomson, F.W.(York, W. R.)
Howard, Capt J(Kent,Faversh. Murray,Col.Wyndham (Bath) Thorburn, Sir Walter
Hudson, George Bickersteth Newdigate, Francis Alex. Thornton, Percy M.
Johnston, William (Belfast) Nicol, Donald Ninian Tomlinson,Wm. Edw. Murray
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Pilkington, Richard Tufnell, Col. Edward
Kennaway,Rt. Hon. SirJohn H. Platt-Higgins, Frederick Valentia, Viscount
Kenyon, James (Lanes.,Bury) Plummer, Walter R. Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Keswick, William Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Walker, Col. William Hall
Knowles, Lees Pretyman, Ernest George Warr, Augustus Frederick
Law, Andrew Bonar Purvis, Robert Wason, John C. (Orkney)
Lawson, John Grant Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Welby, Sir C. G. E. (Notts.)
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Ratcliffe, R. F. Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Reid, James (Greenock) Willoghby de Eresby, Lord
Long, Rt. Hon.W. (Bristol, S. Renshaw, Charles Bine Willox, Sir John Archibald
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Rentoul, James Alexander Wills, Sir Frederick
Lucas,Reginald J. (Portsmouth Renwick, George Wilson, A. Stanley(York,E.R.)
Macdona, John Cumming Ritchie,Rt. Hn.Chas.Thomson Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Maconochie, A. W. Ropner, Colonel Robert Wilson, John (Glasgow)
M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool Round, James Wodehouse,Rt. Hn.E.R.(Bath
M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim,E. Russell, T. W. Wylie. Alexander
M'lver, SirLewis(Edinb'h,W.) Rutherford, John Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
M'Killop,James(Stirlingshire) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alex. Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Majendie, James A. H. Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles
Malcolm, Ian Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Maxwell, W. J. H.(Dumfriessh. Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Sir William Walrond and
Milner, Rt.Hn.SirFrederickG. Smith,H.C(North'mbTynesde Mr. Anstruther.
Milward, Colonel Victor Smith, JamesParker(Lanarks)
Original Question put.
The Committee divided:—Ayes, 176; Noes, 91. (Division List No. 23.)
Acland-Hood,Capt.SirAlex.F. Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton Forster, Henry William
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Churchill, Winston Spencer Godson,Sir Augustus Frederick
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Clare, Octavius Leigh Gordon,Hn.J.E.(Elgin&Nairn
Anson, Sir William Reynell Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon
Arkwright, John Stanhope Cohen, Benjamin Louis Goschen, Hon.George Joachim
Arrol, Sir William Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Greene, SirE. W.(B'ySEdm'ds
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Cook, Frederick Lucas Grenfell, William Henry
Austin, Sir John Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasg'w Gretton, John
Bain, Colonel James Robert Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Groves, James Grimble
Baird, John George Alexander Cranborne, Viscount Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Balcarres, Lord Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Hambro, Charles Eric
Baldwin, Alfred Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hamilton, Rt Hn LordG(Mid'x.
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J.(Manch'r Dickson, Charles Scott Hardy,Laurence (Kent,Ashf'd
Balfobr,RtHnGeraldW. (Leeds Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hare, Thomas Leigh
Bartley, George C. T. Dims dale, Sir J. Cockfield Heath, ArthurHoward(Hanl'y
Beach, RtHn.SirM. H. (Bristol) Dorington, Sir John Edward Heath, James(Staffords. N. W.
Blundell, Colonel Henry Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Henderson, Alexander
Bousfield, William Robert Doxford, Sir William Theodore Higginbottom, S. W.
Bowles,T. Gibson(King'sLynn) Dyke, Rt Hon. SirWm. Hart Hogg, Lindsay
Broadhurst, Henry Faber, George Denison Hoult, Joseph
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Fardell, Sir T. George Howard,CaptJ(Kent,Faversh.
Bullard, Sir Harry Fellowes,Hon.AilwynEdward Hudson, George Bickersteth
Butcher, John George Fenwick, Charles Johnston, William (Belfast)
Cautley, Henry Strother Fergusson, RtHnSirJ. (Manc'r Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Kennaway, Rt.Hn. Sir John H.
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Finch, George H. Kenyon, James (Lanes., Bury)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Keswick, William
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Fisher, William Hayes Knowles, Lees
Chamberlain,Rt.Hon.J.(Birm. Fitzroy,HonE ward Algernon Law, Andrew Bonar
Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r Flannery, Sir Fortescue Lawson, John Grant
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Platt-Higgins, Frederick Stroyan, John
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Plummer, Walter R. Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Long, Rt Hn Walter (Bristol,S. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Pretyman, Ernest George Thomson, F. W. (York,W.'R.)
Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsm'uth Purvis, Robert Thorburn, Sir Walter
Macdona, John Cumming Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Thornton, Percy M.
Maconochie, A. W. Ratcliffe, R. F. Tomlinson, W. Edw. Murray
M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool Reid, James (Greenock) Tufnell, Col. Edward
M'Calmont, Col.J.(Antrim,E.) Renshaw, Charles Bine Valentia, Viscount
M'Iver, Sir L.(Edinburgh, W. Rentoul, James Alexander Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire) Renwick, George Walker, Col. William Hall
Majendie, James A. H. Ridley Samuel F. (BethnalGr'n Warr, Augustus Frederick
Malcolm, Ian Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson Wason, Hn. Cathcart (Orkney
Maxwell, W.J.H.(Dumfriessh Roberts, JohnBryn (Eifion) Welby, Sir CharlesG.E(Notts'.)
Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Fred. G. Ropner, Colonel Robert Whiteley, H.(Ashton-u.-Lyne)
Milward, Colonel Victor Round, James Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Molesworth, Sir Lewis Russell, T. W. Willox, Sir John Archibald
Montagu, G.(Huntingdon) Rutherford, John Wills, Sir Frederick
More, Robert J. (Shropshire) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alex. Wilson,A.Stanley (York, E.R.
Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Sandys, Lt. -Col. Thos. Myles Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Morrell, George Herbert Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wodehouse, RtHonE. R. (Bath)
Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford) Smith, HC(Northmb.Tyneside Wylie, Alexander
Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Buth) Smith, James Parker (Lanarks. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry) Spear, John Ward Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath) Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)
Newdigate,Franeis Alexander Stewart,SirMark J.M 'Taggart TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Nicol, Donald Ninian Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Sir William Walrond and
Pilkington, Richard Stone, Sir Benjamin Mr. Anstruther.
Abraham,William(Cork,N.E.) Grant, Corrie O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Ambrose. Robert Hammond, John O'Connor, James(Wicklow,W.
Boland, John Harmsworth, R. Leicester O'Doherty, William
Boyle, James Hayden, John Patrick O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Brigg, John Hayne, Rt.Hon.Charles Seale- O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Burke, E. Haviland- Helme, Norval Watson O'Dowd, John
Buxton, Sydney Charles Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Caldwell, James Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Kelly.James(Roscommon,N
Campbell. John (Armagh, S.) Jameson, Major J. Eustace O'Malley, William
Cawley, Frederick Jordon, Jeremiah O'Mara, James
Cogan, Denis J. Joyce, Michael O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Colville, John Kinloch,Sir John George Smyth Power, Patrick Joseph
Condon, Thomas Joseph Leese,Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Reddy, M.
Crean, Eugene Leigh, Sir Joseph Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Cramer, William Randal Leng, Sir John Redmond, William (Clare)
Crombie, John William Levy, Maurice Rickett, J. Compton
Cullinan, J. Lundon, W. Roche, John
Daly, James MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Delany, William M'Dermott, Patrick Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.
Donelan, Captain A. M'Fadden, Edward Soares, Ernest J.
Doogan, P. C. M'Govern, T. Sullivan, Donal
Duffy, William J. M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Duncan, James H. M'Laren, Charles-Benjamin White, George (Norfolk)
Dunn, Sir William Mansfield, Horace Rendall White, Patrick (Meath, North
Edwards, Frank Mooney, John J. Whiteley, Geo. (York, W.R.)
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Ffrench, Peter Murphy, J. Yoxall, James Henry
Field, William Nannetti, Joseph P.
Flavin, Michael Joseph Nolan, Col.John P.(Galway,N. TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Mr. J. P. Farrell and Mr. Tully.
Flynn, James Christopher Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Gilhooly, James Nussey, Thomas Willans
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Brien, Kendal(TipperaryMd

4. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a supplementary sum, not exceeding £7,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1901, for the expenses of the Post Office and Post Office Telegraph buildings in Great Britain, including furniture, fuel, and sundry miscellaneous services."


thought it would be admitted that the criticism of these Votes had been very useful. The total original Estimate in this instance was £316,000, and without any explanation an additional £7,000 was asked for. It was said to be in consequence of the additional cost of steam coal in the engineering branches. He did not know much about the arrangements for the postal service in London, and perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would explain what was meant by the "engineering branches." Everybody knew that coal had increased in price, but he understood that the Post Office were now paying more for coal at the pit mouth than they were formerly paying to the contractors.


