§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £35,358, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1914J for sundry 1620 Colonial Services, including certain Grants-in-Aid."
Sir GILBERT PARKER
May I direct the attention of the Committee to affairs in Somaliland, a subject which has occupied the attention of hon. Members during a number of years. In those Debates I have taken part, and I have watched during the passing years events in Somaliland. I regret to say that this country and Members of this House are ignorant of the exact state of affairs in Somaliland at the present moment. We have a Blue Book which brings information up to October of last year. Since then Parliament has not been sitting, and, no Papers having been issued, we are ignorant—except what we see in the public Press—of exactly what is the position in Somaliland. I and hon. Friends of mine who are well acquainted with Somaliland, mean to ask this afternoon exactly what that position is. We mean to ask if the Colonial Secretary can 1621 relieve our minds, not only regarding the present state of things, but as to the events from which the present state of things are, we believe, the consequence. So far as the public Press is concerned, we learn that there is marauding, raiding, fighting, lawlessness and disorder; that peaceable tribes upon British territory are being assailed by marauding parties, and the Mullah's people from over the Italian Somaliland border and from over the Abyssinian border, and throughout the whole area where, at any rate, until the middle of last year in June we had been enabled to extend our influence in so far as to secure some sort of order, there is now, I will not say absolute disorder, because I do not know, but so far as the reports of the Press are concerned, there is much disorder and there is a lack of that control which at any rate existed while the Camel Corps, commanded by the late Mr. Corfield, was operating so successfully, so far as Burao in one direction, and Hargeisa in another. The other day in the House of Commons the Colonial Secretary stated, when my hon. Friend the Member for South Manchester (Mr. Glazebrook) asked a question as to the reoccupation of Hargeisa—No, Sir. Hargeisa is in the interior of the Protectorate at a distance of some hundred odd miles from the Government headquarters, and its re-occupation would be a departure from the policy of withdrawal from the interior which His Majesty's Government adopted after most careful consideration.I propose to question carefully that matter of the withdrawal, because upon it hangs the whole case. In order to show that I think the Government are not carrying out the policy which they themselves laid down in 1910, I will ask permission to indicate, very briefly indeed, what the different policies were. In 1884 we took over Somaliland for strategic purposes. It was handed over to the Indian Government for control, and in 1889 the administration of it was handed over to the Foreign Office. At that date there were disturbances of a very serious kind, but up to that time there had been comparative peace, and we were able to exercise our influence and control without serious disaster. The Mullah appeared on the scene, and then a different policy had to be pursued. I am not going to say that the policy of the late Government was one that was beyond criticism. I think myself, as I have stated before in this House, that the policy of this Government is indeterminate, and the policy of the last Government was vacillating and fluctuating; but 1622 I will say this, that the policy of the late Government was a vastly firmer policy than the policy pursued by the present Government. From 1899 until 1905 we have, at any rate, if we were unable to demolish the Mullah and capture him, a firm policy. It was expensive; it was a policy of sending expeditions which failed to capture the country, but what those expeditions did do was to establish in the minds of the natives and of the friendlies a very wholesome respect for British influence and British power. I venture to say to this House that Mr. Cordeaux wan recalled from Somaliland because his policy was a firm policy, and a policy of advance which coincided with the policy as suggested by the military commandants, Colonel Gough and Colonel Hannygton. I come to the point when the late Government decided to preserve three positions upon the Red Sea with small garrisons and to arm and organise the tribes, so that, and I beg the Committee to notice this, after a time they might be able to withdraw entirely from any intervention, save that of influence, to the coast. That policy was clearly laid down by Lord Lansdowne in another place, and also by Lord Crewe. I beg the attention of the Committee to the statement made by Lord Crewe, and to ask if the present Government has carried out the policy laid down by Lord Crewe. That policy was:—His Majesty's Government propose to evacuate the interior and limit British occupation to the holding of two or three important towns on the coast, it being understood, however, that the evacuation is not to be carried out unless and until the friendly tribes can reasonably be said to be in a position to hold their own against the Mullah.That is the crux of the whole thing. I shall have something later on to say about the death of Mr. Corfield; but whatever may be said about that, one thing is certain, and that is, that the present position is not that which was laid down by Lord Crewe. When Lord Crewe laid down that policy the Government immediately withdrew, arming the tribes, and leaving the tribes to themselves in 1910. It was immediately found what we all knew would happen, and what we prophesied would happen, namely, that the condition of the natives without some control over them would be worse if they had arms than before they had them. General Manning, in speaking of this evacuation, said:—I have no doubt that for some time fear of a common enemy will be lost sight of in the adjustment of affairs arising from inter-tribal jealousies and distrust which our administration has so long repressed. How long 1623 this phase will last it is not possible to predict, but it is reasonable to expect that the rumours of possible raids from outside will eventually steady the situation.He had previously stated in one of his dispatches that disorder was bound to occur and to remain for a very considerable time. The present Government in 1910 withdrew to the coast; they armed the tribes, and the effect of that arming was disastrous. Then they entered upon a policy which I am bound to say I very heartily commend, and I have no doubt Friends of mine in this House also will heartily commend it, and that is, the formation of the Camel Corps. The formation of a Camel Corps was recommended by the late Government. Lord Percy, in 1910, in a speech in this House, laid down the policy. He clearly stated that we would continue to defend the tribes, and not merely to exercise influence over them, until those tribes were able to take care of themselves. At that time Sir Robert Reid, now Lord Loreburn, said:—Does the Noble Lord mean that in future this country is both to undertake their protection and to defend the tribes by arms, or are they to defend themselves?Lord Percy replied, thathe could not say what action in each individual ease future Governments might think it advisable to adopt, but the Government did not repudiate the general obligations into which they had entered with the tribes of Somaliland.What were those general obligations? They were explained by Lord Crowe who, speaking in another place on April 7th, 1910, slated, in reply to Lord Lansdowne, thatit was the intention of the Government to organise the tribes there, and to project them until they were in a position to defend themselves.If the Colonial Secretary is willing to accept that as the interpretation of the Government's policy, we have a right now to ask whether that policy has been carried out. I do not think I have stated it unfairly. That brings me to the moment in last year, when this country was startled and this House was startled by the announcement that there had been a disaster in Somaliland. I try to choose my words in this matter carefully, because I know how easy it is to make extravagant statements. I sometimes think one is too careful, but I venture to say this: When some of my friends spoke about dealing with this matter, I advised great care, because I know on foreign affairs and Colonial affairs one should speak temperately. I spent several days in analysing the Blue Book and reading the reports of those 1624 who were responsible for affairs in Somaliland in the middle of last year, and I have come to this conclusion, and I say it deliberately, that whatever may be said, and much may be said, of the splendid courage, skill and ability, shown by those who fight in Somaliland for the honour of the flag, and to preserve our position there; I have only words of condemnation for the action of the Government through the Colonial Secretary at that critical time. Let mo analyse the situation. The Camel Corps had proved successful; there had been called from West Africa a most competent, skilled official, Mr. Corfield. He was asked for by the Commissioner of Somaliland, and he came there having had great experience. He had been in Somaliland before, and he took command of the 150 Camel Corps, well mounted, well disciplined, as was thought, and for several months from the beginning of 1913 until the middle of August, there was nothing that came from the right hon. Gentleman on the Front Bench opposite, and from the Commissioner of Somaliland but laudation and praise. I come to the period immediately before the disaster. I have marked here, and I have cut out from the Report, a series of paragraphs which are contained ill the Reports of the Commissioner, and also paragraphs cut from the replies of the right hon. Gentleman. I find that from 25th December, 1912, there is nothing but praise of the activity of the Camel Corps and the success which had been achieved. On 25bh December, 1912, and 11th January, 1913, the Commissioner spoke of the success which had been attained by the Camel Corps, a success which had such an influence on the friendlies and put fear into the hearts of the Mullah's men. At the very beginning these are the words used:—The operation, as will be seen from the enclosed report, has been completely successful, and I think that credit is due to Mr. Corfield for the manner in which it was carried out.That is exactly the kind of thing that was laid throughout the months that followed until the month of August. On 21st January the Colonial Secretary said:—I concur entirely with you in thinking that credit is due to Mr. Corfield for the manner in which the operations were carried out.On the 8th February there is another dispatch praising the Camel Corps. Again, on 25th April, the Camel Corps is commended. Again, on 24th May, the Commissioner states:—I am glad to be able to state that his (Mr. Corfied's) work appears to have been, completely succesful.… Although inflamed latterly by tribal feelings, the people 1625 of the west offered a genuine welcome to the Camel Corps, as implying the return of British authority, and they gave no indication, as in fact they have never in the past shown any sign, of being ill-disposed towards the Government.… I again wish to record my appreciation of the excellent work done by Mr. Corfield in the western part of the Protectorate, work which. I trust, may be lasting in its effects.To this the Colonial Secretary replied:—I have noted with much satisfaction the successful results of Mr. Corfield's action in the western district of the Somaliland Protectorate.That is the last before the disaster. There is a series of complimentary reports on the part of the Commissioner and a series of compliments on the part of the Colonial Secretary. I refuse to call what happened a disaster. I say unhesitatingly that, if there was a disaster, it occurred after the fighting, and not before. The real disaster occurred when the Camel Corps was escorted down from Burao to the coast, having at the same time 130 of the Indian contingent and a support of 300 troops from Aden. There is the point at which the disaster to British prestige began. Does any member of the Committee think that there was a loss to British prestige when 109 men, many of whom had deserted, leaving perhaps a balance of 80, with a Maxim gun which was put out of action after three rounds had been fired, not only kept at bay, but repulsed, from 1,200 to 1,500 of the Mullh's riflemen, killing probably between 300 and 400? The Commissioner puts it at "200 at least," but I am told that 377 were counted. They had their leader killed, and he was succeeded by that most gallant and intrepid man, Mr. Dunn, whose services cannot be overestimated and have not been recognised. As a consequence of the fight the Mullah fled with his cattle—so far that the scouts brought word that there was not the least chance of his coming back to take the offensive again. With 36 men killed, the Camel Corps, under the gallant Mr. Dunn, in perfect order, did not retreat, but withdrew to Burao, meeting on the way Mr. Archer, the Acting-Commissioner, who had gallantly gone out with a small escort to help them. Here, I believe with all my heart, it was that the blow to British prestige was dealt, when that Camel Corps, depleted as it was, went down to the coast, instead of remaining at the place where it could have done, with the assistance of the Indian contingent and the troops sent from Aden. It was absolutely necessary that they should have stayed to preserve the prestige and influence of British power in the place where they had shown British courage and British gallantry. But orders 1626 were given to withdraw. With what result? Since that day to this there has been nothing except disaster, so far as we? can gather from the reports in the Press and from private individuals. Only yesterday the Colonial Secretary stated that" 859 refugees were being cared for at Berbera itself. What does that mean] It means that out of thousands perhaps who were killed, and thousands who are refugees in the interior, 850 have been able to find their way to the coast to get succour.
It would be folly for me or any member of this Committee to say that Mr. Corfield did not exceed his instructions. The instructions were definite enough in one way. They were definite to this extent, that he was not to engage the enemy in any very considerable number. But I would have the Committee know that they did not say that he was not to engage the enemy at all. He was not to engage the enemy in any very considerable number; and that, in truth, was a policy of wisdom. But every military commander knows that he must interpret his instructions according to the immediate necessities of the situation. If that were not so, there would be no column in Trafalgar Square. If that were not so, the history of Omdurman would have been different, because there a general, acting absolutely without instructions, took upon himself initiative at a moment when the fortunes of the day were at stake, and turned the tide of battle in favour of the British. Captain Corfield is not here to speak for himself. I venture to say that if Captain Corfield had lived after that action, the Minute which the Colonial Secretary wrote upon the death would not have been written—at any rate, without further explanation. It may be that the Colonial Secretary has something to reveal. I say that we have a right to judge Mr. Corfield and his acts according to these published Papers, and these published Papers only, for others have been commended upon the reports in these Papers, and he has been condemned without a chance of making his own report. The Colonial Secretary says:—It is evident that the whole responsibility for this ill-advised and disastrous action must rest with the late Mr. Corfield. He has paid the penalty with his life, and I have no desire to dwell on this aspect of the matter.That is the Minute which comes upon the death of a man who died with his face to the enemy, who had for months proved himself one of the most efficient officers who ever stepped in Somaliland or ever 1627 represented the British Crown. Not one gentle word was spoken by the Colonial Secretary for a man who, if he did make a mistake, paid for it with his life—a man who had brought the tide of the battle to such a point that the enemy retreated before the wave. I have spoken strongly, but if I had to think it over again I would say exactly the same. I say that that Minute was callous; it was ungenerous; it lacked that consideration which men in high position, for whom other men work, generally grant to those who have either failed or succeeded, I am not at all sure that Mr. Corfield made a mistake in doing what he did. I would draw the attention of the Committee to this fact: There was a pony section belonging to the expedition. Mark you, the whole body of the Camel Corps was sent out, not to scout, but to fight! It is suggested that they were sent out not to scout. Just imagine this interpretation of the position' The whole strength of the Camel Corps were sent out to scout for the enemy. On teeing the enemy, the whole body of troops, which the country had come to respect, in the presence of scores of hundreds of natives who had been deprived of their property, retires in the face of the enemy.
That is what the Colonial Secretary would have us believe—that the whole body were sent out to scout, and were to come back to report. The pony section also were sent to scout. They were the real scouts. They were ahead of the Camel Corps; they came back and reported that they had been in action and had fired 100 rounds of ammunition per man. This matter needs consideration; indeed, it needs defence. The Camel Corps were there for one thing or another. They were in the presence of the enemy, which had achieved what it wanted, namely, loot of cattle. The enemy was retreating into its own country. What did Mr. Corfield do? His object was to cut across the line of retreat with his maxim gun and trained Camel Corps. Captain Summers and Mr. Dunn, in their reports, both say that the Mullah's men discovered the: Camel Corps before the Camel Corps had reached the point for which Mr. Corfield was making, namely, a point clear of the thick brush, in the open, where the maxim would have had full play. One of those unhappy things which occur to every military commander occurred to Mr. Corfield—that was that within ten minutes' march of 1628 the point of vantage which he had chosen the enemy came on him. They came on him too soon, but not too soon to prevent a few British officers with a handful of natives establishing that which has been established throughout the Empire ever since we took responsibility throughout the world—that is, when the time comes of the clash of arms that ten black men and the one British officer are equal to 100 black men under a savage or tribal officer of any kind. I am coming to the end of my charge or attack upon the Government—if hon. Members are pleased to call it so. I want to say this: that it is due this afternoon to the Colonial Secretary to answer one or two questions. I will put them to him. I would like to know whether Mr. Byatt, the Commissioner, approved of the condemnation of Mr. Corfield, who had been engaged in strengthening the position by offensive work on the part of the Camel Corps? I want just at this point to draw the attention of the Committee to this: The Government were for resting on the coast. They found that was impossible, and that they must send out the Camel Corps to prevent absolute chaos in the Protectorate. The Colonial Secretary said that the corps must not go fifty miles beyond the coast. Why did the Camel Corps go further than fifty miles beyond the coast? Because it proved itself at fifty miles. It went to Burao, that is seventy miles, and then it went thirty miles beyond Burao with the assent of the Commissioner, and with the assent of the right hon. Gentleman opposite. That is to say, instead of fifty miles from the coast, the Camel Corps was over one hundred miles from the coast. It was down near the border of Italian Somaliland. Is that the policy of the Government?
