HC Deb 30 July 1907 vol 179 cc889-919

Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Lords' Amendments be hot considered."

*SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

said it would not be necessary that he should actually make the Motion standing in his name on the Order Paper,†because those of them who had considered the Amendments did not propose to take more than one division, and it had been decided, he believed, to divide on one of the other Amendments. Therefore he would make the observations which he proposed to make on the Amendments generally on the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman that the Amendments be considered. Personally he was hostile to the Bill, as his right hon. friend knew, but it would be out of order to discuss the Bill as a whole on that occasion, and if not no one would wish to undertake to do so at that period of the session. The House of Lords was a chamber of revision, so it was claimed by hon. Gentlemen opposite, but it must † "That the Lords' Amendments be considered upon this day three months. be a little perplexing to its friends when considered as a revising body, because of the extraordinary loose nature of its proceedings when amending Bills. In the case of all important Bills Amendments were made not only on the stages familiar to the House of Commons, but also after the Third Reading of the Bills. No report came to them in the Commons of the precise form in which the Amendments were made, and the newspapers only gave brief reports. Therefore they had to do the best they could under most difficult circumstances. He did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill considered that the Amendments which had been made were, on the whole, an improvement or not on his Bill, or would affect his scheme, which was, of course not in the Bill, but was to be found only in his speeches. To his own mind these Amendments were partly ungrammatical partly contradictory, partly meaningless, and in some cases they had the exactly opposite effect to that which was intended by their authors. Some of the Amendments were improvements, but on the whole he thought they left the Bill very much in the position where it stood before. They were not. important Amendments; they did not change the fabric of the Bill; but he would like the candid opinion of the Financial Secretary to the War Office as to the financial side of them. He would deal now only with the principal Amendments; and hey did not appear to him to proceed upon any well-considered plan. There were three which he wished to mention to the House, the first of which was the result of certainly two, and he believed three, changes in another place. On the Committee stage of the Bill, Lord Haversham moved an Amendment, which was immediately accepted as an improvement. It was an Amendment which introduced election by the local authority of the Territorial Army as against appointment by the War Office. But on the Report stage Lord Erroll rose and moved, without explanation, an Amendment to the Amendment, which partly reversed the Amendment previously accepted by the Government. Immediately on that Motion being made, without a single word of explanation, Lord Portsmouth, on behalf of the Government, accepted it. The result was that a very small Amendment in the Bill appeared before the House of Commons, representing this curious double change. On the second Amendment being accepted Lord Haversham got up and denounced the Government for their sudden change of front, and he (Sir C. Dilke) hoped that now or later on, when the Amendment was reached, they would have an explanation from the Government as to what the change meant. He would not attempt to anticipate the debate on the Amendment with regard to which notice had been given by the hon. Member for Leicester. But to that proposition in regard to military education in schools, he personally had always had objections, on the military grounds which were so well stated in a former debate by the hon. and gallant Member for the Abercromby Division of Liverpool. But there was an additional objection to it in the form in which it had now been placed in the Bill which concerned a matter raised in that House by three hon. Members opposite and by himself. They had some fear that the intention of the Army Council under this Bill was to get rid of all expenditure from Army Votes for the Volunteers, and to spend all the money obtained from Army Votes on the Regular Army. That contention was never allowed there, and when they pressed their right hon. friend as to whether it was the intention to "send round the hat," as it was called, on behalf of the county association, he repudiated that suggestion. The only other Amendment which he thought it necessary to name in this connection concerned the Territorial cavalry. The authors attached great importance to this Amendment, although the change was a very slight one—as it raised the optional maximum of cavalry training by a term of three days. It appeared from the debate that the noble Lords who made that proposal thought they were affecting the efficiency of the divisional cavalry. One thing they had hoped that the Lords, if ineffective as a revising chamber, would have accomplished in their debates was to have obtained the exact nature of the divisional cavalry proposals. But they were still in ignorance as to those proposals. But although the debate in the other House turned entirely on that point, the Amendment before them could not possibly affect it, for the words used did not affect the divisional cavalry at all. They were outside the ordinary constitution of the Yeomanry and the cavalry of the Territorial Army, and the Amendment was so worded that it referred only to the cavalry of the Territorial Army. He would name one other subject, though he did not know whether he would be in order, for it was not any Amendment that had been made, but the fact that a large portion of the Bill had been passed without Amendment, that hp wished to draw attention to. It had been passed entirely without Amendment, though an Amendment had been proposed and hotly debated. He was referring to the vexed controverted question, how far the Bill, through the clauses headed "Civil Rights," applied any new form of military law in time of peace to the Volunteers. That was a legal question of great difficulty, and a wholly different view was taken of it in another place, while a different view of it was taken in another place by the spokesman of the Government from that of the Government in the House of Commons. The question was, however, not covered by any Amendment, so they would not be in order in debating it that night. He would ask leave to address questions to his right hon. friend the Secretary of State for War on certain Amendments.

SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

said he wished to express his agreement with the right hon. Baronet when he said he disagreed with the Bill and that it was an entirely unnecessary measure. He had said that repeatedly when the B11 was passing through the House, and he still adhered to that opinion, though he considered that the Bill had been greatly improved as a result of its consideration in another place. He would have been glad if the Bill had been more altered and if the changes had been more drastic. In another place the constitution of the County Associations had been discussed. In the House of Commons it was not possible to discuss them, for. the closure was applied when only the first few Amendments had been dealt with. The closure was most ruthlessly applied, and they were indebted to the fact that there was another place where the procedure was different, and where the closure was not applied in the form in which it was applied in that House. Several explanations were given by the Government as to the constitution and working of the County Associations, and some must have been suggested by the Lords Amendments. There was one matter on which he would like to express his gratitude to the Secretary of State for War, and that was for the great courtesy he had shown as regarded the transfer of the property of the Volunteer corps, a matter which had agitated many corps who were possessed of considerable property. He thought they would have no difficulty on that score. He earnestly hoped that when they came to the clause which the right hon. Baronet had indicated there would be a serious debate. He hoped the Secretary of State for War would stick to his guns. The right hon. Gentleman had appealed to the country, he had appealed to a nation in arms, and he had done all that he could to encourage the spirit of military discipline among the more youthful of the population. He earnestly hoped that, if any opposition was attempted to the Amendments made in another place, the right hon. Gentleman would not run away from his own opinions, as he did when the measure was introduced. It seemed absurd to take a measure which was of such immense importance, altering the whole constitution of the Auxiliary Forces and of the National defence, at that late hour of the night. Ministers were jaded, as they could all see, after sitting through the previous night. To propose seriously to consider a matter of that importance at half-past twelve in the morning was scandalous, and he protested against it in the strongest possible terms. He earnestly hoped the Secretary of State for War would not give way on any Amendment because of the lateness, or the earliness, of the hour, and that he would adhere to the Amendments accepted by the Government in another place, particularly that with regard to the training of boys in military discipline.


said that if the right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean was serious, it appeared that the main debate would take place on the amount of assistance which was or was not to be given to the training of boys of a certain age in schools of a certain character. They would have another opportunity of discussing it, so he would say no more on the point then. About one of the observations of the right hon. Baronet he would, however, like to say something. The right hon. Gentleman had adverted to the Amendment which extended the presumptive period of maximum training. If he rightly followed the right hon. Gentleman, he said he could not understand the differentiation because it had no relation to the matter which they had discussed in the House, or to any conclusion they had arrived at. The real question was whether the Yeomanry forces were to be altogether outside the Yeomanry of the Special Reserves or not. They had debated that point very well but had never arrived at any conclusion. The Secretary of State had left the impression that he might change his mind in regard to the matter. He thought that if the right hon. Gentleman would address himself to that point before considering the other special matters he would go far to satisfy them on a matter which was of great public interest. Whatever decision they might reach in regard to the matter, his opinion was that it would be a great pity to make the presumptive period sixteen days instead of eighteen days. Eighteen days would not be too much.

Lords Amendments considered.

Lords' Amendment— In page 1, line 8, after the word 'Regulars, to insert the words ' and their Reserves'"— read a second time.


said that was a very loose phrase. Was it a Government phrase? It meant the Reserve of the Regulars and was not the usual wording.


reply was inaudible.

LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

asked the right hon. Gentleman to let the House know what his reply was.

Lords' Amendment— In page 2, line 1, after the word 'or,' to insert the words 'failing him' "— read a second time.


asked the right hon. Gentleman to reply now to the right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean. As he understood the Amendment, it did make a change. Were they to understand that it was only when the Lord-Lieutenant was considered to be unfit that they were to look elsewhere? Or were they to understand that the Lord-Lieutenant and any other person were on an equal plane? He took it to mean that the Lord-Lieutenant was the proper person, and wished to know if that was the Government view.


said the Amendment was inserted as a result of discussion. As far as he, observing from an outside position, could appreciate the debate in the House of Lords they wanted some words to make the precise meaning clear and chose these words so that if the lord-lieutenant was not available some- body else should be made president of the association.

Lords' Amendment agreed to.

Subsequent Lords' Amendment agreed to.

Lords' Amendment— In line 18, after the word 'appointment' to insert the words ' by the Army Council during the first three years after the passing of this Act and subsequently for the election' "—read a second time.


said about that line 18 he would explain what the situation was, as there seemed to be an inaccurate impression as to what had taken place in another place. An Amendment was moved to make the position elective, but the Government could not agree, as they felt that there would be so much difficulty and confusion if the Army Council were not to make the selection. The House of Lords thought otherwise, and pressed that view, but later the House of Lords reflected and found that there was a great deal more in what the Government said than they had at first thought, and the clause was modified so as to leave the first election to the Army Council and subsequent elections to the County Associations. The Army Council would not interfere.


The right hon. Gentleman says "on reflection." Lord Portsmouth got up at once and said he accepted it. Then Lord Haversham, Lord Donoughmore, Lord Newton, and Lord Landsdowne attacked it. I do not think there was much reflection.


said it seemed to him that the Army Council to all intents would be the people who appointed the chairman and the vice-chairman. They would draw up the scheme. In another place a scheme was put forward by which provision was made for appointment by the Army Council for three years and then by election of the association.

Lords' Amendment agreed to.

Subsequent Lords' Amendments agreed to.

Lords' Amendment— In page 4, line 19, after the word 'assistance,' to insert the words ' out of money voted by Parliament.' "—read a second time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said:Amendment." —(Mr. Haldane,)