Less, not more.


accepted the correction of the right hon. Gentleman, but he was speaking on the authority of Members who knew something of the subject when he made the statement. There was another reason why the Irish representatives should discuss this Vote. London was one of the largest and richest cities in the world, and served by a very big Department. But the Irish people gained no benefit whatever from the large expenditure involved, and it was not fair that they should be expected to contribute something like £30,000 for the accommodation of the people of London in this matter. It was an extraordinary thing that in each case where the Department came for a Vote it was increasing an original Estimate which it had been thought would be sufficient for the year. If satisfactory explanations were not forthcoming it would be the duty of the Irish Members to take the opinion of the House as to whether these constant increases were justified. There was an utter absence of detail in regard to the expenditure. For all the House knew, there might be a large amount of jobbery concealed in these items. It certainly would not be much trouble to print, in addition to the bald information now supplied, a schedule giving particulars which would explain these matters.


thought this Vote was another instance of the slovenly manner in which the Estimates were presented. It was not fair to ask for an additional sum of £7,000 on an original Estimate of £15,009 without giving any information. If officials got a free hand in these matters, knowing there would be no inquiry, they would pile up extras at an enormous rate. No confidence could be placed in any estimate coming from the Post Office Department, as Committees sitting upstairs knew how the leading officials of the Department juggled with the finances of the country. As an illustration he might instance the case of the telegraphs—they were to have been bought for £3,000,000, but when the Post Office had done taking the public money £17,000,000 had been paid. The Committee had been told that instead of buying the coal from contractors the Post Office officials were to do a stroke of economy by buying at the pit mouth, and thus avoid the I middleman's profits. What was the result as soon as they had this free hand? There was this increased demand for £7,000. That ought to appeal to the Liberal Members to support the Irish I representatives more than they had done in criticising these Votes. If these small sums were not looked into with care and discrimination they would soon mount to very large totals.


pointed out that in the footnote to this Estimate it was stated that this £7,000 was due partly for steam coal. What did "partly" mean? With regard to purchasing coal at the pit mouth, was the contract put out to tender, or had the Government given it to some particular firm? As one who knew a little about the coal business, he was surprised to hear that by buying the coal direct from the collieries the right hon. Gentleman obtained extra weight. If he had been so fortunate he had been more lucky than most people. What foundation had the right hon. Gentleman for that statement? Had he personally seen the coal weighed? Another point was, how much per ton had the Government paid for the coal I That there should be a Supplementary Estimate of £7,000 on an original Esti- mate of only £15,000 seemed to point to great incapacity on the part of the department that made such a wrong calculation, and it was nothing short of an insult to the Committee that they should be asked to pass such Supplementary Estimates without any particulars or explanation whatever.


in reference to the appeal to the Liberal benches by the hon. Member for South Leitrim, said he had not seen any necessity for the Liberals to interfere in the Votes so far as they had gone. The Local Government Act in Ireland had evidently been most beneficial, one of its fruits being that Irish Members, being now accustomed to local government and to the manner in which accounts should be kept, were able with that experience to come and give a lesson in the matter of accounts to the House of Commons. He never thought that the Government would have put forward the price of coal as a reason for the present Estimate, because there had not been a rise in the price since the Estimates were prepared. The Government evidently thought that they were going to make a good bargain by taking the coal supply into their own hands, and they made a contract for fourteen months supply of coal just before the price went down.


said he could only repeat the explanation which he had given on the previous Vote as to the causes of the increase. A very great increase had taken place in the price of the coal. The Estimates were prepared in November and December of the year before the last, and that Estimate had been exceeded. Hon. Members opposite must be aware that the extra cost of coal had been felt very severely not only by individuals, but also by large undertakings. Under the new arrangement which the Government had made they were paying for a fourteen months supply, whereas the original estimate was made only for twelve months. They had been told that as the Government were very large consumers of coal, and consumed in their public departments something like 24,000 tons of steam coal annually, they ought to make arrangements whereby they could supply themselves from the pit's mouth. Such an arrangement was entered into, and it came into effect on the 3rd of July last. They were now getting steam coal direct from the collieries, and it was being paid for monthly, whereas it was paid for quarterly before. They were distributing it themselves, and were actually placing it in the cellars of the public departments. By this means they could guarantee that the coal was of the description which it professed to be, and they could ensure greater punctuality in the delivery. By this new system they got not only a very much better class of coal but they had a much smaller amount of what were known as "sweepings." On the whole, the experiment they had made in this direction had worked extremely well. They had now got their own wharf in London, and they had a practical man resident there who inspected the coal and saw it weighed before it was delivered to the Government departments. They had now under the present system an assurance that the coal they were receiving was of the quality ordered. They were also getting the advantage of the overweight by dealing directly with the collieries, and they would not get that additional weight if they bought from the middleman or the contractor. With regard to-the price, they were paying for steam coal 18s. 3d. per ton at the pit's mouth. They were consuming some 24,000 tons-of coal annually, and they were practically saving about 1s. per ton upon the prices which they would have to pay in London

MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

agreed that the Department were doing well in dealing directly with the collieries, instead of allowing the middleman to get a profit. That course was certainly putting the matter on a more businesslike footing. The right hon. Gentleman opposite had given the Committee a full explanation, but he agreed with his hon. friend behind him that some such explanation ought to have been put on the Estimate itself If the terms of this new arrangement had been set forth on the Estimate this discussion would have been unnecessary, and the right hon. Gentleman would have been saved a good deal of trouble. One point he wished for an explanation upon was how the right hon. Gentleman made out that he had effected a real saving by taking this contract for fourteen months instead of twelve months, in view of the high price of coal?


We did not make such a contract. What I said was that by the present system we are paying ready money, whereas formerly we paid only quarterly. It is only for this particular year that we are paying for this extra two months supply. By this system of paying ready money instead of paying quarterly we have got two more months supply in the year.


said that when the new contract was arranged last July the price of coal was about the highest, and it had come down in price since that time.


But we did not enter into a contract for a year at all. We simply made this new arrangement, and the extra two months, as I have-already explained, is entirely owing to the different method of payment. We are now paying for our coal in advance, and consequently we have to put two more months in the Estimate. We did not enter into a year's contract last July.


accepted this explanation, and said there was one other point upon which he should like an explanation. He wished to know whether a considerable number of respectable producers were asked to contract for the supply, and was the lowest tender accepted.


Yes, a considerable number of producers were asked to tender, and the lowest tender was accepted.


said that the right hon. Gentleman's explanation was not satisfactory He moved a reduction of the Vote by £1,000.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £6,000, be granted for the said Service."—(Mr. Daly.)

MR. NANNETTI (Dublin, College Green)

said he desired to enter his protest against this increase in the expenditure, because it showed very bad management on the part of the parties responsible. He happened to be connected with a corporation which had to buy coal, and when the difficulty complained of by the right hon. Gentleman occurred they made their arrangements for purchasing coal accordingly. The parties responsible for this contract had very much mistaken their position, and they had made a mistake in giving out a contract which was far in excess of the requirements of the case. He was very much surprised indeed that hon. Gentlemen opposite were satisfied with this state of things, and were leaving all the criticism to Members on the Opposition side of the House.

MR. O'MARA (Kilkenny, S.)

said the right hon. Gentleman opposite had pointed out that the Government had been purchasing coal in a cheaper way, and under those circumstances he could not understand why there had been an increase of £4,000 in twelve months. Last winter was not very cold, and how was it that in public offices some attempt was not made to economise in the quantity of coal used and so reduce the expenditure of the country? To his mind 18s. 3d. per ton was a very excessive price to pay for steam coal.


regarded the right hon. Gentleman's statement as very unsatisfactory, and he wished to know why a fourteen months contract was entered into last July.


