§ 1. "That a sum, not exceeding £15,977,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge for Transport and Remounts, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1902."
§ 2. "That a sum, not exceeding £345,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge for the Ordnance Factories (the cost of the Productions of which will be charged to the Army, Navy, and Indian and Colonial Governments), which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1902."
§ Resolutions read a second time.
§ First Resolution:—
§ MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)
thought the very magnitude of this Vote justified further investigation than could be given to it in the few hours discussion of the previous day. He desired particularly to impress upon the Leader of the House that these Votes in regard to operations in South Africa were all discussed on the distinct understanding that the promise of a full inquiry into the conduct of the war was a promise in the general acceptation of the word—namely, that a promise was a promise, and not, as the right hon. Gentleman had recently defined it, something to be carried out when the party to whom the promise Was given chose to exact it. In any case, 1428 however, the House would exact the fulfilment of that promise. The item of this Vote with regard to which he had given notice of his intention to move a reduction was for the transport of troops returning from South Africa. From the recent quarterly Returns giving the strength of the garrisons in South Africa on the 1st February and the 1st May last, it appeared that there was an enormous disproportion between the number of officers and the number of men returning home not as invalids compared with the proportion of officers to men remaining in South Africa. According to the Return of 1st February, the number of officers sent home was 1,214, as against 11,109 men—a proportion of one officer to nine men; whereas the proportion of officers to men remaining in South Africa was one to thirty-two. That disproportion certainly required some explanation, although he could surmise several good reasons for it. When an explanation was asked on the 5th March the Secretary of State for War merely said the preparation of a Return would entail very considerable labour. But a new Return was not asked for. What was wanted was merely an explanation of the existing Return, and it was no good issuing Returns at all if, when an explanation was asked for, Members were treated in this high-handed fashion. He moved the reduction standing in his name.
To leave out '£15,977,000,' and insert '£15,990,900,' instead thereof."—(Mr. Pirie.)
§ Question proposed, "That '£15,977,000' stand part of the Resolution."
§ CAPTAIN NORTON
hoped the Secretary of State for War would give some explanation in regard to this matter. He could quite understand that a large number of these officers had necessarily returned home in consequence of the diminution of the number of generals in South Africa with their large staffs, but 1429 he did not think that that would account for the great disproportion. This was a matter in which the country took a very great interest, and, unless a satisfactory explanation was given, it would be believed that favouritism was at work by which men of high position or officers were allowed to return home much more freely than the men of the rank and file.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
said the explanation was very simple. The exchange of officers must be greater than the exchange of men in a campaign of any magnitude. A number of officers had been summoned from India to replace others, and no doubt a considerable number of officers who had left their staff appointments had come home in order to resume their ordinary duties, It was
§ extremely desirable that, in a campaign like the present, officers should not have to bear too long the great strain put upon them by operations in the field. This was a matter of policy, and had nothing to do with the officers themselves, The reason of his refusal a few days before to give the hon. Member the details for which he asked was that in most cases references had to be made, to South Africa for absolute statements from the officer in command of every staff officer who came home to explain the precise cause of his return. That would entail an enormous amount of labour, which at this stage of the campaign was not desirable.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 123; Noes, 60, (Division List No. 228.)
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Malley, William|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||O'Mara, James|
|Boyle, James||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Brigg, John||Horniman, Frederick John||Partington, Oswald|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Burns, John||Kennedy, Patrick James||Priestley, Arthur|
|Caldwell, James||Lambert, George||Reddy, M.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Leamy, Edmund||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Chanaing, Francis Allston||Lough, Thomas||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Colville, John||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||M'Dermott, Patrick||Thomas, F. Freeman- (Hastings|
|Crean, Eugene||Mooney, John J.||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.|
|Delany, William||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Dillon, John||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Moss, Samuel||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Murphy, John|
|Duffy, William J.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Pirie and Captain Norton.|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Norman, Henry|
|Flynn, James Christopher||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ MR. DILLON
protested against the monstrous waste of public money involved in this Vote. Throughout the discussion in Committee the Government failed to answer any of the criticisms brought forward. Never in his experience had he seen an Estimate drawn up in a more loose, careless, and reckless fashion. The items with regard to transport seemed to be so absurd as to be quite incapable of explanation. In fact, the only possible explanation was that the Government had been so often accused of miscalculation and want of foresight that the War Office clerks had been given instructions to make this Estimate as large as they could, so that by no possibility could a Supplementary Estimate be required. With regard to the remounts, it was admitted on both sides that through carelessness and bad management there had been an enormous slaughter of horses in South Africa. That involved not only a great waste of money, but also horrible cruelty. It was absurd to ask for a further Vote of £3,000,000 for remounts without any assurance being given that the system would be altered. But that was not all, for within the last few days a statement had appeared in The Times from one of its correspondents in South Africa that no horses were available for one of 1432 the Yeomanry battalions, notwithstanding the fact that the men were practically dismounted, the reason given being that all the remounts were required by the new drafts coming out in order that they might practise riding.
