§ House in Committee.
§ (1.) £10 in addition to £450,000 already voted, for Civil Establishments at home and abroad.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, that a sum of £101,000 had been taken for the excess of expenditure in this department made necessary by the war; but it was now calculated at one-half. That sum would be amply sufficient for the purpose. A good many of the persons employed at the Bosphorus and in the Crimea had already returned home. It had, however, been found necessary to leave behind a staff sufficient to make up the accounts; and he had reason to expect that the whole of the accounts of the expenditure of the army of the East would be made up by the end of the present year. There was also a reduction of between £13,000 and £14,000 from the Vote for lodging and victualling allowances, and he considered, though he could not speak with certainty on the subject, there would be even a greater reduction than that. Taking all the various items of reduction into account, he believed he could say with confidence that the sum of £450,000, which had been voted for this service, would be amply sufficient to defray the whole of the expenditure that was likely to arise in the course of the year.
said, he would beg to inquire whether, now that the war had concluded, there was any intention of making any alteration in the War Department? War the establishment to be conducted 1692 by a War Minister at a great expense, or by a Secretary for War at less cost? He also wished to know whether the large establishments for providing the clothing and accoutrements of the army were to be kept up on an undiminished scale while the army itself was reduced?
§ MR. MONSELL
said, he was fearful he could not hold out an expectation of any large reductions being made during the present year. He could inform the hon. and gallant Member for Portarlington that in some branches of the War Department it had been found necessary since the peace to appoint additional clerks, for in winding up the accounts the amount of labour was quite as great, perhaps, as during the expenditure of the money. With regard to another point referred to by the hon. and gallant Gentleman he had to state that undoubtedly the existing constitution of the War Department was to be kept up. Lord Panmure had under consideration the question whether certain reductions might be made, and probably reductions could be effected, though not to any great extent; but it was to be doubted whether during the present year any such advance could be made in the matter as would insure a large reduction of expenditure. He could assure the Committee that from the very moment peace was declared no industry had been omitted to discover every possible means of economy, and directions had been given to different heads of departments in Pall Mall and Woolwich to send in monthly returns of the reductions which it would be possible to effect. A very considerable reduction, which he should explain on the next Vote, had already been made at Woolwich, and the best exertions were being used to economise wherever it was possible to do so.
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
said, that the Vote of above £500,000 required during the war was only reduced by £50,000, and it appeared to him extraordinary that so large an amount should be needed for a peace establishment. He would suggest that a short printed statement should be distributed to the Members of the House, pointing out the different items on which it was proposed to effect reductions.
§ MR. SPOONER
said, he had asked the other night whether any workmen had been sent out to Belgium at the request of the Ordnance, and, if so, for what purpose; and whether any expense had been incurred, for no item on the subject appeared 1693 in the Estimates; and he was told that no workmen had been sent out to Belgium, and consequently no expense had been incurred. Now, he (Mr. Spooner) owned that he was astonished at that answer, having received information upon the subject from a quarter which he thought was entitled to credit. Subsequently he had made further inquiries, and found that workmen had been sent to Liege as viewers, for the purpose of instructing persons in the employment of the Ordnance department of Belgium in the art of viewing. Moreover, he was informed that those workmen were there at this moment, and that they received considerable wages, which were paid to them by some branch or other of our own Government. He now wished to know if that information were correct; and if so, how it was that in the answer returned to him by the Secretary of the Treasury he was told that no workmen had been sent out, and that, therefore, no expense had been incurred?
§ MR. MONSELL
said, there could be no doubt that the answer of his hon. Friend (Mr. Wilson) arose from a misapprehension. It was true there had been cetain persons employed in Belgium during the past year in viewing arms. A deputation, he understood, of the hon. Gentleman's (Mr. Spooner's) constituents had also gone to Liege on their own account, for the purpose of seeing for themselves how the gun business was carried on there. These latter, to whom he supposed his hon. Friend (Mr. Wilson) to refer, were not paid by the Government, but they had received every assistance that the Government could give them, and yesterday he had the satisfaction of receiving a most interesting report from them as to what they had seen, with comments upon the manner in which business was transacted there.
§ MR. SPOONER
said, he was still at a loss to discover how the Secretary to the Treasury could have made a mistake. It appeared now that viewers had been sent out, and of course they had been instructed as to the mode in which they should view, in order to enable the gunmakers of Liege to compete with the manufacturers at Birmingham and Enfield. These persons were sent out at the expense of this country; they certainly taught the Belgians how to view arms, and in so doing were, in fact, teaching them to compete with our own people.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, the expense incurred 1694 for these viewers of course formed a portion of the cost of the arms which we got from Belgium, and was charged in the small arms Vote. The Government had obtained all the arms they could from Birmingham, and adopted every means in their power, by giving the most unlimited contracts, to satisfy the Birmingham people, who had since intimated to him over and over again that they were satisfied; but the supply from Birmingham being insufficient they were obliged to require certain arms also from Liege, and the viewers no doubt went there to instruct the workmen as to the character of the work which the English Government would receive. As far as that went, therefore, they had done what the hon. Gentleman said they had done.
§ MR. SPOONER
said, the explanation of the hon. Gentleman was anything but satisfactory to him, and he was sure it would be equally unsatisfactory to the country.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, he had been himself to Liege, and seen the work for the English Government carried on there, and he must say that he was surprised the Committee were not made aware of the fact that a staff of the very best workmen had been sent out from Birmingham as viewers of arms, not only to Belgium, but also to the United States of America. The right hon. Gentleman the Clerk of the Ordnance justified the sending out these men as viewers upon the plea that there was a great necessity existing for arms last year and the year before, that arms could not be procured in sufficient quantity from the English trade, and that the Government were fully warranted in getting a supply wherever they could. It afterwards appeared, however, that the orders had been sent out from this country as long ago as October, 1854, and that the product of those orders was 14,000 guns from Liege—none of which, the Committee must understand, were delivered in time to be seviceable during the war, and only 100 from America, the whole of which were stranded on their way to this country, and so much damaged as to be utterly useless. Literally, therefore, the orders sent to foreign establishments and manufacturers had resulted in this, that not a single musket for the purposes of the war had been obtained from the foreign trade. That was a notorious fact. But from the English trade the Government had received more than 150,000 stand of arms, though the Government 1695 had declared to that House that the English trade was incompetent to furnish them with a supply. He was quite aware that viewers, as they were called, had been sent abroad last year; but he then refrained from mentioning the circumstance, because he knew it would have been said in reply that he represented the Birmingham trade, and that on their account he was so fearful of competition, and so careless of the great interests of the country, that he would prevent the Government from obtaining the supply of arms from abroad, for which they declared there was a necessity. He had reason to remember in the spring of last year that the House was in a hurry on this subject, and did not choose to attend to it farther than to vote whatever the Government proposed. These arguments, how-ever—excuses he might call them—could not be urged against him now, as the war was over; and he thought it only reasonable that the Committee should know what had been the result of the applications which had been made to foreign countries and foreign trades for arms. He had been at Liege, and he found, what he indeed knew before, that the Leige manufacturers there were regular manufacturers for the Russian Government. They had manufactured for the Russians for years, and still continued to supply them with arms, and of course gave their old regular customers a preference over the orders of the English Government, which they had every reason to think casual. Well, what had our Government done? Why they not only sent out the model pattern musket of 1853, which was the best in the world, and a great improvement upon the Minié rifle. True, they might say that that pattern might have been acquired without our Government sending it out, but they had sent out viewers as instructors in making muskets after this pattern. And had they not experienced at Enfield that the difficulty was to get workmen instructed in numbers sufficient to make a large number of that pattern? He confidently appealed to every person who had the least acquaintance with the subject to say if the difficulty was not to get the work done in sufficient quantity and with accuracy in the form requisite to project the ball the proper