HC Deb 23 March 1905 vol 143 cc978-1013

"That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £550, 000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the war ending on the 31st day of March, 1905, for additional Expenditure in respect of following Army services, Viz;—

Vote 1. Pay, etc., of the Army 985, 000
Vote 2. 2. Medical Establishments Pay, etc. 21, 000
Vote 6. Transport and Remounts 265, 000
Vote 7. Provisions, Forage, and other supplies 260, 000
Vote 12. Miscellaneous Effective Services 2, 000
Vote 14. Retired Pay, Half-Pay, and other non-effective charges for Officers, etc. 1, 000
Vote 15. Pensions and other non-effective charges for Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, Men, and others 2, 000
1, 536, 000
Less Surpluses on other Votes 386, 000
1, 150, 000
Deduct Excess Appropriations in Aid 600, 000
£550, 000

Resolution further considered—

MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)

said he had not quite finished his speech the other evening when he was interrupted by the rules of debate, but he did not think he need occupy many more minutes, especially as there were several hon. Members on his side of the House who wished to take the opportunity afforded by that Vote of bringing forward a number of grievances. He had refrained from going into questions of detail, but he might remind the House that only within the last hour or so one of his complaints had received confirmation in an Answer to a Question which disclosed the fact that a large quantity of suits of clothes were disposed of by the War Office after the end of the war in South Africa at a reduction of forty per. cent, on the cost price. He thought that it was an illustration of what was going on in the War Office at the present time. There was a growing feeling among both soldiers and civilians all over the country that the War Office was not being managed economically and satisfactorily.

Both sides of the House last year greeted the appointment of the new I Secretary for War with acclamation because they believed he was a reformer I who would carry out reforms in the direction of economy. The Secretary for War had been a consistent critic of the extravagance of the War Office, and he had pledged himself over and over again to do what be could to secure a thorough investigation in regard to these matters. In his speech in introducing the Estimates last year he confessed that they did not represent his idea of what ought to be the character or scale of expenditure on the Army. That led them to believe that in the right hon. Gentleman they had one who intended to enforce economy at the War Office in every possible way, and to secure the reduction of the very unnecessary expenditure which undoubtedly was there going on. The present year's Estimates, however, showed that the reductions which the right hon. Gentleman had been able to make during the first year of his office were infinitesimally small. It was true he prided himself last year on making a reduction on the normal Estimates of £280, 000, but the greater part of that was secured merely by wiping out altogether the Militia Reserves. This year they had a deficiency in the Estimates, and unfortunately they had no pledge for future economies. The new Estimates had already been printed, and they had been enabled to gather from them that there was to be no substantial reduction in the coming year. The intentions of the right hon. Gentleman had, no doubt, been very good, but it was to be feared that there were those at the War Office who had secured control over him, and were preventing him from obtaining any substantial reductions.

Unless substantial improvements were brought about swiftly, he feared that feeling in the country would rise to such an extent that the Army must suffer in years to come. They wanted not a slight reduction, but a very large curtailment, and the nation would insist upon that. This Vote a fforded them the first opportunity they had had of showing their determination to secure a reasonable diminution in the Army Estimates. If they could only prevent excessive expenditure in the present year, they might rely upon it that in future years it would be a more easy task, and they would have submitted to them Estimates which were complete in themselves, and which would not have to be added to by Supplementary Estimates and additional Votes. He hoped the House would tell the gentlemen who now controlled the War Office that economies must be made, that the economies promised last year must be carried out, and he trusted that such a lesson would be given as would ensure the economic administration of the War Office in the future. He begged to move the reduction of the Vote by £250, 000.

Amendment proposed— To leave out '£550, 000, ' and insert £300, 000. '"—(Mr. Courtenay Warner.)

Question proposed, "That £550, 000 stand part of the said Resolution. "

MR. BUCHANAN (Perthshire, E.)

said he had an Amendment on the Paper which was covered by the Amendment of his hon. friend, with whose views he heartily sympathised. He, however, desired particularly to call attention to item B. B., namely, the grant of £60, 000 to the Rhodesian Railways. When the Estimate was presented earlier in the session he put a Question on the Paper asking the Secretary for War for explanations of the Vote, and he was told the right hon. Gentleman would give full details in Coimnittee. Unfortunately up to the present no opportunity had been offered for the submission of these explanations. This Vote illustrated, if anything could do so, a statement made two years ago by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Croydon when Chancellor of the Exchequer that it was almost as expensive to make peace as it was to make war. The would find that after the conclusion of the war all the public authorities in South Africa, all the various Colonial Governments and other bodies, with one accord sat on the Imperial Exchequer in order to get as much out of it as possible. They thought it a fair game and they played it as hard as they could. In one particular instance, the Natal Government made extensive claims, and within a few weeks offered to compromise the whole matter, for exactly one-half, and Lord Kitchener suggested that the better plan was to close with that offer as quickly as possible. Now, this grant raised a very similar question, although on a somewhat smaller scale. The Rhodesian Railway was practically the Chartered Company, it was at any rate subsidiary to the Chartered Company, and the majority of the shares in it were held by or guaranteed by that company. The company received a grant of £20, 000 every year from the Imperial Exchequer, and had done so ever since 1897. Technically, indeed, the grant came out of the funds of the Bechuana-land Protectorate, but inasmuch as the grants to that Protectorate varied from £30, 000 to £70, 000, it would be seen that they sufficed to cover the grant to the Rhodesian Railway Company.

Now, in regard to this particular claim. It first came under the notice of the House more than two years since, and it was brought up in the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General. It was a claim for compensation for the use of the railway during the time of the siege of Mafeking. Practically this country had the sole use of the railway from October 1st, 1899, down to the month of June, 1900. When the claim was under consideration the authorities of this country took up the position, after consultation with the Military Director of Railways in South Africa, that while it was proper that compensation should be granted, it should be calculated on the actual cost of working the railway, and that it should not be based solely on the nine months whilst we were in military occupation, but that the figures for a complete year should be taken into consideration. That position was agreed to by the War Office, the Treasury, and the Colonial Office, and on that basis it was worked out that the balance due to the company amounted to £24, 817 3s. 8d. That sum was offered to the Rhodesian Railway Company. He would like to make clear exactly what happened. The company claimed that there was a loss on the undertaking during the whole period in which we occupied the line, and they asked to be recouped the loss of that period. But on our side it was submitted that at the end of the occupation the line was handed back to the company with a considerable accumulation of traffic which to a large extent compensated for the loss which had been suffered during the antecedent period, and therefore any claim for adjustment should be made for the whole year and not merely for the nine months. The company further made rather a large demand. They wanted to be compensated for the loss they suffered during the war over the whole of their railway system. That, to his mind, was a preposterous demand which could not be entertained by the Government for one moment.

