Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £206,629 10s. 9d, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Excess, of the Army Expenditure, beyond the Grants for the year ended the 31st day of March, 1860.
said, he had no wish to renew the discussion which had taken place on the previous day, or to object to the passing of the Vote. He must say, however, that there was nothing in the explanation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Under Secretary for War to alter the opinions he had expressed. He entirely disclaimed any intention, which had been imputed to him, to make a personal attack on the late Secretary of State for War. He had doubted the accuracy of his figures from the first, and he should not have discharged his duty if he had not come forward and stated wherein he thought his calculations were mistaken.
MR. T. G. BAKING
said, that he had not stated that the right hon. and gallant Gentleman had made any personal attack on Lord Herbert of Lea, and ho (Mr. Baring) had only defended the statement which had been made last year by his noble Friend against the observations of the right hon. Gentleman. No words had fallen from his lips which could lead any one for a moment to imagine that he had supposed that the right hon. and gallant Member meant a personal attack on Lord Herbert.
§ SIR HENRY WILLOUGHBY
said, he should move that the Vote be reduced to £l83,595. That was a remarkable instance of their total loss of control over the public money in consequence of the alteration which took place in 1845 in the Appropriation Act. They had no control over the expenditure either of the army or navy. In fact, he found that a million had been expended without the authority of Parliament, which he thought was too serious a matter to be passed over without 1687 notice, as it showed that that House had lost its control over the expenditure. He wished to ask whether in the last two months of 1859–60 there was not an excess in each of 9,559 and 11,327 respectively above the number of men voted by Parliament? He further wished to know whether any portion of the Vote in excess arose out of that excess in the number of men, and if not, from what source was the pay of that extra number defrayed? There were also two payments in the army grants which he thought were utterly indefensible, and upon which, unless satisfactorily explained, he should take the opinion of the Committee. One was a sum of £14,212 on account of the survey of London, and the other £8,820 for the survey of towns. It was stated that those works had been executed by the Board of Ordnance, respectively at the request of the Commissioners and the Board of Health; but, if that were so, those bodies should pay the expense, which could not legitimately be regarded as an army expenditure.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, that there was certainly an excess upon some of the Votes; but, of the million spoken of by the hon. Baronet, 6£600,000 was expended for services caused by the China War, and was, therefore, properly charged to the Vote of Credit for that war; pound;200,000 was met by the savings upon other Votes, and the remaining £200,000 was the Vote now asked for. The excess upon the Votes did not arise from any excess in the number of regular troops, but from an excess in the number of the embodied militia, the excess in the number of regular troops in the months to which the hon. Baronet had referred was covered by their numbers having in others months been below the estimate. With respect to the two items which the hon. Baronet complained should have been charged to army services, the reason was that the work was originally done by the Ordnance Survey, which though strictly a civil service, yet was included in the Army Estimates. The money due on account of that work was partly repaid by the Board of Health. Those two balances, however, Were left over, and as it was found impossible to get the money, the Treasury decided that the sum should be borne by the army Votes.
said, he thought the hon. Gentleman had not met the case that had been put. There was an excess of expenditure of £973,000 upon five Votes.
1688 How was that excess met? The Vote of Credit was not moved until March 19, and, of course, the money had then been spent. There was no doubt when the Vote of Credit was taken it was applied to meet the excess as well as all the savings upon other Votes; but it appeared that the authority of the Treasury was only given on the 2nd of April this year. Before the 14th of March he had asked his hon. Friend three questions—first, whether any portion of the 500,000 was to be appropriated to meet the expenditure upon the ordinary estimate, and the reply was, "None." The second, question was whether the Treasury had given authority to appropriate the surplus upon other Votes, and the answer was in the negative. The third question was whether there would be any further Vote in excess, and the answer was "None." Now, he found that all the Vote of Credit, all the savings upon other Votes, had been disposed of before the expiration of the financial year. He had stated in March last year that £500,000 would not cover the excess of army expenditure, but that a further half million would be required. It now appeared that he was so far wrong that, instead of £500,000, the excess was £973,000.
§ SIR HENRY WILLOUGHBY
said, that from the Returns he had moved for it appeared that the number of men voted for in 1859–60 was 122,659, and the number that was borne and paid out of the British Exchequer on the 1st of March, 1860, exclusive of the embodied militia, was 132,233 men, so that more than 10,000 men were kept and paid beyond the number voted by Parliament, which was unconstitutional. With regard to his Motion, it came to this, was a debt, whether it belonged to the Army or not, to be paid out of the Army Estimates? They might as well apply the money to the embankment of the Thames.
said, he thought the hon. Baronet did not understand the question. The particular sums were irrecoverable debts due to army funds, and the only question was whether these sums should remain outstanding debts, or whether they should be charged to army grants. In 1848 the Commissioners of Sewers applied to the War Department to make a survey of London, they undertaking to repay the expense. The survey was made, and£10,000 paid on account, but when application was made to the Commissioners for 1689 the balance they said they could not pay without legislative sanction. The matter stood over, and when application was made to the Metropolitan Board of Works, in 1858, they objected to pay, upon the ground, among others, that if the Commissioners of Sewers had waited the survey would have been made for them gratis, there having been a survey made of the whole of England. The charge of £8,000 was made for surveys instituted by the Ordnance Department at the request of the Boards of Health of various towns, on the understanding that the local boards would pay for them, which they afterwards declined to do.
