HC Deb 10 March 1904 vol 131 cc768-814

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a number of Land Forces, not exceeding 227,000, all ranks, be maintained for the Service of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at Home and Abroad, excluding His Majesty's Indian Possessions, during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1905."

*SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

said the Motion for the reduction in the number of men, moved by his hon. friend on the previous day, had lapsed under the forms of the House, and it was his intention to conclude by moving the same reduction again, although, for reasons he would give, he would have been willing to move a much larger reduction. The grounds advanced for the Motion on the preceding day applied especially to the Somaliland campaign, and were so fully stated, that he need not repeat them. He differed from his hon. friend who thought that the Secretary for War showed himself an optimist on that subject. Anything less cheerful than the remarks the right hon. Gentleman applied to it he never heard. On an earlier day in the session they had a little debate as to how far this campaign resembled the Dutch War in what was commonly called Acheen, which had been going on ever since 1874. That comparison was not of a pleasant nature. In that day's papers, too, they had news of further fighting in Somaliland. He agreed with his hon. friend that it was an unexampled fact that men should be asked for for the Somaliland War without the money for the continuing expenditure; the money should appear on the Estimates, or should be the subject of a Vote of Credit. The Secretary for War had made a somewhat startling announcement. He had told them he would have to make a proposal for a money Vote unless certain events occurred, events which he did not specify. Did that mean they were putting a price on the Mullah's head? That policy had been pursued by English generals in the Soudan, and had been repudiated by the authorities at home, or were the Government anticipating the conclusion of peace with the Mullah so as to avoid the necessity for the expenditure of a further large sum? It was perfectly true that it was not usual to have the costs of a war put upon the Estimates, and the case of the South African War was exceptional, but the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War had omitted to explain that the reason why the costs of a war were not borne upon the Estimates was that they were provided for by Votes of Credit, but these small wars had constantly been borne upon the Estimates, and the Somaliland campagn had unfortunately appeared upon the Estimates for some years past. One of two things should have been done by the Government, either they should have put upon the Estimates a sum based upon the calculation of the monthly expenditure in Somaliland or, if that was not possible, they should have taken a Vote of Credit.

Coming to the more important question of the reduction of 10,000 men which had been moved, he personally would have preferred the larger reduction which stood in the name of the hon. Member for Plymouth, but whatever reduction was moved it became most important, owing to the language used by the Prime Minister in the debate on the previous day, for the Committee to pursue on these Estimates the policy which they had pursued in the past. The right hon. Gentleman had promised a statement to be made later in the session, a statement which no doubt if the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War had his way would be satisfactory to the Army reformers in the House, but that statement was to be made at an indefinite date, and the Prime Minister had accompanied his suggestion with language which threw some doubt on certain portions of the Report which had been laid before them and which was the main ground on which this reduction had been moved. The Prime Minister had thrown over speeches which he had made in the past on these Army Estimates, and while the Secretary of State for War told the Committee that he entertained the same opinion which had been expressed in Committee in previous years in condemnation of the Army proposals made two years ago, the Prime Minister had gone out of his way to throw considerable doubt upon what the Government were going to adopt of the Report. The Report of Lord Esher's Committee censured a great deal of the system adopted by the late Secretary of State for War, and when the Prime Minister came to deal with that question he did not use language calculated to satisfy the House that they were right in dismissing those proposals. It should be remembered that when those proposals were put forward a fair statement of the case was not presented to the House, because they were, as a fact, the proposals of the late Secretary of State for War alone and not of Lord Roberts as they were led to believe. The Prime Minister did not accept the censure of the Commission with regard to the present system, and it appeared to him that the right lion. Gentleman, in order to please a powerful colleague, had, if he might use the phrase, "hedged." That made the Committee profoundly suspicious, and made it absolutely necessary to move this reduction on this occasion. As far as he understood the present position of the Government, it was that the Army Corps system which was now condemned by everyone except the Secretary of State for India was to be continued until it was condemned by this new Army Council. What was the authority of this new Army Council for condemning this system? The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War they knew was an ardent reformer from the speeches he made at other times below the Gangway, but this Army Council were newcomers, and even if the Committee took the four names which they had at present, those names were not the names of gentlemen who would carry the greatest weight with the House and the country. This great change would have to lie made on the authority of the Cabinet and the authority of the Cabinet alone, and after the evidence which had been given by the Commission and the Report of that Commission, in his opinion the Government could act as soon as they pleased, and any delay on their part would not commend itself to the House or to the country. The details could be worked out by the Army Council.

Those who supported the increasing expenditure on the Navy were doubly bound to ask themselves whether the Military Estimates now before the country could be justified. He did not think they could be justified, and he thought that, in general terms, the reformers had made out their case. He contended that the Estimates called upon the taxpayers to make needless sacrifices for the land forces in this country, and that those forces could be reduced with advantage to the State and without the smallest diminution of striking power. When he last spoke on this subject he stated that even those who, in the past, had been most wedded to the old system, and had been opposed to the saving of large sums of money by considerably reducing the number of regular troops at home, had now come round more or less to the views of the Army reformers on this point. He then quoted several names from the War Commission evidence, but his hon. friend the Member for East Bristol rather objected to Lord Wolseley being taken as a supporter of the view he was then putting forward. Lord Wolseley, however, certainly did make a suggestion which supported the contention that the automatic increases at home, effected to correspond with the number of battalions abroad, forced us to maintain more battalions in this country than were necessary for the purposes of home defence, because in the Appendix to the War Commission Report this statement by Lord Wolseley appeared— Under our present system of two battalion regiments, foreign demands can only be met by having a battalion at home for each battalion abroad. The four battalion system which exists in the Rifle Corps and the Rifle Brigade increases our power of having more battalions abroad than at home; further demands abroad still require increases abroad but not necessarily increases both abroad and at home. That was his point. He maintained that reductions in the home forces could safely be made, and that by the adoption of the four battalion system or of the large depot system, necessary increases abroad could be made without requiring corresponding increases at home. In that way the greatest bane of our military expenditure would be removed, and an end would be put to an extravagance which forced the War Office to refuse money where it ought to be spent, and the number of men at home would be largely reduced. The Commission had assumed that this change would be effected, and what the Committee desired to know was the date at which some such proposal would be adopted by the Government as a specific act of policy. They knew that the Secretary of State for War still held the views he formerly professed, but it was from the Cabinet as a whole they pressed for a, specific assurance pointing to the adoption of this plan as soon as the details could be worked out by the Army Council. The Secretary of State was with them, but the Prime Minister had gone out of his way to weaken the promise which had been previously given. As to the extent to which reductions might safely be made opinions would differ. It was not for civilians to deal with details to that extent, but a very clever soldier—the late Captain Cairnes—worked out figures showing that 165 was the average relief for each 1,000 men in India, and that, in his opinion, one large depot would suffice for the drafts for four battalions abroad. It could not be denied that by the adoption of this reform in some shape a very large reduction could be effected in the number of men at home, so that a diminution of anything like 10,000 men would be covered over and over again.

The suggestion had been made that the question was to some extent connected with that of the Militia and the Volunteers, which had been referred to the Duke of Norfolk's Commission. In a large view of the nature of the regular forces of infantry to be kept at home, the Militia and Volunteers undoubtedly ought to be taken into consideration, and it was impossible to deal with the garrison artillery question without considering the Militia by whom the fortresses in this country would probably be garrisoned. Bui: that afforded an excuse for delay which he hoped would be rejected by the Government. The proceedings of the Norfolk Commission were not being published, consequently the nature of the evidence that was being taken and of the questions that were being asked could be judged only from gossip, the names of the witnesses, and remarks made by some of the witnesses in papers read by them. There seemed reason to fear, however, that the Commission was wasting its time by taking evidence upon conscription, the Militia. Ballot, and all sorts of side questions; while, in addition, the reference to the Commission was not such as would entitle its opinion to have much effect on the minds of the Government. He implored the Government not to urge the sittings of the Commission as an additional reason for holding their hand in regard to these reforms. Perhaps he bad spoken somewhat contemptuously of the evidence taken by the Norfolk Commission with regard to conscription and the Militia, Ballot, but we were a practical people, and His Majesty's Government was deeply pledged against the adoption of any such system. That being so, a Commission which gave its mind to such questions was not likely to make suggestions of practical utility. The people of this country would not adopt the Militia Ballot while they paid £42,000.000 a year for the Fleet. The two things were inconsistent. The Government had now-come round to the view that the question of home defence was primarily a naval question, and that as long as we held the command of the sea it was unnecessary to consider the problem of internal defence. But the Prime Minister, although he had made much progress, still failed to grasp the real conditions of the problem. The right hon. Gentleman said yesterday— Let the House not forget what it too often has forgotten, that the size of our Army depends upon the duties that the Army has to perform. That was not the case. The size of our Army abroad depended upon the duties it had to perform, but the size of our peace Army at home was at the present time an accident. It could not be pretended that the size of the home Army was based on calculations concerning the duties it had to perform: on the contrary, it existed, and because it existed sham duties had been found for it. The home Army was and must be mainly a depot for the supply of reliefs to the foreign Army; it was from that point of view the matter should be looked at. He welcomed the Prime Minister's assertion that invasion was an illusory danger and not a contingency against which it was right or proper to ask this country to make costly provision, but still the present system which was continued in these Estimates, forced needless sacrifices upon the country for battalions which were not necessary at home in order to supply drafts which could be provided by a cheaper and smaller system. He begged to move that the number of men be reduced by 10,000.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a number of Land Forces, not exceeding 217.000 be maintained for the said Service."


