HL Deb 27 June 1867 vol 188 cc586-602

rose to call attention to the Report of the Committee on the Transport and Supply Departments of the Army; and to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, What course the Government intend to take with reference to the Recommendations of that Committee in favour of the consolidation of the administrative departments of the Army, and the establishment of a single Department of Control? Their Lordships would, no doubt, agree with him that the subject was one of great importance; but, in the remarks which he felt it his duty to address to the House, he should confine himself exclusively to the general principle on which the recommendations of the Committee were founded, and should not go into matters of mere detail. The general principle, then, on which the recommendations of the Committee were founded was that it was necessary to concentrate the various civil departments of the Army and to place them under the control of a single responsible head. In that principle he cordially concurred. In order to state the grounds on which he advocated this principle of central control it would be necessary for him to explain the present arrangements in regard to the civil departments of the army, and the circumstances under which those arrangements were made. At the present moment there several separate distinct civil branches of the army—namely the Barrack Service, the Commissariat Service, the Purveying Service, the Store Department, and the Transport Department, each of which was administered by its own independent head; and, although they were civil departments, were yet under military control. Their Lordships would remember that, at the beginning of the Crimean war, most of these civil departments did not exist at all. The Commissariat Department had had little or no experience of its duties in connection with an army; in the field, it having been at that time confined exclusively to its duties under the Treasury. The result was that from the very commencement of active operations, it proved unable to perform the services required of it; and their Lordships would remember the misery and distress that were caused to our troops in the Crimea from the inefficiency of that department. Under the pressure of active operations it was inevitable that other civil departments should be created, which were accordingly organized under the direction of the persons who were charged with the administration of the army. Of course, however, they were established in order to meet the exigencies of the moment, and the consequence was that although at the conclusion of the war we were more favourably situated in regard to the civil departments of the army than at its commencement, yet a great deal still remained to be done before these departments could be brought into an efficient and thoroughly satisfactory condition. Successive Secretaries of State had indeed given their attention to the subject; but, instead of regarding it as a whole, they had only dealt with particular departments. In the Report of the Committee would be found extracts from the evidence of his lamented Friend the late Lord Herbert, who had arrived at the conclusion that all these departments ought, as far as the War Office was concerned, to be united under one head, who should be an officer of the staff. Failure of health, followed by his lamented death, prevented his noble Friend from carrying out his plans, though he had obtained the sanction of the Treasury to a step in that direction. He had left the work to those who came after him. At a very early period after he (Earl de Grey) himself entered the War Office he became convinced that a closer union of those departments, and a revision of the system on which they discharged their functions, were necessary to their efficiency; and, when he became Secretary of State for War, he felt it his duty to turn his attention to the subject, and he gave it that careful consideration which a matter of such difficulty required when one desired to introduce a change. At the end of 1865 he prepared a scheme founded on precisely the same principles as those embodied in the Report of Lord Strathnairn's Committee; indeed, the Committee themselves most frankly declared that they had adopted the general principle laid down in his scheme. But it had not been his good fortune to be able to carry out his plan before he left the War Office, in consequence of the retirement of the Administration of which he was a member. But the Committee, although appointed for the consideration of a subordinate part of the question, discovered that the amalgamation of the several departments was of more pressing importance; and they obtained the permission of the then Secretary for War, (General Peel), to go into that question. That was the history of the question; and up to the present moment no step had actually been taken to bring about a re-construction of those departmemts. They continued to be separate departments, each under a distinct head, who commanded in time of peace, conducting the business of the department without communication with the other heads. He did not think it was necessary to trouble their Lordships with many observations to prove the disadvantages of such a system when they had before them the Report of the Committee. What they did find in that Report with regard to the civil administration of the War Office? There was the evidence of Captain Gordon, the principal Superintendent of Stores at Woolwich, an able officer, and a man who thoroughly understood the duties of his office. He stated that if there were a war to-morrow, the system would break down in a fortnight. Another distinguished witness told the Committee that he felt strongly the inadequacy of the arrangements in the Commissariat Department. He pointed out the great variety of duties which the Commissariat officers were called on to discharge—from those of military accountants to those of purveyors. He showed—and showed most clearly and obviously, the disadvantages of such a system—one under which a man, all of whose time was engaged in accounts, might be called upon to provide for an army in the field. He called the system one under which the Commissariat officer was a "Jack of all trades." With regard to the transport service, it was shown by the Report of the Committee that a part of the duty of the army in the field was determined and organized at home; but that, at present, there could scarcely be said to be any arrangement for the adequate performance of transport duties in the field. When the Committee desired to go into this part of the subject, a most distinguished and competent witness informed them that it would first of all be necessary to go into the much wider question of the general organization of the department, and this they were obliged to do. It was obvious, without any reference to the evidence, that these departments were frequently engaged in dealing with a business of a cognate character, and if they were combined he believed that the country would save considerable expense. One result of the present system was that there was a considerable quantity of needless stores. Each department contained, to a certain extent, its own stores and its own reserves; one department did not know what another possessed; and the