§ Postponed proceeding on original Question, "That a sum, not exceeding £ 1,671,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge for Armaments and Engineer Stores, including Technical Committees, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1908," resumed.
§ MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)
called attention to the fact that while an enormous establishment staff was maintained for ammunition, the charges being increased by £ 220, the wages for workmen had decreased by £ 232,000. Woolwich Arsenal was worse off by 2,500 men than before the South African War. He desired to know if the War Office had a sufficient stock of ammunition, and reminded the Committee that the late Prime Minister admitted in the House that the store was exhausted 1313 a few weeks after the war began. That was a Very serious thing. They had already discharged 10,000 men, and now they were 2,388 below the 1896 level. 1,400 men had been discharged since the Secretary of State for War stated that the average was not to exceed 200. Having regard to the condition of the Arsenal and the number of men employed he wanted to know publicly and plainly whether the Secretary of State for War thought there was a sufficient stock to meet any emergency. He hoped that within a week or two they would get the Ordnance Estimate under discussion and be able to raise the whole subject. It was a considerable embarrassment to him to sit there for a long time trying to raise a question, which was practically out of order, as to the Arsenal and its work.
§ MR. HALDANE
said they had an adequate supply of ammunition. The question had been carefully considered and worked out, and they knew exactly where they stood. Of course it was not possible to discuss the real question in which the hon. Member was interested; it would be wholly out of order for him to enter upon it. He would only say that the Government were deeply aware of the hardship which these reductions had caused, and they had done all they could to bring them within the smallest possible compass. Their difficulty was to maintain just such an establishment as would not only provide for their peace requirements, but also enable expansion to take place to meet the emergencies which arose in case of war. He trusted that when the establishment had reached that point—and they had nearly reached it now—they would be able to keep it at that minimum without further reductions, while making its maintenance a first charge.
§ 4. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £ 2,436,000, be granted to his Majesty, to defray the Charge for Barrack Construction, for purchases of Land, and for Works, Buildings, and Repairs, at Home and Abroad (including Staff in connection 1314 there with), which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1908."
§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE
asked whether it was proposed in the present year to direct any reconstruction of the depots as regarded the recruiting centres, which were the subject of severe comment in the Annual Report of the Inspector-General of Recruiting. He thought they ought to know whether the depots in the recruiting centres, or in connection with the Territorial Bill, though that probably would come later, were to be reconstructed, or in certain cases only. Some £ 50,000 was taken in this Vote for changes in works and fortifications at various stations at home and abroad. About £ 40,000 was taken for works at home, and about £ 10,000 for colonial stations. The changes were of course subject to secrecy. It was only in cases like the Forth, where, in passing over the bridge, they could see from time to time what guns were there, that they could lift the veil. In the early part of the session he alluded to the changes which had been made in the Forth, and every one who passed could see what changes were made from time to time in the armaments. It was notorious that in other cases the recent change was connected with the abolition of the mine fields. That was announced three years ago, and had been proceeded with. That was another matter about which he would like to ask a question. Mine fields were still manufactured at Woolwich for certain purposes abroad. The change which had been made had been carried out at home, but it had been refused by Australia and by India. The Government of India had decided to continue the use of mine fields, as also had the Government of Australia, although they were discontinued at home. They had been abolished, not only in naval ports, but also in commercial ports to which war ships did not resort. The use of submarines had not yet taken place in certain of our ports from which the mine fields had been removed. The Tyne was now defended only by batteries at the mouth. He did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman 1315 had looked into the matter, and whether he was satisfied with the defences of one or two places where it was admitted that raids might be possible. The Tyne was one of those places, and had been mentioned both by the Leader of the Opposition and his right hon. friend, who was a supporter of the blue-water policy; he thought they might fairly take the Tyne as a case in point. Since the change of policy 12-pounder guns had in many cases been replaced by 6-inch guns; but whether they were 6-inch guns or not, or whether they were only half the number of the twelve pounders or whether they were more numerous, nevertheless the chance of a ship running through under their fire was very great indeed. The policy which was being pursued here was different from the policy pursued in other countries. This matter had been under consideration both in Germany and in France, and just as Australia and India had taken the opposite decision to our own so Germany and France had continued in the opposite sense. He would only say that the change was one which was startling a good many people, and as far as commercial ports were concerned he thought that his right hon. friend would see that there was some ground for the anxiety which was felt at places like the Tyne, where there was no more defence at present than an armament which small vessels at night might easily pass. It had been said that the Admiralty had sold the minefields and the Brennan torpedoes as old iron and wire, that they had also sold the land from which the Brennans were worked. There was a very considerable sum of money in the Vote for the selling of land, and he hoped that that meant that the Secretary for War was selling his own land, which had no concern with the Navy Estimates. The story of the Brennan torpedo was not worth going into now, and he would only ask whether this article, which had cost the country an enormous sum of money, was in any degree to be continued, as he saw that there was still a sum of money taken for the Brennan plant. There was a sum of £ 500 apparently for storage. He would like to know what policy that sum of £ 500 represented.
