§ (The Duke of Richmond.)
§ Order of the Day for the Second Beading, read.
§ THE DUKE OF RICHMOND
, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said: My Lords, I trust your Lordships will not judge of the importance of the measure now submitted to the consideration of the House by the multitude of its details, for in that case it might assume a somewhat miserable character, but I can hardly imagine a measure more interesting to the officers of the Army, and, through them, to the country at large, than the one now before your Lordships. I am happy, however, to think that its advocacy does not call for any elaborate or eloquent address on my part; because, though large as are the interests at stake, the proposition itself, when thoroughly and carefully examined, will be found to resolve itself into so very simple and moderate a one, that I should not be justified in detaining your Lordships at any great length. Now, my Lords, I wish at the outset to state—and I do so with confidence—that what is called the subject of Purchase is by no means attached to or bound up with that of exchanges—the Bill to which I ask your Lordships to give a second reading has no more to do with the re-introduction of Purchase than almost any subject altogether irrespective of Army interests. Purchase was put an end to by the Royal Warrant of 1871. I assure noble Lords that I am not going back to the controversy on that subject; I shall 214 deal with the abolition of Purchase as an accomplished fact, and not go back either upon that system or the question of the means taken by the late Government to put an end to it. What has been done I accept as an accomplished fact, and I do not wish to re-open that part of the question. I allude to the subject only to give myself the opportunity of stating that Purchase and Exchange are two different things. Under the system of Purchase an officer bought the steps by which he advanced himself in the Army. Under the system of Exchange the officer exchanges from one regiment into another; but he rather loses than gains, because, by means of an exchange, he loses the seniority he holds in the regiment he is leaving. I confess I was somewhat astonished to find that some persons have objected to exchange on the ground that it has a tendency to reestablish the Purchase system, inasmuch as it gives occasion to the payment of a bonus. It is argued that the officer who exchanges out of one regiment into another derives an advantage for which he would be willing to pay, and that under such a system the junior officers might bribe a senior officer to exchange into another regiment, that those remaining behind might benefit by the step so taken. Those who advance that argument—and it has been advanced more than once in "another place," and perhaps will be advanced here to-night, though I do not expect that the noble Viscount the late Secretary for War will advance it, because he knows that it is unsound, can scarcely be aware of the true nature of exchanges. Suppose a man is a senior captain in a regiment, it is highly improbable that he would be induced by a bonus to retire from a position he had been endeavouring to attain for many years, because not only would he not obtain in the regiment to which he exchanged the position he occupied in the one he had left, but he would find himself in his new regiment at the feet of some 10 or 20 captains who in that regiment would be his seniors. Therefore I say that, even supposing the payment of a bonus were possible in accordance with the regulations of the military authorities, I say that on the face of it the arrangement would be so extraordinary that men would not be found to enter into it,—it would naturally arrest the attention of the authorities, and pro- 215 voke inquiry. There is, therefore, really nothing of Purchase in the proposition before your Lordships. I hope it is not necessary to assure your Lordships that my right hon. Friend the Secretary for War has no desire to bring back the system of Purchase—did he do so, he is far too straightforward and honourable a man to attempt it by an indirect and underhand course—he would have proposed it in a straightforward and open manner, in a way that would afford Parliament an opportunity of expressing a direct opinion on the proposal.
It may now, my Lords, be convenient that I should state the way in which Purchase and Exchange were carried out up to the time when the Royal Warrant of 1871 was issued. By a statute of Edward VI. the purchase and sale of offices were rendered illegal, except in the case of commissions in the Army. The Act 49 of George III. extended that statute to military commissions, unless the prices paid were such as had been laid down by regulation. With regard to exchanges the same rules did not prevail—the regulation prices for Purchase had been fixed, but there were no regulations laid down for exchanges, and up to the issuing of the Warrant of 1871 payment on exchanges were illegal. But when Purchase was abolished the noble Viscount (Viscount Cardwell) who was then Secretary for War, found that it was necessary to legalize and authorize a system of exchanges, and he did so under certain regulations into the details of which I must ask your Lordships to follow me. I have to apologize to the noble Viscount for having to allude to him so often, but circumstances render it necessary that I should do so. The noble Viscount, I think, very wisely admitted that a system of exchanges was necessary for an Army portions of which are sent to our Colonial possessions and to India—an Army which finds itself scattered in so many different parts of the globe. I cannot think that any of your Lordships fail to thoroughly understand and appreciate the necessity of allowing a system of exchanges in such an Army; and I was astonished to find that in "another place" a right hon. Gentleman had expressed surprise that such a system was allowed, basing that surprise on the fact that such a system would not be permitted in any other profession. The right hon. Gentle- 216 man (Mr. Lowe) gave an illustration to show how it would work in another profession, but I cannot help thinking that his illustration was neither appropriate nor happy. He said—"What would be thought if a Judge in the Court of Common Pleas, finding himself overworked, wished to exchange with a Judge in the Exchequer, and if the Lord Chancellor—who holds a position in the law analogous to that occupied in the Army by the illustrious Duke the Commander-in-Chief—sanctioned an arrangement by which that exchange was brought about." The cases are not at all similar. To put them on all fours with one another you must imagine that the Lord Chancellor, as legal Commander-in-Chief, had the power to order the Judge of the Common Pleas off to Gibraltar within a month, from which, after some time of good service, he is sent to the Cape, from which, after an efficient administration of the law, he is told he is wanted to proceed to Madras, from which, after a period of judicial labour, he is requested to proceed to Australia, with an intimation that he will be expected to dispense law and justice in China, and, perhaps, the West Indies before his return home. Now, that would be something like the course of duty which an officer in the Army may be called upon to perform; and if the typical Judge of the Common Pleas could be called on to go round the world in that way, the surprise of his exchange with another Judge being sanctioned by the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack might not be so great as was suggested in "another place." I think we should not see on the Bench all those eminent persons who now occupy that position, and that those who are there would be quite as clamorous for a system of exchanges as are now the officers of the Army. Then, my Lords, consider the benefit the country has received in the service from the existence of liberty to exchange. Remember how many distinguished officers have by it been enabled to gain a reputation in India, and render the greatest service to their Queen and country. I allude to such officers as Sir Henry Havelock and others whose career would have been lost to themselves and their country had they not been able to remain in India at a time when it would have been inconvenient for them to return home. 217 Indeed, I think it is admitted by all military authorities, as well as by the late Secretary for War, that such a system is absolutely necessary as well for the interest of the country at large as for those of the Army, if the two interests are not absolutely identical. When military and naval subjects are being discussed in Parliament we are accustomed to hear frequent references to what is being done in other countries. It was so in the discussion on guns the other night, when we were told that we must go on, however tentatively, in the direction of the adoption of breech-loaders, because France and other countries had adopted them. But, my Lords, take up the French military newspapers and what will you perceive? Why, that they are full of advertizements of proposed exchanges; and I am informed that in the case of exchanges in the French Army, the only requirement is the sanction of the two commanding officers of the respective regiments. The only condition annexed in addition to that requirement is that no money whatever shall be required from the State.