moved: "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment." In doing so he drew attention to the way in which the clause was settled by that House. The right hon. Gentleman would remember that various Amendments were put on the Paper to the clause as originally drafted, but that owing to the operation of the guillotine it was impossible to discuss any one of them. The right hon. Gentleman would also remember that they entered into negotiations with him, and that as the result of those negotiations the clause as it left the House was drafted. He would submit to the right hon. Gentleman that a clause formed after negotiation of that character ought not to have been the subject of negotiation in another place. An agreement was come to between the right hon. Gentleman and certain Members in the House of Commons, and by virtue of that agreement certain things happened. The clause was passed by a bargain and not by a majority. No sooner, however, did the Bill go to the other House than the right hon. Gentleman entered into negotiations with opponents of the Bill, and now an Amendment was produced which certainly he and his friends did not accept, and which did not carry out the original arrangement come to. He would like to say that if they were going to have cadet corps it was very much less objectionable that they should be paid for by public money than by the scheme of the Amendment. He was opposed to cadet corps. He was not going to raise the question at that hour, but he would say that underlying their objection to that particular Amendment was the general objection to cadet corps. There were two bodies of expert opinion opposed to cadet corps. The first body of such expert opinion was expert military opinion, because it was becoming more and more apparent, and the French experiments showed it, that to teach children under the age of sixteen military drill was to damage their military possibilities rather than improve them. The second body of expert opinion opposed to military drill was expert educational opinion. It had been shown—and he was glad to say that up-to-date educational authorities were now withdrawing military drill from their schools because it was not suited to the physical development of the children—that such drill put a certain strain upon certain parts of the physique of a child and that, so far from aiding physical development, it retarded and destroyed it. The good soldier and the, good educationist were ranging themselves more, and more completely and emphatically against the proposal of cadet corps. But the clause as amended was a definite invitation to the County Association to enter over the heads of the educational authority and practically compel educational authorities to allow the establishment of cadet corps in the school. They knew quite well what influence would be brought to bear upon these educational authorities. Such a clause in an Act of Parliament had got to be taken into account in connection with all the social circumstances of the Bill. The Amendment would be practically a mandate on every educational authority to allow the County Associations to step in and establish cadet corps in connection with every elementary school in the country. They knew pretty well the sort of propaganda that would be carried on. They saw it in the case of the Navy League. The Navy League maps came into every elementary school. Advertisements of the League stared one in the face from the walls. Leaflets were spread from one end of the country to the other, and school books were being written for the special purpose of carrying on that propaganda. The Amendment would augment that propaganda by one more insidious still, a propaganda of cadet corps. Of course, there was a distinction. The Liberal Government was a Government of class distinction. It gave special privileges for the son of the rich parent attending a private preparatory or public school. The children of rich parents were to have their military drill paid from funds supplied by the State. The children of poor parents were to have their military drill paid for from charitable funds supplied by touting associations going round the rich county magnates appealing to them to supply money and to supply toy muskets to the children of poor parents attending public elementary schools for which no fees had to be paid. Had there been no guillotine in operation, he and his friends would have challenged this matter at the time, and the clause would have been modified. The effect of the Amendment was to establish military drill, and. to establish it under the patronage of the private rich people, instead of under the patronage of the State. Was the cadet corps movement good or was it bad? If it was good the Secretary for War should make it part and parcel of military training. He should pay for it from military funds; he should, put it under the control of the County Associations; he should say to the County Associations, "This is part and parcel of the Territorial Force; this is a great recruiting ground; this is a reservoir to feed the Army with." Its expenses ought to be allocated from precisely the same sources as those of other sections of the Territorial Force. If, on the other hand, the right hon. Gentleman wished them to believe that cadet corps were of no military value, let him keep them out of the Bill. Let him not run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. Let him not meet the National Service League with one hand and the opponents of this proposal with the other. Let him not tell the National Service League, "I will secure military training," and then tell the Labour Party, "Military training will be secured, but not at the public expense," If the work of the cadet corps was national let the country pay for it; if it was of the least use let Parliament pay for it from public money. If it was not national and not of the least use, let them have nothing to do with it. This, he supposed, was what was called a compromise upon reflection. The other place changed its Amendment. The other place, he supposed on reflection, considered that Mr. Speaker might have something to say to the first Amendment. It might have been suggested to Mr. Speaker that the first Amendment was a breach of the privileges of the House of Commons. He supposed that the other place came to the decision that the right hon. Gentleman was more squeezable than Mr. Speaker, and so the second Amendment was put on the Paper. That Amendment meant that everything they wanted was going to be secured under a most objectionable form. The Labour Party objected to it root and branch, and they would press their opposition to a division. He was glad to be assured of the support of hon. Members above the gangway on that side of the House. On 29th May this question was raised by two or three hon. Members above the gangway. The Member for Maidstone made a most forcible speech opposing the idea of the hat going round in order to find funds for the work of the County Associations. The hon. Member for the Newport Division pointed out that it was unfair that one association should be placed in opposition to another in rival subscribing adventures, in order to be more efficient to carry on their work. The junior Member for the City of London thought it was a most extra-ordinary thing to introduce in a national Army Bill a clause whereby permission was given to send round the hat asking for subscriptions to the Army as though it were a hospital or a voluntary school. The hon. Member for Oswestry raised precisely this point, because he said he wanted to know from the right hon. Gentleman whether if he left a legacy to encourage cadet battalions attached to public schools, a County Association would be able to accept it and spend it for that purpose. The right hon. Gentleman rather eluded the point, he would talk about anything but the proposed cadet corps. The right hon. Gentleman's position, however, was perfectly clear. He told them in words which would only bear constructively one meaning that he was opposed to the hat going round in any shape or form. But now this most important part of military training was going to be founded on and supported by the passing of the hat. It after being passed round the hat was found to be empty there was going to be no cadet corps at all attached to public schools. What an absurd position this was for a Minister who said he was opposed to the hat going round, and was opposed to degrading County Associations by asking them to appeal for subscriptions. Though they could not knock the cadet corps out the Labour Party would certainly make an attempt to knock the hat out. The right hon. Gentleman got his clause through the House before as the result of an amicable arrangement which the Labour Party thought would be kept to, and under the circumstances he would have no hesitation in pressing the matter to a division.