§ MR. HALDANE
said the first Question of the right hon. Baronet was in regard to the depots. The condition of these depots required attention in many cases. The accommodation which was necessary varied from many more causes than one, and, in consequence, it was not easy to lay down a uniform standard for all. He had not lost sight of the fact that the depots would become of great importance to the Army organisation; but what they had to look to so far as building was concerned was the comparative urgency of certain works which came first in the list, and which were very urgent indeed, though the other works were not overlooked. The right hon. Gentleman had raised a very large question as to the defence of naval ports and also the defence of commercial stations. As to those the question of policy was of course largely a naval one, though it was true that the question of the War Office arose in connection with that policy. Many of the present defences were the result of the deliberations of General Owen's Committee, who had issued a most exhaustive Report. So far, in this matter, India had preserved her own line; she was reserving the system of mines to which the right hon. Baronet had referred, and in so doing was in harmony with various other Powers. There was only one authority who had decided against the old mine policy and for the policy to which his right hon. friend had referred, but it was not necessary to go into that on this Estimate. The question of the Brennan torpedo was again a question of naval policy, and the naval policy of to-day condemned the use of those fixed torpedoes. The question of the naval defence of commercial bases like the Tyne was one on which they could only rely on the highest naval advice, and it was on the highest naval advice that they had relied in taking such steps as they had.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
said that, so far as the Tyne was concerned, naval policy or no naval policy, the minefields had gone and nothing had taken their place. No one in Newcastle was satisfied with the present state of things, and he thought there was a responsibility in regard to this port resting upon his right hon. friend.
§ MR. HALDANE
said he was quite satisfied that the question of the defence of commercial ports was a big one.
§ LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)
asked for an explanation of the increase in the appropriation-in-aid in connection with the sale of land from £ 30,000 to £ 50,000. He desired to know whether General Owen's Committee was going to overhaul the defences of India in the way they had treated the defences of Hong-Kong, Malta, and elsewhere. It was common knowledge that the recommendations of the Committee, which had been carried out at Malta and Gibraltar, had produced something little short of consternation in the minds of those who were responsible for the defence of those places. Was this Committee going to be allowed to overhaul the Indian system of defence? He would much prefer to leave that question to the Commander-in-Chief and his staff on the spot in India. He was not quite satisfied with what the right hon. Gentleman had said as to the depots. These depots, and certain barracks now occupied by Regular troops, both in this country and in South Africa, were in a condition, sanitary and structurally, little short of shocking. There were several barracks in South Africa which were in a disgraceful condition, while the most notorious example in this country was Piershill Barracks, Edinburgh. Although it was almost impossible to tell precisely how the various sums of money in this Estimate were going to be allocated, it was obvious that the right hon. Gentleman had taken no particular steps to ensure that anything would be done during the present financial year to remedy the state of things existing at Piershill Barracks. The buildings were badly situated and badly drained. The Cavalry had been removed, and he understood that the Artillery was going to replace them. That would not make it any better from the point of view of the drains. It was necessary, to preserve the health of the troops in Scotland, that an entirely new building should be erected. He wished to call attention also to the proposal to erect mess quarters for Army Medical Corps officers on Eltham Common, Woolwich. The natural charm of the land was being ruined. The right hon. Gentleman was 1318 aware of his views on this point. It was a very small common, but it was being absolutely destroyed by the action of the War Office. The Secretary of State had been to Woolwich lately, and he had no doubt visited the common. Hundreds of trees had been cut down quite recently, but he would make an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to spare the fine old oak trees. He contested the right of the War Office to attach this common at all. He could not account for the action of the War Office in removing enormous quantities of turf and loam from one part of the common to another. When the reason for this was asked, the right hon. Gentleman stated that it was to improve the surface of the land for military purposes. Then on 4th March they were told that it was to provide officers' quarters. He did not know to what military purposes the right hon. Gentleman referred. It was common land before the War Office had anything to do with Woolwich. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the common rights had lapsed; but common rights in law did not lapse, and could not lapse.
§ LORD BALCARRES
said they were told on 4th March that the proposal was to erect buildings on part of the land. He submitted that the buildings could not be erected unless the Committee voted money under a subhead of this Vote.
That may be quite true, but we can only deal with the buildings. The ownership of the land, or the rights over the land, is a different matter altogether.
§ LORD BALCARRES
I submit that this work is being done by the Works Department of the Royal Engineers, who are in this Vote.
You can question the expense of the buildings, but you cannot raise any question in regard to the land.
§ LORD BALCARRES
I submit that the House of Commons is now being 1319 asked to vote money for the Royal Engineers, who are cutting down trees on land which does not belong to the War Office, and that the Government is proposing to erect at a cost of £ 12,500 buildings on that land. Under this Vote they are now actually spending the initial outlay on the surface of the ground.