I did not state that such a contract was entered into last July. What I said was that the new arrangement came into force in that month. We certainly did not make such a contract in July.


said he understood that the new system came into opera- tion in July. He wished to know when the Government commenced paying the price which had been quoted, and had that price been continued up to the present moment. The right hon. Gentleman had not explained that I point. If the information he had received was correct, steam coal was now worth between 3s. to 5s. a ton less I than it was in July, when this arrangement was entered into. Taking the 24,000 tons consumed during the fourteen months at 18s. 3d. per ton, according to the present price of steam coal they were paying an overcharge of 5s. per ton. [Ministerial laughter.] He thought he was perfectly entitled to say that, because the First Commissioner of Works had given them no explanation of it. Hon. Gentlemen opposite sat there and absolutely refused to ask a single question upon this subject. This was not the first occasion upon which Irish Members had considered it their duty to examine the details of a Supplementary Estimate, and they were quite prepared to accept the laughter of hon. Gentlemen opposite. The fact remained that they laughed and did nothing else. What they wanted to know was when the contract was entered into, and whether the price of 18s. 3d. per ton was given last July, August, or September.

MR. CLEAN (Cork, S.E.)

said that what struck him in connection with this Vote was not so much the amount of money in excess of the original estimate, but the system of contracting. If the humblest county or parish council in Ireland were to prepare its estimates in this fashion, and then add 50 per cent, to them, the Local Government Board would come down on it, surcharge the amount, and make the members pay the excess. If that system were introduced in the Government departments they would have none of these Supplementary Estimates. At present the work was evidently done in a very slipshod way. Ho was perfectly well aware that so long as the Government had such a big majority behind them, their supporters would swallow anything, even if it were as big as a whale, or so long as it was for the consumption of Government money. He supposed the same thing would happen if the Liberals were in power, and ho maintained that it was the Irish Nationalists who could alone, with clean hands, criticise the Government departments in their dealings with the country. If the war contracts were conducted on the same principle as the right hon. Gentleman had conducted the contracts for his office, no wonder they were spending hundreds of millions in South Africa. The Irish people had to pay the piper more in proportion to their means than the English, and they could not afford to allow this extravagant expenditure over estimates to go on. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite-might laugh, hut they would laugh with the wrong side of their mouth if they did that sort of thing in Ireland. Hon. Gentlemen opposite were very good when they went to their constituents and said they would carefully look into these things; hut the moment they were elected they did not care how the taxpayer's money was spent. They in Ireland did care, and hence their protest against this extravagance. He did not want to waste the time of the Committee, but if more time was spent in discussing the Estimates there would be less waste of public money.

*MR. MANSFIELD (Lincolnshire, Spalding)

said he did not question the principle of these contracts, but the true secret was to choose the light time for entering into them. The right hon. Gentleman had explained that the contract was for fourteen months and not for twelve months, but he had given no-idea when it was entered into. If that had been done in July it was what no business firm would have done.


said he would point out again that although the contract, for a certain fixed amount of coal, dated from the 1st of July, it did not necessarily follow that they made it on that date. There was no desire whatever on the part of the Department to keep back anything from the House, but to give the actual facts as to the date of the contract.


thought that under the circumstances it would be better to postpone the Vote. What he was seeking to know was, whether the contract was entered into on the 1st of July at July prices, or whether it was entered into prior to July at lower prices. At what price per ton did the contract allow the coal proprietor? He would like to be clear as to whether the Government had given a price at high-water mark, and so secured for the contractors a rate which in a year's time the contractors could not have hoped to have obtained. He noticed that the fuel for the Post Office had risen 50 per cent., while that for the Science and Art Department had only increased 6 per cent., and for Public Buildings Department 8 per cent. Would the right hon. Gentleman tell the Committee the reason for this enormous difference? Was there one contract, or different contracts entered into at separate times? It would not be amiss if someone went down from the Public Buildings Department, or, better still, from the Science and Art Department to the Post Office, and made some inquiries as to the cause of these enormous differences. It would be a pity if they were asked to vote for this huge increase, and to be kept absolutely in the dark as to the reason for it.


said that if the right hon. Gentleman could not give the information, he supposed it was not owing to his fault, but to that of the person who drew up the statement. He thought the right hon. Gentleman should postpone the Vote to enable him to obtain full and accurate information.


said he too would appeal that the Vote should be postponed. The right hon. Gentleman had, after he had drawn attention to it, himself to admit that the Vote was not correct in this respect, that whilst they had put £7,000 under item M, item Rought to have been included, which would have brought the sum up to £20,000. That one point showed that the Government came before the Committee with defective Estimates. But more than that, if the right hon. Gentleman would refer to the explanation given in the foot-note, he would find that it had nothing to do with; the explanation now given from the Front Bench. The explanation in the, foot-note was—"Additional cost of fuel, partly steam coal, required for the engineering branches." But the explanation given from the Front Bench was that the increase was due to the contract being for fourteen months instead of twelve. But the difference would only amount to £4,000 for the two months, supposing the whole quantity of coal had been taken, and that left £3,000 or £4,000 entirely unexplained. The increase in the price of coal had nothing whatever to do with the increase of expenditure, because, if they took this same Vote under item J, for coal fuel for the port of London and the outports in England, Wales, and Scotland, amounting to £9,000, no increase was asked for. How did they make out that in a particular Department in London there was an enormous increase in the price of coal, while there was no increase whatever in the price throughout England, Wales, and Scotland? There must be some explanation, but obviously that given both on the Estimates and from the Front Bench was insufficient and incomplete. For their own credit he beseeched the Government to withdraw this Vote—the Estimates would not all be pushed through that night— and bring it forward on Monday with full information, and then the Committee would be able to deal with it in a spirit which would be intelligent at least. His experience of the House was that when person the Government would not get on with their other Estimates if they insisted on going on with the disputed one without explanation.


said his excuse for the right hon. Gentleman was that he was new to his office, and had not been able to give the attention desirable to his permanent officials, who desired, of course, to "boss" the whole thing. These permanent officials had evidently furnished the right hon. Gentleman with Estimates without any details, and they had thought that hon. Members were fools enough to pass them without discussion. But the Committee had been indued with a spirit of investigation, and intended to exercise it. He appealed to the right hon. the First Commissioner of Works to postpone the Vote, at any rate until Monday; and between now and then he could see his permanent officials and consult with them as to how a detailed Estimate could be brought in. The right hon. the First Commissioner could come on Monday fresh and primed for his work, as they also would be.


said he had just been doing a little sum on paper, and found that there had been an increase of 26 per cent, on the original Estimate. If the First Commissioner had been chairman of a railway company, and had come before his shareholders and told them that there had been an increase of 26 per cent, in the cost of running the locomotive department, the shareholders would have immediately appointed a committee of investigation to inquire where the money had gone. An hon. Member had drawn attention to the fact that this increase was only for London. The figures were very interesting. Over the whole country £316,000 was spent for fuel, and in London £22,000. That was only 7 per cent, of the total amount spent in the whole of England. Now, it was a very curious thing that there should have been an increase of 50 per cent, in the cost of coal in London, and no increase at all in the money spent in all the provincial towns. He could not understand how the price of coal had risen 50 per cent, in London, and had remained the same in every town in the country. He joined in the appeal made to the right hon. Gentleman to withdraw this Vote until he had a full explanation to offer to the Committee. [Laughter.] Although there was a good deal of laughter on the Government benches, the country would not be satisfied with the explanation given by the First Commissioner.