said that the hon. Member for Leicester had indulged in some flights of imagination into which he would not attempt to follow him. He was of a less romantic disposition than the hon. Member and would come to the ground speedily if he tried to follow his example In the first place the hon. Member said that he as Secretary of State for War had made an arrangement with regard to this matter. He had, however, made no arrangement of the kind suggested with the hon. Member for Leicester or his friends. What did happen was this. He had had negotiations with certain hon. friends of his own in the House about the form which that clause should take. The Bill passed with the clause in that form, but when it got to the other place the majority there struck out the words which had been put in and restored the clause to its original form. He took council with his hon. friends with whom he had consulted before, and after discussing the matter they agreed that if they could induce the House of Lords by such arguments as they were able to bring forward to put the clause back into the form in which it was now, that was to restrict the use of public money for the purpose, they would do very well. None of them thought that the question of the contribution of private money was very serious, and none of them thought that the clause was open to the imaginary evils sketched by the hon. Member for Leicester in such vivid tints. The clause authorised County Associations to co-operate in establishing and assisting cadet battalions and other corps. There was no power of any sort or kind to go into board schools against the will of the school. The association became merely the porters of any gift, so that anything like what the hon. Member for Liecester had been painting to the House in such vivid colours was impossible. They had a stiff' debate in the House of Lords, and in the end they had the opportunity of settling the matter. The Government were prepared to press for the clause which he had settled upon with his hon. friends at the previous negotiations, but in the end the majority in the House of Lords, though not until after a good deal of discussion, agreed to give them the clause in the form in which it now appeared, provided that they stuck to the bargain when the Bill came back to the House of Commons. The Earl of Crewe, on behalf of the Government and with the consent of the Prime Minister, gave the undertaking which was asked for by Lord Lansdowne. That undertaking having been given, the Government meant to carry it out loyally on the present occasion. He stated with every confidence that the Government had done the best thing for the clause and for the Bill as a whole.


rather wished that the right hon. Gentleman had postponed his intervention in the debate for a few minutes. This clause, in common with almost every other clause in the Bill, was not obviously intelligible at first sight. Now that it had received its final emendation at the hands of His Majesty's Government, or at any rate with their consent, he need hardly say that the Opposition would support the Government in their resolve to accept the Amendment made in the other place. In the view of the Opposition that Amendment went some way to express, however clumsily, their wish that Parliament should make some declaration in favour of cadet corps in the schools of the country. The Amendment made in another place, and its acceptance by His Majesty's Government, would be understood outside the House of Commons as a declaration that the Government had gone part of the way back to the position they originally occupied. Ho could not, however, hide his agreement with much that fell from the hon. Member for Leicester. He thought they were entitled to know definitely from the Government what their policy was. Here was a large question of vast public interest. Was it or was it not a good thing that children below the age of sixteen years should have some military training? The Opposition believed that the bulk of the opinion in the country was in agreement with them in thinking that it was a good thing. The hon. Gentleman had not got to the bottom of all the ambiguities which were characteristic of the Bill. The hon. Member for Leicester raised three questions in his speech. The last was that the Bill in its present shape proposed an invidious distinction between the schools to which the children of the poorer of their fellow-subjects went and the schools to which the children of the richer classes went. The Opposition noticed that when the Bill was under discussion in the House of Commons, and they thought it most unfortunate that in a Bill dealing with such a vital matter as our national defence such class distinctions should be drawn. That was a fatal blot on the Bill, and the hon. Member for Leicester was right when he said that the Government were drawing an invidious distinction. Was it not an invidious distinction to contribute out of public funds for one type of school and not for another? The hon. Member for Leicester raised another question. He stated that they ought to have a clear issue before them, and that those of them who thought this training was good should have an opportunity of saying so, and that those who thought it was bad should also have an opportunity of saying so. That opportunity had been denied to them by the right hon. Gentleman, as it had been denied on every previous occasion. The hon. Member for Leicester had not got to the bottom of the elusiveness of the right hon. Gentleman. The Bill as it stood asserted that these associations were to establish and assist cadet corps in every school. That was still the policy of the Government, and therefore the Government had not in the Bill, even as it now stood, made any concession, in his opinion, in the opinion of His Majesty's Government it was the duty of these associations to establish and assist cadet corps and rifle corps. The only limitations were in respect of persons under sixteen years of age in schools of a certain type. Any person over sixteen in a school receiving a Parliamentary grant might be assisted out of public funds. Any person under sixteen in another school of another type might be assisted out of public funds. To call that a compromise was a somewhat strange use of the term. It was a mere muddle. The Government intended that the military education of the young should be part and parcel of their plan for making a national Army, but their views met with considerable hostility in the quarter from which the hon. Member for Leicester spoke, and they put in a kind of limitation which really gave the hon. Member for Leicester. nothing. He did not think the hon. Member had lost by it. All that had happened on this clause, as on so many others, was that the Government set out with one intention, and while pursuing it they endeavoured to persuade some of their supporters that they had abandoned it.

MAJOR SEELY (Liverpool, Abercromby)

said that as he had taken some interest in this question, and had spoken strongly on the subject the last time it was before the House, he trusted the House would forgive him if he said a word now. He was quite impenitent as to the view he had expressed of the total absence of military advantage in training young people to either military drill or rifle shooting. He was not alone in that opinion. Instances given by the hon. Member for Leicester showed that an extremely military nation like France held the same view. He did not think attention had been called to a remarkable book by Colonel Maude, whom one might call a Jingo of the Jingoes, an enthusiast for military matters beside whom all hon. Members opposite were comparatively tame. Colonel Maude strongly took the view which he had endeavoured to put before the House on previous occasions. He (Major Seely) was strongly opposed to the training of youths in either drill or military exercises as being of no military advantage. He would not weary the House by giving reasons again. Let it suffice to say he did not believe it tended to make people more patriotic or more earnest in their endeavours to receive military training if practically forced to it when young. But the situation that had arisen was an interesting one. He agreed that it was inadvisable to send round the hat, but he did not agree with the hon. Member for Leicester that they should take objection to the Lords' Amendments and jeopardise the Bill, because he did not think the hon. Gentleman had lost anything by the change. First of all, the hat had to go round and to be filled, and, secondly, the education authority had to desire that the children should be taught this drill.