But the ground is not vested in the War Office. It is in another Government Department, and what we are dealing with here is the question of the buildings. It is not a question whether the War Office is entitled to the land.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said they were now asked to authorise the expenditure of money on buildings, but if they were erected on land which belonged to somebody else, the money might be lost altogether. Were the Committee not entitled to ask that the money should be expended on buildings erected on land belonging to the War Office?
We cannot go into the question of title. The Committee are not entitled under this Vote to discuss in detail whether there is a right of common or not.
§ LORD BALCARRES
regretted that he could not pursue the subject, because an injustice was being done not only to the borough of Woolwich, but to the whole community of the East and South of London, who were interested in the preservation of every open space in their neighbourhood.
§ MR. HALDANE,
replying to the reference made to the Owen Committee, said that the great questions of strategy and policy with which they had to deal were not matters which could be judged by those who were not in a position to form an authoritative opinion, and the Government stood by this body, whose practice was founded on the highest principles of naval strategy. The noble Lord smiled. His acquaintance with these things, perhaps, was so vast that he knew more than was known to the general staff or the Board of Admir- 1320 alty. The Owen Committee remained entitled to their respect, and the Government intended to carry out their principles.
§ SIR F. BANBURY,
referring to the defective state of the drains in the barracks at Edinburgh, said that now the Scots Greys had been removed, he understood that there would be no object in spending money on the barracks, unless they were to be utilised for the accommodation of other troops. If they were to be used for other troops, the drains ought to be put right. He found from the Estimates that the reconstruction of the drainage in the barracks at Kingston was estimated to cost £ 3,500. A footnote stated that the Estimate had been reduced from £ 4,300. As a rule, drainage works exceeded the amount at first estimated, and he would like to know what was the reason for a reduction in this case. He also asked for further information with respect to the item in the Vote for hospital accommoda-at Portsmouth.
§ Attention called to the fact that forty Members were not present. House counted; and, forty Members being found present—
§ SIR F. BANBURY,
continuing his speech, said that on page 75 there was an item for cavalry schools. The Treasury had sanctioned an expenditure in 1906-7 of £ 8,000, but the expenditure up to 31st March this year only amounted to £ 2,000. It could not be good policy to spend only one-fourth of the amount authorised more than a year ago. Then there was the question raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Forest of Dean in regard to the sale of land. The amount this year was £ 45,000, whereas last year the sale of Colonial land alone was only £ 39. This was really a most important question, because one did not know what might happen if the land was sold in that kind of way. The land might be wanted in the future; and the country would have to pay a great deal more for it than they had formerly received for it. Then there was the item, on page 78, of fortifications on the island of Malta, which last year amounted 1321 to £ 5,440, and was this year reduced to £ 1,300. It did not seem to him to he wise to make such a very large reduction.
§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE
said that the item for the sale of land might be connected with the sale of stations which had been used for Brennan torpedo work. The policy in regard to submarine mines had been abandoned under the auspices of two right hon. Gentlemen who had both to do with the Army and Navy. As late as December last there was a transfer of expenditure from one head to another, the War Office asking for it as urgent although it concerned submarine mining. That was a case of virement The Committee ought to have sonic information as to what lands were sold.
§ *MR. BUCHANAN
said that the War Office, acting on the Report of a Departmental Committee that reviewed the land belonging to the Department not at present used for military purposes, expected to be able to sell in the coming year a considerable number of detached portions of land. The area of land in possession of the War Office was three times what it was twenty years ago, and he hoped that the changes reported upon would enable them to dispose of a larger amount of land than in previous years. As to cavalry schools mentioned by the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London, he believed that £ 2,000 was the estimated expenditure during the current year.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said that the probable expenditure to March, 1907, £ 2,000, had already been passed; and there was to be voted for the year ending March, 1908, £ 6,000, making in all £ 8,000.
§ *MR. BUCHANAN
said that he was in error, and that the work was now in hand. Money had been taken in the Estimates for drainage works at Kingston, but there had been found possible a diminution of the cost. As to the Portsmouth works, the full amount of the Estimate would be spent in the current year.
§ MR. BRIDGEMAN (Shropshire, Oswestry)
said he would like to ask a question about Army hospital service and accommodation and annual maintenance and repairs. From the details given it was impossible to tell the way in which the money estimated for would be spent, and whether it would be spent on hospitals or barracks or rifle ranges. He would like some assurance that the money to be spent on hospitals had not been reduced. He did not think it desirable to produce the Estimates in such a form as made it impossible to tell whether the charge for hospital accommodation had been reduced or not. He hoped it had not.
§ MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON (Lanarkshire, N.W.)
said he found under the heading of "various Colonial services" an Estimate for £ 10,000 for adapting defences to modern requirements, and he wished to know whether it contained any sum for the defence of St. Lucia. He understood that St. Lucia was to be regarded as a place which might potentially become a place of arms, if needed, ready to be occupied by a force at any moment. Was any of this money to be applied in mounting guns at St. Lucia in the present year? It was a matter of considerable importance, having regard to our West Indian Possessions, especially as we had not at the present time, in the view of many hon. Members, an adequate naval force in West Indian waters.
§ *MR. BUCHANAN
said that this Vote did not include any money to be spent on St. Lucia. It was an item necessitated by the report of the Owen Committee, and the sum was the estimate of the probable expenditure for this year on the work of adapting the defences of our various Colonial stations to modern requirements. The sum would amply meet all the expenditure they would be called upon to defray during the present year. The hon. Member for Shropshire had complained that the Estimates for the year were not quite so definite as they should be about hospital service and accommodation. The reason was that there had been a change in the Department which administered Army hospital service and accommodation, but 1323 a full examination of the Estimates would show that an increased sum was being expended in the present year upon those services.
§ LORD BALCARRES
asked if under the recommendations of General Owen's Committee works would be undertaken at Hong Kong or the Cape.
§ *MR. BUCHANAN
said that it would be impossible to say, because the order in which the work at different colonial stations would be undertaken had not yet been settled. The matter had been referred to a Committee of the War Office.
§ LORD BALCARRES
said his point was that there was a sum of £ 10,000 being taken for the purpose of adapting the defences of our various Colonial stations to modern requirements, and they were not informed what the stations were with which it was intended to deal. The hon. Gentleman said that it had not yet been settled whether the money would be applied to Hong Kong, the Cape, Malta, or elsewhere. He thought the Committee ought to know where the money was to be spent. They knew that a good deal of work had already been done at Malta and the Cape, that something had been done at Gibraltar, and, he thought, also at Hong Kong; but they ought to know the work which was going to be done at each of these particular stations. The hon. Gentleman had admitted that the work had made great progress, and he wished to know why no entry had been made in Statement 3 to show what money had been spent on that service.
§ *MR. BUCHANAN
said that the Report of the Committee only came to the knowledge of the War Office in the month of March. That Report recommended that various works should be carried out, and it was impossible, when the major part of the Estimates had been settled, to put in a specific sum for each of the works. A certain sum had been put into the Estimates, and it would be expended on the most urgent of those services. The service to which the noble Lord had referred was undertaken, not in consequence of the Report of the Committee, 1324 but long before that Committee reported. He could not promise that the authorities at the War Office should indicate the order in which the work was to be done.
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT
called attention to the improvement of rifle ranges. He thought the amount of £ 5,000, which was apparently all that was spent last year, was totally inadequate for the purpose. The hopes of the success of the Territorial Army were to a great extent based on the patriotism of the Volunteers, whose efficiency largely depended on these rifle ranges. The Committee was voting with a light heart, and without either reflection or criticism, millions of money, without there being a single supporter of the Government on the back benches. He ventured to say of the many flagrant instances of the contempt with which the Government treated the Committee this was the most flagrant.
asked whether the item of £ 5,000 covered the various rifle ranges in Ireland as well as Great Britain, and whether the improvements asked for in the Irish rifle ranges had been made, and, if not, why not. In Ireland, there were three ranges, only one of which was thoroughly up to date; the other two were by no means adequate. The garrison also used the range, the condition of which had become a source of danger, to which the attention of those in authority ought certainly to be called. Engineers had been down frequently, but the truth of the matter was that although large sums of money were voted for these ranges, the one which he referred to was being starved, and the starving of a range frequently meant considerable danger; they were also in great difficulty owing to the situation, of the butts and targets, which were exposed to the full force of the elements, firing practice being thus rendered very difficult. A large sum of money was mentioned on page 77 of the Estimates, but he was not quite sure whether it. was for the Territorial Army scheme. A very trifling portion of that sum would make the range to which he referred not only safe but up to modern requirements; and he was quite sure he had only to call attention, to the matter to enlist the sympathy 1325 of the right hon. Gentleman and cause him to inquire into the matter of the three ranges to which he had referred.
§ *MR. BUCHANAN
said that the item in the Vote had nothing to do with the Territorial Army Scheme, and he thought that the hon. Gentleman was under a misapprehension in thinking that the sum in the Vote was for the purpose of the upkeep or the expenses of rifle ranges. If the hon. Member carefully examined the Estimate he would find that it was for barracks and rifle ranges, and if he looked at page 79 he would find that there was another sum for rifle ranges. There was no desire in the Estimates to avoid setting aside sums of money for both the construction and maintenance of rifle ranges.
said he had made a statement with regard to the ranges, and he had asked whether they would fall under the Territorial Forces Bill or not— that was to say, whether county associations were to be formed in Ireland, the same as in England, or whether they were to go on in the old way.
