§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £1,634,200, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Expense of Works, Buildings, and Repairs, at Home and Abroad, including the cost of Superintendence, Purchase of Sites, Grants in Aid, and other Charges connected therewith, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1905."
§ *THE CIVIL LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. ARTHUR LEE,) Hampshire, Fareham
understood it would be a convenience to the Committee if he made a brief explanatory statement in reference to this Vote and with regard to navel works generally. It had been the recent practice, in years when Naval Works Bills were not introduced, to allow on Vote 10 a discussion of the large Loan works sanctioned by Bills of previous years. The apparent increase in the Vote was £132,000, but there was really no effective increase as regards new works, the difference of £132,000 being entirely attributable to annuities which had become due for the repayment of loans 87 advanced under previous Naval Works Bills. The effective works portion of the Vote remained the same as last year, viz., £1,000,000. Logically speaking, there should be an increase in the effective portion of the Vote, because it was really the handmaid of the other Naval Votes, providing or maintaining works made necessary by the policy expressed in these Votes. A very small portion, indeed—only £90,600—of the Vote this year represented works for which Parliamentary sanction was now asked for the first time. The great bulk was for fixed charges and continuation services which were rapidly and inevitably growing. Last year they absorbed £820,000, and this year £900,000, out of the £1,000,000 available, and it was almost inevitable that next year they would absorb the whole of the £1,000,000, at present allotted to the effective portion of the Vote, so that there would be no balance remaining for the commencement of any new works which might be considered necessary. It would be obvious to the Committee that these maintenance charges and continuation services and also the total of the Vote must necessarily steadily increase, because every year the amount to be repaid under previous Naval Works Loans Acts steadily increased. But the Committee would probably be chiefly interested in the new items. The sum to be spent under this head, as he had already said, was only £90 600, and, speaking generally, in the allocation of the money the educational services of the Fleet had been first considered. The policy of the Admiralty was to push on the new items as rapidly as possible, and, where it could be done, to finish all comparatively small items within the current year. I hat was an economical system based on the principle of paying as they went, and it tended to reduce the amount for continuation services in succeeding years. Within the last few days the Admiralty had been charged on many occasions with extravagance, but he could claim that there was no Vote in regard to which more rigid economy was exercised than the Vote now under discussion. The Committee would perhaps be surprised at the small proportion which the number of services 88 for which Parliamentary sanction was now asked bore to the number of services put forward by the responsible naval authorities in different parts of the world. The number of demands put forward for the present Estimates were 593, of which 312 were backed by the responsible heads of Departments as being necessary. The number now submitted to the House was only 163, of which only twenty-four were actually works of magnitudenvolving an expenditure of more than £2,000. He would not trouble the Committee by detailing the new works, for they were set out in the Estimates, and he would only say that he was anxious to give the fullest possible information about any of those works, whether on Vole 10 or being constructed under the Loans Act for previous years.
With regard to the Loan works under construction, hon. Gentlemen had asked what was the financial position of the Loan works at the present time. He would summarise his answer. The actual expenditure that had already been paid out on these works to the beginning of this year was £16,300,000. In addition to that they had actually incurred liabilities in the way of contracts to the extent of some £7,000,000 more. That left about £8,250,000, already sanctioned under previous Works Act, sstill intact. The expenditure for 1903–4 on these Naval Works was £3,500,000, and it was estimated that it would be slightly more during 1904–5.
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
said that amount would complete the sum of money already sanctioned by Parliament under previous Works Bills. In the Bill of last year there were three items put down as token sums because it was not possible to estimate the expenditure on those works. There might have to be a Works Bill next year to provide the money for those works.
§ MR. O'MARA
asked if the hon. Member had any idea what the liabilities of the 89 country were in regard to works already undertaken?
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
said it was impossible to give an estimate of the cost of works of magnitude, the extent of which had not yet been decided.
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
replied that that was not possible. This great expenditure had become necessary, not merely on account of the increase in the Fleet, but on account of the starving of Vote 10 in previous years. As regarded the works under construction, he would merely say that generally they were progressing very favourably, with the exception of the dockyard extensions at Malta and Bermuda. In his opinion there was no expenditure which was really more effective and more vital to the efficiency of the Fleet than this expenditure. Works of this kind did not become obsolete very quickly, and were not so liable to destruction in time of war, at least not in the same sense as the ships which were so cheerfully voted for the Navy. Under this Vote the country had permanent value for the money, which was not possible in the building of ships. He would cite as an example the new battleships of the "King Edward VII." type, which in twenty years would probably be sold as scrap-iron, whereas, works of this kind in twenty years time would be in the heyday of their youth, and for many years after that time would remain of permanent value to the country. The lessons of the present war in the Far East showed that the unfortunate position in which the Russian fleet found itself at the present time was due not so much to any lack of fighting power, as to the lack of adequate facilities for repairing and for the sheltering of the fleet from torpedo attacks. That, he thought, was a justification for this vast expenditure, and one which he hoped would commend itself to the Committee. In conclusion he thought he might claim that although the secret of their sea-power primarily depended upon our fighting Fleet, it also depended in no small degree upon the bricks and mortar 90 for which he was now asking the Committee to vote these vast sums.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON (Dundee)
said he was sure the Committee was well pleased with the first performance of the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Member, however, had not mentioned the administrative reason, which was that it was necessary to have Treasury authority for new works of magnitude, and it had always been the practice to take Vote 10 early in the year. The hon. Gentleman spoke of the progress under the Naval Works Acts, and he seemed to indicate that this would be the only opportunity they should have of considering it. The question, however, might have to be raised at another time, but he wished to recall the fact that in years in which there was no Naval Works Act they had always held themselves entitled, on the Admiralty Vote and on the Vote for the salary of the First Lord or the Secretary to the Admiralty, to raise any question in regard to naval works. Consequently he preferred to postpone his criticisms to that period. By that time they would have the annual report of progress made under those Acts, which was published some time in July, and then they might proceed to deal with the various items in the Naval Works Acts. Ho was glad to see the hon. Member for Exeter in his place, because he had been able to give them some very valuable financial criticism on the Navy Estimates in general. The Civil Lord had said that Vote 10 was the handmaid of the other Votes, and he had compared and justified the large amount by the fact tint it was starved in other years. To a certain extent that was true. The Works Vote in former days was not the handmaid, but it was the Cinderella of the Navy Vote, and it was snubbed and robbed. That was in the days before Civil Lords were efficient Ministers. It was no doubt starved and plundered, and in the days before the I Naval Works Acts it had reached dangerously small figures. What he wished to point out to the hon. Member for Exeter was that the increase in the general Estimates about which they had raised such a clamour, was nothing compared to the increase in this special Vote. He admitted that the figures were too low before the Naval Works Acts were passed, and it was because they were too low 91 that those Acts were introduced. There was one fundamental fact which would illustrate what he meant. For years before 1895, the time of the first Naval Works Act, he thought they would find that Vote 10, for works, amounted to about £400,000 or £500,000. What was the expenditure on naval works this year? He deducted from the Estimate they were now discussing the whole amount of the annuities, and, deducting them, the net Vote was £1,000,000. What would be the net expenditure under the remaining portions of the Naval Works Acts. Nominally, it would not be more than £3,500,000. The hon. Gentleman spoke of the balance of the £8,500,000 sanctioned last year. They were spending £3,500,000 this year, and there was a balance of £5,000.000 in the hands of the Admiralty to be spent on the previous Acts. If they put those sums together they would see that upon bricks and mortar the Admiralty was empowered to spend in the coming financial year the sum of £6,000,000 sterling. That was a great increase compared with the increase in new construction. When the total Navy Estimates amounted to about £14,000,000, we spent only about one twenty-eighth of the whole on works; now, when the total was £42,000,000, we spent nearly a third on works. These were facts well worthy of consideration. The mere amount of the expenditure alone was so startling that it deserved the serious attention of the Committee.