Not necessarily.


As it stands at present. I appeal to the Secretary to the Board of Education if that is not so. You must get their consent.


That is so.


said he thought they must get the consent of the Board of Education. Simultaneously the hat had to go round and be filled. Supposing the House rejected this, how much better off would be the position of the hon. Member for Leicester? The hat would still go round and the boys would be taught drill and rifle shooting by the consent of the Board of Education, only instead of the hat being sent round by the County Association it would be sent round by the Lord-Lieutenant and the other enthusiasts acting as private individuals. In regard to the funds, if they could not be collected and distributed by the County Association they could be collected and distributed equally well by the individual members who would be appointed for that purpose. If there really was enthusiasm for this military movement, which he hoped there was not, as it would be of no military value, although he agreed that the spirit it evoked was excellent, it would be perfectly impossible to check cadet corps by this Amendment, or the sending round of the hat. What, then, was the purpose of jeopardising the Bill on which they had spent so much time? If the hon. Member would propose an Amendment at any time which raised the whole issue he would go into the division lobby with him. He objected to spending public money in this matter, but he did not think cadet corps were bad in themselves, and to throw out the possibility of the solution offered would be most unwise.

SIR HENRY CRAIK (Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities)

said that in common with those who had spoken he joined with the hon. Member for Leicester in the view that no particular gratitude was due to the Secretary for War for his very grudging concession, which he fancied the right hon. Gentleman had largely arranged in another place. He was responsible for an Amendment that was moved on the only occasion it was possible to raise it, and which attempted to bring back the Bill into the region of that clear-thinking of which the right hon. Gentleman spoke so much when he introduced the Bill. Unfortunately, by those subterranean negotiations the process of clear-thinking was abandoned by the right hon. Gentleman, and as a concession to a small band of extremists who seemed to think that any sort of training or discipline at once turned our youth into swashbucklers, the right hon. Gentle-man put a clause into his Bill which very distinctly changed the whole position. They had been told that expert military opinion was against cadet corps. He would appeal to one expert military opinion which the hon. and gallant Member would not deny. About five years ago ho was a member of a Royal Commission before which the hon. and gallant Member for the Abercromby Division appeared, and the hon. and gallant Member gave the strongest evidence in favour of rifle shooting and corps for the young, tolling them of the successful results of his own experiments. He would go to oven more expert military opinion than the lion, and gallant Member. The Secretary of State for War as late as this spring appointed a military committee in the War Office to deal with the question of cadet corps, and he actually allowed boys of fifteen to gain certificates, and as recently as the month of May last the right hon. Gentleman issued a circular to all the schools of England, in which he offered certain advantages in the event of boys qualifying for such certificate. He called together the teachers in these schools no later than about a couple of months ago. His proposals were accepted with gratitude on every side; the heads of those schools distinctly informed him that they thought they could do much to realise the object which ho had so much at heart—a nation trained in arms. Less than six weeks later, in obedience to that small band of members, and to its subterranean communications, he withdrew the offer he had made to these teachers. The hon. Member for Leicester had stated that educational experts were against them, but he would like to know where they were to be found 1 In the vast majority of the schools something of this military training had been introduced. It was spreading rapidly, and in scarcely a single instance—he could speak from his own knowledge—had they anything but the most favourable reports from the teachers as to the results of the cadet corps. It was not merely a question of training the boys; it was for its educational advantages, as much as anything else, that it was an object to be pursued. All the most eminent educational experts told them that the greatest waste in the youth of our country, the greatest loss in all that we were paying for, the greatest casting away of all the results of the time, and trouble and money spent on education, occurred precisely in the years between fourteen and sixteen. They could get hold of the youths in no other way except by organising them into something like these cadet corps. By that means they could get hold of these boys during the most dangerous period of their lives. But they were told by the hon. Member for Leicester, "You are introducing an invidious social distinction." That was very true, but who were to blame for that? The Secretary of State for War and the hon. Member for Leicester and his friends, who were responsible for this change. There was plenty of money in the larger public schools in England, and there they would have no difficulty with the cadet corps, for the upper and the wealthier classes sent their children there. But they would lose the advantage of this training in military discipline for the humbler schools, where they were closing the door against it and making it possible only at the hands of charity. Did the right hon. Gentleman really think that this clause excluded only elementary schools? Did he not know that there were hundreds of middle class schools— not elementary schools at all—who nevertheless did share in the Parliamentary grants? The right hon. Gentleman thought he was only excluding elementary schools—he personally thought he was wrong in excluding elementary schools—but as a matter of fact he was excluding a very great number beyond. The right hon. Gentleman knew that the teachers who came together to meet the military experts of the War Office only two months ago were not teachers in elementary schools, but in those humbler classes of the middle class secondary schools where the cadet corps chiefly arose. It was these teachers whose hopes the right hon. Gentleman had raised, and which he had now cast down, and he had no doubt that he had in the War Office documentary evidence in regard to the expectations-and hopes which were raised, and the disappointment afterwards caused. The Opposition would support the Amendment, weakened as it was through the Government having abandoned the stronger position they occupied before. They would go into the division lobby with the the Government, but they owed no thanks to the right hon. Gentleman. They believed he had done what he would repent of hereafter; that he had struck a blow at that scheme of a nation in arms which he had at heart, in making this surrender to the extreme section of his Party.