said it behoved them to look at this matter from a financial point of view. He admitted that it required more courage than he possessed to vote against the proposals put before Parliament for the defence of the country by those who were responsible, but everything encouraged them to believe that Vote A might be reduced. Men were being taken for Somaliland and the money was not provided for in the Estimates. As the right hon. Baronet had pointed out this was the moment or never, because if they passed Vote A they must vote the pay and all the establishment required to keep up the Army and it would be childish after voting the men and the money to complain of the expenditure on the Army. He asked the Committee to reflect for a, moment upon the situation to which the country had been brought. Consols had fallen 30 per cent, and the reason for this was that the foundation of our credit had been sapped by interference with the Sinking Fund. There were rumours that it was to be interfered with again this year, and therefore it became absolutely necessary to see where they could economise. He thought Vote A was the one, where economy could be effected with safety and 10,000 was an extremely moderate reduction. He recognised the gravity of any step that denied the responsible Minister the number of men and the money he asked for, but these men were not wanted for the defence of the country. He hoped the Committee would remember that this was the only occasion upon which the House could take any steps in the direction of economy which was so much needed, and if they passed this Vote he defied hon. Members to find any other opportunity of enforcing effectually the doctrine of economy. Although he recognised the gravity of the situation if the Amendment was pressed to a division he should most unhesitatingly vote for the reduction, because it would effect an economy in the finances of the country.

SIR JAMES JOICEY (Durham, Chester-le-Street)

said he felt bound to support the right hon. Baronet's Amendment. When they considered the enormous expenditure upon the Army—which he had not yet voted against—he agreed that it was not absolutely necessary to keep such an immense Army in this country except to fill up the gaps that occurred in our Army abroad. He did not think the Government had sufficiently considered the recommendations of the Committee in regard to economy. He viewed the question with considerable anxiety when he remembered that not only had Consols fallen to 85, but every security in this country—some of them having been in the past considered almost gilt-edged securities—had fallen 25 or 30 per cent. At this figure it was almost impossible to raise sufficient money to successfully carry on industrial enterprises, and it was quite time that the Government began to study that little word "economy." Any ordinary business man when he knew a very serious claim was likely to be brought against him for money began to consider whether he could reduce his expenses or not. When they saw the expenditure not only in connection with the Government but in all their industries; when their municipal authorities were waiting to launch schemes upon the public for the expenditure of money and were only holding back owing to the serious condition of the money market he thought it was time to begin economising. There was scarcely a municipality in the country which was not waiting to apply for money. There was scarcely a railway company, gas company, or a water company that was not holding back some demands for money. In the face of all this it was necessary to economise wherever they could. They had had an abundant revenue for the last few years which had been disposed of in ways he disapproved or, and he thought the time had come when the Government should reconsider the financial position. He pitied any Government which would have to deal with the financial situation into which the present Government had brought the country.

COLONEL SANDYS (Lancashire, Bootle)

said he wished to say a few words in regard to the matter before the Committee, because he had always taken a great interest in the welfare of the Army. They had heard a great deal from hon. Gentlemen opposite upon the point of economy. He agreed that economy was required in the present financial condition of the country, but the point was whether it was wise to carry this economy too far in regard to the defensive forces of the Crown. History repeated* itself, and he thought the Committee would see that to reduce this Vote now would be repeating the old historical legend. It would be within the memory of hon. Members that when war broke out in South Africa no measure was too great or complicated and no cost too much in order to get together an Army sufficient for our military needs. What would happen now, if this reduction was carried, would be a repetition of the historical lesson which had happened over and over again in this country, namely, that military unreadiness was succeeded by military retrenchment without regard to efficiency. Therefore he asked the Committee to consider the question of efficiency. It had been said by various speakers that all these men were not required as long as our Navy commanded the sea. He agreed that it was necessary that we should have an overwhelmingly strong Navy, but, at the same time, it was within the bounds of possibility that our Navy might be opposed by such a powerful combination of the forces of other countries during an internecine struggle in Europe as to be placed in such a position that it would be difficult without an adequate number of troops to defend our shores from invasion. Therefore he did not think it would be wise to reduce the Regular forces of this country below a certain well ascertained limit. He was not going to say anything as to what that limit should be, but he felt sure that His Majesty's Ministers had most carefully considered the necessity for these men before asking for this number. The proposal of the Government, therefore, I seemed to him quite reasonable. Comparing their forces with those of other countries, he could not think that 217,000 men for all the three arms in the United Kingdom was an exaggerated estimate for the military defence of this country.

He did not propose now to touch upon the other branches of this Vote, but he hoped that the rearrangement of the forces which was contemplated by the War Office would lead to a scheme being devised under which they would get greater efficiency and mobility than they had in the Army at the present time. As opportunities were few he would venture now to indicate broadly the lines on which he thought reconstruction might proceed. There was a recommendation in the second portion of the Report of the Committee to the effect that practically the linked battalion system was to be abolished. The linked battalion system should be abolished. Then came the question of how we were to get men. Supposing the present system were broken up, what did they propose to substitute for it? Referring to the organisation of the Infantry branch of the service, with which he was best acquainted, he said that the broad outline of our system must be that the Regular Army formed the first line of military defence, the Militia the second line, and the Volunteers the third line. A system should be arranged whereby those three lines would work in support of each other in such a way as would provide us with a possible expansion of our forces in war time without the necessity of retaining them on an extravagant basis in time of peace. Assuming that the linked battalion system was done away with, and that possibly the old numbers for the single battalions were restored, what was specially desirable was that we should have a system of refilling the battalions abroad without the necessity of keeping a corresponding number of battalions at home. When the present system was first proposed it seemed to him an impossible arrangement and, having been in practice for many years, it had been shown to be unsatisfactory. Ii that system were away with he would meet the change in this way Every battalion should have a depot from which its ranks should be filled, whether at home or abroad. The answer would be given that there had always been depots for these battalions, but lie maintained that they had never been real depots. They were, so to speak, skeletons or frameworks. There had been a prejudice at the War Office against the system of depots, but his opinion was that every form of troops—every battalion of infantry, regiment of cavalry, and battery of artillery—should have a depot and be capable of expansion when the strain of war came upon us. In order to accomplish this he should propose that the Line battalions should be divided into four companies with deposits consisting of two companies. The strength of the company with the colours should be 150 privates each, so that at all times the headquarters of the regiment should be kept up to the strength, and the depots, which were at home, and which would consist of two companies capable of expansion in time of war, would fill the battalion, in a very short space of time. He suggested that the territorial regiments should be composed as follows: First, of the Line battalions; second, of real depots capable of expansion in time of war to fill the battalions; and third, of Reserve battalions into which officers and men who had served in the Line battalions could go. They should not have in the Reserve battalions the heterogeneous collection of officers and men who formed an unmanageable mass, but there should be a reserve battalion to each regiment into which officers and men should pass, and from which they could be called to serve, either in the depot or with the colours, when they were wanted. Following on that there would be a Militia battalion, or battalions, kept at effective strength—a cheap force, full of zeal, and capable of expansion and of being brought into the fighting line I if required. Under his scheme of Army reconstruction he wanted the Secretary of State for War to accept the position that the Militia should be the real Reserve and second line of the fighting Army. Behind the Militia would come the Volunteers. What happened at the outbreak of war? An order was given for mobilisation. He should propose that the depot two companies might be made into combatant battalions. How could that be done? In the first instance he should call in a certain number of men from the reserve battalion, then lie should allow 10 per cent. of the Militia battalion to volunteer for service and pass them into the depot battalions, and in order to get the Militia regiment up to the full strength lie should compel the affiliated Volunteer battalion to have at all times 100 men ready to fill up the Militia battalion, and to make up the war strength of the depôt. He believed that would supply a very large number of men. There was still another field from which they could get men. The Secretary of State for War said the other day that the Guards system of three years service and nine years in the Reserve was to be introduced into the Line battalions. He always thought that bad for the Guards.