distance. It was one thing to get 1,000 muskets made in that way—it was another to get 100,000 or 200,000; inasmuch as they must have trained hands in 1696 proportion to the quantity required. The effect of sending the viewers to Belgium was this, that the manufacturers there who had contracted for the supply did not continue to work with the same hands whom the viewers first instructed, but were constantly replacing these men by others in succession; so that by retaining the staff of viewers in Liege we were gradually training a large body of Belgian workmen to supply, not only the Russian, but any of the Continental adversaries of this country with this superior arm. We were instructing a large body of foreign skilled workmen to make arms of the pattern which had been devised for ourselves, after they had declared that they could not make these arms without instruction. The Government, the representatives of England, are teaching the workmen regularly employed by the enemies of this country to make arms from that pattern which might hereafter be turned against ourselves. So far then with respect to Liege. Now, what was the case with regard to the United States? Not content with teaching the Belgians, the Government had apparently determined upon teaching the Americans also. Now, the Americans valued our Minié rifle, but they had great difficulty in making it. Although we were, for aught he knew, on the eve of a war with the United States, we were still maintaining a staff of instructors there, to teach the American workmen to make these formidable arms that might—no one could say how soon—be used against ourselves. Arms, which they confessed they could not make in any large quantity until they had been instructed. He held this to be at best a foolish and short-sighted policy, more especially as it had not resulted in producing as many as 15,000 stand of arms altogether in the course of two whole years, and not one single weapon for the use of our army during the war. He put it, therefore, to the Committee, whether it was sensible or prudent to maintain those staffs of viewers in Liege and the United States, for the purpose of educating foreign workmen in the manufacture of an improved musket which had been devised for the army of our own country? It was found from experience that the real difficulty was to obtain a sufficient number of skilled hands to make a large number of those muskets. The Government were instructing hundreds of foreigners while they were withdrawing their orders from the English trade. The question was one of a very 1697 serious nature. The subject had attracted the notice of the American press, who said that the gun trade of England was so totally wanting in skill that the English Government were obliged to have recourse to American manufacturers for the arms we required. The fact was, that we were doing very great damage to our gun trade, by allowing the conduct of our Government to afford grounds for these libels, and by giving our rivals instructions in the manufacture of these arms, at a moment when the pressure of the demand occasioned by the war had ceased. It was a hardship to spend the public money for the purpose of instructing the foreign rivals of our domestic industry. The Government would do well to consider whether the time had not arrived when those foreign contracts might be put an end to, seeing that they were taken advantage of to maintain a system of education for foreigners, and operated to the discouragement of a trade which the hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Ordnance himself acknowledged had stood by the country manfully at a period of great emergency.
said, he wished to inquire whether the Vote No. 8 included the expense of the surgeons of the civil hospitals; also whether a determination had been come to as to the pay of the civil surgeons, and whether it had been determined to draw a distinction between the pay to be granted to the assistant surgeons and the surgeons to the militia?
§ MR. FREDERICK PEEL
said, the hon. Gentleman must be aware that the pay of the civil surgeons was not under investigation.
said, he thought there was an understanding as to the civil hospital surgeons, that they were to have three months' pay, and the assistant surgeons two months; whereas the militia surgeons were to receive a larger sum.
§ MR. FREDERICK PEEL
said, he must inform the hon. Gentleman that all the civil hospitals but one had been discontinued. No question had arisen as to the gratuities to be given to civil surgeons, but only as to the time at which their services were to be considered as being dispensed with. That question was at present under the consideration of the Government. No assistant army surgeons having yet been dismissed, no question had arisen as to the gratuities to be given to them.
§ MR. SPOONER
said, he must beg to 1698 ask the right hon. Gentleman the Clerk of the Ordnance whether the staff of viewers in Belgium was still continued, and if so, at what expense, and whether there would be any objection to laying on the table an account of the expense.
§ MR. MONSELL
replied that the viewers would be kept up till the contract was completed. The expense was about 2s. a gun. He should not have the least objection to lay a statement of the expense on the table.
said, he believed that he was quite in order in referring to the former Votes, because there was an agreement with the noble Lord at the head of the Government that if they passed the Votes, they should have an opportunity of discussing them afterwards. He understood also that it was intended during peace to retain the office of the War Department on the same extravagant footing as at present. He also wished to know if the headquarter staff was to remain as it was now. Government determined to procure arms from America, but there were no manufacturers in America in a position to supply them, and they advanced a firm £20,000 to build a factory, and the rifles cost £5 each, which they were not worth. The same thing happened with regard to powder, for which they were paying 8s. or 9s. a barrel more than its value.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, he wished to say a word in reference to the understanding alluded to by the hon. and gallant Member for Port-arlington as to the discussion on the Estimates. A portion of the Votes were taken definitively. In those cases it was understood that the discussion as well as the Vote was closed. There was another set of Votes which were taken on account, but if the Government found the amount already voted was sufficient for the year, there was to be a discussion on those Votes, and a mere nominal sum was taken in order that the Committee might have a fresh opportunity for discussing those Votes.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (2.) £10, in addition to £450,000, already voted, for Wages of Artificers.
§ MR. MONTAGU CHAMBERS
said, he wished to have an explicit understanding with the Government on the subject of the expense incurred by reason of the recent display of fireworks. He was credibly informed that it was intended to make out the account in such a manner as to induce the belief that the total cost would not exceed £8,000, whereas the true state 1699 of the case was that, independently of that sum, it was contemplated that the wages of all the workmen who had been employed in the manufacture of the fireworks at the Woolwich Arsenal should go into the ordinary expenses of the year. Now, certainly, if that were so the case was hopeless, and we should never arrive at a correct calculation of the expenditure. What he wanted to know was how and where he was to procure precise information as to the amount of wages paid to the artisans and workmen whose time and labour had been applied to the making of the fireworks? The expense of the whole pyrotechnic display should of course be classed under two heads—the first representing the material used, the second the labour employed. It was essential to know whether the £8,000 already alluded to was in respect of materials only, or whether it also included the enormous wages paid to the workmen engaged in the Arsenal. Possibly he had been wrongly informed, but he had been given to understand that the sum he had alluded to would be wholly inadequate to cover the cost of wages alone.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, he believed that £6,000 would cover all the expenses except those incurred in the Arsenal at Woolwich. The latter were, of course, in addition to the sum of £6,000. He could not tell the hon. and learned Member what the total outlay would be, nor was he aware whether there were any means of discovering. If it would suit the hon. and learned Gentleman's purpose to ascertain the number of men employed in the Arsenal and the amount of wages paid to them, he might possibly obtain that information on application to the authorities at Woolwich, but for his own part he (Mr. Monsell) knew nothing about it.
§ MR. MONTAGU CHAMBERS
said, he had been assured that the sum of £6,000, which the right hon. Gentleman had just named, was a mere drop of water in the sea of expense. It would appear from the statement of the Clerk of the Ordnance that that sum merely represented the expense incurred outside the walls of the Arsenal. The fireworks, it should be remembered, were made in the Arsenal. They were from six weeks to two months in process of manufacture, and various experiments had been made in the marshes of Woolwich, when, if he was correctly informed, there had been great waste on account of the number of pieces which did not burn effectively. What he 1700 wanted to know was, not the expense outside the Arsenal, but rather that incurred within—he meant, in the very place where the fireworks were manufactured; for there was a rumour current that the fireworks for the celebration of the Peace would cost the country upwards of £30,000.
said, that if the gunpowder required for the manufacture of the fireworks had been taken from the stores designed to be spent upon the Russians, if the paper had been supplied from the Stationery Office, if the timber had been furnished by the Board of Works, and if the cost of labour was to be charged against the ordinary wages of the men employed in the Arsenal at Woolwich, he was utterly at a loss to understand to what purpose even the £6,000 was to be applied.
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
said, that it was idle to ask any more questions on the subject. The cost of the fireworks would never be known to the public, and it was all nonsense hon. Members attempting to solve the mystery. He saw from the beginning that it was intended to make it a close affair.