consequence was a purchase of stores which would not be required if the departments were under one head. Again, there was a different system at home from that which prevailed abroad, and a different system in peace from that which was required in war. He knew that we could not expect a perfect similarity between the management of matters under such dissimilar circumstances; but it was important to bring all these arrangements as closely as possible under one uniform system. Under the present arrangements the duties of the Commissariat abroad were of a very different character from those of the Commissariat at home. It appeared to him that the last step which remained in the organization of the departments—namely, the placing them under one head, with a view to their greater efficiency—ought now to be taken. The separate efficiency of each department had already been greatly increased; all that was now required was that they should be combined. We had in favour of that measure the opinions of such men as Lord Strathnairn, Sir Hope Grant, Sir Henry Storks, Sir Charles Trevelyan, Dr. Sutherland, Captain Gordon, and other distinguished and experienced authorities. He quite agreed with the recommendations of the Committee as to officers in the lower ranks of these different branches. It would be highly undesirable that an officer should be taken from one department for which he was perfectly qualified, and set to discharge duties for which he was wholly unsuited; but, at the same time, there was an obvious advantage in placing all these officers upon the same footing, and in being able to transfer them, if necessary, from one department to another. He thought, therefore, that the lower ranks of the two departments should be kept distinct, and that only the upper ranks should be united. By the proposed change the accumulation of stores to an unnecessary amount would also be prevented. The heads of the Store Departments looked chiefly, and very naturally, to the efficiency of their own particular departments, without regard to any of the rest, and hence accumulations were unavoidable unless there existed some chief department continually to overlook and check their expenditure—and that not merely in a central office, but acting locally as well. It was not merely in the matter of stores that economy was to be anticipated from the establishment of this novel system. The Controller in each locality would be an officer of high rank; and would be charged not merely with the duty of checking the local expenditure, but also of seeing that the regulations were strictly enforced. His decisions, he believed, were likely to afford great satisfaction to officers of the army having claims upon the War Department, because they would be pronounced by a man having local knowledge. One thing, however, would be indispensable, if these Controllers were established, and that was that the regulations should be rendered clear and distinct, and made known to all who had to deal with the department. The regulations in existence a short time ago were of old date, and had been altered in various respects—sometimes in detail and sometimes in principle. To a great extent this had been effected by office rules and decisions which had never been promulgated, and were little known to the army. When in office he was deeply impressed with the belief that, as soon as these regulations in the modified form were collected and published, it would be found that many parts of the warrant required alteration; he was, consequently, glad to understand that the War Department had undertaken the revision of the terms of the warrant. He hoped the result would be to produce a body of financial regulations which would be made known to every officer of the army, and would be adhered to in all cases, but those where circumstances of a clearly exceptional character were shown. One consequence of the existence of this body of regulations would probably be that the financial appeals, which at present formed so large a share of the business of the War Department, would altogether cease. To a very large extent these appeals arose from a misunderstanding of the rules; and with regulations easily, intelligible, misconceptions would be got rid of, with a great amount of satisfaction to officers. With respect to the advantages which would arise in time of war from the adoption of the new system, he necessarily spoke with some diffidence, but it had in its favour the opinions of eminent military men. And it must be evident that scarcely any part of our military organization was more important than the re-organization of the administrative departments. However well commanded and however individually brave soldiers might be, it was impossible they could fight well unless they were well fed and supplied. The questions of Transport and Commissariat, therefore, lay at the very root of the effectiveness of an army: and as the Commander-in-Chief in future would have at his right hand the chief of his staff, combining the several combatant departments, so he would have on his left hand the Controller General combining the various administrative departments. By this means the last coping stone seemed in a fair way of being placed upon the system of military administration which had been gradually built up since the disasters of the Crimea. He entirely concurred in the suggestion that the different controllers should be placed under the orders of a Chief Controller in the War Department; but the system must be carried out completely, and not tentatively merely. He trusted the Government would not appoint a Chief Controller unless they intended to carry out the other parts of the scheme as well. They must be prepared to deal with questions locally as well as centrally; and with a view of avoiding difficulties he would suggest that the Chief Controller should not be taken from either of the existing departments, but should be a man of recognized ability, independent of both. He himself hoped that a question so important would receive the most serious consideration of Her Majesty's Government. Of course he had no expectation that the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Longford) would be able to say that Sir John Pakington, who had but recently entered on the office of Secretary of State for War, had yet arrived at any definite conclusion upon all these points; but he wished to press upon the Government that they ought not to lose the opportunity for action afforded by this Report, and the amount of public attention which it had attracted. No doubt, a new Secretary of State would shrink from hastening to a decision on so important a question as this; but the present Secretary for War had the advantage of being acquainted with the deliberate opinion of his predecessors, and the impressions of the competent military men and civilians who had formed the Committee. Of course, any remedy for the evils complained of would interfere with vested interests; but the evils were of such magnitude that a Secretary of State should not refrain from attacking them on this account. He concluded by again expressing his earnest hope that the scheme recommended by the Committee would receive the speedy consideration of the Government, and asked, What course the Government intended taking with reference to it?