Probably the Civil Lord did not know that a good deal of the expenditure under the Acts of previous years never received the sanction of the House at all, because it was one of the achievements of the representatives of the Admiralty in former days, that, after allowing discussion on works already sanctioned, they closured the House when considering new works. The hon. Gentleman had justified, in general terms, the policy of these Acts. He was not disposed to attack the policy, but he would point out that it had received an enormous development since it passed away from their hands; and that they were no longer responsible for what was now done under Naval Works Acts. He thought the hon. Gentleman drew the correct inference 92 from the events going on in another part of the world. What they were reading about proved the wisdom of the policy of building enclosed harbours fortified against torpedo attack. But that justified his argument that, when considering this two-Power standard, we were not to count battleships or men or money alone. These very naval works constituted part of our superiority, and ought to enter into any comparison of our naval strength and that of other countries. In view, therefore, of their works policy, what was the Government's standard? How would they estimate our relative superiority over any other country or over all others put together, considering that docks, defended ports, and coaling stations, were all items into which this expenditure entered? Such a comparison between ourselves and other Powers would be interesting. These great docks, harbours, and coaling stations were just as necessary to battleships as any part of their equipment. In any comparison between our Navy and other Navies that must be counted. He was sorry he had not all the materials wherewith to make a comparison, but he would be very much astonished if it did not I turn out that in this respect the British Navy was beyond all approach from any other Power. They had had a definite pledge from the Government that the items in the Bill formerly before the House, and now an Act, were final. It now seemed that they were not final, but he hoped the Government would be able to renew that pledge before the debate closed. They could not discuss the new works until they had a full estimate of the expenditure under the new Works Act, and he therefore hoped that hon. Members would not overdo the discussion on the subject at this stage. What they desired to do was to raise a general discussion on the whole expenditure. It would be noted that a very large amount of the expenditure under Vote 10 was to be administered abroad. These docks, ports, and coaling stations were necessarily scattered all over the world. He should like to know what portion of the expenditure belonged to Great Britain and what belonged to other parts of the Empire. Hon. Gentleman from Ireland had called attention to the smallness of the colonial contribution. He thought it was not too much to expect that where land was 93 wanted in a self-governing colony for the purposes of the Navy or any other service, a free grant should be made by the colony to the British Exchequer. How much did the Colonies contribute to the Navy, and how much did this country spend in the Colonies? He should like all those critics who had been shocked by the rise in the Navy Estimates to devote some of their criticisms to this abnormal rise for naval works.
§ *SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)
said it was time that the House and the country should have from the Government an authoritative statement and accurate account of this colonial naval expenditure; and he asked his hon. friend to give his attention to this matter, as on broad grounds it was desirable to have the information. They had all listened to the hon. Gentleman's statement with great pleasure. He was brief, to the point, and lucid. The hon. Gentleman had pointed to events in the Far East, and the argument he intended the Committee to understand was, how much better off the Russian Fleet would have been at this moment if they had had more docks at Port Arthur. That was only true to a very limited extent; because while it was most desirable that at these distant stations we should have docks, on the other hand there was a danger of our being too profuse in the expenditure of our money on docks. How many docks did the hon. Gentleman think would have altered the position at Port Arthur? There were nine ships. If one ship occupied a dock the other eight must wait. You could not provide a dock at every station for every ship you had got there. He mentioned that in view of another Naval Works Bill next year; and he hoped the Admiralty would be very cautious in proposing any further extensions of the number of existing docks—he did not say in increasing the dimensions of the existing docks. His own opinion was that if at Port Arthur the Russians had had a couple of reserve ships their position would have been a great deal better than if they had had docks. He would like to ask if the hon. Gentleman was in possession of any information of considerable damage 94 having been done by a gale to the preparations of the breakwater at Malta? If his information was correct, the damage caused by the gale would materially delay the construction of the work. Under Sub-head NN. there was a charge of £3,700 for pay of seamen and Marines employed on works abroad. He would like some details as to why there was this charge, and why it was only made for one particular station—Bermuda. What advantage was there in employing seamen and Marines on works on shore at that place? When all the men were receiving a good deal of skilled training in mechanics, he looked forward to a policy which would take the older seamen and Marines out of active service if they could be usefully employed at the bases on different foreign stations where we had means of repairing. He thought this sum of £3,700 for extra pay was one rather of tradition. What he wanted to know was whether, compared with other stations, where only civil workmen were employed it was more economic to employ seamen and Marines at this station. If it was not, why was the system retained at Bermuda; and if it was, why was the system not applied elsewhere?
§ MR. BUCHANAN (Perthshire, E.)
said he wished to make a few observations of a general character on this Vote, particularly on the expenditure under the Naval Works Acts. He did not entirely agree with the hon. Member for Dundee, who was rather in favour of postponing the discussion on the progress of the naval works, to give time to the Secretary to the Admiralty to submit more information to the Committee. He was disposed to think that, considering the possible changes and chances of Parliament were never greater than at present, they should avail themselves of the opportunity now offered to discuss this important subject. On the general question of expenditure upon naval works, as it appeared before the Committee in the present year, he should like to emphasise what had been said—and not strongly enough—by his hon. friend regarding the enormous expenditure this country was making in this one particular department. The Secretary to 95 the Admiralty, in answer to the hon. Member for Exeter, acknowledged that the estimated amount to be spent in the ensuing year on naval works was £5,000,000. There was to be added to that the effective part of this Vote, £1,000,000, or £6,000,000 in all. So far as relative proportions were concerned, that was the greatest of all the increases in the Estimates on naval expenditure. What he would like to call the attention of the Committee to was, that as soon as we introduced a system of expenditure out of loan money for the purpose of naval works, Vote 10, instead of decreasing, went up by leaps and bounds; so that the greater the facility given to the Government for spending money out of borrowed capital, the greater was the increase in the amount of the annual Estimates. Between 1890–1 and 1894–5 the average amount of Vote 10 for naval works was between £400,000 and £450,000. When the Naval Works Bill was first introduced up went the expenditure to £650,000; in 1899 it was £800,000, in the following year £850,000, and now it had reached £1,000,000, while in future years it would considerably exceed £1,000,000, as was admitted by the hon. Gentleman himself.
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
said that what he had stated was that the Vote would have to be increased because there was no money available for new works.
§ MR. BUCHANAN
said that the hon. Gentleman admitted that there would be no margin for new works, and therefore he was justified in concluding that there would be, in all probability, an increased Vote next year. His hon. friend the Member for Dundee referred to this point when he was comparing our expenditure with that of other countries. He was under the mark when he said that our naval works expenditure was more than equal to that of two or three other Powers. It was more than that of all the other naval Powers in the world. In Lord Brassey's Navy Annual it was stated that before the Naval Works Act was passed we spent £3,500,000. Russia spent nearly £1,000,000; France and Germany combined, between £700,000 and £800,000; so that we spent nearly double the amount spent by the whole of these 96 great Powers. Of course, he recognised that the necessities of our widely extended Empire were enormously greater in this respect than the exigencies of any other Power. Still there could be no doubt that this was one of the most rapidly increasing Votes in the whole purview of the Committee's survey of naval affairs. This method caused confusion in the accounts, and also difficulty in following the course of the policy of the Government with regard to naval works. Since the practice of annual or semi-annual Bills was introduced they were constantly finding that similar works were at one time placed on the Naval Works Acts and at another time on the Votes; and it was almost impossible to ascertain what the gross expenditure was. In the Naval Works Bill of last year there was an item of over £1,250,000 for dredging purposes. In the Vote before the Committee there was a considerable number of items for the same purpose. It was possible that money for dredging was now being asked for in connection with the identical ports for which money had been already voted in the Naval Works Act.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. PRETYMAN,) Suffolk, Woodbridge
said, as he told the hon. Gentleman last year, the maintenance of dredging was paid for out of the Votes, but new dredging was paid for by loan. New dredging was in connection with schemes which did not previously exist.
