§ MR. ALFRED DAVIES (Carmarthen Boroughs)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if he will state if in the promised inquiry into the conduct of the war will be included the hiring of transports; the price paid for them; the length of many of the passages; the food supplied to the troops; the alleged unfitness of some; and especially why, at a critical time, when speed was of such importance, the fast mail steamers were not requisitioned, as per the subsidy contracts, many of which could have carried a large number of troops without any alterations.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
I do not think that anything will be excluded by the reference from the consideration of the Commission to inquire into the conduct of the war, but I confess that I do not think their task will be a very light one. This is a short sprig of a very small branch of that very large investigation.
§ MR. ALFRED DAVIES
Will the right hon. Gentleman inform us when the inquiry will take place, will it be a genuine inquiry, and will it take place at a time when the public interest has not decreased?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I cannot imagine anything which would so rapidly 213 decrease public interest as these very minute points being brought forward.