said it was an extraordinary thing that no British representative, except a few on the Opposition side of the House, had offered any opposition whatever to these accounts. Was it to go out to the public that supporters of His Majesty's Government were prepared to sit perfectly silent when they found such a large increase in the Votes without one of them asking the Minister responsible why the increase had come about? Outside the House he had heard representatives of the British public saying that they opposed Home Rule because they were always glad in Committee of Supply to have the Irish Members standing up and objecting to extravagance on the part of the Government, which the supporters of the Government were either unwilling or afraid to put out. The hon. Member who spoke from Scotland had appealed to the First Commissioner of Works to postpone this Vote, and he would repeat that appeal. He would ask whether any Gentleman representing the Government on the Front Bench could point to a single precedent where a responsible Minister in Committee of Supply had got up and frankly admitted that he had not got the particulars asked for, and at the same time refused to postpone the, Vote in question until he had obtained the particulars which would enable him to answer inquiries made? If they were not to receive detailed explanation from the Minister in charge of these Votes, and if inquiries addressed to him in a reasonable way were not to be listened to the sooner a fresh arrangement was made the better, whereby Ministers could allocate the public money in any way they pleased without coming to the House and asking for it. He had heard it said that the reason for this large increase of £7,000 in one year was due to the increased price of coal. That might be the reason for all he knew, but it ought to be the duty of the responsible Minister to take steps to guard the public against such an exorbitant increase, in the price of a necessary of life like coal, which came from time to time on the public. They had heard that fuel ought to be laid in stock by municipalities, so that the public could have a supply at a reasonable rate. Whether that were so or not, he submitted that the Government ought to take steps to lay in a sufficient supply of fuel, in order to protect the taxpayers, when they had reason to believe that the price was to be raised to an exorbitant rate. If this extraordinary increase was the result of the increased price of coal, then that increased price had been purely fictitious, and had enormously and extravagantly enriched the coal merchants, and to a great extent the coal-owners, from which the public ought to have been protected. For the Government to come down and, without a word of explanation, calmly to ask the representatives of the taxpayers to pay £22,700, instead of £15,700, owing to an increase in the price of coal, was an extravagant and outrageous thing. He quite agreed with what fell from the hon. Member for North Wexford, that the lack of details and the absence of explanations asked for might not be in any single way the fault of the First Commissioner of Works. So far as he had had experience of the right hon. Gentleman in the office he held, they had always found him quite ready to give any explanation in his power; but on this occasion he told them frankly that he had not got at his disposal the facts that would throw some light on this extravagant increase. He certainly thought that some hon. Gentlemen supporting His Majesty's Government should lend assistance to the appeal they were making to the right hon. Gentleman; because, after all, the constituents of hon. Gentlemen opposite were as much interested in this matter as Irish constituents. He believed there was not one of them who,

at a meeting of his constituents, would be able to deny that, in the demand they were now making, the Irish Members were doing a service to the taxpayers of the United Kingdom. It seemed to him that if the right hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner of Works desired, as they did, to facilitate the business of the House—[Laughter.] It appeared to be perfectly impossible to convince hon. Gentlemen opposite that they on the Irish benches were just as anxious as those hon. Gentlemen were to get through Supply as soon as possible; and if they did not understand that, then they characteristically and pre-eminently misrepresented the feeling of the Irish people. If the object of the First Commissioner of Works was to get through Supply in reasonable time, he would be well advised if he conceded the demand made to postpone the Vote until he had furnished himself with the information desired.


rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 222; Noes, 135. (Division List No. 24.)

Fitzroy,Hon. Edward Algernon Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Renwick, George
Fletcher, Sir Henry Leighton, Stanley Ridley,S. Forde(BethnalGreen
Flower, Ernest Long,Rt Hn.Wal'tertBristol,S) Ritchie, Rt.Hn.Chas. Thomson
Forster, Henry William Loyd, Archie Kirkman Ropner, Colonel Robert
Foster,SiiMichael(LondUniv. Lucas,Col. Francis(Lowestoft) Round, James
Garfit, William Lucas,Reginald J(Portsmouth) Royds, Clement Molyneux
Godson, Sir Augustus F. Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. E. Russell, T. W.
Gordon,Hn.J.E.(Elgin&Nairn Macdona, John Cumming Rutherford, John
Gore, Hon. P. S. Ormsby- Maclver, David (Liverpool) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Gorst,Rt. Hon. Sir JohnEldon Maconochie, A. W. Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Gosehen, Hon. George Joachim M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Samuel, Harry S.(Limehouse)
Goulding, Edward Alfred M'Calmont,Col. J. (Antrim,E.) Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) M'Iver, Sir L.(Edinburgh,W.) Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Green.WalfordD(Wednesbury M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire) Smith,Abel H. (Hertford,East)
Greene,SirEW (B'rySEdni'nds Majendie, James A. H. Smith,H.C.(NorthumbTynesd
Grenfell, William Henry Malcolm, Ian Smith, Hon. W. F. D.(Strand)
Gretton, John Manners, Lord Cecil Spear, John Ward
Groves, James Grimble Martin, Richard Biddulph Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Maxwell. WJ H (Dumfriesshire Stirling-Maxwell, Sir Jn. M.
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Milner,Rt. Hn. SirFrederickG. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Hambro, Charles Eric Milton, Visconut Stroyan, John
Hamilton, RtHnLordG.(Mid'x Milward, Colonel Victor Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Hamilton,Marq.of (L'nd'derry Molesworth, Sir Lewis Thorburn, Sir Walter
Hardy,Laurance(K'nt,Ashford Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Thornton, Percy M.
Hare, Thomas Leigh Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Tollemache, Henry James
Hay, Hon. Claude George More, R. Jasper (Shropshire) Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Heath, A. Howard (Hanley) Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Tufnell, Col. Edward
Heath, James(Stanfford,N.W.) Morgan, Hn. F.(Monmouthsh. Valentia, Viscount
Helder, Augustus Morrell, George Herbert Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Henderson, Alexander Morris, Hn. Martin Henry F. Walker, Col. William Hal).
Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford) Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E.
Higginbottom, S. W. Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute) Warr, Augustus Frederick
Hobhouse,Henry(Somerset,E. Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Wason, John C. (Orkney)
Hogg, Lindsay Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath) Welby, Lt. -ColA C E(Taunton)
Hoult, Joseph Newdigate, FrancisAlexander Welby,SirCharlesG. E. (Notts.
Howard,CaptJ(Kent,Faversh. Nicholson, William Graham Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Hudson, George Bickersteth Nicol, Donald Ninian Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Willox, Sir John Archibald
Johnston, William (Belfast) Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Wills, Sir Frederick
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Pilkington, Richard Wilson, A. Stanley (York,E. R.)
Kennaway,Rt. Hn. SirJohnH. Platt-Higgins, Frederick Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Kenyon, Jamas (Lanes., Bury) Plummer, Walter R. Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Kenyon-Slaney,Col.W (Salop) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Keswick, William Pretyman, Ernest George Wodehouse,Rt Hn E.R.(Bath)
Knowles, Lees Purvis, Robert Wylie, Alexander
Law, Andrew Bonar Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Wyndham, George
Lawrence, William F. Ratcliffe, R. F. Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Lawson, John Grant Reid, James (Greenock) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Lee,CaptA.H.(Hants, Fareh'm Renshaw, Charles Bine Sir William Walrond and
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Rentoul, James Alexander Mr. Anstruther.
Abraham, William(Cork,N.E.) Colville, John Ffrench, Peter
Allen, C. P. (Glouc, Stroud) Condon, Thomas Joseph Field, William
Ambrose, Robert Crean, Eugene Flavin, Michael Joseph
Barlow, John Emmott Crombie, John William Flynn, James Christopher
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Cullinan, J. Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)
Boland, John Daly, James Fuller, J. M. F.
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Dalziel, James Henry Furness, Sir Christopher
Boyle, James Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Gilhooly, James
Brigg, John Delany, William Gladstone,Rt Hn. Herbert John
Broadhurst, Henry Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Goddard, Daniel Ford
Burt, Thomas Doogan, P. C. Hammond, John
Buxton, Sydney Charles Douglas, Chas. M. (Lanark) Hardie,J. Keir(MerthyrTydvi)
Caldwell, James Duffy, William J. Harmsworth, R. Leicester
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Duncan, James H. Hayden, John Patrick
Carew, James Laurence Dunn, Sir William Hayne, Rt. Hon.Charles Seale-
Carvill, Patrick G. Hamilton Edwards, Frank Helme, Norval Watson
Cawley, Frederick Elibank, Master of Holland, William Henry
Channing, Francis Allston Farrell, James Patrick Hope, John Deans (Fife,West)
Cogan, Denis J. Fewick, Charles Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)
Jacoby, James Alfred Nolan, Col. JohnP. (Galway,N. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Jameson, Major J. Eustace Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Jones,DavidBrynmor,Swansea Nussey, Thomas Willans Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)
Jordan, Jeremiah O'Brien,Kendal(Tipper'ryMid Shipman, Dr John
Joyce, Michael O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.
Kinloch,SirJohnGeorgeSmyth O'Connor, James(Wicklow,W. Soares, Ernest J.
Labouchere, Henry O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Stevenson, Francis S.
Layland-Barratt, Francis O'Doherty, William Sullivan, Donal
Leese,SirJosephF(Accrington) O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Leigh, Sir Joseph O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Tennant, Harold John
Levy, Maurice O'Dowd, John Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Lloyd-George, David O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.
Lough, Thomas O' Kelly, James(Roscommon, N Tomkinson, James
Lundon, W. O'Malley, William Trevelyan, Charles Philips
MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. O'Mara, James Tully, Jasper
M'Crae, George O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.
M'Dermott, Patrick Power, Patrick Joseph Wason,Eugene (Clackmannan'
M'Fadden, Edward Rea, Russell White, George (Norfolk)
M'Govern, T. Reckitt, Harold James White,Patrick (Meath, North
M'Hugh, Patrick A. Reddy, M. Whiteley, George (York, W.R.
M'Kenna, Reginald Redmond, John E. (Waterford Whiteley, J. H. (Halifax)
M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Redmond, William (Clare) Williams, Osmond(Merioneth)
Mansfield, Horace Kendall Rickett, J. Compton Woodhouse,SirJ.T(Hudd'rsf'di
Mooney, John J. Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Young, Samuel (Cavan, East).
Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Robertson, Edmund (Dundee) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Murphy, J. Robson, William Snowdon Sir Thomas Esmonde and
Nannetti, Joseph P. Roche, John Captain Donelan.