But what had been the history of the question since then? Last year, in the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General presented to the Public Accounts Committee, they were told that the thing had not been settled, and when they pressed the Director of Public Accounts of the War Office for further information, he replied on June 10th, that both sides had agreed to arbitration, and he suggested that he should not be pressed to give further information on the subject because the moment was not convenient for the discussion of it. The Committee agreed, consequently, not to press the demand for further information, and they had no further information up to the time of the receipt of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General, when they ascertained that after protracted negotiations the claims of the company had been settled in August last by the payment of £60, 000. The Report went on to say that it would be remembered that the sum of £75, 000 was advanced to the company in 1901, and that, added to the £60, 000 now paid, made a total charge of £135, 000 for the use of the line for the nine months during which it was occupied by the military in connection with the siege of Mafeking, and that was in addition to the grant of £20, 000 made annually cut of the Public Exchequer. He thought this was a case in which the war in South Africa had proved a somewhat valuable asset to the railway com- pany, and, bearing in mind the fact that those largely interested in the company were to a great extent the cause of the war, it did not seem right that they should make a really substantial profit in that manner. We had had to bear the burden of the war not only in loss of life, but also in loss of treasure, and then we found that those who were primarily the cause of the conflict, and in whose interests we undertook the fighting, were endavouring to get the last possible farthing out of the taxpayers of this country.

He did think that this was a matter which required explanation from the right hon. Gentleman, and he would like to put to him one or two specific Questions. First, was the offer of arbitration ever accepted, and if it was, why was it abandoned? In the second place, why did the War Office depart from the position, taken up on the recommendation of the Military Director of Railways in South Africa, to accept liability only on the basis of the actual cost of working the line, which amounted to £24, 800? Why was that arrangement departed from? The Secretary for War had told them that further claims amounting to £23, 000 were put in by the company. They would like to know what those claims were for, and he desired to point out further that even the £23, 000 added to the £24, 000 did not make up the £60, 000 which had actually been paid. How was the balance of nearly £13, 000 accounted for? Was the company demanding interest, or what was the ground upon which this large sum had been paid? What was the explanation of the extraordinary change of policy which had taken place in this matter? He thought that the people of this country had a claim to examine into the whole question.

*MR. LYELL (Dorsetshire, E.)

thought hon. Members were under a large obligation to the hon. Member for Lichfield for the somewhat sweeping character of the reduction he had moved. He had, no doubt, put it at that substantial figure so that it might afford opportunity for hon. Members to give expression to the dissatisfaction they felt at various matters connected with the administration of the War Office. He was not quite sure that his hon. friend had made his case quite big enough. The various changes in the Government had been so completely rapid and kaleidiscopic, and the information imparted to the House had been so meagre, that he might be pardoned if he asked for a little more information in regard to Somaliland. A short time ago they had a scheme of punitive expeditions there against the Mullah, who was declared to be mad. The result was that they spent something like £3, 000, 000 in endeavouring to catch and detain him during His Majesty's pleasure. They were told that the Government went to war with the Mullah to protect the tribes with whom we had treaties. The hon. Member for Stepney insisted the other day how extremely important it was to keep faith with native tribes; and how anything in the way of branch of faith with them was known in India, talked about, and might lead to dire consequences. We agreed, believed, and trembled from fear of what might happen when the inhabitants of India knew of the attitude the Government had taken up with reference to the hon. Member for King's Lynn. The noble Lord the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs on the same day told the House that we undertook these expeditions in Somaliland not to acquire territory but to do something better—to maintain our reputation among certain tribes in Somaliland for keeping engagements. But the Somali parsnips went unbuttered, because the noble Lord went on to announce a general policy of scuttle in Somaliland, tempered by a free distribution of rifles. That was an extremely important announcement. The last transformation, however, was announced not, as hon. Members would have thought it right, to this House but to the Press. That was that an agent representing the Italian Government had come to an arrangement with the Mullah; in fact, had entered into a written treaty between the Italian Government and the Mullah, with the subsequent cordial assent of the British Government, by which the Mullah's sovereignty or authority over a large tract of what the late Marquess of Salisbury called "light land", in that part of Africa was to be recognised, and, in return, the Mullah promised not to raid the British and Italian protected tribes.

He thought the Government must excuse him if he asked for more information as to that treaty. Why was it not entered into before? It was not for want of examples on the North-West Frontier of India, where the tribes, for fighting and other powers, could give points to any native tribes in Somaliland. In an interesting speech on the Financial Statement for India for the year 1901–2, Lord Curzon gave an account of the Mahsud Waziri tribes on the North-West Frontier who had raided posts, stolen rifles, carried off women, and had generally played the same game as the Mullah had done in Somaliland. The Indian Government decided not to adopt the plan of a punitive expedition, for that had never proved satisfactory; but they proceeded to blockade the Waziri country for fifteen months. That was an extremely cheap form of coercion. A village or two was burned, and the tribal subsidy which the Waziri had enjoyed of 10, 000 rupees a month for keeping the caravan trade routes open was stopped. At the end of fifteen months these tribes submitted, made restitution of the stolen rifles, paid a fine, and promised to behave themselves in future. Lord Curzon made it plain that it was the financial pressure which prevailed. What he wanted to know was whether anything of the kind was going to be arranged with the Mullah; whether there was to be any financial control over him; and whether he was to be paid any subsidy for keeping the caravan routes open?

Then the noble Lord also told the House that there was to be an issue of arms to the tribes. Was the House to understand that these arms were to be something in the nature of a substitute for the withdrawal of our protection from the tribes with whom we had entered into that engagement? Before the announcement of the agreement with the Mullah he had considered the arms were a very poor substitute for the Government's promise of protection to these tribes; but they could hardly expect that the Government should keep their promise to a handful of savage tribes when they had already broken a promise made to free-fooders nearer home. The Government displayed great anxiety to protect the tribes in Somaliland, but had made no arrangement to protect their friends from the raids of the Mullah of Birmingham. He wanted to know whether this arrangement for the distribution of arms to the native tribes had been altered or varied in any way. The noble Lord had practically refused any information as to the number of rifles that had been distributed and had told him that on reflection he would see that that was not a proper Question to ask. He had been reflecting ever since and could not find any reason why that Question should not have been answered. The noble Lord was on the horns of a dilemma. Were the rifles to be distributed to the tribes effective or non-effective weapons? If they were only something of the nature of trade muskets, they must have been issued merely for the purpose of throwing dust in the eyes of people at home. But if they were in the nature of weapons of precision, then he asked the noble Lord whether he was not of opinion that that was a contravention of the spirit, if not the letter, of the Act of the Brussels Conference of 1890. That Conference dealt with four-fifths of Africa, including Somaliland, and the Various signatory Powers parties to that Conference, of which Great Britain was one, bound themselves not to allow any importation of weapons of precision, and a fortiori not to distribute them themselves among the inhabitants of the countries with which the Conference Act dealt. It was possible that the noble Lord would shelter himself under the exceptions named in Article 9 of the Act. The exceptions were arms carried by travellers, or by those who could give guarantees that the arms were not to be traded to the natives, or were for the use of an organised force. He did not think it possible that these exceptions could cover the distribution of arms to certain selected tribes in Somaliland. Again, had the noble Lord informed the other signatory Powers to the Brussels Conference Act of his intention to arm certain selected tribes in Somaliland? He was sure, with the knowledge he had of those tribes under our protection, that this arming policy might be extremely dangerous and lead to considerable loss of life in intertribal disputes.

