§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £1.016,000, 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, 1903, for sundry Colonial Services, including a Grant-in-Aid: "
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
called attention to the item of £1,000,000 as a grant-in-aid of the local revenues of the Transvaal and Orange River Colony. The note attached to the Estimate stated that the sum was requiredTo meet the cost of maintenance of South African Constabulary in excess of 0.000, until the strength of the force can be reduced to that number.The original Vote was for 6,000 constabulary, at a cost of £1,800,000, or at the rate of £300 per man per annum, so that the Committee were now apparently asked to vote the money for an additional 3,300 men for the whole year, or for a proportionately larger number for a shorter period. He did not object to the number of the men. It would no doubt be satisfactorily explained that the increase in number was counterbalanced by the withdrawal of so many military, and the more the force in South Africa was assimilated to a civil police force the better it would be. What he wished the Committee to notice was the great disparity between the pay of these men and the cost to the country. The pay at 5s. a day amounted to £91 per annum, so that, allowing a substantial addition over the whole force for the higher pay of the superior officers, the amount required in pay could not be more than £110 or £120 at the outside. But the amount this country had to pay was £300 per man per annum. The reason for this difference was doubtless the immense cost of living in South Africa. According to a Memorandum placed before the 1265 Colonial Secretary a few weeks ago by the mine owners in Johannesburg, the average wages paid to a skilled white labourer in the mines was £34 10s. 9d. per month, while the cost of living, if the man was married, amounted to £24 10s. He had no doubt that the cause of the great discrepancy between the pay of the men and the cost to the country was the fact that with the settlement of South Africa had come the time of rings and combines. Probably not more than one - third of this £1,000,000 would go in wages, the balance being required for clothing, the food of horses and men, and the necessary articles for the maintenance of the force. It was well known that great financial corporations had taken advantage of the settlement of the war to form rings in the supply of necessaries. The Committee heard some time ago of a certain cold storage company. That company, after paying a dividend of 1,000 per cent., had dissolved, but its place had been taken by an even more powerful monopoly.
THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
said it would be out of order to discuss the causes of the high prices of food. All the Committee had to discuss was the extra money required for the maintenance of the South African Constabulary.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said the additional cost was due to the maintenance of 4,000 men beyond the 6,000 required for police purposes, until they were disbanded.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said the right hon. Gentleman had stated that this £1,000.000 was for the pay and expenses of these men, and he submitted that he was entitled to argue the question. The right hon. Gentleman had admitted that the Vote was not for pay alone, and he submitted that he was entitled to argue why the pay was such a small item and the expenses on the other hand were such a large proportion of the Vote.
THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
There is a note that the extra money is required for the extra 4,000 men of the constabulary. The hon. Member would be in order in discussing that.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said his whole point was, what was the reason why these men cost the heavy sum which was indicated on the Estimate, and was it not a question as to whether so many men were required or not 2
THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member would be perfectly in order in discussing that on the ordinary Estimates, but on this Supplementary Vote it is not in order.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said this was something which had arisen since the original Vote was passed, and it was actually part of the £1.000,000 which they were now asked to approve.
THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
The extra money is asked for on account of the extra men, and on that point the hon. Gentleman would be quite in order.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
thought there was some misapprehension upon this point. An Estimate was originally taken for 4,000 men and they were raised, and the estimated cost of that force was on an average, with horses, outfit and keep, £250 per man. Nothing had occurred since the war or in recent experience to increase the cost per man, as the hon. Member opposite seemed to suppose, since the money for the original 6,000 men was voted, but His Majesty's Government had felt that this additional 4,000 men were no longer required for police purposes, and they ought not to be charged upon the colonies but should be paid for out of the Imperial funds because they had been raised for Imperial purposes. The cost was exactly the same per man, and nothing had since happened to increase that cost.
THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
I cannot allow the discussion to go on after my ruling and after what the Minister in charge has said. Therefore, it will be out of order to discuss this point further.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said that all he desired to do now was to express his surprise that on a vote for £1,000,000 the rules of the House did not allow them to discuss the matter.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
said he did not quite understand to what the additional cost was due. The original Estimate was for 10,000 men at £750,000, and he wanted to know if there was no additional cost of maintenance; if the number was the same as the War Office originally estimated, how was it that they were now asked to vote this additional sum. The sum put down now was £1,000,000, but £750,000 was printed in the Budget as asked for some months ago. He understood that the numbers had not been altered, and the cost of maintenance remained the same.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that when the organisation of the permanent police force was undertaken Lord Roberts was of opinion that 10,000 men would be required. Even at that time Lord Milner thought a smaller number would suffice, but it was decided at that time that it would be desirable to raise 10,000 men, or an additional 4,000 beyond what Lord Milner thought would be required. After the conclusion of the war the Secretary of State for War felt some hesitation about putting on his Vote any part of the payment for the South African Constabulary, which were, after all, a civil force. His Majesty's Government entered into communication with Lord Milner as to what force would be sufficient as a permanent constabulary for the new colonies After bearing Lord Milner's views, and in accordance with his advice, the force was fixed at 6,000 men. That in the opinion of the local authorities was a sufficient force to secure the proper discharge of all the duties which fell upon the constabulary force in those parts. The 10,000 constabulary had then been raised, and they could not at once disband in South Africa 4,000 out of the 10,000 men raised before the conclusion of the war.
1268 Accordingly it was arranged with Lord Milner that he should stop all recruiting for the constabulary force and fill up no vacancies; and that, as opportunity offered and as he was able to do so without inflicting injustice upon individual troopers or upsetting the labour market and thus causing distress in South Africa, he should diminish the number of the constabulary until they reached 6,000. That was to be a gradual process and the reduction had to be spread over the whole year. His Majesty's Government now asked the Committee to vote the cost of those additional 4,000 men from Imperial funds on the ground that they were no longer required for the purposes of the constabulary force in South Africa. The reduction of the extra force was now going on and it was felt that this was an operation which could not be properly charged to the two colonies. The hon. Member opposite had asked him why the expense was so large. The reason was that this process of getting rid of the extra 4,000 men could only be done gradually and would not be complete probably until the end of the next financial year, namely, the 31st of March, 1904, so that the expenditure included in this Vote really covered something like one and a half years.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
pointed out that last June in the amended Budget the Estimate was for £750,000 and £1,000,000 was now asked for. He wished to know what was the explanation of the extra £250,000.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that £750,000 was the estimated cost from July, 1902, to March, 1903. Meanwhile the 4,000 men had been from week to week further reduced, but they would not be wholly got rid of before the 31st of March, 1904. The extra sum was for the cost of maintaining the men while they were being reduced to the number of 6,000, and it was the cost of maintaining the smaller number for the longer period.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
asked with respect to the 3,000 or 4,000 men who were not wanted, whether they were employed and what they were doing.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that so many as were retained in the service were still there. They were used during the war mainly as a military force. Now that the war was happily over the constabulary was being organised. It was not possible to dismiss those 4,000 men without causing terrible hardship, and without throwing on the labour market a large number of men who had no resources. The forces would be diminished as rapidly as opportunity offered.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said he was exceedingly unfortunate in endeavouring to make himself understood on this subject. He would try to use plain language. The permanent force was not required above 6,000. It would be reduced to 6,000 as opportunity offered, but in the meantime so many as were retained were serving as constabulary. He was by no means prepared to say that the whole of that force could be disbanded at once. He hoped they would be disbanded before the end of the next financial year.
§ MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)
What is the cost per man of those who joined the constabulary?
said he knew that was according to the Estimate, but he had reason to believe that the Estimate was not being fulfilled, and that the cost greatly exceeded that amount. His hon. friend on that side of the House had referred to the cost of living as an argument why the constabulary had cost so much. He had said it cost £24 per 1270 month for a man living in South Africa. The hon. Member begged to point out that the cost before the war for an unmarried man was £6 to £7 per month. That was the charge made by all the mines where men were clubbed together. There was considerable discontent among the constabulary in regard to the question of pay. The cost of the constabulary per man was £250 per annum, and he thought the Committee ought to have some explanation, on behalf of the Government, how that amount was made up. The men there were quite unable to live on their pay. In the speech the Colonial Secretary made in July last he stated that Lord Milner had informed him that he trusted the revenue of the Transvaal would be able to meet all the expenses of the administration of the country. He would therefore ask whether that estimate was wrong and why, in view of the fact that the Transvaal returns showed a very much increased revenue as compared with what it was before the war, the whole of this expenditure was being thrown on the Imperial exchequer?
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said everyone must sympathise with the statement that proper consideration should be given to these men. What had happened? The Government took money for 10,000 men.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Well, they raised 10,000 men, and if they did not take money for them he thought they ought to have done so. When they reduced the number from 10,000 to 6,000 he thought they would have asked for £1,000,000 less. The second remark he had to make was that this money provided for £260 per man and horse. Were they going to keep the horses also? Otherwise the sum they asked was too large. He had no desire to do any injustice to the men or the horses, but was it necessary to keep the horses for a year? He had another remark to make on this item which he hoped the Committee would attend to, for it was a very important one and affected a great many millions of 1271 money. There was the following note near the bottom of the page:—The expenditure out of this grant-in-aid will be subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General, but no surrender will be made of any balance unexpended at the close of the financial year.If there was to be no surrender what was the use of the audit?
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said he would explain that. If there was to be a surrender at the end of the present financial year it was quite clear that there would be no money available to pay the men during the next financial year. There would be an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General, and any sum not required for the purpose for which the money was voted would be ultimately returned. The Auditor General would control the expenditure of the money and see that it was spent on the purpose for which the House voted it, but that portion which was not spent on the 31st March this year would not have to be surrendered at the end of the month. The money would run over into next year for the purpose to which it was proposed to devote it.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said the right hon. Gentleman had avowed a financial misdeal of the most alarming description. The Committee were asked to vote money for the year ending 31st March which the right hon. Gentleman was not going to use in that year. That was a destruction of the whole financial system of this country. It was a circumstance which he would commend to the attention of the hon. Member for Oldham who was sitting behind him. He hoped that when the Postmaster General was examined before the Committee on accounts he might attempt to justify this system of finance. He doubted whether the Committee had the power to vote the money in face of the avowal they had just heard. This grant-in-aid of local revenues, amounting to £2,842,500, was, they were told, to be subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General, but no unexpended balance was to be returned. The whole purpose of an audit was to see that the money was properly expended within the 1272 year, and that the portion of it not expended should be surrendered. If that condition did not obtain there was no purpose in the world for having any audit at all. He said that was calculated to deceive the House of Commons. If they were going to make this grant-in-aid a gift out and out they shonld not pretend that there was to be an audit at all. The right hon. Gentleman had told the Committee that the sum would probably be expended partially in the next year. He very much doubted whether the Comptroller and Auditor General would have any authority over that. It was not a proper proceeding to suggest that there was to be an effective audit when they were at the same time told that there was to be no surrender of the unexpended balance.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
said the point raised by the hon. Member for King's Lynn was one of considerable importance. When the money was asked in the form of a Supplementary Estimate it was understood that it was a supplement to what had already been voted for that year. What was now proposed was practically a very novel departure.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
Said he was sorry to hear that there were precedents. That demand of the Government for this money was based on the supposition that no part of that sum of £2,800,000 was contributed by the Transvaal or Orange River Colony. He would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he could lay before the Committee a statement of the actual receipts and outlay of the Orange River Colony and the Transvaal. When they asked to know what was the state of the accounts of those colonies and if there was an annual deficit, it might be found that instead of that being a land flowing with milk and honey it might involve a serious and heavy outlay on the part of this country. Under whose supervision was this money to be applied? Was the Colonial Office itself to keep the supervision, and would it satisfy itself, in order that it might satisfy this House, that the money would be applied to that particular purpose for which it was voted?