§ MR. E. BALL
said, he was of opinion that no money voted on account of the war had been half as well expended as that which was now the matter of such severe criticism. The money spent on the fireworks had been devoted to the vindication of the great principle, that peace was a matter for national rejoicing, that it was a good thing, and that the people had cause to rejoice when it came. It was worth all the money to see the millions of people who were brought together on the night of the illuminations, and to observe the harmony, goodwill, sobriety, and kind feeling which were everywhere exhibited. Go to what part of London you might on that evening everybody looked happy, contented, and gratified.
CAPTAIN LEICESTER VERNON
said, he must beg to express a hope that the right hon. Gentleman the Clerk of the Ordnance would give an assurance that the expense of the fireworks would not be allowed to fall on that department. When the question was under discussion on a former occasion no one seemed to know who was to pay; but it was admitted on all hands that the Ordnance Department was not to pay.
§ LORD HOTHAM
said, he would remind the hon. Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. E. Ball) that no objection had been made 1701 to the fireworks. The hon. and learned Member for Greenwich (Mr. M. Chambers) did not object to the celebration of peace by means of fireworks; what he required was to be informed as to the cost of the pyrotechnic display. The Clerk to the Ordnance, from his observations, appeared to know nothing about the expenditure; but he was quite confident that the reason was simply that the right hon. Gentleman had taken especial pains not to inquire. If, however, he Went to Woolwich, and asked any person about the Arsenal what the probable cost would be, he would find that the general estimate was about £30,000, while many persons placed it even much higher. The amount expended would not be made known until next year, when the Vote of civil contingencies came under discussion; but he expected that when that time arrived, considering the pledge which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had given, that £8,000 would be about the amount expended, the right hon. Gentleman would feel himself bound to give to the House a full, clear, and honest account of the whole expenditure. The display was ordered by the Minister of War, and when questions were put to Members of the Government in that House, no one appeared to know anything about it, and were unable to give such explanations as that House had a right to demand.
§ MR. MICHELL
said, he did not believe that the cost of the fireworks would not exceed £8,000, for he counted one night forty waggons, drawn by 120 horses, conveying the materials for the display. What he wished, however, to state was, that where he had stationed himself to view the fireworks a rocket one pound in weight had fallen on the head of a poor lad and killed him, and he thought that if a similar exhibition were to take place at any future period, the Clerk of the Ordnance should be especially careful that such large projectiles were not thrown into the air in such a way that they might fall on the heads of persons.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (3.) £10, in addition to £4,000,000, already voted for Clothing, &c.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, before he made any reference to the Vote now before the Committee, he would assure the noble Lord (Lord Hotham) that he was quite mistaken as to his having taken pains not to find out what the cost of the fireworks would be. He was willing to give any information that lay in his power with 1702 regard to the fireworks. One of the first directions that he gave to the officer at Woolwich was to keep the account as separate as possible, in order that if any hon. Member wished to have it, it might be forthcoming. He was willing, indeed anxious, to lay the whole account on the table. With regard to the present Vote, he was happy to be able to inform the Committee that although at the time the reduced Estimate Was framed it was considered it would be necessary to take a Vote of £500,000 in addition to the Vote already taken, they had now ascertained that they were able to dispense with that sum, and therefore this was one of the nominal Votes. The reason that the former calculation had been discovered to be erroneous was, that the troops had come more rapidly from the Crimea than had been originally anticipated. The first item in the Vote was for clothing. The original Estimate was £1,826,000. The Estimate now was £1,023,124. With regard to the Commissariat, the amount that was required, exclusive of the troops at the seat of war, was for provisions £571,764; forage, £385,000; fuel and light, £206,000. Of course, in those items there could be no reduction. It would appear at first sight that there would be an increase on account of the number of troops coming home, but that increase would be slight, because the disembodiment of the militia would reduce the number of troops to be provided for by the Commissariat. A sum of £328,000 was taken for provisions at the seat of war, instead of £1,600,000, as in the original Estimate. The original Estimate was calculated on the assumption that we should have 100,000 men at the seat of war throughout the year, and in point of fact, in the month of April, there were 106,000. For the article of forage at the seat of war the Vote was only for three months, making a sum of £486,000, instead of the enormous sum of somewhere about £4,500,000 asked for in the original Estimate. For fuel and light, instead of a sum of £222,000, only £53,000 was taken, making altogether in the Commissariat a reduction of £2,315,000, and leaving a margin, without taking an additional Vote, of somewhere about £400,000 for the purpose of meeting contingencies.
said, he must complain of the inconvenience of putting so many things into one Vote. He wished to know the intention of Government as respected the clothing of the army; and 1703 whether it was to be made by contract and sent to the army. If there was any real administrative reform in the country, that was a question which ought to be very closely looked to. There was no Army Clothing Board now, and the clothing of the army did not seem to be the business of any one. The cost of clothing the army was immense, and the clothing this year appeared even worse than it was last year. The Guards alone, consisting of about 7,600 men, cost £249,000 for the year for clothing, while an equal number of the line cost little more than £140,000. It was requisite, therefore, that the strictest economy should be practised consistent with the efficiency of the service.
§ MR. OTWAY
said, that when he last saw the returns he remembered to have been amazingly struck with the price charged for the clothes of the bandsmen of the Guards. He should wish to see the whole army clothed as well as the Guards; but if one thing were more hideous than another, it was that unsoldierlike and gewgaw dress of the bandsmen of the Guards. It was a great disfigurement to those fine men, and the expense was enormous.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, that the mode by which the army was now clothed had only come into operation on the 1st of April last, and he believed that the fatigue clothing for the Indian regiments was all that had yet been prepared under it. The whole of the material for making up the clothing was supplied by the clothing department, and the clothing for the Artillery, Guards, Engineers, Sappers and Miners, and Cavalry, was to be made up by those respective corps themselves. The clothing for the infantry was made by contract, which was managed by the clothing department. He thought that the former of those systems was the preferable one, and he should be glad to have all the clothing made up in depôts throughout the country. The new clothing would be made of what was called "drummer's cloth," which was an article infinitely superior to the cloth formerly in use; but the saving which would be effected by the new system would amply compensate for the increased cost of the cloth, and the army would be much better clothed, and certainly at no greater expense, than formerly.
said, he wished, as bearing upon this subject, to draw attention to the sum charged to the soldier for his summer trousers. Formerly the garment would last some few seasons, but 1704 under the new regulations it had to be made out of a description of tweed which would not last more than two or three months, and yet the soldier was charged from 8s. to 9s. for each pair.
§ (4.) £10 in addition to £2,500,000 already voted for Stores.
§ SIR CHARLES NAPIER
said, he would beg to ask, if the new Lancaster guns had been found to have a sufficient range, and likewise if proper measures had been taken to prevent the bursting of the guns now manufactured. It was notorious that both at Sebastopol and Sweaborg, all the mortars but one or two, which had been made in former years, had burst in a very short time. It had been said that this was due to the quickness of the firing, but artillery officers were of opinion that those mortars, whether fired quickly or not, would burst all the same. At the siege of Martinique, which was taken entirely by mortars, they were not fired more than once in a quarter of an hour, and scarcely a mortar burst. He could not therefore understand how some artillery officers could have expressed the opinion that quick firing made no difference. In the war previous to the one just concluded the bursting of a gun was very rare indeed. He would wish to inquire if Government would take steps to ascertain if quick firing was more liable than slow to cause the bursting of the guns.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, that professional men had given their opinion that quick or slow firing made no difference. Experiments were now being made at Shoeburyness to decide the point, and the result would, in a short time, be made known. As to the Lancaster guns, it had been ascertained that they were better adapted for long range than others, but experiment had shown that they were not satisfactory in other respects.
§ SIR CHARLES NAPIER
said, he wished to know whether he was to understand that artillery officers at Shoeburyness were of opinion that a mortar from which 1,000 rounds were fired in a week was quite as liable to burst as a mortar from which 1,000 rounds were fired in twenty-four hours?