said, that the answer to the noble Earl's Question would be, as he had anticipated, that the Report in question proposed such large changes in the War Office arrangements, and affected the interests of so many classes of officers, that the Secretary of State had found it necessary to refer the Report for the observations of those whose duties would be seriously influenced by it; when the Report of those gentlemen had been received — and it was expected shortly — he would give his best consideration to the whole subject. It would possibly be necessary, however, to refer the Report to the same Committee, or to a new Committee of officers, to obtain further opinions on some particular points. The consolidation to some extent of the different departments of the War Office had been more than once recommended and had been generally viewed with favour; but Sir John Pakington was not yet in a position at once to declare in favour of the adoption of this particular scheme; his opinion, however, tended in that direction. The noble Earl (Earl de Grey) had very truly said that the original constitution of the War Office was faulty. The organization of the separate departments had reproduced to some extent the inconveniences of the former military administration, which was scattered through different departments of the public service. The noble Earl found this to be the case during his experience at the War Office; and, although he had not time to complete his plans of Reform, the papers showed that the reforms which were in the mind of Lord Herbert were reviewed by the noble Earl, and reduced by him to such a shape that he was enabled to appoint Lord Strathnairn's Committee to consider and report upon them. The Treasury were cautious about accepting recommendations not exhibited in detail, which dealt with 580 officers, divided into four different classes, each constituted under different warrants, having different descriptions of service and different rates of pay and promotion. It was therefore suggested that the evidence and opinions of Officers in the different branches of the service should be taken, and hence the Report which was now before their Lordships, which contained a most valuable body of information. But even if the recommendations should be adopted as they stood, or in any similar shape, their Lordships would scarcely then have before them a complete military administration. By the original constitution of the War Office the military element was excluded from it to too great an extent, and under the present system the most important parts of military administration—the machinery of conveyance, the system, of supply, the manufacture of materials, and other matters—were withdrawn in a great measure from the view of the military Commander-in-Chief and the military Staff; yet when, on an emergency, a military officer was sent into the field to command an army he found himself very often acting as a conveyer of troops, superintending commissariat arrangements, and acting as a diplomatist, besides performing many other offices with which at home he was totally disconnected. This state of things would probably be remedied by the appointment of a Controller, as recommended in this Report, who would assist the military commander with the universal knowledge expected of such an officer; but it would be well if military officers had during their service more opportunities of studying the machinery of the administration of the army. Great inconveniences had arisen from the scattered state of the military offices. A new War Office was a first requirement; the heads of departments were at present badly lodged, at a distance from each other, and at the same time very expensively; the rents and taxes paid for the various War Offices amounted to as much as £6,500, which if capitalized would produce an Office, where the business of the department could be done by fewer hands with better results, and would enable a more convenient administration altogether. The War Office and Parliament had been very sensible of the necessity of watching military administration; and in proof of their vigilance he mentioned that seventeen Royal Commissions, eighteen Select Committees of the House of Commons, nineteen Committees of officers within the War Office, besides thirty-five Committees of military officers, had considered points of policy with respect to the administration of the War Department—some of them involving large questions of policy—during the twelve years of its existence. No doubt every variety of opinion as to the wisdom of this last Report might be expected from those who were interested in the questions it raised; they would no doubt give excellent reasons why no liberties should be taken with their respective departments, although they would probably admit that others might be susceptible of improvement; but the Government had reason to hope that some arrangements might be entered into, which, if not perfect, would be a simplification of the present faulty system, and be also satisfactory to the army and the country.