1273 He hoped it would not be applied to any kindred purpose.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that the hon. and learned Member seemed to think that he had been guilty of some novel financial heresy which would lead the Committee into most dangerous paths where they would be able no longer to safe-guard the financial interests of the country. He was treading the beaten path, often trod before, and pursuing the ordinary and usual practice in regard to grants-in-aid for Colonial Services or Protectorate Services, or for Civil Services at home. The hon. Gentleman below the Gangway, and the hon. and learned Member who had just spoken, had asked him for further explanation as to whether the estimates formed of the financial condition of the Transvaal had been realised. He had no idea that such a question would be asked and accordingly had not provided himself with the figures; but he believed that these expectations had been fully and completely realised. He had no doubt that the resources of the Transvaal would be sufficient in the present financial year to meet the whole of the current expenses of the Transvaal administration, and the Government were not asking the Committee to vote this money because the resources of the Transvaal had fallen below working expenses, but because this money would not be a fair charge on the Transvaal at all. These men were raised for Imperial purposes and were used to relieve the troops and to make up the diminution in the number of soldiers that would otherwise have been required. Now that the war was over they had to consider what the permanent position was to be. Clearly what constabulary was necessary for colonial purposes the Transvaal ought to pay for; but it was not right that we should impose this burden on the Transvaal. It was the opinion of the Government that these 4,000 men were not required for colonial constabulary purposes and therefore they proposed to pay for them until they were got rid of. That operation would be spread over some time. Of course the men joined under a contract, and the contract was binding on the Government; and it was only as the men were willing to remain in the Transvaal in 1274 order to take advantage of opportunities of other service under the Government or elsewhere that they could be got rid of.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that they would, and that the sum he was asking the Committee to vote was an adjustment which he believed, on the whole, to be fair between the conflicting claims of the local administration as representing the taxpayers of the Transvaal, and the Government as representing the taxpayers of this country. The final adjustment between the two would include all sums that the Committee would be asked to vote in connection with the administration of the Transvaal.
§ MR. WINSTON CHURCHILL (Oldham)
said that the right hon. Gentleman told the Committee that this. Vote was asked for in the process of making the reduction of the South African Constabulary from 10,000 to 6,000, and that the reduction was to be spread over a period which began before this debate took place, and which would not terminate until the end of the financial year 1904. During that period they would be paying at the rate of £250 "a year per man—the total number, estimated in thousands, being admittedly not wanted for the greater part of that period. The right hon. Gentleman said that these men joined under contract and that that contract could not be broken. No one suggested that any contract should be broken; but the contract only referred to pay and allowances, and it seemed absurd to keep men under arms and under semi-military conditions for that considerable period when, probably by some arrangement for the payment of a lump sum, the amount could be considerably reduced. He would point out that the extra expenditure would amount to £150 per man during the greater part of the year and a half for between 2,500 and 3,000 men. He thought it would be admitted that the Government were dealing very generously, if not lavishly, 1275 with this question. In England, when men in the Government dockyards were dispensed with they were not treated in that fashion. It had always been held that the Government ought not to adopt any charitable view in that regard, even in dealing with public money; that they ought to deal with such money only in the public interest.
wished the right hon. Gentleman to tell the Committee if any attempt had been made to ascertain whether these 4,000 extra men would not accept a small sum to be discharged at once. If some of them were to remain for a year that would mean £250, and he ventured to say that there was not one who would not accept half the amount to go at once. Why was not that done? It would save the country £500,000 at least.
§ SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)
said it was perfectly clear from the extremely lucid statement which the right hon. Gentleman had given the Committee that this was not a grant-in-aid. It was really an Imperial service payment for Imperial services for Imperial purposes. It was only as a matter of convenience that it had been put in the form of a grant-in-aid, part of which was being expended for this financial year and part to be expended in the next financial year. But no one ever asked the House of Commons for a distinctly Imperial service in a Supplementary Estimate not for this year but for the next year. He knew that the Comptroller and Auditor General in former days would have demanded, if this had been a grant-in-aid made for the purposes of the present year, the surrender of the surplus which was not expended. He did not think that any grant-in-aid had ever been given for a service which was specifically not a service for the year in which it was granted, but for the succeeding year. If the Committee passed the Vote, Parliament would lose control over the money. As had been suggested, Parliament next year might desire to make some arrangement with those men: but that would not be in their power if they now voted all the money required for this particular purpose up to the 1276 31st of March 1904, as they would have parted with the power over the money which they now possessed and which they ought to retain. They ought to be in a position in the ensuing year to attach such conditions to the expenditure as might be required; and he was quite sure that if the financial principles which his right hon. friend the Postmaster General had advanced were adopted, they would have filched from them a power which they ought to retain.
§ SIR BRAMPTON GURDON (Norfolk, N.)
said he was rather astonished to hear the Postmaster General state that it was impossible to surrender whatever balance might be left, because that balance, after the 31st of March, would be used to pay the constabulary for the next year. He understood, however, it was the intention of the Government to bring in a Vote on Account before the 31st of March, and any money required for the purpose could be included in that.
*LIEUT.-COLONEL GEORGE KEMP (Lancashire, Heywood)
said his hon. friend the Member for Oldham suggested, he thought very properly, that it might have been well to have offered these men a lump sum to terminate their service instead of keeping them on for a longer period.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that he had carefully guarded himself against the suggestion that the whole of this force was unnecessary at the present time. He believed it was not possible to allow all the men to go at once, if they were willing; but even if that were possible, there were contracts that should be observed. He had already assured the Committee that the local authorities would take every opportunity to reduce the strength of the force, according to the measure of the possibilities of the case. They were, however, in a transition period.
*LIEUT. - COLONEL GEORGE KEMP
asked if he were right in understanding that none of these men could be dispensed with at present. The question he wished to ask was whether any efforts had been made to ascertain on what 1277 terms the men would terminate their service at once. He had a similar case in mind. List year a considerable number of yeomanry were employed, and he knew from his own personal experience that the large bulk of them, on being brought down to Capetown in September or the end of August, 1902, would have gone home and terminated their service, had they been offered a fortnight's furlough and their war gratuity. This, however, the Government refused, and was thereby put to the expense of housing and feeding them till January, 1903. An enormous and unnecessary expense was thereby cast upon the country. This was a parallel case, and he wished to know whether steps would be taken to avoid a similar waste of public money.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that as far as he understood, and his information was not very full in regard to this matter, such means as his hon. friend suggested would certainly be taken to assist the disbandment of this force. He quite appreciated the point raised by his hon. friend, and he would see that inquiries were instituted as to whether all that was possible was being done, in the manner suggested, or whether anything further could be done.
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
said the Vote was in aid of the local revenues of the Transvaal and Orange River Colonics, and after what had been said by the right hon. Gentleman, he hoped it would be the last grant for that purpose. He should be glad to have a statement as to the total amount granted during this year under that head; and he thought that they ought to have a more formal balance-sheet than they had. The right hon. Gentleman almost admitted that the Vote was in an unsatisfactory form, but not a word had been said by the right hon. Gentleman as to mixing up the expenditure of this year with the expenditure of next year. Two hon. Gentlemen had spoken, each of whom had held the office of Secretary to the Treasury, and they both disapproved in the most emphatic way of the Government asking for money, not only for the 1278 year ending 31st of March, but also for the following year. The Constitutional practice was that the expenditure for each year should be kept within the year, and that money should not be taken for expenditure after the 31st of March in any particular year. On that ground alone the Estimate ought to be withdrawn. It had further been made clear by the hon. and gallant Gentleman that there was extravagance connected with this matter, and the hon. Member for Oldham suggested that with care £200,000 or £300,000 might have been saved, but that the Government lost the opportunity of effecting that economy. The suggestion of the hon. and gallant Gentleman was that if a conciliatory spirit were shown, and if a gratuity were offered to these men, they might be disbanded in a much shorter time than was contemplated by the Government. The Committee should remember that those 6,000 or 10,000 men—they never had the exact number—were not the only forces main tained in the South African colonies. They had there from 30,000 to 40,000 soldiers; and, therefore, the matter might be dealt with in a quicker and more satisfactory way. He thought he would be expressing the views of many hon. Gentlemen if he moved the reduction of the Vote by £100 on the two grounds he had mentioned; first because it was very unsatisfactory to take money for an ensuing year, and secondly because there had been extravagance. He begged to move the reduction of the Vote by £100.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum not exceeding £1,015,900 be granted for the said Service."—(Mr. Lough.)