The policy of the Government was to stay within fifty miles of the coast, but Mr. Corfield had made the country so secure, and had shown his Camel Corps so successful in preserving order, that, with the assent of the Colonial Secretary—I have the assent given here in almost his last despatch—he was allowed to go 100 miles front the coast. Mr. Corfield and Mr. Dunn—who had at Hargeisa had done excellent work before he rejoined the Camel Corps at Burao—were able to report to the Government of this country that they need not fear for their prestige in the House of Commons or in this country; that order was being preserved, that tribal differences were being settled, 1629 and that the Government could report to the House of Commons that the policy of the (Government was successful. Then the fight occurs, and the ill-advised event—as the Colonial Secretary calls it—came, and the politically disastrous withdrawal from Burao occurred. Who was responsible for that politically disastrous withdrawal from Burao? Not Mr. Corfield. I venture to say that if Mr. Corfield had been alive, that he, with his Camel Corps, an Indian contingent 130 strong, and 300 troops from Aden, would have stayed there till the Camel Corps had been reconstituted to its proper strength. It was absolutely essential to my mind that where the Camel Corps had made its forward base, that there British influence and British prestige should have been maintained at any cost. The responsibility cannot be thrown upon the Commissioner. The responsibility rests with this Government. What was being done in the interior. I do not know what was being done in the interior. No one in this country knows, except a few private individuals who have been out there. Those reports come from France, Italy, and Abyssinia. I have, I think, made this at least clear, that this Government by its policy, has not maintained the position of Mr. Gladstone, for it must be remembered that it was a Liberal Prime Minister who for strategic reasons took over Somaliland. It was a Liberal Prime Minister who laid this down:—The British Government is desirous of maintaining and strengthening relations of peace and friendship with the tribes, and in compliance with their wish undertake to extend to them and the territories under their authority and jurisdiction the gracious favour and protection of Her Majesty the Queen-Empress.To this I will add that it was laid down by another Prime Minister—I refer to the present occupant of the post—in April, 1903, that—It is perfectly true that the undertakings deliberately given by this country to savage or semi-savage tribes under our protection must be rigidly, honourably, and even scrupulously observed, and it is immaterial what Government is in office at the time.That is the policy that the right hon. Gentleman laid down. Since August, 1913, there has been chaos in the heart of Somaliland. The Government withdrew from the Coast first in 1910, utterly repudiating their obligations under treaty. Finding that impossible, they again advanced with the help of the man they now condemn, and who restored there British prestige. That man falling at the post of duty, in steps the political adviser to advise retreat. That is a political with- 1630 drawal that is supported by the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary. That is the position in which we are to-day, with no knowledge except that which the Colonial Secretary may give us this afternoon. Whatever knowledge or information the right hon. Gentleman gives us, one thing remains clear—that a dead man has been blamed for what he did not do, and that there has begun again a reign of chaos in the heart of Somaliland because of the political withdrawal, when the troops could have strengthened our position there. Because of this I have spoken as strongly as I have this afternoon, and I have spoken, I believe, with the full sympathy of all those who care for the due and proper treatment of public servants. I regret that the representative of one of the greatest offices of the Government should have permitted himself to send so cold-blooded and so unhappy a Minute to the Commissioner without knowing, as he could not have known at the time, the actual facts of the case which led Mr. Corfield to act as he did.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Sir RANDOLF BAKER
I beg to Move to reduce the Vote by £100. I would ask the indulgence of the House in addressing them on this subject, because not only have I taken the deepest interest in Somaliland, but I have also had the opportunity recently of travelling, not in British Somaliland—because we are not allowed to go there—but in Abyssinian Somaliland. I was on the borders of British Somaliland during last August, September, and October. I therefore have had a certain opportunity of seeing, to some little extent, the condition of affairs in that country. I got a good deal of information from the natives of all classes, and also from my own servants and followers, who were, all of them, members of the various British tribes residing around Berbera, and who came out to meet us. In speaking this afternoon, I should like to say that in nothing I say do I wish to reflect in any way on the officials in the country at the present time. I think we have in British Somaliland an excessively capable lot of officials. Their difficulty has been in carrying out the hopelessly contradictory policy of the present Government in the last six or seven years in regard to the Mullah and other matters. First of all, in 1908 the Mullah actually proclaimed himself as an open enemy of the British Government. At that time we were holding, in military occupation, a chain of posts from Hargeisa to Burao. 1631 In 1909 we had blockaded the Wassargeti Coast in order to cut off the Mullah supplies. At the same time the Mullah was definitely thrown over from Mecca. He was told in an open letter that he was no longer a prophet, this letter being sent by the heads of the Mahomedan religion, who said that he was a mere brigand. The effect of that open letter was immense. At that time Mr. Cordeaux, who was then Acting-Commissioner of Somaliland, said:—The Mullah's organisation depends for its very existence on movement and activity. The view I have held all along and which I still hold is that if met by a bold and unswerving front it will go back.That was the position. The Government decided on their first withdrawal. They sent the Sirdar, Sir R. Wyngate, and also General Manning, to withdraw to the Coast entirely, and to remove the military occupation of the interior. General Manning said in 1909:—I do not hesitate to say that withdrawal in face of an actively hostile Mullah would be disastrous, not only to our tribes, but also to our prestige throughout North-East of Africa.That has happened, and has sent down our prestige, done us harm, and worked ruin through the whole of the North-East. Anybody who has any knowledge of the facts knows that perfectly well. It has sent down our prestige with the friendly tribes. At that time a statement was made by the then Colonial Secretary, who is now the Secretary for War, who said—and this is rather different to the Blue Book—that Sir William Manning was confident of the position for the present, but (said the Colonial Secretary) no man would prophesy as to the future. He said that was the fact that the position in Somaliland was now more peaceful than it had been any time in the last five or six years. The friendly natives were armed. That policy has been a complete failure. Somaliland was closed to travellers from this country. The officials were withdrawn to the Coast, and only the line to Berbera held. We have had brief Debates in this House. There was, two years ago, a brief Debate initiated by the hon. Member for South Manchester, who had been in Abyssinian Somaliland. I want the House, too, to notice this statement. He said:—I am happy to assure him that the whole of my information leads me to believe that there is doing serious whatever in the situation in the interior of Somaliland.1632 That was on 21st January, 1913. Now we have the Blue Book. When the Colonial Secretary made that statement he had in his possession the report written by the Chief Commissioner, Mr. Byatt, on the 13th April, 1912, only six months before, which I would recommend hon. Members to read. I will only quote one portion of it:—The above instances are merely a few of many that will serve to show that anarchy is rapidly spreading over the country, with the prospect under the present system of becoming permanent. The policy now in operation has disappointed expectations. It has been given full and complete trial, and already it is leading to a steady diminution of Government prestiges and promises, a worse condition of affairs in the future than in the present.I ask the House to bear in mind the statement of the Colonial Secretary, having that in his mind. Does he think the House was fairly treated by the Government or was he putting everything before the House when he concealed the real state of affairs in Somaliland? I asked the Colonial Secretary in a question whether he was thinking of reoccupying Hargeisa. The Colonial Secretary said that it was 120 miles from the line and it was not the policy of the Government to reoccupy it. Then, a few months afterwards, on the 20th March, fifty of the Camel Corps were actually at Hargeisa, with the approval of the right hon. Gentleman, because he was informed early in April, and from that until June he made no adverse comment, except that he wished to see the Camel Corps reunited, and not separated into two parties. There we have the policy of the Government. First of all we have the total withdrawal—incidentally they talked about offering a subsidiary, which the official stated would be extremely foolish—then formation of the Camel Corps, the creating and pushing out, as they were bound to push out, in order to bring back some state of order to the friendly tribes from Berbera. But that was done with only 150 men. The Colonial Secretary, by his own very orders, now admits how wrong the situation of the Camel Corps was. The same thing will go on again, and undoubtedly the Camel Corps will have to be doubled if you are to bring back any peace to that country. I do not propose to enter into the details of the battle of Dul Madola and the succeeding movements made by the Government. I should only like to say from the information I received that it was the opinion of the Somalies that I came across that Mr. Corfield was the most capable man in the country; they 1633 trusted him implicitly. A certain prominent Abyssinian stated to me that if you had six men like Mr. Corfield in Somaliland, you could rule that country quite without any further trouble. He was the most capable man the country ever had. He suffered from being hopelessly tied up, and from contradictory orders, and from not being allowed to use his own judgment, and on the occasion when he did use it he was thrown over, or his memory was blackened by statements made about him. I deeply regret it. I think it is a very bad precedent for the future of our dealings with our officials abroad.
I come now to a matter I know something about. I admit that a great deal of my information is hearsay, and is derived from native sources, and I cannot guarantee it. I have been trying to find out what is the present state of the refugees after the retreat to Berbera as a result of the giving up of the positions which we held in the interior. My information is that shortly after that date something like 1,000 men, women and children—largely destitute women and children—came down to Berbera. The Somalies are purely a pastoral people, and their worldly goods are few, except for their camel and sheep. They have been raided from time to time by the Mullah and Dervishes. They have been in a state of absolute destitution, and they came down, something like thousands of them, or, at any rate, a great quantity of them to Berbera, and were put, as far as I can find out, on a sandy strip on a narrow neck outside the town. They had no rations, except for a certain amount of rice, not the ordinary ration for Somalies, because when they worked for the Government they get a pound of rice and a half a pound of dates. The Committee will notice that as regards relief works, the Secretary of State says:—It is impossible for me to give detailed instructions, but, in view of the policy of His Majesty's Government, it should be confined to the relief of immediate necessity until the people resume their ordinary life.How can they resume their ordinary life, if no protection from the British Government is given them? They have no flocks and herds left, and what can they do? Are they to go back and try and raid and fight among the friendly tribes, otherwise they must starve? These men and women and children were left there for a time, and then comes the question to which I ask hon. Members to give very 1634 careful attention. Some hon. Members opposite may remember something about Chinese slavery and indentured labour, to which they objected so much in South Africa. I venture to tell the Committee what is actually happening in Somaliland. I got an answer from the Colonial Secretary yesterday, in which he stated:—With my sanction a party of Somali natives, consisting of 255 men, 93 women, and 57 minors, was engaged in October last by the Coast Labour Society, East Africa Protectorate, for work in the coast plantations of East Africa. The period of engagement is one year. Wages Rs.8 a month for adult males, Rs.5 a month for females and minors. Quarters, medical attendance, and food on a prescribed scale, provided free. Labourers are not to be separated from their families or dependents. The agreement may be renewed on the same terms for a further period not exceeding one year. On expiration of the agreement the labourer is to be returned to Somaliland if either he, or the Governor of the East Africa Protectorate, or the Commissioner of Somaliland, desires it, and is to be provided with sufficient food for the journey.I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman what has happened since to these South African refugees. The reports are that they had considerable trouble with these men from their lack of knowledge as to how to deal with them. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will give us some account of his latest experiment in indentured labour as hon. Gentlemen opposite have such a dislike to indentured labour in South Africa. The whole state of the interior has become such that, whereas fifteen years ago it was possible for English trade purposes for travellers to go into the interior, it is now entirely closed to them. The whole of the interior from Burao right up to the Hinterland, right up behind British Somaliland, and a long way into Abyssinian Somaliland, the whole of the country has lapsed into a state of barbarism where no white man can now travel. I challenge the right hon. Gentleman to say that he will give permission to any man to travel in Somaliland up to the Burao line, up to Uganda, up to the Nile. The whole of the country has lapsed, owing to the foolish policy of the Government, into a state of absolute barbarism. Only a month ago the whole of the country I was in has been closed by the Abyssinian. The Mullah has lapsed into something not much better than a brigand chief. I believe a strong mounted column of 900 or 1,000 men would succeed in dealing with the Mullah before long. He has run short of ammunition. He sent two men to the Abyssinian Government to endeavour to procure ammunition, but the last I heard of these two was that they were lying in an Abyssinian gaol. The Mullah has endeavoured to ally himself 1635 with neighbouring chiefs, but how far he has been successful I do not know.
I believe the Mullah is in a broken position. I challenge the right hon. Gentleman with withholding from the House, or misstating information which the House has a right to receive, and I charge him with allowing a state of affairs with regard to those friendly natives and refugees to exist in Berbera which is a disgrace to the British Empire. In order to save a few paltry pounds, he has given little food and no assistance to save these men. Contrast that with the action of the Foreign Secretary, who gave £5,000 to refugees in Albania the other day, for which we had but the slightest responsibility. In Somaliland you allow these men, women and children to starve and, in order to save a few paltry pounds, you do nothing for them. Finally, I charge the Government with having, as the results of their policy for the last five years in Somaliland, definitely harmed and injured our whole position. In that country there has been raids going on, and there has been continuous fighting between North Somaliland and the Abyssinian tribes, and my charge is that the Government has entirely failed in its duties and responsibilities in Somaliland.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Harcourt)
I will say at once in reply to the hon. Member, that I have no ill reports as regards Somali labour from the localities to which they have gone.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I will make the fullest inquiries, and I will give the House and the hon. Member any information I get. The wages of eight rupees a month were recommended by the Commissioner in Somaliland, and are the usual wages paid to Somalis there, and they are the average wages, I believe, which they get in the East African Protectorate. It must be remembered that those wages are in addition to food, free lodging, and medical attendance. It must also be remembered that the wives and children are also paid wages, so that the earnings of the family unit are considerably more than they appear. Before I deal with Somaliland I would like to deal with the case of Mr. Corfield as it has been put to the House. It is an extremely painful matter to me and his former com- 1636 rades. I have all along since the action of Dul Madoba was fought been anxious to save Mr. Corfield's memory from censure which he has undoubtedly incurred. No one knows that better than the Leader of the Opposition, and I wish he had been here to-day to confirm it. After the action at Dul Madoba I read every day to the House the telegrams as they came describing the results of the action and the situations as they were on that day. I received a telegram on the evening of the 11th of August which at the request of the Leader of the Opposition at the end of Questions on the 12th of August I read to the House. Hon. Members will find this telegram of the 11th of August in the Blue Book, on page 38, which I read to the House on the 12th, and if they will look in the middle of that telegram they will find these words from the Acting Commissioner:—I feel it my duty, however, to say that the commandant of Camel Corps was gravely indiscreet in his action in following and engaging Dervishes in face of all instructions, and also against military advice given by Summers.I read that telegram almost as soon as I had received it, but if hon. Members will look in the OFFICIAL REPORT they will find that I omitted to read the sentence of censure upon Mr. Corfield which I have just read to the House. As soon as I had finished reading the telegram I showed the Leader of the Opposition the passage I had omitted, and I said I had done so deliberately, because I was anxious as long as possible, and altogether if possible, to save Mr. Corfield from the censure which he had undoubtedly incurred. Later on I was asked by the right hon. Gentleman to lay Papers on the whole situation which had eventuated from the action of Dul Madoba, and I laid those Papers, I think, in the middle of September or the beginning of October. The Acting Commissioner's dispatch of the 1st of September, which will be found on pages 45, 46, and 47, was received by me on the 1st of September. In that dispatch the Acting Commissioner says:—It is with the most profound regret that I should have had to lay to the charge of a dead man and a gallant officer that he acted in a hazardous manner, without a full sense of his responsibilities. I have considered it my duty, however, to place before you a perfectly candid and frank statement of the whole occurrence. A rash act has involved the Government of the Protectorate in a severe set-back, and, under the circumstances, in a politically disastrous withdrawal from Burao. For this Mr. Corfield, who had previously done such excellent work, has paid the penalty with his life. It can only be said that he allowed his attribute of great personal bravery and the complete confidence he had in the men 1637 under his command to outweigh his better judgment. The action of Dul Madoba should never have been fought.I accepted the Acting-Commissioner's statement of the case, and in my dispatch of the 5th of September I used almost his precise words I said:—It is evident that the whole responsibility for this ill-advised and disastrous action must rest with the late Mr. Corfield. He has paid the penalty with his life, and I have no desire to dwell on this aspect of the matter. But I am compelled, if only in justice to the other officers concerned, to record my opinion that the disaster is due to his complete disregard of the instructions issued by His Majesty's Government, by Mr. Byatt, and by yourself.When the Papers were asked for by the Opposition I felt that I could not suppress the various censures and warnings which had been given to Mr. Corfield, or it would otherwise have appeared as if the permanent staff of the Colonial Office, Mr. Byatt, Mr. Archer, Captain Summers, and Mr. Dunn had all been guilty of deliberate disobedience to orders. That was a course, which would have been impossibly unjust to these equally gallant and efficient men. It has been suggested that I censured Mr. Corfield in this dispatch in order to screen myself. I do not say it was suggested by the hon. Baronet opposite, but it has been suggested in the Press which supports him. I had nothing from which to screen myself. The more the facts were published, the more clearly it was seen that I had no responsibility for the departure from the policy which was laid down by His Majesty's Government.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I am speaking of the policy which was laid down as to the functions of the Camel Corps. I took no notice of the attacks made on myself all through August in the Press, attacks made, no doubt, in consequence of my having omitted that passage of the telegram which I read to the House. It was said that I had been reversing the policy of evacuation; that I was waging unofficial war against the Mullah; that I had challenged the Mullah with 150 men, which it was said was an astounding example of war on the cheap. [An HON. MEMBER: "Who said that?" and "Daily News."] Most of these quotations are from the "Pall Mall Gazette," the "Observer," the "Morning Post," and the "Standard." It was said that my folly may yet cost us dear; that I was carrying out a new policy by stealth; and that I was trying to hold a province with a corporal's guard. I made no reply. If 1638 I had read Mr. Archer's telegram to the House, the whole edifice of this charge would have crumbled in anticipation in the dust. When the official telegrams and dispatches had to be published in the Blue Book, then quite a different question arose as to the reputation of others, and as to the statement of the true facts in relation to these occurrences. Now, in relation to these matters, I will ask the House to allow me to take them quite briefly through the history and the objects of the formation of the Camel Corps. I shall ask them to consider what the instructions to the Camel Corps were. It is perfectly well known that it was never intended to attack or operate against the Mullah. If I had intended that, I should have better deserved the epithet of "mad" than the Mullah. It was intended solely for the policing of the friendly tribes, and to stop the inter-tribal looting, which had been very rife up to that time. I propose to show the House Mr. Corfield's knowledge of the instructions laid down for the conduct of the Camel Corps. The hon. Baronet drew attention to the praise given to Mr. Corfield by the Commissioner and myself on many occasions. In every case he was praised for the success of the Camel Corps in the purposes for which it had been instituted, namely, for policing and dealing with the friendlies, and not for operations against the Mullah.
