HC Deb 14 March 1905 vol 142 cc1398-461

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £6, 672, 000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Expenses of Wages, etc., to Officers, Seamen, and Boys, Coast Guard, and Royal Marines, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1906. "

*MR. McCRAE (Edinburgh. E. )

said that this money Vote afforded the Committee a fitting opportunity of discussing the financial aspect of the new distribution scheme which the Secretary to the Admiralty had placed before the House. They had had considerable debate as to the financial control of the House, and he would like to point out that, apart from any new measure of control, the Government were not really adhering to the ordinary rules which ought to govern the discussion of Supply. Last year they had on the Army Estimates a statement that those Estimates did not apply to the scheme then to be adopted by the War Office, and now in regard to the Navy they had Estimates which certainly had been framed in accordance with the new scheme of distribution, but they had not had from the official in charge any statement as to what reduction was due to the scheme which had been proposed by the naval authorities. If that new scheme had involved an increase of expenditure they would have had from the Admiralty a statement as to how that increase was made up, and the mere fact that the scheme showed a reduction surely was no excuse for information being withheld. He had no doubt there was a considerable saving as the result of the new proposals. They had the Estimate before them and it showed the considerable reduction as compared with last year of £3, 500, 000. Of course they had to deduct from that £1, 000, 000 which was in the Estimate of last year for the two Chilian war vessels. That reduced the net reduction to £2, 500, 000. What the House was entitled to know was what proportion of that reduction of £2, 500, 000 was due to the new scheme of redistribution. That it would amount to a considerable sum was shown by the Statement of the First Lord of the Admiralty issued on December 6th last. The noble Lord concluded that Memorandum by saying that the scheme would greatly increase the fighting efficiency of the Fleet, and he was happy to say would also result in very considerable economy on the Naval Estimates. Surely they were entitled to know what that "considerable economy" was.

He gathered from the speech which the Prime Minister delivered in Glasgow on January 12th last, that a very large saving was anticipated, for, in speaking of the ships which were to be discarded, the right hon. Gentle- man said they had abolished 130 vessels which figured on the list of the British Navy, and in so doing had made certain economies. They had not depleted the Navy for the mere sake of saving a few hundred thousands or millions; they had not sacrificed the strength of the force on which the well-being of the country depended. Then the right hon. Gentleman went on to say that the cost of their maintenance and repairs—he did not go into figures—was very big, and that had been struck off the Navy Estimates. That went to show that, unless the Prime Minister was speaking with his tongue in his cheek, he had the figures before him, and it he had them, why should they be withheld from the Committee? They were entitled to an answer to that question. The Admiralty must have considered the financial effect of their distribution scheme before they launched it on the country, and, according to the First Lord's Statement, and according also to the statement of the Prime Minister, those figures were available. If they were not, surely it would be a most extraordinary thing on the part of the Admiralty to come to a decision in regard to a great scheme of redistribution without taking into consideration what the financial effect of their proposal was likely to be.

There had been some confusion in regard to the figures connected with the scheme. The First Lord told them that 130 vessels were to be abolished, the Secretary to the Admiralty said there were to be no fewer than 160, and later on the hon. Gentleman qualified that statement by saying that only eighty-four were to go on the scrap heap for three years, and on the previous day he gave a still further qualification. Now the hon. Gentleman had been exceedingly fair to the Committee, he had given them all the information in his power, and therefore he was not to be blamed. The Department, however, was to be blamed for withholding figures, or, in the alternative, for producing a scheme of that magnitude without considering what its financial result would be. An excuse, and probably a justification, for the reduction of the Estimates was to be found in the great increase which had occurred in those Estimates in the last few years, an increase which had amounted in two years to £9, 000, 000. They had treated the Secretary to the Admiralty fairly and had admitted that, so far as the information was available, the scheme proposed was based on sound principles, and he thought that the hon. Gentleman should be equally fair to the Committee and should give them the figures on which the scheme was based, and should show what saving it was expected to effect. He told them the other day that a certain saving had been effected from the fact that they had been making up leeway, and that ships were in better repair, and that, therefore, it was possible to slacken expenditure to a certain extent. Well, a certain amount of the saving might be due to that, but he thought that before proceeding further with the discussion they ought to have from the hon. Gentleman a statement as to what was to be the economy consequent on the adoption of the distribution scheme.

GENERAL LAURIE (Pembroke and Haverfordwest)

said he wished to touch on one part of the policy announced by the Admiralty, and that was in connection with the change of arrangements in the Northern Pacific and Northern Atlantic as to the disposition of our squadrons there. He quite realised that when we obtained undisputed supremacy of the seas it became our duty to be the police of the ocean, but now that other nations had come to the front and were prepared to take their share in policing arrangements, it surely was our duty to concentrate our Fleets, not to scatter our vessels all over the ocean simply as police but to utilise them as military units for fighting purposes. He held that the concentration of our vessels into a fighting organisation must prove a decided advantage, but before we decided to do away with certain bases, and with our occupation of certain seas, it was necessary we should consider whether that in itself was the best thing to do, and whether it was a suitable policy at the present moment. He would take first the case of the Northern Pacific. When we were at war with Russia we decided to attack Petropavlovsk, and then we found we had absolutely no bases whatever in the Pacific Ocean except certain harbours in Peru and Chili. It was, therefore, necessary to establish some form of naval base, and we consequently occupied a point of land where the Hudson Bay Company was then established, and we decided to use it simply as a place to which to carry our wounded after the attack on Petropavlovsk. It never was a dockyard establishment or a naval yard. It was now proposed to withdraw our squadron from the Northern Pacific and to close our base at Vancouver Island, but it would be well to remember that there might come a time in which we should not be in the position we now were in the Pacific, when we should not have certain allies to whom we could turn, and then our only base would be the secondary one at Hong-Kong. There was, at the present time, a coast line of a growing country under the British flag—he referred to Canada—and he would ask was it wise that we should absolutely abandon the only position on that coast line from which we could exercise any control in the Northern Pacific. It was perfectly true that we did not intend to give up our yards, but what was the use of keeping yards if they were to be stripped of all their stores, and if the buildings were simply to be put in the charge of caretakers.

A Question was asked that afternoon in the House to which no definite answer was given, but in the House of Commons of Canada within the last few days the Minister of Militia had announced that after July it was the intention of the Canadian Government to take over the garrisons of Esquimalt and Halifax and to maintain the fortifications there at the expense of the Canadian Government. So far, so good, but what were the garrisons to defend unless they were to protect the naval bases. Surely they were not going only to protect some old sheds in charge of caretakers. Knowing what he did of the country, he was aware that to place these buildings merely in charge of caretakers would not be sufficient. It would involve the keeping up of a large body to labourers and mechanics to maintain them in proper repair, and surely it would be a much better plan—it was one he had suggested to the late First Lord of the Admiralty—that these yards should be handed over to the Dominion Government, that they should take charge of the garrisons and fortifications, and of the naval yards as well, and that they should hold those yards available for our Navy whenever we wished to use them. That applied especially to Esquimalt.

Now he came to the Atlantic coast. He wished to know where the Commander-in-Chief of the North American Squadron was to have his official residence. Was it to be at Plymouth, or the Bermudas, or Halifax, or Jamaica? The proposed closing of the station at Halifax was a very serious matter. We had a large and important property there, in fact, the Imperial Government owned one-third of the whole water frontage, and thus prevented the commercial development of the town. Were we going to put that property in charge of a caretaker and not allow it to be devoted to any useful purpose? Such a policy would not redound to the credit of the Imperial Government. Attached to the Admiralty House were large grounds, a fine naval hospital, and magazines. Would it not be better that they should be utilised for some purpose by the Dominion Government, in return for keeping them in good order? Again, he would like to point out that if we were to keep cruisers in the West Indies all the year round there would be a great deal of sickness. There must be a base on the coast of British North America to which these vessels could go for supplies, and consequently, instead of closing this station altogether let them hand it over to the Dominion Government on the conditions he had suggested.

*MR. BLACK (Banffshire)

said the Secretary to the Admiralty had persistently declined to make any statement as to the policy which had actuated the Government in putting forward the new redistribution scheme, and surely there was no better or more appropriate and available time for making such a statement than the present. Unless that statement was made, all their discussions must necessarily be in large measure futile. He supposed the thought originally in the mind of the Admiralty was that of concentration, but the question was whether they had not stopped short of full concentration. The idea, he supposed, was that the Fleet should remain at home for the purpose of home defence; and the next step, he presumed, was that there should be a good strong Fleet in being, preponderating in strength compared with any other fleet, a possible concentration of fleets, so as to be itself sufficient protection of our shores, our mercantile marine, our Colonies, and our dependencies, and if this concentrated fleet was strong enough in itself it was almost equally useful for purposes of mercantile and colonial defence, that it should have its main base in the British Islands as compared with its being permanently based in whole or in part out of these Islands. Had he, in this, correctly stated the underlying idea of the Admiralty? If this were their underlying idea why did they still retain two bases outside the United Kingdom; why did they abandon the base in the Firth of Forth which they originally put forward? And why did they continue, apparently, to base two divisions of the fleet at Gibraltar and Malta respectively, away ever so far from the true base of the fleet, viz., these islands, which it was their main function to defend? When we considered the necessity of concentration, we had only to put to ourselves what a hostile fleet would do. Supposing it was advancing to the attack of our fleets, would not its first object be to throw itself between the Fleet at Gibraltar and Malta and the Home Fleet before they could concentrate? It was difficult to understand, if concentration was the main object of the Government, why they had not followed it out further and so have afforded accommodation in the British Islands for the battleships they had properly built and put into commission. He again urged the necessity of the Committee being put in possession of full information which would enable it to deal with the large objects of policy raised, and upon which the financial aspects of the whole scheme so largely depended.

MR. J. F. HOPE (Sheffield, Brightside)

said that on the previous day several speakers protested against so much ship construction being given to private yards, and asserted that it would be cheaper to have it done in the Government dockyards. He utterly protested against that idea, and he was borne out in that by the Memorandum of the First Lord, in which it was stated that experience had shown that new construction could certainly be more cheaply executed in private yards than in the Royal dockyards. He trusted that the Secretary to the Admiralty would not give way to the pressure brought to bear on him and go back on the Statement of the First Lord. There was nothing unreasonable in the position which the Admiralty had taken up in this matter. Experience proved that private firms, working for profit, were able to put an energy into their work which was not the case in Government yards, however well managed. Apart from that, even if it cost more to build in private than in Government yards, it was to the advantage of the State that these private firms should be encouraged; for in times of stress it would be very unfortunate if the Government could only work in their own yards, and unless something was done to keep the private yards going in ordinary times it would be impossible for them to maintain their establishments in a state of efficiency for times of stress. In regard to the general policy of the Admiralty, he did not complain so much of the large number of ships written off the fighting list of the Fleet; but he thought it was rather a question whether some of those left on the list were of full fighting efficiency, so far as armour was concerned. He called the attention of the Secretary to the Admiralty to three classes of ships, which, he suggested were not up to the full standard of efficiency—the "Canopus," the "Majestic," and the "Royal Sovereign" classes. The first contained six, the second nine, and the third eight battleships. With the view of putting these vessels in a state of full fighting efficiency, he suggested that they should be re-armoured throughout. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would give an answer to his suggestion when the Construction Vote came on for discussion in detail.

*MR. LYELL (Dorsetshire, E. )

said that they must all feel grateful for the somewhat wide and general discussion which had been given to Vote I., for it seemed extremely likely that before many other Votes were reached the guillotine would come down. He hoped the Secretary to the Admiralty would therefore give the Committee answers to some questions that hardly appeared to be covered by the present Vote. Had anything been done in the way of continuing the experiments in the use of liquid fuel on board His Majesty's ships? That might be brought up under the Stoker Vote, but there was a general hope that even the largest ships in the Navy would be equipped with apparatus for using liquid fuel on account of its enormous convenience and saving in storage space. Last year he asked a Question as to the naval chaplains and naval instructors carried on board ship. The answer was that in twenty-one ships the offices of chaplain and instructor were held by the same individual; and that in twenty-seven ships the offices were duplicated. If it was possible to duplicate them in some, there was no reason why the two offices should not be held by the same individual in all ships, and a considerable saving in cabin space be thereby effected.

