said, that if the Government now insisted on taking the discussion on the War Office Vote, he should move that the Chairman report Progress. Only that morning four different Reports had been put into the hands of Members; and he defied any man, however conversant with the duties of the War Office, to tell what would be the effect of those Reports upon the clerks of that Department. If there was that commotion in the War Office which the noble Marquess alleged, it was the worst policy not to allow those gentlemen to be fairly heard. He was not sure that he might not entirely agree with the proposal of the Government; but, as those gentlemen said their interests were deeply affected by the plan, he appealed to the Government to postpone the discussion of those Reports till after Easter.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(General Peel.)
said, that the Reports in question had only been delivered to him 853 that morning. He had been engaged all day in a Committee; and he had had scarcely time to turn over a page.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
said, the effect of taking the Vote and the discussion that night, with insufficient information, so far from quieting the commotion in the War Office, would only increase the already prevalent feeling of discontent, besides which some other Returns bearing on the subject for which he had moved had not yet been laid on the table of the House. He, therefore, thought it would be advantageous to the public service that the Vote should be postponed.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, he did not think that the excitement in the War Office was in the least owing to the Report of the Committee—he believed, on the contrary, that the recommendations of the Committee were on the whole well received at the War Office. It was owing to the known fact that a discussion was about to take place in that House, and the idea which was entertained that changes might result there from in the position of some of the officials. As the hon. Baronet had said, such a state of things must be injurious to the public service, and therefore the sooner it was terminated the better; but as it appeared to be the general wish that the discussion should be postponed, he would yield to that wish. Perhaps, however, there would be no objection to their going on with the non-effective Votes to-night.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
(2.) Original Question again proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £33,200, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge of Chelsea and Kilmainham Hospitals, and the In-Pension thereof, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1866, inclusive.
called attention to the necessity of making some change in the pensions and position of soldiers. Until the position of the soldier was improved, and till every man entering the army could feel assured that after a certain time, unless his conduct disentitled him, he should receive such a pension as would support his existence, any alteration in the time of service would be of no avail. In every case pensions were given in the most niggardly and unfair way. The papers were filled with cases of hardship from that cause. He held the War Office responsible for the present state of things. The 854 warrant should be revised. The pensions were too small; 7d. and 6d. per day was too little for a man who had lost his health in the service. After serving twenty years Is. a day was as little as any man should receive. The smallness and uncertainty of the pensions acted most prejudicially upon the army; and he trusted that the Government would, by an additional expenditure, which would not be large, wipe away this blot upon the administration.
felt bound to compare the pay and allowances of the Major of Chelsea Hospital with those of the two senior clerks of that establishment. He did not mean that the latter were too high. Mr. Talman, who had been nearly half a century in the important office he filled with great credit to himself, received not one farthing more than he was justly entitled to. The pay of the second clerk began at £350, and rose to £450 per annum, at an annual increase of £15. The first clerk had an unfurnished house, and received eight tons of coals, 1001b. of candles, and 15,000 cubit feet of gas. The pay of the Major of the future establishment was to be £350, including his half-pay, or his half-pay with so much salary in addition as would make up £350 a year. He might also receive a pension for wounds; £10 per annum in lieu of clothing—namely, the Windsor uniform. He was allowed unfurnished apartments, coachhouse, and stabling for three horses, twelve tons of coals, 1501b. of candles, and 25,000 cubic feet of gas. What were the military services of Sir John Wilson? He had served the country for sixty-eight years. He served as midshipman in the navy for nearly six years. He was employed on the coast of Ireland during the rebellion in 1798; in the expedition to the Helder in 1799, and Egypt in 1801, where he received a medal from the Capitan Pasha for having saved the lives of a boat's crew belonging to a Turkish man-of-war. He received three wounds while a midshipman, and the last was a severe wound on the head, which produced total deafness, in consequence of which he was invalided, and quited the navy in 1803. His health being restored he entered the army in 1804, and served in the 3rd Battalion Royals at Walcheren in 1809, where he was twice wounded during the siege of Flushing. He afterwards served in the Peninsula, and was in the battles of Busaco, the retreat to the lines of Torres Vedras, and at the actions of Pombal, Redinha, 855 Condeixa, Casal Nova, Foz d'Arouce, and Sabugal, the blockade of Almeida, and battle of Fuentes d'Onor. In 1812 he joined the 2nd Battalion Royals in Canada, and was in the attack made on Sackett's Harbour, and Great Sodus (where he received a severe bayonet wound). He was also in the actions at Black Rock, Buffalo, and the battle of Chippewa, in which he received seven wounds, and being left on the field of battle, he fell into the hands of the enemy. During his career in the two professions he received thirteen wounds, and has two balls still lodged. The brevet rank of Major and that of lieutenant-colonel was conferred upon him for his conduct at Buffalo and Chippewa. Sir John received the war medal with two clasps for Busaco and Fuentes d'Onor. This officer, he was bound to say, in no way complained of his allowances. He was allowed to receive the good service pension and his half-pay, besides £350 a year. He was also allowed to waive his rank in order to remain at Chelsea Hospital. But the reason why he drew particular attention to the subject was that the result of every movement of the War Office was that some reduction was made in the allowances to these old distinguished soldiers; and Sir John's allowances were to be diminished to his successor. Sir John Wilson received seventeen tons of coals; his successor was to receive only twelve. Anything more miserable than the change could hardly be conceived. Then the idea of a man of his services being allowed £10 a year in lieu of clothing! Why did they not make his salary £400 a year at once? Stabling for three horses was allowed, but no forage. The house allowed was formerly furnished, now it is unfurnished. Formerly there was a