Now, my Lords, having, as I hope, established the first point—namely, that exchange is necessary, I shall now endeavour to establish the second—namely, that money must be allowed to pass. And here, again, I find the noble Viscount the late Secretary for War assenting to the proposition of the Government, for he not only admits that exchanges must be allowed, but that money must pass, though only in a limited manner. I think, however, that I shall show it is not desirable money should pass in the way proposed by the noble Viscount. He allows of the Exchange, but he will only allow money to pass to the extent necessary to provide for an outfit. I shall name to your Lordships the items which, under the noble Viscount's Regulation, are allowed to be paid by an officer exchanging with another for the convenience of the richer man. The poorer man sends in to the Military Secretary expenses of which the following may be regarded as example:—First, there are mess and band subscriptions; next, there is change of ordinary uniform—the amount of that the tailor might determine; and it would not be difficult to arrive at the amount to be paid for the passage of the officer. Next to that comes passage of officer's 218 wife, and after that passage of his children. Well, these expenses it may not be difficult for the Military Secretary to estimate. But when we come to item No. 6, we find it to be "expenses and passage of female servants." I think it is trenching somewhat upon the duties of a distinguished officer like Sir Alexander Horsford, or any other Military Secretary, to cast upon him the duty of deciding how many female servants are to accompany a gentleman's family—he cannot tell what may be their requirements, and he may have to inquire in such a case whether the lady's maid is to do duty as nursery maid also during the voyage. These are duties which the Military Secretary ought not to be called upon to undertake; but next comes a still more embarrassing item for a Military Secretary, "Outfit for wife and children." How in the name of wonder is the Military Secretary to say what is a proper outfit for a lady and her family, whom he may never have had the good fortune to set eyes upon, whose habits he knows nothing about, and of whose belongings he is perfectly ignorant? It is next to impossible for him to come to a satisfactory conclusion on the point—more especially as the value of the outfit varies from £30 to £100. How, I ask, can distinguished officers be expected to be judges of the quality of underclothing a lady should take out, or the number of frocks the children will need? I pass over item No. 8—"Hotel expenses for officers," and come to No. 9—the final one. This is "Baggage expenses." Is the number of trunks and portmanteaus for the officer, his wife, children, and servants all to be considered by the Military Secretary? Manifestly, there will be inequality in such a system, because unmarried officers will gain advantages which married officers with families cannot derive from it. My Lords, if you have an open exchange, untouched and unembarrassed by calculations such as those to which I have been referring, the arrangement will be of a nature satisfactory to all parties. The principle of this Bill is—first, that exchange should be allowed; secondly, that it ought to be open and unlimited. A Commission was appointed by the late Government to inquire into the Memorials and Petitions of a number of Officers praying Her Majesty for relief from Grievances of which they com- 219 plained. That Commission took a great deal of evidence, and, if I may be allowed to say so, most valuable evidence was given by the illustrious Duke who commands-in-chief Her Majesty's Army. I think I cannot do better than quote a portion of this, commencing with Question 157:—Your Royal Highness is aware of the practice of exchanging on the part of officers from one corps to another?—Yes.Under certain restrictions for the benefit of discipline, they were freely allowed by your Royal Highness to do so?—Certainly.And by your Royal Highness's predecessors?—Certainly.It was considered advantageous to the public service to allow those exchanges?—They were most beneficial to the public service.No question was asked as to what sum of money passed in consideration of the exchange?—None whatever.It was perfectly well known to your Royal Highness and your predecessors, and generally to the authorities, that money did pass for those exchanges?—I have no doubt of it.And no inconvenience, but, on the contrary, benefit arose to the public service from that system?—Certainly. No exchange took place without my authority, and if I did not consider it of advantage to the public service, or just to the officers in each regiment concerned, I would not allow it. I never asked any questions, of course, as to the money, but I judged of each case entirely on its merits. If afterwards money passed, that of course was no concern of mine.Your Royal Highness had the perfect power of controlling it to any extent you thought proper?—Yes; it was entirely in my option to allow it, or not.I believe that when an exchange of that sort took place each officer went to the bottom of the list of his new regiment?—He went to the bottom of his rank; that was invariably the case.The benefit of the service was the first consideration?—That, of course, was the first consideration; but I think that the public service would have been injured if any discontent had been caused by allowing a very junior officer to be put over the head of a senior in the junior rank.Those are the opinions of the illustrious Duke, and I think it goes to show your Lordships that a well-regulated system of exchange is of great advantage to the public service. We hold, then, that no account of the money that passes should be taken by the military authorities, who should decide on the proposed exchange principally on its merits as regards the Army and the public. The next quotation I shall make is from the evidence given before the Commission by Sir Richard Airey, whose authority on the subject will be recognized by noble Lords who are not connected with the Army, 220 and still more by noble Lords who are members of the military profession—With regard to the practice of exchanges, His Royal Highness has stated that no inconvenience arose to the public service from the freely-permitted practice of exchanges from one corps to another, but that, on the contrary, there was an advantage to the public service, and a considerable benefit to the individual officers concerned; is that your opinion?—In my opinion it was of very great advantage to the service. Putting the question of the convenience of officers out of consideration, although I believe that that is an element in the matter, the great question is the efficiency of the service, and I think that it was of very great advantage. A good officer from particular circumstances was perhaps obliged to be in England; he could not be in England except by exchange into a regiment at home, and it was allowed without any question of what mutual arrangement took place between the individuals.And very often to poor officers the sum received was of very great benefit?—It was of very great advantage to them.I could make elaborate quotations to the same effect; but I shall not detain your Lordships by doing so, because the Blue Book containing it is before your Lord-ships—I may, however, quote from the recommendations of the Commission, and I think I may assume that the Royal Commissioners were honest and impartial men: and I do the noble Viscount opposite the credit of believing that he would not have named them for appointment by Her Majesty if he did not regard them as men competent to deal with and come to a decision on the questions referred to them. The Commissioners say—It has been repeatedly and forcibly urged upon us that the prohibition of paying and receiving money for exchanges, between Officers on full pay, is a serious hardship to some and a serious loss to others. It does appear to us that the complaint is a legitimate one. The new rule has obviously proceeded from an apprehension that to allow any pecuniary bargaining between Officers in respect of their commissions might be as a letting out of the waters, bringing back bonuses, over-regulation prices, and the other incidents of the abolished system. We are not satisfied that there is any real danger of this, and we are satisfied upon the evidence before us that a return to the old practice as to exchanges would be very acceptable to the Army. There are many good Officers of slender moans who would be willing to serve in India or elsewhere for a consideration, and there are many good Officers more blessed with the world's goods who, for family or other reasons, or under medical advice, would be willing to give such a consideration. The exchange is an unmixed benefit to both, and would probably be a benefit, and certainly would not be detrimental to the service. It ought only to be effected with the sanction and under the control of the authorities, and 221 on such conditions as to insure that nobody else is superseded or affected. These are the substantial grounds of this complaint