The hon. Member for Donegal had raised the question of flogging in the Navy. He (Mr. Lyell), had one qualification for speaking on the subject, for probably he was one of the last Members who had left school. When the hon. Member for South Donegal was speaking it was evident that every word came from the heart, and that every sentence was winged with conviction. And yet it was a speech with some of which he found himself in profound disagreement. There was one sentence which he was sorry to hear cheered from these benches; and that was that this was a punishment inflicted by the rich on the children of the poor, and a punishment to which the children of the rich were not subjected. He ventured to traverse that statement. Many hon. Members had been at a public school, and they knew, from painful experience, how discipline was maintained there. He knew also that if a master in a Board school used that form of punishment he was likely to find an action at law on his hands. The public feeling on the matter was now keener than it used to be. He happened to be the possessor of an Eton birch. His interest in it was purely academic, and not personal. The hon. Member for South Donegal had made an appeal to the House because the Navy birch weighed nine ounces, and the police birch only four and a-half ounces. He had had the curiosity to weigh the Eton birch, and found that, although there had been considerable loss of weight due to attrition and ordinary wear and tear, it still weighed fourteen ounces, or more than the police and the Navy birch put together. He thought that the general sense of the House was that it would be a mistake to abolish either birching or caning in the Navy. It was an appropriate punishment for boys, but only as long as they were boys. As long as a boy was a boy it was the best punishment for him, and very much less cruel than the alternative of confinement in cells; but the moment he began to fancy himself a man there was a danger of inflicting a serious blow to his self-respect, and doing injury to his character by inflicting the birch or cane. Why should there not be an inquiry with a view to making the limit of age very rigid. Such punishment should only be inflicted on boys; not on young men, although they might be technically rated as boys. Another point on which he desired to lay stress was the question of publicity. He believed that a majority of hon. Members deplored these public birchings. He hoped that the Secretary to the Admiralty would assent to the suggestion of his hon. friend and introduce a reform in the matter both of publicity and severity of the punishments.

*MR. REGINALD LUCAS (Portsmouth)

said that as regards the analogy of school boys he had always thought that birching, on the whole, would be better, because it was more satisfactory to a boy than to have some of those irritating punishments and unhealthy detentions indoors, which certainly did him no good, and as an alternative to which the more salutary principle of whipping was beneficial. He felt that there was no occasion for a layman to apologise in discussing naval matters. In his opinion it was a great misfortune to the country that laymen took such little interest in naval matters. Englishmen were prone to look upon the Navy as a religion and take everything that concerned it for granted. An admiral in the position of Sir John Fisher seemed to occupy a post analogous to that of the Pope, for to speak disrespectfully of the First Sea Lord was, as it were, to speak disrespectfully of a Pope. He had no object in speaking disrespectfully of the First Sea Lord because he did not know him, but it was not wise for any man, be he who he might, to be in a position to say whatever he liked and always be supposed to be right. He entered a caveat against anybody occupying that position in the British Navy, and that was why laymen should take an interest in these matters. The right hon. Member for Ealing entered a plea yesterday for the further employment of Marines in places and positions where they could be more effectively used. There was no branch of the service more rightly admired by those who knew anything about them. He was persuaded that in many instances they were not treated quite as well as the other branches of the service. He gave illustrations of the disadvantage as regards status under which Marine Officers suffered as compared with Naval Officers, and hoped that the Admiralty might see their way to arrive at some readjustment, the more so inasmuch as the status of paymasters and others had lately been improved. There was a variety of questions which hon. Members representing dockyard constituencies desired to bring forward. He did not propose to take any such course. He would suggest to his hon. friend that it would be more convenient that these matters should be arranged by private conference; and he hoped the Board of Admiralty would be willing to meet the dockyard Members and discuss matters which they would represent to the Board to the best of their ability.

*MR. LOUGH (Islington, W. )

said after listening to the arguments he was not at all convinced that birching was a useful discipline in the Navy. All hon. Members were agreed that it should not be applied to men; but men were "only children of a larger growth." Discipline which was good for men would be also good for boys. Birching was a barbarous punishment, and was very disgraceful; discipline could easily be maintained otherwise. Flogging was abolished in the Army twenty years ago, and no complaint followed. Its abolition in the Navy was a concession to the growth of decency and civilisation which would have to be granted some day. Why not now?

He desired to call attention to what was described as a "revolution" in the policy of the Admiralty. Revolution was a large word—it was used in the First Lord's Statement, but he was inclined to deprecate it. Nothing particularly fresh had occurred in recent years, especially as far as new construction by foreign nations was concerned. Experiments were, of course, in progress; but they did not justify the use of the word "revolution." It was merely an attempt by the Admiralty to cover a retreat from a position they could not sustain. For ten years he had steadily protested against the increase in the Navy Votes, and had maintained that a too rapid increase would lead to a too rapid decrease. That position had been justified. Ten years ago the Navy Estimates were £18, 000, 000; but since then there had been a total increase over that amount of £110, 000, 000. If instead of that gigantic increase there had been a steady increase of £500, 000 a year, there would have been a saving of £83, 000, 000 in ten years and that would have been a great advantage both to the nation and to the Navy. He supposed we were only at the beginning of these years of economy. We had a reduction of £3, 500, 000 this year, and no doubt we should have a reduction of £3, 000, 000 next year, but he must enter his protest against these great jumps up and down in our expenditure, which were not good for the country.

Dealing with the new cruisers which were to be such an important part of the Fleet, the Statement of the First Lord said they were to be capable of such speed that they could overtake everything and that nothing could catch them, and then it proceeded to speak of the cruisers which had been built within the last ten years, and said that with such vessels as the new cruisers the so-called protected cruisers would engage at considerable disadvantage; that their armour would not be sufficient to keep them safe, and their speed would not be sufficiently great to allow them to run away. A more sweeping condemnation of the policy of the Admiralty had never been heard in the House. It was a great mistake to suppose that those cruisers which were not struck off the active list retained their old position in the Fleet. They did nothing of the kind. They were not struck off, but very soon would be, and their position for useful fighting had been much changed. In that list, in which there was no vessel more than ten years old, there were twenty-one first-class, forty-six second-class, and twenty-one third-class cruisers. Eighty-eight cruisers in all, built during the last ten years at a total cost of £24, 500, 000. Practically this large fleet, built at so great a cost, was now condemned as useless. That was a most significant statement. At the present moment these ships were manned with 34, 000 men, and if they were of no use why was it necessary to keep their crews up to the full complement. So much had been said about the 166 ships that were to be struck off the list that he need not refer further to them except to say that the number to be struck off was not 166 but 254, because these cruisers would have to be added. Many of the 166 had also been built within the last ten years; indeed it appeared to him from the Estimates of the present year that some of the ships listed in both categories were not yet finished, and on others large sums were being expended for repairs. He would emphasise the application already made to the Secretary to the Admiralty to fulfil the promise made at Glasgow and show the Committee what was the economy resulting from this great change of policy.

Another revolution was with regard to the destroyers, which was also a great condemnation of the policy of the Admiralty. So far as the destroyers were concerned, till that moment everybody thought we were up to date. They took the place of the old gun-boats and the torpedo boats, but the destroyers which we had did not appear to be strong enough to go to sea, and were apparently of not much use close inshore. Therefore we were to have two new classes, one was to be for work inshore and in harbours, and then there was to be a sea-going destroyer of a more expensive character. But what, he asked, was to become of the great fleet of destroyers we had at present? Had they no function? Were they completely superannuated? Were we to have a third list of vessels nearly knocked up and thrown aside? It was a most remarkable state of things. For ten years we had been spending money on vessels now declared to be useless. The destroyers had gone and the first, second, and third-class cruisers had gone. He did not suggest that experiments should not be made, but he thought they should be made upon a far more economical scale. It was perfectly monstrous that so many of these ships should be built during these years for experimental purposes. The experiments would have been equally well made with only six cruisers. This point went to the bottom of the whole of the Estimates during recent years. There was a large new Vote for submarines, which were being ordered by the dozen. Why could not we go economically to work? There had been some dreadful accidents with submarines, and before we ordered so many to be built we should see whether they would be useful. After all, real economy in the Navy lay with the House of Commons, and when the laxity of the House in dealing with these Estimates disappeared they would see the end of all this extravagance. He supported his hon. friend the Member for Dundee in the application he had made for a full Return, and he suggested that the Committee should warn the Admiralty that they would not enter into this discussion again without full information. Some attempt would, no doubt, be made to correct the two Returns which had been made with regard to the overlapping of the ships. Sixteen ships appeared both in the list of those to be struck off the effective list and in the list of those which were to be retained.


said that under Head 1, ships were included in both lists. Head I was "combatant ships." He admitted, that it was somewhat confusing.


said the explanation made it somewhat more intelligible, but these vessels should not appear in both lists. The Government ought to give a Return showing all the ships which wore to be struck off the list, and where the economy came in by striking them off, and then no one could complain? If the Committee approved this new policy of a smaller and more effective Navy then they must condemn the reckless extravagance in the past. But the real reason for this economy must be looked for outside the House. The Government might be in search of a deathbed repentance, but they had to acknowledge a force against which they were powerless, which was resolved to deliver the country from this intolerable burden.

MR. YERBURGH (Chester)

said the hon. Member for West Islington, in asserting that some £80, 000, 000 might have been saved had the Government pursued a different policy, overlooked the fact that the country would not then have been in possession of a Navy which would have enabled her to hold her own in recent crises. It was only the possession of an overpowering Navy which brought us safely through the Fashoda crisis, or enabled us to keep the ring during the South African War. If the hon. Member had had his way, that Navy would not have been in existence, the country would have had to give way, and the probabilities were that expenditure in. other directions would have had to be incurred far in excess of the amount which had been spent on the Navy. He thought, therefore, the country ought to congratulate themselves that the naval policy had not been under the control of the hon. Member and his friends. The debate had afforded remarkable testimony to the success of Lord Selborne's administration. There had been attacks on details, but there had been no attack on his policy n general, so that in laying down his threat trust the late First Lord might feel that he had discharged it to the general satisfaction of the House and the country. He approached the consideration of these Estimates from an entirely different standpoint from that of the last speaker. The first thought of the hon. Member was as to the bill we had to pay and whether anything had been saved to the country. On the other hand, the first question he put to himself, as everything depended on the Navy, was whether the Estimates as presented were such as would put us in possession of such a Navy as was essential for the safety of the country. When the Estimates were looked at from that point of view, two considerations at once presented themselves, viz., was the Navy strong enough for the duties it had to perform, and was that Navy ready for war? Recent experience had shown that one of the first essential attributes of a navy was readiness for instant action. Great Britain could not afford an initial disaster; she must be in a position to strike at once with overpowering force. Various steps had been taken by the Admiralty to place the Navy in a position to strike such a blow should necessity arise. There had been eliminated a large number of vessels supposed to be either too weak for action in the fighting line or too slow to run away. He and many of his friends on that side of the House had repeatedly urged upon the Admiralty the advisability of getting rid of the weaker and slower of those ships.


But we are building them still.

MR. YERBURGH (continuing)

submitted that the result of such a policy must be to increase the efficiency of the Fleet by making it more ready for action. The next point was as to the crews. Had anything been done to increase their efficiency? After studying the Memorandum of the First Lord, he had come to the conclusion that the Admiralty had largely increased the efficiency of the Fleet in that direction. The old system under which the crews of the Home and Channel Squadrons were replenished as to 25 per cent. of their number every twenty-six months had been abandoned, and there was now only one description of service, while the term of commission was two years. As a result of that change, the officers of the Navy were constantly exercised in their duties for a period of two years, and that meant a great advance in efficiency. If the Fleet was to be in fighting order, it was necessary that the reserve ships should be prepared to go to sea with their machinery free from alt chance of breaking down, and with their crews thoroughly exercised in gunnery. What were the Admiralty doing in this direction? They were crowding at these ports the Reserve Fleets, the captains and seconds in command of which were to be on board, and also a large proportion of their war complement. Those ships would be more ready for action; and they were to go out periodically for gunnery practice, so that the crews would lie efficient in gunnery and practised in the art of seamanship. All that tended to efficiency. Moreover, these reserve ships were to be under the command of an officer directly responsible for their efficiency. The Admiralty were to be warmly congratulated with having done so much to increase the strength of the Fleet, but it was necessary to go a step further. They might have the Fleets ready for action, and the crews ready to join them, but that would be of no avail in the day of battle unless the men behind the guns were efficient. Not very long ago it was the custom in this country to regard gunnery practice as altogether unnecessary, and it was a common habit for ships of war to throw practice ammunition overboard. That had been entirely altered. Year after year Lord Selborne had called attention to the vital importance of gunnery, and, according to the last statements, the gunnery was still improving. He was delighted that an Inspector of Target Practice had been appointed, as an officer in that position could render great service to the gunnery efficiency of the Fleet. He held in his hand an account of some wonderful target practice on the "Narcissus," in the course of which a man named Hollingshurst made seven hits out of ten on a target 6 feet by 8 feet, at a distance of from 1, 500 to 1, 600 yards. The value of that record was not so much the individual performance as the fact that it set a standard for the whole Fleet. He desired to know whether it was the intention of the authorities to retain the services of these expert gun layers?