Sir G. PARKER
Was the Camel Corps forbidden to protect the friendlies against depredations on the part of the Mullah's men?
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I am going to give the whole of the orders issued to the Camel Corps. If hon. Members will turn to page 5 of the Blue Book they will find the original recommendation of Mr. Byatt of April, 1912, in which he said:—There is still one expedient which might be tried, but it would have to be tried without undue delay. This is the maintenance on the coast of a small mobile striking force which could be used to maintain order by coercion within a radius of fifty miles or so of Berbera, and to keep the main roads clear. It should consist of a Camel Corps of natives of the country not less than seventy strong.What I granted when the expedition was authorised was a force of 150. Of this force it was said:—In patrolling the immediate hinterland it would make for peace among the coastal tribes,1639 It had nothing to do with the Dervishes and it was altogether experimental. On pages 12 and 13 hon. Members will find Mr. Byatt's views as to the object of the Camel Corps. He said:—The state of anarchy and internecine warfare among the friendly tribes which led me to propose the formation of a Camel Corps to patrol the immediate hinterland still exists, and has, in fact, become accentuated.Later on he says:—The urgent necessity of the moment is to restore among the friendlies, if either diplomacy or compulsion can effect it, a condition of peace and mutual understanding, without which it is hopeless to attempt to unite them against a common danger from outside.On pages 15 and 17 will be found Mr. Byatt's instructions to Mr. Corfield:—At this juncture I think it advisable to repeat to you what has already been expressed in conversations regarding the status of the Constabulary and the nature of the duties which it will be required to carry out. … The creation of the Corps does not in any way imply a reversal of the accepted policy of coastal concentration, and there is no intention of occupying permanent posts in the interior. The fundamental reason for the raising of the Corps is the necessity, which two and a half years' of lawlessness have clearly demonstrated, to keep open the trade routes for caravans visiting the coast, and also to put an end to that constant internal warfare among the friendlies which renders them incapable of resisting aggression from the outside; and it is with these main objects that the Constabulary will be used … The Constabulary, therefore, will not assume a political character, but is to be regarded as a striking force which may be used to repress disorder and to insist on compliance with any decision arrived at in Berbera. You will receive instructions from me in each instance where coercion seems to offer the only solution of a difficulty.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
Yes. The next sentence is:—At the same time I must allow you to exercise your discretion in matters of less gravity, such, for instance, as the looting of a caravan reported to you as having recently occurred within reasonable distance of your camp of the moment.I will follow that by this sentence ending the instructions to Mr. Corfield:—There is not any present prospect of your encountering Dervish raiders, but should you receive news of the near presence of any considerable force you would carefully avoid being attacked or surrounded, and would at once retire on the coast.[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]
§ Mr. HARCOURT
You may think the instructions wrong, but I am not discussing them. [HON. MEMBERS: "We are."] I am asking the House to consider the instructions given to Mr. Corfield. In 1640 January, 1913, Mr. Byatt suggested a move against a small Dervish party, but he did not suggest it to Mr. Corfield, because Mr. Byatt knew that that was contrary to the purpose for which the Camel Corps had been formed. He suggested it to me by dispatch, and it will be found on page 20. He said:—I believe that if the camelry were to move at once to the Ain it would attract a large body of friendlies, and could, without difficulty, defeat and drive out the small Dervish parties now there. But the Corps was not raised for this purpose, and I feel that my discretionary power does not justify me in using it for this object without your expressed consent.He added a little later that the Camel Corps must in any case shortly proceed to Sheikh and Burao, to deal with local troubles in those districts and to open the road to caravan traffic. My reply to that suggestion by Mr. Archer is to be found on page 21. I said:—I am unable to give my approval to the suggestion that the Camel Corps should proceed at once to the spot with a view to engaging with the small Dervish parties now there. Such an arrangement would be contrary to the policy of His Majesty's Government in withdrawing from active participation in affairs in the interior of the Protectorate and confining the scope of the administration to the coast towns and the friendly tribes in the neighbourhood of the coast. It would also be foreign to the principles laid down as to the duties of the Camel Corps, which were intended to be confined to the maintenance of order by coercion within a radius of fifty miles or so of Berbera and to keeping the main roads clear.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
With regard to the alternative course proposed in paragraph 8 of your dispatch, I have no desire to confine within too close a radius the activities of the Camel Corps, and I am ready to leave to your discretion the question how far they should be allowed to proceed in the direction of Ber, provided that, as you propose, their advance is definitely limited, although I am inclined to share your doubt as to whether the results of such a demonstration would be altogether useful.This dispatch of mine, as we know from a dispatch on page 44, was communicated by Mr. Byatt to Mr. Corfield. Then, in a dispatch on page 22, I was informed that there had been a recrudescence of tribal fighting amongst the Habr Toljaala, and that the Camel Corps would move slowly from Sheikh to Burao, where its presence was necessary, Mr. Corfield having received instructions that they were to maintain a close watch on events to the south-east, while not proceeding into any danger zone should the presence of a large Dervish force be reported. On page 36 hon. Members will find a warning and something like an implied censure on Mr. Corfield for the 1641 action he had taken at that time, a censure by the Acting-Commissioner. The Acting Commissioner said that there had been an approach of a party of Dervish horse, accompanied by footmen, and he forwarded to me a memorandum which he had addressed to Mr. Corfield on the subject of his action in moving out to the assistance of the Ararsama. The Acting-Commissioner added:—The warning seems necessary, in view of the very explicit instructions which have been issued regarding the employment of the Camel Constabulary as a fighting unit.This was the warning addressed by Mr. Archer to Mr. Corfield on 23rd June:—I cannot pass over the incident without drawing your attention to the explicit nature of the instructions conveyed to you from time to time on the subject of confining Camel Corps operations to the immediate vicinity of Burao (in the Nogal direction), with Ber as an extreme limit for occasional patrols. You are personally aware, moreover, that the Secretary of State has expressly disapproved of the suggestion of employing the Camel Corps against small Dervish parties, even where danger was little and success more or less assured, on the grounds that such measures were entirely foreign to the duties of the Constabulary, as well as contrary to Government policy; and there is no discretionary power of any sort en this subject allowed. I cannot, therefore, impress upon you too strongly the necessity of abiding strictly by this decision. Admittedly it does not make your position easy, but this is inevitable at the present juncture; and the principle must be realised that we do not, and cannot, as at present constituted, assume responsibility for the defence of the outlying 'jilibs' at tunes of threatened Dervish attack. On the other hand, the (presence of the Camel Corps at Burao does provide for our tribes a good rallying point in the face of small Dervish raiding parties; while there is no reason to anticipate at the present, time any Dervish advance on such a scale as would necessitate your falling back from this point, which, as you are aware, is the tenour of your instructions in the face of grave and imminent danger.Then the last extract with which I need trouble the Committee is Mr. Archer's dispatch giving the account of the action at Dul Madoba on p. 44. Mr. Archer had ordered a strong reconnaissance by the Camel Corps in the direction of Ber, the reconnaissance being the sending of the whole Camel Corps there, but it was a reconnaissance, and stated to be so. Captain Summers was to accompany the force and to advise Mr. Archer later on the military situation before he decided on future action. Mr. Archer said:—Had the commandant at this juncture fallen back and reported to me on the situation, a valuable service would have been rendered, even though some risk had been incurred. My standing orders to him, communicated to you as an enclosure to my despatch of the 23rd of June, and duly approved by your despatch of the 18th of July, gave, as you are aware, no discretionary powers whatsoever in the matter of engaging the Dervishes, or even proceeding on these extended patrols, and, as regards this, clearly defined the position of the Constabulary. Moreover, there is a record in this office that copy of your despatch of the 24th of 1642 January was duly forwarded by Mr. Byatt to the commandant for his perusal and guidance. Contrary to orders, however, the commandant decided to engage the Dervishes, and to place his force in such a position as to intercept on the morrow their line of retreat with their stock into the Ain. I need scarcely comment on the hazardous nature of such an undertaking with the force at his disposal. In fairness to Captain Summers, also, it must be recorded that he made a grave representation to Mr. Corfield as to the rashness (in his opinion) of his decision, from both a political as well as from a military point of view.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
Now, upon that very morning, I had been listening in durbar for four hours to the representations of the friendlies—representations to the effect that, unless Government would come to their assistance and protect them with an adequate force, their annihilation at the hands of the Dervishes would be complete within a year or two.I have now reason to know that that very morning when Mr. Corfield started on this reconnaissance he was again warned by Mr. Archer, in the presence of Captain Summers, not- to attack or to engage the Dervishes, and that he gave an undertaking to that effect.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
On page 49 will be found Captain Summers' report. He says:—The pony section had now returned to the main body, confirming the report of their action with the Dervishes and further reporting that the Dervishes were encamped at Idoweina with over 2,000 footmen, all armed with rifles, 150 horsemen, and very large quantities of looted stock.Captain Summers goes on:—In view of the instructions of His Majesty's Acting-Commissioner, I strongly advised him to content himself with making a reconnaisance of the Dervish encampment, holding his camels in readiness for withdrawal on Burao, and leaving behind him patrols to give him early information of the Dervishes' movements at dawn; and I told him that, with the force at his disposal, he had, in my opinion, no prospect of carrying out a successful action against the Dervishes. He was, however, clearly determined to operate against them.Those are the essential Papers. I adopted the Acting-Commissioner's words about Mr. Corfield in order to show him and to show his colleagues in Somaliland that they were not suspected of disloyalty. When these Papers were published, it was discovered by all those interested in the matter that there had been no change of policy, and that only one officer had exceeded or disobeyed his orders. His disobedience, unfortunately, resulted in the loss of his own and other lives; but the instructions which 1643 were issued to Mr. Corfield and to the Camel Corps are absolutely and abundantly clear. I am sorry that this part of the Debate has been forced upon me and has compelled me to give these convincing proofs of Mr. Corfield's disobedience, because he was a brave and a gallant and a capable man. Irrespective of whatever views we may hold of the final error, we must all deeply deplore, as I do, his loss. I think I am bound to say that his friends have ill-served his fame—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"]—by trying to prove that his disobedience was a long formed and deliberate intention.
Sir G. PARKER
The right hon. Gentleman speaks of myself and Mr. Corfield's friends. I may say that I have never met one of Mr. Corfield's friends; and, on the contrary, I advised friends of mine to be careful of saying anything until they were sure of their ground. My attack, if it is to be called an attack, was made upon the dispatches of the Colonial Secretary himself and of the Acting-Commissioner.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I quite understand that. I referred to his friends who have been, as they think, doing their best for the memory of Mr. Corfield in the Press of this country, and I certainly hope still to be able to believe that Mr. Corfield's action was not the result of a long, deliberate intention to disobey orders. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw!"] I have nothing to withdraw. That is a statement made in the daily papers. [HON. MEMBERS: "By whom?"] By Mr. Corfield's own friends. [HON. MEMBERS: "Name!"] I will give the names later. I do not recall them at this moment. It was made by Mr. Corfield's friends or relatives, who have published letters to bear out this imputation. As the result of this some people have been preaching disobedience to orders as an ideal of Imperial virtue. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw!"]