§ MR. MONSELL
said, he could only repeat that experiments were being made to test the fact. With regard to the particulars of reductions on the Vote now before the Committee, the original Estimate was for £4,371,165. Reductions would be made on the item of small arms, 1705 £200,000; on iron ordnance, shot, and shells, £381,655; on saltpetre, £25,000; on gunpowder, 120,000; on camp equipage, £123,334. In the items for miscellaneous stores, reductions would be made, on the Tower, £228,254; on the Royal Carriage Department, £79,019; on the Royal Laboratory, £368,239; on the storekeepers' department, £144,239; on the establishment at Enfield, £3,515. There would also be very large reductions on the item of timber, and the whole would amount to £1,871,155, which would reduce the original Estimate to £2,500,010. He could assure the Committee that the Government were taking means effectually to prevent any undue expenditure of stores. After the present year, in consequence of the large quantities of stores coming back from the East, the Vote would be much less, and the reductions would now have been greater but for the fact of large contracts, entered into when there was no reason to hope for the discontinuance of war, being still subsisting.
§ MR. PELLATT
said, he wished to know how much of the reduction on the manufacture of small arms applied to the manufactory at Enfield, and on which the expense incurred had been entirely thrown away. He wished particularly to know what was the loss on the small arms which had been already manufactured there.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, that that question opened up a fruitful field of controversy; but he could state that within the last few days he had seen arms turned out of the Enfield factory made in first-rate style, and admitted by the Birmingham gentlemen to be quite equal to any work made at a price which certainly astonished him. In fact, the saving in the cost of producing small arms would be such that in two or three years it would be enough to pay the expense of erecting the factory. Recently a meeting of the principal gun manufacturers of Birmingham was held, and at that meeting the majority decided on taking steps for the erection of similar machinery in their own establishments; but at all events, if they do not, they would soon find out that the Government could beat them at their work. However, every opportunity would be given them to see what was going on at Enfield, and he hoped they would take advantage of what they saw.
§ MR. MUNTZ
said, he was disposed to doubt whether a Government factory could beat Birmingham; however, he wished to 1706 have the whole of the expenses connected with the erection of the Enfield manufactory fairly before the House. When the amount was before the House he had no doubt that what he had previously predicted would turn out to be true. With respect to the defective mortars, Colonel Mitchell had recently assured him that the bursting arose from the want of due proofing, for the proof was with 20lb. of powder, while the practice was with 21lb. To be of any real use as a test of the serviceable quality of the mortars, the proof ought, of course, to be higher than the practice.
§ MR. MONTAGU CHAMBERS
said, that, with regard to the manufacture of such arms, it had been suggested that a, large store of them should be laid in. Now, in former ages it had been the practice to lay in a large store, consisting of from 20,000 to even 100,000 stand of arms. Then certain inventions were discovered which rendered the whole of that stock useless. Besides which it would be imprudent to lay in a large store of arms, as such a course might tend to prevent the Government from availing itself of the latest improvements. There was a prospect of breech-loading arms alone being adopted, and in that case the formation of large stores of weapons upon the old plan would be unadvisable.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (5.) £45,000, in addition to £1,794,069 already voted for Charge of Works, &c.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, in answer to a question which had been put on the preceding Vote, he had to state that the Committee of Small Arms had instituted a series of experiments with respect to breech-loading firearms; but that no arm had as yet been found which was altogether satisfactory. Some 2,000 or 3,000 stand of breech-loading arms had been constructed, which was very serviceable and useful, but the discovery had not yet reached that degree of perfection which in the course of time might be expected. The Government had been availing themselves of the valuable assistance of Mr. Whitworth, of Manchester. He (Mr. Monsell) had not been present, but Lords Hardinge and Panmure had witnessed those experiments, and they thought the best course they could adopt would probably be to wait till the result of further trials were ascertained.
§ VISCOUNT BERNARD
said, that until the last year we had not paid a proper attention to the wants of the army; but we had lately applied ourselves to the improvement 1707 of the barracks, and particularly of the cavalry barracks. Military stations had disappeared, and other improvements had been introduced. There still remained many deficiencies—one of which was the establishment of barracks on the side of hills, where they could get no water. That had been the case with the militia barracks near Cork. There was, moreover, a great defect in the absence of riding-schools at Ballincollig, in the vicinity of Cork. Major General Sir James Scarlett, Sir Edward Blakeney, and His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge had expressed themselves strongly in favour of the establishment of a riding school, and the want was generally acknowledged to exist by various other military authorities.
CAPTAIN LEICESTER VERNON
said, he could second the appeal of the noble Lord. He had served in various military capacities in Ireland, and had had frequent opportunities of experiencing the want of such a school at Cork, which was both an artillery and a military station.
said, he wished to bring to the notice of the Committee the question of the improvement of the condition of the soldier. The object of Government had been to raise the soldier in the social scale, so as to induce the people to enlist in the service of the Crown. Improvements had been made, not only for the sake of the service, but in order to let the nation know that when a citizen enlisted into the service he got into a higher social scale than had heretofore prevailed in the army. Twenty years ago there was much to alter, and since that period great improvements had from time to time been made. The criminal code of the army was very severe, that severity had, however, been reduced. In order to promote good behaviour Government established higher pay, libraries, and reading-rooms; but the reading rooms were too small, and one of the objects in wishing for improvement in barracks was to get those rooms enlarged, for certainly the one thing most wanted was a better mode in the barrack accommodation, and more means of amusement. The Government had also established savings banks, had reduced the term of service, altered the system of canteens, and established regimental schools. With the exception of two or three barracks in such localities as Preston, Sheffield, and Anglesea, the barracks were old. But in all the barracks the men were too much crowded, gas light was only partially introduced, 1708 and a tone of discomfort prevailed in the barracks, which naturally drove men to seek comfort out of the barracks. That state of things required to be ameliorated, and he hoped the subject would have immediate attention. The Committee of last year, who paid much attention to the subject, and to whom the officers ought to be much obliged, made various recommendations which had not yet been carried out, and he hoped Government would state how far they were disposed to enter into the views of the Committee. The Report of that Committee declared that the existing barracks were inadequate to the comfort and social condition of the soldier, and that the consideration of expense ought not to interfere with proper improvements for the moral and sanitary condition of the soldier. When so much money was spent on our goals for these purposes, it surely ought not to be grudged to our soldiers. Under those impressions, the Committee had made three recommendations. The first was that the space of the barracks should be enlarged; the second was that married men should not be allowed to occupy the same room with the single soldiers; and the third was that there should be a better system of canteens. Besides those things, it was essential to establish proper lavatories, so essential to the health and cleanliness of the soldier, and to provide places of amusement so that the men might believe themselves at home in their barracks. Many men would be prevented from going to the public-houses and getting drunk if they were permitted to play at bowls or quoits in barracks, and the moral condition of the soldier would be improved. Now, that he thought, was a most desirable object for the Government to consider. Then again, there should be proper kitchens. One of the witnesses before the Committee was asked if he would like to have Irish-stew every day for dinner. Of course he said no. But that was what the men had, while at a very small expense the means of boiling and roasting might be given them. Then again, light was an essential element to their comfort. Thus when the men were off guard, one man read the papers to the rest; it was the only thing they could now do in barracks—all they had to resort to when there was but one candle in a room. The Government had already done much, and he hoped that it would continue in its present course. The hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. W. Williams) had found fault with the mode of 1709 heating the barracks, and said that the heat was more than was wanted. Now the fact was, that if the passages were not warmed, the whole place became cold and comfortless. The Committee in its Report had especially recommended that the passages should he warmed in an efficient manner. He would suggest the propriety of at once advancing a large sum out of the Consolidated Fund in order to carry out the great improvements at once rather than spread them over a number of years, as was proposed.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, he entirely agreed with all that had fallen from the hon. and gallant Member for Wigan, and so far as those barracks which were about to be built, or which were in the course of erection, were concerned, all that the hon. and gallant Gentleman wished could be effected without entailing any such additional expense as would be likely to meet with opposition. The cost of building barracks for a thousand men on the old system would be about £70,000; the cost upon the proposed plan, giving one-fourth the number of cubic feet additional per man, separate quarters for married soldiers, additional rooms for staff-sergeants, a sufficient number of lavatories, and the like, would only be about £15,000 extra. With regard to the existing buildings, however, a much more serious question had arisen. It was now agreed, on all hands, that the principle on which alone the army could be satisfactorily organised, would be its concentration to as great an extent as possible. He assumed, therefore, that, with the exception of forts, and places where considerations other than mere housing of the troops were involved, it would be useless to keep up any barracks where there was not accommodation for at least one thousand men. The buildings of that magnitude, at present in existence in England, would accommodate 30,000 men, allowing to each the amount of space recommended by the Committee. In Scotland there was accommodation for about 3,000 men, and in Ireland for about 18,000 more, making altogether room for about 50,000 men. To put all those barracks in the condition for which the hon. and gallant Member (Colonel Lindsay) was contending would cost no less than '£500,000 or £600,000. Now it appeared to the Government that the best thing to do would be to devote a certain sum every year to that purpose; but he was quite prepared to admit that at the rate of only £40,000 a year it would 1710 take a long time to complete the entire work. If, however, they laid out that sum in the present instance, they would be able to come down to the House with more exact information and more detailed Estimates next year; so that, perhaps, after all, the plan proposed would be the most satisfactory. With respect to the riding school at Ballincollig, the noble Lord (Viscount Bernard) had adduced authorities more than sufficient to make out his case; and if the work was not begun this year an Estimate should be given for it next. The mistake had been in treating Ballincollig as an isolated district. If it had been dealt with as the country station of the Cork district, the application would have worn an entirely different aspect.