which appear to us to be well founded, and we do not hesitate to recommend that the above-named prohibition should be removed.If I were to speak for a week, I could not put the case for the Bill stronger than it is put in that passage of the Report of the Royal Commission:—and I would beg of those who object to exchanges under such a system as we propose to remember that the advocates of the abolition of Purchase recommended it on this among other grounds—that it would be for the advantage of poor officers. But, my Lords, having a great respect for those who comprised the Royal Commission, I am bound to notice something that has been said "elsewhere." It has been urged against the recommendation of the Commissioners that as to this part of their Report the Commissioners had failed ultra vires, and that the subject of exchanges was one with which the Commissioners were not competent to deal. I do not know that this objection will be taken in your Lordships' House; but as it was taken "elsewhere" by one who occupies a high position and is entitled to great respect, I think it necessary to notice it. Now, my Lords, the Royal Commissioners were Lord Justice James, the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Penzance), and, though last not least, my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty. Your Lordships will perceive that the objection to which I have just alluded involves the supposition that these three Commissioners did not understand the terms of the Reference in the Commission which was laid before them and under which they were appointed. As for myself, I should be content to take the opinion of any one of them as to the nature of that Reference; but it would appear that all three agreed in thinking that the terms of the Reference enabled them to consider the question of exchanges. Now, let us look at the terms of the Reference—Whereas by our Royal Warrant, dated the 20th day of July 1871, We were pleased to cancel and determine all regulations made by Us or any of our Royal Predecessors or any Officers acting under our authority, regulating or fixing the prices at which any commissions in our Forces might be bought, sold, or exchanged … And We do give and grant to you or to any two of you full power and authority to call before you such persons as you may deem necessary, and to obtain information from 222 them upon the subjects of your inquiry, and of every matter connected therewith, and also to call for, have access to, and examine all such official books, documents, papers, and records as may appear to you, or to any two of you, likely to be of use in affording you the fullest information.Your Lordships will have perceived that by the first part of the reference the matters to be discussed are "commissions in our Forces which might be bought, sold, or exchanged; "and that by the second part full powers are granted to any two of the Commissioners to do the acts mentioned in that portion of the Reference. I cannot think that this of itself would be sufficient to dispose of the objection that when the Commissioners dealt with the subject of exchanges their action was ultra vires: but when I look at a certain correspondence I find that the noble Viscount himself admits the power of the Commissioners to deal with the subject of exchanges, because in a reply to the Commissioners which Major Vivian wrote by the authority of the noble Viscount there is this passage:—There were doubtless many instances in which exchange being the subject of a pecuniary transaction was a gain to one of the officers concerned at the expense of the other. The extent to which exchanges have obtained in the purchase corps during the last ten years is shown in the table marked (G). Evidence, however, can be given by the Army Purchase Commissioners that the present rule, which admits of the actual expense being paid by one of the parties for the other, does not operate in all eases to reduce the amount which would have been paid under the former system. The object of the new rule is to render the practice conformable to the law (49 Geo. III., c. 126), as well as compatible with the reasonable requirements of personal convenience. How far it has accomplished the latter object will appear also from the Return G. In connection with this subject it may be observed that under the new system of linked battalions when it shall have come into full operation, a great facility and advantage in respect of exchange will be given, inasmuch as an officer abroad will be able to exchange with an officer of the same brigade at home without loss of position on the list.That shows the noble Viscount was perfectly well aware that the Royal Commissioners were dealing with the subject of exchanges and that he did not object to their doing so. I think, therefore, the noble Viscount will not adopt the objection raised "elsewhere," that the Commissioners were acting ultra vires. But there is the other objection, which struck me as extraordinary—namely, that though the Royal Commissioners 223 were perfectly competent to deal with the legal parts of the question—two of them being very eminent lawyers, and the third being a Chairman of Quarter Sessions—they were perfectly incompetent to deal with the future of the Army. It was said in support of that objection that we could not leave the future of the Army to two lawyers and a country gentleman. If that objection is to prevail, I am afraid that the Army under the late Government must have been in a most lamentable condition, and I am afraid that, under the present Government, it is in even a worse condition. If I mistake not, at the head of the Army, as Secretary for War in the late Government, was a lawyer and country gentleman; at the head of the Army, as Secretary for War in the present Government, is a lawyer and country gentleman. I believe we do not in this country think the worse of heads of the War Department because they may happen to be lawyers and country gentlemen, and therefore I think the objection urged to the competency of the Commission is of a shadowy, and I may add flimsy, character.
I would ask your Lordships to give this Bill a second reading on its own merits. Its object is to enable the military authorities to deal with exchanges in a manner wholly irrespective of pecuniary arrangements, and to legalize what, up to 1871, was illegal—though it had long been tacitly recognized—namely, exchanges except based on regulations. My Lords, I may be permitted, with all deference, to say that many of those who have talked so strongly against permitting exchanges really know nothing about it—they know neither the manner of exchanges nor the way in which they are managed. Many people, I believe, imagine that when two officers desire to exchange, all they have to do is to go together to the illustrious Duke and say—"Will your Royal Highness have the goodness to have the necessary papers made out? "But the process is a very different one. Some reason must be assigned. I have told your Lordships what the form is in France. What is it in this country? Two officers wishing to exchange, first of all get the assent of their commanding officers; that, with the application, is forwarded to the military authorities by the General commanding the district. After most minute 224 and searching inquiries by the Military Secretary and the Assistant Military Secretary as to the views and feelings of the officers wishing to exchange, and the effect of the exchange, if allowed, on the Service generally, the matter comes before the illustrious Duke, who by no means grants the exchange as a matter of course. I believe I am correct in saying that frequently His Royal Highness has refused to sanction an exchange because he was not satisfied that it was for the interests of the Service. It is, therefore, a great mistake to suppose that an exchange is an arrangement which can be made off-hand and without inquiry. I submit the question resolves itself into a feeling of confidence, or want of confidence, in the military authorities—I include the Secretary for War and the illustrious Duke, the Commander-in-Chief. If they are not fit for the duty which devolves on them in the matter of exchanges, the sooner we have a War Secretary and a Commander-in-Chief in whom the country will have confidence the better. But you have imposed a most disagreeable, invidious, and onerous duty on the illustrious Duke in throwing upon him the duty of selection. If he be fit to undertake the duty of selection, he is fit to undertake the duty which this Bill will impose on him in reference to exchanges. But if he be not, then, with all respect and reverence, I say, in the presence of the illustrious Duke himself, that the sooner we have some one else at the head of the Army the better.
My Lords, in conclusion, I move that your Lordships read this Bill a second time. I believe that in doing so you will do an act of justice and one of sound policy, because you will be stamping with your approval a measure which, while fostering a spirit of loyal content in the Army, will, at the same time, promote the interests of the nation at large.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Duke of Richmond.)