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I can supply all the names as soon as I can get at the files of the "Morning Post." I think it would be a bad day for this country if such a pernicious doctrine as that were to sink into the Army, the Navy, or the Civil Service. Now I will turn to a less painful part of the Somaliland subject, and deal with the situation as we find it there to-day. After the action at Dul Madoba it was quite 1644 clear that a new situation had been created in Somaliland, and I at once directed an increase of the Camel Corps from 150 to 300, which would account for the amount of the Supplementary Estimate which we are considering to-day. The temporary evacuation of Burao was, I believe, necessary, and so it was thought by those on the spot, in order to reform our forces and to recruit more men for the Camel Corps, and to provide against accidents and dangers there which seemed likely at that moment.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I never heard the slightest suggestion that they did not. It would never have occurred to me to put such a question to officers as to whether they agreed with the orders of their superiors. It is not true, as stated in the Press, that the Mullah has a force at Burao at the present time. Burao is held by our friendlies, and a certain number of scouts who keep us informed of the movements there. After the action at Dul Madoba a few Dervish horse visited Bulhar and burnt some deserted huts. That is the only incident which can have accounted for the statement subsequently made. The nearest Dervish post is not at all strong; it is at Shimberberris, at the mouth of the Ain Valley, which runs across that part of Somaliland. A new situation arose after Dul Madoba, with which I was compelled to deal. The effect of this small Dervish outpost has been to cut off the friendly tribes from the grazing lands which are essential to them in the dry season, although not at other times. They are not cut off by the size of the Dervish post, but by the moral effect produced upon them. Since Dul Madoba many of them have undoubtedly lost nerve and courage, and they require from us, I think quite naturally, both moral and material support. They must have the Ain Valley, and if they have no support from us they must make terms with the Dervishes and join the Mullah. That is not only undesirable, but it is an impossible result, and I had to consider what steps I should take to prevent it. I think hon. Members who have studied Somaliland, and who know the country, will agree with me that occupation of the whole interior is undesirable, and that an expedition against the Mullah would be a costly folly now, as it has proved to be by experience in 1645 the past, The late Government always held this view with regard to expeditions. Lord Cranborne, speaking in this House in 1903, said:—It is not intended by the British Government—and it never was intended—to extend our effective administration far into the interior … The Foreign Office were to be eminently commended when they shrank from oversetting the established policy hitherto of governing the coast and merely having relations with the interior so far as trade rendered it necessary.Mr. Brodrick, when Secretary for War, in this House said:—We have no intention of administering the country in which we now are or of attempting to hold the country. Our policy is to keep the coast line and to maintain our protection of the tribes. We are not going to send a large, fresh expedition to pursue the, Mullah.And the hon. Member for Blackpool (Mr. Ashley) who is also well acquainted with this country, said, in 1909, that he condemned his own Government of 1897 to 1904, for their conduct of operations, and expressed the opinion that it was wise to have one or two posts only to afford some sort of protection to the tribes under our care. Then the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester (Major Baring), who probably knows more than any of us about Somaliland, and who, I believe, is a personal acquaintance, if not friendly with the Mullah, in 1910, in this House, suggested that a medium between an expedition and coastal concentration was what was wanted. If the Government held certain posts, from which they would have influence over tribal matters, our hold in Somaliland would be much more satisfactory. That is almost precisely what I propose to do. I do not propose to the House any extended occupation of the interior; I certainly do not propose any expedition against the Mullah, I intend to occupy Burao, which is about eighty miles from the coast as a base for our Camel Corps and to occupy Sheikh, a post half way between Berbera and Burao; it is about 5,000 feet above the sea, it is a hill station, an extremely healthy place, which may well serve as a sanatorium for Somaliland and Aden. It is on the caravan route, but it is unsuited, by its elevation, to camels, and is too distant to control the grazing of the Ain Valley. Our presence at Burao with the Camel Corps will provide that moral and material support to the friendlies which will give them courage and opportunity to graze in the Ain Valley. In the presence of the Camel Corps at Burao there will be no danger to the friendly tribes from the Dervish outpost at the mouth of the Ain Valley, if 1646 indeed it remains there. Speaking of the outpost I may venture an opinion that the Dervishes will very likely retire from it towards Bobotle or the Haroun, although I quite realise the danger of prophesying anything in relation to Somaliland. The ordinary Estimates for Somaliland for 1914–15, which unfortunately have not yet been printed, and are not before the House, but as to which I can give some explanation, will show exactly what it is hoped to do. I may state, for the convenience and information of the House, that I am going to increase the Camel Corps from its present strength of 300 to either 400 or 500, whichever number is thought most suitable by people in the locality.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
It is their limit. It is suggested that the number should be raised to 400 or 500. This Camel Corps is going to be based on Burao. I am going to increase the Indian contingent from 200 to 400. Four hundred is the number that happens to be there at present, because we had emergency help from Aden after Dul Madoba.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
They are Indian Regulars. We have already 200 in Somaliland, and have had for many years. It is the force usually used for these purposes. The forts at Sheikh and Burao will be repaired and strengthened. One hundred of the Indian contingents will be stationed at Sheikh, and 150 at Burao. The recurrent cost of this permanent defence force in the year 1913–14 will be £32,800. That really only covers the increase in the Camel Corps that was made after Dul Madoba. The normal ordinary Estimate for 1914–15 will be presented almost immediately. It shows that the recurrent cost of this permanent force will amount to £58,000. Of course, there will be some necessary additions for the initial expenses of the new Service, such as the purchase of camels, saddlery, transport, and so on. It is rash, no doubt, to promise anything like finality at any time in Somaliland. Some hon. Members, no doubt, will think that I have done, and am doing, too little; others will think I have done too much. I can only say that I have done all that the men on the spot think desirable or necessary, and they do not doubt the efficiency and success of the 1647 preparations which I have made. The instructions given to Sir William Manning have been quoted. They were that the evacuation was not to be carried out unless the friendly tribes were in a position to hold their own against the Mullah. They were then; they are not now.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
That is a matter of opinion; perhaps the hon. Member will allow me the luxury of expressing my opinion.
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon. I thought he was stating it as a fact; but if he states it as his opinion, I accept it as an opinion.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I never venture to say anything in this House as a fact because I know it will be contradicted immediately. The changed situation in Somaliland has made necessary an adjustment of the dispositions which I have just described.
§ Earl WINTERTON
What is the change the right hon. Gentleman refers to? Why is protection more necessary now than a year ago?
§ Mr. HARCOURT
Because the circumstances have completely changed during the last twelve months, and hon. Members who are well acquinted with Somaliland will be able to instruct the hon. Gentleman's mind on these points. In 1909 the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour), when he was Leader of the Opposition, suggested that the Government should find some means of communication less elaborate than a light railway, which, he said, would use up water like a traction engine and consume more than it conveyed. We propose to try and do that by means of the Camel Corps, which fulfils those postulates. It is weary work waiting for dead men's shoes. The Committee will remember that the Mullah is an old man; he is in an advanced state of dropsy; he is physically immovable and incapable of leading the Dervishes in any of their forays. There is no probable or possible successor to him, and since he was excommunicated from Mecca, in 1899, he has been left enfeebled—a robber, but not a prophet. I believe with a little patience and endurance we may yet see Somaliland a comparatively peaceful country. But we shall not bring that about if we start out with an expedition against the Dervishes. It was said by the 1648 "Times" some years ago that the conflict between ourselves and the Mullah would be like a fight between a lion and a swallow. We tried it before, and found it a costly failure. Lord Cranborne said, when the Expedition of 1899 was being fitted out, that the Mullah elected to retire, and so the expedition was cancelled. He probably would do the same thing again. At all events, I cannot advise this House to undertake a great expedition against the Mullah, but I am confident that I can commend our present proposal to the Committee as sufficient for all our present needs.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Before this Debate proceeds further, I wish to say that the right hon. Gentleman has put me in some little difficulty. I think it was unavoidable, but he did lay before the House certain matters which are more properly pertinent to the main Vote, and he said that the charges he mentioned will come on the main Vote. I do not wish to put any difficulty in the way of the discussion, but if I may make a suggestion to the Committee, it is that we shall devote ourselves in discussing this Supplementary Vote more to what has happened during the last six months, than to matters which we can review again when the new Vote comes up.
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
May I submit to you, Mr. Whitley, that the question of what has happened during the last six months, in the opinion of many of us on this side of the Committee, turns entirely upon the previous statements of the Government in their Instructions, and that it is impossible with any degree of usefulness to discuss the affairs of the last six months unless we are allowed to go further back?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think the speeches already delivered have indicated that I do not propose to prevent hon. Members going into those matters.
§ Earl WINTERTON
May I point out that it is quite possible that the Vote to which you have referred may come in the Votes which are closured, and we may have no opportunity of debating the matter? The whole Opposition feel very strongly on this point, and I hope you will allow us all possible latitude.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I would point out that, of course, the new Estimates for Somaliland will be discussed on the day the Colonial Office Vote is taken, later in the Session.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. GLAZEBROOK
I must first admit that I agree very largely with many things that have been said by the Colonial Secretary, but I think he is defending himself rather against charges that have not been made by any responsible person. In the paragraph he read out, he is accused of doing too much. We rather accuse him of doing too little. I hope he will not think that I am confusing the two great points with regard to Somaliland if I go back some distance into its history, although not so far as other hon. Members have gone, and if I take simultaneously the two problems—the friendly tribes fighting among themselves, and the problem of the Mullah in the South-East. He must recognise they are absolutely distinct problems. I had the advantage of being in the country before the evacuation, and I was a great deal on the border of it afterwards. Before the evacuation, which was completed in March, 1910, though the tribes had their feuds among themselves—feuds originating in cattle raiding, followed by bloodshed and war—they had been accustomed to live side by side, confident that the Government would spoil the sport of raiding by inflicting a fine which could be recovered at Court. Therefore, they lived side by side in comparative peace up to the time of the evacuation. Then the centre of authority was removed, a state of anarchy immediately prevailed, and the ancient feuds sprang up again, a state of things we may possibly see nearer home. Following on the history, we find that the state of disorder becomes so impossible that something has to be done. Mr. Byatt, the Commissioner, sends in four recommendations, the chief of which, the formation of the Camel Corps, is adopted. We thoroughly agree that the Camel Corps was necessary. I admit that the instructions were, as the Colonial Secretary says, that the Camel Corps was to be formed for the purpose of keeping order in our Protectorate, but we do not hold that those ought to have been the instructions—we hold that protection should be given in the Protectorate. Possibly that force may not be adequate. Then it is your duty to find a larger one.
1650 While affairs are getting worse and worse among our friendly tribes, the other problem, that of the Mullah, advanced one more step, by a raid on the Dolbahanta tribe in February, 1912, as a result of which a large number of the Dolbahanta became destitute refugees. We must remember that the Dolbahanta tribe is one of the friendly tribes who have taken our side in previous conflicts with the Mullah. I admit that the Camel Corps was not formed for the purpose of protecting them against the Mullah, but it was formed very shortly after, that date, and was ready by December, 1912. I happened to be on the Abyssinian border and to take the news of the formation of the Camel Corps to the Habr Awal and various other tribes in that neighbourhood. They welcomed the formation of the Camel Corps as showing a tendency on the part of the British Government to return, but the thing they welcomed far more was the name of Corfield Sahib. As men came into the camp, a dozen or two following their Chief, and were told the news that Corfield Sahib was coming back, we heard a great shout go up, and men would gallop out and spread the news throughout the whole of the neighbourhood. They all had the utmost confidence in him. For instance, there was my own headman, who acted as interpreter to Mr. Corfield when he was in the country before. With an admiration which was almost worship of him, my headman suggested throwing up all his wages and going at once to join Mr. Corfield. He went, and perhaps hon. Members may have noticed that it is stated in the Blue Book that he was found dead beside him after the action. I am only giving these instances to show the prestige there was in Mr. Corfield's name.
The first success of the Camel Corps—in fact, the only action of any importance they had to fight—was on 21st December, 1912, against certain sections of the Habr Yunis, who had been raiding other friendly tribes inside our Protectorate. The result of that action was that the fines which had been inflicted on various tribes who had been raiding were duly paid, and camels and cattle looted from the Abyssinians over the border were given back, and order was re-established throughout the West. Mandera and Hargeisa were in turn occupied. I will give an instance of the attitude of the Colonial Secretary. He denied that he intended to reoccupy Hargeisa, but it was reoccupied with his 1651 knowledge within two months, and, I believe, remained occupied by two sections of the Camel Corps for about five months. The Colonial Secretary realised the necessity of the occupation, but I think he was afraid of certain groups of Gentlemen sitting on that side of the Committee, whose tendency has always been to draw back. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. GLAZEBROOK
On the 3rd January comes the Report of the Commissioner, which appears in the Blue Book, telling of the Mullah's overtures to the remainder of the Dolbahanta tribe in the Ain Valley. The Mullah has a very clear grasp of the situation in Somaliland, and says that they have been severely punished for allegiance to an infidel Government, which affords them no real protection. The Government in turn urged the remainder of the Dolbahanta to take active measures. I think the words used are:—To encourage them or put heart into them.We see rather a cynical remark in the same Report to the effect that:—There is a wide belief that the Government intends to ensure their safety.An astonishing thing for ignorant natives living within our Protectorate to believe. The Commissioner, Mr. Byatt, like any other Englishman in that part of the country, wishes to help them, but he says he dare not do so without the express consent of the Colonial Secretary, which consent was refused. It was decided to carry cut a policy that I can only call cowardly in the extreme, by which the Camel Corps were not to help the Dolbahanta. They were to move slowly in that direction to give the impression that they were going to help. They were to move to Sheikh, and then to Burao—in the words of the Blue Book, "to encourage or put heart into" the Dolbahanta to attack the men representing the Mullah. It was a deliberate attempt to make them believe they were going to get all the assistance to which they were entitled, but which the Government never intended to give. The Mullah's atrocities at that time were increasing—there were atrocities and mutilations upon our friendly tribes. The Camel Corps reached Burao. 1652 There they had to deal with certain small matters, with various tribes. Mr. Corfield went out, and, according to the Blue Book, succeeded practically without any action at all, in saving certain stock. After that came the first reprimand for exceeding his instructions. There was one small portion of the dispatch of 23rd June, 1913, which was not read out by the Colonial Secretary, in which the Acting-Commissioner, Mr. Archer, says he cannot attempt to disguise the difficulty of the situation in which Mr. Corfield would be placed, should necessity arise, to withhold support in the face of a Dervish raid.
Imagine the situation in which a man like Mr. Corfield would be placed. On one side he would have instructions from the Colonial Secretary, given in obedience or subservience to some Members of his own party in this House, and, on the other side, his country's honour and his own. He is the man who pacified the West, the man on whom the Somali had learned still more to rely. He was the man whose name was greater in many parts of Somaliland than the name of the British Government itself. He is encouraged by the Government to give cartridges even, but not support to the Dolbahanta tribe, and heart to attack the Dervishes. Is it possible to imagine a more cowardly policy—to be ready to give moral support and to give even cartridges and to urge your friendly tribe who fought for you in the past, to attack the Mullah and then to take flight to the coast? If a cowardly policy of that kind was to be followed, the mistake of the Colonial Office was to put a brave man in to take charge of that policy. It is a mistake which was made on possibly a greater occasion, namely, the occasion of the evacuation of the Sudan. There the cowardly policy had been determined upon of withdrawal, and a man was chosen and sent out to carry out that policy. When he got there he realised that it was not consistent with the honour of his country or of himself, and he remained and died at his post. That was General Gordon. This case is very closely parallel. Mr. Corfield's instructions may have been definite, but let us examine the position in which he finds himself on the eve of the battle of Dul Madoba. A Dervish raid with 2,200 man had taken place, and it was reported that five Somali friendly tribes had been looted, and their camels and their stock had been driven off. The camel and stock of a Somali tribe are not only their wealth, but their 1653 wherewithal of existence. It is even quoted by the Acting-Commissioner:—This must inevitably cause almost unprecedented destitution.Then comes the reconnaissance in force. Mr. Corfield and the Camel Corps set out to find the Mullah's men. They had no instructions to fight, I admit. On the way out to the spot where the battle took place Mr. Corfield and the Camel Corps repeatedly met refugees, a large number of wounded men coming back from the action. One hundred riflemen and 200 spearmen joined the Camel Corps. I admit that they turned out to be of no use afterwards. Can you imagine what an appeal all these men must have made to Mr. Corfield, representing the British power, when they were faced with absolute destitution, when they looked upon Mr. Corfield to be the greatest man in the country, and when the Camel Corps had established a reputation from there to Abyssinia, where it was certainly the strongest force in the country? His instructions, if exactly carried out, would have amounted to giving cartridges and encouraging them to attack these 2,000 raiders. Is it possible for any man of Mr. Corfield's character to have obeyed instructions at that juncture? He had no time to appeal for further orders. The instructions had been definite, I admit, but could he refuse help to the Dalbahanta? He took the only possible course. He got across the line of retreat of the raiding party, and then took place the battle.
We resent most strongly that battle being called a disaster. Let me go into the figures of it. There were only about eighty men on our side, after the want of discipline and the want of bravery of thirty-one of the Camel Corps who took flight. About eighty men actually killed about 400 Dervishes. Look at the numbers in comparison with what is estimated to be the entire force at the disposal of the Mullah at the time! Of course, estimates of this kind must be rough, but the Mullah was estimated to have 4,000 fighting men. Mr. Corfield, with his officers and eighty men, actually left dead on the field one man in every ten that the Mullah had, for half the Mullah's entire force were supposed to have been in the battle. They were badly shaken, and it was reported by a Dervish who was captured afterwards that some of the men came back from the fight actually in tears, utterly broken down and incapable of further fighting. Then 400 dead must have meant a large proportion 1654 of wounded as well. Mr. Corfield in his last fight taught the Mullah a lesson which would have kept our friendly tribes from his raids for years. The disaster took place next day. I do not cast any aspersion on Mr. Archer. Mr. Archer has shown himself to be a brave man already. The mere fact of his going out with twenty of his escort and a few casual friendlies to assist the Camel Corps against what he imagined were overwhelming odds proved his bravery. By the time he arrived there the Dervishes had fled, but the act was an extremely brave one, and there can be no reflection on his character at all. Nevertheless he ordered that retreat, carrying out the policy which runs the whole way through this Blue Book. He rightly interpreted the orders which would have been given, if there had been an opportunity for it, by the Colonial Secretary—so much so that it is even admitted in the Blue Book. He expressed unreserved approval of the action of Mr. Archer—that is to say, of the retreat from Burao.