§ *MR. BUCHANAN
said they would go on in the old way. The rifle ranges to which the hon. Gentleman referred would not come under the Territorial Forces Bill, but came under the Vote.
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT
said he was afraid that he had hardly grasped the statement of the hon. Gentleman. There was an explanation on page 77 of the Vote as to various local stations grouped together. They were grouped under rifle ranges for an amount of money stated as an amount to be spent on rifle ranges. Then on another page he found various other items; why were they not all grouped together so that they might be clearly understood, without all this confusion?
§ MR. J. WARD
said that on page 77 there was a sum of £ 10,500 for the upkeep of rifle ranges, and he would like to ask a question about it. They had some time ago a discussion with regard to the establishment of rifle ranges on the tops of buildings and sundry other places. He was anxious to know whether the War Office had made themselves 1326 responsible for any of the expenditure to keep up those rifle ranges, or whether any sum for their establishment was included in this Vote.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said there were several items in the Vote to which he desired to call attention. The first was a sum of £ 32,000 for the preparation of practice ground for camps. He complained that there had been an increase in the Estimate of about 40 per cent. He thought that was a kind of work as to the cost of which something like an accurate Estimate could be made At Trawsfynydd there was a sum of £ 22,270 put down on account of drainage and other works. In that case the amount had increased from £ 16,000 to £ 22,000, and he would like to know why that increase had occurred. Then there was an item for adapting the defences of various home stations to modern requirements. With regard to that a footnote stated that the statement was under consideration, but a sum of £ 50,000 was to be voted. There should be, he thought, some Estimate as to what that sum was to be applied to, and, unless he received a satisfactory reply, he should move a reduction of £ 100. There was another item of £ 10,500 for the central armourers' shops, and he would like to know why that Estimate had been reduced at a time when there were so many men out of work at Woolwich.
§ MR. HALDANE
said, as to adapting defences to modern requirements, that the Owen Committee had completely revised the altered conditions of home defence. Certain places had been found to be more vulnerable than was imagined, and £ 50,000 was taken for the work that had to be done in the coming year in bringing certain places up to the required standard. The Department was also getting the central armourers' shops under better control, and there had consequently been a reduction of cost. The system now established was believed to be preferable.
§ SIR F. BANBURY,
not being satisfied with the reply given by the right hon. Gentleman, moved a reduction of the Vote by £ 100.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £ 2,435,900, be granted for the said Service."—(Sir Frederick Banbury.)
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 38; Noes, 187. (Division List No. 229.)1329
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Dalrymple, Viscount||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Balcarres, Lord||Duncan,Robert(Lanark,Govan||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Faber, Capt.W.V. (Hants, W.)||Smith, AbelH. (Hortford,East)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry,N.)||Fell, Arthur||Smith,F.E.(Liverpool,Walton)|
|Beach.Hn.MichaelHughHicks||Forster, Henry William||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Gibbs, G A. (Bristol, West)||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Gordon, J.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hervey,F.W.F.(BuryS.Edmd's||Younger, George|
|Cave, George||Hills, J. W.|
|Cavendish.Rt.Hon.Victor C.W.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Frederick Banbury and Mr. Hunt.|
|Corbett,A.Cameron(Glasgow)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Moore, William|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Chance, Frederick William||Greenwood, C. (Peterborough)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Agnew, George William||Churchill, Rt, Hon. Winston S.||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Cleland, J. W.||Harmsworth. Cecil B. (Wore'r)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Clough, William||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Armitage, R.||Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Harvey,W.E. (Derbyshire,N.E.|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)|
|Astbury, John Meir||Collins,SirWm.J.(S.Pancras,W.||Haworth, Arthur A.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Cooper, G. J.||Hazel, Dr. A. E.|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Corbett,CH(Sussex,E.Grinst'd)||Hedges, A. Paget|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury,E.)||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Baring,Godfrey(Isle of Wight)||Cox, Harold||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Barker, John||Cremer, William Randal||Higham, John Sharp|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Crooks, William||Hobart, Sir Robert|
|Barnes, G. N.||Crosfield, A. H.||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.|
|Barry,RedmondJ.(Tyrone,N.)||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Holden, E. Hopkinson|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hope,W.Bateman(Somerset,N|
|Bell, Richard||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Horniman, Emslie John|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Dobson, Thomas W.||Hudson, Walter|
|Benn,W.(T'w'rHamlets,S.Geo.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Jackson,R. S.|
|Bertram, Julius||Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Johnson, John (Gateshead)|
|Billson, Alfred||Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Evans, Samuel T.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)|
|Brace, William||Everett, R. Lacey||Kearley, Hudson E.|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Fenwick, Charles||Kekewich, Sir George|
|Branch, James||Ferens, T. R.||Kincaid-Smith, Captain|
|Brigg, John||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Findlay, Alexander||Lambert, George|
|Brooke, Stopford||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Lamont, Norman|
|Brunner,RtHnSirJ.T.(Cheshire||Fullerton, Hugh||Lehmann, R. C.|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Gill, A. H.||Lever,A.Levy (Essex,Harwich)|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Glover, Thomas||Levy, Maurice|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Lynch H. B.||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs)||Radford, G. H.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Macpherson, J. T.||Rendall, Athelstan||Verney, F. W.|