It has been introduced, and has been in force for some time.


said that in his judgment it was not a good system. He believed in having the battalions made up to the recognised strength by what lie would call the finished article. They were all anxious to find out the reason why the classes who formerly entered the Army were no longer willing to enlist at the same rate as before. From the inquiries he had made he believed it was on account of the incessant change of conditions in regard to service in our Army. This had destroyed the confidence of the recruit-giving classes, and men would not come in now in the way they did formerly. Formerly a roan would go into a regiment feeling sure that he would never be moved from it, and that at the end of twenty-one years service he would get a small pension which would help him to eke out a living for the rest of his days. That condition of affairs had to a large extent disappeared, and the result was that the class of men who used to enlist in the Army went into the police where the conditions were fixed. If they wanted to restore confidence they must look upon those who enlisted as men who found less attraction in gratuities and immediate benefits, than in the prospect of something substantial at the end of their military career. Ho was quite sure that if the Government would consider this point in connection with the recruit-giving classes they would get back their confidence. If that was not done he feared that recruiting would not improve, but rather diminish. The system of taking boys into the Navy was an excellent system, and he suggested that the advisability of introducing a system of boy recruiting for the Army, a source of supply which was yet untapped, should be considered by the Secretary of State. Ho would suggest that a boy company should form part of each depot, that they should be under specially selected officers and non-commissioned officers, that they should be carefully attended to and trained, and that they should be separated from the evil influences which were supposed to follow depôts—influences which he felt would not prevail if depots were placed under proper command. Boys enlisted at twelve years of age could be trained and taken into the ranks at eighteen on condition that they would give a certain number of years service. During the years of training each boy ought to be taught a trade so that he would be able to earn a living when he left the Army. It would work out in this way. At the end of six years there would be sixty boys at the depot, and ten boys would be fully trained every year to pass into the ranks. Supposing there were 146 battalions and 146 depots there would he ton times 146 trained soldiers passing into the ranks, and that would go on continuously as long as the British Army lasted. He ventured to think that if that plan were put in force, in conjunction with the depot system, we should have a very valuable recruiting adjunct without much expense. Then, unskilled labourers who joined the Army should be taught some trade, because it was hardly fair that after twelve years service they should be turned adrift with no provision for themselves or their families. The Army should be regarded not only as a defensive force, but as an educational factor for the country.


said he desired to take this opportunity of drawing further attention to what he did not hesitate to describe as the perfectly senseless campaign that was now being waged in Somaliland. The Secretary of State had the previous day stated that it was no unusual thing for no Estimate to be made in the current year for such a campaign as that now going on in Somaliland, but the right hon. Baronet the Member for Forest of Dean challenged that statement. As there was no money estimate asked for, he did not propose on the next or any succeeding Vote to refer to the campaign in Somaliland; but he would satisfy himself on that occasion, on the Vote for men by protesting as strongly as he could against the employment of one single man who was paid for by the taxpayers of this country and Ireland, in the operations in Somaliland. He said without the slightest hesitation that the conduct of the Government in connection with that campaign was not, and had not been, straightforward from the commencement. It was a perfectly monstrous state of things for the Secretary for War to come there and practically brush aside every criticism and every inquiry as to this campaign, with a general statement that he hoped in a short time things would be better, and that then it would be easier to tell how the campaign stood, and how it was proceeding. That might be a perfectly intelligent policy, if this was a campaign only just commencing; but it had been in progress for three long years, and there was not a single Member of the House of Commons or of the Government who could point to a single advantage gained by the people of this country or Empire by this three years campaign in Somaliland. And yet at the commencement of the fourth year of this campaign they were asked to trust the Government to continue it; and the only consolation they got was the vague statement, that in a short time it would be possible to understand and estimate how long it would further run and when they might see an end to the operations.

How was the campaign started? He could understand the commencement of the campaign in South Africa. It was on the plea that the rights and interests of British subjects had been interfered with. He himself did not think they had been interfered with; but it was an intelligent plea on behalf of the Government. What sort of British right or interest of any description had been interfered with in Somaliland? He ventured to say that it was not possible for any Secretary for War to get up and make a plain statement which would show that any light or interest of any British subject had been interfered with in Somaliland; and if that were so, why was the war undertaken at all? Of course they should be told that the war was undertaken for the purpose of keeping to the spirit and letter of certain treaties made on behalf of this country with certain tribes in East Africa; and that simply on the faith of those treaties rested all what the Government called a justification for this campaign. But what were those treaties?. They were vague from beginning to end. In the first place, there was not in any of them anything to define the territory which should be under British protection, or where the natives would be entitled to receive the support of the British Government if attacked. Certain tribes were given to understand that they would be protected if attacked, but there was nothing to define the territory over which this protection was to extend. And what had happened? The scene of the war, ever since it had commenced, had been shifting weekly and monthly over a widely spread territory. He thought it was time for somebody, even though he were an Irish Member, to ask how far, and over what amount of territory, the government of those tribes went? A more preposterous proposition had never been made than that this country should be bound to protect those tribes all over Africa in territories not defined. If that was allowed, it meant that those warlike proceedings would be practically interminable and that the scene of the operations would be shifted from time to time and from place to place. Could the Government point to some objective in the shape of a city, town, village, or district which, if captured, would bring the war to an end? There had been nothing in the shape of explicit explanation from the Government as to why these operations were to be continued. With great deference, he ventured to make a prediction, although some of his predictions had been fulfilled to the letter. For instance, he held in his hand the volume of Parliamentary Debates, for 1899, containing the report of the demand by the Government for a Vote for £10,000,000 to conduct the war in South Africa, and when the House was given to understand that that money would see the trouble in South Africa through. On that occasion he made a speech in which he said he felt convinced that, if that war went on, it would cost hundreds of millions, and hon. Members opposite shook with laughter and said his prediction was absurd. But the fact was that the cost of that war had run into £300,000,000 instead of £10,000,000. He predicted that if this campaign in Somaliland was not brought to an end soon it would cost the taxpayers of this country—and what was more the taxpayers of Ireland—millions and millions of money. [An HON. MEMBER on the MINISTERIAL Benches: How many millions?] He did not limit himself to a million or two; but he was perfectly certain it would cost millions with nothing to show in return.

He was the last person in the world to pick a quarrel or find fault with anybody; but he thought the action of the Opposition in reference to the Somaliland campaign was most contemptible. It was a monstrous thing to see the Opposition in the House of Commons tolerating what was going on in Somaliland without making one strong, united, serious proposition against it. Apparently, as they paid no attention to it, the Opposition were satisfied that the campaign should go on. Therefore, it was left to an Irish representative to point out the absurd and disastrous position into which the taxpayers of the country were being led by this wild and wasteful campaign in East Africa. He asked, was it an unreasonable thing that at the end of three years of futile war—a war which he had opposed all through and which had resulted in the sacrifice of a considerable number of gallant British officers and native levies some information should be asked for from the Government as to when it was to come to an end? He thought that the relatives and friends of those men who had been blundered and muddled into their death and destruction by the policy of the Government in this war ought never to forgive the Government. He emphatically denied that his objection in raising this question was to delay the progress of the Estimates. The prolongation of the Somaliland campaign would be condemned generally throughout the country, if the people could be brought to a sense of their duty in the matter. 10,000 men were asked for, but no monetary provision was made. Two millions of money had already been spent, the campaign was entering its fourth year, and yet no money was to be asked for. Such a course was not only unprecedented; it was misleading to the last degree. The reason for the adoption of this course was probably the anxiety of the Government to divert public attention from the horrible muddle into which they had got the Somaliland business. The absence of provision would lead Members to suppose that the operations were coming or had come to an end, whereas, as a matter of I fact, fighting on a considerable scale was still proceeding, and a large amount of money was certain to be required. He desired to ask the Secretary of State two or three plain Questions on the matter. Could he supplement the information already given as to the reasons for the war? Could he show that any British subjects were injured, or outraged, or interfered with in any way which made war necessary? Could he show that any British territory was invaded or threatened, or British interests jeopardised? Was there any reason for the campaign other than the fulfilment of certain treaties with certain native tribes? Was it not the fact that under those treaties the Government were bound to carry on warlike operations in protection of certain tribes, no matter to what part of Africa those tribes thought fit to go? What was the objective of the campaign, and what was to be done to bring this inglorious work to an end?

A telegram, alleged to have been from General Egerton, had recently appeared in the newspapers, in which it was intimated to the Mullah that nothing would bring the campaign to a close except his death or capture with a certain number of rifles. Was that authentic despatch, and, if so, was it with 'the sanction of the Government that such a communication had been made by a British General to the head of the forces to which he was opposed? The Mullah had shown a considerable amount of military genius, he had inflicted certain reverses on the British troops, and human nature being the same all the world over, such a communication as that to which he had referred was just the thing to cause the prolongation of the struggle for an indefinite period. The issue of a declaration of this kind lent colour to the suggestion that a reward had possibly been offered for the capture of the Mullah, and it was certainly not the way in which a campaign should be conducted, whether against whites or blacks, civilised or uncivilised opponents.