garden attached, and the house not subject to be rated; it is now rated at £175 a year. On one side of the road were the barracks occupied by the Guards; on the other side were the houses of these distinguished officers. In both cases residence was compulsory; the duties in each were analogous, and it was difficult to understand why the residences should be rated in the one case and not in the other. At Hampton Court Palace there was no doubt a beneficial occupation, and rates were properly payable; but he did not see how there could be any such beneficial occupation where officers were compelled to live in certain quarters for the performance of 856 certain duties. It was a gross breach of faith with the officers to make them pay rates, for they entered the army on the understanding that they were to receive certain pay, allowances, and free quarters. When he had asked on previous occasions questions as to the payment of rates and taxes by officers on duty he was informed that no decision had been arrived at. After Easter he should again refer to this subject, and hoped his noble Friend would then be prepared with some satisfactory answer.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON,
in reply to the hon. and gallant Member for the Queen's County (Colonel Dunne), said he had never denied that the War Office were responsible for the pension warrant; what he said was that the pensions were considered by the Chelsea Commissioners, acting under the warrant issued by the Horse Guards, and that they were granted on more liberal terms than formerly. He understood the hon. and gallant Member to say that after a twenty-one years' service a soldier might receive 6d. a day. But in such a case the lowest pension was from 8d. to 1s.; if the soldier was discharged at an earlier date from inability to serve, he might receive a pension of 6d. He did not mean to say that these were liberal terms, but the men had enlisted under these conditions; and where men had not served their full time the Chelsea Commissioners, with the concurrence of the Secretary for War, might make the temporary pension a permanent one. In many cases, moreover, a soldier who might be incapacitated for further service in the army, might not be permanently incapacitated for earning his living. As to the subject brought forward by the hon. and gallant Member for Oxfordshire (Colonel North), he was not aware that there was any intention to make a change in the pay and allowances of Sir John Wilson's successor; but the pay of all these officers must be proportionate to the duties they had to perform, and these duties were of no very onerous character. No case had been made out for raising the pay of any one of them. If any change took place in the pay of the Major, a change would be necessary in the pay of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The Governor received £500, the Lieutenant Governor £400, and the Major £350, and he did not think it necessary to increase the pay of these officers. As to the question of rates and taxes, that was not under the 857 control of the War Office—it was for the consideration of the Treasury. With reference to the general question of rates, the Government had decided to allow matters to remain in the same position as they had hitherto been. Under the Ordnance regulation a great number of officers did pay rates, but they were considered to have a beneficial occupation. Those officers who reside in houses in which their duties compelled them to remain were not liable to pay rates.
said, that nothing could be more miserable than the pay of the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor. The Field Marshal received £500 a year, and another General of the army of seventy-one years' service received £400. The reason why he called attention to the pay of the Major was that the £350 a year granted to him included his half-pay. Sir John Wilson had £350 a year in addition to his half-pay, and he wanted to know if Sir John Wilson's successor, who would be sure to be an old and deserving officer, would have the same amount. It was within the last few years only that the officers had been called upon to pay rates. The navy officers did not pay rates, and the same exemption should be made in favour of the officers of the army.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, the gallant Officer seemed to think that some sacred principle was involved in this matter of rates, and that he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had been guilty of some disrespect to those gentlemen in saying that their case ought to be considered rather as that of civilians than as that of officers of the army. He abided by that opinion; as an establishment like that of Chelsea Hospital was not connected with any military duty. It was not a case of principle at all, but one simply of so much money. If the salaries were too small let them be re-considered.
said, that when these officers entered the army it was with the understanding that they were to have certain pay, certain allowances, and free quarters; but if they were made to pay taxes that could not be called free quarters. It was only in that day's paper that he saw eight or ten officers of Woolwich summoned for taxes and rates.
§ Question put, and agreed to.858
§ (3.) £1,168,000, Out Pensioners, Chelsea Hospital, &c., agreed to.
(4.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding 4131,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charges of the Superannuation Allowances, &c., which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1866, inclusive.
drew attention to the case of barrack masters. They were a class of men who entered as barrack masters late in life because they had served in other capacities, and the difficulty of providing them with any remuneration when they left the barrack department was so great that they were obliged to retain in office men utterly incompetent. The number of superannuations in the War Department was, as he saw by a paper on the table, so considerable, that they must really greatly augment this Vote, and he trusted therefore it would be postponed.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, he could see no possible advantage in such a postponement. The clerks in the War Department were superseded at their own request, and discussion would make no difference whatever in this Vote.
said, he was surprised that the noble Lord had never heard of the complaints made on the subject, as the attention of every Secretary at War for the last few years had been called to them. He should move that the Chairman report Progress.
§ Motion made, and Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again,"—(Colonel Dunne,)—put, and negatived.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ (5.) £29,000, Non-Effective Services, Disembodied Militia, and Yeomanry Cavalry.
hoped that care would be taken that the same allowances, at least, would be held out to officers going into the militia as were given to officers going into the Voluuteers.
THE MARCHESS OF HARTINGTON
said, it would be irregular to discuss the question now, but could assure the hon. and gallant Member that he was under a wrong impression as to the meaning of the circulars which had been issued on the subject.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Resolutions to be reported To-morrow; Committee to sit again To-morrow.