But, again he asked, why was all this not done years ago? Why should we now have to learn our business in colonial administration from the Italian Government which bad so few colonies? What information was now at the disposal of His Majesty's Government which was not at their disposal years ago? Colonel Hayes Sadler reported on April 12th, 1899, when the Mullah first made his appearance, that the Mullah had settled disputes among the tribes, had kept them from raiding each other, and was generally thought to be in support of law and order. And he had even sent in a prisoner to Berbera. The Mullah was then considered to be a man with wham it was perfectly possible to deal and who was actually willing to enter into something like an Extradition Treaty with us. Why was not an arrangement arrived with him at that time? Until a satisfactory Answer to some of these Questions were given he would certainly support the reduction.


said that to many Members of the House the original Army Estimates appeared excessive, but now that excessive burden was to be aggravated by additional expenditure such as this Supplementary Vote of £1, 500, 000. He was afraid that this Supplementary Vote, as well as others, often stood for waste. He would submit that this Motion for a substantial reduction should be supported by all who were in favour of efficiency and economy in the Army. The House had discussed Army reform for years—every kind of change in the system at the War Office, every kind of Army reform had been suggested, every kind of promise had been given as to efficiency and economy, but it had all come to nothing. These discussions were to a great extent idle; and under the circumstances the House might well despair of securing any economy or effective reform. He was very glad this substantial reduction had been moved and he would support it.

MR. POWER (Waterford, E.)

said he wished to revert to a matter which was of great interest to his constituency, He desired to know what steps were being taken by the War Office to see that animals now being brought back from Africa were in a healthy condition. No such steps were taken after the South African War; and the result was that what was known as the "African horse disease" had appeared in his constituency. Only ten days ago he saw in the stables of the Marquess of Waterford two horses suffering from this disease, and they had to be slaughtered. They were told that the animals should be slaughtered and that half the money would be refunded, but he thought the entire value should he given. That would make the owners more ready to inform the authorities when a case of disease appeared.

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

said he hoped the noble Lord would be able to explain rather more definitely than he had what was the policy of the Government in respect to the native tribes in Somaliland. A fortnight ago, he himself alluded to the way in which the tribes had been victimised by constant changes of policy on the part of the Government. On that occasion the noble Lord stated that in 1901 the policy had been tried of defending the frontier, but it had to be abandoned owing to the difficulty involved in protecting a range of 500 miles and the expense incurred in maintaining a garrison of 10, 000 men. The Government on that occasion stated that they had not in any way thrown over their obligations to the native tribes under the treaties of 1886; but they also declared that responsibility would be confined to the coast line and that in the event of any difficulties occurring in the Hinterland they would be prepared to deal with them by means of punitive expeditions. That policy had, however, been found to be very extravagant; and now another policy had been adopted. That was to arm the tribes and to organise them so that they might be in a position to defend themselves in any future emergency. That was a frank and plain declaration which he thought the House understood; but on Tuesday last he asked the noble Lord as to the area in which the natives would look after their own interests; and the noble Lord said that the natives had the right to protection from this Government throughout the area in which we had treaty engagements. So far as he understood the noble Lord, he now repudiated the policy he laid down a fortnight ago. What was the exact attitude of the Government towards the tribes? Were the tribes which had been armed to be protected or were they to be left to protect themselves? That was a joint which ought to be cleared up. The House should also be informed as to the terms which had been entered into by the Italian Government, and also whether this Government assented to them.


said he would try to explain the policy of His Majesty's Government, but he thought he had already made it sufficiently clear. There had been no question of a repudiation of their obligations. It was said that they had over and over again changed their policy; but there were only two possible policies. The first was that which Liberal as well as Conservative Governments had hitherto followed, that of depriving the tribes of their arms and leaving them defenceless. The second policy, the policy which they had now adopted, was that of placing the tribes in possession of a certain number of rifles and superintending an organisation which they hoped would enable them to meet any raid that was likely to be brought against them in the future. It was quite impossible for him to forecast the extent to which in the event of another raid by another Mullah the Government might feel bound to come to their defence if their own resources were not sufficient; but he certainly did not think these tribes would have any claim upon His Majesty's Government to repeat the expenditure of life and money which they had recently incurred if they had not made good use of the opportunities now placed in their hands.

The hon. Member for East Dorset had asked him about the number and character of the rifles issued. He did not understand his Question the other day as meaning whether they were toy rifles or not. No one would suppose that so absurd a policy was contemplated as supplying rifles that would be useless; most of them were of the Martini-Henri pattern. The only thing he said with regard to these rifles was that he thought it was inexpedient to give detailed information as to the exact number supplied, and bethought this was a proposition which would not be demurred to by hon. Gentlemen opposite. The number was not very large and the distribution was under the charge of General Swayne, Another Question had been asked him with regard to the Brussels Conference, whether the supply of arms was not a contravention of an Article of that Act. This article had been read by an hon. Member, and it really supplied the answer. There were two exceptions under the provisions of that Act, and it was under the first that they justified this limited issue of rifles. The paragraph in Article 9 of the General Act of the Brussels Conference was in the following terms— Besides the measures directly taken by Government for the arming of the public force and the organisation for their defence, individual exception shall be admitted for persons affording sufficient guarantees that the arms and ammunition delivered to them will not be given, assigned, or sold to third persons, etc, etc.


asked whether the noble Lord meant to say that the phrase force publique in that Article covered the distribution of arms to individuals as distinct from an organised force.


said his own opinion was that the phrase was susceptible of different interpretations. It was applied to sentries in districts of West Africa, leased to concessionary Companies. He should certainly interpret it as applicable to a tribal organisation for self-defence.

MR. GUEST (Plymouth)

said he did not understand the present position of the Government with regard to Somaliland. Had the whole expeditionary force been withdrawn? And what force was to be maintained under the present policy.


said he explained these matters at some length when the question was formerly debated. He explained that they were maintaining a permanent garrison in Somaliland of about 500 men, and, in addition, for one year they had an Indian regiment, a force of about 800, which would be withdrawn as soon as the organisation of the tribes was complete. The expeditionary force was withdrawn last July. With regard to the terms of peace, he was afraid he could not give the information asked for. It was rather peculiar, but they were without the actual details; all that they actually knew was that the Mullah had signed peace with the representative of the Italian Government, and that he had sent a deputation to Berbera to sign peace with General Swayne.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

said they had been told that the Government were going to change their policy in Somaliland and provide the tribes with arms in order that they might defend themselves. There was no use crying over spilt milk, but he wished to point out that what had taken place in respect to our relations with Somaliland was an object-lesson for the people outside this House to bear in mind. The Mullah had a religion of his own, and he exercised sway over waterless deserts which nobody could want. We said he was a madman, and we thought, because we said so, that somebody should put him in a madhouse. We sent two expeditions against him and he beat us. We found it impossible to get the better of him. Now the Italian Government stepped in and did precisely what we ought to have done. We ought to have asked what frontiers he wanted, but as long as we treated him as a fanatic we could not come to terms with him. The whole thing was reported in the Italian newspaper Tribuna some days ago, and it was surprising that General Swayne had not sent the information. The Government were always behind with their information. The only thing they could do would be to turn out the present Government as fast as they could, or other parts of the world would be lost also. There was a strong case against the Government in regard to the Rhodeasian railways. The military people said that the utmost we owed for them was £24, 000. An additional claim was put in for £23, 000 and we proposed to go to arbitration. That proposal seemed to have been dropped, and eventually £60, 000 was paid. He did not know why we should subsidise these railroads. He asked the Secretary of State for War the other day what was the amount of the guarantee by the Chartered Company, and the right hon. Gentleman referred him to the company, stating that they would be delighted to furnish him with the information. The secretary of the company had said that he would refer to the board, but the hon. Member believed that unless the representative of the Government used influence with the company to get the Return he would not get it. The Chartered Company had, he understood, guaranteed all the debentures, and he wanted to know what the amount of that guarantee was.

SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)

said he wanted to call attention to the item in the Vote of £20, 000 for medical establishments and pay, which, he thought, required some explanation. He hoped the Financial Secretary to the Treasury was in a position to give it. He found from the detailed statement that the sum was mainly for the purpose of paying civil surgeons. It was a remarkable fact that some years after the war was over the expenditure for civil surgeons should be increasing. In the Estimates for the year before the one they were now discussing the expenditure for civil surgeons was £42, 000, and that in time of peace. Last year it was reduced to £36, 000, but now, on account of their marvellous want of foresight as to the expenditure on civil surgeons, the Department came in for an additional Vote of £20, 000. That showed a slipshod and slovenly way of conducting public business. The other day the Secretary of State for War informed him that he had added 462 medical officers to the staff; but there must have been some mistake in his figures, for on looking at the Army List he found the total strength was 777 for the year 1904–5, 770 for the previous year, and 710 for the year before that. But if the Army Medical Staff was being increased, why was an extra £20, 000 wanted for civil surgeons? There must be some explanation for this enormous increase. It arose to some extent out of the policy of the Advisory Board of not having Army medical officers at small stations, the plea being that they would get rusty. But a man who was in earnest about his profession would not get rusty anywhere. Apparently the Army medical officers were not stationed in small districts, but were kept in large districts, where probably they would not get rusty, and they had to employ civil surgeons to do the work which ought to be done by the Army medical officers. In Yorkshire and some great towns elsewhere, they saw a retired medical officer doing recruiting examinations, and civil surgeons looking after the wives and children of soldiers, while the soldiers themselves had occasionally to be sent to the nearest large town to go into a civil hospital, instead of being treated by their own medical officers as they ought to be. The whole system wanted careful inquiring into. This gross and hitherto inexplicable extravagance in the employment of civil surgeons was one that he hoped would be explained in order that they might understand why some £20, 000 extra was being spent on a department, which, if the Army Medical Corps was efficient, ought not to be required at all.

SIR CARNE RASCH (Essex, Chelmsford)

said the knowledge of the hon. Member for Northampton was encyclopædic, but he was not quite right about the Mullah. The Mullah was not by any means a chieftain. He was a stevedore at Aden, and a camel driver on the Somali coast; he was called mad, but he was not mad at all. That was only a figure of speech in those countries for people who happened to be religious.


asked whether the hon. and gallant Gentleman suggested that an honest working man was the worse for being religious.


said that was not the case at all; he merely suggested that the hon. Gentleman should follow his example. For all he had heard the Mullah was a hard nut to crack and very difficult to get on with, but he was not a chieftain as represented by the hon. Member for Northampton. Hon. Gentlemen opposite were very difficult to please. They objected to the Government arming the tribes and withdrawing the troops; they equally objected to the three expensive and unsatisfactory expeditions against the Mullah. As to the suggestion that the Mullah's country should be blockaded, it was absolutely impossible to blockade a territory 500 miles long by 300 wide with two or three battalions of native troops. Another suggestion was that Lord Curzon's policy of withdrawing subsidies should be followed, but they could not withdraw a subsidy which had-never been given. He thought the noble Lord was possibly a little premature in withdrawing so many troops from the Somali coast. There were only certain battalions of native troops to hold something like 400 miles of lines of communication. The whole business was in the nature of a Gilbert and Sullivan opéacutera bouffe. The Amir of Abyssinia attacked the Mullah; the Mullah attacked the tribes on the Somali coast under our protection; no one knew why, but he did so, and the Government were bound to protect them. The coast line of the Red Sea was especially valuable as being the open door to Abyssinia, and it we did not look after it other people would. Abyssinia was a country with which a good deal might be done, and if we did not look after it somebody else would. A short time ago he suggested that it would be as well if the Mullah could be arranged with or "squared."That appeared to have been an intelligent anticipation of events, as the Mullah had been squared by the Italians. If Colonel Swayne or somebody else could make a similar arrangement it would save this country a great deal of money and be a good thing all round.

MR. BURDETT-COUTTS (Westminster)

said that it making a few remarks on the item of pay for civilian Medical Officers he had no wish to revive the echoes of a past controversy except so far as they bore upon the present position of the Army Medical Service. The House would if member that in that, controversy three distinct objects were put forward. The first and most pressing was the amelioration of the condition of the 20, 000 sick and wounded at that time lying in the military hospitals in South Africa. That object was immediately secured, for within a fortnight or three weeks after the attention of the public had been drawn to the matter a complete transformation was effected in the hospitals concerned. The second object was to secure a permanent and organic reform of the Army Medical Service. That also had been largely secured, and in that connection the right hon. Gentleman the present Secretary of State for India, however much he might have invited criticism by his other schemes of Army reform, deserved great credit for the sincere and practical manner in which he carried out the reform of the Army Medical Department. The third object was so to materialise the lessons of the war that, should the country be called upon to engage in any such struggle in the future, it would be impossible for the medical disasters of the South African campaign to be repeated. He regretted to say with regard to that object we were not in a much better position than before or during the war. Everyone would admit that it was impossible to maintain during peace an Army or military departments equal to all the demands of a great war. If that were true in a general sense, it was especially true of the Medical Department. This was a matter which went to the root not only of the efficiency of the medical service, but also of the effective protection of the taxpayer. It was in no way necessary in peace time to maintain the Army Medical Department at war strength; and it so happened that that department was more easy of expansion than any other incase of need. Artillery and trained artillerymen and engineers could not be secured at a moment's notice, but there was at all times an adequate supply of civilian medical men, ready and willing, often at considerable sacrifice, to give their services in time of war. That was the case about the time of the South African War, but because there was no system or organisation for utilising the services of civilian medical men the Army Medical Service broke down. Two years ago the then Secretary of State for War assured the House that he fully realised the importance of this matter, and that at the beginning of the next session he proposed to introduce a scheme for the proper organisation of civilian surgeons in time of war, but nothing had since been heard of the matter.

There were two ways in which civilians could be utilised in time of war. One was in the form of separate and solid units, possibly controlled by an officer from the Army Medical Department in matters affecting their status as Army hospitals, but otherwise self-governed and self-contained, entirely dependent upon civilian medical officers. That method was admirably illustrated by the voluntary hospitals in the South African War. There was another way, namely, that civilian practitioners should be obtained and absorbed, so to speak, into the regular Army Medical Service, and should have their proper places apportioned to them in military hospitals so that they could work together in a campaign without any friction and with the best possible results to the sick and wounded. The absence of a system of that sort in the last war produced the most dire results. There might be very few hon. Members who had watched this question closely, but he wished to remind the Committee of a curious case, typical of many others, which was brought before the Hospital Commission, in which in the largest hospital in Bloemfontein civilian medical officers carried on the hospital, interspersed with the Regular Army Medical officers. Owing, however, to there having been no system whereby their proper places could be ascertained and arranged the friction between these two classes of medical men was so great that this particular hospital was entirely disorganised; and when the Surgeon-General, who was the chief of the Army Medical Officers in South Africa, was examined, he admitted that he was perfectly helpless to suggest a remedy and that the friction must go on until the machine broke down. All this could be obviated by a little care and prevision, and by taking into counsel the heads of the civilian medical profession in this country in conjunction with the heads of the Army Medical Department. Those who had watched what had happened in South Africa would admit that some organised plan of this sort, which should be accepted by the Army Medical Department and acceptable to and sympathised with by the civilian, medical profession, was absolutely neces- sary to prepare this country for a great war so far as the medical service Was concerned.