In the second part of his speech the Colonial Secretary, saying he was going to reoccupy Burao, talks about the moral support of the presence of our people there Was it not greater at that moment than it can ever be in the future? It turned what had been a gallant victory to what is known in England as the Camel Corps Disaster. The Mullah's prestige has gone up enormously. I have heard subsequent reports—equally unreliable, I admit—that he is supposed to have 8,000 men now—the remainder of the Dalbahanti. The force are only natives, but the fact remains that he must have gained in prestige enormously by the fact that we took flight after the action, acknowledging that we were beaten. Would it be possible that a man like Mr. Corfield could have taken flight from Burao? It was not even the safest course. There are enough men there to hold Burao. Anyone who knows the Somali character would know that he would only want to get back with his loot, drive the camels and stock before him to get home, especially after a shocking defeat as he had sustained. But the difference of risk between holding Burao and having a long strung out line of retreat through thick bush is enormous. If any possibility of attack could take place you laid yourselves open to that attack by marching in a line about ten miles long, protected by 130 men or thereabouts, down a 1655 narrow road with thick bush on either side. It was the most dangerous course to adopt, besides being fatal in every possible way. Though Mr. Corfield may have disregarded instructions, I think now is the time to admit that he was right in doing so. There are occasions when the only honourable course is to disregard instructions, and one of them is when people rely upon our protection. If the only accusation against Mr. Corfield is that he did not regard orders which had been given to him, and which he knew to be against the honour of his country, I think history will justify him in having died fighting for the men you had betrayed.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
We have listened to two attacks upon the Colonial Secretary from two very different points of view. There is the attack which is made by the hon. Gentleman who opened the discussion, an attack which was based upon a warm and generous sentiment of admiration for a brave and gallant British officer who died fighting at his post. It was an attack in which the personal element predominated. I share the admiration of the hon. Baronet for the gallantry and courage and devotion and spirit of this officer who died fighting against overwhelming odds. But I think the hon. Gentleman has done him an ill service by basing his case upon what can only be regarded by those who know the facts as a travesty of the whole situation. The other attack which has been made very strongly by the hon. Member (Mr. Glaze-brook) was not based upon that episode, and not based upon any belief that this officer had been carrying out his instructions and had been basely deserted by this Government after carrying out his instructions. It was an attack which was based upon a broad general attack upon the policy which the Government was endeavouring to enforce in Somaliland. This episode has been called a disaster, and hon. Members opposite protest against it being called a disaster. I think the word "disaster" is there used in two senses. There is a sense, certainly, in which it was not a disaster. It was a gallant fight against overwhelming odds—a fight which did not result in annihilation to the weaker side. But in view of the fact that this episode was brought upon us by the wilful and deliberate disregard of express, definite, and emphasised instructions, and in view of the political effect which that episode 1656 might have, not only in Somaliland, but in other parts of the Empire, it may be regarded as a disaster, and in apportioning blame for that disaster, I think the first question that we have got to ask ourselves is: Why was the Camel Corps organised, and for what object was it intended? There is an impression—a false impression, which was shared by the hon. Member for Gravesend, who opened the discussion—that the Camel Corps was in some way or other directed against the Mullah.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
I think it is in my recollection that the hon. Member rose in his place and interrupted the Colonial Secretary by asking in specific words—Was it not intended to protect the friendlies against the Mullah? I have no desire to go beyond what the hon. Member himself says. There has been a prevalent belief that this Camel Corps was organised against the Mullah, and that this defeat which it incurred was a defeat of the avowed purpose of the Camel Corps, and of the avowed policy of the Government. Nothing could be further from the truth, as was shown by the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Glazebrook). It was organised against the so-called friendlies, and it was entirely directed, and expressly stated to be so directed, against the so-called friendlies.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
If there is any doubt about that, I will quote passages from the Blue Book, but before doing so I want to make one point. Many hon. Members opposite have talked as if this disaster—which did not occur in pursuit of the Government's policy, but which resulted from defiance, disregard, and disobedience of express orders—were a new thing in the history of Somaliland, and as if there were not greater disasters which had occurred in Somaliland before when hon. Members opposite were sitting on this side of the House—disasters which occurred in pursuit of the policy of the then Government. I think there were three separate occasions upon which a British force sent out, not with a mere 150 Cavalry, but consisting of thousands, was not only defeated by the Mullah, but driven in confusion to the coast, with its officers slain, over 100 men wounded, and with its guns captured. These were 1657 events which occurred in pursuance of the policy of hon. Members opposite, and the change of policy, the vital decision which resulted in the change of policy, was come to by hon. Members who now sit on the Front Bench opposite. I have here a report of a Debate in this House on 8th March, 1905. In a speech in that Debate the tender-Secretary for Foreign Affairs (Earl Percy) described the various policies which could have been adopted, and referred to the disaster which had resulted from that which the Government then adopted. He outlined to the House the three main policies open to the Government originally, and stated that they chose the one which they thought would involve the least expense. He said they might have undertaken the whole expense of administering the interior themselves. No one had suggested that they should adopt that policy; they might have armed the tribes to enable them to defend themselves against the Mullah, or they might adopt the policy which the Government did adopt, of restricting the area of our administrative responsibility, and wherever it became necessary to undertake the defence of the tribes to do so by means of a punitive expedition. The policy of the party opposite was the policy of punitive expeditions. Earl Percy continued:—As a matter of fact, the policy of punitive expeditions had proved in this case, as it had proved over and over again on the Indian frontier, the most extravagant policy which we could possibly pursue. It was not recognised when the Treaties were concluded in 1886; but the Government had now come to the conclusion—a conclusion which he thought had been pressed upon them by all sections of the House—that the wisest and most prudent policy to pursue in the future was to limit our administrative responsibility as far as we possibly could to the coast line. But there was a corollary to that policy, and that was that we should arm the tribes and organise them so as to be in a position to defend themselves in the event of any future emergency, such as that with which they had been recently confronted.
Sir G. PARKER
Will the hon. Gentleman allow me to call his attention to a speech in the same Debate in which the Under-Secretary proposed to raise a Camel Corps of 300 to protect the tribes?
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
If that is relevant, I am quite glad that it should have been mentioned. There we had fairly laid down by the Conservative Government that the policy in the Protectorate should be the policy of concentrating upon the coast, leaving the interior to the defence of the friendlies, and arming the friendlies. All that has since occurred has followed naturally from that decision. The decision of the Government in 1910 to 1658 evacuate the interior, to withdraw the military force, and to concentrate entirely on the three towns on the coast, followed directly from the policy which had been laid down by hon. Gentlemen opposite. I agree that in many respects it was a disastrous policy that we should have armed the so-called friendlies and incited them against the Mullah who had defeated us, and whom we were not able to bring to order ourselves. It was a disastrous policy that we should arm the tribes for the purpose of carrying out a policy we did not care to undertake the expense of carrying out ourselves. The result is made perfectly clear in the Blue Book dealing with the latest episode. We find there that the tribes, instead of using the rifles provided by the Government against the Mullah, who had shown himself on previous occasions so well able to take care of himself, used them against one another, and against our own trade caravans from the coast. I find in the dispatches descriptions of the situation which arose immediately after our withdrawal from the interior. These dispatches give accounts of the inter-tribal fighting which was going on. A memorandum by the Commissioner on the political situation in Somaliland in April, 1912, contains the following:—During the autumn of 1910 disorder had broken out also in other directions. The Aidegalla tribe, in the west, had split and engaged in a desultory civil war, which is not yet extinct. The eastern came into not infrequent collision with the western Habr Yunis; the Dolbahanta and Habr Toljaala sections had quarrelled and fought among themselves; and the Mijjertein, who, under Omar Doreh, had been strongly armed by the Government, had developed into general freebooters. By January, 1911, fighting, with a very large number of casualties, had occurred between the Habr Yunis and the coastal Habr Awal, to the great disadvantage of the latter.There is no word here about the Mullah. The complaints which arose from the trading community at Berbera were not complaints against the Mullah, but against the friendlies, who were raiding their caravans and destroying commerce in the country. What wag the effect of this state of affairs? The effect is described by the Acting-Commissioner in a dispatch dated 19th August, 1913:—I do not see any good purpose in concealing the fact that during this period it is estimated that about one-third of the male population of the friendly tribes of this Protectorate was exterminated in inter-tribal fighting.It was because of this state of affairs that the Camel Corps was organised against the friendlies—a statement which the hon. Member for Gravesend was inclined to laugh at a little while ago. The Camel 1659 Corps was organised as a constabulary for the definite purpose of maintaining order among the friendlies. In the very proposal made for the Camel Corps it was stated, first of all:—There is still one expedient which might be tried, but it would have to be tried without undue delay. This is the maintenance on the coast of a small mobile striking force, which could be used to maintain order by coercion within a radius of fifty miles or so of Berbera, and to keep the main roads clear.That was the proposal before the Camel Corps was raised. When it was raised definite instructions were issued to Mr. Corfield, the commander. These instructions contain this very definite instruction:—There is not any present prospect of your encountering Dervish laiders, but should you receive news of the near presence of any considerable force, you would carefully avoid being attacked or surrounded, and would at once retire on the coast. For this reason I intend that for some little time to come you should not form a temporary base more than fifty miles—a day's march—from the coast. Subsequent movements will be dictated by developments, and you will obtain my assent to any proposal to move into a fresh grazing camp. You must assume that the constabulary is part of the force available in Berbera, and that it is based on Berbera, occupying temporary camps in the interior for purposes of convenience.The Camel Corps was organised as a police force for the purpose of keeping order among the friendlies, and not for action in any circumstances against the Mullah, and instructions to that effect were given definitely to the commander of the Camel Corps at the very beginning. But I find that the Commissioner in Somaliland proposed that on one definite occasion the camel force should be used against the Dervish force, at any rate, that it should advance in the direction of the Dervish force in the Ain Valley. He was conscious that that was contrary to the purpose for which the force was organised, and he wrote to the Colonial Secretary saying that he could not do so unless he was expressly authorised to do so by the Colonial Secretary. In response the Colonial Secretary said:—I regret that I am unable to give any approval to the suggestion that the Camel Corps should proceed at once to the spot with a view to engaging with the small Dervish parties now there. Such an arrangement would be contrary to the policy of His Majesty's Government in withdrawing from active participation in affairs in the interior of the Protectorate and confining the scope of the administration to the coast towns and the friendly tribes in the neighbourhood of the coast. It would also be foreign to the principles laid down as to the duties of the Camel Corps, which were intended to be confined to the maintenance of order by coercion within a radius of fifty miles or so of Berbera, and to keeping the main roads clear.1660 There was no ground for ambiguity on the part of the Government or its officers, or on the part of anyone in this House. But I admit, and I am sorry to admit, that there was ground for ambiguity on the part of the Somalis and of the Mullah, himself, and on the part of the Dervishes. Indeed, I am afraid we cannot escape from the conclusion that it was part of the policy of the Government to allow the Somalis and the Dervishes to think that this force was directed, not against the friendlies, but against the Mullah. In the instructions which were issued to Mr. Corfield there is a definite avowal of this purpose. It is said:—There is a widespread idea among the Somalis that the Government is about to revive the status quo and to reoccupy the former posts in the interior. No harm is done at the moment by this belief.And again it is stated:—It is important to avoid giving the impression that the Corps exists for the purpose of making war on the friendlies; they must understand that it exists solely to give them protection and assistance.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
I am afraid that the hon. Member has not been following my remarks with the attention which they deserve. The point I was trying to make was that the Government had made it perfectly clear in its dispatches to the Government of the Protectorate, and the officers who were engaged in carrying out its policy, that this force was to be directed against the friendlies for the purpose of suppressing disorder among the friendlies—stopping them looting caravans and raiding one another. I said that there was no room for ambiguity on the part of the officers, but that there was ground for ambiguity on the part of the friendlies themselves and on the part of the Mullah, and I could not acquit the Government of the charge of having deliberately and intentionally for political purposes—that is, for the purposes of the Protectorate policy—encouraged that belief among the friendlies and among the Dervishes. In his instructions to Mr. Corfield his attention was called to this ambiguity, and it was pointed out to him that the Somalis might believe that this force was directed against the Mullah, and that no harm was done at the moment by such belief. It was also said:—It is important to avoid giving the impression that the Corps exists for the purpose of making 1661 war on the friendlies; they must understand that it exists solely to give them protection and assistance.The Government had the intention of creating this opinion among the friendlies:Any idea to the contrary might foster a combination of sections for the purpose of resistance. That any resistance will be met with is highly improbable, and owing to deep dissensions the probability of combination is exceedingly remote; but the possibility must be borne in mind.If any ambiguity did exist in the mind of Mr. Corfield, in spite of these instructions, it must have been removed by the very definite reprimand which was administered to him on previous occasions when he went beyond his instructions. The hon. Member who originated the discussion said that from December, 1912, until August, 1913, when this fatal event occurred, there was nothing but praise for Mr. Corfield.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
June was two months before this fatal episode occurred. In June Mr. Gorfield did exceed his instructions. He was reprimanded.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
You will dismiss for the first offence without a reprimand! I note the policy of the hon. Member.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
I am endeavouring to treat it in all seriousness. It was rumoured that the Dervishes were raiding about thirty miles from. Burao. Mr. Corfield moved out with the whole Camel Corps. He approached the spot where the Dervishes were reported to be. He found only about twelve horsemen there. He incurred no undue risk. He did not engage in any hostilities, but he returned after having done that. That was thought to be an infringement of his instructions. On his return the Acting-Commissioner addressed to him a warning:—I cannot pass over the incident without drawing your attention to the explicit nature of the instructions conveyed to you from time to time on the subject of confining Camel Corps' operations to the immediate vicinity of Burao (in the Nogal direction), with Ber as an extreme limit for occasional patrols. You are personally aware, moreover, that the Secretary of State has expressly disapproved of the suggestion of employing the Camel Corps against small Dervish parties, even where danger was little and success more or less assured, on the grounds that such measures were entirely foreign to the duties of the Constabulary as well as contrary to Government policy; and there is no discretionary power of any sort on this subject allowed.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The speech of the hon. Member has already occupied some time in this Debate, and if questions are asked it would only tend to prolong the speech. Hon. Members had better wait for their own turn.
§ 7.0 P.M.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
I will take that hint and be as brief as I can. There were clear and definite instructions that the Camel Corps was not directed against the Mullah or the Dervishes. It was solely for police and constabulary work among the friendlies. Within two months of this fatal episode, under exactly similar conditions, it was reported that the Dervishes were raiding somewhere about the same place, about thirty miles south-east of Burao. Mr. Corfield was sent out by the Acting-Commissioner with definite instructions to make a reconnaissance, and that he was not to engage, but to return and report. Some doubt has been cast upon the nature of the instructions as to whether a discretion was not allowed. In the report of Mr. Summers, the officer of the Indian contingent, there is a definite statement as to what the instructions were:—He was instructed, under all circumstances, to refrain from committing himself to an engagement with any considerable force of Dervishes. Should the Dervishes prove to be present in large numbers, he was to attempt to gain information of their movements and withdraw to Burao.He ascertained that the Dervishes were present in large numbers; there were over 2,000 of them. He came to the decision that with his 150 men he would engage this force of 2,000 Dervishes. Not only would he engage them, but that he would outflank them, get behind them, place himself across their lines ready to engage them there. So clear was it that he was acting in defiance of his instructions that Mr. Summers addressed a remonstrance to him. He said:—In view of the instructions of His Majesty's Acting-Commissioner, I strongly advised him to content himself with making a reconnaissance of the Dervish encampments, holding his camels in readiness for withdrawal on Burao, and leaving behind him patrols to give him early information of the Dervishes' movements at dawn; and I told him that, with the force at his disposal, he had, in my opinion, no prospect of carrying out a successful action against the Dervishes.In spite of his instructions, in spite of his reprimand, in spite of the remonstrance addressed to him by the Indian officer who was accompanying him and who took 1663 the consequences and went into action and behaved most gallantly, and came out wounded in three places, he determined to defy the Government and defy its policy and to carry out this policy of his own. It is true that he sent back a letter at the last moment stating what it was he intended to do when there was no time for him to get a reply or to be recalled. This engagement was not the result of the Government policy; it was a Jameson raid; it was similar even in the letter which was sent when there was no chance of a reply being received, and no recall was possible. I quite appreciate the difficulties, which have been emphasised, in which this young and gallant officer found himself. He did not like to desert the friendlies; he did not like to leave them at the mercy of the Dervishes, for that was the policy which he was sent out to carry out, and he just laid down a policy for himself in defiance of the policy of His Majesty's Government. It is now suggested that the disaster really took place because the Government did not reverse its policy. Why should the Government reverse its policy because of an episode which had nothing to do with the Government's policy? Is it suggested that when any officer takes upon himself to disobey his instructions to carry out another policy, and thereby incur disaster, thereupon the Government of the day is bound to change or reverse its policy? I submit that there was no ground for asking that the Government should change its policy. Therefore, I am unable to understand the change of policy which is now announced. The Government seems to be going back to a half-and-half policy.