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said he thought that the Postmaster General had put himself into a more serious situation than he had any notion of. He had stated the most amazing financial heresy of which any Minister could be capable. He who had been Secretary to the Treasury suggested that an unexpended balance should not be returned. The Comptroller and Auditor General, however, distinctly laid it down that such balances should be returned. Further, they did not know whether the money would be expended for the purpose for which it 1279 was intended or whether it would be spent for some other purpose; and at the same time they had the amazing, incredible and unprecedented avowal of the right hon. Gentleman that the money was to be expended, not in the course of the current year, but in the course of next year. The Votes of this House were always framed with a view to expenditure for the current year. That was the whole foundation of the financial system, and at the end of their financial year unexpended balances were surrendered and went into the Treasury in alleviation of the National Debt. He should not have expected from the right hon. Gentleman such an avowal.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said that under this Vote, if passed in this shape, there was no possibility of the Government getting back the unexpended balance which was obtained. What were they going to do with it? Was the House of Commons going to give a blank cheque to the Government to spend money in any way they desired? He could not understand the Government proposing this enormous vote without giving the Committee an opportunity to discuss it on the revised Estimates. Only a few months ago this Vote was asked for in the shape of £700,000; now it came before the Committee in the shape of £1,000,000. That in itself showed that these Estimates were a of the vaguest description, and an opportunity ought to be given to discuss them at least once a year. Yesterday, when a small Vote was being discussed, the Secretary to the Treasury by his remarks had almost compelled the view to be taken that when there was likely to be a surplus the Treasury rather suggested to the Departments that the Supplementary Estimates should be as large as possible in order that the charge should not be paid in this year. This Department had evidently said, "Very well, take our £300,000 and make it.£1,000,000." The right hon. Gentleman representing the Colonial Office had stated that grants-in-aid were of common occurrence, but he had subsequently stated more than once in the debate that this grant was not drawn to any particular colony at all; it was rather a grant to ourselves, and in our own service, and if that were so the 1280 same system of surrender ought to be adopted with regard to this Vote as to others.
§ SIR ROBERT MOWBRAY (Lambeth, Brixton)
said that, although it had been stated that no balance would be surrendered at the end of the year, he took it for granted that when the accounts were audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General, and it was found there was an unexpended balance it would be surrendered to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He could not contemplate for a moment such a thing as the Secretary to the Treasury or the Postmaster General refusing to surrender it. He had sat for many years on the Public Accounts Committee, and they did not like these grants at all. Now the Government were going a step further. He could not understand why the Postmaster Genera], as representing the Colonial Secretary, had not presented an estimate up to the end of the year.
§ SIR J. BLUNDELL MAPLE (Camberwell, Dulwich)
desired to have the matter made quite clear. What date did the Colonial authorities take for the expenditure of this money? These were grants-in-aid of local revenues, but was it not the fact that Cape Colony took over all liabilities such as this? With regard to horses and all accoutrements there was such an agreement, and to make a precedent in this case would be disastrous. It was a great pity the Government would not take the Vote back and properly estimate it. This was a part of the dreadful extravagance from which they had suffered during the war. To put a cool million down as a Supplementary Estimate in this way was a very serious matter, and he thought that they would be well advised if they withdrew this Vote and. brought it into the ordinary Estimates when it could be fully discussed.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that, although as was stated in the footnote to the Estimate, any unexpended balance of this grant-in-aid would not be surrendered at the end of the financial year, the expenditure would be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General 1281 and any balance found by him to be unexpended when the transaction was closed would be surrendered.