He would not enlarge upon this subject, but he would put it to his hon. friend the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he could inform the Committee what progress had been made in this matter, or at least if the hon. Member could assure them that the Secretary of State realised the important bearing this question had upon the preparedness of the country for a great war. He was aware I that there had been in the archives of the War Office since the latter part of the year 1900 a scheme drawn up by an extremely able civilian medical officer of great war experience, Dr. George Stoker, who in the first place originally suggested and drew up the lines, explained in a letter to The Times, of the system upon which the whole arrangements for the voluntary hospitals were carried out, who assisted to organise the first hospital, and suggested to Lord Iveagh the scheme of his Irish hospital, and accompanied it throughout the South African War. That gentleman was one of the finest ambulance leaders whom he saw in the Russo-Turkish War, and he had studied this question, and he placed before the War Office a scheme of civilian medical aid upon the lines on which he thought any scheme in the future must be drawn. He desired to ask whether the attention of the Financial Secretary to the War Office, or of the Secretary of State for War, had really been directed to this matter.


said no one would question the great importance of the subject to which the Member for Westminster had referred, and the importance of the speech he had delivered upon a question to which he had devoted much time and attention with the object of securing improvements where they had been very badly required. This was a question in which the Secretary of State for War had been interesting himself very much indeed, and he thought his right hon. friend would be able to give him at a later stage on the Estimates the assurance he had asked for. The question of the Army Medical Corps resolved itself into two parts:(1) what was required in time of peace; and (2) what was required in time of war. Ia regard to the Royal Army Medical Corps, in time of war the establishment had to be kept enormously large, and in time of peace this was not necessary. He did not think hon. Members who had raised this question would contend that the establishment of the Army Medical Corps ought to be so great in time of peace as to enable it to deal with the requirements of war. He thought, also, that they would agree with him that, in case of war, it was most desirable that they should call in the assistance of those civil doctors who, during the South African War, rendered such splendid service to the country. He thought the Association of the Royal Army Medical Corps with the civilian branch, upon that occasion, had been of very great service to both branches of that great profession. He understood one of the complaints was that this Estimate indicated that the Royal Army Medical Corps was insufficient in establishment and strength. That was the principal reason which had necessitated this Supplementary Estimate. They could not maintain a larger number of men than that for which they had estimated without affecting not merely one, but all the Votes on the Estimates. It was, therefore, unfair on this account to say that the War Office had been proved to be incompetent. In the same way the necessity of maintaining in South Africa a larger number of men than they had estimated for affected all the Votes. In regard to this particular Vote they had anticipated that at the beginning of the year the garrison in South Africa would be very largely reduced; but as a matter of fact it was not reduced for many months after. The necessity for maintaining a considerably larger garrison than was estimated for had made greater demands than were expected upon the medical service. He agree that the Royal Army Medical Corps was not sufficiently large, and its strength had not been kept up to its establishment, but during the coming year he believed proposals would be made by the Secretary of State for War to increase the establishment, and he hoped they would be able to recruit a sufficient number of medical officers to meet, all requirements.

With regard to the importation of disease amongst horses in Ireland, it was generally accepted by the veterinary surgeons that it had originated in South Africa, but there was no means of proving it. He could assure the House that no further disease was likely to be introduced, because horses were not to be brought from South Africa to Ireland at all in the future. All the horses which were no longer required in South Africa would, in the future, be sold there. As to the question of compensation, he was, of course, not in a position to say anything about that. The question could only arise if a man who had lose a horse could prove that it was directly due to some action on the part of the War Office Department in bringing horses suffering from disease into Ireland. He did not say that under no circumstances would any person get compensation, but he thought it would be extremely difficult to prove that any compensation was due.

Turning to the question of the payment of £60, 000 to the Rhodesia Railway Company, he had been asked to give a full statement. He would endeavour to do so, and he would make his statement as short as he could. This sum represented a payment to the Rhodesia Railway Company for services rendered by this company during the war. During the early part of the war, military exigencies required the use, by the military authorities, of certain portions of the railway owned and controlled by the Rhodesia Railway Company. It should be remembered that by the terms of the contract these railways were entitled to charge two-third rates upon all Imperial troops and military stores carried along their system. They made no claim for damage or deterioration of their railway or rolling stock under the conditions in which in time of war the railway was used for transport. All they claimed was that any actual loss they suffered should be made good to them and that out-of-pocket expenses which they had incurred by payments made for services rendered to the military authorities in connection with the working of the line, should be repaid. No claim for profit had been made. The War Department had regarded this question from the point of view of how much was due to the railway company for services rendered—services which were not exclusively railway services, but which included such items as cutting wood for fuel, building forts, sinking wells, labour and materials supplied for armoured trains and provisions supplied, as well as stores and troops carried along the line. The claims of the railway company were divided into three. First, there was a claim for the actual out-of-pocket expenses during the period of military control from October 14th to June 12th, £110, 771 13s. 6d., second, the actual out-of-pocket expenses after June 12th, 1000, £22, 917 16s. 16d., and third, the payment of debenture interest during that portion of the time when, by reason of military occupation of the railway, they were unable to earn revenue for themselves, £66, 027. The total claim therefore amounted to £199, 716. Lord Kitchener dealt with the first claim for £75, 000, and left the two subsequent claims to be dealt with by the War Department. Those claims amounted to £88, 947, and they had now been finally settled by a payment of £60, 000. There was no doubt whatever as to the liability of the Government to pay. The only question was whether the amount paid was adequate or excessive. He never felt more certain of anything in his life than the fact that he had made an extraordinarily good bargain when ho finally settled the claims for £60, 000. The whole of the case had been before the Law Officers of the Crown, who advised that it was one which should be dealt with by way of a compromise. The War Department had therefore regarded it simply from the point of view of the value of the services rendered, and the total claim of nearly £200, 000 had been settled for £135, 000.

With regard to the question of subsidy raised by the hon. Member for Northampton, the subsidy of £20, 000 a year to the railway was only for ten years, and it

was a subsidy not direct from the Imperial Government, but from the Protectorate to the railway company. The only way in which the Government was brought into the matter was that it had always been an accepted principle that no Crown Colony or British Protectorate should ever be allowed to make default, and therefore it was necessary in the case of Bechuanaland to make a contribution from the Imperial Exchequer to the Protectorate, and it might be held that that included the £20, 000 due from the Protectorate Government to the railway. The Government did seriously consider advancing the proposition that this £20, 000 ought to be regarded as income, but legal opinion was against them. With regard to the offer to settle the claim of the railway for £24, 000, it was perfectly true that at one time such an offer was made, but that offer covered only a part and not the whole of the claim of the railway company. It was based also on a contention that could not afterwards be sustained. The company advanced the argument that it was not fair that they should bear the burden of the working expenditure for the railway on which there was no profit during the war, and that we should have the benefit of the traffic which followed after the war. The War Department claimed that we should take all the receipts of the line during the railway year, that the receipts should be put on one side, and the debenture interest, which was £100, 000, on the other. The receipts amounted to £76, 000, and the War Department offered to pay the extra £24, 000 but legal opinion was against that and it was abandoned. He was satisfied that the settlement which had been arrived at was a wise and a just one and would be so considered in the long run.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 241; NOes 208. (Division List No. 80.)