MR. WEDGWOOD (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

said he was not particularly interested in the military opinions on this matter, nor in the educational opinions on it, as they depended largely on what the cadet corps did and what their actual drills were. But he was interested in what they did with their own children. They allowed their own children to join these cadet corps, and they enjoyed it very much. They liked all that sort of play and half drill which went on; but he could not understand why hon. Members opposite should suggest what they should prevent the children of other classes doing the same sort of thing.

*SIR SAMUEL SCOTT (Marylebone, W.)

said there was a broad principle between the hon. Member for Leicester and the Opposition. He did not believe in cadet corps in schools or in military training, whilst they on that side of the House, and many Members on the other side of the House, did believe in them. But they entirely agreed with him on this, that if this principle of cadet corps in schools were carried out, the money should be obtained from public funds, and not out of private individuals. The hon. Member for Leicester would correct him if ho misunderstood him in stating that experience had shown that the drill of the cadet corps deteriorated the children; but ho thought he was wrong. The hon. and gallant Member for the Abercromby Division of Liverpool would bear him out when he said that the experience of Switzerland was entirely different, and that recently in the schools there they had introduced an absolutely compulsory form of military training. He might point out to the hon. Member for Leicester that a new development had recently taken place in the physical training of our own soldiers. In the old days, and until a short time ago, they were trained in one manner—


said that the question before the House was limited to the consideration of the Lords' Amendment as to whether payment should be made "out of money voted by Parliament."


, on a point of order, submitted that the question of training had been brought up by the hon. Member for Leicester.


said it had no doubt been mentioned incidentally, but the Amendment before the House did not raise the wider question of the merits or demerits of cadet drill involved in the clause, but only the matter of by whom a certain payment should be made.


submitted, with all deference, that it covered the whole question of the cadet corps. He was trying to reply to an assertion made by the hon. Member for Leicester, that the training had a derogatory effect on the children. He submitted that he was in order in so doing.

MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)

said he entirely agreed with the Chairman that this Amendment did not cover the whole question of cadet corps to the full extent, but every speaker up to the present time, ho thought, had raised the question of the cadet corps. They were dealing with an Amendment which involved expenditure on cadet corps, and therefore cadet corps could incidentally be referred to by speakers.


said that there was no objection to an incidental reference to cadet corps, but it would be going out-side of the particular Amendment to discuss the general question of the merits or demerits of military drill, or to compare the present with the past physical training of our own soldiers.


said all that he was trying to do was to point out to the hon. Member for Leicester that it was a question of the manner in which the cadet corps or soldiers were trained, and they were not necessarily bound by hard and fast rules to a certain drill. There were different drills which had been perfected lately, and it was therefore possible, in reference to what had been mentioned as to the drill of children, that they might find some drill of a kind which would give them great benefit.

*MR. MADDISON (Burnley)

said his hon. friend the Member for Staffordshire had talked about an unholy alliance. He would venture to remark to the hon. Member for Salford that he did not frequently address the House, and that he, who was supposed to be an exponent of free speech, should not interrupt him. Why he rose was because the hon. Member for Leicester had set out to recite the history of certain negotiations and constantly used the plural. The hon. Member even went so far as to say that there were two sorts of Parties who negotiated, and that one had gone behind the back of the other. The fact was there was a number of hon. Members on that side of the House with whom he acted who from the first took a keen interest in the question of cadet corps as it appeared in the Bill.

MR. EVELYN CECIL (Aston Manor)

asked if the hon. Member was in order and whether he must not confine himself to the expenditure mentioned in the Bill.


said the hon. Member must know that a certain amount of latitude had just been claimed by his own side.


said that in the negotiations to which he had referred the hon. Member for Leicester did not appear at all and therefore could hardly know what really went on. He simply wanted in a word to say that while altogether and entirely agreeing with the hon. Member for Leicester in his dislike of those cadet corps so long as they were associated in the Bill with public schools, it was impossible for him honourably to vote against the Amendment. When they first approached the Secretary of State for War in respect to the Amendment of which that was the outcome, they came to a certain arrangement which appeared in the Bill. When that arrangement was upset by the House of Lords the same people were asked by the Secretary of State to meet him again, and it was at that meeting that the words "public money" were suggested. What appeared in the Bill that night was what the Minister for War offered them and what they accepted. He felt bound, having regard to what had taken place, to keep what ho considered to be a pledge. A pledge was none the less binding if the bargain which it represented did not happen to be as good as they wished. He was surprised that the hon. Member for Leicester, in his desire to oppose the Lords' Amendments, should say that if these cadet corps had to be there should be public money voted for them. He ventured to say that in that opinion the hon. Member would not carry with him the majority of those who agreed with him that military training of the young was, bad and pernicious. He was surprised that the hon. Member was prepared to be so free with public money, for he and his friends had opposed the Cromer Grant on the ground that public money was so precious, that there were so many poor people, and that they ought to be so careful. But the hon. Member for Leicester was prepared to vote public money for causes he objected to altogether. Without this Bill there was nothing to prevent private subscriptions being devoted to cadet corps. The Bill did not alter the situation as to class distinction, but the class distinction was in favour of the working classes. Practically speaking, as the Bill stood the working classes would be immune from the blight of militarism. He deeply regretted that the War Minister had touched the unholy thing at all in his Bill, and, as a matter of fact, he could have got what he wanted without introducing it into the Bill. However, it had been a compromise from the first, and they must make the best of it. He was unable to vote against the Amendment on account of the compact with the War-Minister, and he believed that by voting for it they would at least prevent public money being spent on the schools to which the children of the working classes went.