§ MR. BRODRICK
thought that he was entitled to rely on the evidence of the general commanding the troops in South Africa rather than on that of any correspondent as to the class of horses sent out and the use made of them; and he could hardly be asked to provide more troops and more horses, or better troops and better horses, than Lord Kitchener himself required. So long as he was able—without having asked for it—to quote Lord Kitchener's opinion in his favour in regard to remounts, he could hardly be called into question. He had already explained that the Vote for sea transport was necessarily nearly as high as last year because the hope was entertained that they would be able to bring home a large proportion of the troops employed at the front. With regard to transport in the colony, they had been able to reduce the Vote largely, because last year large sums had to be paid for the actual provision of transport wagons and various other accessories which were not needed to be repeated this year. Moreover, in many cases better contracts for transports had been made. Lord Kitchener had given his personal attention to this particular business, a business 1433 which he understood probably better than any other man alive, and he had been able to make large reductions in the contracts made and in the cost of conveying troops in South Africa.
§ CAPTAIN NORTON
said that the complaint was that more than £7,000,000 had been paid during the past year to mount our troops, but nevertheless they had been abominably mounted. To say that Lord Kitchener was perfectly satisfied was like locking the stable door after the steed was stolen. The whole management of this department, from top to bottom, had been of the most shocking description. Before the war commenced he had time after time called the attention of the Government to the need of strengthening the veterinary department, but without success. At present, the veterinary officers in South Africa numbered only one to 7,000 horses. It was true that a number of civilian veterinary surgeons had been sent out, but they were merely the sweepings of the profession, and even counting these there was only one veterinary surgeon to about 200 or 300 horses.
§ MR. BRODRICK
pointed out that no money was taken under this Vote for the Army Veterinary Department.
§ CAPTAIN NORTON
said he was dealing with the department only as bearing on the question of remounts. If the animals had been properly cared for the taxpayers would have been called upon to pay a much smaller sum than was now the case.
§ MR. O'MARA (Kilkenny, S.)
asked whether the Vote included any estimate for bringing home the horses. If it was intended only for bringing home the men, how was it that last year, when about a quarter of a million of men and the same number of horses were taken out, the transport cost about £10,000,000, whereas this year to bring home about the same number of men without the horses the estimated cost was nearly the same? If the animals were to be brought
|Acland-Hood. Capt. Sir Alex F.||Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Bain, Colonel James Robert||Balfour, Maj. K. R. (Christch'ch|
|Alluhsen, Augustus Henry E.||Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Banbury, Frederick George|
§ home he should like to know what was to be done with them.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Lord STANLEY,) Lancashire, Westhoughton
said there was no intention of bringing the horses home. Any horses that could be sold would be sold in South Africa. It was a question whether the nucleus of a remount department should not be formed in South Africa. He believed that in the future South Africa would be able to provide remounts as well as any other part of the Empire.
§ MR. CREAN (Cork, S.E.)
did not believe there would be any necessity to bring home the soldiers that had been sent out to South Africa; they would be required to keep the few remaining Boers in subjection. They would also be required for the protection of the people who were taken out and settled on farms. In fact, it seemed more probable that this money would be required for taking troops out than for bringing soldiers home. The proceedings would, however, be watched very carefully, and if it was found that soldiers were sent out the Secretary of State for War would be reminded of his statement that the money was for the purpose of bringing the troops home.
§ MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)
asked how it was calculated that £9,500,000 would be required for the purposes of bringing home 250,000 men? That worked out at about £40 per head, but that was surely a mistake. Perhaps the Financial Secretary could give the Committee the total number of men sent out and the total cost, so that they could see the average price per head.
§ LORD STANLEY
said he had not the actual figures with him, and therefore he could not give the information asked for.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 124; Noes, 41. (Division List No. 229.)
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Greene, Sir E. W. (B'ry S Edm'ds||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Beach, Rt. Hn Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Gretton, John||Purvis, Robert|
|Bond, Edward||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Randles, John S.|
|Brassey, Albert||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hamilton, Rt Hn. Ld. G (Midd'x||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bull, William James||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Caldwell, James||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Charles T.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derhysh.||Helder, Augustus||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hogg, Lindsay||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Hope, J. F. (Sheffild, Brightside||Smith, H. C (Northmb, Tyneside|
|Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Charrington, Spencer||Keswick, William||Spear, John Ward|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Lawson, John Grant||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Farehm||Stroyan, John|
|Colville, John||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North||Long, Rt. Hon Walter (Bristol S.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Macdona, John Cumming||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Maconochie, A. W.||Vincent, Col. Sir C E H (Sheffield|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B (Camb.||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Majendie, James A. H.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Milton, Viscount||Webb, Col. Wm. George|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Morgan, David J (Walthamst'w||Welby, Lt. Col. A C. E Taunton|
|Finch, George H.||Morrell, George Herbert||Welby, Sir Charles G. E (Notts.)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Morrison, James Archibald||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Gordon, Hn J. E. (Elgin & Nairn)||Norman, Henry|
|Gore, Hn G. R. C Ormsby- (Salop||Parker, Gilbert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby- (Lincs.)||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Penn, John|
|Green, Walford D (Wednesbury||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Chas. Seale-||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Boyle, James||Kennedy, Patrick James||O'Malley, William|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Lambert, George||O'Mara, James|
|Burns, John||Leamy, Edmund||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Crean, Eugene||M'Dermott, Patrick||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Delany, William||Mooney, John J.||Reddy, M.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Doogan, P. C.||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Duffy, William J.||Moss, Samuel||Sullivan, Donal|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan||Murphy, John|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Nannetti, Joseph P.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Dillon and Captain Norton.|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
§ Second Resolution proposed.
§ Further consideration of postponed resolution deferred till Monday next.