§ VISCOUNT CARDWELL
My Lords, this is a measure which has been recommended to your Lordships by the Crown, which has been approved by a great majority in the House of Commons, and the noble Duke, the Lord President, also has stated that it will be acceptable to a large portion of the Army. I do not 225 doubt it; though I know that many officers of the highest standing are not in its favour; and it would have been a source of great pleasure to me had I felt that I could join in passing a measure which would be acceptable to so large a class of officers. But I feel it to be my duty to give your Lordships this opportunity, before we are committed to the second reading of the Bill, to consider what appear to me to be strong and important objections to it. The noble Duke has said that the proposals in this Bill are recommended in the Report of a Royal Commission appointed by the Government of which I had the honour to be a member. I should not have noticed that fact but for the reference made to it by the noble Duke; but if after that reference I left it unnoticed, the supposition might arise that the late Government were in some degree parties to the recommendation of the Royal Commissioners. The noble Duke has referred to the high position of the three eminent personages who composed the Commission. Now, no man can speak more highly than I am prepared to do of those eminent persons—the late Government were extremely gratified that they undertook the duties of the Commission—we had entire confidence in their qualifications, especially for a Commission of a judicial character; but we did not at all compromise ourselves. It never entered into our minds that we were referring to them any other question than that of the grievances of which the officers were complaining, and the compensation, if any, to be given for those grievances; nor in the Order of Reference did we put any other question than this—Whether any of the grievances alleged by the officers in their memorials are such as should be compensated in the manner hereinbefore mentioned as falling within the principle of the Act 34 and 35 years of our reign, chapter 86, though not expressly included by the words thereof.My Lords, I think no words could be found more calculated to exclude any question with regard to the future policy of the Army, and to include only the grievances of officers and their claims to compensation. The noble Duke also referred to a letter written by my direction, and signed by Mr. Vivian, to be found in the Appendix to the Report. I cer- 226 tainly answered the question put to me by the Royal Commission, because I considered it was within their power to consider the effect of the abolition of the sale of exchanges on the question of compensation; and though I cannot at this moment put my finger on the passage in the Evidence, I think the noble Duke will have no difficulty in doing so; and he will find that the first time the system of exchange was referred to, the President of the Commission said that the question was scarcely before them. But I readily admit any one of the three gentlemen was quite as competent as I could be to be placed in the situation of Secretary for War, and I never stated that they were not competent to consider military questions, if military questions were referred to them; but when it is said that this subject was referred to them I quote the Order of Reference, and I venture to say it was not referred to them. The reason, my Lords, why I object to exchanges is not that they are illegal, for when Purchase was abolished we did that which was never done before—we established regulations to make exchanges legal. I do not now speak from official statistics, but I am told we were not altogether unsuccessful. I saw a letter from Colonel Loyd Lindsay in The Times the other day, in which he says that exchanges in the Royal Artillery have increased 50 per cent under the operation of the new Rules. The new Rules, therefore, have not been unfavourable to exchanges in the Artillery. But why have they increased in the Royal Artillery when they have not increased in the battalions of the Line? I can only conjecture the reason; but my conjecture is this—that the Artillery being one regiment, exchanges have no effect upon promotion, but are resorted to only for the purpose of health and convenience; whereas in the battalions of the Line exchanges were very largely ancillary to promotion by Purchase, and now Purchase is abolished it was natural that exchanges in the battalions of the Line should diminish in number while exchanges in the Artillery went on increasing. As I say, we have never objected to the system of exchanges when made for reasonable objects of health and of convenience. What we did was this—we agreed that in an Army situated like ours, and called upon 227 to serve in the most distant parts of the world, it is desirable and necessary that there should be a reasonable system of exchanges, and we were not indifferent to that subject; but in 1871 we believed—and I think the country believed—that we had, by the payment of a great sum of money, got rid once and for all of the interference of private pecuniary transactions for the purpose of profit in the affairs of Her Majesty's Army; and what we object to now is, not that there should be exchanges with every convenience for officers, but that there should be the passing of money and a profit made by those exchanges. The Royal Commission of 1857 remarked that it was not surprising that pecuniary transactions should prevail in the Army at a time when places in civil life were the subjects of Purchase: but it will, I think, hereafter be a matter of surprise that when purchase had been utterly abolished, not only in civil life, but even in the Army itself, the Acts of George III. and even of Edward VI. should have been repealed, and for the first time in our history a special invitation have been given by Parliament to a traffic in exchanges. I cannot see why it should be requisite to give a pecuniary stimulus to the officers of the Army which is not asked for in any branch of the Civil Service, which would not be endured in the Navy, and which no one was ever heard to propose for the non-commissioned officer or private soldier. But what are we doing now? This Bill consists of only 24 lines; but it repeals, as far as regimental exchanges are concerned, the Act of 1809, which was passed after so much difficulty and controversy, which was intended to put an end to irregular pecuniary transactions in the Army; but, more than that, it goes back to the Act of Edward VI. and repeals it as far as regimental exchanges are concerned. The noble Lord near me (Lord Cottesloe) has for 30 years been Chairman of the Customs. During that period he had many exchanges to sanction. Did he ever hear of its being proposed that those exchanges should be the subject of pecuniary consideration? On the contrary, he will tell you that everybody coming to him for his sanction of exchange had to make a declaration that no money had passed. When a gentleman has given what the Royal Commission call a "consideration" he is very apt to imagine 228 that he is possessed of a property in that for which he has given a consideration; but I do not think that it will tend to facilitate business in the War Office if so large a number of exchanges and for such large sums of money should be effected under this Bill as we find in page 175 of this Appendix. When an officer has been permitted to obtain an exchange for a large sum of money, under the sanction of an Act of Parliament, and the authorities know that he has done so, it is impossible that his services can remain at the disposal of the Crown as freely as they ought—as freely as they would if no such payment had been made. It is argued, indeed, that they will, and so they will in law; but so they will not in fact: they ought not, and they cannot, so long as human nature continues what it is—so long as genial and kindly men continue to administer the affairs of the Army. Is there any necessity for a pecuniary stimulus to be given to exchanges? There are many volumes of Blue Books on the subject, and they are full of evidence on this point. First the Duke of Wellington, next Lord Hardinge, and then the illustrious Duke—they all discourage a great number of exchanges. In every discussion which has ever taken place on the subject of the Army, how great has been the stress which has been laid upon the excellence and importance of the regimental system. In the evidence of 1857, the noble Duke who sits behind me (the Duke of Somerset) asked the illustrious Duke whether, with reference to the regimental system and to the maintenance of the esprit de corps, he thought it desirable to encourage numerous exchanges; and the answer of the illustrious Duke was that it was not desirable. The rule laid down by the Duke of Wellington and by Lord Hardinge was this—to allow no one to exchange when his regiment was ordered on foreign service; and the illustrious Duke said that he had walked in their footsteps in this respect. Is it, then, desirable that when a regiment has reached its station, individual officers should be encouraged to return? Tour Lordships will remember the statement by Lord Clyde. That distinguished soldier told the Royal Commission of 1857—I had one of the nicest corps of officers, when I was ordered out to China. All those men embarked with their regiment; but as 229 soon as that service was over, and they had to remain in a climate like that of China, most of them immediately exchanged, and I lost all my young friends whom I so much loved.Lord Clyde drew the moral of that state of things; he said—There is no sacrifice too great for the State to make to those men who will remain with their regiments, in every colony, and above all in India … to continue with the soldiers, to share their difficulties, to remain with them, to encourage them when sick, and to fight with them, when they are required to do so. I do not think that any sacrifice would be too great on the part of the State to effect that object.If such be the policy of the country and of the regimental system, of which we have heard so much, then I ask, what is this Bill? It is not unimportant, repealing the Act of George III. and repealing the Act of Edward VI., and creating pecuniary inducements in order to make officers more ready to leave their regiments, to impair the regimental system, and to frustrate the policy which Lord Clyde said it would be worth any sacrifice for the country to promote. The noble Duke (the Duke of Richmond) referred to that illustrious soldier, Sir Henry Havelock. Well, the result of the old system was that Sir Henry Havelock spent all his life in India. Is it a good thing that there should be one set of officers who spend all their lives in India, and another set who spend all their lives in the comforts and luxuries of London? Would it be a reassuring thing, if you suddenly found yourselves obliged to face a foreign enemy, to have to call home the Have-locks from India because your officers at home had not the advantage of Indian and Colonial service? It may be one of our inconveniences with respect to the Army that we should have some 60,000 men in India and between 20,000 and 80,000 in the British Colonies; but what is our consolation? It is that in time of peace these men obtain an experience which would be denied them at home, and that