§ SIR R. REID
said he was glad to hear that when the, transaction was closed any unexpended balance would be surrendered, because, so far as he knew, there was no Act of Parliament by which that was required to be done, except at the end of the financial year. But even though, formally or informally, any such unexpended balance was to trickle back to the Treasury, the other matter to which reference had been made, remained. The right hon. Gentleman had said that it was common precedent in the case of grants-in-aid for the money to be granted for a coming year. Was there really any precedent for a transaction such as that now proposed? This was supposed to be a Supplementary Estimate "of the amount required in the year ending 31st March, 1903," but it extended not only past that date, but for an indefinite period beyond. He was not acquainted with the ways of the Treasury further than to know that they required to be constantly watched and controlled by the House of Commons, but if it was their practice to ask the House in a Supplementary Estimate of the amount required before the conclusion of the financial year, for money required not for the financial year at all, but for a subsequent year, and possibly two subsequent years, it was a very bad practice, contrary to the ancient usages of the House, and one of those dangerous innovations which ought to be checked at once. For his own part, he would have no hesitation in voting, not only for the Amendment, but against the whole Estimate, on the ground that it was an unconstitutional demand, and a violation of the fundamental principle on which Parliament voted money.
§ The Government was under an obligation in respect of 4,000 of these constabulary. The men were raised when they were not wanted for civil purposes, and now that the war was over the Government was under an obligation to pay them until they could be discharged. The natural way of doing that would be to put down an estimate of the cost of paying or compounding with these men up to 31st March of the present year, and then in the Estimates of next year to put down a sum for the year ending 31st March, 1904. That would have been the proper constitutional mode of procedure, but what were the Government asking? Not for a sum of money with which they would discharge Imperial obligations, but for £1,000.000 to hand over to the Government of the Transvaal, over which, once the money was handed out, neither the House nor the Government would have any control whatever. It was true that the right hon. Gentleman had said that at the close of the transaction, if any of the money remained unexpended—a most improbable contingency—by the free choice of the Transvaal Govemment the balance would be returned to the exchequer. Put Imperial obligations ought to be discharged through our own Government, who were responsible to, and controlled by, that House. He should certainly vote against the proposal to hand £1,000,000 to people over whom we had no control whatever, unless the Government agreed to withdraw the present Supplementary Estimate, and bring up one asking to be voted to them, and not to the Transvaal Government, the sum required for the current year, putting on next year's Estimates the amount required to discharge their obligations in that year.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Main Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 215; Noes, 148. (Division List No 11.)1283
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Forster, Henry William||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute|
|Aird Sir John||Galloway, William Johnson||Newdegate, Francis A. N.|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Gardner, Ernest||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Garfit, William||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans)||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Atkinson, Right Hon. John||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nrn)||Pease, H. Pike (Darlington)|
|Austin Sir John||Gordon, Maj Evans (Tr. Hmlts)||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy||Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby (Salop)||Percy, Earl|
|Bailey. James (Walworth)||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby- (Lanc||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gretton, John||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Baldwin Alfred||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Purvis, Robert|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Mannr||Groves, James Grimble||Pym, C. Guy|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hall. Edward Marshall||Randles, John S.|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Bignold, Arthur||Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld. G. (Midx||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Bigwood James||Hamilton. Marq. of (Londondy||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hanbury, Bt. Hn. Robt. Wm.||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Bond, Edward||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfd||Ritchie, Rt. Hon Chas. Thomson|
|Boscawen Arthur Griffith-||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Roberts, Samuel Sheffield)|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middx.)||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Brassey, Albert||Hatch, Ernest Frederick G.||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. Mr. John||Helder, Augustus||Rothschild, Hon. L. Walter|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Henderson, Sir Alexander||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Brown, Sir Alx. H. (Shropsh.)||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Bull, William James||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Campbell, Rt Hn J A (Glasg.)||Hogg, Lindsay||Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hope. J. F. (Sheff., B'tside)||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos Myles-|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Hoult, Joseph||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Cavendish, V C W (Derbysh.)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Saunderson, Rt. Hn Col. Edw. J.|
|Cayzer. Sir Charles William||Howard, J. (Midd., Tott'ham||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Seely, C. Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Johnstone, Heywood||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isleo Wight|