|M'Crae, George||Renton, Major Leslie||Vivian, Henry|
|M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Richards,Thomas(W. Monm'th||Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)|
|M'Micking, Major G.||Richards.T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Maddison, Frederick||Richardson, A.||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Mallet, Charles E.||Rickett, J. Compton||Wardle, George J.|
|Manfield, Harry (Northants)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Waring, Walter|
|Marnham, F. J.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Massie, J.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Wason, Eugene(Clackmannan)|
|Menzies, Walter||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Micklem, Nathaniel||Robinson, S.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Mond, A.||Roe, Sir Thomas||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Rose, Charles Day||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Rowlands, J.||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Morse, L. L.||Runciman, Walter||Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer|
|Murray, James||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Myer, Horatio||Scott,A.H.(Ashton under Lyne||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Nicholls, George||Seddon, J.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Nicholson,CharlesN.(Doncast'r||Shackleton, David James||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Sherwell, Arthur James||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Nussey, Thomas Willans||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Nuttall, Harry||Silcock, Thomas Ball||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|O'Grady, J.||Stanger, H. Y.||Wodehouse, Lord|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Steadman, W. C.|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—MR. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.|
|Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
§ Original Question again proposed.
asked whether the item in the Vote they were now discussing for engine-drivers and stokers referred entirely to the hospital staff. It seemed to him that the sum put down required examination. As to the amount included in the Vote for hospital accommodation, was any of the money to be spent on the North of Ireland hospitals? He understood that the messing had been most uncomfortable, and had been conducted under the most disadvantageous circumstances. He asked whether the sum covered the provision of a permanent structure for cooking and baking. After spending large sums of money in acquiring barracks and camps, something really ought to be done to make the quarters of the Commisariat Department more comfortable. He asked whether there was not a differentiation of arrangements made between England and Ireland. He did not himself believe in what might be called barrack-room soldiers. The men ought to live as much as possible in time of training in 1330 this country under the conditions they would have to endure in time of war. but he thought arrangements might be made for the putting up of a wooden hut in camps where the men could cook their meals properly. He was sure that if that little assistance was given it would be appreciated by every man.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
said that for many years he had taken a great interest in military prisons, for which a sum of only £ 1,000 appeared in the Estimates for the current year. It would be in the recollection of the Committee that a great scandal arose some time ago in regard to the insufficiency of the accommodation in military prisons. But the Secretary for War had not shown that the deficiency had been made good. Though there had been some improvement in the treatment of the prisoners, nevertheless great scandal remained. They knew that soldiers were sentenced to imprisonment for purely military offences which were not necessarily moral offences; and they were cast into ordinary prisons and branded 1331 as criminals for the rest of their lives. Anyone who had studied the question must have been deeply impressed with what could only be regarded as a serious scandal connected with military administration. He felt that the right hon. Gentleman was only trifling with the matter when he thought that the evil could be remedied by an additional £ 1,000 expenditure on military prisons. They were perfectly aware of what, from the sanitary point of view, was the minimum accommodation which civilised countries gave to a prisoner in a military prison. The accommodation in South Africa had very grave defects, and from the report of the chief inspector of local prisons there was nothing which showed that any adequate progress had been made in regard to the military prisons in that country. This was the first time he had spoken on military affairs in the House of Commons, but he thought that this matter demanded the attention of the right hon. Gentleman. He also wished to call attention to the sanitary condition of Perth Barracks. The right hon. Gentleman, who, like himself, had probably known these barracks since boyhood, must be strongly impressed with their inefficiency. They were not only out of date, but were in such a condition as to constitute a disgrace to the British Army. Those who had seen them, slept in them, and otherwise had to use them, knew that the barracks were unfit for the accommodation of His Majesty's forces. Had the right hon. Gentleman in his portfolio any proposal for bringing these barracks up to date from a sanitary point of view? He did not ask for that maximum of comfort which all Army reformers thought proper for barracks under the best conditions. He only asked that Perth Bar- 1332 racks should contain the minimum of usefulness from the military point of view for the soldiers who used them. As to the cavalry barracks at Windsor every student of Army matters knew that year after year considerable sums of money had been expended on making petty repairs of the buildings, which were totally unsuited to the work to which they were devoted. Officers holding responsible positions had reported time after time that they should be destroyed, and that public economy as well as the ordinary comfort and good health of the troops could only be secured by the erection of a modern building; but under these Estimates not a shilling was devoted to that purpose. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would give some assurance to the Committee that another month would not elapse before he decided to demolish these two barracks, and to provide cleanly and reasonable accommodation for military offenders, instead of confining them in the cells of ordinary prisons.