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Arkwright, John Stanhope Bailey, James (Walworth)
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Arrol, Sir William Bain, Colonel James Robert
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Baird, John George Alexander
Allsopp, Hon. George Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H Balcarres, Lord
Anson, Sir William Reynell Bagot, "Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Baldwin, Alfred
Balfour, Rt Hon. A. J. (Manch'r.) Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Morpeth, Viscount
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds) Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Morrell, George Herbert
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Goulding, Edward Alfred Morrison, James Archibald
Banner, John S. Harmood- Graham, Henry Robert Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Barry, Sir Trancis T. (Windsor) Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Mount, William Arthur
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Greene, W. Raymoad-(Cam bs.) Murray, Charles J (Coventry)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Gretton, John Murray, Col Wnydham (Bath)
Bill, Charles Greville, Hon. Ronald Myers, William Henry
Bingham, Lord Hain, Edward Nicholson, William Graham
Blundell. Colonel Henry Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)
Boscaawen, Arthur Griffith- Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry Parker, Sir Gilbert
Bousfield, William Robert Hare, Thomas Leigh Parkes, Ebenezer
Bowles, Lt.-Col. H. F (Middlesex) Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th) Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Brassey, Albert Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Peel, Hn Win Robert Wellesley
Brodrick, Rt, Hon. St. John Hay, Hon. Claude George Pemberton, John S. G.
Brotherton, Edward Allen Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Percy, Earl
Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh.) Heath, Sir James (Staffords. N. W Pilkington, Colonel Richard
Burdett-Coutts, W. Heaton, John Henniker Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Butcher, John George Hickman, Sir Alfred Plummer, Sir Walter R.
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J A (Glasgow Hogg, Lindsay Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hope. J F. (Sheffield, Brightside) Pretyman, Ernest George
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Hornby, Sir William Henry Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Horner, Frederick William Purvis, Robert
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Hoult, Joseph Randles, John S.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Howard, John (Kent, Faversha) Rankin, Sir James
Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton) Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Rasch, Sir Frederick Carne
Chapman, Edward Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Ratcliff, R. F.
Clive, Captain Percy A. Hudson, George Bickersteth Reid, James (Greenock)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hunt, Rowland Remnant, James Farquharson
Coghill, Douglas Harry Hutton, John (Yorks., N. R.) Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Ridley, S. Forde
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Jeffreys, Rt, Hon. Arthur Fred. Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Colomb, Rt Hon. Sir John C. R. Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Kenyon, Hon Geo T (Denbigh) Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Kenyon-Slaney, Rt Hn Col W Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Kerr, John Round, Rt. Hon. James
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) Kimber, Sir Henry Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Cripps, Charles Alfred Knowles, Sir Lees Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Laurie, Lieut. -General Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Samuel, Sir HarryS. (Limehouse)
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Lawence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Davenport, William Bromley- Lawrence, Wm F (Liverpool) Seton-Karr, Sir Henry
Denny, Colonel Lawson, Hn. H L W (Mile End) Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew)
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Lawson, John Grant (Yorks N R Sloan, Thomas Henry
Dickson, Charles Scott Lee, Arthur H (Hants Fareham) Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C. Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Smith, Rt Hn J. Parker (Lanarks)
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Legge, Col Hon Heneage Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Douglas. Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Leveson-Gower, Frederick N S Spear, John Ward
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Llewellyn, Evan Henry Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.)
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Lockwood, Lieut-Col A R Stewart, Sir J. Mark M Taggart
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Stock, James Henry
Faber, Edmund B. (Hants. W.) Long, Col Charles W (Evesham) Stroyan, John
Faber, George Denison (York) Long, Rt Hn Walter (Bristol S) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Fardell, Sir T. George Lonsdale, John Brownlee Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Lowe, Francis William Thornton, Percy M.
Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J. (Manc'r) Lowther, C (Cumb, Eskdale) Tollemache, Henry James
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Loyd, Archie Kirkman Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Finch, Rt Hon. George H. Lyttelton, Rt Hon Alfred Tritton, Charles Ernest
Finlay, Sir R. B. (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs) Macdona, John Cumming Tuff, Charles
Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas MacIver, David (Liverpool) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Fisher, William Hayes Maconochie, A W Turnour, Viscount
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon M'Calmont, Col James Vincent, Col, Sir C. E. H (Sheffield)
Flannery, Sir Fortescue M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh, W Walker, Col. William Hall
Flower, Sir Ernest Majendie, James A H Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H
Forster, Henry William Malcolm, Ian Wanklyn, James Leslie
Galloway, William Johnson Martin, Richard Biddulph Welby, Lt. Col. A. C. E. (Taunton)
Gardner Ernest Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H. E (Wigt'n) Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.)
Garfit, William Maxwell, W J H (Dumfriesshire) Whiteley, H. (Ashtonund, Lyne)
Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. Mildmay, Francis Bingham Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Godson, Sir Angustus Frederick Milner, Rt Hon Sir Frederick G Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn) Montagu, Hon J Scott (Hants) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'mlets Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Wilson, John (Glasgow) Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir
Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.) Wrightson, Sir Thomas Alexander Acland-Hood and
Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H. Viscount Valentia.
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Grant, Corrie O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Griffith, Ellis J. O'Down, John
Allen, Charles P. Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Ambrose, Robert Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. O'Malley, William
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Hammond, John O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Barlaw, John Emmott Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Partington, Oswald
Barran, Rowland Hirst Harmsworth, R. Leicester Paulton, James Mellor
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Harrington, Timothy Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Boll, Richard Hayden, John Patrick Perks, Robert William
Benn, John Williams Hayter, Rt. Hon Sir Arthur D. Pirie, Duncan V.
Blake, Edward Helme, Norval Watson Power, Patrick Joseph
Boland, John Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Price, Robert John
Brigg, John Higham, John Sharpe Priestley, Arthur
Bright, Allen Heywood Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) Rea, Russell
Broadhurst, Henry Hope, John Deans (Fife, West.) Reckitt, Harold James
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Horniman, Frederick John Reddy, M.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley). Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Burke, E. Haviland- Jacoby, James Alfred Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Damfries
Burns, John Johnson, John Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th
Burt, Thomas Joicey, Sir James Rickett, J. Compton
Buxton, Sydney Charle Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Caldwell, James Jones, Leif (Appleby) Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)
Cameron, Robert Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Jordan, Jeremiah Robson, William Snowdon
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Kearley, Hudson E. Roche, John
Cawley, Frederick Kennedy, Vincent P (Cavan, W.) Roe, Sir Thomas
Channing, Francis Allston Kilbride, Denis Runciman, Walter
Cheetham, John Frederick Kitson, Sir James Schwann, Charles E.
Churchill, Winston Spencer Labouchere, Henry Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Clancy, John Joseph Lambert, George Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isleof Wight)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lamont, Norman Shackleton, David James
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.) Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Cremer, William Randal Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Sheehy, David
Crombie, John William Layland-Barratt, Francis Shipman, Dr. John G.
Crooks, William Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington) Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Dalziel, James Henry Levy, Maurice Slack, John Bamford
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Lewis, John Herbert Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) Lloyd-George, David Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Delany, William Lough, Thomas Soares, Ernest J.
Devlin, Charles Ramsay (Galway Lundon, W. Spencer, Rt Hn. C R. (Northants)
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Lyell, Charles Henry Stanhope, Hon. Philip James
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Stevenson, Francis S.
Dobbie, Joseph MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Strachey, Sir Edward
Donelan, Capatin A. MacVeagh, Jeremiah Sullivan, Donal
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) M'Crae, George Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Duffy, William J. M'Kean, John Tennant, Harold John
Duncan, J. Hastings M'Kenna, Reginald Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Dunn, Sir William M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)
Edwards, Frank Markham, Arthur Basil Tomkinson, James
Elibank, Master of Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N.) Toulmin, George
Ellice, Capt E C (S Andrw's Bghs) Mooney, John J. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Ure, Alexander
Emmott, Alfred Morley, Rt. Hon. John (Montrose Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Moulton, John Fletcher Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidstone Murphy, John Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Eve, Harry Trelawney Nannetti, Joseph P. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Fenwick, Charles Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Weir, James Galloway
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Norman, Henry White, George (Norfolk)
Findlay, Alexander (Lanark, N E Norton, Captain Cecil William White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Flavin, Michael Joseph Nussey, Thomas Willans White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Flynn, James Christopher O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Whiteley George (York W. R.)
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid)
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry O'Brien, Patrick, (Kilkenny) Whiteley, J. H. (Halifax)
Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Fuller, J. M. F. O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Wills, Arthur Walters (N. Dors [...]
Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.) Wood, James TELLERS FOR THE NOES. —Mr.
Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.) Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd Herbert Gladstone and Mr
Wilson, John (Falkirk) Young, Samuel Causton.
Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.) Yoxall, James Henry
MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