§ SIR JOSEPH PAXTON
said, that as a Member of the Barrack Committee, he thought the argument of the right hon. Gentleman the Clerk of the Ordnance was rather against proceeding with the Vote at all. He agreed with the hon. and gallant Member (Colonel Lindsay) as to the necessity of making the improvements he had advocated in the existing barracks. The condition of the soldier had not been attended to as it deserved up to the present moment. From the evidence taken before the Barrack Committee it was evident, indeed, that the soldier was the worst-lodged person in Her Majesty's dominions. It was proved that the accommodation for each prisoner in our goals cost £150 per man, and, when they considered the importance of providing for the morals and comfort of the soldier, it could not be denied that he deserved at least as much consideration, and ought to be as well lodged as the criminals of the country. Instead of voting so insufficient a sum as £40,000, it would be far better that the Government should go into the whole question, and inquire how much barrack accommodation was wanted in the country. If the troops were to be moved in divisions and brigades, they must be housed and barrack accommodation must be provided for them. The barracks, too, must be near to each other, instead of being spread over the country. The existing barracks could not, therefore, without great expense, accord with the proposed plan. All the barracks in the country ought to be improved, not piecemeal, but simultaneously. Supposing they spent £40,000 in putting one barrack into a proper condition, the troops quartered in it must in due course be removed to one of the unimproved 1711 buildings, and he need not say how greatly aggravated would be the misery of men, who, for a time at least, had enjoyed the blessings of decency and comfort. A barrack ought not merely to contain the means of comfortably housing the troops, but it ought to have within its precincts everything necessary for fully instructing them in the art of war, and for teaching them how best to meet the exigencies of a campaign. It ought likewise to be so arranged that if a regiment received orders to march suddenly on to Salisbury plain, it should be able to set out at once, fully equipped. The great point, however, which they ought to have in view was to improve the social standing of the soldier. At present, if a person enlisted he was regarded by his friends almost in the light of a lost man. ["Oh, oh!"] He could assure hon. Members that such was really the general impression. A man who enlisted was regarded as one that had got himself into a dreadful position; whereas he would like to see that feeling exactly reversed. He should like to hear people say, when an unruly son entered the army, that he had placed himself in a position in which he would he so trained that when he came back he would be a better citizen than when he left his friends.
§ SIR CHARLES NAPIER
said, he would recommend that all the military departments should be placed under one roof, and he believed it would be possible to accomplish that object by purchasing all the houses between the Ordnance Department and the House of the Duke of Buckingham at an expense of about £30,000. It had been proposed to pull down a stack of buildings in Parliament Street, and place all the Government Offices there; but, considering the time which had been occupied, and the enormous sums which had been expended in building the Houses of Parliament, it was not probable that any such plan would be carried out in less than twenty or thirty years. He had for the last twenty years urged the necessity of bringing together all the departments of the Admiralty under one roof, and he believed that the money which had been expended in enlarging Somerset House would, if properly applied, have been sufficient for that purpose; but the First Lord of the Admiralty would never consent to give up his house, and even the Junior Lord had not given up his without great difficulty.
§ SIR DE LACY EVANS
said, he would beg to offer his thanks to the hon. and gallant Gentleman who had introduced the important subject which was under discussion. Hd sincerely respected the right hon. Gentleman who represented the Ordnance Department, but he was not quite satisfied with the right hon. Gentleman's answers to the questions that had been put to him upon that subject. The right hon. Gentleman stated that £40,000 would be expended in the course of the year in barrack improvements, but what would be the use of such a sum spread over the whole of the United Kingdom? The right hon. Gentleman said, "Don't hurry us, wait another year, until we can see what is clone." It would be very convenient to answer all suggestions in that manner, but the question under consideration was one of great importance, as it affected the class of men who entered the service, and ought to be attended to without delay. It had hitherto been supposed that only the lowest class of men entered the British army. He hoped and believed that that was not the case; but the reason for such an opinion being entertained was that the men were neglected. The statement of the hon. Gentleman behind him (Sir J. Paxton) had made a strong impression on his mind, and he was consequently very much dissatisfied with the manner in which the right hon. Gentleman had treated the question. He had the greatest respect for the noble Lord at the head of the War Department, but the noble Lord, he was sorry to say, had yielded very gradually and with much reluctance to the remonstrances which had been addressed to him as to the necessity of doing something to improve the moral and physical condition of the soldier, and when he at last consented to grant an additional penny a day it was announced by his supporters as a prodigious boon. The consequence of the reluctance of the Government to improve the condition of the soldier was, that when it became desirable to induce people to enter the service they found a great prejudice existing against it. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Monsell), or the noble Lord at the head of the War Department, would reconsider this subject. The arrangement for relieving the army from police duties, and maintaining it as a purely military force, was, undoubtedly, a very great improvement; but he thought still more comprehensive reforms were necessary, which did not appear to be contemplated 1713 by the Government, who, in his opinion, had not yet dealt with the question in a just, a politic, or a generous manner. The object seemed to have been to frame the Estimates in the most niggardly spirit, and he believed an idea had prevailed that, the greater the hardships which the soldier was compelled to endure in barracks in time of peace, the better fitted would he be to encounter the hardships of war. Now, he entertained a decidedly contrary opinion, for he believed that soldiers would be the better fitted for the privations and hardships of war if ample provision was made for promoting their health and comfort during peace. Some years ago the War Department sent out a Commission to inquire into the condition of barracks on the Continent, which in many cases was far superior to that of the barracks in this country. That Report had not been laid before the House, although he had repeatedly asked for its production, and he now ventured to express a hope that, as the views of the War Department had undergone a change on this subject, it would no longer be withheld.