He felt very strongly on this matter but there was one way by which he might be silenced. If the Government would make an arrangement by which Ireland would be relieved of any contribution in respect of these operations he would not say another word on the subject. England had a perfect right to do as she liked with her own money and her own Army, but should have no right whatever to start, senseless campaigns for no useful purpose, involving the expenditure of millions of money, and expect the hash people to bear any proportion of the cost. He held the opinion that, whatever might he said of these campaigns or operations, they could not in any conceivable way benefit Ireland; yet they would have to bear a full proportion of the cost. In the South African war, which he protested against again and again, they were told that it might ultimately benefit Ireland, because there would be a field in South Africa eventually for Irish emigration, if unfortunately the Irish had to emigrate. Well, everybody knew what the result had been. The field of emigration in South Africa was for Chinamen and not for any white race. But, however that might be, none could say that Somali-land would ever become a field for emigration. It was a country that could not be occupied for a single year; it was a country in which white men could not find any possible employment, and therefore the poor thin argument that it would open up a field for emigration fell to the ground. The Irish people paid a good deal too much for this sort of thing, and when he saw hundreds and, thousands of pounds asked for campaigns of the Somaliland kind, and when he considered the condition of the districts which he and his lion, friends represented in Ireland, they felt thoroughly justified in protesting as they did. England was a very wealthy country, and the vast majority of its people had not the faintest shadow of an idea of the way in which thousands of people in Ireland lived. All round the coasts of Ireland there was poverty of the most grinding description. All along the coasts might be seen broken piers and breakwaters, and ruined harbours, which only needed a little money to be spent upon them to enable the people to develop the fishing industry of the country, which would bring prosperity to many thousands. They had the greatest difficulty in getting money for this purpose from Parliament, yet, in the case of Somaliland, they were expected to acquiesce agreeably and silently to the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of pounds. It was an injustice, and a proceeding which was characteristic of what had been going on for some years under the present Government, It did Ireland no good, and only increased the feeling which the people of Ireland entertained, namely, that the arrangement which exsisted was an unjust one and one that must be changed. There was no hope of there being any support to any protest of this kind, but it might be expected that there would be some protest from the representatives of the great democracy who sat on the Opposition side of the House. Where were those representative when this great expenditure was being sanctioned? With the exception of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Forest of Dean, and one or two Scotch Gentlemen on the Front Opposition Bench, apparently not one of them took any interest in it. When next year came probably the same thing would happen when they had a Vote for £1,000,000 for Somaliland. He thought the Committee was entitled to ask from the Government if they had any idea of what was really to happen in Somaliland. Was the war to continue until the Mullah was either killed or captured, or when was it to end? He ventured to think that up to the present they had received no answer as to whether this costly and inglorious muddle was to go on year after year, but so long as it did go on he should protest against it.

LORD WILLOUGHBY DE ERESBY (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

said he did not desire to address many Questions to the Government, but there was one of very great importance. It had now been admitted that our real object in having an Army at home was that it should be able to be sent over-seas to be employed abroad, and it was not fair to ask the Government for further details as to what part of the world we might require to send the Army, because no one could know where it would be required. His own opinion as regarded any reduction of the Army was that the watchword of the Army should be ubique,, as it was not possible to say in what portion of the globe it would have to fight. One Question, however, the Secretary of State for War would have to answer, and that was how many men he expected to get during the next year's recruiting? Last year when they came to vote men for the Army 230,000 men were voted. How, many of those men were obtained during last year? This year there was a small reduction made and only 227,000 were asked for. It was no good asking the right hon. Gentleman how many men he hoped to get, because the obvious answer would be that he hoped to get them all, but it was a fair question to ask how-many men he expected to get, and after all that was the main question when the Committee were voting a number of men and the money to keep them. The money voted in the previous year was not required for our home establishment. Our battalion average was 800 men, and during the greater portion of the previous year they were only 600 to a battalion, and he would like to know what had become of the money voted for the extra 200 men for each battalion. It was no doubt used for other purposes, but it was ridiculous to ask for a large amount of money for men that did not exist. He did not wish to make it harder for the War Office in the scheme of reorganisation of the Army, but he would like to know how many men were actually in the Army last year, and how many recruits did they expect to get. In all is question of Army reform it appeared to him that it did not matter one farthing whether the men were formed into Army Corps or into territorial commands—there still remained only 200,000 men, and he thought any scheme for the reorganisation of the Army ought to be based on the number of recruits that could be obtained.


thought his noble friend had been misled by an insufficient perusal of the documents contained in the Estimates. He could assure his noble friend that the Army I was not under strength. On the contrary, it was over strength. It was a fact that the Infantry and the Guards were to a I certain extent under strength, but during the past year the Army as a whole was considerably overborne. The result was that they were compelled to come down to the House and ask for an additional I sum to provide the pay which was not I down in the Estimates for the year. The suggestion that they had diverted money which was intended for the pay of the men to other purposes, therefore, fell to the ground. The number of recruits I they were getting now was as large as, in fact, much larger than they had ever got before at any time, except during the war. He would also remind the hon. Member that he had entirely omitted from his consideration the fact that although during last year two important branches of the Army—the Cavalry and Artillery—and several subsidiary branches were closed to recruiting, they got no less than 40,000 men. He did not think, in view of the larger pay that was coming into force next year, they need despair of getting the number of recruits they required. The difficulties connected with recruiting would be, he thought, of a different kind. They would concern the quality of the recruits, and also the conditions under which they served.

MR. O'MARA (Kilkenny, S.)

asked the hon. Gentleman to explain how it was that there were 600 recruits less in January than in January last year.


said he could not account or the want of regularity in the recruiting for any particular month. The right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean had said many things with which he agreed, but he could not agree with him when he said that it was the duty of hon. Members to vote for a reduction in the number of men. It might be the duty of the right hon. Baronet to vote against the number of men asked for upon some ground of principle, but he did say most emphatically, as the Minister responsible for the time being for the Army, that he was confident that if such a reduction as had been suggested were carried into effect it would have a very disastrous effect indeed upon the Army. He agreed with the right lion. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean, that we ought to have a system by which the number of men at home would not correspond to the number of men abroad, and he was confident it was possible to devise machinery to secure that object. But if they stopped the present machinery before they had something to put in its place, and so diminished the output of effective troops, they would do a great disservice to the cause of the Empire in all parts of the world. He did not know whether he could persuade hon. Members that that was a sufficient reason why they should abstain from voting for this reduction, but to him it seemed a sound and adequate reason. He agreed that they were not supplying the men in the most economical manner, and the great change of policy described by the Prime Minister, by which our Army ceased to be regarded as a source of supply to the Army over-sea, must inevitably cause them to modify their views as to the necessity for maintaining the same number of units at home and abroad. He could only repeat what he had already said about Somaliland.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman held out the hope of a specific reduction in battalions.


said that was certainly his hope.


asked whether he could give any indication of the scale.


said his hon. friend must not press him too far. He had his ideas on this subject, but he thought it would be very disadvantageous to give statements and figures which he might hive to recall later on. With regard to Somaliland his reasons might not seem adequate, but he was not in a position to say more about it at the present time except that he had no official knowledge of the telegram which ad been referred to.


Will the right hon. Gentleman inquire from General Egerton.


said he was in constant communication with General Egerton. He had not received any telegram to the effect described. The action indicated was certainly not in pursuance of any instructions given from this country. He had been asked what was the cause of these operations. They had been undertaken because those under our protection had been attacked, not once, but two or three times. He appealed to the Committee to allow this Vote to be passed.


said that the argument of the Secretary of State for War was that in his opinion it was essential to have the number of men which he had put, upon the Estimates. He contended that the Committee was not justified in putting this burden on the country without having a much clearer idea than had been given to it of the objects for which the expenditure was required. The noble Lord opposite had put forward the doctrine that it would depend upon the recruiting sergeant as well as upon the Secretary of State for War as to whether the full number of recruits would enter the Army this year. No one would dispute the doctrine that the Army ought to be fit to servo anywhere, but they did dispute that numbers necessarily constituted efficiency. He believed they had a larger number upon paper now than they would be able to bring to a high standard of efficiency. What reason was there for maintaining 130,000 men at home. The reason given was that in view of the condition of affairs upon the Indian frontier they had to maintain that large number of men in this country to reinforce adequately the garrison of India, but that was a doctrine which he had never accepted. The best means of securing the safety of India had been taken by the Government in re-arming the Artillery and the Infantry and in strengthening the garrison there and maintaining a considerable number of troops in South Africa. He did not think that a case had been made out for the maintenance of such a great number of men at home. They could in case of need call upon a great number of men in this country who were accustomed to war, and no sound or adequate reason had been given for maintaining such a large number of troops in this country. The sum they had voted to the Navy this year had rendered the position of this country secure, and if the number were reduced by 10,000 we should still have a sufficient Army, which we ought to spare nothing to render thoroughly efficient. He was satisfied that this reduction was necessary, and he should heartily support it. If the right hon. Gentleman expected the Committee to support Estimates of this magnitude he must be prepared to give fuller information and take the Committee more into the confidence of the War Office in regard to their plans. Without fuller information the Committee was not justified merely upon the opinion of the Secretary of State for War in voting this vast number of men.


said that some Members on that side were placed in a difficult position in view of the reduction of 27,000 men for which twenty-seven of them voted last year. Nothing in the Estimates showed that the circumstances against which they then protested were altered to-day, and he could not say that the reduction now proposed was unwise or would be prejudicial to the interests of the country. He felt most strongly that what they required was a smaller and a cheaper Army. He had a good deal of faith in what his right hon. friend was going to do, and he believed it would be possible for him to effect some substantial reduction in the number of men and the cost of the Army without making any proportionate diminution in the actual fighting strength of the forces. Everybody who took an interest in the Army independently of Party politics would desire that the right hon. Gentleman should have a fair opportunity of trying to solve the riddle with which he was confronted. In these circumstances he was not prepared to embarass the right hon. Gentleman by voting against him on this occasion.

*CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)

said he desired to make his position perfectly clear in voting for the reduction. He would vote for the reduction purely on principle. The Estimates dealt with a system which we had reason to believe had become inadequate. He desired to give support to the views which the present Secretary for War was believed to hold, and asked for a declaration from him whether he had the support of the Cabinet in regard to the views which he would wish to carry out. They had tin; Secretary of State for War speaking with one voice and pledged to a certain system of reform, and on the other hand they had reason to believe that in the Cabinet there were three former Secretaries of State for War, and, as far as was known, the Prime Minister, wedded to the six paper Army Corps. What the Committee wanted to know was whether the Secretary of State for War was in a position to carry out the programme which he had advocated over and over again, from below the Gangway. The Prime Minister had stated that the Army Corps scheme bad failed. The Estimates were based on that scheme, but according to what was foreshadowed in the Report it seemed that some other system was about to take its place. The Secretary of State for War had said that the details must be left to the Council. But the Council was the creation of the Cabinet, and the Prime Minister was in a position to accept or refuse any of the recommendations of the Council which he thought fit. The Secretary of State for War asked the other day what were the duties the Army was intended to perform. The right hon. Gentleman said there were doubts concerning it, but there were no doubts on his part, or on that of almost all those who claimed to be Army reformers, on either side of the House, in that matter. They had always held that what was required was a mobile striking force, small, but of good quality, within this country, and also that for the defence of the Empire we should have a steady flow of proper recruits who would serve a sufficien time in India to make the garrison there efficient, and not what it was at present, to a great extent inefficient. What was the present system for which these Estimates were placed before the House? They were for keeping up a system to which many hon. Members were absolutely opposed. He drew attention the other day to a matter in connection with recruiting which struck at the basis of the present system, namely, the keeping up of a large number of battalions at homo, and the filling of these, at the expense of the taxpayers, with undesirable men. These men when sent out to India, had to be sent up to the hills, and then drafted home, for they were totally unsuited to garrison India. It did not pay the Indian Government to take recruits unless they served five years in India; yet in order to carry out the absurd system of linked battalions, which had signally failed, the taxpayers were saddled with an expense of £500,000 in respect of these youths sent out to India. There were many men who had served in the South African campaign who would be glad to serve for five or seven years in India. What we wanted was an efficient garrison for India and a small striking force at home. The Committee were completely in the dark with reference to that situation. The right hon. Gentleman had not foreshadowed in the smallest degree what was going to be done with reference to the Auxiliary Forces. They knew from his own words that the Militia were in a deplorable state, but he had not shown where either officers or men were to be obtained for that force. They knew that there was a Committee sitting with reference to the Volunteers, but they had no certainty that there was any future for that force. Such being the state of chaos in every branch of the defensive forces of the Empire was it fair to ask the Committee to vote this large number of men unless they got an assurance that a complete change would occur before the close of the financial year? He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would indicate approximately the date when the reduction foreshawed would take place.

CAPTAIN BAGOT (Westmoreland, Kendal)

hoped that commanding officers would be allowed to take on three-year men of good character at the expiry of the three years for another year or so.


said that had already been done.


said that arrangement would be much appreciated. He believed it would tend to increase the battalions. He suggested that, after three years service, men might be allowed to Jake a furlough of two or three months and then return and complete their time with the Reserves. He thought it would be of great advantage if 5,000 of the Yeomanry who could ride and shoot well were registered as liable to be called on for service, either with mounted infantry, cavalry regiments, or as a separate force. Such men should receive £5 a year as a registration fee, and the cost, £25,000, might be met by reducing the nineteen days now allowed for Yeomanry training, which was too long a period, to seventeen days. He did not propose; that the right hon. Gentleman should make that addition to his Estimates unless he could make a saving in another direction. Roughly speaking, the cost of these 5,000 registered men at £5 each would be £25,000. Well, the present period of Yeomanry training was nineteen days, which most Yeomanry officers believed, under present circumstances, to be too long. If that period were reduced by two days, the saving would be nearly £25,000, which would cover the cost of the 5,000 registered men. He knew that certain Yeomanry officer, supported by the Secretary for India, objected to the scheme on the ground, first of all, that there would be two classes of men in the regiment and that there might be great jealousy between them. He thought that was a feeble objection. He had consulted private soldiers in the Yeomanry and the permanent staff's and they all thought the scheme a most excellent one, and that there would be no jealousy whatever. The second objection was that all the best men in the regiment would be taken away in time of war, leaving only the indifferent men in the ranks. Again he thought that objection was feeble, for there would be plenty of time to get the indifferent men up to a proper and efficient state of discipline in the case of war. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would consider this scheme favourably. There was another matter he would like to refer to. He saw that the School of Instruction for Cavalry and Yeomanry officers and non-commissioned officers had been very properly re-established and that a further sum of money had been expended on it. A very large sum was also spent on a School of Instruction for Mounted Infantry, and that had been doubled in the Estimates this year. He thought the question of Mounted Infantry had rather fallen into abeyance, and that there were now no mounted infantry This School, which cost £14,000 a year, was to teach a certain number of infantry men to do mounted duty; but instead of teaching infantry soldiers to ride the money should be spent in teaching the cavalry to shoot. The proper way to provide mounted infantry was to get them from the Yeomanry; and the 5,000 men to which he had referred would be absolutely well suited to make the mounted infantry regiments.

MR. J. A. PEASE (Essex, Saffron Walden)

said that during the twelve years he had been in the House he had not trespassed in the debates on the Votes for either the Navy or Army; but he felt that the time had come when he was bound, in the interest of the constituency he represented, to make some protest against the constant and steady increase in the amount of our permanent armaments, lie did not know whether the House realised the condition of affairs from a financial point of view in this country compared with other countries. He found that for the military line of defence France paid £32,189,000; Germany £31,889,000; the United States £24,383,000 and Russia £30,647,000. It seemed to him unnecessary that this country should incur an expenditure for the Army greater than any other country except Russia. But the £33,000,000 which we paid for our Army service was only for these little islands of Great Britain and Ireland. But if the expenditure of the Army in India and the Colonies was included it amounted to £54,000,000. Again, if the total expenditure on the Army and Navy were taken into consideration, France spent £44,728,000; Germany, £42,132,000; United States, £41,208,000; Russia, £48,986,000, while the British Empire spent on the same services £96,000,000 a year, or twice more than any other civilised country in the world. They might, therefore, well ask the Government to try and reduce that amount instead of increasing it. It seemed to him that never had a reduction in this expenditure been moved with a greater amount of argument than at the present moment. Our trade was in a depressed condition; our people were taxed, as they had never been before, in connection with the war in South Africa; and it was absolutely necessary that we should have economy in public expenditure. The Secretary for War told the Committee that the wear and tear and waste of the machine at the present time was greater than it ought to be, and that was a full justification for hon. Members to go into the Division Lobby in favour of reduction. Some allusion had been made to Somaliland and to the necessity of the Government policy being made clear to the House and the country in connection with the expedition. If the Government had taken notice of the warnings given to it, in time, there would have been no necessity for this force being sent out to East Africa. The Government had full warnings when the raids took place in that country, but no notice was taken of them. When the Indian Government had control of Somaliland there was no difficulty in that country. Those engaged in administering Protectorates like Somaliland adhered to their proper functions and there was good government. But the case was changed when Somaliland was handed over to the Foreign Office. The natives who trusted to us were left without arms, and when the local authorities wanted the support of the Government in order to put down breaches of the peace no notice was taken of their demands. It was not until the Mullah had had time to raise a large force and massacre a whole country side that the country became in the condition it was now found in. At the present moment Parliament and the country did not know what the policy of the Government was in regard to that muddle in Somaliland, and on that ground also the Committee was fully justified in voting for the reduction moved by the right hon. Member.