in time of war we have always officers and men on whose practised skill we can rely. But when you change your system—when you have half your officers constantly in India and another half constantly at home—you will lose that advantage. Then there is another consideration—one set of officers will be rich and the other class poor. In every society we have poor and we have rich; but it is always our duty to minimize that 230 distinction as far as we possibly can. The Army is not for the rich and the Army is not for the poor; it is for those who, whether rich or poor, have zeal to serve their Queen and country and to discharge the duties that the Service may impose upon them. But this Bill has this defect—it tends to distinguish the rich from the poor; it is unduly favourable not to the poor but to the rich officer. I will tell you why it is not likely to be favourable to the poor man serving in India. The poor man serving in India, and finding himself or his wife overcome by the climate, has, under the present regulations, a fair chance of obtaining an exchange upon paying the limited sum allowed; but when this Bill passes an exchange will become the property of the person who can open his purse widest, while the poor man who may be sick or who may have a sick wife will have no chance of obtaining an exchange as long as there is a richer man in the country desirous of coming home. The consequence will be that you will have the poor man always in a disagreeable climate and the rich man always at home. My Lords, the advantage pointed out by the Royal Commission is nothing but "the consideration" of which they speak. I demur altogether to that question of "consideration," where the inconveniences of the Service will go to one class of men and the advantages to another. And this I say, that the argument that the poor officer cannot live upon his pay is not an argument that ought to be heard from the Crown or accepted by Parliament. It is the business of the Treasury of this country so to pay our officers that every man can live upon his pay. [Laughter.] Noble Lords may laugh; but I do not say this because I have ceased to be charged with the burdens of office. At all events, something was done towards that end by saving the officer the interest of his purchase money. And this besides was done. So long as the Purchase system was in existence, you had always an answer to applications for increased pay and advantages to officers. Suppose I had asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to increase the pay or allowances of officers, his answer would have been—"Do you suppose I am going to part with public money for the purpose of increasing the over-regulation value of officers' com- 231 missions?" We took away that argument from the Chancellor of the Exchequer by the abolition of Purchase, and I advise you not to give him by this Bill another argument, and if, at any time, you consider that you have a claim upon the Treasury for any increase of pay or allowances, enable him to say—"Parliament has taken the matter into its own hands, and has given a mode by which the poor officers may obtain money out of the pockets of the rich." My noble Friend has given me credit by anticipation for not raising in this debate the question of Purchase. I am sorry that I feel compelled to disappoint the hopes of the noble Duke. I should be extremely sorry by any oversight to fall into any argument which would be unfair or could not be properly sustained; but perhaps I may be able to elicit from the noble Duke some information which may show me that I am entirely mistaken in the view that I have hitherto taken of this subject. I understand that the first justification of this Bill, as stated by the Secretary of State for War in the House of Commons, was expressed in these words—"A man may be dissatisfied with the battalion to which he is posted." If that is so, I presume this Bill will find him the power to give his money in order to be transferred to a battalion which he does like. If that be so, what price is to be paid for the exchange? I presume he will pay the price of the better battalion which may be in the market. I do not suppose that there will be any regulations by which the left hand will take back what the right hand has given, and therefore everybody will be encouraged to make these exchanges. If that be so, I do not understand how it can be said that these exchanges have nothing to do with Purchase. It is true that they will have nothing to do with Purchase in reference to entering the Army. The mode in which young men can obtain access to the Army at present is either by competition in examination or in consequence of service in the Militia. But that is entrance to the Army. It does not give the right to a Commission in any particular battalion. When they are posted to a battalion, it is either to the Guards, by the selection of a colonel of the Guards, or by the appointment of the illustrious Duke, if it is to a battalion of the Line. 232 Do I understand that any young man who does not like the battalion to which he has been posted may, if he chooses, negotiate with one appointed to a battalion of the Guards, or any favourite battalion of the Line, and make an exchange? If so, then every commission given by a colonel of the Guards, and every commission in a more favoured regiment, given by the illustrious Duke, will become a saleable commission, and bear its market price. Then the noble Duke says that it is impossible that there should be a purse made up for the purpose of inducing senior officers to exchange to another battalion. Why is it impossible? At first sight it would appear to be not impossible, but inevitable. It is true that promotion depends upon selection; but selection pays a due regard to seniority on the regimental list. Advancement on the list will always be of money's worth. But this, I understand, is to be provided against by regulations, and by a declaration. I do not at all dispute the value of regulations or the value of declarations, and I should be the last person to attribute to anyone that he would forfeit his honour and make a false declaration. But I think it is not very wise legislation to put the temptation in the way. I think it an impolitic measure to create this strong temptation, and then to rely upon strong declarations to counteract it. It has not been our experience that strong declarations have been effectual safeguards against strong temptations. When I first entered the House of Commons we had to produce our qualifications; but it was found many of them were not worth the paper on which they were written, and it is to the honour of a Conservative Government that they abolished them. We are at this moment occupied in passing a Bill for the prevention of simony in the Church, which would not be necessary if the declarations of clergymen, or of the patrons of livings could prevent it. And in regard to the Army, nothing could be stronger than the General Order by which in 1783 over-regulation payments were forbidden, or the declarations by which the honour of the officer and the gentleman was pledged for the observance of that General Order. These declarations proved to be of no effect whatever. In 1824 they were discussed by the House of Commons, which thought 233 it was extremely hard that officers should first be exposed to strong temptation, and then be subjected to stringent declarations to prevent the temptation taking effect. What was the result? Did the House of Commons enforce the observance of these declarations? Quite the contrary. It abolished the declarations, and left the practice where it was. I hope I shall not be misunderstood as implying for a moment that anybody will make a false declaration; but I say it is very doubtful policy to adopt a system which shall afford strong temptations, and have no other safeguard than stringent declarations. It is said we have another protection—we shall have the greatest possible vigilance on the part of the military authorities. I believe this will be so; but we know that the military authorities, like everybody else in civil administration, are subject to this difficulty—that they cannot know a thing at all unless they know it officially; they may be almost certain that a particular thing exists; but unless they have full and official information they cannot act—they cannot refuse what on the face of it appears a fair and reasonable request because they have some suspicion or have been told something privately. When they had conceded a point as to which they had no adverse information, another officer will come next day and ask for the privilege conceded to his predecessor. Perhaps there may be almost a certainty that there is something wrong, but nothing can be done without official information. Thus each of these acts is a precedent for a future occasion; a body of precedents is piled up until a general rule is established, and so evils creep into systems—Parva metu primo. The concessions asked for are always described as small matters—little conveniences to a large number of gentlemen—then little difficulties are dealt with; little by little the rule grows up, and the time comes when you regret having ever entered into the career at all, and endeavour to retrace your steps. If, however, you have to retrace your steps in this matter, do you think you will be able to do so without another compensation? It is quite true that the strongest statements have been made that no compensation will be allowed. But what will be said? Why, it will be said—"In 1871 you were dealing with acts which Parliament had declared 234 to be a misdemeanour and a crime, and yet you compensated the officers to the full. Since then an Act of Parliament has passed expressly inviting us to do this. We have been acting," it will be added, "not only in compliance with the permission of Parliament, but in obedience to an invitation to us by Parliament." If such a case is set up, what answer can you make to it? My Lords, I have endeavoured to state—at greater length than I had intended—the danger now before us if your Lordships invite the agency of money in dealing with the Service of Her Majesty. I have shown that you will deprive the Crown of a portion of its just control over those whom you permit to purchase their exchanges; that you will divide the officers into classes—the rich and the poor—those who have experience, and those who have not; that you will teach the poor officer to look to his richer brother for the pay for which he ought to be indebted to the State alone; that your measure will tend to create, at every step of the ascent, from the first commission to the command of the battalion, a saleable value, and a market price; and with that value and that price, to revive the system of barter and traffic which used to prevail. I have shown you that the obsolete securities which you propose to restore, the declarations of officers, and the vigilance of the authorities, have never been effectual either for officers of the Army, or for clergymen, or Members of Parliament; and that if these securities shall fail you now, you will inevitably be called upon for the payment of a second compensation. It was only three years ago that we were able to get rid of the system of Purchase, and I can only hope that your Lordships may never have occasion to regret that the evils then existing have been renewed by the Bill now before you.