§ MR. HICKS BEACH (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)
wished to know why the sum set apart for the drainage of Kingston Barracks had been reduced by £ 1,000. So far as his information went none of the money at present voted had been spent, and the condition of the barracks was such that the men were compelled to undertake work of the most medial description such as would be performed by only the lowest class of the community. He urged the Secretary of State to give some reason for the reduction of the original Estimate.
§ MR. MOORE (Armagh, N.)
said he understood that the Ballyshannon rifle range had been abandoned. As there 1333 were very few rifle ranges in the district that step had caused great dissatisfaction. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would be able to give some explanation. He understood that the right hon. Gentleman was pledged to great economies in regard to expenditure, but the Estimates disclosed the fact that the War Office was an exceedingly bad sewage farmer. Expenditure on the sewage farms at Aldershot and Sandhurst amounted to £ 17,000 a year and the only revenue was £ 1,200, so that the loss amounted to something over £ 15,000 a year If that loss was incurred he would suggest that some other means should be taken of disposing of the sewage than that of sewage farms, which were open to suspicion because infection in the case of various forms of zymotic diseases had been traced to them. He took it that the land upon which these sewage farms wore situated were Crown lands, so that there was no rent, and there was plenty of fatigue duty by moans of which labour could be provided, so that that would not cost much. Under those circumstances he could not see why this loss should be incurred.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said that it would be recollected that a question had been raised as to the disposal of milk obtained from cows kept on sewage farms, and it had been pointed out that disease had resulted from the sale of such milk for the use of the troops. He should like to know what stops the right hon. Gentleman was taking in that matter.
§ MR. HALDANE
said a very startling case had been made out with reference to the sewage farms at Aldershot and Sandhurst, but it could not be sustained, as there was a small revenue from them. The working expenses were very small indeed, 1334 and the £ 17,000 included many other items in regard to a number of other matters. As to the rifle range at Ballyshannon there was no reference to Ballyshannon in the Estimate, so he could not give information in regard to it. If, however, the hon. Member would put down a Question he would obtain information for him.
§ MR. HALDANE
said it was dependent. upon the "if," and if the hon. Gentleman would put down a Question he would answer it. As to Kingston Barracks they had examined into the matter very closely.
§ MR. HALDANE
replied that they did so because the amount was found to be too large, and surely the hon. Gentleman did not want them to spend too much. As to the barracks at Windsor, he thought the hon. Member for Hoxton was not so well acquainted with them as he was. The hon. Member had spoken of the cavalry barracks as being in a bad condition, but there were two barracks at Windsor, a cavalry barracks and an infantry barracks. The infantry barracks had been for years in a very shocking condition and this year they were pulling them down, rebuilding them, and putting the men in possession of cubicles. Therefore in regard to that matter they could not be accused of doing too little. As to the cavalry barracks, he was in the habit of employing his Sunday afternoons by taking his walks abroad. A short 1335 while ago he walked through these cavalry barracks, and he said that although old-fashioned, they were not bad barracks and they were fit to do duty for some time to come. Therefore he did not think there was much in the case about Winsdor. The hon. Member for Hoxton had also spoken about the small sum they had spent upon the prisons, but on a former occasion he had pointed out that their prison expenditure was diminishing because there were fewer prisoners. Then last but not least he came to the somewhat precise speech of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Down, who addressed to him four questions. The answer to the first question was in the affirmative, the answer to the second was in the negative, that to the third was in the negative, and as to the fourth he was not sure.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY
said he was not referring to the infantry barracks at Windsor, but to the cavalry barracks, and therefore the right hon. Gentleman had not satisfactorily answered his question. Moreover, the right hon. Gentleman had not replied about Perth barracks. The Secretary of State for War's statement about the prisons did not dispose of the fact that there were grave defects in regard to the military prison system. It was nothing less than a scandal that the right hon. Gentleman should tolerate for one minute the state of things which existed. Military prisoners were condemned by their superior officers, and then for military offences sent to undergo imprisonment in civil prisons. During the South African War a great many hon. Members were very eloquent about the matter, and supported their views in the Division Lobby, but now, when their Party was in power, 1336 they came to shout down hon. Gentlemen who raised the question.
§ MR. HALDANE
said the Government had taken money for the purpose, and he hoped it would be proceeded with.
§ MR. MOORE
said that in reference to his statement about sewage farms the right hon. Gentleman had pointed out that the item of £ 17,000 included the cost of the sewage farms at Aldershot and Sandhurst, while the revenue from them was appropriated in aid. He would like to know where the appropriations in aid could be found.
§ MR. HALDANE
said the details of the £ 17,000 included a vast number of items besides those relating to Alder-shot and Sandhurst. The amounts received from the Army sewage farms would be found at page 81, and he thought there was an exact balance if there was not a small profit.