My Lords, the subject brought forward by the noble Earl is one of such magnitude that I do not think it can be fully discussed in your Lordships' House or in the other House of Parliament. Of course the principle may be discussed by your Lordships; but the details cannot be discussed with advantage in either House. Your Lordships have just been told that a large number of Committees and Commissions have been appointed to consider this subject, and yet we are not much nearer the end we have in view than we were at the commencement of these enquiries. The main difficulty seems to be that we have to deal with a variety of departments, all of which have to be consulted in any change; and it is not always easy to get officers of departments to see the advantages which will accrue to the public from the information thus obtained. I cannot help thinking that the changes proposed may produce some beneficial results; and without committing myself by saying that I concur, or that I do not concur in the extended recommendations of the Committee I cannot but feel that great care and attention has been bestowed on the various subjects brought before the Committee, and that we are much indebted to those who have so ably conducted the inquiry, and for the full, valuable, and exhaustive Report they have presented. There is one point which I cannot help referring to. Most of the subjects under consideration are connected with the War Office, and are under the supervision of the Secretary of State for War, and it is for the Secretary of State, and not for me, to go into the details relating to these questions, and to decide what should be done. There is one question of much importance which I am glad to see referred to in the Report—I allude to the appointment of a Controller-in-Chief in connection with the Secretary of State's Office. I think that a Controller-in-Chief would be a valuable officer in the department of the Secretary of State for War, and to tills recommendation, of the Committee I give my assent; but whatever arrangements are made for the control of the department, either in the War Office or with an army in the field, I think the greatest care should be taken that the regulations under which the Controller acts are so clear and definite that he should on no account and under no circumstances override the power of the General Officer in charge of the army in the field. The fact is that the General Officer commanding in the field has an enormous responsibility resting upon him; and if that responsibility be checked and controlled by a civil officer having the management of some of the administrative departments of the army in the field, great difficulties will arise, great jealousies will be created, and great mischief will result. There is another point which I have to notice. I do not quite understand the proposal of the Committee with regard to transport. One of the difficulties experienced in the Crimea arose from the fact that at first we had no military transport at all; but now we have organized a system of military transport which no doubt in a time of war will swell to considerable proportions. It seems to me that it is intended to hand over the control of this large body to civil officers. If this be so I take exception to the proposal. I do not object to the Secretary of State having the management of what would properly belong to the Controller's department; but I do object to the Secretary of State having the management of men who are, to all intents and purposes, soldiers, and who if not subjected to army discipline would become a useless body. One further point to which I wish to allude is this, that indispensable as the services of such a body are in the field, there is no doubt that they must to a great extent be reduced in times of peace. As, therefore, on the return of peace, reduction is always the order of the day, it is not unreasonable that this department should be very limited in numbers, as at present, to meet the emergencies of the moment. A sudden expansion is always very difficult, and has proved our great drawback whenever we have had to take the field. I do not see how the control department would get over that difficulty, though the principles upon which it is proposed to create such a department seems to be sound and valuable.


said, he was perfectly willing to admit that we could not revert to the old system, which he believed had, in many respects, worked satisfactorily. That system broke down in the Crimea, because the authorities did not carry out the regulations of the Board of Ordnance as laid down in 1832; also because the Government of the day disbelieved utterly in the certainty of war. The consequence of the dissatisfaction experienced at the failure of the system, amalgamation of the different departments had been carried out; but it had been so carried in detail that it had resulted in great want of harmony of action. Still, from his own short experience of the War Department, he knew that it was a constant struggle between the heads of the different departments to get as much as possible from their respective branches, and that there was a great want of harmony and unity existing. The evidence given before the Committee fully proved that this was the case; and it was said, with truth, that, in consequence, disputes frequently occupied days instead of hours in the settlement. At Woolwich the stores were partly under the Director of Ordnance, and partly under the Military Store-keeper. This arrangement led to complications, and the greatest inconvenience to the public service was the result. He felt convinced that the Minister for War, whether a civilian, as Sir John Pakington was, or a military man, as was General Peel, had more work than he could get through. If a Chief Controller were appointed he would be the right-hand man of the Secretary for War, and would relieve the latter of a great deal of responsibility and unnecessary labour. He hoped, however, that the greatest possible attention would be paid to the remarks of His Royal Highness the Commander-in Chief, for there could be no doubt that nothing could be worse than that the action of the officer in command should be hampered in any way by the conduct of any sub-controller. He had heard, for instance,—with what truth he did not know, as he was not behind the scenes—that Lord Raglan in the Crimean war had complained that his movements were hampered by the power exercised by Mr. Commissary Filder, He would not venture to give any opinion of his own upon the proposal to hand over the military stores to the custody of the Royal Artillery; but by those who objected to the proposal it was urged that it would be necessary, if the project were adopted, to support a double staff. The present arrangement was that the shot and shell, or other ammunition in the first and second line was under the charge of the officers of the Royal Artillery, whilst the stores at the base depôt were in the hands of the Military Store-keeper. This was the old system existing in the Peninsula, and one which had been sanctioned and approved of by the Duke of Wellington. Unless strong reasons were brought forward for making such a change, he was not disposed to advocate it. There could be no doubt that there was a great absence of harmony and unity in the present system, which, he feared, would cause it to break down in the field. All their Lordships would, he believed, concur in regretting that his gallant Friend General Peel, with his experience of the War Office, had not the power to carry out the details of these arrangements, and he sincerely trusted that his gallant Friend's successor in Parliament would seriously consider the propositions brought forward by the Committee.