As to the distribution of the Fleet, he could not conceive why the Committee should not be told the reason for the alterations which had been made. In the German and the French Legislatures the position of other countries was openly discussed. In a recent speech in the French Chamber, the Minister of Marine compared the strength of the French fleet with the German fleet, showing what an enormous disproportion of force had arisen in the growth of the German fleet. It was perfectly well known that the real reason for the redistribution of the Fleet was the very great growth of naval power in the North Sea. The French Minister said that in 1871 the French fleet was superior to the combined fleet of the Triple Alliance, and had a crushing superiority over the German fleet, but that in 1908 the German fleet would be three-fourths as strong as the French fleet, and that in 1917, the German programme having been completed, the German fleet would be stronger than the French fleet, in the proportion of five to four. That showed how much the German fleet had grown as compared with the French fleet, and afforded a reason for the redistribution of the British Fleet for strategical purposes. In 1917 the German fleet would amount to thirty-eight first-class battleships, fourteen large cruisers, thirty-eight small cruisers, and fourteen torpedo boat divisions. That was a very large and powerful fleet, which, it must be remembered, was concentrated in the North Sea, and the officers and men of which were constantly exercised in manœuvres. A matter of that kind could not possibly be overlooked. It would have been altogether unwise for those responsible for the naval policy of the country to have allowed distribution based upon other considerations of naval strength to continue in being. It would probably be said that to make such a statement was not consonant with a proper understanding of the relations between this and other countries. He would remind the Committee, however, that such reticence was not observed in other Chambers. It had been pointed out in the Reichstag that this increase in the fleet could not be intended for the purpose of a war with the United States, France, or Russia, and he had come to the conclusion that this increase in the German navy could only be meant as a menace to Great Britain. That was a German politician speaking in his own Chamber. He noted with regret the very small programme of new construction which the Admiralty had thought fit to adopt, for it included only one battleship. In view of the possible combinations of foreign fleets against our own, he did not think the Government were justified in adopting such a small programme of new construction. For the past seven years they had not been building up to the two-Power standard, and he was bound to say that he did not think the Admiralty had been well advised in the course they had taken.


said it was perfectly evident that any calculation of the saving on the present distribution of the Fleet would have to take into account the amount which would have been spent on those ships had they been retained in the service. That calculation could not be made in pounds, shillings, and pence without a good deal of unnecessary trouble.


said the Prime Minister led a Glasgow audience to believe that he had those figures in his possession.


said the £500, 000 saved upon repairs was largely due to the particular policy.


said that surely the hon. Member could give them a round sum. The Government claimed a reduction of £2, 500, 000, and all that had been shown was about £100, 000.


said he had indicated the saving that was attributable to these particular ships not having to be repaired. There were other savings in regard to stores and naval bases. To make a calculation as to what would have been spent had they not adopted the new scheme would be a most unusual course, and it would give no corresponding advantage for the trouble it would give to the Department. As to the question of the care and maintenance of the naval base at Halifax and Esquimalt, that had not been lost sight of, and he was sure that the Government would be prepared to negotiate with the Canadian Government upon the subject. The squadron. at Devonport would make two cruises every year and would be mainly a training squadron. It would visit Bermuda, Halifax, and other ports, training boys for the Navy. Two vessels would be kept in the West Indies, and they would visit Halifax at the proper season of the year. One of the advantages of this arrangement would be that they would have the excellent winter climate in the West Indies and the excellent summer climate on the North American station for the development of growing lads on board. With regard to the North Pacific, the immediate local danger they had to guard against at present did not appear to warrant the maintenance of a naval base at Esquimalt. He could assure the hon. and gallant Member for Yarmouth that the Pacific had been fully considered. The hon. and gallant Member also raised the question of future possibilities in the Pacific, but he thought it would be realised that distribution was a shifting problem, and because the needs of the present day demanded the distribution now submitted it did not follow that in two or three years time fresh considerations might not arise, and the Admiralty did not bind themselves to maintain in the future exactly the same distribution as to-day. Should circumstances require the presence of a stronger force in the Pacific the Admiralty were perfectly ready to deal with them.

*SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)

said the point he raised was not the present distribution so much as the power of repairing and even of producing ships and the necessity of a primary base in the near future in the Pacific.


said that in considering the question of Fleet bases one of the possibilities of the future was that they could rely upon auxiliary vessels for supplies, and that ought to be taken into account. The policy adopted was to spend the money at places which it was practically certain would remain as permanent and necessary bases for the Fleet, and rely more upon mobile ships and auxiliaries in other parts. He thought that was more satisfactory from the point of view of economy and the actual necessities of the Fleet. If his hon. and gallant friend meant that they should be able to build ships abroad he did not think there was any possibility of that policy being adopted, and they were not prepared to deal with it now as a matter of practical politics.

The hon. Member for South Donegal had spoken upon the question of birching and caning in the Navy. There were one or two points which he thought should be cleared up. They had been repeatedly told that there ought to be no birching in the Navy, because there was none in the Army and none in foreign navies. The simple reason for this was that there were no boys in the Army or in foreign navies, and birching was clearly a form of punishment applicable to boys but not to men. The only reason for birching or caning being retained in the Navy was because in the opinion of the Admiralty that was a better form of punishment for boys than confinement. He thought that would be generally accepted as a fact. While he recognised the absolute sincerity of the speech of the hon. Member for South Donegal last week, it really was not an attack on the system, but it amounted to an attack on the alleged misuse of the system in the Navy. The hon. Member had read out extracts from various letters, but there were no dates or names given, and he could not help thinking that some old shellbacks had been getting at the hon. Member. He had made most careful personal inquiry in order to ascertain whether there had really been the slightest foundation in recent years for any of the allegations which the hon. Member made, and he could honestly assure the Committee that he had found none. If chapter and verse were given of any case where there had been a misuse of the power of birching boys it would be inquired into. The punishment of birching was intended to be applied in the Navy in exactly the same way as it was applied in the public schools. The hon. Member for South Donegal was mistaken in saying that one system obtained in the ''Britannia" and another in the training ships. The boys in both cases were equally liable to be punished by birching. He thought he need not say any more in defence of a system which was admitted to be universal. He believed it was beneficial. He could only repeat that if any case of undue severity were brought to the notice of the Admiralty it would be investigated as the hon. Member for Dorsetshire had suggested.


Would you give publicity to the birching?


said he would. [An HON. MEMBER: It's brutal.] It might sound brutal, but he thought that what might seem very terrible here had no brutality attached to it if carried out in the free atmosphere of a man-of-war. Hon. Members here could hold up their heads and say that they had never felt any demoralisation or inferiority as the result of similar treatment which they had received in their school days. As to publicity, he would remind the hon. Member that there was only the choice between publicity and privacy. The objection to publicity he understood and appreciated. On the other hand, objection might equally be made to privacy. They would be told that if they were to whip a boy in private all sorts of cruelties might be practised. Under the present system, if there really were undue severity, evidence of it could be obtained, because it was done under the public eye. Another matter which should be remembered was that the punishment of birching could only be inflicted by the authority of the senior officer in charge of a training ship. The training ships were all in charge of a Rear-Admiral, and no boys could be birched without the authority of the Rear-Admiral himself.


The hon. Member says there is nothing between privacy and publicity. There is a difference between masses of boys and a few selected.


I think it is rather invidious to select certain boys to witness the punishment. I think a half-way house would be rather difficult to obtain.


said there might be a certain number of boys on board ship selected to witness the punishment, and to secure that everything was done decently and in order. It was absurd to suggest that there was no alternative between absolute publicity and absolute privacy.


said he had put his view before the Committee. The hon. Member for Islington raised one or two points with which he thought he need not deal in detail. The hon. Member for Dundee last year prophesied solemnly that the Navy Estimates would gradually grow to £50, 000, 000, and now the hon. Member for Islington prophesied a steady annual reduction of £3, 000, 000. He did not think that either prophecy had a sure foundation. The Navy Estimates were dealt with by the Board of Admiralty on the needs of the year, and if the needs of the next year required a greater effort he was perfectly certain that the country would find the money and that the Admiralty would not hesitate to ask for it. They believed that the naval requirements for the year enabled them to ask £3, 500, 000 less. Whether there would be a reduction next year was a matter for the future, and they could riot at present say what would be done. He thought prophecies were beside the mark.


asked whether the Admiralty could not even give a round sum to show what reduction would be effected by the new policy.


said it was impossible to state a sum without showing what the Estimates would have been if there had been no change of policy. In order to give the estimate which the hon. Member desired it would be necessary to enter into an elaborate calculation, and he doubted whether such a calculation would be worth making when they had got it. The hon. Member for Islington had stated that Lord Selborne's Memorandum contained the names of combatant ships which were no longer equal to the latest ships, and that certain vessels had been condemned to the scrap heap which were still of fighting value. That was a criticism which would invariably be applied to naval administration. In all ships which were built the latest discoveries, inventions of science, and arrangements best adapted to give effect to naval experience were introduced. Each ship was an advance upon its predecessors and therefore the question required careful consideration from time to time whether ships of older types should be retained in the fighting line or relegated to the scrap heap. That was a problem which in the past had perhaps been insufficiently dealt with. One of the features of the scheme of the present year was the careful investigation which had been given to that problem. Every year that problem was to be re-examined, the ships which were added to the Fleet being weighed against the curlier built ships. There would always be a procession of ships passing from She fighting line into the llama class and thence to the sale list. As to destroyers, the present 25½ knot vessels were efficient and equal to any they were likely to meet with. To say that the destroyers we had now were out of date was not the fact. We had some which had not sufficient strength for ocean work and others in which speed had been to some extent sacrificed to increase their strength, but they were both excellent classes of vessels. By postponing the construction of the new destroyers for a short time the Admiralty were able to get a better type.

The question of oil fuel was a most important one. The use of oil fuel had now passed the experimental stage, and had reached the stage when not only individual ships but squadrons were able to burn oil combined with coal. There was a difficulty in the storage of oil on existing ships. The ships required for that purpose an expensive method of construction. The oil was stored in the ordinary water-tight compartments in the double bottoms, but the ordinary construction which resisted water was not sufficiently close to forbid the passage of oil. Therefore considerable expense had to be incurred in fitting up existing ships which were not constructed for the purpose of carrying oil. Every ship built in future would be, constructed to carry oil as well as coal. The principle adopted was to burn oil in combination with coal. The oil was sprayed on the coal. He did not wish to go into particulars. Nothing would be gained by that. There was a difficulty in obtaining a sufficient supply of oil. One advantage which oil had over coal was that it did not deteriorate by keeping. They had to go for their oil outside the British Islands, but that was to some extent compensated for by their being able to store it in large quantities without its suffering deterioration. The question of supply was one which he hoped the Committee would not wish him to go into in detail. Every step was being taken to give the British Navy the greatest possible area of supply.


What position does Rosyth occupy in this new scheme of distribution?

MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

Is it true that the Report of the Boiler Committee has been thrown over, and a return made solely to the tubular boilers?


All boilers are now tubular.


Have cylindrical boilers been discarded against the recommendation of the Boiler Committee?


said that the Boiler Committee issued two or three Reports, and in one of them, pending the completion of investigations and the issue of their final Report, they recommended that the Admiralty should adopt the system of one-fifth cylindrical boilers and four-fifths tubular boilers for the ships then under construction. That recommendation was adopted and ships were now coming into commission with an installation of one-fifth cylindrical boilers. The Committee, having completed their investigation and made their final Report, recommended that as the Yarrow and the Babcock and Wilcox type of boilers were so efficient they should be used without any proportion of cylindrical boilers. The ships which were now being laid down would receive the Babcock and Wilcox or the Yarrow type of boilers.

MR. EUGENE WASON (Clackmannan and Kinross)

asked whether the hon. Gentleman could inform the Committee approximately the difference of cost between oil and coal.


said that the cost varied very much according to where the oil or the coal was taken on board. If oil was wanted in the Far East it was found close at hand at Borneo; but if coal was wanted it had to be sent from England. The cost of oil here was £2 per ton against about half that for coal. That, however, did not represent the relative value; because the value of a ton of oil, not vaporised in internal combustion engines, where the value was much higher, but burnt for steam-raising purposes, was not the same as that of a ton of coal. The Admiralty experience was that a ton of oil represented from one and a quarter to a ton and a half of coal—rather better than a ton and a quarter, and not so good as a ton and a half.