§ Amendment moved, to leave out ("now,") and add at the end of the Motion (" this day six months.")—(The Viscount Cardwell.)
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
My Lords, I can say on my own behalf, and I think I may say for my Colleagues, that we are glad the noble Lord and his Friends have challenged the second reading of this Bill, and have thus brought this question to a direct and simple issue. No man is better entitled to speak on 235 this subject than the noble Viscount; and if in the public mind, or in the mind of any part of the public, there exists—as I believe there does—mistake and misapprehension as to the objects and as to the probable working of this Bill, it is far better that whatever can be said against it should be said here—said in the presence of competent and unbiased judges—and said by those who, like the noble Lord, are capable of doing justice to their own side of the case, and ready also, as I believe, to do justice to the arguments of those who take an opposite view. We do not shrink from—on the contrary, we invite a close and full discussion. We know—that is not disputed—that we carry with us the opinion of the Army. We believe that we have in our favour the opinion of the great majority of the public which interests itself in these subjects; and we think that the objections which have been taken to our proposal—or at least those on which the greatest stress has been laid out-of-doors—are of the kind which look large and formidable at a distance, but which when you examine them closely shrink to very small proportions indeed. I do not want to dwell for more than a moment on the competency of the Commissioners to entertain this question. The noble Viscount and his Colleagues are, no doubt, the best judges of what they intended to refer to the Commission: but, whatever the intentions of the noble Lord and his Colleagues, the fact remains that the course which we adopt is recommended by three Commissioners selected for their eminence and impartiality, and appointed to deal with a subject which appeared to include this question. No man contends that the late Government are bound by a decision to which they are not parties; but it is fair, on the other hand, that we should support ourselves by the authority of gentlemen selected for such a purpose, and who undoubtedly brought to the study of that subject a greater amount of care and attention than could reasonably be expected from any outside authority. My Lords, I will grapple at once with that which, as I believe, lies at the bottom of the opposition which has been made to this Bill—I mean the idea that we are trying insidiously, and by a side-wind, to restore the abolished system of Purchase.
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
The noble Lord, I think, conveyed the idea that if this were not our intention, it would be the result of the Bill. If this were so—if I could even see any plausible ground why the suspicion should be entertained—I think we should have been very shy of dealing with this question. There may have been—there were—wide differences of opinion as to the expediency of the Purchase system while it lasted. Personally—I do not take credit to myself for it—but, as a matter of fact, I believe I am one of the oldest opponents of that system in this House; for I remember speaking against it nearly 20 years ago, before the Commission of 1857 was appointed. But whatever anyone may have thought before Purchase was abolished—whatever anyone may think of the constitutional character of the proceeding by which it was abolished—I apprehend that no rational man considers its restoration now either possible or desirable. The thing is done: the inconveniences attending every large change are mostly got over; the officers have many of them received their money—to try and revive the Purchase system openly would be insane; to try and do it insidiously would be dishonourable, even if it were possible. But, except in the fact that under Purchase, money passed between officers under certain circumstances, and that money will under quite different circumstances pass for Exchanges in future—except in that, where is the likeness of the two things? I confess I cannot see it. Under the Purchase system an officer bought his step, gaining thereby, in return for the money which he paid, higher pay and higher military rank. The officer who could not pay was passed over, and his promotion retarded. The officer who could and did pay got a better chance of high commands, with all the distinctions they bring, and got his chance at an earlier age. That was the system which we, who objected to Purchase, considered unjust to the poorer officer and injurious to the efficiency of the Service. Practically, there may have been alleviations; but in the main our argument was sound, and it was successful. But how is it under this Bill? Can an officer buy himself into higher rank or higher pay? No; all that 237 he gets by exchange is an appointment exactly similar to that which he held before; and in point of fact he is rather a loser, for, if I understand the matter rightly, he goes to the bottom of his own rank. Does he stand in the way of anybody else's promotion? No; all he gains is to be quartered in a place which, for purely personal feelings, whether of health, family, or taste, he finds better suited to him than another. But, my Lords, this is not all. In the many discussions which were held between 1856 and 1872 on the Purchase system, those who opposed it, the Army reformers, were never tired of pointing to the non-Purchase corps—the Engineers and Artillery—and, they always argued—I think quite justly—that they got on perfectly well without Purchase. What was the answer made to that? Did anybody ever say—"Your argument does not apply; you are resting on a fallacy; you are assuming that which does not exist; these corps have the Purchase system in another form, because exchanges are allowed and money passes?" My Lords, nothing of the kind ever was said; nor could it be. Whether for praise or blame, everybody agreed as to the fact that in these corps Purchase did not exist. And I cannot understand how we are to be charged with the design of restoring it, when we simply aim at putting the rest of the Army on the footing on which these—the non-Purchase—corps stood before 1871. Even if a system of exchanges were like the Purchase system, likeness is not identity—you do not sentence a man without trial because he has the misfortune to have a relative who has been lately hanged. But the truth is that till this year, and except for the purpose of these debates, no likeness between the two was ever discovered, and the officers of the corps concerned will be the last persons to admit its existence. Now, my Lords, I come to what is, after all, the main issue before us—what will be the working of this measure, if it passes—what interests will it affect, and now will it affect them? My Lords, there are four distinct sets of persons to be considered. There are the officers who are willing to pay for exchanges; there are the officers who are glad to be paid; there are the non-commissioned officers and privates; and there is the public outside the Army, which is in- 238 terested in its discipline and efficiency. I will deal with these classes separately. As to the officers who want to buy exchanges, it may be assumed that they are in favour of the Bill. It is quite certain that their interests are promoted by it. But, undoubtedly, they are a small minority—and that fact—if you look at the facts—is one of the strongest arguments for the measure. No one doubts that its passing is desired by officers generally. No one disputes that the great majority of officers in the Army are persons who, though not wholly dependent on their pay, are yet possessed of but small private means. Is it conceivable that a large body of educated and intelligent men, dealing with a matter which intimately concerns their professional life, and which they perfectly understand, should be not only not averse from, but eager and anxious for, the granting of a privilege which is to make against their interests, which is to sacrifice the advantage of the numerous poor officers to the comparatively small number of rich officers? That is an absurdity on the face of it. Whether they are right or wrong in the view they take you must admit that the class of officers who would be sellers and not buyers in these transactions desire to have the right of engaging in them restored; and the presumption, at least, is that they know what they are about. But why, if we come to reason on the matter, should they take any other view? What do they lose by permission being given to exchange on these terms? The transaction is purely voluntary. An officer who, in the chances of the service, has got appointed to a station where most officers are glad to be sent, cannot be compelled or induced to leave it. If he wishes to exchange, he may benefit his pocket; if he does not wish to exchange, he is where he was before this Bill passed. The only possible objection which can be put forward on behalf of this class—and it is one which they do not put forward for themselves—is, that it may seem to give an invidious advantage to wealth. And the question is, whether that purely fanciful feeling—confined, as I hope and believe in an Army like ours it is, to a very few—ought to be set against the substantial advantage of enabling a poor man to pay his debts, or to help his family, by shifting from a pleasant to an 239 unpleasant quarter? The noble Lord says, we ought to hear nothing of poor officers or of rich officers; every one ought to be able to live on his pay. I should be heartily glad if that were possible. But this is not the case now, except in rare cases where the strictest economy is practised. To effect that object generally, it would be necessary to increase the pay of all classes of officers; and then all the economical policy of which we have heard so much during the last few years, and which we desire to maintain, would be scattered to the winds. Next, take the case of the