HC Deb 03 August 1903 vol 126 cc1391-3

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £100 be granted to His Majesty, to make good Excesses of Army Expenditure beyond the Grants, for the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1902."


said that if the Government had any regard for economy and improved methods of checking expenditure, they ought not to bring on a Vote of this kind at that hour of the morning and at that period of the session. He must say he was amazed when he looked into the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General on the accounts at the end of last financial year, that the Committee was not given a fuller opportunity of discussing and considering it. It would be quite sufficient to show the great seriousness of the matters concealed under this Report by calling the attention of the Committee to a few headings. For instance, the Auditor-General drew attention to the circumstances attending participation in fraud; to frauds at Aldershot connected with the payment of wages; to charges for transport insufficiently vouched; to irregularities in accounts; to imperfect vouching, etc. In one case the number of accounts which ought to have been furnished was sixty-three, but only thirteen had been returned, and of these some were of little value. He maintained that this Vote—which involved several millions of pounds—should not be carried through sub silentio and without full and satisfactory explanation by those responsible; and he begged to move the reduction of the Vote by £99.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the sum of £1 be granted for the said service."—(Mr. Whitley.)


said he quite agreed with the hon. Member that it was very unsatisfactory that the Reports of the Public Accounts Committee, who fully examined these accounts, and of the Auditor-General had not been brought before the House of Commons as was recommended by the National Expenditure Committee. The fact was that it was exceedingly difficult to carry on war expenditure by Estimates, and the War Office must be allowed considerable latitude. Many of the accounts referred to by the hon. Member had been carefully examined by the Public Accounts Committee, who were of the unanimous opinion, and recommended to the House, that a total Vote should be granted in order to make up deficiencies.


said that before presenting the matter to the Committee he had taken the precaution of submitting it to the Chairman of the Public Accounts. Committee; and he thought that the Report of the Public Accounts Committee called for some statement from the Government as to the action that would be taken to prevent similar irregularities in the future.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 25; Noes, 116. (Division List No. 208.)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Griffith, Ellis J. Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Helme, Norval Watson Soares, Ernest J.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Levy, Maurice Sullivan, Donal
Caldwell, James M'Laren, Sir Charles Benj. Weir, James Galloway
Cawley, Frederick Moss, Samuel White, Luke (York. E. R.)
Cremer, William Randal O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Dalziel, James Henry Partington, Oswald TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.) Priestley, Arthur Mr. Whitley and Mr
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Samuel, Herbt, L.(Cleveland) Lough.
Emmott, Alfred Shackleton, David James
Anson, Sir William Reynell Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G. (Mid'x Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Arkwright, John Stanhope Harris, Frederick Leverton Purvis, Robert
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Randles, John S.
Atkinson, Right Hon. John Hayter, Rt Hon Sir Arthur D. Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man'r Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley) Reid, James (Greenock)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds Heath, James (Staffords., N. W. Remnant, Jas. Farquharson
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Hogg, Lindsay Renwick, George
Blundell, Colonel Henry Kemp, Lieut.-Colonel George Ritchie, Rt. Hn, C. Thomson
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Keswick, William Round, Rt. Hon. James
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow Rutherford, John (Lancashire
Cavendish, V C W (Derbysh.) Lawson, John Grant(Yorks, NR Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Chamberlain, Rt Hon J (Birm Leveson-Gower, Frederiek N.S. Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J A (Worc Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Seely, Maj. J.E.B. (Isle of Wight
Chapman, Edward Lonsdale, John Brownlee Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Charrington, Spencer Lowther, C. (Cumb, Eskdale) Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Lucas, Reg'ld J. (Portsmouth) Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)
Corbett, T. L.(Down, North) Macdona, John Cumming Spear, John Ward
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Stanley, Hon, Arthur (Ormskirk
Cranborne, Viscount M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire) Sturt, Hn. Humphrey Napier
Davenport, William Bromley Majendie, James A. H. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Dickson, Charles Scott Maxwell, W.J.H. (Dumfriessh.) Thornton, Percy M.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Milvain, Thomas Tollemache, Henry James
Duke, Henry Edward Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Tomlinson, Sir Wm. E. M.
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Morrell, George Herbert Ure, Alexander
Faber, E. B. (Hants, W.) Morrison, James Archibald Valentia, Viscount
Faber, George Denison (York) Murray, Rt. Hn A. Graham (Bute Walker, Col. William Hall
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed. Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir Wm. H.
Fergusson, Rt Hn Sir J. (Manc'r Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Warde, Colonel C. E.
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Forster, Henry William Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Fyler, John Arthur Parkes, Ebenezer Wylie, Alexander
Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop Percy, Earl
Greene, Hy. D. (Shrewsbury) Pierpoint, Robert TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs Platt-Higgins, Frederick Sir Alexander Acland-
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Pretyman, Ernest George Hood and Mr. Anstruther

Resolutions to be reported this day; Committee to sit again this day.