MR. RUNCIMAN (Dewsbury)

Are we to understand that the Admiralty are not contemplating any return whatever to the Belleville boiler?


said that the Admiralty did not contemplate a return to the Belleville boiler. The great difficulty with the Belleville boiler was the burning of the casings and not so much that of coal consumption. As to Rosyth, he had already stated that what was to be done there could only be announced when the Loan Bill was introduced. But as to the value of Rosyth as a naval base in the future, the Board of Admiralty were convinced that their estimate of the value of the site for the purpose for which it was purchased was fully justified.


What is to be its place as one of the bases of the Fleet in the future?


said that until they reached the Loan Bill no positive statement could be made. As to the value of Rosyth as a naval base, the opinion of the Admiralty was that the purchase was justified. At present, however, there was no base at Rosyth, and the new scheme had been framed on the bases which actually existed.


We want to know exactly how the new scheme of distribution is to work out in the future in view of the use of Rosyth as a principal base.


said that he could encourage the hon. Gentleman to look forward to receiving that information in the future but could not give it at the present time.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

said the Committee would no doubt be gratified to hear that he had nor risen with any intention to discourse on naval tactics or naval construction. He did not pretend to be an authority on these matters. His knowledge was not so profound as that of the hon. Member for Chester, or the hon. Member for Islington, or even that of the late Lord. Nelson. His ambition was a far more humble one. He wished to contribute some little thing towards a saving to the taxpayers of the country who were being eaten out of house and home by having to pay a huge insurance against; the inroads of impossible invaders. He had put down an Amendment to the last Vote to reduce the number of men voted for the Navy by 10, 000. Unfortunately his intention had been frustrated by the application of the closure. His friends perpetually told him not to get up, as he would interrupt the debate then going on, and, therefore, he had waited too long. He was not going to be cut out twice in the same way; hence he now moved an Amendment to reduce the sum in the Vote now before the Committee by £600, 000. He believed that, roughly speaking, that amounted to a reduction of 10, 000 sailors from the Fleet. He had been told on previous occasions that it was monstrous, after the men had been voted, to refuse them their pay. That would be monstrous if the men were employed; but if no pay were voted there would be no men to pay. It had been said that there was a reduction in the Naval Estimates, and the hon. Gentleman who represented the Admiralty had been congratulated on all sides on that reduction. But in looking into the matter, though the lads in the Navy, who were still to be subjected to the birch, were fewer, the number of men remained the same. The Government had boasted that they were going to put 160 vessels out of commission. He supposed that these ships had crews in them; and it was obvious that if 160 ships were to be put out of commission there would be so many sailors the less, unless they were to be kept on land in the hope that they would be employed when a war occurred.

He was one of those who had always been in favour of a strong Navy; but he wanted it to be both a strong and efficient Navy. He, however, did not want it to exceed the needs of the country. He was not one of those who believed that this wondrous world Empire of ours should be the absolute mistress of the seas. And for this reason: that the world would never allow it. This country might have an entente cordiale with one other country, or possibly two, but the great Powers of the world would always object to one Power having the others and their colonies at their mercy. When they talked of policing the seas, that might be a very good idea with the Archangel Gabriel coming down from Heaven to take command. But we were fallible, and to talk of policing the seas might be to take an excellent British view, but it was not one which would be always in accord with that of the other great Powers. Napoleon attempted to establish his empire over Europe, and declared that he would inaugurate an era of peace. However, nobody believed him, and he was sent to die in a small island in the South Atlantic. He believed that from the first moment when the Government set up a standard of nicely calculating building ships equal to those built by two or three other Powers, they encouraged other countries to go on building more ships. This was not a mere question of bravery or courage, but of the longest purse. This was a very rich nation; he trusted it would always remain so; but it was not richer than the rest of the world, and if we continued playing the game of "beggar my neighbour" the rest of the world would beat us.

Six years ago Lord Goschen stated, when 100, 000 men were voted for the Navy, that we had then reached the extreme limit of what was possible for us to provide with our means. That number had gone up to 129, 000 at the present time. In ten or twelve years the cost of the Navy had been almost doubled, and who paid for it? It was said to be for the benefit of the Empire, and particularly for the benefit of the Colonies. We told the Colonies how thankful they ought to be that we took the burden of their defence on our shoulders. We had no idea of taking any burden on our shoulders, fiscal, military, or naval. What they had to consider was the total amount which was being spent on armaments. The other day The Times stated—and it was good enough for him—that the total demand for military purposes exceeded that of last year by £913, 000. Therefore they had this position, that while they were asked to pay enormous sums for the Navy, they were also asked to pay more for the Army. When the increase in the Navy Votes began, hon. Members were attacked not only on the sentimental side, but also on the practical side. It was said that the cost of the Army would be reduced, and he said to himself that he did not care whether the money was spent on the Army or the Navy so long as the total amount was reduced If they wanted to get on in this world they must, in large matters as in small, cut their coat according to their cloth. He believed he himself was one of the best friends of the Army and Navy in this House. The reason was this. There was already a reaction against excessive expenditure; that reaction would increase, and unless expenditure were cut down it would gain such force that the country would grant less money than was absolutely necessary for its requirements. The total amount now spent on the Army and Navy was double what it was twelve years ago. Hon. Gentlemen seemed inclined to discuss small details; but he remarked that when Gentlemen complained of expenditure in one direction they usually advocated it in another. He himself did not look to minor details, but to the general sum, and he struck at the whole matter by moving an Amendment to reduce it. They had been termed "Little Englanders. "They were not "Little Englanders," but "Englanders," and followers of Gladstone and Peel. They did not conceal their view with reference to the Boer War; they disapproved of it, and said so; and many hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House who did not then agree with them now admitted that they were the only people who knew anything about it. These hon. Gentlemen would agree with them also when they found later that there Would be a difficulty in getting adequate money to provide an insurance against war dangers. They would agree that he was wiser in advocating a generous expenditure, but by no means an excessive expenditure. It ought to be the first object of every hon. Gentleman to prevent annexation in every quarter of the globe, and quarrels with other countries, and to endeavour to better the position of the people of this country. He believed that that condition would never be bettered until taxation was reduced, and until the money devoted to armaments was spent in a more practical manner. He begged to move the reduction of the Vote by £600, 000.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £6, 072, 000, be granted for the said Service. "—(Mr. Labouchere.)


said that the hon. Gentleman had expressed a view with reference to the Navy which he thought had been exploded. If they lost all the Colonies and had no Empire, they would still have to maintain their sea power and expend as much on it as they did at present. The Navy discharged very different and very much more important functions now than it did a hundred years ago. A hundred years ago the Navy was maintained as a security against invasion and as a protection for trade and the Empire. Since then they had almost imperceptibly glided into a position in which four-fifths of the population of the country depended upon seaborne food. So long as they were in that position they must maintain the command of the sea not with any desire to offend foreign nations, but because the very existence of this country depended upon it. Incidentally that gave this country power which naturally excited jealousy on the part of other nations, who saw an immense trade accruing to the country which had command of the sea. Foreign nations could not indulge in large seaborne commerce or in large over-sea empire without giving hostages to the Power which had command of the sea. That, of course, created much jealousy and ill-feeling; but so long as four-fifths of the population of this country depended on seaborne supplies, they could not afford to let any other Power compete for the command of the sea. It was not a question of a two-Power or a three-Power standard, it was a question as to the exigencies which might arise in any part of the world. He thought if it were made plain to foreign nations that it was not because of ambition or of any desire to be aggressive, but because our very existence depended upon it, that this country maintained such a vast expense in order to secure the command of the sea, and that no effort would be spared to retain it, it would do away with some of the misunderstanding and jealousy which was excited when statesmen in England discussed the needs of the Navy. Hon. Gentlemen opposite professed to be satisfied with the present fiscal system, and with the manner in which this country obtained its food. He therefore could not understand why they deprecated the maintenance of our sea power. Cobden himself said that he would sooner spend £70, 000, 000 on a strong Navy than see it sink to an inferior position. He did not share the fiscal views of hon. Gentlemen opposite, but he recognised that they could never hope in this country to supply anything like half of the population with food except from abroad. As long as that was the position, he hoped that only a very small minority of the House would agree with the views which had been put forward by the hon. Gentleman.

*MR. BEIGHT (Shropshire, Oswestry)

said in venturing to address the Committee on this subject he desired to express the view that there was a great difference between size and quality. They might have an overwhelming Navy in numbers; but it did not follow that it would be efficient. Efficiency was very often the opposite to size, and he thought the rapid expenditure on the Navy, so far from being a source of additional strength, was rather the contrary. Everyone who was accustomed to business knew that rapid growth of expenditure did not bring with it an equal growth of efficiency. The Navy was not in any sense a means of adding to the productiveness and wealth of the country. It was merely a question of insurance; and if they over insured they would only be weakening their own position, because the money would have to come out of the pocket of the taxpayer. Therefore, the Navy which was beyond the needs of the time, far from being a source of strength, was a source, of weakness. The hon. Gentleman spoke if having a greater standard than the three-Power standard, but there must be a limit somewhere, or they would all be ruined. There was one thing connected with the new naval scheme which was very unfortunate. They were putting a number of ships on the scrap heap, but they were not obtaining an equal reduction of expenditure. The Estimates showed a reduction of