*MR. SHACKLETON (Lancashire, Clitheroe)

said ho wished to say a word on that matter, for it was only right that they should make the situation perfectly clear. It was true they had no part in the negotiations, but they knew that they were going on, and that acceptance of the original compromise caused them not to press their objections. He understood when the Amendment which was negotiated in the first instance was accepted they were expected to withdraw their opposition to the clause. A change had now been made that power should be given to establish cadet corps, provided no financial assistance was given, in certain schools. Under that Amendment, made in another place, they could give it provided it was not out of Parliamentary grants. Anybody could get behind that, and the only safeguard they had now was the President of the Board of Education. They were putting power into the hands of the County Associations, and when there was a President of the Board of Education who had no sympathy with them the thing could be done by a stroke of the pen. They could not have any financial assistance from the County Associations, but they could have an arrangement between the persons finding the money and the Board of Education. In reply to the hon. Member who talked about losing the Bill, he wished to say that he had been too long in that House for that argument to weigh with him. The Bill would not be lost if the Government refused the Amendment. The hon. Member for New-castle-under-Lyme had asked, had they the right to refuse the working man the opportunity of having his children trained Surely when the working men who sat in that House got up and applied for it it would be plenty of time to give it them. Did the hon. Member want his children to have it? He certainly would not have any of his children trained to be soldiers. That was not only his own feeling, but the feeling of many Members of the House, and of thousands of working men outside, who did not believe in that Army policy. They would vote against the Amendment.

VISCOUNT TURNOUR (Sussex, Horsham)

said he had listened with great interest to the speech of the Member for Leicester. Whatever views they might hold on that side of the House as to the line he advocated, no one could doubt the sincerity and the straightforwardness which characterised his remarks. They had now heard the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues make a good many speeches on this subject of rifle-shooting and cadet corps. He did not know if the hon. Gentleman imagined that the granting of this money to cadet corps would encourage conscription. Had the hon. Gentleman's attention been called to the statement of the Secretary of State that there was unrest in the public mind, and that if it were not allayed matters would tend in that direction? The hon. Member for Leicester had given it as his reason for voting against the Amendment that military and educational expert opinion was against it. He tried to follow the hon. Gentleman's line as to military opinion being against it. So far as he understood, the hon. Gentleman said that military opinion was against cadet corps because boys were being drilled to be soldiers and the military spirit

would not thereby be encouraged. The hon. Gentleman went on to speak of educational opinion being against these corps. When asked to give some evidence of what this educational opinion was ho was unable to do so. Throughout his speech, at least that part of it which dealt with cadet corps, he dealt with them in the abstract, and confusion remained in their minds as to what the hon. Gentleman meant. A much more damaging thing was the charge he made against the Secretary of State of hunting with the hounds and running with the hare. The right hon. Gentleman looked rather less complacent than usual during his remarks on that subject. Personally, he thought there were overwhelming reasons why money should be given out of public funds to these corps, and he was bound to say it would have been much more straight forward if that course had been taken by the right hon. Gentleman. The debate had been, as he said, of much interest, not only because of the subject, but also because it showed the trouble the Government were constantly making for themselves by the chronic state of fear which induced them, whenever they put forward an opinion, to drop it if requested to do so by the noisiest section of the House.

Question put, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

The House divided: Ayes, 152; Noes, 66. (Division List No. 351.)

Acland, Francis Dyke Buckmaster, Stanley O. Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. Bull, Sir William James Craik, Sir Henry
Ainsworth, John Stirling Burns, lit. Hon. John Crosfield, A. H.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Crossley, William J.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Carr-Gomm, H. W. Davies, David (Montgomery Co.
Armitage, R. Castlereagh, Viscount Davies, Timothy (Fulham)
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W. Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.
Astbury, John Meir Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E. Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)
Balcarres, Lord Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Wore. Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.
Balfour, Rt, Hn. A. J. (City Lond. Chance, Frederick William Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Cheetham, John Frederick Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Duckworth, James
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Churchill, Rt, Hon. Winston S Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Cleland, J. W. Elibank, Master of
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Coates. E. Feetham (Lewisham) Erskine, David C.
Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets,S.Geo. Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Esslemont, George Birnie
Branch, James Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Father, George Denison (York)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Corbett, C.H.(Sussex, E. Gr'st'd Faber, Capt. W. Y. (Hants, W.
Brocklehurst, W. B. Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Ferguson, R. C Munro
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Courthope, G. Loyd Fiennes, Hon. Eustace
Freeman-Thomas, Freeman Maddison, Frederick Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Fuller, John Michael F. Mallet, Charles E. Stanger, H. Y.
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Manfield, Harry (Northants) Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.
Gretton, John Menzies, Walter Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Strachey, Sir Edward
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Micklem, Nathaniel Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Harmsworth, R.L. (Caithn'ss-sh Mildmay, Francis Bingham Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Montagu, E. S. Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury
Harwood, George Montgomery, H. G. Thomson, W. Mitchell (Lanark
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Thornton, Percy M.
Haworth, Arthur A. Morpeth, Viscount Tomkinson, James
Henry, Charles S. Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield Toulmin, George
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Norton, Capt. Cecil William Turnour, Viscount
Hervey, F. W.F.(BuryS. Edm'd. Paulton, James Mellor Valentia, Viscount
Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Hunt, Rowland Priestley, W.E.B. (Bradford. E. Waring, Walter
Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Rainy, A. Rolland Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Raphael, Herbert H. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Kearley, Hudson E. Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Waterlow, D. S.
Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Ridsdale, E. A. Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Laidlaw, Robert Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Whitbread, Howard
Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Robinson, S. Whitehead, Rowland
Lamont, Norman Rose, Charles Day Whitley, JohnHenry (Halifax
Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral Runciman, Walter Wills, Arthur Walters
Levy, Sir Maurice Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.
Lewis, John Herbert Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Seely, Major J. B. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin,S. Shaw, Rt. Hn. T. (Hawick B.) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Lough, Thomas Silcock, Thomas Ball
M'Crae, George Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie TELLERS FOB THE AYES— Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Smith, Abel H. (Hertford. East)
M'Micking, Major G. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Alden, Percy Hayden, John Patrick Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Higham, John Sharp Scott, A.H.(Ashton under Lyne
Barnes, G. N. Hodge, John Seddon, J.
Bennett, E. N. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Shackleton, David James
Black, Arthur W. Hudson, Walter Sherwell. Arthur James
Bowerman, C. W. Idris, T. H. W. Simon, John Allsebrook
Byles, William Pollard Jones, Leif (Appleby) Summerbell, T.
Clough, William Jowett, F. W. Sutherland, J. E.
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Kilbride, Denis Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Cooper, G. J. King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.
Crean, Eugene Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras. E. Thorne, William
Cremer, Sir William Randal Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Crooks, William Macpherson, J. T. Walsh, Stephen
Curran, Peter Francis Mac Veagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent
Dilke, Rt, Hon. Sir Charles M'Callum, John M. Watt, Henry A.
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Nicholls, George White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) O'Grady, J. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Everett, R. Lacey Parker, James (Halifax) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Flavin, Michael Joseph Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)
Fullerton, Hugh Pollard, Dr. TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Mr. Arthur Henderson and Mr. George Roberts.
Gill. A. H. Radford, G. H.
Glover, Thomas Rendall, Athelstan
Goddard, Daniel Ford Richards, T.F. (Wolverh'mpt'n
Gulland, John W. Richardson, A.