As a matter of fact, in questions of this kind, there are only two policies to be followed—either going in with an armed force to occupy the country and accepting full responsibility for administering it as a British Colony or British Protectorate or the other policy of withdrawing altogether, as we have done from Afghanistan. Why has the Government, with regard to the Mullah, not pursued the same policy as it followed in regard to the Ameer of Afghanistan? That is what I am unable to understand. The right hon. Gentleman made an able defence of his policy, but he wound up that defence with the climax of abandoning it. Hon. Members have paid a tribute to the young officer who died. Is there no admiration for the Mullah? Hon. 1664 Members may laugh at this man who is now suffering from illness, but will they remember that he is the only potentate alive to-day who has four times defeated the British Army, and who has for fifteen years maintained himself against the might of the British Empire. He is one of the great men whom Africa has produced: a great military leader, a great statesman. Hon. Members laugh. I am afraid they have not informed themselves very much about the history of this gentleman, who is called the "Mad Mullah." I find that he is curiously paralleled by many hon. Members who sit on the opposite benches. [An HON. MEMBER: "A great statesman."] I admit that some hon. Gentlemen opposite may become that despite the suspicion with which they receive my admission. The Mullah is a university man. He has travelled widely—travelled in two Continents, which is perhaps more than many hon. Members opposite have done. He attended the University at Mecca, and he was there chiefly interested in theological subjects. He returned to his country after attending the University at Mecca, and he married well. His wife's people had a place in the country, and in these respects his condition is exactly parallel to that of some Noble Lords and hon. Members opposite. I find that he attached himself to a sect, and he preached that there should be more regularity in prayer, stricter attention to forms of religion, and abstinence from intoxicating liquor.
He quickly obtained through his marriage connections great influence over the Dolbahanta tribe, and he established a native power in the interior. He settled disputes among the tribes, and kept them from raiding each other, thus maintaining law and order. What happened was that this native chief, a man of genius, a military leader of ability, a man who not only had military gifts but gifts of statesmanship, tried to exercise something of the great power of religion, which is always powerful everywhere, in setting up a strong and stable native State in the interior. This was a policy which was contrary to the policy favoured by many advocates of the forward policy; and from the moment it appeared that he was building up his native State, systematic attempts were made to break his power and destroy his influence. We tried, first of all, by sending expeditions against him, but he beat them back one by one. Three time he beat back the armies sent against 1665 him. Then we started the policy of arming the friendlies and inciting them to fight him and break up his power. But he even held out against that; and, after ten years, this man, who was then young and strong, who is now described as suffering from dropsy and unable to be moved from place to place, this man whom we dare not fight ourselves, this man for whose shoes we are waiting—dead men's shoes, to which the Secretary of State referred—is made the subject of laughter and contumely. Why was it, when we saw growing up in the interior of that country, with which we are connected, a native and organised State, that we immediately tried to break its power, leaving the country in desolation, or, if I may so describe it, leaving it, like ripe fruit, to be ready to our grasp at a later stage? Why is it that we did not try to make terms with the Mullah, as we had done successfully in the case of Afghanistan? The policy which we pursued in Afghanistan is the policy that we should have followed with this great leader of men amongst the Somalis; a policy which ought to have been pursued ten years ago, and during all this time. I am against, entirely against, the half-and-half change of policy announced to-night by the Secretary of State.
§ Mr. BAIRD
There is one qualification of the Mullah which the hon. Gentleman has imitated, and that is that he does a lot of talking, and is able to make interminable speeches. I think that is a fair weapon in party warfare; but this is a great Imperial question which is being deliberately dragged down to the party arena, and the hon. Gentleman thinks it is a perfectly fair weapon to use to prevent other people from talking at all. But the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State knows quite well that we on this side of the House feel very strongly on the subject, and we do desire to talk upon it.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I have had nothing whatever to do with the conduct of the Debate. I had not the remotest idea who was going to speak on either side, and I have not made the slightest approach to anybody.
§ Mr. BAIRD
The right hon. Gentleman is singularly fortunate. There are two points in this discussion. There is, in the first place, the affair of Mr. Corfield, and there is, in the second place, the question of policy to be pursued in Somaliland. We 1666 are accustomed to see Members of the Government standing at that box and expressing regret for having been found out in what they call an error of judgment, and on this occasion it has been followed by buckets of whitewash, coming from behind the right hon. Gentleman in such a manner that they must have very nearly drowned him. I wish to say that nothing in the reprehensible things we have complained about in connection with Ministers has been more disgraceful than the publication in the Blue Book of the report censuring Mr. Corfield. The right hon. Gentleman allowed it to be known that we had better not attack him on account of Mr. Corfield. If he thinks that anything he can say can do the slightest damage to Mr. Corfield he is entirely wrong. I have said that Ministers are in the habit of expressing regret for errors that are found out—errors of judgment. This was not an error of judgment; it was an error of instinct. We have a right to claim that anyone in the position of the right hon. Gentleman, having under despotic authority the fate of thousands of our subjects who are not represented in any Assembly, having under his orders hundreds of brave men who are bearing in the outlying portions of the Empire the white man's burden, should have and display the instincts of an Englishman. Anything more grossly unjust, anything more disloyal, anything more ungenerous, anything less in accordance with the traditions of the Empire, than the publication of that dispatch, censuring a dead man who died because he was carrying out an impossible policy, has not occured since I have been in this House.
What happened? I do not for one moment question the right of Mr. Archer to send that report. Mr. Archer is a young officer. He had got to report to his chief what are considered to be the salient features of what has occurred; but I do say that the publication of that report was a monstrous piece of injustice to the memory of Mr. Corfield. Does anybody question it? What was the necessity for publishing that report? Let me, first of all, endeavour to prove that the whole of the state of affairs in Somaliland, which lead to the formation of the Camel Corps, was due solely and entirely to the policy the Government carried out without consulting this House, and in defiance of the advice obtained from every single officer and man of influence, with the single exception of Sir William Manning. If you 1667 are going to put the experience of Sir William Manning against that of Captain Cordeaux, you have not consulted the records of both of them. Let me say with regard to the speech of the hon. Member who tried to prove that our predecessors on this side, when in office, were responsible for the policy adopted in Somaliland, let me tell him that he is entirely wrong, and that he cannot substantiate that statement. On the contrary, our policy in Somaliland—I do not say it was the best one, and I have always criticised it—terminated with the battle in 1904, in which the Mullah was severely defeated, with the result that in the following year, 1905, an arrangement was come to with the Italians so that peace was established between ourselves, the Mullah, and the Italians, and that peace lasted until 1908. It has been said that we armed the tribes. We did nothing of the kind—
§ Mr. BAIRD
There is no question of a speech, or of what was suggested as possible. It is what we did. Some hon. Members seem to think that the world is ruled by words, despatches, or instructions, or other futile things. They forget the fact that there are occasions when men are required, and they were required in Somaliland. That remark seems to amuse the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. K. Harcourt). Let him go out and see if it is not the case, and let him and other people see whether they could rely on instructions or on their own intelligence. It is very easy for armchair politicians to sit at home here and say what ought to be done and what ought not to have been done. I should like to take half a dozen of them out to Somaliland and give them charge of a district, and they would then realise what I once heard a distinguished Governor of Aden say with regard to Somaliland. It was in 1899, and there was a discussion about what was the policy to be pursued in Somaliland. This very distinguished officer said, "You cannot rule Somaliland with three Sahibs and inkpots," to which a man who had been there said, "You could rule Somaliland with one Sahib if you took away his inkpot." Some hon. Members seem to think that the Empire is floating in ink, while ink has nearly stifled this Empire for many years.
I desire to say a word or two with regard to the treatment of Mr. Corfield. What is 1668 the allegation? It is that he disregarded his instructions. Have you ever heard of Nelson? Did he disregard his instructions? If he had not, we should not be in the position in which we are to-day. You say that he was rash—so were you. The difference was this: You were rash with the fate and lives in Somaliland, while you Englishmen lived here in safety, guarded by policemen, not against the attacks of men, but of women. That was your position, and that is what you risked, while he risked his own life. Those are the issues. If anybody who takes that risk is to be blamed subsequently in this miscalled Imperial Parliament, then you will not find our services full of the kind of men that are necessary if the Empire is going to be run. The man who is not prepared to take a risk of any kind and will rush to the right hon. Gentleman or any other armchair politician to ask, "What am I to do?"—that man is no good in the Empire. Keep him in London, in your office, and do not send him to do harm to our prestige, discredit to our name, and to allow the murder of thousands of men entrusted to his care. They are no good. The memory of Richard Corfield will take care of itself. He lies buried in an unmarked grave in British Somaliland, but a statue will be erected to him in Berbera as honourable as any in the world. That is the answer to the contemptible aspersions on the character of this man. Then the right hon. Gentleman himself had' threatened to expose something which was not known about him; that is the rumour that was going about of Richard Corfield, that he had a very strong attack to make. We heard the attack to-day. He read out pages of the Blue Book, which, as he said, cynically, might be read by any of us if we took an interest in the matter.
We take a very much wider interest than the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends, because we believe that in your treatment of Somaliland you show what is your appreciation of the greater question of the treatment of the native races for whom we are responsible. It shows also what is your idea of the policy which ought to be pursued with regard to our prestige in Africa. Hon. Members who have not had the good fortune to be employed there directly cheer when the word "prestige" is mentioned. I can well understand that they do not follow what we mean by prestige. It is not some swash-buckling jingo idea that an Englishman, because he is 1669 an Englishman, must always be treated with great deference and respect. That is not the idea. Prestige is the only thing which enables us with absolutely inadequate-armed forces to hold millions of acres, and to control hundreds of thousands of natives in Africa. Whether we like it or whether we do not, we have undertaken the responsibility of ruling those men. We went there in 1884, and we have remained there ever since. In taking over the government of a country, such as Somaliland or any other country, in an elementary condition of civilisation, you destroy the existing method of government, and you destroy and remove every means of maintaining order in that country by the very fact of your going there and taking over the government. That is what was done in Somaliland. Not only did we do that, but we made definite treaties in 1886, 1887 and 1885 with the natives, undertaking to protect them. We made a treaty with the French in 1888, defining the limits of our spheres, and we made a treaty with the Italians in 1894, and with the Abyssinians in 1897.
So that from every point of view our responsibility for Somaliland is absolutely undeniable, and is one we cannot get out of by saying it is very expensive, and that it is such an expensive place that we are going to leave them to stew in their own juice, unless we are prepared as a consequence from the Sudan to the Mombasa, or through Abyssinia and French and Italian Somaliland and Zululand, to have the report spread and confirmed that we are no longer able to maintain government in Somaliland, and that we are a people that can be despised and can be ignored. That is the risk that you are running and deliberately running. Let me say there never was a policy less justified than the policy which led to the disastrous condition of affairs which we have seen in Somaliland up till the Camel Corps. Let me refer also to the Blue Book of 1910. It was decided in the beginning of 1909 to adopt a policy of partial and temporary military occupation. That was the clear and Liberal policy adopted by the Government, that they were going to occupy Burao. They ordered up reinforcements to the number of 1,500, and they were going to undertake that temporary occupation. Then five weeks after that policy had been adopted, the Government telegraphed as follows, to the Commissioner on the 12th March, 1909:— 1670The cost of transport required to maintain troops in present position is so great that His Majesty's Government must reconsider the whole question of their policy in Somaliland.That is the definite reason assigned—the cost of transport. I note that in one year there was spent £90,000 on extra military expenditure, and another year £30,000 odd. It is not said what the extra cost in this case would have been. Let me remind the House of this: that this very Government which gave as their sole reason that they could not find the money, and that they had decided to abandon Somaliland and give it Home Rule, this very Government two years later, almost to a day, voted a quarter of a million of money to pay the Members of this House. How did they find the money for that? [An HON. MEMBER: "How much do you get?"] And a very few months after that they pledged the credit of this country without asking it and, as they said, against its will, for an absolutely unlimited liability in order that they might stump the constituencies with a bribe of 9d. for 4d., for votes. There is plenty of money going when there are votes, but no money for Somaliland, where the people have no votes. That is the gist of the policy of the Government, and that is what makes it such an ignoble one. It is not too strong to call it that. That is the policy which was adopted, and what was the result? Against the advice of Captain Cordeaux and against the advice of Colonel Gough, who warned them of every single thing that has occurred, they decided to scuttle out of Somaliland, as they scuttled out of the Sudan, and the result was very similar. In the Sudan, during the period they enjoyed Home Rule, which was the policy of the political predecessors of the present Government, it is reckoned that the population was reduced from eight million to two million. Five million people were killed, murdered, or slaughtered, the country was turned into chaos and hell, owing to the policy of the then Government. Anybody who has read the first four pages of the Blue Book recently issued, will see what was the result of conferring Home Rule on Somaliland. They will see that the Acting-Commissioner said, talking of the good work that the Camel Corps had done:—I do not see that any good purpose would be served in concealing the fact that during the period "—that is, during Home Rule—it is estimated that one-third of the whole population of the friendly tribes in this Protectorate was exterminated in inter-tribal fighting.1671 What a, fine record! These are the successors of the men who were proud to think that we were running an Empire in which people could say, whether black or white, Ciris Britannicus sum. It is rather a disgrace to be one now. That has been their record. They were warned in the most explicit terms what would be the effect of their policy. They ignored and disregarded that warning, and, having introduced a policy which led to a complete state of chaos, they now, if you please, revert to the policy recommended by Captain Cordeaux, the policy which they said they would not adopt, because they could not afford it, and because they wanted money to bribe the electorate, and so on. Now they have adopted that policy.
It is rather late in the day; you are not going to bring to life again one-third of the male population of Somahland. Let me invite the attention of hon. Members whose humanitarian instincts are always stirred, and who come down to this House with almost hysterical sobs whenever anything occurs in Armenia, Greece, Macedonia, or any other of those countries where, not the British Government, but another Government is responsible for law and order. Down they come to the House; they plaster the Paper with their letters, and so forth, insisting that His Majesty's Government should intervene on behalf of these poor people. But what happens in this case? Look at the number of Members present. Yet we are dealing with people who are just as much British subjects as they are. But they have no sympathy with them. There is no party capital to be made out of them. Nobody cares for the Somali. That may be the view of hon. Members opposite; but if that is their view, you cannot run the Empire on those lines. There are signs that the Empire is in a bad way to-day. These constant doses of whitewash, to which Ministers have to submit, are a bad sign. The absolute apathy shown towards these Imperial questions is a bad sign. But we have been through bad times in the past, and we may come out of this if right hon. Gentlemen opposite are, as I hope, a passing infliction. They will, I suppose, most of them, float gracefully up the corridor to that happy haven were all democratic plutocrats aspire to sit, and we lesser mortals will be favoured with the opportunity of admiring them in solemn and somewhat somnolent grandeur on the red benches. That will be a great 1672 relief to the country. Meanwhile they have to carry on the Government.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Debate is getting wider and wider. Rather wider advantage is being taken of my endeavour to give a certain amount of liberty. Hon. Members must keep somewhat more closely to the Supplementary Estimate.