£3, 500, 000; but that was entirely obtained by a decrease in the amount spent on building and armaments. The actual cost of the Navy itself had increased by £168, 000. There were, two battleships, the "Hero" and the "Conqueror," which were practically unseaworthy, and that being so he would like to know why they were kept on the list at all? They should be put upon the scrap heap. He was bound to say he thought this programme was a very disappointing one, because whilst 155 ships were taken off the effective list there was no equivalent saving obtained. He hoped in the future some attempt would be made to reduce the cost of the maintenance of the Navy.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 128; Noes, 262. (Division List No. 46)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. ) Helme, Norval Watson O'Connor, John (Kildare, N. )
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H. O'Dowd, John
Ainsworth, John Stirling Higham, John Sharpe O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N. )
Ambrose, Robert Horniman, Frederick John O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N. )
Barlow, John Emmott Jacoby, James Alfred O'Malley, William
Blake, Edward Johnson, John O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Boland, John Joicey, Sir James Partington, Oswald
Brigg, John Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea) Pirie, Duncan V.
Bright, Allan Heywood Jones, Leif (Appleby) Power, Patrick Joseph
Broadhurst, Henry Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Priestley, Arthur
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Jordan, Jeremiah Reddy, M.
Burke, E. Haviland Joyce, Michael Redmond, J. E. (Waterford)
Cameron, Robert Kennedy V. P. (Cavan, W. ) Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Campbell, John (Armagh, S. ) Kilbride, Denis Rickett J. Compton
Channing, Francis Allston Kitson, Sir James Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Cheetham, John Frederick Lamont, Norman Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Churchill, Winston Spencer Langley, Batty Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Clancy, John Joseph Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W. ) Roche John
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Russell, T. W.
Crean, Eugene Levy, Maurice
Cullinan, J. Lewis, John Herbert Schwann, Charles E.
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Lloyd-George, David Scott Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Delany, William Lough, Thomas Shackleton, David James
Devlin Chas. Ramsay (Galway Lundon, W. Sheehan Daniel Daniel
Devlin, J. (Kilkenny, N. ) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Sheehy, David
Doogan, P. C. MacVeagh, Jeremiah Shipman, Dr. John G.
Duffy, William J, M'Crae, George Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Duncan, J. Hastings M'Hugh, Patrick A. Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (Northants)
Ellis, John Edward (Notts. ) M'Kean, John Stanhope, Hn. Philip James
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Markham, Arthur Basil Sullivan, Donal
Fenwick, Charles Mooney, John J. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radeliffe)
Findlay, Alex. (Lanark, N. E. ) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Tennant, Harold John
Flavin, Michael Joseph Murphy, John Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.
Flynn, James Christopher Nannetti, Joseph P. Tomkinson, James
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. ) Newnes, Sir George Toulmin, George
Furness, Sir Christopher Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Wallace, Robert
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Brien, James F. X (Cork) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Brien, K. (Tipperary Mid. ) White, George (Norfolk)
Hayden, John Patrick O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) White, P. (Meath, North)
Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D. O'Brien P. J (Tipperary, N. ) Whiteley, George (York, W. R. )
Healy, Timothy Michael O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W. ) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Whittaker, Thomas Palmer Woodhouse, Sir JT (Huddersf'd. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Williams, Osmond (Merioneth) Young, Samuel Labouchere and Mr. Black.
Wilson, John (Durham, Mid. ) Yoxall, James Henry
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Dickson, Charles Scott Kerr, John
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Kimber, Sir Henry
Allen, Charles P. Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C King, Sir Henry Seymour
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Knowles, Sir Lees
Allsopp, Hon. George Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Lambert, George
Anson, Sir William Reynell Doughty, Sir George Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Laurie, Lieut. -General
Arrol, Sir William Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Doxford, Sir William Theodore Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th
Atkinson. Rt. Hon. John Dunn, Sir William Lawson, John Grant(Yorks. NR.
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir Wm. Hart Layland-Barratt, Francis
Bailey, James (Walworth) Edwards, Frank Lee, Arthur H. (Hants. Fareham
Bain, Colonel James Robert Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)
Baird, John George Alexander Elibank, Master of Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Balcarres, Lord Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone) Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.
Baldwin, Alfred Fardell, Sir T. George Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J(Manch'r. ) Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw. Lockwood, Lieut. -Col. A. R.
Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W (Leeds Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r) Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Long, Rt Hn. Walter (Bristol, S. )
Banner, John S. Harmood- Finlay, Sir R B (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs. ) Lowe, Francis William
Barran, Rowland Hirst Fisher, William Hayes Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Fison, Frederick William Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose Macdona, John Gumming
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M Flower, Sir Ernest Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Forster, Henry William Maeonochie, A. W.
Bigwood, James Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W. ) M'Arthur, Charles Liverpool)
Bill, Charles Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. M'Calmont, Colonel James
Bingham, Lord Galloway, William Johnson M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin
Blundell, Colonel Henry Gardner, Ernest Majendie, James A. H.
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Garfit, William Malcolm, Ian
Boulnois, Edmund Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. Marks, Harry Hananel
Bowles, Lt. -Col. H F (Middlesex) Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir HE. (Wigt'n
Brassey, Albert Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Maxwell, W. J. H (Dunfriesshire)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Bull, William James Graham, Henry Robert Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.
Burdett-Coutts, W. Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N. )
Caldwell, James Greene, Sir EW (B'ry SEdm'nds Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Campbell Rt. Hn. J. A(Glasgow) Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs. ) Morpeth, Viscount
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ. ) Gretton, John Morrell, George Herbert
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Greville, Hon. Ronald Morrison, James Archibald
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes. ) Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire) Hall, Edward Marshall Moulton, John Fletcher
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hambro, Charles Erie Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A (Wore. Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Chapman, Edward Hare, Thomas Leigh Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Clive, Captain Percy A. Harris, F. Leverton(Tynem'th Myers, William Henry
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Nicholson, William Graham
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hay, Hon. Claude George Parker, Sir Gilbert
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley) Parkes, Ebenezer
Colomb, Rt. Hon. Sir John C. R Heath, Sir Jas. (Staffords. N. W) Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley
Colston, Chas. Ed. H. Athole Heaton, John Henniker Pemberton, John S. G.
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Helder, Augustus Percy, Earl
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W. Pierpoint, Robert
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Hoare, Sir Samuel Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Craig, Charles C. (Antrim, S. ) Hope, J. F. (Sliefneld, Brightside Plummer, Sir Walter R.
Cripps, Charles Alfred Horner, Frederick William Pretyman, Ernest George
Crooks, William Hoult, Joseph Pryce-Jones, Lt. -Col. Edward
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham) Purvis, Robert
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Howard, J. Midd., (Tottenham Pym, C. Guy
Dalkeith, Earl of Hudson, George Bickersteth Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hunt, Rowland Randles, John S.
Davenport, William Bromley Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Rankin, Sir James
Denny, Colonel Kearley, Hudson E. Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Ratcliff, R. F.
Reid, James (Greenock) Sharpe, William Edward T. Tuke, Sir John Batty
Remnant, James Earquharson Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Walker, Col. William Hall
Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Skewes-Cox, Thomas Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Ridley, S. Forde Sloan, Thomas Henry Warde, Col. C. E.
Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) Smith. Abel H (Hertford, East) Welby, Lt. -Col. A. C. E. (Taunton)
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Smith, H C (North'mb, Tyneside Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.
Robinson, Brooke Smith, Rt Hn. J Parker (Lanarks) Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) White, Luke (York. E. R.
Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Soares, Ernest J. Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Rose Charles Day Spear, John Ward Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Round, Rt. Hon. James Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich) Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Royds, Clements Molyneux Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lanes. Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Runeiman, Walter Strachey, Sir Edward Wilson. J. W. (Woreestersh. N.
Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Strutt, Hon Charles Hedley Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks. )
Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Talbot, Lord E (Chichester) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford Talbot, Rt. Hn. J G. (Oxf'dUniv. Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Samuel, Sir Harry S. (Limehouse) Thornburn, Sir Walter Yorburgh, Robert Armstrong
Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland Thornton, Percy M.
Sandys, Lieut. -Col. Thos. Myles Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W. ) Trevelyan, Charles Philips Alexander Acland-Hood and
Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln) Tritton, Charles Ernest Viscount Valentia.
Seton-Karr, Sir Henry Tuff, Charles

Original Question again proposed.


said that the statement of the Secretary to the Admiralty on the question of flogging in the Navy was not at all satisfactory. Flogging had been abolished by statute in the mercantile marine of this country, in which a far greater number of boys were employed than in the Royal Navy. Why had it not been similarly abolished in the Navy? He objected to any system under which there was the least possibility of a man with all the rights of freedom and independence of manhood being subjected to punishment by a cat-o'-nine-tails. According to the present law no King's ship could go out of port without carrying the cat-o'-nine-tails as part of her equipment. By the Naval Act of 1884 flogging in the Navy was not abolished; it was merely suspended by an Order of the Queen in Council, which could be revoked at any moment by a stroke of the pen. He altogether objected to the shameful penalty of the lash; by the very nature of the system the power was bound to be abused. Personally he had had great difficulty in believing that things as they were really existed. The punishment as denned by Article 759 of the King's Regulations was an outrage not only on the victim, but also upon the boys who were compelled to witness it. He read extracts from letters from naval officers and others describing the punishment and the "devilish skill" with which various strokes were invented with a view to making the pain more lasting. In one case two Australian naval officers who were on board were invited to witness a flogging, but they were so disgusted with what they saw that they at once left the ship. Dockyard Members might well take into consideration what boys who enlisted in the Navy from their constituencies were liable to. The frequent outrages on training ships, the attempts to burn the ships, and so on, were the result solely of this horrible system which degraded the boys and produced the feeling that they had been forsaken by God and man. It was not the case that flogging was inflicted only in rare instances. The cane was really the punishment for all offences. Last year there were 350 floggings by birch ordered by commanders in proprio motu and six by courts-martial, making 356 in all. But in the Royal Navy one could be caned for every minor offence, and caning was the punishment of the day. There were about 10, 000 minor offences, and he was not exaggerating when he said that at least 8, 000 of those were visited by the punishment of caning.

The hon. Gentleman had said lie would make inquiries. What was wanted was an inquiry into the whole system. For months he had been trying to get information from the Secretary to the Admiralty, and he had only succeeded after a cross-examination which was like taking so many drops of blood from him, and he would not now tell them what punishments were visited by the cane and the birch. The Admiralty had gone so far as to post notices in the dockyards stating that anyone who gave information on this question would be dismissed. He had asked to be allowed to see the birches, cat-o'-nine-tails, and the lashes, but he wits not allowed to see them, although they were bought with public money and used upon the sons of our people. The sons of the rich were allowed to inflict this degrading punishment upon the sons of the poor, and the people of England would not stand it when they knew the facts which were being so carefully concealed. He should continue to denounce this system of flogging until it was abolished. The hon. Member said that he had not heard of a single hard case, but he knew of many cases within the last few months. He was sure they were all ready to defend poor little boys who had their lives tyrannised over by an atrocious and villainous system. A case had occurred on board the "Victory." That children should be subject to abominations of that kind was an outrage. A few weeks ago, on the "Victory," a boy was brought up for an assault upon the commanding officer, committed whilst he was witnessing one of his comrades being birched. In that case a number of boys were brought up to witness another boy receive twenty strokes with a birch rod. In an excess of emotion for his comrade who was being birched, one of the boys rushed out of the ranks and assaulted the commanding officer. That was outrageous conduct on the part of the boy, but it would not have occurred if the boys had not been brought up to see this outrageous scene. This boy was given twenty-four lashes, and that illustrated the horrors of the system. This information he got from a paragraph in The Times.

There could be no palliation for this system, and there was nothing in the Royal Navy which made flogging necessary. He would take precious good care to make this a public question at the coming election, and candidates would be asked whether they approved of a system whereby boys in the Navy were liable to such punishments. He had been asked by the hon. Member for King's Lynn what the offences were. He was by no means a humanitarian, and he was not opposed to the lash for abominable crimes. Men who assaulted women and committed highway robberies were proper subjects for the lash, bat he did not think innocent boys, between fourteen and eighteen years of age, who happened under exceptional circumstances to irritate a commanding officer, should be subjected to this punishment, and such an infliction could not be justified. These boys were guilty of offences which were largely due to their surroundings, and they were the victims of society. Those in authority should try the effects of gentleness and kindness, and those who were not susceptible to those influences should not remain in the King's service. He was quite content to place this matter before the public in its present light. At the present time boys could be caned for almost any offence, such as smoking, having soiled tunics, not being able to swim and being disrespectful to superiors, and boys had been known to attempt suicide for fear of these punishments. Those were everyday occurrences in the Navy. [MINISTERIAL Cries of "Oh, oh!"] On one of His Majesty's ships flogging took place upon every day in the year, and in one year there were 8, 000 callings in the Navy. This system was not for the good of the boys, and commanders adopted this system of terrorism because it was easier than taking the trouble to achieve the same end by kindness and discipline. On each ship with 1, 000 men on board there were frequently two or three boys in punishment cells below water-mark, where they were fed for twenty-four hours on bread and water to prepare them for punishment. If that system was not an abuse of everything that savoured of humanity or Christian principles then he was certainly mistaken.

He could not believe that every one of those who had been corresponding with him and writing to The Times and other newspapers about things which they had seen and heard were stating things which were not true. The system at present in existence ought not to be allowed to exist for one moment. He believed that these poor little mites were subjected to this torture and degrading ordeal for offences in respect of which a boy at school would get some trivial punishment. The question the Committee had to consider was whether they were not allowing children to have their whole lives destroyed by this treatment. He had in his hand a letter from a man who described what he had seen in the Navy. He stated that the birch used was two-and-a-half pounds in weight, that the man who applied it practised on a hammock, or anything convenient, and that flossing had been brought up to a fine art. The writer stated that he had been employed on a training ship as a messenger. On board that ship there was a big chap who used to make it a brag, when a birching was coming off, that he could with twelve strokes knock the victim insensible, and he generally did it. He further stated— I would sooner see anyone belonging to me a cripple or under the earth than in the Navy, and I strongly advise all parents to keep their sons as far from it as they possibly can. Put them to anything but the Navy, for to the end of my days I will never forget those terrible times of my life in the training ship. The hon. Member read a recruiting officer's advertisement for boys for the Navy, in which it was stated that they could be received with or without the parents' consent. Was that man still occupying the same position? He thanked the House for the attention with which they had listened to him, and he also expressed his gratitude to the Press for the support given to his protest against flogging in the Navy. He hoped the people of England would take up this matter. So far as Ireland was concerned, they would take good care that their boys did not go into the Navy. Flogging in the Army had been abolished, and he appealed to hon. Members to help in putting it flown in the Navy. He moved to reduce the Vote by £500.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £6, 571. 500, be granted for the said Service. "—(Mr. Swift MacNeill.)


said he gathered from the speech of the hon. Member for South Donegal that he never was either birched or caned in his youth. If he had been it would have been better.


I was both.


said at all events it was quite evident that the hon. Member had never been on board a warship, and that he did not know in the least what he was talking about. He wished to refer to a point of very important detail in connection with the Mediterranean Fleet.


The right hon. Gentleman is out of order in discussing the general question until we have dealt with this.

MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)

said it would be a disgrace to English Members of the House were they not to join in this solemn protest against the continued infliction of those cruelties in connection with one of the highest branches of the public service. There was no service which in his estimation was more honourable and more necessary than the Navy. In speaking thus he did not limit his remark in any degree to the superior officers. Every boy on board a fighting vessel was part of the fighting sytem, and was entitled to the same consideration and honour, and the same immunity from cruelty and oppression, as any officer or man. The hon. Member for Great Yarmouth created merriment by stating that the hon. Member for South Donegal could not have received chastisement in his youth. Let him assure the Committee that never since he possessed a leg and a foot and a pair of boots did any man living ever offer punishment to him without receiving his reward. Notwithstanding that, he submitted that he should have made a moderately efficient sailor if it had been his fortune in his youth to have had his life directed into that channel. He had no confidence whatever in punishment producing efficiency. To draw a parallel between public-school flogging and flogging in the Navy was to his mind nonsense. Every boy entering a public school went there with the knowledge that if he committed a breach of discipline punishment of some kind or another would follow. Boys were not told when they were sworn into the Navy that the cat-o'-nine-tails, birches or canes were awaiting them.


There is no cat-o'-nine-tails.