Question put, and agreed to

Subsequent Lords' Amendment agreed to.

Lords' Amendment— In line 20, after 'locally' to insert the words ' such requirements where practicable to be embodied in regulations which shall be issued to County Associations from time to time, and on the first occasion not later than the first day of January one thousand nine hundred and nine' "—

Read a second time.


said that in the case of this Amendment what he had to complain of was not had grammar, but unintelligibility. He would appeal to any hon. Member to say whether, after reading the Amendment, he was not totally unable to grasp its meaning. The Amendment brought out the general want of intelligibility in the clause more. Clause II. hung entirely on Subsection 2 which dealt with the powers assigned by the Army Council to the County Associations. These were arranged in the most extraordinary fashion, and they contained the most extraordinary variety of subjects. The Amendment on which he was speaking brought out, as he had said, the absurdity of the whole drafting of the clause. One of the subjects on which the powers and duties of the Secretary of State were to be transferred was the supply of the requirements on mobilisation of the units of the Territorial Force within the county in so far as those requirements were directed by the Army Council to be met locally. Then came the whole of the Lords' Amendment which they were now considering, namely, that such requirements where practicable were to be embodied in regulations which should be issued to County Associations from time to time, and on the first occasion not later than the first day of June, 1909. He asked any Member to read the clause for himself and then to say whether the Amendment was of the least importance. It appeared to be couched in terms which showed a misapprehension of the whole meaning of the first part of the clause.


said that the subsection merely provided that the supply of requirements on mobilisation should be one of the things which was to be dealt with by the County Association. The Amendment which followed, and which was, he thought, on the whole an improvement to the clause, provided that the requirements were to be stated in regulations, and these regulations were to be published from time to time to the County Associations.

Lords' Amendment agreed to.

Subsequent Lords' Amendments agreed to.

Lords' Amendment— In line 31, after the word 'reservists, to insert the words ' and a Special Reservist may be re-engaged, and when re-engaged shall continue, subject to the terms of service applic- able to Special Reservists,' "—Read a second time.


said that though this Amendment was not ridiculous, as some of the Amendments were, the wording was not very clear. He supposed it was a Government Amendment.


said that the words had been put in to make the clause clear. The draughtsman advised the Amendment.

Lords' Amendment agreed to.

Subsequent Lords' Amendments agreed to.

Lords' Amendment: — In line 33 at the beginning of the clause to insert: —'(1) Every Order in Council or scheme required by this Act to be made before each house of Parliament shall be so laid before forty days next after it is made, if Parliament is then sitting, or if not, within forty days after the commencement of the then next ensiling session; and, if an Address is presented to His Majesty by either House of Parliament within the next subsequent forty days, praying that any such order or scheme may be annulled, His Majesty may thereupon by order in Council annul the same, and the order or scheme so annulled shall thenceforth become void and of no effect, but without prejudice to the validity of any proceedings which may in the meantime have been taken under the same'."—Read a second time.


said that when this matter was under discussion in the House of Commons several attempts were made to obtain the effective control of the House over the provisions which those words gave to both Houses of Parliament. Those attempts on the part of Members of the House of Commons were continually resisted from the Treasury Bench, and the House was not given that control for which they asked. The result of this Amendment was that they were giving to the House of Lords for the first time a voice in many military matters which it had never previously possessed. During the debate on the question, the right hon. Member for Dover said that the Constitution of this country gave almost unlimited powers for dealing with the Army to the House of Commons, and excluded the House of Lords. There were in his own opinion none of the provisions of this Bill which could not have been effected by votes of Parliament and by Treasury Minutes. For the first time, however, all that they were providing for in this Bill was made the subject of the assent of the House of Lords. They had received on the one hand the control of the House of Commons by those words—which were refused to them when they asked for their insertion—but that control was accompanied by a kind of control of the other House, which was now introduced for the first time.


said the most careful consideration had been given to the framing of this and similar clauses. All that this clause provided was that the schemes and orders were to be laid on the Tables of both Houses of Parliament, and either House might move an Address. It was then in the power of the King, if advised by his Ministers so to do, to annul the scheme. Obviously if the House of Commons carried such a Resolution the Ministers would advise the King.

Lords' Amendment agreed to.

Subsequent Lords' Amendments agreed to.

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