§ Mr. BAIRD
I would respectfully draw your attention to the fact that a Supplementary Estimate is the only occasion that we get for discussing this question of the Protectorates. During the five years I have been in the House we have only had the occasion of the Estimates or Supplementary Estimate or Motions for Adjournment of discussing this important question. We endeavoured to raise the question by an Amendment to the Address, when it might have been treated in its wider aspects, but we were not successful. I respectfully hope that we may be allowed to treat it as a broad Imperial question from the Imperial aspect, and not be confined to the narrower party aspect in which my predecessors have endeavoured to put it.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have allowed very great latitude. The hon. Member was discussing the general virtues or iniquities of His Majesty's Government.
§ Mr. BAIRD
The special iniquities of various Members of His Majesty's Government I find it difficult to extricate from the general mass; it is for that reason, I admit, I was betrayed into a rather wider sphere. In conclusion, I would remind the right hon. Gentleman of what was said by Mr. Burke, when, speaking in this House on the subject of American Taxation, he said:—They never had any kind of system, right or wrong, but only invented occasionally some miserable tale for the day in order that they might meanly sneak out of the difficulty into which they have proudly strutted.That describes the policy of the present Government.
§ Mr. DILLON
No one that I have heard has ever made any charge or allegation against the bravery of Mr. Corfield. Certainly the statement that the Secretary of State made charges against either the character or the courage of Mr. Corfield is absolutely without foundation. The Secretary of State, who spoke under a great deal of provocation, made the statement that Mr. Corfield had disobeyed instructions, and this statement was received 1673 with vehement and even angry denials from this side of the House. But the very next Member who spoke from these benches openly avowed that Mr. Corfield had disobeyed his clear instructions, and he gloried in the fact. All the eulogies that have been poured out on Mr. Corfield, including that of the last speaker, were on the ground that he had disobeyed his instructions, which were the instructions of a base and despicable Government. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Evidently I am correctly stating the position of the Opposition. They gloried in the fact that Mr. Corfield, being a gallant Englishman—as he undoubtedly was, and no one has ever attempted to deny it—disobeyed his instructions, and defeated the policy of a decrepit and anti-Imperialist Government. That is all that the Colonial Secretary has ever charged against him. It is a very serious matter, if hon. Members above the Gangway frankly avow it and glory in it. The hon. Member who spoke last (Mr. Baird) said that you cannot possibly run any of the Dependencies of the Empire upon instructions by armchair politicians, that "men on the spot" must have absolute discretion, without any regard to the policy of the Government or the directions of this House, to administer the affairs of the Colonies as they think fit.
§ Mr. DILLON
I think the hon. Member's words had a very much wider meaning than that. There was never any controversy in this country as to Mr. Corfield's gallantry and bravery. The only criticism I have ever seen was that his bravery was so great that it may have overcome his discretion. But some of his friends started a controversy in the "Morning Post," which went on for weeks, the whole purport of which was that he had disobeyed instructions, that he had a policy of his own which he successfully maintained against the policy of the Government endorsed by this House in 1910, and that he was perfectly right in doing so. A letter of the late Mr. Corfield was published in the Press at the time, from which a passage was quoted by the Imperialist "Morning Post," in which Mr. Corfield spoke of the "late weak policy of the Government." So much for Mr. Corfield, whose death everybody deplores. I think it is a pity 1674 that Members on this side should take the responsibility of inciting gallant men to sacrifice their lives in this way. After all, bravery is very fine to talk about in the abstract, but that is a very dangerous line to take. If you are to draw the moral that because Admiral Nelson once disobeyed orders with glorious results every officer in the Army or Navy should disobey orders whenever he pleases or whenever he chooses to lose confidence in his commanding officer or his official superiors, I say you are proposing a doctrine which, if it were acted on, would very soon put an end to all discipline and efficiency in the Army or Navy.
I have intervened in the Debate because I desire to take the first opportunity of complaining that the Government have undoubtedly wholly reversed the policy which they announced to the House in 1910. I accept in the fullest degree the statement of the hon. Member (Mr. Baird) that the Government have adopted the policy of Mr. Corfield and the Assistant-Commissioner in Somaliland, who set themselves, of deliberate purpose, to force the hands of the Government, and, in spite of the decision of this House, to get back to the old policy of occupying posts in the interior of Somaliland. I hope that we shall have another opportunity of discussing these matters when we can go into the whole question. I might refer to the Debates which took place on 3rd March and 6th April, 1910, when I moved a reduction for the purpose of protesting, as I have been protesting for twelve years, against the policy of the occupation of the interior of Somaliland. The first Lord of the Admiralty, in an impassioned speech on 3rd March, declared that the Government had arrived at the conclusion that the whole policy for ten years had been a great mistake, and they had decided to return to the old policy followed when Somaliland was under the control of the Indian Office. The policy was defined in clear and categorical language as being the occupation of three towns on the coast. and the absolute and final withdrawal from the interior of Somaliland. On 6th April the Under-Secretary for the Colonies amplified and emphasised that policy. Many hon. Members will remember that he ridiculed the occupation of Burao especially. He described Burao as a miserable collection of mud hovels, and declared that Burao would be evacuated permanently, and that Berbera would be the only position occupied. For once in my life I accept 1675 unreservedly the description given of this whole transaction in a leader in the "Times" on 13th August, 1913, when, commenting on the recent disaster in Somaliland, the "Times" made this remarkable statement:—The first question which the Government will have to answer about the fighting in Somaliland is why a disastrously small force, inviting disaster, was at Idoweina at all. The Camel Corps were at least thirty miles south of Burao, and Burao is 140 miles from the coast. In January, 1910, the Government decided to evacuate the interior of Somaliland, and to hold only two or three points on the coast—Berbera and, possibly, Gerla and Burao. By the end of the following March the evacuation was reported to be complete. In April the question of Somaliland was debated in the House, when Colonel Seely, the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, was at some pains to explain why the Ministry had resolved on this policy.Here is what the right hon. Gentleman said:—I will ask any hon. Member who takes an interest in military strategical questions, is it a wise plan for a country which depends, so much upon prestige, as we of necessity do, to have 200 or 300 men, 140 miles from the sea, all alone in the midst of the people of Somaliland, who, at any moment, might, though I do not think they will, adopt a hostile attitude?We," said the "Times," "are so much in agreement with this policy that we support, without reserve, the Government's new policy. We would not have supported that if we had had the slightest idea that this policy of keeping isolated forces in the interior of the country was to be maintained.That is the "Times" newspaper on the policy of the Government. It will be, I think, within the recollection of hon. Members that last August the Colonial Secretary read out telegrams announcing the disaster outside Burao. I immediately asked him how it came to pass that the Camel Corps was 100 miles from the coast. The right hon. Gentleman said that he was totally, unable to say why the Corps was at Dul Madoba until he got further information. At a later date, on 14th August, 1913, this question was raised again, and I asked the right hon. Gentleman a question:—Mr. Dillon: Will the right hon. Gentleman include Papers going back for the last six months or a year, and will he explain why the Camel Corps was at Dul Madoba?Mr. Harcourt: I am utterly unable to explain why the Camel Corps was at Burao until I get further information.It appears now from the published Papers that the right hon. Gentleman had for a long period known that the Camel Corps was at Burao, and beyond.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I was afraid that that particular misprint would be quoted. I said that I was not aware that the Camel Corps was beyond Burao. I tried to cor- 1676 rect the discrepency in the original inaccurate report.
§ Mr. DILLON
It was a very unfortunate misprint, and certainly my recollection was that I heard the statement that the right hon. Gentleman did not know, because it was in reply to a specific question that I put as to why the Camel Corps was beyond Burao. Three years before the Government had announced this change of policy, and there was no single newspaper in the country which put a different interpretation upon the announcement that was made on three successive occasions in the House that the policy of maintaining posts in the interior of Somaliland had been definitely abandoned, and that the decision had been come to to retire to the coast. All I have got to say is this: I think the Government in allowing their hands to be forced by these gentlemen on the spot in Somaliland have adopted the worst possible policy. One policy that might, according to some, have been worked, and which, perhaps, was largely supported, would have been to go in and conquer the country, though I think that would have been most cruel. It has been tried in the past with disastrous results. Another policy would be the policy which was announced to the House three years ago; definitely announced to the House and approved by the House, and that was to withdraw permanently to the coast and resume the old position which for years was successfully carried on when Somaliland was under the administration of the Indian Government. An HON. MEMBER: "What about the Mullah?"] The Mullah in those days was a most respectable man.
§ Sir R. BAKER
Does the hon. Gentleman, when the Blue Book says that the result of that policy was the loss of one-third of the native population, consider that that is a successful policy?
§ Mr. DILLON
The reason for that is extremely simple. Doubtless the hon. Member will recognise—I am trying to bring my remarks to a close, and I do not want to go into side issues, for I hope we shall have another opportunity of discussing this matter—that the reason was that the British Government armed the native tribes. If hon. Members will look up the Debate to which I have referred they will see that the First Lord of the Admiralty pointed out that, while you were engaged in protecting friendly tribes you often found the friendly tribes that you were protecting 100 miles in the interior of the 1677 country fighting some other tribe. The result of arming the tribes was that they made it the one object and amusement of their lives not to defend themselves, but as most deadly weapons had been placed in their hands, instead of going against the Mullah they set to work to raid and slaughter each other. It was not the Mullah; it was the friendly tribes who killed each other. There was one observation made by the hon. Member below who knows Somaliland—and I accept his statement—that at present Somaliland is practically impossible for any Englishman or European to travel in. That is a nice state of things after all the operations in Somaliland! Before you commenced these operations, before you interfered with Somaliland at all, beyond occupying Berbera, hunters and travellers could go freely through Somaliland. The result of ten years of British operation in Somaliland is that an hon. Member says that it is relapsing into barbarism. That is not a very triumphant indication of the operations of successive Governments. [HON. MEMBERS: "The present Government."] I have been here in this House and we have been debating Somaliland for fourteen years.
§ Mr. DILLON
I think the Noble Lord is usually on the side of the enemies of his country. I have been here all these years, and while I have not been to Somaliland, I have picked up a good deal of knowledge on the subject, and I say that the state of Somaliland has been bad all these years—ever since you first attacked the Mullah. I believed myself, and still believe, that the Mullah was anxious to make peace with England. You have not allowed him to do so. The men on the spot took it into their heads that he was a dangerous man, and you would not make peace with him. I believe that if you had given the Mullah £1,000 a year you would have saved this country millions of money, and Somaliland would now have been peaceful and safe for travellers. But I rose mainly for the purpose of protesting in some little way against the action of the Government, without the consent or knowledge of the House, wholly reversing the policy which they announced to the House a few years ago.
Sir MARK SYKES
I propose to make my remarks short, but there is one point 1678 to which I should like to draw attention, one that has not had really much stress laid upon it to-day. That is in regard to the right hon. Gentleman's censure of Mr. Corfield will have on other officers and upon the traditions of the service. I know the right hon. Gentleman said the other day with great solemnity that it would be possible to smash a part of the British Empire in a single Debate. I suppose that is the part to which he referred, and the matter in his speech to-day was to show us how he would do it. Because so far as one can judge, not having studied the Somaliland question very closely, Mr. Corfield, according to the Blue Book, was given an impossible task. He achieved impossibilities—and lost his life—with the result, I think, that only because he lost his life he was censured. I think it must be admitted that if Mr. Corfield had lived, instead of being censured, if he had come with the news of a big victory—that he won with his death—that the right hon. Gentleman would have preened himself on the great achievement that had been gained by 100 of his Constabulary against 2,000 hostile rifles. It is the effect of this Minute of the right hon. Gentleman on one of these vital portions of the Empire that I am concerned about. It is not censuring only Mr. Corfield; it is censuring Wolfe, or Clive, or Nicholson, or Gordon, or anyone who has not only been prepared to give his life, but also his reputation for his nation.
The Empire, as the right hon. Gentleman said the other day, is bound together by a slender thread. One of those slender threads is the traditions that young officers still dare to show initiative and dare to show independence when crises arise. If they live, and have done what you dislike, punish them. If they die, and they have conscientiously done their duty, I say that they should not be censured. It is just such men as Mr. Corfield we want; men of a similar character, perhaps, to Sir Richard Burton, who it may be difficult for the red-tapists to handle, but when the time of difficulty arrives it is they who handle your Empire for you. It seems to me that as things stand at present, that we hold Egypt, Cyprus and India only because people in the past have done just the sort of thing that Mr. Corfield did, and we shall only go on holding them because we have got men prepared to do what Mr. Corfield did. If the temper of the Minute becomes the spirit of the Empire, 1679 well, it will be very nice! We shall have officials safe and precise, with one eye on their pension and no eye on Westminster Abbey. You will have people who will have more consideration for any old woman in an office than they will have for the best interests of the Empire. In the end you will remove Nelson from Trafalgar Square and put up Admiral Byng in his place. Our position at the present moment is to say to any ambitious man, any bold young man who wants a life of adventure, and who is just the sort of man you want in these wild, savage countries: "Do not go; go to Bagota, or Mexico, or somewhere else, and work for a company, but do not come and work for us because we want safe and easy men, who write elegant, peaceful dispatches." If you get these men it will not be very long before your fifty men in Cyprus—I think we have only fifty there—will be thrown into the sea. You will lose the Soudan in a day, and have India in a blaze from one end to the other. I have no doubt that the dispatches recording these disastrous events will be elegant in diction, as will be the Minutes which report them to this House. Lastly, I do submit to the right hon. Gentleman that in his speech to-day in what he said about Mr. Corfield, that he gave hope and encouragement to every fanatic and every revolutionary from Zanzibar to Aden, and from Aden right away to Calcutta, because in the censure on Mr. Corfield, a dead man, they will see the weakening of one of the vital forces of the Empire whose end it is their desire to compass.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. SANDYS
We have listened in this Debate to speeches made by the right hon. Gentleman and others, and I certainly think we must come to the conclusion that the record of our recent administration in Somaliland is one of the most disastrous chapters of failure in the whole of our Colonial history. Twenty-five years ago we made ourselves responsible for this Protectorate. We concluded certain definite treaties with the chieftains of the country; treaties which no doubt involved responsibilities which were perhaps heavier than we realised at the time. Military operations had to be carried on for a considerable period of years with varying success in that extremely difficult country. The result of all of it was that great progress was made in the pacification of the country, very largely owing to the splendid administrative work which 1680 was carried out by Captain Cordeaux, who was Commissioner, and who withdrew, I think, when this Government came into power. The Colonial Secretary at that time paid a tribute of respect and admiration to the work of Mr. Cordeaux, but when it came to following the policy which that gentleman advised with all his experience, the predecessor of the right hon. Gentleman opposite and his friends decided to take exactly the opposite course, and embarked on the disastrous policy of evacuation. I think that was the beginning of the whole trouble. By that disastrous retreat to the coast, which was carried out under most discreditable circumstances, we broke our pledges to the natives; we deliberately sacrificed the accumulated results of those military operations which took place at the expenditure of £3,000,000 or £4,000,000 of public money, and, what was more serious than all, we inflicted a most damaging blow upon British prestige in that part of Africa. The political result of that policy was, as was pointed out by the hon. Member for Rugby, that, while still nominally responsible for the protection of those who lived as our loyal subjects in the interior, in reality our practical administration only extended to the towns lying along the sea coast. That is to say, as he put it we had granted Home Rule and the blessings of self-government to the interior of the country with exclusion of the towns along the coast line. Before leaving them, we assured those who composed the loyal population of Somaliland that they had nothing whatever to fear under the new system which was being set up We explained to them they were still under the protection of the Union Jack, and that British supremacy in the whole of that country would remain unrestricted and unimpaired. The Mullah became more satisfactory, I believe, in his action at that time, and did nothing to hinder our retreat, but rather to accelerate the evacuation of British troops. After that evacuation had been completed, the Mullah began to harass those who were our allies in the country. That part of the country came completely under his control, and although the Government were anxious to prevent that action, the condition of the country became so bad that we were unable to do so. That was the time the constabulary were established. They were established as a small force to operate in the interior of the country. No doubt it was a very necessary step to take. We 1681 have heard a lot about the duties of that force. The duties of that force, I admit, were for the policing of the country and the settling of disputes and quarrels between the tribes in the interior. They were not, we understand, to be used in. operations against the Mullah, I suppose some arrangements having been come to with the Mullah that he was not to interfere with their operations.