There is.


said the cat-o'-nine-tails was a suspended, and not an abolished, instrument. The Secretary to the Admiralty should face the facts as they were. He would gain no strength by trying to evade the main point at issue. A boy at a public school could be recalled at any moment on complaint by his parents if they thought he was being unjustly and too severely punished. A boy in the Navy could not be withdrawn on complaint by the parents if they thought he was being unjustly and too severely punished. To say that the two positions were similar was to talk cheap nonsense calculated to appeal to the frivolity of hon. Members, and not to deal with a serious matter in a proper way. While the boys of the poor were subjected to these degrading operations boys of the superior class in the ship were not so treated. Was there a man there who dared stand up and say that boys of the superior class Were not as capable of, and as much inclined for, mischief as the others? What were the records of the Army which had brought disgrace on that branch of the service? His complaint was that the very class of boys who were subjected to this torture and indignity, the shame of which sometimes lasted through the life of a poor wretched creature, was the class least capable of making their complaints heard or bringing them under public notice. [Interruption.] This debate should really be carried on seriously; and, so far as he was concerned, he would support every effort to put an end to this degrading torture.

The Secretary to the Admiralty occupied a post of great distinction which any man might be proud to hold, but could he occupy it with analloyed pride when he knew that he was at the head of a Department which submitted weak and tender children to the mercy of incapable, ill-tempered, inefficient officers in charge of a ship? Naval officers should possess, besides fighting and flogging qualities, those of management of human nature. They should be humane, just, and capable of treating those under them as God-made human creatures entitled to the same rights and treatment as they themselves were. A man of that kind could manage a ship and its crew, including the boys, without submitting them to this degradation. Until this system of punishment was abolished, and discipline and order maintained by kindness on the part of the commanders, they would not have a Navy which carried satisfaction and pride into the cottage homes of England. [Interruption and laughter.] He had not seen a more degrading exhibition of merriment in the House for the last quarter of a century; and he was amazed that any constituency could send a Member to the House who was capable of such levity on such a serious matter. He knew he spoke with feeling, but that was because he belonged to the class from which the ships of the Navy were manned. During the last fifteen years he had signed many scores of papers swearing in the youth of his neighbourhood into the service of the British Navy. When so engaged he had always done his best to impress on the lads the virtues of discipline and sobriety. Well, he had always exercised that power to the best of his ability, and he hoped it had not been without fruit in after life if he was to judge by the progress of many of those lads who in later years visited him to report their life's work in the Navy. If the parents or guardians of boys who desired to enlist in the Navy realised that the tender flesh of their precious ones was to be subjected to laceration, either through the passionate temper or inefficiency of the ship's commander, they would hesitate a long time before they consented or encouraged their boys to enter the service. In conclusion he made are earnest appeal to the Secretary to the Admiralty to report to his superiors the full and strong feeling which existed amongst the people's representatives against the continuance of this brutality of flogging. The infamous system could be destroyed at once and for ever without the least possible danger to the discipline and efficiency of the British Navy. He believed that the Secretary to the Admiralty was himself a kind-hearted man, who lived in that part of the country which supplied some of the finest seamen in the world to the Navy and the merchant service. If the hon. Gentleman were to visit the fishing and rural villages of his own county he would find that the feeling against flogging was as strong there as he had attempted to express; and he hoped that the hon. Gentleman would mark the tenure of his office by securing the abolition of this degrading punishment in the Royal Navy.


said he had already dealt with the subject, and it would be merely wasting the time of the House if he repeated his statement. If there were any proof of undue severity, or anything approaching cruelty, there would be just as much indignation on his side of the House as on the other; and it would be the manifest duty of the Board of Admiralty immediately to put an end to it. But the essential thing missing in the whole structure of vehement denunciation to which the House had listened was that there had not been a single definite authenticated case brought forward of any undue severity or any cruelty. There was neither chapter nor verse. As far as the Admiralty were aware, the punishment which took place in the Navy was exactly similar to that which took place at school. One point made was as to the weight of the birch, and an hon. Member opposite, happened to possess an Eton birch, and had said that the weight of the Eton birch was equal to the combined weight of the Home Office birch and the Navy birch, even after it had suffered some loss of weight by attrition. He did not want to make a joke on a serious subject, but his point was that this was not a serious subject. It would be a serious subject if there were any undue severity or cruelty in the infliction of the punishment, but there was not, it being, in fact, but a part of the ordinary system of dealing with the youth of the country.


said he did not agree with the hon. Gentleman that this complaint was in any sense or in any degree a waste of the time of the House. It was a serious subject well deserving of different consideration to that which had been given it by hon. Gentlemen opposite. The real question was whether the system of punishing boys, which now prevailed in the Navy, was a good system or not; and to arrive at a conclusion the Committee should be told exactly what the system was. There were two classes of boys in the Navy—the officer class from the "Britannia" and the seamen class from Greenwich. The discrimination between these two classes of boys in the Navy was now more strict, and therefore more indefensible, than it used to be. When he was at the Admiralty he had the opportunities of comparing the two classes of boys with respect to attainments and manners, and he declared solemnly that he could make no discrimination at all between them. He, therefore, put the Question, did the same system of corporal punishment prevail with respect to both classes of boys?


Yes. The boys from the "Britannia" are liable to the same corporal punishment as the boys from Greenwich. The system is exactly the same as it was when the hon. Gentleman was at the Admiralty.


said it was a long time since he was a lad and the question was not raised in his time. That Answer was quite unworthy of the Question, and quite unworthy of the hon. Gentleman. The system was not to be justified or condemned because it was or was not the system in vogue ten years ago. His second Question was: by what authority, and after what sort of inquiry, was this violence administered to the boys?

MR. HUNT (Shropshire, Ludlow)

said, in his opinion the hon. Member for Donegal had brought some very serious charges against the management of boys in the Navy. It was all very well for hon. Gentlemen to laugh, but they did not laugh at such things when they were at school. He had been swished several times and no doubt it had done him good, but that was quite another matter if it was as the hon. Gentleman opposite had said. He had not the slightest doubt that the Secretary to the Admiralty believed that it was not, but the question was did he really know? He could remember very well seeing boys in private schools flogged very cruelly indeed, and he thought it was not a good way of getting out of this by saying that no case had been properly found out and proved. How was it going to be proved, who was going to see it, and who would dare to give it away? He thought they might fairly ask the Secretary to the Admiralty to make absolutely certain that nothing of the sort could possibly occur, and to see that boys should only be flogged for certain very serious offences.

MR. LLOYD MORGAN (Carmarthen, W.)

said the speech of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down went to the root of the question. Nobody suggested that when the Secretary to the Admiralty denied the accuracy of the charges made he was trying to mislead the House, or questioned the truthfulness of his statement. He was quite certain that what the hon. Gentleman stated he thoroughly believed. The question was whether a case had been made out for a full and impartial inquiry into the system of flogging in the Navy. They were very much indebted to the hon. Member for bringing this question forward. The hon. Member had performed a useful public service in so doing. It was perfectly idle for hon. Gentlemen to shut their eyes to the fact that there was a feeling growing up in the country that this system of flogging in the Navy was carried on to an unjustifiable extent. He had no desire to go into the merits or the details of this particular case, but merely to refer to the general aspect. His sympathy was against this form of punishment altogether, and to compare the swishings which boys received in schools with the form of punishment inflicted upon boys in the Navy was absolutely absurd. The form of punishment inflicted in the Navy was more severe than the punishment meted out to those sentenced by the magistrates under the Summary Jurisdiction Act, and it was idle and absurd to say that that punishment was the same as that inflicted on boys in our public schools.

There was one other question. The hon. Member for South Donegal had said that when he had endeavoured to see the instruments which were used for inflicting this form of punishment he was refused permission to see them. If that was so it was a very serious thing. If the hon. Member was not allowed to see these instruments he would like to know why. If, as the Secretary to the Admiralty stated, this was a proper form of punishment, why was this concealment resorted to? One would have thought that if the authorities had such an excellent case for the continuance of this form of punishment, they would have, instead of concealing it, given every possible facility to his hon. friend for seeing the instruments with which it was inflicted. Speaking upon this question, he had in his mind the flogging of boys from sixteen to eighteen years of age. He believed the age up to which a boy could be flogged in the Navy was eighteen; he thought it ought to be sixteen, but what he desired to draw attention to in speaking upon this question was that the whole tendency of our legislation was against this form of punishment. He was not going to say that for boys up to the age of sixteen it ought to be eliminated altogether. He would not for a moment put it so high as that. He remembered some years ago an hon. Member introducing a Bill into this House to legalise the punishment of flogging for men guilty of offences towards women and children. [Cheers.] Hon. Members cheered, but the House refused to accept that Bill. A full debate was held upon it, and the late Lord Ridley, then Home Secretary, said that it was a form of punishment that all official experience was against, and so far as he was concerned he would not be able to support it. Three or four years ago there was introduced a Bill dealing with the Summary Jurisdiction Act, and containing a clause by which magistrates were to have further powers to order sentences of birching for boys for certain offences. That was a Government measure, but after the debate the Government of the day had to withdraw the birching clause because the opinion of the House and of people experienced in such matters was against that form of punishment. If, therefore, it had been shown that the general tendency of legislation and of public opinion was against this form of punishment, did not the hon. Gentleman think a case had been made out for a full and impartial inquiry as to what was actually going on in the Navy? While not agreeing with everything that had been said in the debate, he thought a strong case for inquiry had been made out, and he suggested that the Secretary to the Admiralty would be rendering a great public service and doing good to the Navy by promising an impartial investigation into this matter.

MR. MAJENDIE (Portsmouth)

said there were two sides to this question. In the course of his speech the other day, the hon. Member for South Donegal made certain observations to which he, as representing a naval constituency, felt bound to take exception. He said that everybody who joined the Navy was liable to be flogged whether he deserved it or not. That was a very great aspersion to cast upon naval officers. He supposed that the hon. Member was quite aware that birching might not be administered without a warrant and that, by Clause 759 of the King's Regulations, Section 20, the punishment was to be awarded by warrant, and that on a ship currying a flag or broad pennant the approval of the flag officer or commodore in command had to be obtained. So that the hon. Member cast aspersions, not only on other naval officers, but also on the commodores and admirals in making that statement. The hon. Member illustrated his point by one or two stories. The first was about a boy who was flogged on board the "Lion," and he said that boy fainted during the course of castigation, was brought to, and flogged again.


That did not occur. I did not give any samples of specific flogging on board the "Lion," The case to which the hon. Member refers I repeated from a letter. I said that the boys were birched and caned for not being able to swim properly.


thought, at any rate, that in one ship the hon. Member said birching took place, that the boy fainted, and was brought to and flogged again. He wished to point out that by the Regulations it was essential that a medical officer should be present, and if the hon. Member's statement was correct it would be perfectly easy to verify it and bring that medical officer to Court-martial. He believed that the letter in which this was stated was anonymous.


I know the name of the writer and could give it. As far as I am concerned the letter was given to me by a clergyman of the Anglican Church, who thoroughly believed in its authenticity.


considered that if the clergyman were a humane man no doubt he would publish the letter and get the doctor tried by Court-martial. The hon. Member also stated that lie knew of another boy who was birched for stealing a postal order. He thought he remembered that case. The boy stole a postal order from another poor boy on the ship. If he remembered aright the hon. Member expressed some indignation because the boy was dismissed from the service and then flogged. He thought the hon. Member was putting the cart before the horse. The probability was that the boy was first flogged and then dismissed. He would like to point out what the alternative might have been. That boy might perfectly well have been sent to prison for a term of one or two years with hard labour. Which was the more humane—to flog him there and then and to dismiss him from the ship, or to blight his life by imprisonment? As regarded caning in the Navy, hon. Members opposite said that midshipmen and naval cadets were not punished. Not long ago there was a certain amount of bullying on board the "Britannia" which was put down by the captain, who was now a distinguished admiral, instituting a system by which cadets were flogged in public before the other boys. Caning went on on board the training ship "Isis" when necessary, and he did not think the statement that it was the case of the rich flogging the poor applied at all, as flogging was administered to the rich as well as to the poor, Since last week he had had the opportunity of talking to a great many sailors of all grades in the service upon this subject, and he had not come across one who had a word to say against flogging or caning in the British Navy. They all admitted that it was necessary, and that it was far better that a boy should receive caning as a punishment than be confined to the ship, or have his leave stopped. As he had the honour of representing a naval constituency, he felt strongly that in bringing this matter forward the hon. Member had cast very serious aspersious indeed upon the honour and humanity of the Bristish naval officer, and he thoroughly and entirely repudiated them.


said the hon. Member opposite had avoided the main point of the indictment of the hon. Member for South Donegal, and had attempted to ride off on a side issue. The question at issue was not the humanity or reputation of naval officers, but whether there existed in the Navy at the present time a practice which was abhorrent to every instinct of humanity, and discreditable to the authorities who permitted it. The Secretary to the Admiralty had not treated the matter in a manner worthy of his high office. A paymaster of the Royal Navy had written a letter declaring that it was a hateful and an abominable thing that these lads should be flogged, and stating that when he witnessed this degrading punishment he was ashamed of the uniform he wore. He contended that a conclusive case had been made out for investigation, and he hoped the hon. Member would do something to signalise the administration of his high office by granting an inquiry which would put an end to the public feeling which had been aroused. The Irish Members regarded this subject with great interest, because it recalled the early days of Mr. Parnell and the great and successful fight ho made in abolishing flogging in the British Army. At that time Mr. Parnell was accused of trying to bring discredit upon the British Army and the British Empire, but he stuck to his contention, and he had the satisfaction of securing the, alliance of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, and between them the fight for the abolition of flogging in the Army was brought to a successful issue, and one of the greatest reproaches to the British Army was removed. He was perfectly satisfied that they were now only at the beginning of this great struggle, and however much hon. Member

opposite might laugh and sneer, this fight would go on until this scandal was put an end to. At the end of this fight his hon. friend the Member for South Donegal would be looked up to as a man who had rendered a very valuable service to the cause of humanity in this country.