private. It has been argued that he will be more dissatisfied than before with his condition when he sees that his officers have the power of exchanging out of disagreeable service while he is obliged to stay where he is sent. But those who argue in that way forget that the conditions of service in the two cases are different from the beginning. An officer can retire from the service when he likes. A private if he tries to do so is punished for deserting. There is room enough already for envy, if you suppose that feeling to exist; but the inferiority of the one position to the other is not aggravated by the mere fact that officers will be more free than before to make their own arrangements as to the place in which their duty shall be done. The position of the two classes, taking them as classes, remains what it was. But, my Lords, if no injury is done to officers or to privates by this Bill, is there none to the efficiency or discipline of the Service? That is the point on which most stress has been laid. It is assumed that the power of buying exchanges, however limited by regulation, will enable officers to make a plaything of the Service; will break up the Army into two classes—those who pay to stay at home and those who are paid to go abroad; that rich men will exchange into regiments where promotion is expected to be more rapid; and that competent officers preferring to stay in England or to return there will leave posts for which they are fitted and hand over their duty to men less competent to discharge it. I have tried to state these adverse criticisms fairly, and I will try to meet them. First, as to making a plaything of the Service. Surely, my Lords, it is a great mistake to argue as if it were mere fancy or the 240 wish for pleasanter quarters that makes men desire to exchange. Exchanges may be matters of health or of family necessity. An officer may be perfectly competent to do his work in Europe, who is warned by his doctors that the Indian climate will kill him; or he may be fit to serve in India, but not to face a Canadian winter. What do you gain by driving such a man out of the Service? The Army loses a good officer and society gets a discontented idler, and yet you do drive him out of the Service if you do not allow him to exchange on the only terms on which an exchange from India may often be possible. Take, again, the ease of an officer of independent means, married, and with a young family, whose regiment goes to India in time of profound peace. He cannot take his children with him. He runs considerable risk if he takes out his wife. He has the option of leaving them for five years or of quitting the Service. He likes the Service, but he is not dependent upon it, and rather than sacrifice his home he throws up his commission. Nobody can blame him—he is doing what he has a right to do; but what do you get by driving him to that determination? My Lords, there are many other reasons why officers may wish to change their regiments. One man has most of his friends in another regiment, and wishes to join them. One prefers to serve in a regiment which possibly his father commanded for many years. One has had some little unpleasantness with his brother officers, not reflecting on his character, but which makes a change better for all parties. One has a feeling of nationality, which makes him, as a Scotchman or an Irishman, prefer a Scotch or an Irish regiment. Surely, it is not to be said that motives of this kind are unreasonable or unnatural, or that in acting upon them a man is doing what is blameable. But I may be told, nobody objects to exchanges, it is only the paying for them that is objectionable. My answer is that if you forbid exchanges in all cases except where the respective situations are of exactly equal eligibility, you really do forbid them in the great majority of cases; and that has been so much felt that, as stated just now, the recent prohibition is relaxed to this extent—that any expense actually incurred in removal consequent on an exchange may be borne by the 241 other party to the exchange. Surely that is a very fine distinction. A man is not to receive money for his own use or for his family requirements, but he is to receive repayment for his travelling expenses, fixed by some authority which must either exercise a very arbitrary discretion, or else—which is the more probable alternative—neglect its duty altogether. Is there no risk of evasion in such a rule? Are you sure that you can enforce it? Does it commend itself to man's reason—and, if not, is there not a constant tendency to evade, to treat as a dead letter, a regulation which is against the interests of both parties concerned, and the necessity or utility of which is not evident? But I come back from that. It is contended, as I said before, that if you encourage exchanges, a competent officer sent to a post which may be important is liable to be replaced by one less able. But as far as that argument applies at all it applies to exchange in any form. I presume that, whether this Bill passes or not, there will always be, as there is now, power to prohibit an exchange which for whatever reason is considered as not for the interest of the Service. While that power exists the objection which I am referring to disappears. If it ceased to exist, then, with or without this Bill, the military authorities would be left without the power which they ought to have. But, my Lords, we may safely trust in these matters to the action of those motives which ordinarily regulate human conduct. The officer who is most eager to put himself forward for any post where there is a chance of active employment is not the man who will do the work least well when it comes to him. Take two officers equally competent, but one of whom is anxious to get out to India because he thinks he may have a chance of seeing service there; and the other, being in India, is only eager to get home to his hunting and shooting and pleasant society in England—and I say the man who is eager for work is the better man to go out where there is a chance of distinction. The process is one of natural selection, and I do not see why you are to interfere with it. As to the other apprehension which has been expressed—that rich officers will exchange out of regiments where promotion is slow into others where it is rapid—I must speak, as a civilian, with reserve; but, 242 though I have often heard that danger referred to, I have never seen proof that it is real, or had it explained to me how the thing is to be done. Who is to know beforehand that promotion will be slow in one regiment and quick in another? Are not these things very much matters of chance? Can they be foreseen and speculated upon? Will you find men ready to invest their money in a speculation of this kind, of which they, knowing the circumstances, know better than anybody the uncertainty? I hear it answered—"Oh, the agents will manage it;" and I admit that Army agents are an acute class, but they must be sharper than I give them credit for if they know who among the seniors of half-a-dozen regiments are going to die next year. They may think it probable that such and such an officer is thinking of retiring; but calculations of that kind are very apt to be mistaken, and they can have no monopoly of information in that respect. I remember a saying ascribed to an eminent Prime Minister long ago, that if he had been dishonest enough to speculate in the Funds with the supposed advantage of his official knowledge, he should certainly have lost his money; and I suspect those who trust to agents professing to have secret intelligence of the intentions of senior officers will come, sooner or later, to the same conclusion. My Lords, there is another class of objection with which I am bound to deal. I have heard it argued, if this system is good for the Army, why not for the Navy, why not for the Civil Service? My Lords, a more plausible fallacy never was uttered. The conditions of service in the British Army are utterly unlike those of the Navy or of the Civil Administration. In the Army, if a regiment moves, say, to India, every officer in it must go, or he must exchange, or he must leave the service. You have nothing analogous to that in the naval profession. You have not there, and you cannot have, anything like the regimental organization. A regiment is a permanent body; a ship's officers are a body brought together for a temporary purpose. Commands in the Navy are for short terms; and if an officer's health unfits him for tropical service, I apprehend that he would be able to decline a command without prejudicing his claims to employment elsewhere. There is, therefore, in the Navy no question of 243 exchanges, and the discussion in which we are engaged could not take place in connection with that profession. The same thing may be said of the Civil Service. You have civilians, no doubt, serving in all parts of the world; but you have no class of men like lieutenants, or captains, or majors serving now in one part of the world, now in another, performing wherever they are exactly the same duties, holding exactly the same rank, and therefore interchangeable with one another. If you had such a class in the Civil Service I think it very likely indeed that the question of exchanges among them would arise. But you have no such class, and therefore that question does not arise. My Lords, I will not dwell on the merely declamatory argument—though much stress was laid on it "elsewhere"—that it is improper and unjust that a man should be able to escape by a mere money payment from the performance of irksome duty. Just look where that doctrine leads you. A private cleans his arms and accoutrements for himself; that is part of his duty. A cavalry soldier grooms his own horse; that is also part of his duty. Is not an officer escaping irksome duty by a payment of money when he employs his soldier servant to black his boots or brush his cloak or his groom to clean his horse? You cannot look at matters from that point of view. As long as the work is done, as long as it is done properly, as long as it costs the country