§ MR. BUCHANAN
said how could a distinction be drawn between Loan money spent in Wei-hai-Wei, and the money out of the Votes that was to be spent on it? Last year, on the Naval Works Bill, he drew attention to the fact that no such distinction was drawn or could be drawn. The answer of the hon. Gentleman then was that the general lines on which the Admiralty proceeded was that large works which might be looked upon as of a permanent character were paid for by loan and that temporary works were paid for out of the Estimates. Then, again, borrowed money was expended for the provision of coaling facilities; but money was also being asked for that purpose on the Votes, and there was nothing on the face of the Estimates to show any distinction between the two. Some distinction 97 ought to be shown; and he was led to make that observation because a change had been introduced into the Naval Works Bills of the last two years. In the Act for which his hon. friend the Member for Dundee was responsible there was a schedule stating the specific works which were to be constructed and their estimated cost. In recent Bills, however, a large sum was asked for for general purposes such as dredging and the provision of coaling facilities, and items were inserted for which no estimate was given. He thought that the Admiralty might give information to the Committee with reference to the three large items on last year's Bill. Last year the Admiralty promised to state the total sum that would be spent on coaling stations. The Committee should also be told what was the estimated cost of the new dockyard on the Forth and what was the progress of the surveys there. As regarded the confusion caused by charging certain sums on the Estimates and other sums on the Naval Works Act, he would like to ask the Civil Lord of the Admiralty a question with regard to Coastguard stations and the barracks for the Royal Naval Reserve. In the Naval Estimates last year there were twenty-one items, for nine of which money was voted. Nearly all of the others had disappeared; and so far as he could make out they could not have been completed unless the Admiralty had completed them with savings from other sub-heads. He should like to know what became of the items. He had a suspicion that they had been swept off the Estimates and put into the naval works expenditure because, in the Act of last year, the Admiralty obtained unlimited credit for the purposes of Coastguard stations and barracks for the Royal Naval Reserve. The same criticism applied to the next item, in which there was a very large decrease as compared with previous years. Such trifling, works should be paid for out of the Estimates year by year, and the expenditure on them should not be spread over a period of thirty years. That was an extravagant form of finance and ought not to commend itself to the House. The Civil Lord of the Admiralty said that they were exercising rigid economy in regard to this Vote. He himself was very glad to hear it, because this was a branch of the service in regard to which 98 economy had not been practised in recent years. The hon. Gentleman said that there had been 593 applications for extra expenditure, 312 of which were backed up by the responsible naval authorities, but only 163 of which were approved. Were the Committee to understand that this economy was due to the Admiralty or to the Treasury. Was it the Treasury that had put the curb on extra naval expenditure? If so, they ought to be thankful to that Department. It would be a great danger to the taxpayers of this country if the control of the purse were handed over to the great spending Departments. Essentially what was wanted for the protection of the taxpayer, and with a view to economy, was some controlling Department which would hold a tight hand over the demands of the naval and military authorities.
§ *SIR EDGAR VINCENT (Exeter)
said he was in general agreement with what had been said by the hon. Member for Dundee and also by the hon. Member who had just spoken. The Vote had been called a "handmaid" Vote and a "Cinderella" Vote; but he was inclined to call it a sham Vote. As a matter of fact, it did not represent in the least the total expenditure of the year. The Committee were apparently voting £1,136,000, but the real amount that would be spent would be something like £6,000,000. His criticism applied both to the fact and to the form. It appeared to him that the total expenditure which it was proposed to incur during the year ought to be clearly shown on the Estimates. That was an alteration which could be easily accepted by the hon. Gentlemen representing the Admiralty. The Committee ought to have a full statement of the cost of all the works to be undertaken. Of late, whilst important reforms had been carried through, and whilst he was the first to recognise the practical vigour of the Admiralty, he had noticed there was a very prevalent idea in the service that it was much easier to get money now than formerly. Consequently many demands of not very urgent importance, were now put forward. If that idea could be dispelled he believed great economies could be effected. His objections to the 99 present form of the Estimates, and particularly with regard to the larger portion of the money to be expended, were of a varied character. The system had one very considerable financial defect, inasmuch as it entirely deceived the House and the country. Any one looking at the Estimates would imagine that all that was to be expended was £1,600,000, whereas in reality the amount to be expended was £6,000,000. Another effect was the hypothecation of future Naval Estimates to meet present needs. He was convinced that the expenditure in the future would not be reduced on account of present borrowing, and the fact that a large sum was owing would be made an argument and used as a lever to increase still further the Estimates of the future. He further complained of the plan of drawing from the control of the House large amounts of important expenditure. It was an admitted principle of sound finance that every service must be reviewed at one time, and it was a most absurd practice to deal now with one item of £1,600,000 and with another item of precisely similar character at another time. Both these proposals ought to be reviewed at the same time, and accepted or refused together. The truth was that the Naval Works Bill had become a grave financial scandal, and a grave danger. This Committee could not put its foot down too soon on this particular point, and say that the whole financial expenditure of the year must be discussed in one budget. At the present moment the budget represented only a proportion of the expenditure, and he hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer when making his financial statement would consider the advisability of including the expenditure under the Works Bills, so that the House might know where it was. The Admiralty had taken a very wise step in that direction, inasmuch as they had set forth in a recent Return the total expenditure of the year under both the Estimates and the Naval Works Bill. That was a practice he desired to see imitated by the Military and all other Departments which obtained funds under similar powers. Another point which was really only the corollary of what he had said was that in his judgment Article 2, "Annuities and payment 100 of advances under the Naval Works Acts," would under a sound system of finance not be on the Admiralty Vote at all. It was a very dangerous plan to have a National Debt, and outside the Debt to have individual Departments each having a little private debt of its own. Such a plan must lead to exaggerated expenditure, exaggerated borrowing, and concealed our latent debt. He criticised the present Vote on the ground that it did not put the true state of affairs before the Committee, and that the plan adopted, if persisted in, would seriously hamper and cripple the Navy in future years.
§ MR. O'MARA
said he had always thought it much easier to obtain information from the Admiralty than the War Office, and, with regard to the Vote they were now discussing, he tendered his thanks to the Civil Lord for the publication of the Estimates. He complained that these Works Bills practically gave a blank cheque to the Government, for the reason that the items contained in them could not always be adequately discussed owing to time not always being given by the Government. He further complained that no guarantee had been given that the sums now asked for would be the final amounts required. The Committee laboured under the difficulty that details were not given and they were unable to discuss them. As regarded repayments, he noticed that they were spread over a long period of years. Doubtless many of the works would be in good condition in twenty years' time, but, on the other hand, many would be quite out of date. The burden of such works as dredging ought surely not to be placed on the shoulders of posterity; they should be paid for out of current revenue. Loans Bills encouraged extravagance and were altogether wrong in principle. Some of the works were estimated to occupy ten years or more in construction, so that, if the fixed charges increased at the same rate during that period as within recent years, there would be fixed charges amounting to nearly £3,000,000. That was an altogether too heavy permanent charge to hand on. The whole system of finance adopted in these Bills was as bad as it could be. It absolutely deceived the public, because in the present year they imagined the total expenditure on the Navy to be £36,800,000, 101 whereas it really amounted to £42,000,000. As to Wei-hai-Wei he understood it had been abandoned as entirely unsuitable for a dockyard.
§ *ME. ARTHUR LEE
pointed out that Wei-hai-Wei had not been abandoned for naval purposes, but merely as a fortified port.
§ MR. O'MARA
said that as he was not an expert he would pass from that point. Large expenditure was to be incurred in connection with different ports in the Colonies. If Great Britain was to continue spending enormous sums on the ports of the Colonies, not for the benefit of this country, but purely for the benefit of the Colonies, was it not only fair that the Colonies should contribute adequately towards the cost? Why should this country bear the whole cost of fortifying the Colonies and protecting them against all possible invasion? The case of Canada was the worst of all, as the colony did not subscribe a single penny towards the upkeep of the Navy. Not only did we keep two regiments of soldiers at Halifax, but we were going to build a dockyard. It might be said it was for the North Atlantic Fleet, but what was the North Atlantic Fleet for but to protect the trade of Canada? £42,000 was to be spent at Sydney, and so the thing went on. Every time these matters came forward he was determined to protest as strongly as he could against this scandalous waste of British taxpayers' money for the benefit of the Colonies and their trade. The least the Colonies ought to do was to contribute to the Empire an amount equivalent to the actual cost of the local defence. The present contribution was so small as to be altogether negligable in considering the accounts. It was true that Natal made a small contribution of £50,000, but that was not enough to cover the expense they put us to. He trusted that, as a result of the representations he had made, that the imperial Defence Committee would take into consideration the question of colonial contributions and request the Colonies to increase them to a sum at least adequate to defray the expenses of their own defence.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
said it was only in recent years that the Admiralty had diverted its attention from the building of ships to bricks and mortar. In almost every case where the Admiralty had undertaken large works the expenditure had been grossly mistaken, and more mischievous than otherwise. Everything that caused their ships and crews to rely for protection upon bricks and mortar was a mistake. This was a Vote for £1,634,000 and it really represented no less than £31,000,000, which was the total amount of the loans during the last few years, and £600,000 of this amount represented the annuity that went to the extinction of the principal sum of those loans. The whole work in connection with loans was, therefore, in question in that £600,000, but in spite of that fact they had no details whatever as to the expenditure. A sound system of finance required that they should estimate their expenditure. Under the present system they took a lump sum of £31,000,000 and Parliament had no annual control over it. The Admiralty spent, what it pleased and in no year did Parliament receive any details of the expenditure. The Secretary to the Admiralty had stated that they did not know how much they were going to spend and that was precisely his objection to the system. The result was that they were debating an expenditure of which they knew nothing, and which was to be applied to purposes of which they had no account whatever, That was a contradiction of the whole theory of finance in this country, and that constituted his objection to the loan works system. In the old days there was a Works Department, but this had now grown to such an extent that it overshadowed the Admiralty itself. It was this monstrous new Works Department which overshadowed everything else, and instead of having one Department of the Admiralty employed with this bricks and mortar business they now had two Departments. He hoped the First Lord of the Admiralty would consider the advisability of fusing those two Departments. He had no confidence in the Loans Department as a Department for conducting works, and he could give numerous instances of the way in which it had failed to discharge its 103 duties efficiently, and therefore he hoped that some improvement would be made in this direction. He trusted that the very next time the Naval Works Bill was brought before the House hon. Members would refuse to assent to it until the Admiralty brought in the amount they wanted to spend year by year. These amounts should be submitted to the House in a way which enabled the Committee to deal with them, and the present abuse was a system which would have to be looked into very soon.