When the question of flogging in the Army was being considered in the House, hon. Members were given an opportunity of seeing in the House the instruments used for flogging, and he could not see why similar facilities should not be given at the present time in regard to flogging in the Navy. His hon. and learned friend the Member for South Donegal had asked that a sample of the cat-o'-nine-tails should be brought to the House for hon. Members to inspect. Why was a distinction to be made in allowing hon. Members to see the instruments used for punishment in the Army and not those used in the Navy? As far as Irishmen were concerned, the Irish Catholic bishops had issued a warning against Irish boys joining the British Navy, and the result of this debate would be to increase the determination of the Irish people to see that none of their children should enter the British Navy.

MR. JOSEPH DEVLIN (Kilkenny, N.)

said that if the Secretary to the Admiralty would rise and state that in accordance with the demand from all parts of the House he would grant such an inquiry as had been asked for, he would give way and not continue the discussion.


said that the Admiralty would be quite ready to investigate any case the particulars of which were submitted, but he could not admit that any case for public inquiry had been made out. He moved that the Question be now put.

Question put, "That the Question be now put. "

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 239; Noes. 161. (Division List No. 47. )

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Anson, Sir William Reynell
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Allsopp, Hon. George Arkwright, John Stanhope
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H E. (Wigt'n)
Arrol, Sir William Finlay, Sir R. B. (Invern'ss B'ghs Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriesshire
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Fisher, William Hayes Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Aubrey-Fletcher. Rt. Hn. Sir H. Fison, Frederick William Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.
Bailey, James (Walworth) Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N. )
Bain, Colonel James Robert Forster, Henry William Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Baird, John George Alexander Galloway, William Johnson Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow)
Ba carres, Lord Gardner, Ernest Morpeth, Viscount
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r) Garfit, William Morrell, George Herbert
Balfour, Rt. Hn. Gerald W (Leeds) Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. Morrison, James Archibald
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Banner, John S. Harmood- Goschen, Hon. (George Joachim Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Goulding, Edward Alfred Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Greene, Sir EW (B'rySEdm'nds Myers, William Henry
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury Nicholson, William Graham
Bignold, Sir Arthur Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.) Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)
Bigwood, James Gretton, John Parker, Sir Gilbert
Bill, Charles Greville, Hon. Ronald Parkes, Ebenezer
Bingham, Lord Guthrie, Walter Murray Peel. Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley
Blundel, Colonel Henry Hall, Edward Marshall Percy, Earl
Bond, Edward Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Hambro, Charles Eric Plummer, Sir Walter R.
Bowles, Lt-Col. H. F. (Middlesex Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Brassey, Albert Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry Pretyman, Ernest George
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Hare, Thomas Leigh Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Bull, William James Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th) Purvis, Robert
Burdett-Coutts, W. Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Pym, C. Guy
Butcher, John George Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow Heath, Sir James (Staffords. N W Randles, John S.
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ. Helder, Augustus Rankin, Sir James
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W. ) Rasch, Sir Frederick Carne
Cautley, Henry Strother Hoare, Sir Samuel Ratcliff, R. F.
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derby shire Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Bright side Reid, James (Greenock)
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Horner, Frederick William Remnant, James Farquharson
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hoult, Joseph Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Howard, John (Kent Faversham Ridley, S. Forde
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc) Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Chapman, Edward Hudson, George Bickersteth Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Clive, Captain Percy A. Hunt, Rowland Robinson, Brooke
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Collings, Rt. Hn. Jesse Kenyon-Slaney, Rt, Hn. Col. W. Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Colomb, Rt. Hon. Sir John C. R. Kerr, John Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Keswick, William Round, Rt. Hon. James
Compton, Lord Alwyne Kimber, Sir Henry Royds, Clement Molyneux
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas King, Sir Henry Seymour Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Knowles, Sir Lees Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. ) Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Sackvilie, Col. S. G. Stop ford
Cripps, Charles Alfred Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Lawson, Hn H. L. W. (Mile End) Samuel, Sir Harry S. (Limehouse)
Crossley, Rt, Hon. Sir Savile Lawson, John Grant (Yorks. NR) Sandys, Lieut. -Col. Thos. Myles
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Lee, Arthur H (Hants. Fareham Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W. )
Gust, Henry John C. Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Dalkeith, Earl of Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Sloan, Thomas Henry
Davenport, William Bromley Llewellyn, Evan Henry Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Denny, Colonel Lockwood, Lieut. -Col. A. R. Smith, H. C. (North'mb Tyneside)
Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tower Hamlets Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Smith, Rt Hn J. Parker (Lanarks
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Lowe, Francis William Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Dickson, Charles Scott Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Spear, John Ward
Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C. Lucas, Reginald J (Portsmouth Stanley, Hon Arthur (Ormskirk)
Disraeli, Conings by Ralph Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lanes. )
Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Macdona, John Cumming Stroyan, John
Doughty, Sir George MacIver, David (Liverpool) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Maconochie, A. W. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Doxford, Sir William Theodore M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J G. (Oxf'dUniv.
Duke, Henry Edward M'Calmont, Colonel James Thorburn, Sir Walter
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart Majendie, James A. H. Tomlinson, Sir Win. Edw. M.
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Malcolm, Ian Tritton, Charles Ernest
Fardell, Sir T. George Manners, Lord Cecil Tuff, Charles
Followes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Marks, Harry Hananel Tuke, Sir John Batty
Fergusson, Rt, Hn Sir J. (Manch'r) Martin, Richard Biddulph Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Warde, Colonel C. E. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Welby. Lt-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton) Wilson, John (Glasgow) Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts. ) Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks. )
Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir
Whitmore, Charles Algernon Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson Alexander Acland-Hood and
Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset) Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart Viscount Valentia.
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. ) Hayden, John Patrick Parrott, William
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Healy, Timothy Michael Partington, Oswald
Ainsworth, John Stirling Helme, Norval Watson Power, Patrick Joseph
Allen, Charles P. Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Rea, Russell
Ambrose, Robert Higham, John Sharpe Reddy, M.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Holland, Sir William Henry Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Horniman, Frederick John Rickett, J. Compton
Barlow, John Emmott Jacoby, James Alfred Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Johnson, John Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)
Bell, Richard Joicey, Sir James Robson, William Snowdon
Black, Alexander William Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea Roche, John
Blake, Edward Jones, Leif (Appleby) Runciman, Walter
Boland, John Jones William (Carnarvonshire Russell, T. W.
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Jordan, Jeremiah Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Brigg, John Joyce, Michael Schwann, Charles E.
Bright, Allan Heywood Kearley, Hudson E. Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight)
Broadhurst, Henry Kennedy, Vincent P. (Gavan, W Shackleton, David James
Burns, John Kilbride, Denis Sheehy, David
Buxton, Sydney Charles Kitson, Sir James Shipman, Dr. John G.
Caldwell, James Labouchere, Henry Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S. ) Lambert, George Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Channing, Francis Allston Lamont, Norman Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Cheetham, John Frederick Langley, Batty Soares, Ernest J.
Clancy, John Joseph Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal W. ) Spencer, Rt Hn. C R. (Northants
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Stanhope, Hon. Philip James
Crean, Eugene Layland-Barratt, Francis Strachey, Sir Edward
Cromer, William Randal Lewis, John Herbert Sullivan, Donal
Crooks, William Lough, Thomas Taylor Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Cullinan, J. Lundon, W. Tennant, Harold John
Dalziel, James Henry Lyell, Charles Henry Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E. )
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) MacVeagh, Jeremiah Toulmin George
Delany, William M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Ure, Alexander
Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway) M'Crae, George Waldron, Laurence Ambrose
Doogan, P. C. M'Kean, John Wallace, Robert
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Markham, Arthur Basil Walton Joseph (Barnsley)
Duffy, William J. Mooney, John J. Warner Thomas Courtenay T.
Dunn, Sir William Morgan, J. Lloyd(Carmarthen) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Edwards, Frank Moulton, John Fletcher Wason, John Catheart (Orkney)
Ellis, John Edward(Notts) Murphy, John white George(Norfolk)
Emmott, Alfred Nannetti, Joseph P. white Luke (York, E. R. )
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Newnes, Sir George White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone) Nolan, Joseph (Louth South) Whiteley, George(York, W. R. )
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Nussey, Thomas Willans Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Eve, Harry Trelawney O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Fenwick, Charles O'Brien, Kendal(TipperaryMid Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Findlay, Alexander (Lanark, NE) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid. )
Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N. ) Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Flynn, James Christopher O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W. Woodhouse, Sir J. T (Huddersf'd
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. ) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N. ) Young, Samuel
Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. O'Dowd, John Yoxall, James Henry
Furness, Sir Christopher O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N. )
Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N. ) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Malley, William MacNeill and Mr. Joseph
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Mara, James Devlin.
Harwood, George O'Shaughnessy, P. J.