said, he did not think that the tone of complaint in which the hon. and gallant Member (Sir De L. Evans) had spoken of the Government was justified by the facts; for, in his opinion, a debt of gratitude was due from the country to the present Government for the wise and liberal measures which they had adopted for ameliorating the condition of our soldiers. If abuses existed in our military system, it was right that they should be exposed; but it must be remembered that, during the last twelve months, an enormous change for the better in the condition of the British army had been effected by the Government. He thought when that House pressed all possible economy upon the Government on one night, and the next night urged upon them an increase of expenditure, they were pursuing a somewhat inconsistent course. His right hon. Friend the Clerk to the Ordnance had stated that in the case of new barracks the Government were prepared to carry out the philanthropic and liberal principles he had explained, but that considerable difficulty existed with regard to the introduction of modern improvements into old barracks; and he (Mr. Stafford) did not think, therefore, there was any ground for complaining, in the present state of the public finances, that the Vote demanded for this purpose was somewhat smaller than the Committee 1714 might have been disposed to grant if they had taken the question more fully into consideration. The Government had tried numerous experiments abroad, with the view of promoting the comfort of the army, and they had done so most successfully. He understood the Government were about to recall an officer to whom he could not pay too high a tribute of praise, General Storks, the commandant at Scutari, who had not only had the control of the hospital there, but who had had under his command a considerable number of troops in barracks, and who, by providing for their employment and amusement, had successfully combated their tendency to vice and drunkenness. He therefore trusted that the experience which that officer had acquired abroad might be turned to good account in providing for the comfort and welfare of our troops at home. His hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Lindsay), who had called attention to this subject, had always evinced the most earnest desire to improve the condition of the common soldier, and he had practically refuted the assertion that ameliorations in the condition of our soldiers could only be originated by civilians. He (Mr. Stafford) believed that the colonels of militia regiments would be able to afford very valuable suggestions to the Government on the subject of barracks. A colonel of militia had that day informed him that the hospitals and barracks at Gibraltar were in a state most detrimental to the health of the troops, and he hoped the attention of the Government would be directed to the condition of the military establishments at that garrison. He trusted that his noble Friend the Member for Marylebone (Viscount Ebrington) would have an opportunity of expressing his opinion on the subject under discussion, as he had devoted much time to the amelioration of the condition of the soldier, and there was hardly a hospital which he had not visited. His noble Friend was now prevented from attending the House, in consequence of a disease which he had caught in one of those hospitals. He (Mr. Stafford) had never found the Government wanting in readiness to support anything which they thought would tend to improve the condition of the soldier both at home and abroad, and he begged again publicly to tender them his thanks.
§ SIR DE LACY EVANS
said, he was well aware that the hon. Member (Mr. Stafford) had undoubtedly rendered great 1715 personal services to our army in the East, and he agreed with the hon. Gentleman that the present Government had exerted themselves to promote the comfort of our troops, especially abroad. The hon. Gentleman was, however, a very new reformer with regard to military matters, and he ought to have a little consideration for old reformers, who had been struggling unsuccessfully for a quarter of a century or more to improve the condition of the soldier.
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
said, he conceived that the best economy was to make every possible provision for the comfort of the soldier; but that, looking at the expenditure, our soldiers ought to be the most comfortable men in the kingdom. No less than £1,500,000 was included in this Vote for barracks; the amount exceeded £1,000,000 last year, being above £2,500,000 for the two years. The number of men for the home stations was 40,000, thus giving an average of £60 for barrack accommodation for each man. He believed that amongst the labouring classes £70 a year was about the average cost of each family for a year, being very little more than the amount paid for barracks for each soldier. The Barrack Committee had recommended that passages in barracks should be heated by hot water. But if we made exotics of our soldiers, how could they stand such exposure as they had had to endure in the Crimea? There were few gentlemen's houses where it was thought necessary to heat the passages: it was not done even in that House. Surely the soldiers might go along the passages in barracks without the risk of catching cold. He wished to see the soldiers comfortable, but he decidedly objected to a lavish expenditure.
§ COLONEL BOLDERO
said, he regarded the erection of barracks as an expensive, but not as a wasteful operation. Experience showed that there was very little difference between the cost of barracks constructed by contractors and those constructed by the Government for themselves. As to overcrowding in existing barracks, the opinion of the late Duke of Wellington was taken as to the number of men to occupy each room, and that great authority decided on fourteen. If the number were excessive the fault lay, not with those who built the barracks, but with the authorities who forced too many inmates into each department. Defensive barracks situated on 1716 the coast ought to be provided with every requisite; but economy might be effected in regard to the accommodation furnished for the troops stationed in the inland districts.
§ MR. TITE
said, he wished to inquire whether the Government intended to carry out the plans which had been approved for the construction of new cavalry and infantry barracks, and which had very properly been thrown open to the competition of the architects and engineers of the country? As to the item of £250,000 for huts, it was to be hoped that those buildings would be provided with substantial roofs. The huts at Aldershot might have been covered with slate instead of felt, without either loss of time or an increase in the expense. The item of £25,300 for the purchase of three houses in Pall Mall demanded explanation; as did also that of £33,000 for a site for barracks at Chelsea.
§ SIR JOSEPH PAXTON
said, he wished to ask whether the recommendations of the Committee on Barracks were to be carried out at Aldershot? From the plans, it would appear that the buildings in that lucality would be far too close together. The accommodation designed for 6,000 men ought to be spread over a much larger space than the plans indicated.
§ MR. OTWAY
said, that it might be supposed, from the observations of some hon. Members, that the House of Commons had shown a niggardliness in voting money to provide accommodation for the soldiers, but the fact was that, during the last and current years, the very large sum of £2,500,000 had been voted for barracks and huts, and yet they were told that the soldier was the worst-lodged individual in Her Majesty's dominions. He did not believe that the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. W. Williams) desired to curtail the proper comforts of the soldiers, but the Committee ought to know how that sum had been expended. A certain number of soldiers were married by leave of their commanding officers, and he should like to be informed whether fit accommodation was provided for them, or whether they were still huddled together in rooms with the other soldiers not married?
said, that the soldier must, of necessity, when he entered the army, be prepared to sacrifice much in the way of comfort, and to submit to occupy the same sleeping apartment with several of his comrades. He ought, of course, to be provided with all that was requisite 1717 for the purposes of health and ordinary convenience, but more than that he ought not to be encouraged to expect. He might also add that, in his opinion, the accommodation for married soldiers ought to be upon a very limited scale. The soldier now enlisted but for a limited period, and therefore there was not that hardship in calling upon him to live without a wife, which under other circumstances would be the case. The truth was, it was rather a misfortune for the soldier to get married while in the service. If barrack accommodation were provided for our troops upon the same scale as at Sheffield, great expense would be incurred, and no adequate result would, so far as he could see, be attained. He might also say that it would be better that our barracks and huts, instead of being made of wood, which was of an extremely perishable nature, should be built of some more durable material.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, in reply to the inquiries of the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Tite), that the plans for barracks were under the consideration of the Inspector General of Fortifications, with a view to certain reductions in the expense. With respect to the houses purchased in Pall Mall, near the old Ordnance Office, it appeared to the Government to be a matter of great importance to arrange the building so as to contain the whole staff of the new department, and the public would gain an equivalent for the expenditure in the efficient way in which the business would thereby be conducted. The scheme of erecting barracks at Chelsea had been abandoned, inasmuch as Battersea Park could not, as had been anticipated, he made available as exercise ground for the soldiers who might be stationed in that quarter. He might state, in answer to the hon. Member for Coventry (Sir J. Paxton), that the accommodation at Aldershot would be found amply sufficient in providing for the health and convenience of the soldiers, when it was 'taken into account that they had a large common at hand, by which means of exercise were afforded which did not exist in connection with other barracks. With respect to married soldiers, he might observe that the Government were extremely desirous to provide for them sufficient accommodation, and were prepared to take the necessary steps for that purpose. A considerable amount of expenditure with that view would of course be 1718 necessary, but then he believed that the moral effect in the case of the soldiers would be extremely beneficial.
§ Vote agreed to.
(6.) Motion made, and Question proposed—
That a Bum, not exceeding £38,404, be granted to Her Majesty (in addition to the sum of £200,000 already voted on account), towards defraying the Charge of the Educational and Scientific Branches, which will come in course of payment from the 1st day of April, 1856, to the 31st day of March, 185Y, inclusive.