, said he wished to ask the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs if His Majesty's Government authorised the negotiations to be undertaken with the so-called Mad Mullah through an Italian intermediary; if so, how long ago was it; and what was the nature of the instructions given by the Government either to this particular Italian diplomatist, or to the Italian Government? He was rather surprised that when they were last considering this subject the noble Lord did not take the House of Commons into his confidence and tell them that these negotiations were proceeding. He thought it was rather infra dig. for His Majesty's Government to carry on negotiations through a third party. When they were challenged on their policy, the Government ought to have made a frank statement to the House and given the reasons for which they had taken this unusual course for bringing about a settlement. He did not challenge the result in, the least. He thought it was a policy which ought to have been carried out long ago. Three times this session the representative of the Government had answered Questions on their policy in Somaliland, and yet, though he knew that these negotiations were going on, and that they had authorised an Italian officer to conduct them, he withheld these most material facts from the House of Commons. What he wanted to know was, when the Government first began these negotiations through a third party; from whom the first suggestion came; and what was the nature of the instructions given either to the Italian Government or to this particular officer that peace should be concluded on our behalf with the Mad Mullah.


said that these negotiations with the Mullah were not conducted by His Majesty's Government. The Mullah was in Italian territory, and the negotiations were carried on directly by the Italian Government through their representative in East Africa. They informed this Government last July of their intention to enter into negotiations with the Mullah, and they communicated to us some three months later the general tenor of the proposals the Mullah had made. His Majesty's Government authorised General Swayne to act in concert with the Italian officer who was on the spot. The Government understood now that the negotiations had been brought to a successful termination, and that besides signing the treaty concluded with the Italian representative, the Mullah, had sent a special deputation to conclude peace at Berbera. We did not know the actual details of the arrangements made.


Then His Majesty's Government did not originate these negotiations?




asked whether the Government had given consideration to the question of offering subsidies to the Mullah for keeping the caravan routes open?


said he did not know the actual details of the arrangement. He believed the Mullah's original proposal did contemplate some monetary guarantee.

CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)

said he had read the despatches, and had listened to the debate; but he could not ascertain what had been the policy of the Government with reference to Somaliland in the past, or what it was to be in the future. He said that as one who frankly confessed he had great sympathy with the Government in connection with Somaliland, he himself, having had considerable experience of North African tribes, recognised the difficulties the Government found themselves in. While Berbera and the adjacent country was under the India Office very little difficulty had been experienced in keeping the tribes in order. He found it stated in the Blue-book that owing to tribal and Mohammedan feeling it was inexpedient to rely on the Somalis alone; but that little difficulty had been experienced in keeping the Mullah out of territory under the protection of this country. It was absolutely necessary, if this country was to hold Aden and to maintain its prestige, that it should also hold Berbera and occupy a position of importance with the tribes in the vicinity. The Somalis who were not to be relied on had, however, driven the Mullah out of territory under British protection on two occasions. Now the Government were back at the position they were before the recent operations were commenced. The difficulties which arose were caused by the fact that Colonel Swayne was not properly supported in the first instance. Of course, the Government were engaged elsewhere and had no definite programme as regarded Somaliland; but the Mullah could have been overwhelmed if Colonel Swayne had been supplied with sufficient forces. About that there could not be the shadow of a doubt. It was also shown in Major-General Egerton's letter that if the steps now being taken in conjunction with the Italian Government had been taken previously all the difficulties which had to be subsequently confronted would never have arisen. If was further stated that the capture or surrender of the Mullah was not the only object of the expedition. What was the other object? The only way in which the Government should have proceeded was to overwhelm the Mullah, and to give the tribes to understand that we were masters of the situation.

After an expenditure of £2, 500, 000 the Government were now in the position they were originally. That was because the Government did not know their own policy. They deserted the policy which had been so successful in dealing with tribes in Northern India and elsewhere, and proceeded on a punitive expedition. Now this country was thrown back on the assistance of our Italian friends. He recollected hon. Members over and over again pressing the Government to do that which they were now doing; and he ventured to predict that, whenever it suited the Mullah to reappear, this country would be obliged to carry out another expedition on an even more costly scale. All who had experience of dealing with native tribes knew that there was only one of two policies to adopt—either to make them friends and pay them handsomely, or to crush them unmercifully and let them understand that we were masters of the situation. The Government had not succeeded in either one or the other. The position was a very difficult one; and he ventured to predict that e e long we should have to have another expedition on an even more costly scale.

Motion made, and Question put, "That his House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution. "

The House divided:—Ayes, 231; Noes, 203. (Division List, No. 81.)