There was an item for accommodation of naval cadets at Osborne. The sum in 1904–5 was £54,550, and the total estimate for the work was £160,000. That was for buildings at Osborne. The other day they were told that other naval buildings at Osborne, for naval convalescents, could not be charged on the Naval Vote, and that it was necessary to charge them on the Vote for Royal Palaces, and the only compromise offered to them was that in future it should be made a separate Vote. If it was possible to put money in that Vote for the accommodation of naval cadets it could not be impossible to put in the same Vote the cost of new buildings for naval convalescents. The question he wished to ask was if it was not possible to put the Vote for naval convalescents into this Works Vote, how was it possible to put the Vote for cadets in I With regard to Hong-Kong it was an absolute fact that the most tremendous mistake had been made in the erection of a huge dock at Hong-Kong. Ho believed it had been found necessary to put a portion of the stores on the inland. The result was that the necessary stores were divorced from the dockyard. He had also been informed that the greatest difficulty was to be found in the construction of the docks, and that the nature of the ground upon which the foundation rested was such that the greatest difficulty had been experienced, and it was the opinion of naval officers and others that an enormous mistake had been made in putting the docks where they were, because they were in the wrong place, and the Admiralty had resisted every suggestion to put them in the right place. As to Gibraltar he would say very little. The two reports which had been issued in regard to Gibraltar 104 proved that he was right and the Admiralty were wrong. The only effect of those reports had been to expend more money upon high-angle guns. Dover was another tremendous mistake on the part of the Admiralty, for no battleship in modern days ought to be anywhere near Dover unless it was passing at full speed. Ships at Dover would be exposed to bombardment and torpedo boats, and one of the greatest mistakes ever made by the Admiralty was the construction of this enormous harbour at Dover. It was most unfortunate that all these millions were being plunged into the water at Dover. As to Wei-hai-Wei, he really did not know what to say about that interesting "watering-place." It was said some time ago that it was acquired as a reply to the Russian possession of Port Arthur. He did not know how its adequacy in that respect appeared in the light of recent events. There was a good deal of money being spent at Wei-hai-Wei on hospitals and canteens. He did not know for what purpose that port was being used. Certainly if it was a coaling station it did not require a hospital or a canteen. But that was the principal justification as far as he understood nowadays, of that most unfortunate adventure. If any other justification could be adduced for the retention of Wei-hai-Wei, perhaps the Committee would be told what it was. He hoped the Committee would appreciate the great danger there was in the extension of naval works, and more especially the danger of sanctioning year by year payments and annuities for enormous loans of which they had no details.
§ MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)
called attention to the reference on page 22 of the Statement by the First Lord of the Admiralty in regard to Keyham Dockyard extension. It was stated in regard to the "closed basin" that about 1,370,000 cubic yards of mud had been removed, and, in regard to the "tidal basin," that the enclosing walls were well in hand, and about 7,000 cubic yards of mud had been removed. These statements seemed to indicate that there were yet considerable contracts to be let in connection with the granite for the stonework along the sides of the docks. 105 He asked the Civil Lord whether he could give an approximate idea of the extent of these contracts. When the present Deputy Master of the Mint was Civil Lord of the Admiralty, some years back, attention was drawn to the fact that the contractor for the granite-work of the docks at Devonport was having the whole of the granite wrought in the North of Europe—he thought it was in Norway—and imported. The then Civil Lord refused to interfere, stating that it was no part of the Government system to interfere with work done abroad which was imported into the country. He was able to demonstrate to the officials at the time that the granite of Cornwall and Devonshire was as good as the Norwegian stone. In the opinion of an expert to whom he submitted specimens the English stone was better than that of Norway. From its composition it was calculated to last a longer time. What he wanted to know from the Civil Lord was whether there were large contracts yet to be let for granite-work, and, if so, whether he would see that conditions were laid down in the contracts that the stone would be wrought in this country. He made no complaint about the work being done cheaper. As a matter of fact he believed that in Norway wages were little more than half what they were in this country. If the taxpayers of this country were obtaining any share of the advantage of the cheapness it would be a different matter, but he understood that the contractor himself got the advantage. As a matter of fact the contractor sub-let the granite-work to people who could do it much cheaper than it could be done in this country. There ought to be no approach to sub-letting in dockyard work. It was important that the work should be done as accurately as possible in order to prevent the ingress of water, which in course of time might weaken and force out the walls. He was not going to say that Norway could not produce as good masons as Cornwall and Devonshire, but he would point out that in the sub-letting of this class of work there was the greatest danger of scamping. He expressed the hope that the Admiralty would exercise vigilant supervision over the works at Keyham Dockyard. If they would exercise the same 106 supervision there which the Liverpool authorities had always done when building docks, he believed the country would get better value for the money expended than they probably got under this system of sub-contracting. The quarries in Cornwall were close to the waterside, and granite could be conveyed thence by boat to Devonport harbour. There would in that case be no difficulty in regard to land carriage such as there might be in the case of granite from Devonshire. He appealed to the hon. Gentleman to have this matter thoroughly gone into, and stated that he would be very glad to see him on the subject if he would do him the honour to discuss it with him.
§ MR. ARTHUR LEE
said he fully recognised the special knowledge of the hon. Member for Leicester on this subject. The suggestion he had made in regard ^to contracts was worthy of the consideration of the Admiralty. So far as he was concerned he would only be too glad if the hon. Member would give them his advice on matters of this kind. In regard to the Keyham contract the question raised by the hon. Member was fully considered by the Admiralty at the time. It had been, and was, the policy of the Admiralty to have home materials used as far as possible, consistently with economy, in the construction of naval works. In the case of the Keyham contract an immense amount of granite was needed at the time, and the contractor was given permission to get the stone where he could, so long as it was up to a certain standard of excellence. As a matter of fact the amount of granite which was required could not be obtained at home in proper time. The hon. Member for King's Lynn had, in his criticism, tried to make him responsible not only for the policy of loans for naval works, approved by Parliament at various times since 1895, but also for many matters of policy assented to in previous years with regard to the construction of dockyards, and so forth. He was afraid that after his brief stay at the Admiralty he could nor accept the whole responsibility for all that had been done by his predecessors as regarded the specific points raised. Then he thought that the hon. Gentleman advanced rather a wide proposition 107 when he said that works like those at Gibraltar, instead of adding to the efficiency of the Fleet, rather deteriorated it; that they encouraged naval officers to rely too much on docks and breakwaters, and destroyed some of that spirit of naval daring which distinguished the British Navy of old. He could not think that there was any justification for the suggestion that the spirit of the British Navy had deteriorated as the result of naval works. It might as well be said that the introduction of armour-plates or any other protection on board ship had deteriorated the spirit of the Navy. Then his hon. friend found great fault with the Admiralty because they did not foresee with exactitude the expenditure that was to ensue on naval works. He would point out that it was impossible to estimate exactly what the expenditure on a particular work would be in any given year. He would give a concrete example. At Malta there were large works for the extension of the dockyard and the creation of breakwaters to make the harbour safe from probable attack. Only the other day a severe storm arose which destroyed the whole of the preliminary works by means of which these breakwaters were to be built. The result was that their progress would be delayed several months, and there would be a shortage of expenditure for the year.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said he did not think he could have explained his point accurately to the hon. Gentleman. His complaint was that there were items on the Estimates for works, the expenditure on which was to be charged within the financial year, but in respect of expenditure on loan works there was no estimate.