Question put accordingly, "That a sun, not exceeding £6,000, be granted for the said Service."

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.) Dunn, Sir William M'Dermott, Patrick
Allen, Chas.P.(Gloue,Stroud) Edwards, Frank M'Fadden, Edward
Ambrose, Robert Farrell, James Patrick M'Govern, T.
Asquith, RtHn.Herbert Henry Fenwick, Charles M'Hugh, Patrick A.
Barlow, John Emmott Ffrench, Peter M'Kenna, Reginald
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Field, William M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)
Boland, John Flavin, Michael Joseph Mansfield, Horace Rendall
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Flynn, James Christopher Mooney, John J.
Boyle, James Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Morley, Charles (Breconshire)
Brigg, John Fuller, J. M. F. Murphy, J.
Broadhurst, Henry Furness, Sir Christopher Naunetti, Joseph P.
Burt, Thomas Gilhooly, James Nolan, Col. JohnP. (Galway, N.
Buxton, Sidney Charles Goddard, Daniel Ford Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Caldwell, James Hammond, John Nussey, Thomas Willans
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Hardie, J. Keir(MerthyrTydvil O'Brien, Kendal(Tipper'y,Mid
Carew, James Laurence Harmsworth, R. Leicester O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Carvill,Patrick Geo. Hamilton Hayden. John Patrick O'Connor, James(Wicklow,W)
Cawley, Frederick Hayne.Rt.Hon.Charles Seale- O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Channing, Francis Allston Helme, Norval Watson O'Doherty, William
Cogan, Denis J. Holland, William Henry O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Colville, John Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Donnell, T. (Kerry', W.)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Dowd, John
Craig, Robert Hunter Jacoby, James Alfred O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Crean, Eugene Jameson, Major J. Eustace O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)
Crombie, John William Jones, D. Brymnor (Swansea) O'Malley, William
Cullinan, J. Jordan, Jeremiah O'Mara, James
Daly, James Joyce, Michael O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Dalziel, James Henry Kinloch, Sir John Geo. Smyth Power, Patrick Joseph
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Layland-Barratt, Francis Rea, Russell
Delany, William Leese,Sir JosephF. (Accrington Reckitt, Harold James
Dewar, JohnA.(Inverness-sh.) Leigh, Sir Joseph Reddy, M.
Dillon, John Levy, Maurice Redmond, J. E. (Waterford)
Doogan, P. C. Lough, Thomas Redmond, William (Clare)
Douglas, Chas. M. (Lanark) Lundon, W. Rickett, J. Compton
Duffy, William J. MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion),
Duncan, James H. M'Crae, George Robson, William Snowdon

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 132; Noes, 222. (Division List No. 25.)

Roche, John Tennant, Harold John White, Patrick (Meath.North)
Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Thomas, David A. (Merthyr) Whiteley, G. (York, W. R.)
Scott, Charles P. (Leigh) Thomson, F. W. (York,W.R.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Shipman, Dr. John Tomkinson, James Williams,Osmond(Merioneth)
Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire) Trevelyan, Charles Philips Woodhouse,SirJT(Huddersf'd
Soares, Ernest J. Tully, Jasper Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Stevenson, Francis S. Warner, Thomas CourtenayT. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Sullivan, Donal Wason, E. (Clackmannan) Sir Thomas Esmonde and
Taylor, Theodore Cooke White, George (Norfolk) Captain Donelan.
Acland-Hood,Capt. Sir Alex. F. Doxford,SirWilliam Theodore Keswick, William
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Duke, Henry Edward Knowles, Lees
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Law, Andrew Bonar
Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir Win. Hart Lawrence, William F.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Lawson, John Grant
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Elibank, Master of Lee, Capt. AH (Hants. Fareham
Arkwright, John Stanhope Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Arrol, Sir William Faber, George Denison Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Fardell, Sir T. George Leighton, Stanley
Ashton, Thomas Gair Fellowes,Hon. Ailwyn Edward Long,Rt. Hu. Waiter (Bristol.S
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Fergusson,Rt. Hn.SirJ(Manc'r Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Austin, Sir John Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Lucas,Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Bailey, James (Walworth) Finch, George H. Lucas,Reginald J.(Portsm'th)
Bain, Colonel James Robert Fiulay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Macarctney, Rt.Hn. WGEllison
Baird, John Geo. Alexander Fisher, William Hayes Macdona, John Cumming
Balcarres, Lord Fison, Frederick William Maclver, David (Liverpool)
Baldwin, Alfred FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose- Maconochie, A. W.
Balfour,Rt.Hon.A.J.(Manch'r Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A. M. Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Balfour,Rt. Hon.G.W. (Leeds) Fletcher, Sir Henry M'Calmont,Col.J.(Antrim,E.)
Banbury, Frederick George Flower, Ernest M'Iver,SirLewis(EdinburghW
Hartley, George C. T. Forster, Henry William M'Killop,James(Stirlingshire)
Beach, Rt. Hn. SirM. H.(Bristol Foster, Sir M, (London Univ.) Majendie, James A. H.
Bigwood, James Garfit, William Malcolm, Ian
Bill, Charles Godson, Sir Augustus Fred. Manners, Lord Cecil
Blundell, Colonel Henry Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn Martin, Richard Biddulph
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby- Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.
Bousfield, William Robert Gorst,Rt. Hon. Sir JohnEldon Milner, Rt. Hn. SirFrederickG.
Brassey, Albert Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Milton, Viscount
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Goulding, Edward Alfred Mil ward, Colonel Victor
Bullard, Sir Harry Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Molesworth, Sir Lewis
Butcher, John George Green,WalfordD(Wednesbury Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Cautley, Henry Strother Greene, SirE. W. (BurySt.Ed. Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Cavendish, R, F. (N. Lancs.) Grenfell, William Henry More,Robt.Jasper(Shropshire)
Cavendish, V.C. W.(Derbysh.) Gretton, John Morgan,DavidJ(Walthamst'w
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Groves, James Grimble Morgan, HnFred.(Monm'thsh.
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Morrell, George Herbert
Chamberlain,Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.) Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Morris, Hon. Martin HenryF.
Chamberlain, J. Austen(Wore. Hambro, Charles Eric Morton, ArthurH. A.(Deptford
Charrington, Spencer Hamilton.RtHnLordG. (Mid'x Murray,RtHnAGraham (Buth
Churchill, Winston Spencer Hamilton,Marq.of(L'donderry Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Clare, Octavius Leigh Hardy,Laurence(Kent,Ashf'rd Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A.E. Hare, Thomas Leigh Newdigate, FrancisAlexander
Coghill, Douglas Harry Hay, Hon. Claude George Nicholson, William Graham
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley Nicol, Donald Ninian
Colston, Chas. Edw. H.Athole Heath, James(Staffords.,N.W. Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Cook, Frederick Lucas Helder, Augustus Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Corbett,A. Cameron (Glasgow) Henderson, Alexander Pilkington, Richard
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Hermon-Hodge,RobertTrotter Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Cran borne, Viscount Higginbottom, S. W. Plummer, Walter R.
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Hobhouse, Henry(Somerset,E. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hogg, Lindsay Pretyman, Ernest George
Cust, Henry John C. Hoult, Joseph Purvis, Robert
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Howard,Cap. J(Kent,Faversh. Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Davies,M.Vaughan-(Cardigan Hudson, George Bickersteth Ratcliffe, R. F.
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Reid, James (Greenock)
Dickson, Charles Scott Johnston, William (Belfast) Renshaw, Charles Bine
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Rentoul, James Alexander
Dimsdale, Sir Jos. Cockfield Kennaway,Rt.Hn.SirJohn H. Renwick, George
Dorington, Sir John Edward Kenyon, James (Lancs.,Bury) Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Kenyon-Slaney,Col. W. (Salop Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Charles T.
Ropner, Colonel Robert Stone, Sir Benjamin Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Round, James Stroyan, John Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Royds, Clement-Molyneux Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier Willox, Sir John Archibald
Russell, T. W. Talbot,Rt. Hn. J. G. (Ox'dUniv. Wills, Sir Frederick
Rutherford, John Thorburn, Sir Walter Wilson, A. Stanley (York.E. R,)
Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- Thornton, Percy M. Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Sadler, Col. S. Alexander Tollemache, Henry James Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Tomlinson,Wm. Edw. Murray Wilson-Tond,Wm.H.(Yorks.)
Sandys,Lieut.-Col. Thos.Myles Tufnell, Col. Edward Wodehouse,Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Valentia, Viscount Wylie, Alexander
Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.) Walker, Col. William Hall Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Smith,HC(North'mb.Tyneside Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E.
Smith, Hon.W. F. D. (Strand) Warr, Augustus Frederick
Spear, John Ward Wason,JohnCathcart(Orkney TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Welby.Lt. -Col. ACE(Taunton
Stirling-Maxwell, Sir J. M. Welby.SirCharlesG.E. (Notts.