MR. E. ELLICE
said, he wished for some explanation of the item of £50,000 for the Ordnance Survey of Scotland. The plan proposed by the Government, which had been approved by a Committee of that House, was to survey the whole of Scotland on the scale of twenty-five inches to the mile. Such a scale would give every landed proprietor in that country an accurate map of his estate, complete to the minutest details, with every road and even every ditch marked in, and the position of all the farm buildings laid down. No doubt that would be very pleasant for the landed proprietors, but not so pleasant for the landless tax-payers, at whose expense it was to be furnished. To justify such an expenditure, the benefit which was to be gained ought to be shown to be of a permanent nature, but it was manifest that the continual changes which would take place — the fresh sub-divisions of holdings, for instance, the construction of new farm buildings, and so on—would, in a very few years, make the map inaccurate and comparatively worthless. The Committee would be rather taken aback to learn that if it sanctioned this item of £50,000 it would commit itself to an expenditure of no less than £5,000,000. Sir Charles Trevelyan, who appeared before the Committee on behalf of the Government, to say all that could be said in favour of the scheme, boldly avowed that he contemplated the survey of England and Ireland on a similar scale, and allowed that the cost would amount to somewhere about the sum which he (Mr. E. Ellice) had just named. But, in addition to that, there would be the expense of a new department which it was in contemplation to establish, with surveyors in the principal towns to revise the plans periodically, so as to keep up their accuracy. Now, the Committee should remember that a survey on such a gigantic scale was as yet a mere experiment. The six-inch plan was condemned by every one 1719 but the Ordnance, and appeared to be kept up by them only as an engineering curiosity. As the survey for Scotland must be gone on with—he should suggest upon their one-inch scale—he did not think he should be justified in moving the rejection of the Vote. He should, therefore, to bring the matter to a point, move to reduce it by £8,000.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, that no one could have supposed, from the speech of the hon. Gentleman, that this matter had been submitted to the careful consideration of the most eminent scientific men of the country, a vast majority of whom had decided in favour of the scale to which the hon. Gentleman was so much opposed. That plan had also been recommended by the Committee of which the hon. Member was himself a member, and was, at the time that it was temporarily departed from, petitioned for by large numbers of the people of Scotland. The six-inch scale would cost £700,000, the twenty-five-inch only £900,000, and it was, therefore, comparatively much the cheaper of the two. The hon. Gentleman had said that the surveying of the United Kingdom upon this scale would cost £5,000,000. Even if that were so—which he (Mr. Monsell) doubted—it must be borne in mind that this expenditure would be extended over a great number of years; and that the greater portion of the work was performed by that most valuable corps, the Sappers, which, if not employed upon these surveys, would have nothing to do, but which must be kept up to provide for the defence of the country and its preparation for war. Frequent changes of plan in this matter were most disastrous, prevented the proper conducting of the survey, and caused a lamentable waste of public money. He would, therefore, urge the Committee not to depart from a plan which had been recommended not only by the authorities to whom he had referred, but also by Colonel James, who was so ably conducting the survey, and to reject the Amendment of the hon. Member.
§ SIR THOMAS ACLAND
said, he must express his regret that the map of England on the one-inch scale was still left incomplete.
§ SIR WILLIAM JOLLIFFE
said, that while he had great difficulty in supporting the Amendment, he could not defend the system on which this survey had been carried on. He did not see why the survey 1720 of Scotland should have been commenced before that of England was completed. Why, too, should the Ordnance have surveyed thinly populated districts, where estates were large and maps little in demand, and have left unsurveyed others where there was a dense population, many large towns, and numerous manufactories; and where the demand for the maps would have been so great as almost to repay the expense of the survey? The six-inch map of Lancashire had been found exceedingly useful, and it was much to be regretted that Yorkshire, Staffordshire, and London had not been surveyed upon the same scale. It was absurd to delineate with such minute accuracy the mountainous regions of Ireland and Scotland, while there were many of the most populous districts of England which had not as yet been mapped.
§ MR. STEPHENSON
said, he must admit that each scale had its peculiar advantages, yet at the same time he must contend that for practical references the one-inch map was the best of all. The habit which unfortunately prevailed in this country of continually changing the scale occasioned a profitless expenditure of the public money and endless confusion. The great desideratum was a map of Great Britain on a uniform scale. In Ireland the scale had been altered once or twice, and the result was most deplorable. He had frequently consulted the six-inch maps in that country, but invariably found them worse than useless for engineering purposes. It gave him nearly as much trouble to gather information from them as to realise it on the ground. What the engineers engaged in various parts of the United Kingdom had for years been endeavouring to obtain from Parliament was an assurance that the one-inch map would be completed before any other piece of surveying was taken in hand. If it were to be continually interrupted, as it had heretofore been, fifty or sixty years would elapse before it was perfected. At present there was no uniform map of England on which engineers could depend. In France and other countries through which he had travelled on professional business, he had never found any difficulty in procuring lucid and accurate maps; but such could not be said for England, though the English had probably spent on their surveys ten times as much as any other people in Europe. Over and over again the engineers of Great Britain had given 1721 the Government to understand that maps on the six, the twelve, or the twenty-five-inch scale were alike useless to them, but the Ordnance turned a deaf ear to all their protestations, and went on constructing maps which the engineers did not want and would never consult. He was in no degree responsible for the Report of the Committee of which he was a member. He disapproved every paragraph of it from the first to the last, and, suffering under a malady which rendered it undesirable that he should expose himself to excitement, he stayed away from the Committee for fear he might express himself too strongly on the subject.
said, that as chairman of the Committee he felt called upon to defend their Report, which had found favour with all the members of that body except two. The one-inch survey of England had been found useless for all purposes to which a national survey should be applied. The evidence of Colonel Dawson went to show that it was one of the most expensive scales that could be adopted, and that it would have been more economical to have constructed the maps originally on the twenty-five-inch system. A one-inch survey could not be enlarged to a twenty-five-inch survey, whereas a twenty-five-inch might easily be reduced to any smaller scale. He had heard it insinuated that the adoption of the twenty-five-inch scale was a job on the part of the Scotch proprietors—an attempt to thrust their hands to the very bottom of the pockets of the English people. [Mr. W. WILLIAMS: hear, hear!] He was not astonished to hear that cheer; but when grants were proposed for metropolitan police and metropolitan parks, who so ready to vote away the public money as the hon. Member for Lambeth? Let all parties share alike, and certain he was that the Scotch Members would not ask anything for themselves which they were not prepared to give to others. If he could not prove that the twenty-five-inch scale was the best that could be adopted, not only in Scotland, but in other parts of the country also, he would be the first to ask the hon. Member for Lambeth to vote against it. On probing the matter to the bottom, he had found that there was no truth in these insinuations against the landed proprietors of Scotland. It was not correct to say that the twenty-five-inch scale originated with them. When the people of France saw the mistakes into which England had 1722 fallen, they referred the whole subject to a Commission consisting of the most able men—Laplace and others—who could be found in that country. Those gentlemen sat for ten years on the subject (Laughter). He could inform hon. Members that they were not in the habit of rushing to a conclusion so rapidly as some hon. Gentlemen were. They took time to consider the subject, and if those who seemed to be so highly entertained by what he was saying would take the trouble to read the Report of the Committee of which he had the honour to be Chairman, and to glance over the labours of the French Commission, he thought they would hesitate before they pronounced so rashly upon so difficult and intricate a question as that of a national survey. Laplace and his colleagues, after their mature deliberation of ten years, made a Report to the Emperor Napoleon, no mean authority on such a subject, and upon their recommendation the Emperor adopted a twenty-five-inch scale. The survey upon that scale was so successful in France that it was executed in Austria, Bavaria, and almost every other country in Europe, except Great Britain. In Bavaria, as the Committee were told by M. Vignoles, the survey on the twenty-five-inch scale had been so successful that it had actually done away with the system of conveyancing. The same witness stated that there would be no difficulty in applying the same survey to Great Britain. And, then, high authority—the right. hon. and learned Lord Advocate for Scotland—told the Committee that, after the completion of such a survey, he was perfectly satisfied that, although conveyancers would, in all probability, keep up descriptions, as lawyers did for greater safety, especially in large estates under ancient titles, yet he thought the system would be gradually dispensed with. The Committee did not confine their attention to the production of a mere geographical map. Nobody denied that for such a map a one-inch scale would be sufficient; but, after inquiry, the Committee came to the conclusion that a national survey ought to subserve, among other purposes, the registration of titles, the simplifying and cheapening of conveyances of land, local valuation and assessments, adjustment of civil and ecclesiastical divisions, enclosure of waste lands, sanitary purposes, statistics, and geological and mineral surveys. A geographical map might be of use to travellers, but to the permanent residents 1723 in a country, to the people generally, it would be of comparatively small value. He had often heard in that House the name of "the public" taken in vain, but never more so than when it was said that the people wanted a mere geographical map. What was the fact? The one-inch scale was acted upon through all the southern counties of England, but in the northern districts it was found utterly impracticable to proceed with the survey upon that scale. There actually was not room to put down the names of the places, and the survey was given up in despair. It had been asked why should the survey of Scotland take precedence of that of England? He had no wish that it should; and, in point of fact, while the survey had been proceeding in Scotland it had also been carried on upon the large scale in Durham, York, and all the northern counties of England. It had been stated that a sum of £5,000,000 was about to be thrown away upon this survey. Now, to that assertion he gave an unqualified contradiction. The Estimates placed before the Committee led them to believe that the outside cost of the survey of Scotland, conducted upon the best possible principles, would not exceed £917,000, and the expenditure was not likely to amount even to that sum. Then it was declared that the survey had been begun, but would never end, whereas Colonel James, on the contrary, stated that it would be almost certain to be concluded in ten years. He had been intrusted by the Committee over which he had had the honour to preside with the task of drawing up the Report, and now stood there prepared to justify every word of it. In conclusion, he would call upon the Committee to support one of the most economical Votes it could possibly pass, and to allow the funds necessary to carry on this survey on something like a uniform and intelligible plan.