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
said that an estimate had been made last year when the Naval Works Bill was introduced. What should be expended this year was the surplus remaining over after the expenditure of the past year. It was impossible to foresee what the expenditure would be all over the world two years in advance. The Admiralty merely took what they believed would be a reasonable expenditure from the amount granted by Parliament as a maximum. His hon. friend had made a violent attack on the Works 108 Department of the Admiralty and on the Loans Works Department. That attack was unjust, because he thought that both these Departments were conducted in a most efficient and economic manner by their respective chiefs. He said this from his own knowledge, and he strongly resented any attack on these officials on the ground that they were not acting for the efficiency and economy of the public service. His hon. friend suggested that these two Departments should be fused into one, and with that he entirely agreed. His hon. friend had also touched on the subject of Osborne, and particularly on the accommodation for the naval and military convalescent officers. That question had already been discussed on Civil Service Estimates, and as it had nothing to do with the Admiralty it was not his business to reply on it.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
asked if he was to understand the hon. Member to say that convalescent naval officers had nothing to do with the Admiralty.
§ MR. ARTHUR LEE
said that all he meant was that the accommodation for convalescents at Osborne House did not come on the Admiralty Votes whilst the accommodation provided for the naval cadets at Osborne College had, however, to be paid for by the Admiralty. His hon. friend had referred to Hong-Kong, a place with which he himself was somewhat familiar. The hon. Gentleman laid down the proposition that the dockyard there was on the wrong site, and that the naval experts had united to condemn it. Well, of course, his hon. friend might have access to naval opinion which was not open to the Admiralty; but the professional naval advisers of the Admiralty, including the commander-in-chief on the China Station, unanimously approved of the site; in fact, it was selected on their representation, and he personally had no doubt whatever that the dockyard was in the light place. There were stories about that certain private persons who wanted the d ckyard built elsewhere, spread rumours that there were difficulties in constructing the dockyard on the present site, but these difficulties had not been found. As to Gibraltar, he must say that, anticipating his hon. friend's criticism 109 on the point, he had taken the precaution of visiting Gibraltar. His hon. friend said that the only result of all his labours in connection with Gibraltar had been the introduction of a few high-angle guns. He had great pleasure in giving his hon. friend the information that a new high-angle gun had been designed for that fortress, and there rumours from other sources that his hon. friend was taking very generous and and kindly interest in that particular gun, and the result would doubtless be an improvement in the shooting. He wished to thank the hon. Member for Dundee and other hon. Gentlemen for the very kind references made to himself on taking office. In the course of his previous remarks he ventured to state that Vote 10 had been starved in previous years; and he was thankful to the hon. Member for Dundee for having used stronger language—that this Vote had been snubbed and robbed. That accounted to a large extent for the necessity of expenditure for loans on naval works. The hon. Member had returned again to the question of the two-Power standard debated at such great length during the previous three days, and asked how far was it possible to compare our expenditure on naval works with foreign expenditure on ships.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
said that what he wanted was a comparison between the expenditure on naval works by this country and the corresponding expenditure on naval works by other nations.
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
said ho must have misunderstood the hon. Gentleman. He thought the hon. Gentleman was making a comparison between our expenditure on naval works and the expenditure of foreign nations on ships. No comparison on the lines suggested by the hon. Gentleman was possible, because our needs for naval works were not comparable to those of foreign nations. But these foreign nations had found that ships were only a portion of their naval expenditure, and that they would have to expend large sums on dockyards and other naval works, in order to keep their ships in condition. He, however, contended that the requirements of the British Empire 110 were unique in this particular. Ours was a world-wide Empire; we had more to defend; and therefore we required more naval bases than foreign nations. The hon. Gentleman the Member for East Perthshire referred to the understanding that although it might be necessary next year to ask for further money for the purpose of naval works, the Admiralty should give an undertaking that no new items should be put down. He had no hesitation whatever in repeating the assurance already given, that it was not proposed, as far as could possibly be foreseen, to introduce any new items next year. The hon. Gentleman said that they should build no more new docks; but they had not yet pledged themselves to the exact number of docks there would be at Rosyth when it was completed. His statement must be interpreted in that sense. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Dundee asked what the expenditure in the self-governing Colonies would be under Vote 10 this year. The total amount was about £70,000, but that expenditure was not for the benefit of the Colonies, but for the benefit of the Fleet generally. That he thought was a sufficient answer, and he did not think it would be desirable that he should attempt to discuss, on the present occasion, whether the Colonies should or should not make a larger contribution to the Navy, because this country would have no power to compel the Colonies in that direction even if it was thought desirable.
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
said it was not the business of the Admiralty to make representations to the Colonies.
§ *MR. O'MARA
asked if the hon. Gentleman would ask the Secretary to the Colonies to make representations.
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
said that, in the humble position which he had the honour to fill, he could not discuss matters of high policy of that kind. His hon. and gallant friend the Member for Yarmouth raised a very interesting point. He warned 111 the Admiralty against the policy of constructing a dock for every ship. There was no intention on the part of the Admiralty of adopting any such far-reaching policy as that to which his hon. and gallant friend referred. With reference to the remark which he himself made about the lack of repairing and other facilities in the Far East which Russia possessed, all he ventured to suggest was that the policy of possessing harbours secured against torpedo attack had been amply justified by the course of events in the Far East. It would be impossible to conceive a more striking justification of that particular policy; and he did not suggest more than that. As to the specific question asked by his hon. friend with reference to the works on the new breakwater at Malta, he was at Malta himself a few weeks ago and saw the, works. It was then pointed out that the staging which had been erected would not be strong enough to withstand one of the local storms, or Gregales. The contractors were quite satisfied that it would; but the power of the storm was justified by the result; and, unfortunately, a large portion of the preparatory work was swept away. The delay, however, would net be very great, possibly not more than three or four months, because the same contractors were engaged on the Dover harbour works, and they immediately sent out the necessary appliances which they had there. The contract provided that the dockyard extension at Malta should be finished by the end of 1904; but he was sorry to add that the progress made by the contractors had been most unsatisfactory. He went carefully into the matter on the spot, and the Admiralty found it necessary to take very strong steps in order to bring home to the contractors the necessity of more vigorous and scientific operations. Every effort, he believed, was now being made by the contractors to remedy their deficiencies in the past. The delay, however, was a serious matter, and he was glad his hon. friend had called attention to it.
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
said that that dock was practically complete and would 112 be ready for the accommodation of ship^ in the course of the ensuing summer. The hon. Member for East Perthshire referred to the fact that there were some works of a large nature put down on the Votes and others paid for by way of loan. He would remind the hon. Gentleman that works loans were looked upon as a temporary expedient in order to provide for past deficiencies. It was not the policy of the Admiralty to depend in future on loans; and when the deficiencies of the past had been supplied, then nearly all the expenditure on works would fall on Vote 10.
§ MR. BUCHANAN
asked if they were to understand that it was the policy of the Admiralty to abandon Loan Acts in the near future.