claimed, "That the Original Question be now put."

Acland-Hood,Capt. Sir Alex. F. Corbett, A. Cameron(Glasgow) Grenfell, William Henry
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Gretton, John
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Cranborne, Viscount Groves, James Grimble
Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Anson, Sir William Reynell Cubitt, Hon. Henry Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Oust, Henry John C. Guthrie, Walter Murray
Arkwright, John Stanhope Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hambro, Charles Eric
Arrol, Sir William Davies,M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Hamilton, Rt. HnLordG(Mid'x
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Dickinson, Robert Edmond Hamilton,Marqof(L'nd'nderry
Ashton, Thomas Gair Dickson, Charles Scott Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hare, Thomas Leigh
Austin, Sir John Dimsdale, SirJosephCockfield Hay, Hon. Claude George
Bailey, James (Walworth) Dorington, Sir John Edward Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)
Bain, Col. James Robert Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Heath, J. (Staffords., N.W
Baird, John George Alexander Doxford, SirWilliamTheodore Helder, Augustus
Balcarres, Lord Duke, Henry Edward Henderson, Alexander
Baldwin, Alfred Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter
Balfour, Rt.Hn.A.J.(Manch'r Dyke,Rt.HonSir William Hart Higginbottom, S. W.
Balfour,RtHnGeraldW(Leeds Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Hobhouse, Hy. (Somerset, E.)
Banbury, Frederick George Elibank, Master of Hogg, Lindsay
Bartley, George C. T Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Hoult, Joseph
Beach,Rt. Hn. SirM. H. (Bristol Faber, George Denison Howard,CaptJ(Kent,Faversh.
Bigwood, James Fardell, Sir T. George Hudson, George Bickersteth
Bill, Charles Fellowes, Hon. AilwynEdward Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick
Blundell, Colonel Henry Fergusson,Rt. Hn. SirJ(Manc'r Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Johnston, William (Belfast)
Bousfield, William Robert Finch, George H. Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)
Brassey, Albert Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Fisher, William Hayes Kenyon, James (Lancs.,Bury)
Bullard, Sir Harry Fison, Frederick William Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.
Butcher, John George FitzGerald,SirRobertPenrose- Keswick, William
Cautley, Henry Strother Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Knowles, Lees
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Fletcher, Sir Henry Lawrence, William F.
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Flower, Ernest Lawson, John Grant
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Forster, Henry William Lee,Capt. A H (Hants,Fareham
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Foster,SirMichael(Lond.Univ Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Chamberlain,Rt.Hn.J. (Birm. Garfit, William Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Chamberlain, J Austen(Worc'r Godson,SirAugustusFrederick Leighton, Stanley
Charrington, Spencer Cordon, Hn.J.E(Elgin&Nairn Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.)
Churchill, Winston Spencer Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby- Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Clare, Octavius Leigh Gorst, Rt. Hon. SirJohnEldon Lucas, Col. Francis(Lowestoft)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Lucas, R. J. (Portsmouth)
Coghill, Douglas Harry Goulding, Edward Alfred Macartney.Rt. Hn. WGEllison
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Macdona, John Gumming
Colston, Chas. Edw. H.Athole Green, WalfordD(Wednesb'ry Maclver, David(Liverpool, W.),
Cook, Frederick Lucas Greene,SirEW(B'rySEdm'nds Maconochie, A. W.

Original Question put accordingly.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 229; Noes, 126. (Division List No. 26.)

M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Talbot,RtHn.J G(Oxf'dUniv.
M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim,E.) Pretyman, Ernest George Thorburn, Sir Walter
M'Iver, SirL. (Edinburgh.W. Purvis, Robert Thornton, Percy M.
M'Killop,James(Stirlingshire) Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Tollemache, Henry James
Majendie, James A. H. Rateliffe, R. F. Tomlinson, Wm, E. Murray
Malcolm, Ian Reckitt, Harold James Tufnell, Col. Edward
Manners, Lord Cecil Reid, James (Greenock) Valentia, Viscount
Martin, Richard Biddulph Renshaw, Charles Bine Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Maxwell,WJH(Dumfriesshire Rentoul, James Alexander Walker, Col. William Hall
Milner, Rt Hon. Sir Fred. G. Renwick, George Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E.
Milton, Viscount Ridley,S. Forde'(BethnalGreen Warner,Thomas Courtenay T.
Milward, Colonel Victor Ritchie,Rt. Hon.ChasThomson Warr, Augustus Frederick
Molesworth, Sir Lewis Ropner, Colonel Roberts Wason,John Cathcart(Orkney
Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Round, James Welby,Lt.-Cl.A.C.E.(Taunt'n
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Royds, Clement Molyneux Welby,Sir CharlesG. E. (Notts.
More, Robt.Jasper(Shropshire Russell, T. W. Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Morgan, D. J.(Walthamstow) Rutherford, John Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- Willox, Sir John Archibald
Morrell, George Herbert Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Wills, Sir Frederick
Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Wilson, A.Stanley(York,E. R.)
Morton, ArthurH. A. (Deptford Sandys, Lieut. -ColThos.Myles Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.
Murray,Charles I. (Coventry) Smith, Abel H.(Hertford,East) Wodehouse,Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath
Murray,Col.Wyndham(Bath) Smith,H C. (North'm. Tyneside Wylie, Alexander
Newdigate,Francis Alexander Smith, Hon. W. F. D.(Strand) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Nicholson, William Graham Spear, John Ward Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Nicol, Donald Ninian Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Stirling-Maxwell,Sir John M TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Stone, Sir Benjamin Sir William Walrond and
Pilkington, Richard Stroyan, John Mr. Anstruther.
Plummer, Walter R. Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Abraham,William (Cork,N.E. Fenwick, Charles Mooney, John J.
Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc.,Stroud Ffrench, Peter Morley, Charles (Breconshire)
Ambrose, Robert Field, William Murphy, J.
Asquith,Rt.Hn HerbertHenry Flavin, Michael Joseph Nannetti, Joseph P.
Barlow, John Emmot Flynn, James Christopher Nolan,Col. Jn. P. (Galway,N.)
Boland, John Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Furness, Sir Christopher Nussey, Thomas Willans
Brigg, John Gilhooly, James O'Brien, Kendal(Tipper'ryMid
Broadhurst, Henry Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Burt, Thomas Hammond, John O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow,W.)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Hardie, J. K. (MerthyrTydvil O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Caldwell, James Harmsworth, R. Leicester O'Doherty, William
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Hayden, John Patrick O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Carew, James Laurence Hayne, Ht. Hon. Chas. Seale- O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Causton, Richard Knight Helme, Norval Watson O'Dowd, John
Cawley, Frederick Hope, John Deans (Fife, W.) O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Channing, Francis Allston Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Kelly,James(Roscommon,N
Cogan, Denis J. Jacoby, James Alfred O'Malley, William
Colville, John Jameson, Major J. Eustace O'Mara, James
Condon, Thomas Joseph Jones,David Brynmor(Sw'ns'a O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Craig, Robert Hunter Jordan, Jeremiah Power, Patrick Joseph
Crean, Eugene Joyce, Michael Rea, Russell
Crombie, John William Kinloch, Sir Jn. GeorgeSmyth Reddy, M.
Cullinan, J. Layland-Barratt, Francis Redmond, John E.(Waterford)
Daly, James Leese, Sir JosephE. (Accrington Redmond, William (Clare)
Dalziel, James Henry Leigh, Sir Joseph Rickett, J. Compton
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Levy, Maurice Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Delany, William Lough, Thomas Roche, John
Dewar, John A,(Inverness-sh. Lundon, W. Samuel, S. M. (Whitchapel)
Dillon, John MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone,W.)
Doogan, P. C. M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Shipman, Dr. John
Douglas, Charles.M. (Lanark) M'Crae, George Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)
Duffy, William J. M'Dermott, Patrick Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Duncan, James H. M'Govern, T. Soares, Ernest J.
Dunn, Sir William M'Hugh, Patrick A. Stevenson, Francis S,
Edwards, Frank M'Killop,W. (Sligo, North) Sullivan, Donal
Fanrrell, James Patrick Mansfield, Horace Rendall Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Tennant, Harold John Wason, E. (Clackmannan) Woodhouse,SirJ T(Huddersf'd
Thomas, David A. (Merthvr) White, George (Norfolk) Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.) White, Patrick (Meath,North)
Tomkinson, James Whiteley, G. (York, W. R.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Trevelyan, Charles Philips Whitley, J. H. (Halifax) Sir Thomas Esmonde and
Tully, Jasper Williams, Osmond(Marioneth) Captain Donelan.