The instructions given at that time to the Camel Corps were, as pointed out many times during this Debate, really impossible to carry out. I would like to point out to the right hon. Gentleman that these orders to which so much importance is attached now were issued in December, 1912, when the conditions were entirely different from those which prevail now, and when this disaster or reverse actually took place. The tenth order to which very much attention has been directed, if carried out by Mr. Corfield, would mean that immediately he came into contact, or imagined he was coming into contact, he should at once march some eighty or ninety miles from inland to the coast, which, according to the instructions issued in December, 1912, it would have been perfectly impossible to carry out. As was pointed out, the right hon. Gentleman's attitude towards the conduct of the constabulary, so long as his plan was successful, was one of admiration. In the remarks he made on 21st January last year, he emphasised the success which the Corps had obtained, and he enumerated the losses they inflicted upon the enemy, and he got, I remember quite well, in this House, a deal of credit from the fact that his plan and policy had been successful. Contrast that with the attitude adopted by the right hon. Gentleman after the engagement of 1913. In the previous period the Camel Corps had been moving all about the country. In December, 1912, we have it in the Blue Book, that they were carrying on operations at a place called Mandera, with the complete approval of the right hon. Gentleman. In January, 1913, the Camel Corps had its headquarters at Burao, as shown from the Report of 6th March, and I think it is rather remarkable in view of that information which was conveyed to the right hon. Gentleman in March as to the position of the headquarters of the Camel Corps that he should have then thought it necessary after the disaster took place to dispatch a telegram inquiring why the force was in that district, because he had the information months before why that force 1682 had been in that district, and, as a matter of fact, I think since the 17th of January of that year. Why did he then immediately after the disaster send off that telegram inquiring why the force was in that particular district? Having done that, I do not think it can be a surprise that a certain number of people regarded that as the first step in the scheme of the right hon. Gentleman. to shift responsibility from his shoulders on to the shoulders of somebody else.
Later on, on the 5th of September, the right hon. Gentleman authorised that unfortunate dispatch which has been quoted with the reference to the late Mr. Corfield. I agree, and nothing the right hon. Gentleman has told us this afternoon has altered my opinion, that he adopted a most ungenerous line in defence of his own policy. Here was an officer placed in a position of the greatest difficulty, far away in the interior of Somaliland, who, to the best of his ability, and with undaunted courage, was trying to the best of his ability to restore the prestige of our country and to give some courage to the disheartened and despairing population. So far as he failed there has been an attempt to magnify his failure, but in the disaster there was, of course, no discredit to him or those other gallant men who laid down their lives in that distant corner of the Empire. Such discredit as there is must be laid at the door of the right hon. Gentleman himself, who was not unwilling to share in the honours and success of his policy, but proceeds, as I think, with ungenerous haste, to shift the responsibility of failure upon the military man of the day.
§ Colonel YATE
One question I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman is this: Is he sure of his facts in the account he gave us as to the age of the Mullah and his description of the man as decrepit and immovable from dropsy, and so on? My information is that he is a man about fifty years of age, just the age when Mohamed commenced his real fighting career. I should like the right hon. Gentleman to verify that statement as to the age and the fighting capacity of the Mullah.
§ Colonel YATE
The right hon. Gentleman has given us a small idea of what his policy is to be in Somaliland. As 1683 to his past policy, of course we challenge that entirely. We challenge the policy of withdrawal as a most mistaken one, and we challenge the policy of the instructions as to the conduct of the Camel Corps as a mistaken one. The right hon. Gentleman proposes to raise the Camel Corps to 500. With that I entirely agree. I only say in addition that we ought to have another 500 local Infantry raised there. He said he was going to raise the Indian Regulars from 200 to 400. These Regulars are absolutely useless as a protection against raids on camel and sheep. They cannot move rapidly about the country for want of water, provisions and transport.
§ Colonel YATE
They are only useful for garrisoning forts. The policy outlined is right, but it will require the absolute co-operation of the tribes, and without that co-operation I think the policy must fail. We must have a proper tribal organisation. The Tribal Intelligence Department has failed. We want good men to organise the tribes and to get them to act together. We ought to support the tribes with local levies raised in the country. I entirely agree with what has been said about poor Corfield, and I say this: That I have every hope that long after the right hon. Gen-
§ tleman and his dispatch regarding Corfield has been forgotten, the monument raised to the memory of Corfield at Berbera will remain as an encouragement to British officers in future that those who give their lives for their country will not be forgotten by their countrymen at home.
§ There is one other point: Corfield is dead; Dunn is alive. He has been awarded a police medal. By all means give a police medal to every man who fought through that engagement, but to give a police medal only to the man who brought the men out is not sufficient, and although he may not be qualified for the D.S.O. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to recommend him for some other decoration if he can possibly do so. Dunn's conduct throughout is deserving of the very highest praise. He brought the men out in great difficulties, and he showed great courage himself. Dunn and the Camel Corps came victorious off the field, and I think he ought to be recommended for something more than he has got. I am delighted to think that Burao is going to be reoccupied.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 294; Noes, 169.1687
|Division No. 20.]||AYES.||[8.15 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Burke, E. Haviland||Duffy, William J.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Adamson, William||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid]|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Cawley, Harold T. (Lanes., Heywood)||Elverston, Sir Harold|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Chancellor, Henry George||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Clancy, John Joseph||Essex, Sir Richard Walter|
|Armitage, Robert||Clough, William||Falconer, James|
|Arnold, Sydney||Clynes, John R.||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Ffrench, Peter|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Field, William|
|Barnes, George N.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick Burghs)||Cotton, William Francis||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Cowan, W. H.||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Crooks, William||France, Gerald Ashburner|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Crumley, Patrick||Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Cullinan, John||Gelder, Sir William Alfred|
|Bentham, G. J.||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Gill, A. H.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Gladstone, W. G. C.|
|Boland, John Pius||Davies, Timothy (Lines., Louth)||Glanville, Harold James|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Delany, William||Goldstone, Frank|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)|
|Brace, William||Devlin, Joseph||Greig, Colonel J. W.|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H.||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Dillon, John||Griffith, Ellis Jones|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Donelan, Captain A.||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.||
|Buckmaster, Sir Stanley O.||Deris, William||Hackett, John|
|Hancock, John George||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lines., Spalding)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Robinson, Sidney|
|Hardie, J. Keir||Manfield, Harry||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Meagher, Michael||Rowlands, James|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Millar, James Duncan||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Molloy, Michael||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Hayward, Evan||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Hazleton, Richard||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Mooney, John J.||Sheehy, David|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morison, Hector||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Henry, Sir Charles||Muldoon. John||Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)|
|Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Hewart, Gordon||Murphy, Martin J.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Snowden, Philip|
|Hinds, John||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Nolan, Joseph||Sutton, John E.|
|Hodge, John||Norman, Sir Henry||Swann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliff)|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Connor, John (Klidare, N.)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Thomas, J. H.|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Doherty, Philip||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Donnell, Thomas||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||O'Dowd, John||Verney, Sir Harry|
|John, Edward Thomas||Ogden, Fred||Walsh, Stephen (Lanes, Ince)|
|Johnson, W.||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Malley, William||Wardle, George J.|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Waring, Walter|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Jones, William S. Glyn (Stepney)||O'Shee, James John||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Jowett, Frederick William||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Joyce, Michael||Outhwaite, R. L.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Keating, Matthew||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Webb, H.|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Kelly, Edward||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Moore, William||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Kenyon, Barnet||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Morton)||Philipps, Colonel Ivor (Southampton)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Lardner, James C. R.||Pirie, Duncan V.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Lawson, Sir w. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Pratt, J. W.||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N.W.)|
|Leach, Charles||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Radford, G. H.||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Lundon, Thomas||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Winfrey, Sir Richard|
|Lynch, A. A.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Reddy, Michael||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|McGhee, Richard||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|M'Cailum, Sir John M.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Castlereagh, Viscount|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Bigland, Alfred||Cautley, H. S.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Bird, Alfred||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Blair, Reginald||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.|
|Astor, Waldorf||Boyton, James||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r., E.)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Chambers, J.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Bridgeman, William Clive||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Bull, Sir William James||Clive, Captain Percy Archer|
|Baring, Major Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Burgoyne, A. H.||Courthope, George Loyd|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)|
|Barnston, Harry||Butcher, John George||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Craik, Sir Henry|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian|
|Croft, H. P.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Rawson, Colonel R. H.|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Hunt, Rowland||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Denison-Pender, J. C.||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Rutherford, John (Lanes, Darwen|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Jackson, Sir John||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Dickson. Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Dixon, C. H.||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Doughty, Sir George||Joynson-Hicks, William||Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)|
|Du Pre, W. Baring||Kerry, Earl of||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootie)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Lloyd, George Butler (Snrewsbury)||Sandys, G. J.|
|Fell, Arthur||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Starkey, John R.|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Mackinder, H. J.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Fleming, Valentine||Macmaster, Donald||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Gardner, Ernest||M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.||Sykes, Sir Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||M'Mordie, Robert James||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Goldman, C. S.||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Magnus, Sir Philip||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Malcolm, Ian||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Grant, J. A.||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Gretton, John||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Newdegate, F. A.||Watson, Hon. W.|
|Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Newton, Harry Nottingham||Weigall, Captain A. G.|
|Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrincham)||Nicholson William G. (Petersfield)||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Harris, Henry Percy||Nield, Herbert||Wilder, Granville C. H.|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport|
|Henderson, Major H. (Berks., Abingdon)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Henderson, Sir A. (St. Geo., Han. Sq.)||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Wilson, Maj. Sir M. (Bethnal Green, S. W.)|
|Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Peel, Lieut.-Colonel R. F.||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Hibbert, Sir Henry F.||Perkins, Walter F.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Hills, John Waller||Peto, Basil Edward||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Pole-Carew, Sir R.||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Younger, Sir George|
|Hope, Harry (Bute)||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Randies, Sir John S.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Horner, Andrew Long||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||R. Baker and Mr. Glazebrook,|
§ Question put accordingly, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £35.258, be granted for the said Service.1688
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 170; Noes, 295.1691
|Division No. 21.]||AYES.||[8.23 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Gretton, John|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r., E.)||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Chambers, James||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrincham)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Courthope, George Loyd||Harris, Henry Percy|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Craik, Sir Henry||Henderson, Sir A. (St. Geo., Han. Sq.)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Croft, Henry Page||Hewins, William Albert Samuel|
|Barnston, Harry||Dairymple, Viscount||Hibbert, Sir Henry F.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Hills, John Waller|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Denison-Pender, J. C.||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Denniss, E. R. B.||Hohler, G. F.|
|Bigland, Alfred||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Hope, Harry (Bute)|
|Bird, Alfred||Dixon, C. H.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Blair, Reginald||Doughty, Sir George||Horner, Andrew Long|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Du Pre, W. Baring||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis|
|Boyton, James||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Hunt, Rowland|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Fell, Arthur||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Jackson, Sir John|
|Bull, Sir William James||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)|
|Burgoyne, A. H.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Jessel, Captain H. M.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Joynson-Hicks, William|
|Butcher, John George||Fleming, Valentine||Kerry, Earl of|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Gardner, Ernest||Law, Rt. Hon. Bonar (Bootle)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward M.||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Goldman, C. S.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Cautley, H. S.||Goldsmith, Frank||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Grant, James Augustus||Mackinder, Halford J.|
|Macmaster, Donald||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.||Quitter, Sir William Eley C.||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|M'Mordie, Robert James||Randles, Sir John S.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Touche, George Alexander|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Malcolm, Ian||Rees, Sir J. D.||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Wills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Rutherford, John (Lanes., Darwen)||Watson, Hon. W.|
|Moore, William||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)||Weigall, Captain A. G.|
|Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Newdegate, F. A.||Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|Newton, Harry Kottingham||Sanders, Robert Arthur||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Sanderson, Lancelot||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Nield, Herbert||Sandys, John George||Wilson, Maj. Sir M. (Bethnal Green, S. W.)|
|Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Paget, Almeric Hugh||Starkey, John Ralph||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Staveley-Hill, Henry||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Stewart, Gershom||Younger, Sir George|
|Peel, Lieut.-Colonel R. F.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Perkins, Walter F.||Sykes, Sir Mark (Hull, Central)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir|
|Peto, Basil Edward||Talbot, Lord Edmund||R. Baker and Mr. Glazebrook.|
|Pole-Carew, Sir R.||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Davies, Timothy (Lines., Louth)||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Adamson, William||Delany, William||Henderson, John M. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Henry, Sir Charles|
|Agar-Robertes, Hon. T. C. R.||Devlin, Joseph||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H.||Hewart, Gordon|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Dillon, John||Higham, John Sharp|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Donelan, Captain A.||Hinds, John|
|Armitage, R.||Doris, William||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.|
|Arnold, Sydney||Duffy, William J.||Hodge, John|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Holt, Richard Dunning|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Barnes, George N.||Elverston, Sir Harold||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Hudson, Walter|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexferd, N.)||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Falconer, James||John, Edward Thomas|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Farrell, James Patrick||Johnson, William|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Ffrench, Peter||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Boland, John Pius||Field, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Fitzgibbon, John||Jowett, Frederick William|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Joyce, Michael|
|Brace, William||France, Gerald Ashburner||Keating, Matthew|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Gelder, Sir W. A.||Kelly, Edward|
|Brunner, John F. L.||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Buckmaster, Sir Stanley O.||Gill, A. H.||Kenyon, Barnet|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Kilbride, Denis|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Glanville, H. J.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Goldstone, Frank||Lardner, James C. R.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lanes., Heywood)||Greig, Colonel James William||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Leach, Charles|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Griffith, Ellis Jones||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert|
|Clough, William||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Clynes, John R.||Hackett, John||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Hancock, John George||Lundon, Thomas|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Lynch, Arthur Alfred|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hardie, J. Keir||Macdonald, John M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||McGhee, Richard|
|Cotton, William Francis||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Cowan, W. H.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Crooks, William||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Crumley, Patrick||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Cullinan, John||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||M'Curdy, C. A.|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Hayden, John Patrick||M'Kean, John|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Hayward, Evan||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Hazleton, Richard||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lines, Spalding)|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Philipps, Colonel Ivor (Southampton)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Manfield, Harry||Phillips, John (Longtord, S.)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Pirie, Duncan V.||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Meagher, Michael||Pratt, J. W.||Thomas, James Henry|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Millar, James Duncan||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Molloy, Michael||Radford, G. H.||Walsh, Stephen (Lanes., Ince)|
|Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Raphael, Sir Herbert Henry||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wardle, George J.|
|Mooney, John J.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Waring, Walter|
|Morison, Hector||Reddy, Michael||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Muldoon, John||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Murphy, Martin J.||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Webb, H.|
|Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Nolan, Joseph||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Norman, Sir Henry||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Robinson, Sidney||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Roe, Sir Thomas||Whyte, Alexander F.|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Rowlands, James||Wiles, Thomas|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Rowntree, Arnold||Wilkie, Alexander|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N.W.)|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|O'Dowd, John||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Ogden, Fred||Scanlan, Thomas||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|O'Malley. William||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Sheehy, David||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Sherwell, Arthur James||Winfrey, Sir Richard|
|O'Shee, James John||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Outhwaite, R. L.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Snowden, Philip||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southward West)|
|Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Sutton, John E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Swann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
Original Question put accordingly, and agreed to.
§ It being after a quarter past Eight of the clock, further proceeding was postponed without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 4.