said, that the number of men voted by Parliament in 1859–60 was 122,050. At that time the number of men below the Estimates was 20,000, but they were represented by the embodied militia, and he deducted from the pay and allowances £125,000, which ho took for the militia. The money taken exactly corresponded with the number of men. What he wanted to know was out of men. What fund the expenditure of £978,000 was absolutely paid. Was it by appropriating the surplus of other Votes?
said, that the Treasury gave authority for the issue from the Exchequer of the aggregate amount of the Votes on the Army Estimates, and they had no power of telling from day to day whether the amount of any particular Vote was exceeded or not. When the sum for 1859–60 was exhausted, application was made for a Vote of Credit, and then the Treasury gave authority to draw from the Exchequer on the Vote of Credit.
said, that the surplus of one financial year had clearly been devoted to meet the expenditure in excess of a previous year. He should like to know where the money was held during the interval.
said, he wished to know by what authority the Board of Ordnance had instituted these surveys of towns and sewers?
said, he had never heard a more extraordinary statement than that of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Peel), that the hon. Baronet (Sir Henry Willoughby) did not understand what he was talking about. It now appeared that the ignorance was altogether on the side of the right hon. Gentleman. Earlier in the Session he had expressed an opinion that the Military Estimates would be 1690 nearer£16,000,000 than£14,500,000, the amount when they were first brought in. The House had, however, been called upon to vote for military expenditure alone, during the present Session, a sum little short of£17,000,000. He believed that such an expenditure was totally uncalled for, and that it was not distributed in the manner most serviceable to the Army.
SIR WILLIAM VERNELR,
in rising, pursuant to notice to call attention to the appointment of Roman Catholic chaplains for the army, said, that every one who got a commission in the army and navy was expected to be a gentleman. It was also universally admitted that all the persons appointed as chaplains had been educated at the College of Maynooth. He said that in many instances these chaplains originally came from a very low class of society, and were, therefore, unfitted to associate with and attend upon officers in the army. He pointed out other inconveniences connected with the appointments, and complained of the great increase in their number of late and the consequent augmentation of expense.
Motion made, and Question put,
That a sum, not exceeding£183,596 13s. 2d. be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Excess of the Army Expenditure, beyond the Grants for the year ended the 31st day of March, 1860.
§ The Committee divided:— Ayes 45; Noes 52: Majority 7.
§ Original Question put, andagreed to.
§ (3.)£637,000, Disembodied Militia.
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
remarked upon the enormous standing army kept up, and pronounced it to be unnecessary, considering the great Volunteer force which had sprung up. He would begrudge no funds for making the navy equal to meet all comers; but the army was preposterously large. He objected to the Vote for the disembodied Militia, believing that body to be very inferior to the Volunteers.
said, he hoped that something would be done for the Militia surgeons, who were most inadequately remunerated for their services. Ho suggested that that they should either receive permanent pay on the Staff, or have a certain amount of lodging-money allowed to them.
remarked that Ireland must be very badly off, for, as it was not allowed Volunteers, it had to put up with, according to the hon. Member for Lambeth, a very defective militia force.
1691 But his estimate of the latter force was very different from that of the hon. Member. The efficiency of the force, however, very much depended on the Inspectors. Hitherto officers of the Line only had received those appointments. He thought the Inspectors should hold commissions in the militia. With regard to the lodging-money of the Serjeant-Major (4d. per day) it was only the mere pay given to a private in the army. He considered it ought to be increased, for the Serjeant-Major had many responsibilities resting upon him. He objected to the item of £500 for rewards for discovery of deserters, considering money so spent ill-spent. He thought instructors in musketry ought to be supplied by the Government. The Adjutants were too much occupied to be able to perform this duty. With these alterations he thought the Militia would be made perfectly efficient.
said, he believed that if half the attention were paid to the Militia that was devoted to Volunteers the former would be as fine a force as the country could possibly have to fall back upon.
§ MAJOR WINDSOR PARKER
said, that the Volunteers and the Militia were drawn from very different classes of the community, and there was a difference between their motives for enlistment, but the only rivalry between the two forces was in their desire to be of service to their country.
MR. T. G. BARING
said, he fully concurred in the observations of the hon. and gallant Member (Major Parker). He considered an officer of the Line had full power to inspect. The question raised by the hon. and gallant Member (Colonel Dunne) as to lodging-money and desertion would be taken into consideration. Arrangements were being made for supplying instructors in musketry to the Militia, and due consideration would be given to the other suggestions made by the hon. and gallant Member who had addressed the House.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (4.) £30,000, further charges for Volunteer corps.
§ MR. DARBY GRIFFITH
said, he thought it was a miserable sum, and that, unless the Government acted more liberally towards the Volunteers, the movement would ultimately fail.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Resolutions to be reported To-morrow.