Resolutions to be reported.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £35,200, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1901, in respect of sundry Public Buildings in Great Britain, not provided for on other Votes."


I wish to ask for information with regard to this Vote. In the Votes we have been discussing this evening, our chief difficulty has been that we have not had that information which would be thought requisite in submitting an original Estimate. My contention is that these items ought not to appear as Supplementary Estimates at all. They ought to have been anticipated at the time the Estimates were framed, and it is not right or fair to the House of Commons, which has to vote the money of this country, that these enormous Supplementary Estimates should be introduced in this fashion, We have before us today I believe the largest Supplementary Estimates that have ever been presented to the House of Commons. A few years ago it was the exception to introduce Supplementary Estimates except under special circumstances. Year by year, however, an increasing number of Supplementary Estimates are being presented to the House of Commons, and it is on that point that I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman a few questions. In the discussion on the last two Votes, the right hon. Gentleman said he was not personally responsible; that one Vote had reference to the Foreign Office, and the other to the Post Office. No doubt to a certain extent the right hon Gentleman was in the hands of these, offices, but he is directly responsible for the Estimate which I now desire to criticise. The first item is Census Buildings, £2,100. The right hon. Gentleman, when we were discussing the Foreign Office Vote, said that the reason for the Supplementary Estimate was that it could not be anticipated, inasmuch as some of the ambassadors had been moved from one place to another, and the houses had to be altered for the new occupants. That to a certain extent is reasonable, but surely the right hon. Gentleman must have known that the Census comes every ten years, and that a building for the taking of it would be required this year. We know that during the last year or two the Government have never anticipated anything, and that the expected was the one thing they were never prepared for. Here was an Estimate which could have been anticipated with the greatest ease, and there is no possible excuse for presenting the House of Commons with a Supplementary Estimate regarding it. The next item is the fitting up of Hertford House, Manchester Square. That is a matter that has been going on for some years, and which might have been fully anticipated if the right hon. Gentleman had only chosen to anticipate it. Further on, there is an item for the Royal Mint, and also for the introduction and extension of electric lighting in the principal public buildings. I ask the right hon. Gentleman how it is that all these items were not anticipated 1 Not only might they have been anticipated, but it was his bounden duty to anticipate them. This is a matter in which this House is very much concerned, because if Estimates are so under-estimated,as they would seem to have been from these huge Supplementary Votes, the annual statement which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has to make is really totally misleading to the country. The only conclusion that I can draw is that the finance of last year was so bad, and the Government thinking the war was coming to an end, all these different Departments were instructed to keep back every possible Estimate and have it introduced subsequently as a Supplementary Estimate. Even to this Govermnent, a million is a considerable item, and therefore I think we are entitled to ask the right hon. Gentleman, how it is that such items as Census buildings, Hertford House, the Royal Mint, and the introduction of electric lighting were not anticipated in the Estimates that were originally framed? I hope he will be able to give us a satisfactory explanation, but if he does not, I shall certainly vote against the Estimate.

MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)

said there was one item of a very interesting nature in the Vote, and that was the alteration of Winchester House, to be adapted to the Intelligence Department of the Government. If the Government would increase that item to some extent, he was sure it would be readily passed. A larger devotion of Government resources to the Intelligence Department would have obviated many of the blunders committed by the Government during the last few years. He especially desired to request information in respect to the moiety of the further portion of the cost of site and erection of buildings for the King's Bench and Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice, of which the total estimate was £19,800. What part of that was the cost of the site, and what part was the cost of the building? There was another item, Patent Office extension, acquisition of site and erection of buildings £3,000. It would, he thought, much facilitate the passing of these Votes if more detailed information regarding them was given. The amount given for the site and the amount to be expended on the building should be given separately, and he thought that the House of Commons was also entitled to know what class of building it was proposed to erect, what was the material to be used, and what provision had been made to see that the material agreed upon was really used by the contractor, and that the work was carried out in accordance with the specification. He asked for information on these points,


said he was surprised at the innocence of the hon. Gentlemen, above the gangway, who, however, he was glad to see were waking up to a sense of their duty as the representatives of the taxpayers. The hon. Member for Poplar spoke of the absent-mindedness of the Government. Surely it was not a matter of surprise that the Government had only now awakened to the fact that there was a census every ten years. It was only yesterday that they discovered that the 1st of April this year fell on a Sunday. There was one very remarkable sum in the Vote, and that was in connection with the Wallace Exhibition. He believed that no one would grudge money for housing such a priceless collection of ancient and modern art, but surely the buildings ought to have been provided before the collection was arranged. The gallery was opened last May, and how it was that nearly twelve months afterwards there should be a Supplementary Estimate passed his comprehension altogether. He was delighted that hon. Gentlemen above the gangway were waking up to their duty. The Government had hoped to slip all these Estimates through without protest or examination, and would have succeeded were it not for the more or less accidental presence of a large number of Irish Members. There was also an item in the Vote of nearly £10,000 for the London University. The Irish Members would certainly inquire as to how that money was to be spent. They could not get £1,000 for the Queen's College in Belfast or Cork, while £10,000 was to be given to the London University. He did not know what genius was responsible for the Imperial Institute, but everyone knew it was a dismal failure, and now, at very short notice, it was to be dedicated to the purposes of the London University. The Irish Members strongly objected to that, first of all on the general principle, and secondly because money was being spent with a lavish hand in this country, while £10 would not be given for obviously necessary purposes in Ireland. These Supplementary Estimates called for the strongest protests from hon. Members representing the taxpayers. They were now on the threshold of a new financial year, and these huge sums were asked for instead of the Estimates being submitted to the House in a businesslike manner.