I trust that your Lordships will excuse my occupying your attention for a short time; but, as President of the Committee, whose Report now forms the subject of your Lordships' deliberation, it would not be fitting that I should be silent, that I should offer no explanations respecting their labours, matters of military organization, which, always difficult to be understood, are more especially so, when, as in the present case, they are connected with a double authority—the Secretary of State for War, and the Commander-in-Chief. The Committee of which I am President was set on foot by my noble Friend the late Secretary of State for War, in consequence of another and a previous Committee having reported their inability to settle the control and management, in other words, the organization of the Military Train, and of their having recommended that a special and fresh Committee should be assembled for that purpose. The first duty of the Committee was to examine the actual state of the Military Train. They found it inefficient for war. The carriage, whether for supply, or for the sick and wounded, was ill-devised and ill-constructed, and was unanimously condemned. The officering of the Train was on a false principle. It was more suited to the combatant branches, than to the laborious, homely, duties of military transport, the care and driving of waggons and horses, in short, the carrying service of the army. General McMurdo, late Director General of the Train, describes their faulty system in a lucid Report. It would not be fair to attribute this unfavourable state of the transport to existing causes; they must be traced to a characteristic indisposition of the nation for preparation for war, particularly its expense, although we are, generally ready to go to war for our own rights, and even sometimes for those of others. The chief element of preparation for war is transport; it is the legs and means of existence of an army. It is indispensable for an army, whether halted or in movement, and even if a railroad runs through the camp or line of operations. We go to war first and organize afterwards; often in distant scenes of operations, at times in the midst of war, and even in front of the enemy. It was so in Spain; it was so in India; it was so in the Crimea. Despatches from Spain and from the Crimea, from generals illustrious by their deeds and character, shew how much they, their armies, and the interests of the country, suffered from want of preparation for war. The evident strategy in the Crimea was a turning movement to support the front attack on Sebastopol; and Lord Raglan, who combined great talent with great intrepidity, gave me a clever paper for submission to the French Commander-in-Chief, in which he pointed out the advantages of a turning movement. But how, my Lords, was it possible that an extensive flank movement could be effected when, for the first period of the campaign, the British army was without the power of movement, had no transport, and, for the latter part, the Military Train was in a constant but ineffectual attempt at existence, and at last broke down. India was all but lost in 1845—I say this on the authority of the Governor General at that time, Lord Hardinge, because the British army had no transport for the reserves of ammunition. If the Sikhs had fallen on us the following morning our position would have been more than critical. State papers were ordered to be burnt at Ferooz Shah, and there were other indications of an expected disaster. One of my greatest embarrassments during the Indian campaign was inefficient, unorganized transport from Bombay to the Jumna; bad carts, bad bullocks, and country drivers, who, night after night escaped into trackless jungle. Want of transport and supplies forced me to halt for eight days at Saugor. The delay enabled the enemy to complete the defences of Jhansi, which could not be breached, and to bring up 20,000 men who fell on my right flank and endeavoured to force me to give up the siege. When the Committee considered the system of control of the transport service they found that it would be for the good of the service that the other administrative services should be brought under the same control, because intimately connected with Supply and Transport and more or less so with each other. All these departments are under the War Office, and their duties bring them into constant relations at military stations with other—the troops and their commanders. But these relations are not defined by any rules or organization. The result is friction, I may say dissensions, amongst the departments them- selves, and undefined, doubtful, subordination to the Commander-in-Chief. I need not dwell on the danger of undefined authority in the Commander-in-Chief at at any time, but particularly in operation in the field, and in troubled times; nor on the disadvantage of his time being taken up by arbitrating between contending departments, when it ought to be devoted exclusively to more important matters. Sir Duncan Cameron, when conducting the operations in New Zealand, was embarrassed with these departmental discussions. And in Ireland, where I certainly had other things to think of, I was embarrassed by the same causes. Once, it was a difference between medical men and the purveyor, as to cooks, each claiming an authority