Question put accordingly, "That a sum, not exceeding £6, 671, 500, be granted for the said Service."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 151; Noes, 235. (Division List No. 48)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. ) Healy, Timothy Michael Parrott, William
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Helme, Norval Watson Partington, Oswald
Ainsworth, John Stirling Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Power, Patrick Joseph
Allen, Charles P. Higham, John Sharpe Rea, Russell
Ambrose, Robert Holland, Sir William Henry Reddy, M.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Horniman, Frederick John Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Barlow, John Emmott Hunt, Rowland Rickett, J. Compton
Barran, Rowland Hirst Jacoby, James Alfred Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Bell, Richard Johnson, John Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)
Black, Alexander William Joicey, Sir James Robson, William Snowdon
Blake, Edward Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea) Roche, John
Boland, John Jones, Leif (Appleby) Runciman, Walter
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Russell, T. W.
Brigg, John Jordan, Jeremiah Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Bright, Allan Heywood Joyce, Michael Schwann, Charles E.
Burns, John Kearley, Hudson E. Seely, Maj. J E. B. (Isle of Wight)
Cldwell, James Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W shackleton, David James
Campbell, John(Armagh, S. ) Kilbride, Denis Sheehy David
Chinning, Francis Allston Kitson, Sir James Shipman, Dr. John G.
Cheetham, John Frederick Labouchere, Henry Smith Samuel (Flint)
Clancy, John Joseph Lambert, George Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lamont, Norman Soares Ernest J.
Crean, Eugene Langley, Batty Strachey, Sir Edward
Cremer, William Randal Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W. ) Sullivan Donal
Crooks, William Lawson Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radeliffe)
Cullinan, J. Layland-Barratt Francis Tennant, Harold John
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Lewis, John Herbert Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E. )
Delany, William Lundon, W. Tomkinson James
Devlin, Charles Ramsay (Galway) MacVeagh, Jeremiah Toulmin George
Dovlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N. ) M'Arthur, William (Gornwall) Ure, Alexander
Doogan, P. C. M'Crae, George Waldron, Laurence Ambrose
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) M'Kean, John Wallace Robert
Duffy, William J. Markham, Arthur Basil Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Dunn, Sir William Mooney, John J. Warner, Thomas Countenay T.
Edwards Frank Morgan. J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Wason, John Catheart (Orkney)
Ellis, John Edward (Notts. ) Moulton, John Fletcher White, George (Norfolk)
Emmott, Alfred Murphy, John white, Luke (York, E. R. )
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Nannetti Joseph P. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone Newnes, Sir George Whiteley, George, (York W. R)
Evans, Samuel, T. (Glamorgan) Nolan, Joseph(Louth, South) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Eve, Harry Trelawney Nussey, Thomas Willans Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Fenwick Charles O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Findlay, Alexander (Lanark, NE) O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Flynn, James Christopher O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N. ) Woodhouse, Sir J T. (Huddersf'd
Foster, Sir Walter(Derby Co. ) O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. ) Young, Samuel
Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N. ) Yoxall, James Henry
Farness, Sir Christopher O'Dowd, John
Gurddard, Daniel Ford O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N. ) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Malley, William MacNeill and Mr. Broad-
Harwood, George O'Mara, James hurst.
Hayden, John Patrick O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O Baird, John George Alexander
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Arrol, Sir William Balcarres, Lord
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Atkinson. Rt. Hon. John Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r)
Allsopp, Hon. George Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Bailey, James (Walworth) Balfour, Kenneth R. (Chiristch. )
Arkwright, John Stanhope Bain, Colonel James Robert Banbury, Sir Frederick George
Banner, John S. Harmood- Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Morrell, George Herbert
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Goulding, Edward Alfred Morrison, James Archibald
Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Greene, Sir EW (B'rySEdm'nds) Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs. ) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry
Bigwood, James Gretton, John Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Bill, Charles Greville, Hon. Ronald Myers, William Henry
Bingham, Lord Guthrie, Walter Murray Nicholson, William Graham
Blundell, Colonel Henry
Bond, Edward Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Hambro, Charles Eric Parkes, Ebenezer
Bowles, Lt. -Col. H. F. (Middlesex) Hamiton Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x) Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley
Brassey, Albert Hamilton, Marq of (Lond'nderry) Percy, Earl
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Hare, Thomas Leigh Platt-Higgins Frederick
Bull, William James Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th) Plummer, Sir Walter R.
Burdett-Coutts, W. Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Powell, Sir Francis Sharpe
Butcher, John George Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley) Pretyman, Ernest George
Heath, Sir James (Staffords, N W) Pryce-Jones, Lt. -Col. Edward
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow) Helder, Augustus Purvis, Robert
Campbell. J. H. M. (Dublin Univ. ) Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W. ) Pym, C. Guy
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hoare, Sir Samuel
Cautley, Henry Strother Hope, J F. (Sheffield, Brightside) Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyahire) Horner, Frederick William Randles, John S.
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Hoult, Joseph Rankin, Sir James
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Howard, John (Kent, Faversham) Rasch, Sir Frederick Carne
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Howard, J. (Midd. Tottenham) Ratcliff, R. F.
Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A (Worc. ) Hudson, George Bickersteth Reid, James (Greenock)
Chapman, Edward Remnant, James (Farquharson)
Clive, Captain Percy A. Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Ridley S. Forde
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col. W. Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Kerr, John Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Colomb, Rt. Hn. Sir John C. R. Keswick, William Robinson, Brooke
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Kimber, Sir Henry Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Compton, Lord Alwyne King, Sir Henry Seymour Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Knowles, Sir Lees Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Corbett T. L. (Down, North) Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Round, Rt. Hon. James
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Laurie, Lieut. -General Royds, Clement Molyneux
Cripps, Charles Alfred Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Laurence Sir Joseph(Monm'th) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Lawson Hn. H. L. W. (MileEnd) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Lawson, John Grant (Yorks. NR) Samuel, Sir Harry S (Limehouse
Cust, Henry John C. Lee, Arthur H. (Hants. Fareham) Sandys, Lieut-Col. Thos. Myles
Dalkeith, Earl of Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W. )
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Davenport, William Bromley Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tower Hamlets) Llewellyn, Evan Henry Sloan, Thomas Henry
Dickson, Charles Scott Lockwood, Lieut. -Col. A. R. Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph C. Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Smith, H C (North'mb. Tyneside
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Lowe, Francis William Smith, Rt Hn J Parker (Lanarks)
Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. Strand)
Doughty, Sir George Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth) Spear, John Ward
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Stanley, Hon Arthur(Ormskirk)
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lanes. )
Duke, Henry Edward Macdona, John Cumming Stroyan, John
Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Maclver, David(Liverpool) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Maconochie, A. W.
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton M'Arthur, Chas. (Liverpool) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Fardell, Sir T. George M'Calmont, Colonel James Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUniv. )
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Majendie, James A. H. Thorburn, Sir Walter
Fergusson, RtHn. SirJ. (Manch'r Malcolm, Ian Thornton, Percy M.
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Manners, Lord Cecil Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Finlay, Sir RB. (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs) Marks, Harry Hananel Tritton, Charles Ernest
Fisher, William Hayes Martin, Richard Biddulph Tuff, Charles
Fison, Frederick William Maxwell, Rt Hn. Sir H E. (Wigt'n) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon Maxwell, W. J. H (Dumfriesshire Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Forster, Henry William Mildmay, Francis Bingham Warde, Colonel C. E.
Galloway, William Johnson Milner, Rt Hon. Sir Frederick G. Welby, Lt. -Col. AC. E. (Taunton)
Gardner, Ernest Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N. ) Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts. )
Garfit, William Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants) Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Gibbs. Hon. A. G. H. Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow) Willough by de Eresby, Lord
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn) Morpeth, Viscount Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Wodehouse, Rt Hn. E. R. (Bath) Wrightson, Sir Thomas Alexander Acland-Hood and
Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong Viscount Valentia.

claimed, "That the Original Question be now put."

Original Question, "That a sum, not exceeding £6, 672, 000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Expenses of Wages, etc., to Officers, Seamen and

Boys, Coast Guard, and Royal Marines, which will come in course of payment during the year ending March 31st, 1906, "put accordingly.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 252; Noes, 105. (Division List No. 49.)

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Haslam, Sir Alfred, S.
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Corbett T. L. (Down, North) Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley
Allen, Charles P. Cripps, Charles Alfred Heath, Sir. James (Staffords. NW)
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Crooks, William Helder Augustus
Allsopp, Hon. George Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Helme, Norval Watson
Anson, Sir William Reynell Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W. )
Arkwright, John Stanhope Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hoare, Sir Samuel
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Cust, Henry John C. Hope, JF. (Sheffield, Brightside)
Arroll, Sir William Dalkeith, Earl of Horner, Frederick William
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hoult, Joseph
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt Hon. Sir H. Davenport, William Bromley Howard, John(Kent, Faversham
Bailey, James (Walworth) Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tower Hamlets) Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)
Bain, Colonel James Robert Dickson, Charles Scott Hudson, George Bickersteth
Baird, John George Alexander Dimsdale, Rt Hon. Sir Joseph C. Hunt, Rowland
Balcarres, Lord Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Joicey, Sir James
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Kearley, Hudson E.
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W(Leeds) Doughty, Sir George Kenyon-Slaney. Rt. Hon. Col. W.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Kerr, John
Banner, John S. Harmood- Douglas, Charles. M. (Lanark) Keswick, William
Barran, Rowland Hirst Doxford, Sir William Theodore Kimber, Sir Henry
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Duke, Henry Edward King, Sir Henry Seymour
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart Knowles, Sir Lees
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Egerton, Hon A. de Tatton Lambert, George
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Emmott, Alfred Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidstone) Laurie, Lieut. -General
Bigwood, James Fardell, Sir T. George Law, Andrew Bonar(Glasgow)
Bill, Charles Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th)
Bingham, Lord Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Mane'r) Lawson. Hn H. L. W. (Mile End)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Lawson, John Grant (Yorks. NR
Bond, Edward Finlay, Sir R. B. (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs) Layland-Barratt, Francis
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Fisher, William Hayes Lee, Arthur H. (Hants. Fareham)
Bowles, Lt-Col. HF. (Middlesex) Fison, Frederick William Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)
Brassey, Albert Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Forster, Henry William Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.
Bull, William James Galloway, William Johnson Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Burdett-Coutts, W. Gardner, Ernest Lockwoord, Lieut. -Col. A. R.
Butcher, John George Garfit, William Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Caldwell, James Gibbs. Hon. A. G. H. Lowe, Francis William
Campbell, Rt Hn. J. A. (Glasgow Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ. ) Gordon, Hn. J E. (Elgin & Nairn) Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Cautley, Henry Strother Goulding, Edward Alfred Macdona, John Cumming
Cavendish. V. C. W. (Derbyshire Gray, Ernest(West Ham) MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Greene, Sir E W (B'rySEdm'nds) Maconochie, A. W.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Greene, W. Raymond(Cambs. ) M'Calmont, Colonel James
Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A. (Worc. Gretton, John Majendia, James A. H.
Chapman, Edward Greville, Hon. Ronald Malcolm, Ian
Clive, Captain Percy A Guthrie, Walter Murray Manners, Lord Cecil
Cochrane Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Marks, Harry Hananel
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hambro, Charles Eric Martin, Richard Biddulph
Colomb, Rt. Hon. Sir John C. R. Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x) Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H E. (Wigt'n)
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Hamilton Marq of (L'nd'nderry) Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriesshire
Compton, Lord Alwyne Hare, Thomas Leigh Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G. Reid, James (Greenock) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N. ) Remnant, James Farquharson Talbot, Lord E, (Chiehester)
Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants) Ridley, S. Forde Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUniv.
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) Tennant, Harold John
Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Thorburn, Sir Walter
Morpeth, Viscount Robinson, Brooke Thornton, Percy M.
Morrell, George Herbert Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Tritton, Charles Ernest
Moulton, John Fletcher Round, Rt. Hon. James Tuff, Charles
Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Royds, Clement Molyneux Tuke, Sir John Batty
Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Runciman, Walter Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Warde, Colonel C. E.
Myers, William Henry Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Newnes, Sir George Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Welby, Lt. -Col. A C. E. (Taunton)
Nicholson, William Graham Samuel, Sir Harry S. (Limehouse) Welby, Sir Charles GE. (Notts. )
Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Parkes, Ebenezer Sandys, Lieut. -Col. Thos. Myles White, Luke (York E. R. )
Partington, Oswald Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W. ) Williams. Colonel R. (Dorset)
Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Percy, Earl Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (IsleofWight) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks. )
Plummer, Sir Walter R. Sloan, Thomas Henry Wodehouse, Rt Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Smith, H C. (North'mbTynside) Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Pretyman, Ernest George Smith, Rt Hn J Parker (Lanarks. ) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Pryce-Jones, Lt. -Col. Edward Smith, Samuel(Flint) Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Purvis, Robert Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Pym, C. Guy Soares, Ernest J.
Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Spear, John Ward TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir
Randles, John S. Stanley, Hon Arthur (Ormskirk) Alexander Acland-Hood and
Rankin, Sir James Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lancs. ) Viscount Valentia.
Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne Strachey, Sir Edward
Ratcliff, R. F. Stroyan, John
Abraham, William(Cork, N. E. ) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Malley, William
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Higham, John Sharpe O'Mara, James
Ainsworth, John Stirling Horniman, Frederick John O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Ambrose, Robert Jacoby, James Alfred Parrott, William
Barlow, John Emmott Johnson, John Power, Patrick Joseph
Black, Alexander William Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea Reddy, M.
Blake, Edward Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Boland, John Jordan, Jeremiah Rickett, J. Compton
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Joyce, Michael Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Brigg, John Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W Roberts, John H. (Denbighs. )
Broadhurst, Henry Kilbride, Denis Roche, John
Burns, John Kitson, Sir James Russell, T. W.
Campbell, John (Armagh, S. ) Labouchere, Henry Shackleton, David James
Channing, Francis Allston Lamont, Norman Sheehy, David
Cheetham, John Frederick Langley, Batty Shipman, Dr. John G.
Clancy, John Joseph Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W. Sullivan, Donal
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Taylor, Theordore C. (Radcliffe
Crean, Eugene Lewis, John Herbert Toulmin, George
Cremer, William Randal Lundon, W. Ure, Alexander
Cullinan, J. MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Waldron, Laurence Ambrose
Davies, Alfred(Carmarthen) MacVeagh, Jeremiah Wallace, Robert
Delany, William M'Crae, George Walton, Joseph(Barnsley)
Devlin, CharlesRamsay (Galway M'Kean, John Wason, JohnCathcart (Orkney)
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N. ) Markham, Arthur Basil White, George (Norfolk)
Doogan, P. C. Mooney, John J. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Duffy, William J. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Whiteley, George (York, W. R. )
Dunn, Sir William Murphy, John Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Ellis, John Edward (Notts. ) Nannetti, Joseph, P. Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Noian, Joseph (Louth, South) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid. )
Eve, Harry Trelawney O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Fenwick, Charles O'Brien, Kendal (TipperaryMid Young, Samuel
Findlay, Alexander (Lanark, N. E O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N. )
Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES. —Sir
Flynn, James Christopher O'Connor, John (Kildare, N. ) Thomas Esmonde and Mr.
Furness, Sir Christopher O'Dowd, John Patrick O'Brien.
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Kelly, Conor, (Mayo, N. )
Hayden, John Patrick O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N

Bill read a second time, and committed.

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

Resolution to be reported to-morrow; Committee to sit again to-morrow.

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