HL Deb 22 August 1881 vol 265 cc606-7

Order of the Day for the First Reading read.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 1a" —(The Earl of Morley.)


said, that it was an important Bill containing 54 clauses, dealing with a considerable portion of the administration of the Service, and yet it came up to that House at a time when it was impossible it could receive the consideration to which it was entitled. He understood that it had made several changes in almost every branch of the Service. The result of that haste in legislation was that the Bill would have to pass through its several stages without remark. He had formerly had occasion to call attention to the capricious way in which changes were made in the Service, and innovations were vexatious when they were made without sufficient reason and without fair discussion. The Queen's Army was not inert matter, on which Departments could operate at discretion. It was a very highly organized and sensitive machine, and everything connected with it should be very carefully and wisely considered. That, he thought, did not appear to have been done in the recent changes of administration at which the Government had tried their hands. He had heard there was yet another Bill which had not seen the light, which it was intended to pass through both Houses this week.


said, that he did not think there was anything in this Bill which was likely to expose it to the criticisms of the noble Earl. It did not make any changes of a serious character that were likely to be vexatious to the Service, neither was it of the great importance the noble Earl seemed to suppose. He understood that it only dealt with matters of detail, and his noble Friend the Under Secretary of State for War would be able to give the necessary explanations at the next stage of the Bill.

Motion agreed to.

Bill read 1"; and to he printed. (No. 221.)