which I should not have thought any one would have ambitioned—the command and management of cooks. Another time, it was a voluminous correspondence, which lasted some months, about a charge which ought never to have been made against an escort of the 10th Hussars for the Prince of Wales, for a few shillings worth of light which they were obliged to have to enable them to turn out at night for His Royal Highness. These incidents are trifling, but they point to defective organization, and to more serious consequences in a campaign. I will cite a more important case, an instance of resistance on the part of a Military Store officer to the legitimate order of an officer in command. The officer commanding at a certain station in Ireland, which I may observe is, on account of its strategical importance, a key to the centre of that country, which it was the great object of the Fenians to get possession of, directed him to attend a Committee for the survey of artillery stores. The officer refused to do so on the plea that he was a War Office officer. So little was my own authority over the administrative departments defined by my instructions that I considered it more prudent to refer the matter home than to deal with it myself. The Store officer was severely reprimanded and removed. There can be no doubt that the officer behaved ill; but I share the opinion of an unquestionable authority, which I beg to quote, that he acted under the influence of undefined authority. Such a case might equally have occurred, and the consequences would have been serious, if, at a critical moment the Board had assembled for the issue of Snider rifles. These differences, detrimental to the public service, could not have occurred had an officer of high position and qualifications, representing the double authority of the War Office and the Commander-in-Chief, controlled the administrative department. The duty of the Controller is, that acting under the General Commanding, he should carry out all the War Office Regulations required for the service relating to the administrative departments: discipline being of the competency of the Adjutant General; strategical movements of that of the Quartermaster - General; a margin being left to the Controller to carry out any measure which the Commander-in-Chief, on his responsibility may consider necessary for the good of the service, or the success of an operation. I cannot give a better practical proof of the necessity of a Controller than by stating a recent fact. When a partial insurrectionary movement took place the other day in Ireland, I telegraphed to the War Office for a Controller, under the influence of the necessity of the assistance of an officer who would save me the delay and trouble of addressing separate orders, called for, the troops taking the field, to each of the administrative departments. I venture to notice one or two misapprehensions which have taken place respecting the Report of the Committee, simply because they may create erroneous impressions. One was that the Committee had ignored the Adjutant-General, the Quartermaster-General, and the Military Secretary. But I beg to say, that, so far from this being the case, the Committee in different parts of their proceedings, which could not have been read, have distinctly acknowledged the position and rights of these officers. Again, rather a vehement expression was applied to the proceedings and construction of the Committee. One was that they were "revolutionary," and that their construction had led them to act under a bias. But official extracts from the proceedings which I shall have the honour to read to you, my Lords, will enable you to judge whether their proceedings have not rather been safe and necessary ameliorations than revolutionary changes; and as regards their bias, I beg leave to say that the Committee having understood that an officer of very high position at the War Office, as well as talented and experienced, had expressed himself as much opposed to the views of the Committee and the principles on which they acted, the Committee at once requested the Secretary of State for War that this gentleman, who was the Accountant-General (Mr. Brown), might be added to their Committee in order that they might have the benefit of hearing and considering the reasons which had led him to form a different opinion from theirs. The result was perfectly satisfactory. Mr. Brown concurred in all the views of the Committee, as may be seen from the proceedings; and only differed from them on one point, a financial one of his speciality, the pay which the Committee proposed to assign to the officers of the new Department of Control, Mr. Brown, as he was perfectly entitled to do, recording his dissent on the face of the preceedings. As regards the construction of the Committee, there were, besides Mr. Brown, three Members of it who were not of the regular army—one in command of the Military Train, and two in high positions in the War Office.


said, the illustrious Duke seemed to express alarm, that if the proposed system of Control were adopted it would be found that the Controllers would control too much; but he (Earl Longford) had no doubt they would be able to find officers who would understand the instructructions they received, and assist, and not obstruct the military authorities.

  2. c602