HL Deb 05 March 1880 vol 251 cc423-5

in moving— That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty for Copies of the despatches from military officers in general command of the volunteer reviews upon successive Easter Mondays, said, that the Government had, wisely or unwisely, resolved to sanction a Volunteer Review upon the ensuing Easter Monday. He (Lord Campbell), the other evening, asked for a Copy of the Report of Sir Hope Grant made in 1871; but the noble Viscount the Under Secretary of State for War (Viscount Bury) would not consent to produce it unless all the other Reports, which were less censorious, were produced. It would now be quite unnecessary to say anything more upon this subject, as the whole of it was before the House. His aim was not to cast any stigma upon the Auxiliary Force with which he had been connected, but he wished to see what Sir Hope Grant had reported about them. He did not move for that despatch for his private information, but in the public interest; and in now moving for the whole of them, as he did, it was solely in deference to what the noble Viscount had suggested in declining to give alone the particular despatch in question—namely, that he (Lord Campbell) should move not for one, but for all. He therefore hoped his Motion would be acceded to.

Moved, that an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty for Copies of the despatches from military officers in general command of the volunteer reviews upon successive Easter Mondays."—(The Lord Campbell.)


said, he had not suggested that the noble Lord should move for all these despatches; but what he said was, in answer to some of the observations of the noble Lord, that it would be hardly fair to have a Return of one despatch which was unfavourable, and leave out of the bundle all those which were of a very different tenor. The production of all these despatches would not be of any general interest. To grant the Return would require a large amount of Departmental work, and it would be work which was purely of an antiquarian character, and not of general interest to the public. There were 16 or 17 of them, and the details were of matters of bygone days, and would be dreary and unprofitable reading. He had himself relations with a great many Volunteers, and he had not met with one who desired to have these Reports. It should be remembered that the Volunteer system had been very much changed in recent years, and really no good purpose could be served by granting the Return. Besides, sufficient publicity had been given to them at the time by the insertion of them in all the newspapers, which were of easy access to the noble Lord. Not only that, but they had all been published in The Volunteer Service Gazette, a copy of which could be purchased for the small sum of 3d.


said, the noble Viscount suggested the Motion, and he (Lord Campbell) was surprised that he had come down to of pose it.


begged the noble Lord's pardon; he did not suggest it.


said, he would be perfectly ready to accept the Report of Sir Hope Grant, and would not ask for the others. The Motion was not of sufficient importance to divide the House upon; however, he would not withdraw it, but leave the Government to negative it.

On Question? Resolved in the Negative.

House adjourned at half past Six o'clock, to Monday next, Eleven o'clock.