§ MR. HALDANE
said his statement was that the £ 17,000 covered a vast 1337 number of items and that there was a substantial appropriation in aid from the profits of the sewage farms.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said that as the right hon. Gentleman had stated that the revenue from the sewage farms was small he had jumped to the conclusion that there were no cows kept and that no milk was produced or sold. Now the right hon. Gentleman implied that there wore receipts from these farms, and therefore he had not answered his question about the milk. He wanted to know who drank the milk from these sewage farms.
§ MR. HICKS BEACH
inquired as to an item as to barracks and wished to know whether the money was to be spent at Hong-Kong or Pekin.
§ MR. HALDANE
said the sum was for the barracks at Pekin. They were for the 250 men of the legation guards and would be commenced as soon as possible.
*CAPTAIN FABERAnd-over) (Hampshire,
wished to know what was going to be done about stables for the Scots Greys.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY
moved the reduction of the Vote by £ 500 because the right hon. Gentleman had not given satisfactory replies and had not answered the last Question.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That a sum not exceeding £ 2,435,500 be granted for the said service."—(MR. Claude Hay.)
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 39; Noes, 169. (Division List No. 230.)1339
|Acland-Hood.Rt Hn. Sir AlexF.||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Pease,HerbertPike(Darlington)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Balcarres, Lord||Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Dalrymple, Viscount||Smith.Abel H.(Hertford, East)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Fell, Arthur||Smith,T.E.(Liverpool, Walton)|
|Beach, Hn.Michael Hugh Hicks||Forster, Henry William||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Gordon, J.||Wyndham, Rt Hon. George|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Younger, George|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hervey,F.W.F.(BuryS.Edm'ds|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hills, J. W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Mr. Claude Hay and Captain Faber.|
|Cave, George||Hunt, Rowland|
|Cavendish,Rt.Hn. Victor C. W.||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Coates, E. Feetham(Lewisham)||Moore, William|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Nield, Herbert|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Beck, A. Cecil||Chance, Frederick William|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Benn,W.(T'w'r Hamlets,S.Geo.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.|
|Agnew, George William||Berridge, T. H. D.||Cleland, J. W.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bertram, Julius||Clough, William|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Billson, Alfred||Cobbold, Felix Thornley|
|Armitage, R.||Bowerman, C. W.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Brace,William||Cooper, G. J.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Bramsdon, T. A.||Corbett, CH.(Sussex, E.Crinst'd|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Brigg, John||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Baker,Joseph A.(Finsbury, E.)||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Cox, Harold|
|Baring. Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Brodie, H. C.||Cremer, William Randal|
|Barker, John||Brooke, Stopford||Crooks, William|
|Harlow. Percy (Bedford)||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Crosfield, A. H.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Burnycat, W. J. C.||Davies, Ellis William (Eifton)|
|Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lamont, Norman||Rowlands, J.|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Lehmann, R, C.||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Lever, A.Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Scott, A.H.(Ashton under Lyne)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Levy, Maurice||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Lewis, John Herbert||Seddon, J.|
|Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||Lough, Thomas||Seely, Major J. B.|
|Evans, Samuel T.||Macdonald,J.M.(Falkirk B'ghs)||Shackleton, David James|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Macpherson, J. T.||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Fenwick, Charles||M'Crae, George||Shipman. Dr. John G.|
|Ferens, T. R.||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Fiennes, Hon Eustace||M'Micking, Major G.||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Findlay, Alexander||Maddison, Frederick||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Mallet, Charles E.||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Manfield, Harry (Northants)||Steadman, W. C.|
|Gill, A H.||Marnham F. J.||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Massie, J.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Micklem, Nathaniel||Thomas, DavidAlfred(Merthyr)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Mond, A.||Thomasson. Franklin|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Honey, L. G. Chiozza||Verney, F. W,|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Vivian, Henry|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Wore'r)||Morse, L. L.||Walters, John Tudor|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Nicholls, George||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Harvey, W.E.(Derbyshire,N.E.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Waring, Walter|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Nuttall, Harry||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Hazel, Dr. A. E.||O'Grady, J.||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Parker, James (Halifax)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester)||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Pollard, Dr.||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)||Wiles. Thomas|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Radford, G. H.||Williams. J. (Glamorgan)|
|Holland. Sir William Henry||Kendall, Athelstan||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Hope,W.Bateman(Somerset,N.||Renton, Major Leslie||Wilson,Hon.C.H.W.(Hull, W.)|
|Horniman, Emslie John||Richards,Thomas(W. Mon'mth||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Hudson, Walter||Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Jackson,R. S.||Rickett, J. Compton||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wodehouse, Lord|
|Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Roberts, John H (Denbighs)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES. Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Robinson, S|
|Kekewich, Sir George||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Lambert, George||Rose, Charles Day|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ Resolutions to be reported upon Monday next; Committee to sit again Tomorrow.