§ LORD ELCHO
said, he regretted that the hon. Gentleman who had brought forward the Amendment had not given notice of his intention to submit it to the Committee. In 1851 the unanimous opinion of a Committee which had sat to inquire into this subject, of which Committee he was Chairman, had been in favour of the one-inch as compared with the six-inch scale, that being the only point upon which the Committee had to decide. The people of Scotland, however, objected to be bound by that decision, although almost all the 1724 Members of the Committee were Scotchmen, and they prayed for the adoption of the six-inch scale. Afterwards, when Lord Aberdeen was in office and he (Lord Elcho) was at the Treasury, the advice of men of attainments and experience was sought for on this question, and Colonel Dawson, among others, expressed a strong opinion that as the six-inch scale was not sufficient for property purposes, and as there was a feeling in favour of a larger scale, the twenty-inch cadastral survey should be carried out. Circulars were also sent to high authorities on the subject as well as to a number of scientific bodies, and the testimony appeared to be quite conclusive in favour of the larger scale of from twenty to twenty-five inches. While thirty-two replies were given in favour of the six-inch scale, 120 were for the larger scale of from twenty to twenty-five inches to the mile; and not only was there a large majority in point of numbers on the side of the larger scale, but the weight of authority was likewise clearly on the same side. There had been an understanding last year that no further steps should be taken on the subject until the question had been referred to a Select Committee, and that Committee had, with two exceptions, been in favour of the large scale. The work was one of great national importance, and he hoped the Committee would not be led away by the observations of the hon. Member (Mr. E. Ellice).
§ MR. W. LOCKHART
said, he fully concurred in what had fallen from the noble Lord who had just sat down, and in the recommendation made by the Committee.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, he hoped the Committee would not agree to the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for St. Andrews. He could understand that Parliament should decide upon having no survey of any part of the country, because such a decision, although unwise, would at least be intelligible; but he could not understand Parliament deciding that a survey should be made, but that the survey should be an imperfect one. All other European nations had agreed that a survey should be made on a scale which was the one best adapted to combine all the purposes for which a survey was necessary, and the scale of twenty-five inches to the mile was considered to be the scale best calculated to record all the information which might be of practical utility. It had been said, "Let 1725 us have a map on the one-inch scale." Well, there would be such a map; but in order to have a map on that scale the survey must be made on a much larger scale, in order to obtain accuracy. If, therefore, it was necessary to make a survey on a larger scale, it became a question whether it might not be desirable to make it upon a scale large enough for all purposes. It was not proposed that the map on the twenty-five-inch scale should be published, but it would be a matter of record from which persons who required one might have a copy made at their own expense. His hon. Friend (Mr. E. Ellice) had complained of the expenditure which would be incurred, and he had stated that the principle, if agreed to, as far as Scotland was concerned, would have to be extended to England and Ireland, and that then an expense of £5,000,000 would be incurred. Now, that he considered was as strong an argument as could be advanced in favour of the present Vote, because, unless experience in the case of Scotland proved the advantage of the system, it could not be extended to England. He hoped that hon. Gentlemen would not be led away by the argument that England was now called upon to do for Scotland that which she had not done for herself, because that argument would apply equally to every scheme for local improvement. The whole question now was, whether the Committee would agree to apply to Scotland a principle which the highest authorities regarded as being likely to produce most beneficial results.
MR. E. ELLICE
said, he thought that the publication of a map for the Highlands on the twenty-five-inch scale was a perfect absurdity, and he must remind the Committee that the present Vote included the publication of the map. As to the statement that the maps of other countries were on a large scale, he would beg to call the attention of the Committee to the evidence of Sir Roderick Murchison. That Gentleman said:—The largest scale on which any map of a foreign country has been published is that of Bavaria. It is a lithographed map, on the scale of about one and five-tenths of an inch to the mile. The maps of Austria are on the scale of seven-tenths of an inch to the mile. Those of France on the scale of nearly three-quarters of an inch to the mile. No great European country has published a general engraved map upon so large a scale as the one-inch map of Great Britain.To complete the survey of Scotland on the one-inch scale would cost about £317,000, 1726 while the adoption of another scale would lead to an expenditure of £917,000.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE
said, he should support the larger scale, on the ground that a six-inch scale was too large for an ordinary map and too small for public purposes; and that the Committee had come to the unanimous conclusion that, upon the whole, it was the most economical and most advantageous scale that could be adopted.
§ LORD ELCHO
said, that those who were conducting the survey proposed to publish it on the large scale; but that, by aid of the anastatic process, they would be enabled to produce the maps in so cheap a form that a sale of thirty-three copies would more than cover the cost of publication; but for that discovery the expense would have been enormous.
Motion made, and Question put—
That a sum, not exceeding £30,404, be granted to Her Majesty (in addition to the sum of £200,000 already voted on account), towards defraying the Charge of the Educational and Scientific Branches, which will come in course of payment from the 1st day of April, 1856, to the 31st day of March, 1857, inclusive.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 69; Noes 160; Majority 91.
said, before the Vote was passed, he wished, with the consent of the Secretary of State for the War Department, to put a question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer respecting an institution in the metropolis devoted to the advancement of naval and military science. This was the only country which did not support an institution for that special object. The House passed annually votes for the Royal and Geographical Societies, but no Vote for the advancement of naval and military science. At the Institution in question lectures were delivered and discussions took place on naval and military subjects. For example, there was last year a long discussion upon Mr. Fergusson's system of fortifications to which allusions were made in that House. The institution was well worthy the support of the Government, and he wished to ask whether the matter would receive consideration?
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, he believed the institution referred to might be considered as tending to promote those branches of knowledge which were interesting to the naval and military professions. Lord Panmure had mentioned to him his wish that the ground-rent should be defrayed at the public cost instead of assisting the institution by a Vote, and in his noble Friend's view that amount of public money would be usefully bestowed. He could only state at present that the matter was deserving and should receive the consideration of the Government.
§ Vote agreed to; as was also—
§ (7.) £1,500, Education of Cadets.
§ The House resumed.