said there was one point about the Estimates which he thought was possibly a mistake, but which certainly deserved the attention of the right hon. Gentleman. Only one item—item A—was explained, and no explanation whatever regarding the others was given. Item B was for maintenance and repairs—£2,000. Maintenance and repairs of what? The object to which this sum was to be devoted should be stated. The Committee ought not to be called upon to pass Supplementary Estimates which could have been fairly included in the Estimates for the year. Surely the Government knew what their rent, tithe rent-charge, and insurance would be. There was another point on which he believed the Committee would desire an explanation. A sound canon which ought to be observed in connection with Supplementary Estimates was that nothing should be included in a Supple- mentary Estimate which could stand over. He did not believe in such financial juggling. The new buildings mentioned in the Supplementary Estimates I could have remained over until they could be included in the finances of the; next year. Then there was a serious item with reference to the extension of the Royal Mint, which he understood had nothing to do with the new Sovereign. Why could that building not remain; over until next month? He asked the right hon. Gentleman to explain why none of the items except item A were I explained, and, secondly, why the proposed new buildings could not have stood over.


said that there was one item to which he desired to direct attention, and that was the sum of £2,950 for additional accommodation for the War I Office. It was only two years since they were called upon to vote a sum of two millions to erect a gorgeous new palace for the War Office. He himself and other hon. Members resisted that Vote for a considerable period on the ground that the country ought not to be called upon to spend an enormous sum of money for the erection of a new War Office until they had a Department fit to put into it. What had the War Office done during the last two years to entitle it to demand an additional sum of money? In his opinion, the performances of the War Office had been of such a character; that the Committee ought to be very slow to grant any money to it until it was reformed. When he voiced these sentiments he was not speaking the; opinion of the Irish and Radical Members, but the opinion of that large section of the public represented by the Daily Mail and The Times newspapers, who denounced the War Office as the source of all the misfortunes of this Country in the field. Why could not the War Office get along in the buildings that had been in existence for the last twenty years? It was monstrous to I bring forward as an urgent matter suitable for a Supplementary Estimate expenditure on a temporary building for the War Office, when they were spending £2,000,000 in erecting a new palace in Whitehall for the accommodation of that incapable. Department. He accepted the evidence of The Times—which he read every morning with great interest—and had come to a conclusion, with The Times, that there never was a more incapable Department in any country than the War Office. Let the War Office conduct its ill-omened operations in the buildings in which it had worked for the last twenty years. He considered it a scandalous waste of public money to spend the sum mentioned in the Estimates for the temporary accommodation of these gentlemen. Every page of the Supplementary Estimates bore evidence of the fact that all the Departments had adopted the policy which was preached the other day by the First Lord of the Treasury—namely, that it was not the business of the House of Commons to examine Estimates at all, and that Departments requiring money could claim it without instructing the Member of the House who represented them as to how it was to be spent. In old days when a Minister had to introduce a Supplementary Estimate he did so with an apology, but no apology was made nowadays. The items under discussion should not have appeared in a Supplementary Estimate at all, because they were not urgent, and they could have been easily anticipated, or could have remained over until the 31st March. The Vote was an instance of the slipshod and reckless way in which the Estimates were prepared. He would move a reduction in the Vote, but did not wish to interfere with other lion. Members who might desire to adopt that course.

MR. KEIR HAEDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)

said he would ask the First Commissioner of Works to explain certain of the items. He wished to know whether the Government had considered the advisability of doing its own insurance. Great municipalities were now insuring their own property, and were thereby saving in some cases as much as 75 per cent, of what they had formerly paid to the insurances companies. The insurance charges of the Government must be very heavy, and ho trusted that the right hon. Gentleman would inform the Committee whether Government insurance was effected in private offices, or whether the Government had an Insurance Department of its own. Then with reference to the items for fuel and household articles, they were all aware of the tremendous increase in the cost of coal, and some of them were equally aware, that practically every penny of that increase found its way into the pockets of the employers. It would be interesting to know from the First Commissioner of Works how many contracts for fuel were placed with members of the House of Commons or with companies in which hon. Members were shareholders. It was of the utmost importance to know exactly how public funds were being spent. With reference to the item for the supply of water, he should like an explanation from the right hon. Gentleman as to the sum of £1,200 extra which was required. They were all aware that the London water companies had that day withdrawn a most absurd proposal with regard to making cisterns-compulsory in connection with the water supply of dwellings. It might he that the £1,200, or some part of it was required to enable the Government to comply with the demands of the water companies in regard to cisterns. If that were so, the money would not now be needed. The water cisterns which were to be made compulsory were specified in the proposal put forward by the companies, and part of the specification was that the drainage pipe should be placed a few inches from the bottom of the cistern, the reason given being that if the exhaust pipe were placed at the bottom of the cistern dead cats, etc., would find their way down the drain pipe, and the companies would have to bear the expense of cleaning out the cisterns. Therefore the pipes were to be so arranged that dead cats and so on might remain in the cisterns and improve the quality of the water. IL-entirely agreed with what had been said with reference to bringing forward in a Supplementary Estimate items which ought to be included in the general Budget. It was a method of spending public money which should be censured in the strongest possible manner. He was a strong advocate of direct taxation, because if taxation had to be paid direct there would be economy, and fewer filibustering wars would be entered upon; but he was also in favour of direct account keeping. He hoped the right lion. Gentleman would give the information he asked for.

MR. GODDARD (Ipswich)

said that it was rather surprising that no amount of criticism seemed to be able to draw any reply from the right lion. Gentle man in charge of the Vote. Surely the criticism which had been advanced was sufficiently serious to warrant some kind of reply, Attention had already been directed to Item C, for which £5,500 was asked. He thought it a very dangerous practice for Estimates of this kind to be passed without a proper explanation. The Committee had a perfect right to demand full details, and he would give an illustration to show the necessity of having them. Last year a question was raised by the Auditor General with reference to certain items in the furniture account. Among them was an item of £100 for the purchase and restoration of two portraits of King William IV. and Queen Adelaide for the Foreign Office, and the Auditor General reported that that item should not have appeared under the head of furniture, and should have obtained the special sanction of the Treasury. There was no information as to how the sum of £1,325 now asked for was to be expended, and it could not be known what the items were until the Estimates came before the Public Accounts Committee; but that was simply shutting the stable door after the steed had been stolen, as the expenditure could not then be prevented. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would no longer delay giving the information asked for with reference to the various items.


I was waiting to reply until hon. Members had I finished. First of all, I may take the point raised with regard to the explanation which is given regarding Item A and not given regarding the other items. It has always been the practice to give items for new works I in detail, but not items for maintenance. Then with regard to the Census, Buildings, we have been told-that we ought to have foreseen the expenditure on regard to them, and that therefore there was no necessity to bring forward, as a Supplementary Estimate. I think a; sum of £4,000 was taken last year for the preparation of buildings for the purpose if collecting the census. Since then very considerable additions to the information to be collected have been asked for by hon. Members, with the result that an extra staff has to be provided. Therefore it can hardly be said that we could have foreseen what might have been required in the year to come. Then I was asked by the: hon. Member for Leicester a question with regard to the Vote for the King's Bench and Probate Registries Buildings in Manchester. He also asked me the separate cost of the site and buildings. The total estimated cost is £19,800, of which the site cost £11,100 and the buildings £8,700. As against that, the old buildings are being sold for some £4,500. He also asked me for particulars with regard to the material used in the buildings, and also as to proper supervision during their construction. The materials are properly selected and every care is taken by competent surveyors to see that the Government gets value for its money. The hon. Member for West Islington asked me a question with regard to the Patent Office Extension, and he said that at all events in this case we might have foreseen the extra expenditure. I think, however, that he will absolve us from any want of prevision when I tell him that our object is to hasten on the erection of this building in order that we may provide library accommodation for the Patent Office, and thereby set free a sum of £700 a year now paid for the use of a temporary library. The lease for the temporary library terminates this year, and if we are unable, to give up the premises we may have to renew it. Then there was a question raised with regard to the Royal Mint. That item is required by a slight addition which is required by the Mint authorities. With regard to Hertford House, the supplementary sum is for extra furniture which is desired by the trustees and which was not contemplated when the original estimate was prepared. Having regard to the enormous value to this country of this collection, I hope the Committee will not grudge this money, especially when the great taste shown by the trustees in the preparation of the building is considered. Then I was asked about the War Office accommodation. The supplementary sum is explained by the necessity of acquiring a fresh office in consequence of the very large amount of work which has been thrown on the War Office during the past year. I should like to point out that this expenditure will tend towards the concentration of the clerks and the offices of the Department. I do not know whether it will surprise hon. Members when I tell them that only last year the War Office was working under no less than seventeen different roofs, some of them a mile apart.

It being midnight, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Resolutions to be reported to-morrow; Committee also report Progress: to sit again to-morrow.