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Bingham, Lord Coghill, Douglas Harry
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Blundell, Colonel Henry Cohen, Benjamin Louis
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse
Allsopp, Hon. George Bousfield, William Robert Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole
Anson, Sir William Reynell Brassey, Albert Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge
Arrol, Sir William Brotherton, Edward Allen Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh.) Cripps, Charles Alfred
Aubrey-Fleteher, Rt. Hon Sir H. Burdett-Coutts, W. Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile
Bailey, James (Walworth) Butcher, John George, Dalrymple, Sir Charles
Bain, Colonel James Robert Campbell, Rt. Hn. J A. (Glasgow) Davenport, William Bromley-
Baird, John George Alexander Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Denny, Colonel
Balcarres, Lord Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Dickinson, Robert Edmund
Balfour, Rt Hon. A. J. (Manch'r. Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire) Dickson, Charles Scott
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds) Cayzer, Sir Charles William Dimsdale, Rt Hon. Sir Joseph C.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph
Banner, John S. Harmood- Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton) Doxford, Sir William Theodore
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Chapman, Edward Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Clive, Captain Percy A. Elliott, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas
Bignold, Sir Arthur Coates, Edward Feetham Faber, Edmund B. (Hants., W.
Bill, Charles Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Faber, George Denison (York)
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Mon'mth) Ratciiff, R. F.
Fergusson, Rt Hon. Sir J. (Mancr Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Reid, James (Greenock)
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Lawson, Hon. H. L. W. (Mile End Remnant, James Farquharson
Finch, Rt. Hon, George H. Lawson, John Grant (Yorks. N. R Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine
Finlay. Sir R B. (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs) Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham Riley, S. Forde
Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Fisher, William Hayes Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Fison, Frederick William Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Ropner, Col. Sir Robert
FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Llewellyn, Evan Henry Round, Rt. Hon. James
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Lockwood, Lieut. -Col. A. R. Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Flannery, Sit Fortescue Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Flower, Sir Ernest Long, Col, Charles W. (Evesham) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Forster, Henry William long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S.) Samuel, SirHarryS. (Limehouse
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Lonsdale, John Brownlee Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Galloway, William Johnson Lowe, Francis William Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Gardner, Ernest Loyd, Archie Kirkman Seton-Karr, Sir Henry
Garfit, William Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew)
Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. Macdona, John Cumming Sloan, Thomas Henry
Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Maconochie, A. W. Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Gordon, Hn, J E. (Elgin & Nairn) M'Calmont, Colonel James Smith, RtHnJ. Parker(Lanarks
Gordon, MajEvans-(T'rH'mlets M'Iver. Sir Lewis(EdinburghW. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Majendie, James A. H. Spear, John Ward
Goulding, Edward Alfred Malcolm, Ian Stanley. Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.)
Graham, Henry Robert Martin, Richard Biddulph Stewart, SirMarkJ. M'Taggart
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Maxwell, RtHnSirH E. (Wigt'n) Stock, James Henry
Greene, HenryD. (Shrewsbury) Maxwell, W. J. H(Dumfriesshire) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Gretton, John Mildmay, Francis Bingham Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Greville, Hon, Ronald Milner, Rt, Hon. Sir FrederiekG. Thornton, Percy M.
Hain, Edward Montagu, Hon. J. Scott(Hants.) Tomlinson, Sir Wm, Edw. M.
Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Tritton, Charles Ernest
Hamilton, Marqof(L'nd'nderry) Morgan, David J. (Walthamsto') Tuff, Charles
Hare, Thomas Leigh Morpeth, Viscount Tuke, Sir John Batty
Harris, F. Leverton(Tynem'th) Morrell, George Herbert Turnour, Viscount
Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Morrison, James Archibald Vincent, Col. Sir C. EH(Sheffield
Hay, Hon. Claude George Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Walker, Col. William Hall
Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley) Mount, William Arthur Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Heath, Sir James(Staffords. N W Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Wanklyn, James Leslie
Heaton, John Henniker Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E(Taunton)
Helder, Augustus Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Welby. SirCharlesG. E (Notts.)
Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Myers, William Henry Whiteley, H. (Ashtonund. Lyne
Hickman, Sir Alfred Nicholson, William Graham Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Hogg, Lindsay Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury) Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Hope, J F. (SheffieldBrightside) Parker, Sir Gilbert Willougliby de Eresby, Lord
Hornby, Sir William Henry Parkes, Ebenezer Wilson, A. Stanley(York, E. R.)
Hoult, Joseph Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Howard, John(Kent Faversham Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)
Hozier, Hon. JamesHenryCecil Percy, Earl Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Hudson, George Bickersteth Pilkington, Colonel Richard Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Hunt, Rowland Platt-Higgins, Frederick Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Plummer, Sir Walter R. Wylie, Alexander
Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.
Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred. Pretyman, Ernest George
Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col W. Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Kerr, John Purvis, Robert Sir Alexander Acland-Hood
Kimber, Sir Henry Randles, John S. and Viscount Valentia.
Knowles, Sir Lees Rankin, Sir James
Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Rasch, Sir Frederick Carne
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Brigg, John Cawley, Frederick
Ainsworth, John Stirling Bright, Allan Heywood Channing, Francis Allston
Allen, Charles P. Broadhurst, Henry Cheetham, John Frederick
Ambrose, Robert Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Churchill, Winston Spencer
Ashton, Thomas Gair Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Clancy, John Joseph
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Burke, E. Haviland Condon, Thomas Joseph
Barlow, John Emmott Burt, Thomas Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Buxton, Sydney Charles Cremer, William Randal
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Caldwell, James Crombie, John William
Bell, Richard Cameron, Robert Crooks, William
Blake, Edward Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Dalziel, James Henry
Boland, John Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Causton, Richard Knight Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan)
Delany, William Lambert, George Rickett, J. Compton
Devlin, Charles Ramsay (Galway Lamont, Norman Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.) Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Dobbie, Joseph Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Robertson, Edmund (Dundee),
Donelan, Captain A. Layland-Barratt, Francis Robson, William Snowdon
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington) Roche, John
Duffy, William J. Levy, Maurice Roe, Sir Thomas
Duncan, J. Hastings Lewis, John Herbert Schwann, Charles K.
Dunn, Sir William Lloyd-George, David Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)/
Elibank, Master of Lough, Thomas Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight)
Ellice, Capt EC (S. Andrw'sBghs) Lundon, W. Shackleton, David James
Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) Lyell, Charles Henry Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Emmott, Alfred Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Esmonde, Sir Thomas MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Sheehy, David
Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidstone MacVeagh, Jeremiah Shipman, Dr. John G.
Eve, Harry Trelawney M'Crae, George Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Fenwick, Charles M'Kean, John Slack, John Bamford
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Findlay, Alexander (Lanark, N E Markham, Arthur Basil Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Flavin, Michael Joseph Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N.) Soares, Ernest J.
Flynn, James Christopher Mooney, John J. Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Stanhope, Hon. Philip James
Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. Morley, Rt Hn. John (Montrose) Stevenson, Francis S.
Fuller, J. M. F. Moulton, John Fletcher Strachey, Sir Edward
Gilhooly, James Murphy, John Sullivan, Donal
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Nannetti, Joseph P. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Goddard, Daniel Ford Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Tennant, Harold John
Grant, Corrie Norman, Henry Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan)
Griffith, Ellis J. Norton, Capt. Cecil William Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Nussey, Thomas Willans Tomkinson, James
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Toulmin, George
Hammond, John O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid) Ure, Alexander
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Wallace, Robert
Harmsworth, R. Leicester O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Harrington, Timothy O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Hayden, John Partick O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Helme, Norval Watson O'Dowd, John Weir, James Galloway
Hemphill, Rt. Hon, Charles H. O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) White, George (Norfolk)
Higham, John Sharpe O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) O'Malley, William White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Mara, James Whiteley, George (York, W. R)
Horniman, Frederick John O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Partington, Oswald Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Jacoby, James Alfred Paulton, James Mellor Wills, Arthur Walters (N. Dorset
Johnson, John Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid
Joicey, Sir James Perks, Robert William Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea) Pirie, Duncan V. Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Power, Patrick Joseph Wood, James
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Price, Robert John Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersf'd
Jordan, Jeremiah Priestley, Arthur Young, Samuel
Kearley, Hudson E. Rea, Russell Yoxall, James Henry
Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W.) Reddy, M.
Kilbride, Denis Redmond, John E. (Waterford) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Kitson, Sir James Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries) Mr. J. H. Whitley and Mr
Labouchere, Henry Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'tb) Runciman.

Resolution agreed to.