§ SIR A. HAYTER (Walsall)
asked on what Vote the Secretary for War would make his statement on Army Reform?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY (Sir A. ACLAND-HOOD,) Somersetshire, Wellington
said the statement of the Secretary of State for War to-morrow would be made on the War Office Vote, that being the desire, he understood, of hon. Members opposite. He hoped it would be possible to take Vote 8 afterwards, but he expected the discussion on the statement would occupy a considerable time.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling Burghs)
There are one or two points on that which I desire to put to the First Lord of the Treasury. Will the statement of the Secretary of State for War affect the question of the organisation of the War Office as well as the question of the organisation of the Army, which are two quite distinct matters? I have on many occasions, with the assent of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, requested that a delay should take place before the House is called upon either to pronounce its opinion or even 1493 to discuss the statement of the Secretary of State for War. The subject-matter of the statement must occupy a good deal of time, and I think it is only reasonable that there should be an opportunity for a full and well-informed discussion on the matter.
§ SIR A. HAYTER
As the Militia may be affected, could not that Vote be put down to enable a discussion on a later day.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I quite agree with the right hon. Gentleman that it would be unreasonable to ask the House to confine the discussion of the statement of my right hon. friend to to-morrow alone. A second opportunity must clearly be granted. I do not think it would be desirable that that second discussion should be taken under conditions which might restrict its area and limit the field with which the Secretary of State might have to deal tomorrow. I cannot answer the right hon. Gentleman's Question as to the exact ambit of my right hon. friend's statement. I do not know whether he will refer in detail to War Office re-organisation, though I think it is exceedingly probable that he will refer to it. I think, however, I ought not to make any statement on that matter in the absence of my right hon. friend.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Now observe. I am told that, under pains and penalties of all sorts, I must give an early opportunity for the discussion of the Colonial Vote, and now I am asked to give an early opportunity for the discussion of this matter. I will do my best, but I cannot do more.