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
said he could not give any pledge, as that would depend entirely on naval requirements; but it was the hope of the Admiralty that they would be in a position to discontinue the system of borrowing for works, and to construct them out of the Estimates. It was obvious, however, that there must be a transition period, and they were now putting such works as they could on Vote 10. That accounted for some of the large items to be found on the Vote. Small items, although they might be regarded as permanent, would in any case be put on the Vote, as it was undesirable to borrow money for them. They included such items as that for Wei-hai-Wei. The hon. Gentleman referred to putting down a token sum as objectionable. He admitted that in one sense it was objectionable because it did not give a precise indication of what the future expenditure would be; but it was clear that in the case of large establishments, such as Rosyth, it was impossible, in the first instance, to estimate what the total expenditure would be. There was, in fact, a great deal of preliminary expenditure, such as the examination of the ground, borings, and so forth, before even a sketch estimate could be drawn up. That was the case in regard to Rosyth. The work was proceeding as rapidly as possible, and when the Admiralty had decided the matter they would take the House of Commons into their confidence. The hon. Gentleman also complained that the Committee was not told 113 what approximately the total sum taken for the Coastguard stations was to be. He understood that his hon. friend the Secretary to the Treasury informed the hon. Gentleman last year that the total sum would be, as nearly as it could be ascertained, about £500,000. Then the hon. Gentleman referred to the fact that certain of the Coastguard stations, which appeared on the Vote last year, had disappeared. The explanation of that was very simple. The stations that remained on the Vote were those on which work was already in progress, the remainder were transferred to Loan. Several hon. Gentlemen referred to a statement he made about the number of works which had been cut out. He did not claim any credit for that. It was the customary practice, and they had to cut their coat according to their cloth. It was the duty of the naval advisers of the Admiralty to put forward proposals for consideration by the Admiralty, which it was desirable and necessary to undertake, and then the Admiralty cut their coat according to their cloth.
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, N.)
asked if all Coastguard station expenditure was in future to be put to the loan account.
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
said that all stations which had not yet been commenced would be charged to the loan account under last year's Act. His hon. friend the Member for Exeter cross-examined him very closely on a matter of high finance, for which he was not really responsible. His hon. friend objected to the system of annual Loan Bills. That was a perfectly reasonable objection to put forward; but the principle underlying those Bills had been sanctioned by the House of Commons in 1895, and frequently since. He did not think they could go back on them now. His hon. friend was entitled to his opinion; but the system had been sanctioned by the House of Commons. Complaint had been made that the Estimates did not show the total expenditure. It was obvious that with regard to these Loan Bills the totals could not be shown. But if it was of any convenience to hon. Members he would undertake in the future to circulate with the Estimates a separate statement showing 114 the expenditure under those Loan Bills With regard to the complaint of the hon. Member for Kilkenny that no pledge had been given that the Works Bill of last year was to be final, he might say that the Admiralty never pretended that it would be. The token sums put down clearly showed the contrary. With regard to Wei-hai-Wei, it was the original intention of the Government to hold the place as a fortified naval station. Some two years ago that intention was modified as the result of a conference between the naval, military, and colonial authorities, and it was then decided to hold it as a peace station and health resort, where the Fleet could go in the hot weather for shore exercise, and so forth. A small amount of coal, 6,000 or 10,000 tons, was kept there for the current needs of the ships, but it was not in the, ordinary sense of the word a coaling station, which was generally a strongly fortified station, with a large supply of coal. A naval hospital and a canteen had also been established. The canteen was considered necessary, in order to supply good accommodation for the men, so that they might not go elsewhere.
§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON (Leith Burghs)
said he was encouraged by the explanations already given to ask one or two questions in connection with I points on which he had some knowledge. He pointed out that on page 141 there was an item for the establishment of additional hospital accommodation at Queensferry. It was in the statement of the Civil Lord that in the next Loan Bill there would be a large demand for naval works across the water, and therefore he would like some explanation of this item, because he did not suppose it was the intention of the Government to ferry their sick across the Firth. He also asked as to the item of £11,000 for additional church accommodation at Deal, where he should have thought there was sufficient accommodation already. It was difficult to discuss subjects like Gibraltar and Dover, and other schemes of a like character, in full Committee of the House, but hon. Members would be grateful for the speech made by the hon. Member for Exeter, who had stated clearly and tersely what many had been thinking; and the representatives of the Admiralty 115 would do well not to increase the feeling which existed in the country, that the full burden of the Navy expenditure had not been realised under this system of dividing the Works Department from the Estimates. He hoped the speech of the hon. Member for Exeter would not be lost on the Admiralty. There was also a feeling in the Committee that under this system of Works Bills they lost their control over expenditure where that control was most particularly required, because money easily acquired was easily parted with. Money raised by loan was more easily got than that raised by taxation, and the control of the expenditure of the money passed into the hands of experts, who could not assume that responsibility which Parliament must itself bear. It was a little difficult sometimes to draw a clear distinction between capital and current expenditure.
§ GENERAL LAURIE (Pembroke and Haverfordwest)
referred to an item of £10,000 for an official residence at Jamaica. It had been generally understood to be the intention of the Admiralty to concentrate the whole of our establishments in St. Lucia, but from this item it appeared as though a large establishment was still to be maintained at Jamaica. This was apparently such an absolute change of policy that he thought the Committee were entitled to some explanation from the representative of the Admiralty with regard to it.
§ MR. LOUGH
pointed out that the whole of the growth in this Vote was accounted for by the increased payments of interest on capital expenditure, and the increased amount of interest was of course due to the greater amount of annual expenditure arranged for by loan instead of being met by the ordinary Estimates. The amount was now so large that the Committee might well pause and insist on the Admiralty giving some definite pledge in the matter. Ten years ago this Vote amounted to only £400,000; now, mainly owing to the borrowing, it was £1,600,000. The larger the amount raised by loan, the greater this Vote became. The borrowing system was not economical, and really conferred no benefit whatever on the nation. All it did was to relieve that Department, 116 and to assist through his difficulties the poor struggling Gentleman who had to defend the Estimates. It would be much better if the nation furnished the necessary money every year as it was required. Twenty years ago the total annual expenditure on capital account was only £40,000; it was now £9,500,000, and the largest items were connected with the Navy. The vicious system which was started by the Navy had spread to the Army and the Civil Services, and instead of the nation meeting the expenditure of the year out of taxation they really did not know where they were, since, owing to the development of this system, they did not know what the annual expenditure really was. Instead of giving a definite answer to the criticisms which had been made, the Admiralty had confessed that even the money for the maintenance of Coastguard stations was now to be borrowed.
§ MR. LOUGH
contended that such a course would tend to extravagance. So small an item ought to be borne on the Estimates of the year, and if it was proposed now to inaugurate this system the Committee ought to protest against it. The increase for loans this year was £130,000; next year it would be £200,000; the year after it would probably amount to £250,000; and so the increase would go on. In a very few years the nation would have lost whatever advantage it might appear to derive from the system of borrowing. It would be much better for the Admiralty to stop the system at once, to have no more of these Loan Bills, and to provide each year on the Votes the amount they required. It was impossible to repeal the Bills already passed. The money had been borrowed and would have to be repaid. But no Bill had been passed which would carry on the Admiralty for more than about two years, and he suggested that in that interval the whole system should be reconsidered. The nation was kept in ignorance of the true position of its finances. The Chancellor of the Exchequer would say in his Budget statement that £7,000,000 had been paid off the National Debt, and the country would 117 be unaware that another £9,000,000 had been borrowed for works. This was one of the most serious items of our national expenditure, because it was so subtle, and it invited extravagance instead of leading to economy. He hoped the Committee would insist on having a clear and definite statement from the Secretary to the Admiralty on the matter.
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
expressed his concurrence in the views just expressed, and supported the appeal of the hon. Member for Exeter. He had made a calculation as to the cost of the work done under the present system, and he found that for every £100, in value, the nation had to spend £150. That showed how serious a matter it was. In about five years there would be no saving even in the annual expenditure. The loans were mounting up at the rate of £7,000,000 or £8,000,000 a year, with the result that when about half the thirty years period was over the country would be worse off than if they had never started the system. It merely led to extravagance, and hid from the country the real expenditure that was going on. It was a pity there had not been a representative of the Treasury present during the debate. These Bills not only came up every two years, but they tended to increase in amount, and to throw a greater burden on posterity, who would doubtless have a sufficiently heavy load of their own to carry. The time had come when a stop should be put to the system, and the Committee should follow the advice of the hon. Member for King's Lynn and refuse to sanction the passage of any more of these Loan Bills, even though they were introduced at the fag-end of the session when the House was not in a proper condition to discuss them. Another matter he had examined into was as to the amount of the works in progress in regard to which the Estimates had been revised during the last twelve months, and he found that there had been increases to the extent of £422,000, and decreases to the extent of £80,000, or a net increase of £340,000.