|Chambarlain, Rt. Hn. J A (Wore||Kimber, Henry||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Chapman, Edward||Knowles, Lees||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Charrington, Spencer||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Lawrence, Sir Jos. (Monm'th)||Smith, H. C. (North'mb, Tynside|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Lawson, John Grant||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks|
|Collings Right Hon. Jesse||Lee, A. H. (Hants. Fareham)||Spear, John Ward|
|Colston, Chas. Edw H. Athole||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Corbett. T. L. (Down, North)||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Cox. Irwin Edwd. Bainbridge||Lockie, John||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Craig, CharlesCurtis (Antrim, S||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Talbot, Rt. Hn J. G. (Oxj'd Unie)|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)||Long, Bt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Crossley. Sir Savile||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Thornton. Percy M.|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Lucas. Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Dairymple, Sir Charles||Lucas, Reg'ld J. (Portsmouth)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Davenport, William Bromley-||Lytlelton. Hon. Alfred||Vincent. Col. Sir C. E H (Sheffield|
|Denny Colonel||Macdona, John Gumming||Walrond, Rt. Hn Sir William H|
|Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tr. Haml'ts||Maconochie, A. W.||Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E. (Taunton|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||M'Arthur, C. (Liverpool)||Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts)|
|Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Jos. C.||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Dixon-Hartland. Sir F. Dixon||M'Killop, J. (Stirlingshire)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Dorington. Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Majendie, James A. H.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Wilson. John (Glasgow)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Meysey Thompson, Sir H. M.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Dyke. Bt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn E. R. (Bath)|
|Elliot. Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwvn Ed.||Milvain, Thomas||Wylie, Alexander|
|Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Man'r||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||More, B. Jasper (Shropshire)||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Morrell, George Herbert||TELLERS FOB THE AYES— Sir Alexander Acland—Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Flower, Ernest||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.)||Flynn, James Christopher||Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Partington, Oswald|
|Ambrose, Robert||Gilhooly, James||Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley|
|Atherley-Jones, L,||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Price. Robert John|
|Barry, E, (Cock, S.)||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Reddy, M.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir E. (Berwick||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries)|
|Bell, Richard||Hammond, John||Rigg, Richard|
|Blake, Edward||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Roberts, John Byyn (Eifion)|
|Boland, John||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Hayter, Rt Hon Sir Arthur D.||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Helme, Norval Watson||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hemphill. Kt. Hon. Chas. H.||Rose, Charles Day|
|Bryce, Right Hon. James||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristl, E||Runciman, Walter|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Holland, Sir William Henry||Russell, T. W.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Jacoby, James Alfred||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Burt, Thomas||Jones, David B. (Swansea)||Shackleton, David James|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Caldwell, James||Joyce, Michael||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Camelon. Robert||Kemp, Lieut.-Col. George||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Lambert, George||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Curvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Law, H. Alex. (Donegal, W.)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Cawley, Frederick||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Levy. Maurice||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen E)|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Lewis. John Herbert||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E)|
|Clean, Eugene||Lloyd-George, David||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Crombie, John William||Lundon, W.||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R)|
|Cullinan, J.||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A||Tomkinson, James|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Toulmin, George|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardign||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||M'Govern, T.||Vincent. Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Malcolm, Ian||Wallace, Robert|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Maple, Sir John Blundell||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Markham, Arthur Basil||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Doogan, P. C.||Murnaghan, George||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Murphy, John||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Duffy. William J.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Dunn, Sir William||O'Brien, James F. N. (Cork)||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)|
|Edwards Frank||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Emmott, Alfred||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||O'Connor, James (Wicklow W)||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk Mid)|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||O'Dowd, John|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Ffrench, Peter||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Lough and Mr. Churchill.|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||O'Mara, James|
|Flavin. Michael Joseph||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
Resolutions agreed to.