GENERAL LAURIE (Pembroke and Haverfordwest)

said that some allusion had been made last year as to the desirability of a considerable reduction in the personnel, of the Army, and he shared that opinion very strongly. He shared it still, and yet he was not prepared to vote for the reduction of the Vote proposed by the right hon. Gentleman. And for this reason—following the advice of President Lincoln—he did not believe in swopping horses when crossing a stream. At this moment he trusted that we were about to cross a stream, and he hoped that after the stream was crossed we should put things on a thorough businesslike footing. But at the present moment we had battalions abroad that must be kept up to their strength and the only plan for doing so just now, was the unfortunate system of linked battalions. H> very much regretted that the Secretary for War had decided to reduce the strength of the home battalions by fifty men each.


I did not reduce them; they reduced themselves.


said that that only showed that the recruiting was in a bad state, and that the organisation of the Army was in a worse state even than he thought it. He would rather have seen efforts made to maintain the strength of these battalions, because they were the training ground on which to make soldiers and officers. A home battalion was largely composed of staff, band, and various men, perfectly useful in themselves, but not efficient as contributions to the foreign service battalion of the regiment. If 10,000 men here taken from the Army they would have to he taken from the home battalions, and the home battalions could not stand any such reduction. What would be the strength then of the battalions as a training force? They would be useless. We must carry on the present system as it was, expensive as it might be, and hope for such reorganisation as to maintain an efficient military force at less expense as soon as possible.


complained that no answer had been given with regard to the Questions put to the Government as to their policy in Somali-land, and with regard to the message that had been sent to the Mullah by General Egerton, to the effect that the war would continue until the Mullah were either killed or captured. He asked, did anyone believe that, as a result of the message, this man who had proved his courage for so long would come in and surrender? Suggestions had been made in this House as to whether the wells in this desert and barren laid should he poisoned. Was it not a fact that during the recent barren season the wells had been guarded in such a way that not only had the Mullah's troops been kept from getting water, but also their women and children, who were dying of thirst at the present time. Was that a humane way of conducting a war? Must the women and children as well as the combatants be killed by thirst in this arid and desert place? He also asked whether the Indian soldiers employed were not footsore and tired, and whether they wore not disappointed at the prolongation and the negative result of the war. He regarded the result of the three years campaign in Somaliland in the same light as it had been regarded by the hon. Member for West Clare, as an absolute waste of the taxpayers, money, and he characterised the presentation of the present Estimates to the Committee without any item for the campaign in Somaliland as a dishonest measure. He had taken a good deal of interest in these Estimates, but had come to the conclusion that it was useless to attempt to discuss them in this House, because what really occurred was that Estimates were presented to, and passed by the House for men that did not exist, and the money so obtained was devoted to other purposes. The Militia was 40,000 and the Volunteers were 100,000 below strength, yet for years money had been obtained from the House for those forces which could not possibly have been devoted to the purpose for which it was voted. It was a ridiculous thing to vote money for the pay of men who it was known before hand did not exist. And the result was that every year about the month of June the Government brought in a Resolution to indemnify the War Office for having appropriated money for one purpose which had been voted for another. An amount closely approximating that which was really required for the pay of the Army ought to be put before the House. His recollection was that ever since he had been in the House about £1,000,000 in excess of what was required for the pay of the Army was voted every year, and his submission was that the Estimates, as prepared, really threw dust in the eyes of the country and deceived the country as to the real cost of the Army. There was an item in the present Estimates of £13,000 for the extra expense of keeping the Army in South Africa. He was glad to hear the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition protest against an Army being kept there at all, and he quite agreed with the right hon. Gentleman that if an Army must necessarily be kept in South Africa the Colonies ought to bear some shire of the expense. Having regard to the amount Ireland had to pay for the upkeep of an Army which she did not require, he could not see why the Colonies should not pay a proportion of the cost of the armies kept in the Colonies. He thought they ought to pay a fair share of the expense incurred for their protection. He suggested that a similar pledge should be given by the Secretary of State for War with regard to the Military Works Bill as was given by the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Admiralty with regard to r.he Naval Works Bill, namely, that he should append a statement to the Estimates showing how the £15,000,000 voted for Military Works was spent. He pressed the right hon. Gentleman to say what the real policy of the Government was in regard to Somaliland, and asked whether there was any finality in it, or whether, if the Mullah were not captured before the rainy season now due, General Egerton was to be engaged again in pursuing him all over those barren wastes and useless country. If Irish money was not spent on these madcap ventures he should have nothing to say upon the Estimates, but so long as Irish money was used and this war was continued, he should continue to protest against it and press the Government to arrive at some finality in their policy.

MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

pressed for a more definite statement with regard to the operations in Somaliland. Two contradictory declarations had been made—one by the right hon. Gentleman to the effect that a favourable opportunity would be taken of bringing the war to a close, and the other in a telegram, purporting to come from the General in command, that there was no intention of terminating the operations until the Mullah was either killed or captured. He desired to ask a plain question: Was that telegram authentic; if so, was it authorised by His Majesty's Government? As to the proposal to reduce the Vote by 10,000 men, he would gladly vote in its favour. Substantial reductions in the Army Estimates had been promised, but there was no sign of the fulfilment of those promises. In the commercial interests of the country protests against the attitude of the Government were necessary. The great expenditure in the Army and the Navy was justified on the ground that it was for the insurance of our trade, but unless the present system was amended the very trade which these services were supposed to protect would lie strangled and destroyed. The heavy burden of taxation was one of the principal causes of the depression in trade, and it was the duty of the Committee not to allow any Vote to pass without pressing on the Government the necessity of effective measures being introduced to bring about substantial reductions in the expenditure of the country.


remarked that civil questions deserved civil answers, and he thought he had a right to a reply on the particular points he had raised.


said that a civil answer deserved civil attention, but after asking his questions the hon. Member left the House, and consequently was absent when the reply was made.


expressed his regret that he should have been absent during the right hon. Gentleman's remarks. He understood, however, that a direct answer was not given to the direct question he had put. What he wanted to know was whether the telegram alleged to have been sent by General Egerton was genuine, and if so, whether it was sent by the cognisance or by the authority of the Government.


said that, not as a matter of right, but as a matter of courtesy, he would repeat his reply to the hon. Member. The Government knew nothing whatever about the telegram in question, no official telegram had been received on the matter: and it was not sent in accordance with any official instructions.


said that that answer justified him in asking that the right hon. Gentleman should ascertain whether the telegram was actually sent.

MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)

drew attention to the enormous number of generals employed in the Army. In asking for a pledge that some reduction should lie made in this respect he contended that he was not making an unreasonable demand, because, even allowing for the extent of the Empire, the disproportion between the number of our general officers and the number in foreign armies was so extraordinary that it really demanded the serious attention of the authorities at tins War Office. Seeing that the Army Corps system was to be done away with at once, there ought to be some reduction in the number of generals. According to the Estimates, we had five full generals, five lieutenant-generals, thirty-three major-generals, and twenty-one brigadier-generals. That was surely an ample supply of generals for an Army of 600,000 men. In addition to these there were a considerable number of generals on half-pay. In many cases a major-general was employed where; a brigadier-general would do equally well. It was sometimes said to be an economy to employ these men, because if a general was placed on half-pay there would be the pay of a colonel to be found in addition. But that only bore out his point that we had too many general officers. At Gibraltar there were three generals to a force of less than 10,000 men. It was true that one was governor, another was an artillery general, and the third was an infantry general. The governor, however, at so small a place, would lie amply qualified and have plenty of leisure to discharge the duties of general, and a great saving would be effected by the substitution of artillery and infantry colonels for the other two generals. The reductions could not all be made at once, but at any rate a promise might be given that no further promotions should be made for the present, certainly of men who had not recently distinguished themselves on active service. If the right hon. Gentleman would give a pledge of economy in this matter it would show that he was anxious not only for the efficiency of the service, but also for a reduction of expenditure. Economy now would greatly assist the right hon. Gentleman in getting his demands satisfied later on Unless reductions were made in time the country would distrust the power of the War Office to make them. It was no use saying that the Army must be what the Empire required it to be. The Army would always be what the country was willing to pay for, and unless the War Office showed a desire to effect real retrenchment the country might get so alarmed at the expenditure as to force reductions which would be dangerous to the future of the Army. Unless the Government gave some pledge in the matter it would be the duty of the Committee not only to press for reductions but even to divide against the Votes.

MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)

said that last year they voted large sums for improvement of the pay, and as the general conditions of the Army were better, and one would have thought that that would have attracted more recruits for the Army. He should have thought that the war and the state of the home trade, and the fact that such a, large number of men were unemployed, would have facilitated recruiting.


said that the state of recruiting was not bad.


said he understood that the right hon. Gentleman had not got as man men as he wanted.


said that after the war a very large number of men left the country. If the hon. Gentleman looked at the recruiting returns carefully he would find that they were not bad.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

, said he should have no difficulty with regard to the vote he was going to give, and he only regretted that the reduction moved was not larger. What they wanted was a reduction in their general expenditure upon armaments. Their expenditure at the present time on armaments was £95,500,000, and of this vast amount the United Kingdom had to pay, £73,500,000. They could not afford that amount as the normal expenditure upon armaments. Complaints bad been made from both sides of the House with regard to the enormous expenditure, and the only way to bring about economy was to vote fur a heavy reduction in the number of men, for that was the only way to prevent Ministers coming down to the House with new schemes. The Secretary of State for War had practically admitted that the reduction was infinitesimal in the normal expenditure on the Army. They had heard about the War Office scheme for the reorganisation of the Army, but he did not know in what position that scheme was, or whether it was to lie carried out in its entirety. They had heard that a member of the Cabinet had threatened to resign unless that scheme was modified. They knew that the Prime Minister had only to be threatened with a resignation in order to change his whole policy. Two years ago the Prime Minister praised the scheme of the Secretary for India, but the present scheme practically made a scapegoat of the Secretary of State for India, for it meant that his scheme was a rotten one and that he knew nothing about the question. He had invariably found that the only effect of such schemes was to stave off criticism and increase the expenditure of the Army. Ho did not say that this new scheme would have that effect, but, judging from past experience, it was exceedingly probable. They had been told that the primary business of the Army was to conduct military operations across the sea, but if a Minister got hold of a largo quantity of soldiers he would very soon find some cause to employ them. They had an instance of this in Somaliland, and he had not the slightest idea why they were at war with this respectable prophet, who was a brave man struggling to be free and maintaining the independence of his country. There might be good reasons for these operations, but they had not yet been given, and the had simply drifted into he war in Somaliland. The cost of those operations had gone up and in these Estimates not one farthing was put down for Somaliland. Those operations were sure to cost something, and some amount ought to be put in the Estimates if they were to be really an anticipation of what they were likely to spend. Probably they would have a Supplementary Estimate presented, but it was a very bad system, and that was one reason why he should vote for this reduction. They were told by the Prime Minister yester-day, when the Leader of the Opposition protested against maintaining an army of 21,000 men in Cape Colony, that it was monstrous and scandalous and that the right lion. Gentleman was an enemy to his country because the very idea of reducing the number of the garrison in South Africa might induce the Boers to break out in rebellion. The forecasts which he and his friend had made as to the result of the war had proved to be correct, although at the time they were spoken of as traitors to their country-He voted for this reduction upon three grounds. In the first place it was an old constitutional doctrine that when they had a Government which was excessively pernicious and they could not get rid of it they ought to refuse supplies. Upon that principle it was his intention to vote for any reduction of any kind that might be proposed by anyone in this House. His second objection was that they had all declared that the expenditure upon armaments was too great and the only way to protest against this was to vote against all sums of money for armaments. His third reason was that they had been told that this was only a provisional Estimate, and that there was a scheme to be brought in which would revolutionise everything. Under those circumstances he thought the right hon. Gentleman ought to take back these Estimates in order to calculate the amount that would be required. He hoped hon. Members on the Opposition side would move as many reductions as possible, and if they did they would have his most cordial support.

MR. BOND (Nottingham, E.)

asked if the War Office had insisted upon those qualifications for efficient service which were last year so strongly emphasised. They were paying, at the present time, a great deal more for their soldiers, and they were told last year that great care would be taken to see that the men who enlisted were really of good character, and that they would be drawn from a rather superior class than the soldiers, up to that time, had been drawn from. He wished to know if those conditions had been complied with and insisted upon.

*MR. AINSWORTH (Argyllshire)

said that if they voted the number of men asked for, they would be bound to vote the cost which would naturally follow. Therefore he thought the way to begin was by reducing the number of men. The right hon. Baronet had said the: number of men required for foreign service depended upon the duties they had to perform. He wished to know who was responsible for arranging those duties. Until they knew what the policy of the Government was on these matters they had no idea what the duties were which the men were required to perform. The principle he would like to impress upon the Front Ministerial Bench was that "Expenditure depended upon Policy" and, until they knew what the policy was, they had no means of criticising the expenditure. He should like to know what were the duties of these 20,000 men in South Africa, and these 6,000 or 8,000 men for Somaliland. Why were they sending those men there? They did not want "more territory or more gold-fields." Now they were face to face with the establishment of a permanent garrison of 20,000 men in a British colony, the cost of which was not to be paid by the Colonies, but by the taxpayers of this country. They wished

to know what was the object of this garrison in South Africa. If that garrison was to be permanent what became of the policy of representative government in South Africa? Before this Vote was passed the Committee should get from the Government an explanation of what the policy in South Africa was. In regard to Somaliland he thought that when we had succeeded in driving the Mullah out of the territories under our protection he might have been left alone. He did not think we were bound to undertake a military expedition every time a "prophet" appeared on the borders of the British Empire.

Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 155; Noes. 228. (Division List 47.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Farrell, James Patrick Markham, Arthur Basil
Ainsworth, John Stirling Fenwick, Charles Mooney, John J.
Allen, Charles P. Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Ambrose, Robert Ffrench, Peter Murphy, John
Ashton, Thomas Gair Field, William Nannetti, Joseph P.
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Flavin, Michael Joseph Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Black, Alexander William Flynn, James Christopher O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Blake, Edward Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid
Boland, John Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn Fuller, J. M. F. O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)
Brigg, John Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herb. John O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Broadhurst, Henry Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Dowd, John
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Hammond, John O'Malley, William
Burke, E. Haviland Harwood, George O'Mara, James
Burns, John Hayden, John Patrick O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Caldwell, James Helme, Norval Watson Parrott, William
Cameron, Robert Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Partington, Oswald
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Holland, Sir William Henry Paulton, James Mellor
Causton, Richard Knight Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Channing, Francis Allston Horniman, Frederick John Pirie, Duncan V.
Clancy, John Joseph Humphseys-Owen, Arthur C. Power, Patrick Joseph
Condon, Thomas Joseph Jacoby, James Alfred Price, Robert John
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Johnson, John (Gateshead) Rea, Russell
Crombie, John William Joicey, Sir James Reddy, M.
Cullinan, J. Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea) Redmond. John E. (Waterford)
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Redmond, William (Clare)
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Jordan, Jeremiah Roche, John
Devlin, Charles Ramsay (Galway Joyce, Michael Roe, Sir Thomas
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.) Kearley, Hudson E. Russell, T. W.
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Kilbride, Denis Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Dobbie, Joseph Labouchere, Henry Schwann, Charles E.
Donelan, Captain A. Layland-Barratt, Francis Shackleton, David James
Doogan, P. C. Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington) Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Lloyd-George, David Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Duncan, J. Hastings Lundon, W. Sheehy, David
Edwards, Frank MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Shipman, Dr. John G.
Elibank, Master of MacVeagh, Jeremiah Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Ellice, Capt. EC (S. Andrw's Bghs M'Crae, George Slack, John Bamford
Emmott, Alfred M'Hugh, Patrick A. Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Esmonde, Sir Thomas M'Kean, John Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidstone M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (Northants
Strachey, Sir Edward Wallace, Robert Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Sullivan, Donal Walton, John Lawson (Leeds. S.) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.)
Tennant, Harold John Warner, Thomas Courtenay T. Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan) Young, Samuel
Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) Yoxall, James Henry
Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr) Weir, James Galloway
Tomkinson, James White, George (Norfolk) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.Buchanan and Mr. Charles Hobhouse.
Toulmin, George White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Ure, Alexander Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbighs
Allsopp, Hon. George Doxford, Sir William Theodore Kimber, Henry
Anson, Sir William Reynell Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Knowles, Sir Lees
Arkwright, John Stanhope Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Laurie, Lieut.-General
Arrol, Sir William Faber, George Denison (York) Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Fardell, Sir T. George Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th)
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Bain, Colonel James Robert Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Lawson, Jn. G. (Yorks., N. R.)
Baird, John George Alexander Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)
Balcarres, Lord Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Fisher, William Hayes Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.
Balfour, Capt. C, B. (Hornsey) Fison, Frederick William Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W. (Leeds FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Flannery, Sir Fortescue Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol,S.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Flower, Sir Ernest Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Forster, Henry William Lowe, Francis William
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Fyler, John Arthur Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Gardner, Ernest Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth.
Bignold, Arthur Garfit, William Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Bigwood, James Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Macdona, John Cumming
Blundell, Colonel Henry Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'mlets Maconochie, A. W.
Bond, Edward Gore, Hn. G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop Martin, Richard Biddulph
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.) Maxwell, W. J. H (Dumfriesshire
Bousfield, William Robert Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Bowles, Lt.-Col. H. F. (Middlesex Goschen, Hn. George Joachim Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Goulding, Edward Alfred Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.
Bull, William James Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Butcher, John George Gretton, John Moore, William
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow Greville, Hon. Ronald Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ. Groves, James Grimble Morpeth, Viscount
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hain, Edward Morrell, (George Herbert
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Morrison, James Archibald
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford Mount, William Arthur
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Hare, Thomas Leigh Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A (Worc Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th) Murray. Rt. Hn A. Graham (Bute
Chapman, Edward Haslett, Sir James Horner Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Charrington, Spencer Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Newdegate, Francis A. N.
Churchill, Winston Spencer Hay, Hon. Claude George Nicholson, William Graham
Clive, Captain Percy A. Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley) O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Coates, Edward Feetham Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.) Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Holder, Augustus Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley
Coghill, Douglas Harry Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.) Pemberton, John S. G
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hickman, Sir Alfred Percy, Earl
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Hoare, Sir Samuel Pierpoint, Robert
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside) Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Compton, Lord Alwyne Hornby, Sir William Henry Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Horner, Frederick William Pretyman, Finest George
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Houston, Robert Paterson Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Purvis, Robert
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Hudson, George Bickersteth Pym, C. Guy
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hunt, Rowland Randles, John S.
Davenport, William Bromley Jameson, Major J. Eustace Rankin, Sir James
Dickson, Charles Seott Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Jeffreys, Bt. Hon. Arthur Fred. Reid, James (Greenock)
Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph C. Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Remnant, James Farquharson
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green
Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Whiteley, H. (Ashtonund. Lyne
Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.) Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Robinson, Brooke Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Stock, James Henry Willox, Sir John Archibald
Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Stone, Sir Benjamin Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.
Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Stroyan, John Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Round, Rt. Hon. James Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUniv. Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Thorburn, Sir Walter Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Thornton, Percy M. Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Tomlinson, Sir Win. Edw. M. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Saunderson, R. t. Hn. Col. Edw. J. Tritton, Charles Ernest Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Seton-Karr, Sir Henry Valentia, Viscount TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir
Sharpe, William Edward T. Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H. Alexander Acland-Hood
Simeon, Sir Barrington Wanklyn, James Leslie and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
Sloan, Thomas Henry Welby, Sir Charles O. E. (Notts.)
Smith, James Parker Lanarks. Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd

Original Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 250; Noes, 84. (Division List No. 48.)

Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Coghill, Douglas Harry Goschen, Hon. George Joachim
Allsopp, Hon. George Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Goulding, Edward Alfred
Anson, Sir William Reynell Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury
Arkwright, John Stanhope Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Gretton, John
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Compton, Lord Alwyne Greville, Hon. Ronald
Arrol, Sir William Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Groves, James Grimble
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Hain, Edward
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.
Bain, Colonel James Robert Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry
Baird, John George Alexander Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Hardy, Laurence (Kont, Ashford
Balcarres, Lord Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hare, Thomas Leigh
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Davenport, William Bromley Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Haslett, Sir James Horner
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds Dickson, Charles Scott Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph. Hay, Hon. Claude George
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E. Heath. James (Staffords, N. W.
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Helder, Augustus
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Doxford, Sir William Theodore Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Hickman, Sir Alfred
Bignold, Arthur Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Hoare, Sir Samuel
Bigwood, James Edwards, Frank Holland, Sir William Henry
Black, Alexander William Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside
Blundell, Colonel Henry- Elibank, Master of Hornby, Sir William Henry
Bond, Edward Ellice, Capt EC (S. Andrw's Bghs. Horner, Frederick William
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Emmott, Alfred Houston, Robert Paterson
Bousfield, William Robert Faber, George Denison (York) Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil
Bowles, Lt,-Col. H. F. (Middle Sex Fardell, Sir T. George Hudson, George Bickersteth
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r Hunt, Rowland
Bull, William James Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Jacoby, James Alfred
Butcher, John George Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Jameson, Major J. Eustace
Caldwell, James Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A.(Glasgow Fisher, William Hayes Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred.
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ. Fison, Frederick William Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Flannery, Sir Fortescue Joicey, Sir James
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Flower, Sir Ernest Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Forster, Henry William Kearley, Hudson E.
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Fyler, John Arthur Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.
Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Worc. Gardner, Ernest Kenyon, Hon. Geo T. (Denbign
Chapman, Edward Garfit, William Kimber, Henry
Charrington, Spencer Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Knowles, Sir Lees
Churchill, Winston Spencer Gordon, Maj. Evans (T'rT'mlets Lambton, Hon. Frederick Win.
Clive, Captain Percy A. Gore, Hn. G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop Laurie, Lieut.-General
Coates, Edward Feetham Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc) Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)
Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th Pemberton, John S. G. Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Percy, Earl Stock, James Henry
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks N. R Pierpoint, Robert Stone, Sir Benjamin
Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Fareham Pirie, Duncan V. Stroyan, John
Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Platt-Higgins, Frederick Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Pretyman, Ernest George Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Oxf'd Univ
Loder, Gerald Walter Frskine Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E)
Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Purvis, Robert Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)
Long. Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S. Pym, C. Guy Thorburn, Sir Walter
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Randles, John S. Thornton, Percy M.
Lowe, Francis William Rankin, Sir James Tollemache, Henry James
Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Rea, Russell Tritton, Charles Ernest
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Reid, James (Greenock) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Macdona, John Cumming Remnant, James Farquharson Ure, Alexander
Maconochie, A. W. Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green Valentia, Viscount
Markham, Arthur Basil Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Martin, Richard Biddulph Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H
Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriesshire Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Wanklyn, James Leslie
Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Robinson, Brooke Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)
Mildmay, Francis Bingham Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G. Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N. Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne
Moore, William Round, Rt. Hon. James Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow Russell, T. W. Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Morpeth, Viscount Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Morrell, George Herbert Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Morrison, James Archibald Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.
Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.)
Mount, William Arthur Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Mowbray Sir Robert Gray C. Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J. Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Murray, Rt. Hi. A. Graham (Bute Scott, Sir S (Marylebone, W.) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath Seton-Karr, Sir Henry Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Newdegate, Francis A. N. Sharpe, William Edward T. Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Nicholson, William Graham Simeon, Sir Barrington Wyndham, Rt Hon. George
O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Skewes-Cox, Thomas Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Partington, Oswald Sloan, Thomas Henry
Paulton, James Mellor Smith, James Parker (Lanarks. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir
Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Alexander Acland-Hood
Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Stanley, Ed ward Jas, (Somerset) and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.
Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Brien. Kendal (Tipperary Mid
Ainsworth, John Stirling Flynn, James Christopher O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Allen, Charles P. Fuller, J. M. F. O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Ambrose, Robert Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Dowd, John
Ashton, Thomas Gair Hammond, John O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)
Blake, Edward Harwood, George O'Malley, William
Boland, John Hayden, John Patrick O'Mara, James
Brigg, John Helme, Norval Watson O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Burke, E. Haviland Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Power, Patrick Joseph
Burns, John Jordan, Jeremiah Price, Robert John
Cameron, Robert Joyce, Michael Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Kilbride, Denis Redmond, William (Clare)
Channing, Francis Allston Labouchere, Henry Roche, John
Clancy, John Joseph Lloyd-George, David Roe, Sir Thomas
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lundon, W. Shackleton, David James
Cullinan, J. MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway MacVeagh, Jeremiah Sheehy, David
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.) M'Crae, George Shipman, Dr. John G.
Dobbie, Joseph M'Hugh, Patrick A. Slack, John Bamford
Doogan, P. C. M'Kean, John Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Duncan, J. Hastings M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Sullivan, Donal
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Mooney, John J. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radchffe)
Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone Murphy, John Tomkinson, James
Farrell, James Patrick Nannetti, Joseph P. Toulmin, George
Efrench, Peter Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Wallace, Robert
Field, William O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Wason, Jn. Cathcart (Orkney) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax) TELLERS FOR THE NOES
White, George (Norfolk) Whit taker, Thomas Palmer Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.
Whiteley, George (York, W.R.) Young, Samuel

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £9,746,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge for the Pay, Allowances, and other Charges of His Majesty's Army at Home and Abroad (exclusive of India) (General Staff, Regiments, Reserve, and Departments), which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1905."

*MR. NANNETTI (Dublin, College Green)

said on this Vote he wished to call attention to the action of certain officers in Ireland issuing instructions to young men joining His Majesty's Army to deal exclusively with English firms. He said that in answer to a Question he had put, the Financial Secretary to the War Office had told him that it was not the intention of the War Office to interfere in any way with young officers placing contracts for the supply of kit and uniform with whatever firm they desired. He had then drawn the attention of the Financial Secretary to the War Office to a War Office Circular issued to commanding officers in which certain forms were recommended to officers by which their orders for kit and uniform should be placed with certain firms and asked whether the business was open to competition. The Financial Secretary replied that he had been misinformed, and that a circular had been issued to a certain number of tailors asking for their terms for strict cash payments. Now, he contended, that the circular issued by the late Commander-in-Chief was a direct interference with the right of young officers to deal with what firms they liked. The effect of the circular had been to do serious injury to the trade and to the workmen of Ireland. He would do the late Commander-in-Chief the justice to say that he did not believe that that gallant officer had ever intended the serious consequences that had resulted from his circular. But he could find no information that Irish firms had been asked to tender for any of the articles for kit or uniform.

And, it being half-past Seven of the clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Resolution to be reported upon Monday next; Committee also report Progress; to sit again this evening.