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
asked whether the hon. Member included in that sum the increases under G.G.; if so, he could explain those.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said he proposed to move an Amendment on that Vote. He was simply stating that works for which a revised Estimate was now submitted, as compared with twelve months ago, showed an increase of £340,000, which ranged over something like twenty-four or twenty-five different items. How were they to have any control over expenditure if they were asked to vote money on the face of certain Estimates, and twelve months afterwards they were told by means of foot-notes that they had been revised to the extent of £340,000. There were several other matters in this Vote which required careful examination, and when the general discussion had been completed he proposed to move one or two reductions.
§ *MR. PRETYMAN
said that whilst admitting the inconveniences that resulted from the method of constructing works by means of loans he wished to remind the Committee that it was a policy deliberately adopted by the House at the instance of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth and the hon. Member for Dundee, and if he remembered rightly—and perhaps the hon. Member for Dundee would bear him out in this—the principle then laid down, upon which this loan system was founded, was the principle of distributing the cost of the great works, of which many generations would derive the benefit, over a considerable period of years. Inasmuch as these works themselves were not attractive, and in some cases were many thousand miles away from the House of Commons, they loomed very small indeed in the memory, or imagination, or view of most hon. Members of this House. Naturally hon. Members looked more to the finance of the question, and when the bill for the works came in objection was very naturally taken to it. He could thoroughly sympathise with that view, but the one point which critics appeared to lose sight of, was the fact that the works were there, and represented every penny bestowed upon them, and future generations, when called upon to pay this money would actually have the works and the full value for this money. As had been stated by the Civil Lord, if there was one lesson they had been taught from the situation in the Far East it was the 119 wisdom of the policy inaugurated by the Gentlemen on the Benches opposite, of borrowing money in order to construct these great harbours to provide shelter for our Fleet. His impression was that the House of Commons deliberately preferred and deliberately instituted the policy of borrowing money for these great works, and preferred that it should be raised on loan instead of out of the money voted each year. If the House of Commons preferred to find the money each year, it would not be for the Admiralty to raise any objection, for they would be quite prepared to ask for the money which they considered absolutely required every year to meet naval needs. This money was as necessary as the money for ships, and Parliament had already decided that the money should be found in this manner. He shared the views expressed as to the inconvenience this method presented in many aspects, but, after all, that inconvenience arose principally from the fact that it was always objectionable to have to pay for anything. Nobody liked to pay when the bill came in, and, whatever form the bill was presented in, it was customary that some objection should be taken to it. It was not for the Admiralty now to defend that financial policy; they had simply to submit the sums they considered necessary for the needs of the Navy. In doing that he was anxious to give every possible information to facilitate control of expenditure by the House. The works represented full value for the money, but the real difficulty was that effective criticism was not possible without some knowledge of the material aspect of the works, their magnitude, and character. Any pertinent criticism of these works must come from some actual knowledge of the works. He remembered last year attempting to give to the House the best information he could of the works extending over this vast area, and he believed that he wearied the House in doing it, but he did it with the object of putting the House in possession of that information which would give them the power of control and criticism.
§ MR. MACVEAGH (Down, S.)
said this debate was an example of the soft words of a Minister turning away wrath. He 120 was sorry that the Secretary of State for War was not there to see the effect on the business of this House of courtesy and good temper. The hon. Gentleman opposite had stated that the Government had no power to compel the Colonies to refund the money spent for their benefit upon the Fleet, and he went on to assure the House that he was too obscure a member of the Government to suggest that the Colonies should be called upon to contribute more. But the hon. Gentleman and his colleague were the representatives of the Admiralty, and if they could not make representations to the Colonial Department he did not know who could. Canada did not subscribe a cent to the upkeep of the Navy, and he thought she ought to be ashamed of herself. The hon. Member for Galway was always ready to defend Canada, but he was very silent upon this question of naval expenditure. He thought that the Colonies which received a portion of this enormous grant ought to pay their share. He urged that in common fairness rich colonies like Canada should make some contribution towards expenditure which was a heavy burden on the poverty of Ireland. He also desired to know how much had been spent on Wei-hai-Wei, and if the place had any other use than as a naval health resort.
§ MR. CHARLES DEVLIN (Galway)
said the hon. Member for South Down had called attention to a defence he made only yesterday of the position taken by Canada, where he had spent most of his life. He was an Irish representative, and he would remind his hon. friends that it was in that capacity that he criticised the Estimates. If Canada did not contribute to the Navy it was because she believed in Home Rule. Canada had the power of levying taxes, and did not propose to delegate to a Government in which it was not represented, the power of spending its money. The expenditure at Halifax for the construction of a wharf was not at all for the benefit of Canada, but for the benefit of the British Navy. He thought it was the right of the Nationalist Members to criticise these matters. They came from a country which had to bear a heavy portion of the taxation required for the payment of the large sums spent on naval works. Money had been 121 spent on the South, North, and East Coasts, but what about the West? When the Admiralty had so much money to expend on these matters he wondered whether they could not establish a dockyard in the West of Ireland. The Irish taxpayers were asked to contribute their share of the cost of naval expenditure, but there was no disposition on the part of the Admiralty, or any other department of the Government, to return to Ireland a share of the money taken from her. They protested against the obligation imposed on them by the Government for works with which they had no sympathy.
§ MR. WHITLEY
called attention to Item A for "Salaries and Allowances of Superintending Officers and others." He pointed out that the Estimate this year for twenty-six civil engineers was £9,363, while last year the amount for twenty-five civil engineers was £3,856. That was an increase of more than 100 per cent, on the Estimate, though there was a increase of one on the staff. There was an Estimate of £1,824 for nine assistant surveyors, as against £765 last year for eight assistant surveyors. In this case the increase on the Estimate was considerably over 100 per cent., though there was only an increase of one on the staff. He moved to reduce the Vote by £1,000.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A (Salaries and Allowances of Superintending Officers and others) be reduced by £1,000."—(Mr. Whitley.)
§ *MR. PRETYMAN
said the figures in the Estimates were rather difficult to understand. The fact was that there had been a reorganisation of the department, and on the recommendation of a Committee that sat during the year the numbers and scales of pay of the various grades had been changed. He would be glad to send a statement to the hon. Gentleman showing exactly how these figures were explained.
§ MR. O'MARA
said it would save a great deal of time if the hon. Gentleman would send the explanatory note to all Members of the House.
§ Motion by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said that Items B and C, Dockyards at Home and Abroad, required some explanation on account of the discrepancies between the estimates and the actual cost of works under construction. The rate of increase was a serious matter, which ought to have the attention of the hon. Gentleman. There should be some better method of estimating the cost of these works, because, to his mind, the present system gave no real estimate at all. He had made out a list of discrepancies ranging from £3,000 to £23,500. Of course he could understand that there would be variations, and if the variations up had been balanced by the variations down he would not have complained so much; but that was by no means the case. He begged to move to reduce this item by £1,000.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item B (Dockyards at Home) be reduced by £1,000."—(Mr. Whitley.)
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
said that it was impossible to estimate in many cases the exact amount that the works would cost until the tenders had been actually received. In several instances there had been decreases, and he called attention to the item for new works in the dockyards at home, where the decrease was from £186,000 to £125,000. That decrease was due to the fact that the Department found they could do the foundations themselves much more cheaply than under contract, and also to the favourable condition of the iron market. He thought that the hon. Gentleman would find that the discrepancies between the increases and the decreases were not so great as he imagined, with perhaps the exception of item G.G.
§ MR. HERBERT SAMUEL (Yorkshire, Cleveland)
said it would be a great advantage if in the future there should I appear a column showing the total original Estimate, so that hon. Members might be able to compare the Estimate and cost at once.
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
thought that the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman was a very reasonable one, and he would see if it could be carried out next year.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. BUCHANAN
said that on item C, there was a sum for the renewal of buildings of the hydraulic dock at Malta. Might he ask, was not that hydraulic dock paid for out of Loan money?
§ *MR. ARTHUR LEE
said that it had been found that the dock was not capable of doing effective work in its present condition, and therefore there required to be a renovation of the buildings.
§ MR. BUCHANAN
said that this was a salient case in which the two systems of carrying out works were mixed up together—out of Loan money, and out of annual Estimates. That was what hon. Members had been protesting against so often, and in order to take notice of it he moved the reduction of the Vote by £1,000.
§ Whereupon Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item C (Dockyards Abroad) be reduced by £1,000."—(Mr. Buchanan.)
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER
said that the Committee had been given excuses for this system of borrowing money; but the hon. Gentlemen representing the Admiralty were not responsible for its introduction. He did not object to loan expenditure on large works; but now all sorts of small works such as Coastguard stations had been introduced. The Committee had a right to complain that in this purely financial debate no representative of the Treasury was present. The question was one 124 almost entirely for the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
I would remind the hon. Member that a reduction has been moved on a particular item, and that he must confine himself to it.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER
said that money to be spent at Malta under the Vote was mixed up with money from the Loans Act; and his point was that that was a financial question in which not only the Admiralty but the Treasury also was concerned. He maintained it was the business of the Treasury to give the Committee an explanation. He regretted very much that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was not present when such questions were under discussion.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
said he sympathised to the fullest extent with the complaint of the hon. Member who had just spoken, with reference to the absence of any representative of the Treasury. As far as matters of detail were concerned, the Committee obtained from the Secretary to the Admiralty and the Civil Lord of the Admiralty all the information they possessed. But he said with great respect that, in his opinion, and he believed in the opinion of other hon. Members also, when the Committee was engaged in discussing the expenditure of large sums, it was little short of a scandal that no representative of the Treasury was present. It was the business and the duty of both the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary to the Treasury to be present, and hear what hon. Members had to say with reference to such expenditure. It spoke very little for the respect which every member of the Administration ought to have for the House of Commons, that the representatives of the Treasury were invariably absent on such occasions. British Members might be content to be flouted in this manner, but he and other Irish Members did not take that view. His objection to the Vote was that dockyards abroad, although doubtless they were necessary for the upkeep and convenience of the Fleet, were matters for which the Irish people ought not to be called on to spend any money. He had 125 no doubt that the Secretary to the Admiralty could give many excellent reasons why the naval depots should be maintained. But his constituents had not the slightest interest in the expenditure of a single farthing in Wei-hai-Wei. He denied that the Irish people got any return at all for such expenditure. None of the money was spent in Ireland; and even if there were any attempt to bribe the Irish people by large or small expenditure it would not change his view or the views of his constituents. Even if dockyards were established in Ireland he would still oppose the Vote, because generally speaking the Irish people derived no benefit from the Fleet and ought not to be called upon to pay for it. It was perfectly true that the Colonies paid scarcely anything for the upkeep of the Navy, although considerable sums of money were spent in the Colonies in connection with it. He did not blame the Colonies for making the best bargain they could. They would be fools if they paid a single farthing more for the maintenance of the Navy, when they found they could get anything they wanted for a ridiculously small sum. Indeed the Colonies were to be congratulated on the good bargain they had made. It was, however, an outrage on the very name of justice to call upon poor Irish taxpayers to pay for dockyards abroad when the people most concerned were not called upon to pay a single shilling. Was that fair or just or right? He objected to the Vote simply on the ground that it was not right to impose a proportion of this taxation on Ireland against the will of the Irish people and in view of the fact that Ireland derived no benefit whatever from it. The Civil Lord of the Admiralty answered the Questions put to him in a very courteous and obliging manner. He made no complaint of the hon. Gentleman and he did not intend to make any attack on officials who were
§ doing their best to explain the position to the House. He took, broadly, the ground that Ireland derived no benefit from the increased expenditure on the Navy and had no sympathy with it. The Civil Lord of the Admiralty, in order to be able to answer Questions, himself went to Malta in order to see how matters stood there. It was an heroic undertaking and he congratulated the hon. Gentleman on it. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would visit the other dockyards in different parts of the Empire, and be able to ascertain how much benefit they were to the localities in which they were situated, which might induce him to agree that some contribution should be given by those districts.
§ * MR. ARTHUR LEE
said he thought he could remove the difficulty raised by the hon. Member for Perthshire, on his Motion for a reduction, by saying that in regard to the hydraulic dock the £17,000 required for the original purchase had been provided out of Vote 10 last year.
§ MR. BUCHANAN
said if there was no loan money involved in that matter that met his case, and he begged to withdraw his Motion for a reduction.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Motion again proposed.
§ Motion made, and Question put. "That Item C (Dockyards Abroad) be reduced by £4:,600."—(Mr. William Redmond.)
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 102: Noes. 251. (Division List No. 38.)129
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Brigg, John||Causton, Richard Knight|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Broadhurst, Henry||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Ambrose, Robert||Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Crean, Eugene|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Cremer, William Randal|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Burke, E. Haviland||Cullinan, J.|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Caldwell, James||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)|
|Black, Alexander William||Cameron, Robert||Delany, William|
|Boland, John||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway|
|Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Kean, John||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Shackleton, David James|
|Ffrench, Peter||Markham, Arthur Basil||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Mooney, John J.||Sheehy, David|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Murnaghan, George||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Murphy, John||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Grant, Corrie||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Hammond, John||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Tomkinson, James|
|Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)||Toulmin, George|
|Helme, Norval Watson||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N||Wallace, Robert|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Horniman, Frederick John||O'Dowd, John||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Malley, William||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Mara, James||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Labouchere, Henry||Partington, Oswald||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Lambert, George||Pirie, Duncan V.||Young, Samuel|
|Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)||Power, Patrick Joseph||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Leigh, Sir Joseph||Reddy, M.|
|Leng, Sir John||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.|
|Levy, Maurice||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Lundon, W.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Roche, John|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A(Worc||Fison, Frederick William|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose|
|Allen, Charles P.||Chapman, Edward||Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Charrington, Spencer||Flannery, Sir Fortescue|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Flower, Sir Ernest|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Forster, Henry William|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Clive, Captain Percy A.||Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S.W.)|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Fuller, J. M. F.|
|Austin, Sir John||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Gardner, Ernest|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A.J.(Manch'r||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Gretton, John|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Crombie, John William||Hain, Edward|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Hall, Edward Marshall|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Mich. Hicks||Cust, Henry John C.||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hamilton, Marq of(L'nd'nderry|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford)|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Davenport, William Bromley||Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th|
|Bignold, Arthur||Dewar, Sir T.R.(Tower Haml'ts||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.|
|Bigwood, James||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Doughty, George||Heath, James (Staffords., N.W.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Hickman, Sir Alfred|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Hoare, Sir Samuel|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Duke, Henry Edward||Hope, J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Horner, Frederick William|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Butcher, John George||Elibank, Master of||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J.A.(Glasgow||Emmott, Alfred||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Faber, George Denison, (York)||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc.||Hunt, Rowland|
|Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Hutton, John (Yorks., N. B.)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.|
|Keswick, William||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Stock, James Henry|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||Parkes, Ebenezer||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Knowles, Sir Lees||Paulton, James Mellor||Stroyan, John|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Pemberton, John S. G.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Lawrence, Sir Jos. (Monmouth)||Percy, Earl||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G.(Oxf'd Univ|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Pierpoint, Robert||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Lawson, Jn. G. (Yorks., N.R.)||Pilkington, Colonel Richard||Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Plummer, Walter R.||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Pretyman, Ernest George||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.||Purvis, Robert||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Pym, C. Guy||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Randles, John S.||Tuff, Charles|
|Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.)||Rankin, Sir James||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne||Valentia, Viscount|
|Lowe, Francis William||Ratcliff, R. F.||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Remnant, James Farquharson||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Renwick, George||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth||Richards, Henry Charles||Walton, Jn. Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Warde, Colonel C, E.|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Wason, Jn. Cathcart (Orkney)|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Robinson, Brooke||Webb, Colonel William George|
|M'Calmont, Colonel James||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E(Taunton|
|M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Welby, Sir Charles G.E.(Notts.|
|M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin||Royds, Clement Molyneux||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Russell, T. W.||Whiteley, H.(Ashton und. Lyne|
|Maxwell, W.J.H.(Dumfriessh.)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Milvain, Thomas||Sackville, Col. S. G. (Stopford||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R.(Bath|
|Moore, William||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||Wrighston, Sir Thomas|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Seely, Maj. J. E. B.(Isle of Wight||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Sloan, Thomas Henry||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Newdegate, Francis A. N.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Nussey, Thomas Willans||Spear, John Ward|
|O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Spencer, Sir E.(W. Bromwich)|
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ And, it being after half-past Seven of the clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again this evening.