no more, what does it matter to anybody except the parties concerned whether it is done by A or B, or in what proportions they share the doing of it between them? Recollect that the British Army is a very peculiar body. It is the only large Army in the world recruited on an exclusively voluntary principle; and that tells on its composition as regards officers as well as men, for with a conscript Army promotions from the ranks are easier. It is the only Army which is scattered over the whole face of the globe. Its officers are paid very little. But for the social position which their commission gives them, it may be said that they hardly get a fair day's wages for a fair day's work. You ought to be careful how you deal with the traditions and even with the prejudices of a body so composed. It is not a question of what is most agreeable to the officers, but of what is best for 244 the State. Make the service distasteful and you will not get as good men, nor get them on the same terms. You might conceivably have a system under which all exchange was forbidden, and every officer was bound to go with his regiment wherever it went. But you must pay for it if you do. And at a moment when the gains of other professions are increasing, when money does not go as far as it formerly did, when the pay is, therefore, really less than before, measured by purchasing power; when you are very properly requiring higher qualifications from your officers, and putting heavier burdens of duty upon them, it does not seem wise to go out of your way to make military life unnecessarily harsh and repulsive to those who, with possibly a choice of careers before them, are doubting whether they shall enter it or not. My Lords, I do not wish to detain you further; but I have heard with surprise the language held. When on one side it has been pleaded that any abuses which the Bill did not absolutely render impossible might be checked by regulations, the answer has been—"We do not trust regulations. Parliament ought to rely on nothing except an Act of Parliament, and not take for granted that any abuse will be avoided which the law makes possible." My Lords, do you act on that theory in any other branch of the public service? There is scarcely a limit to the mischief which those who hold administrative power might not do without breaking any law. They might turn all the clerks out of the Public Offices, and replace them by their own friends; they might recall Governors from the Colonies and diplomatists from abroad; they might throw the whole public service into confusion in a hundred ways. But nobody is afraid of their doing these things, because there is an unwritten as well as a written law—a law of custom and of opinion—a law enforced, not merely by individual conscience, but by Parliamentary criticism and the power of the Press. My Lords, is Parliament less vigilant than formerly? Is the Press less powerful? Are jobs more readily tolerated? You can answer those questions for yourselves. Depend upon it, if the country does not mean that the administration of the Army shall be jobbed—and it does not—abuses may be legally possible, but practi- 245 cally they will not be in question. If I could see in this Bill one-tenth of the evils and dangers that the noble Viscount (Viscount Cardwell) anticipates from it, I should be as little ready to support it as he is; but, as I believe those evils to be unreal and those dangers illusory, I ask you to give it a second reading.
§ THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE
My Lords, the same views and the same sentiments that have just been expressed by my noble Friend are those which will guide me in making the remarks which it is my desire to express to your Lord-ships. I am exceedingly anxious that it should be distinctly understood that I am about to make my statements upon strictly military grounds. I do not look upon this as a party question, and, as far as I am personally concerned, my sole desire is to speak as the exponent of the sentiment of the Army as I believe it to exist, and to elucidate some points in reference to the question which do not seem to be quite clearly understood, and with which, in my official capacity, it will become my duty to deal. Exchanges in themselves are certainly not acceptable to any of the authorities; and I entirely go with the view of the noble Viscount when he read the remarks of Lord Clyde, and referred to the evidence given by myself and others before the Royal Commission presided over by the noble Duke who sits behind him (the Duke of Somerset). On that occasion I said I objected to exchanges, and I entertain the same objection still. But I am bound to state frankly that it is utterly impossible to carry on the administration of the Army without great injustice, hardship, and, I believe, great injury to the public service unless exchanges are allowed. The noble Viscount himself admitted the principle of exchange when he specified the form in which exchanges should be effected. The object of this Bill is to alter that form, and the reason for it is that this form has been found extremely inconvenient and detrimental to the Army. I have said that I object to exchanges—I do so because I wish to maintain the regimental system, and have no desire to see officers moving about from one corps to another—I wish every officer to be attached to his own corps—but at the same time I am far from advising your Lordships to reject the arrangement proposed in this Bill. If the public 246 or the officers of the Army have an idea that because this Bill is passed officers will come in shoals to ask for exchanges, I think they will find they have made a great mistake. When an officer asks for an exchange, the first thing which the Commander-in-Chief has to consider is the effect it would have on the public service—what there is in the applicant's position to justify it—whether it is desirable in the interests of the corps themselves that the exchange should be made—and whether it would injure any other officer's chances of promotion. If it is found that there is no special objection to it on that score, the next question is, does there seem to be sufficient ground to justify the officers in question exchanging—is there any reason for assuming that anything irregular is being done? Should anything of the sort be perceived, the military authorities will instantly refuse to sanction the exchange. The decision of this matter is, perhaps, the only arbitrary power which the military authorities possess. If they see that the interests of the public service do not justify an exchange, there is an end of it. The whole power of granting or refusing an exchange rests with them, and they are not required to give reasons for their decision. So that the question of exchanges is one of confidence or no confidence in the military authorities. I am satisfied that this was not in the mind of the opponents of this Bill—but I desire to point out that this is the logical result. So long as the military authorities thus watch jealously the interests of the public service I contend that this is as safe a measure as could well be devised. I can give my noble Friend an instance or two of the working of this system. An officer, who shall be nameless, was allowed three or four years ago to exchange for the purpose of returning home from serving in India. There was nothing in the circumstances of the case which did not justify the exchange being made. But, unfortunately for him, the very regiment which he had entered was subsequently ordered to India also, and on his applying again for permission to exchange that permission was refused. Why? Because the military authorities did not deem the proposed exchange justifiable under the new set of circumstances. The interests of other officers would have suffered. If the exchange in question had been refused, these officers 247 would probably have left the Army and the country would have lost their services. I mention this case merely in order to show the care and attention with which every exchange is looked into. If I thought this Bill would introduce the question of compensation at anytime I should be as much averse to it as I am now favourable to it. But this is a matter which need not even be alluded to. We are now going on an entirely different principle, and we ought to put the idea of Purchase completely aside. As to its introducing the possibility of giving bonuses, to bring this forward at all as an argument against this Bill would almost imply that the military authorities were blind to the interests of the public service. I can assure your Lordships that no exchange would be allowed, unless the military authorities were perfectly satisfied that the public interest would not suffer, and that the desire on the part of the officers to exchange arose from other than pecuniary considerations. I think this Bill necessary. I admit the inconveniences attending exchanges, but I also know as a matter of fact that you cannot avoid them. It is a choice of evils. Therefore I say—"Accept this arrangement, which is calculated to meet the necessities of the case in a plain matter-of-fact way." I really believe that when once it is known and felt that exchanges are not to be worked to the extent that some people seem to imagine the question will soon find its level—officers will not be disposed to give money for what does not produce money. The question of exchanges formerly occupied a very different position from what it does now. It was all very well when rich men could exchange into a corps with a view to promotion, jumping over the heads of five or six poorer officers; exchanges had then a marketable value; but now this "leap-frog system" has entirely disappeared. Besides, the power of selection which is given to the Commander-in-Chief by the Abolition of Purchase Act will stand good to prevent anything in the shape of money passing to an extent that might be considered at all improper or even questionable. Under these circumstances, I confess I have a strong opinion that this measure should recommend itself to your Lordships' approval. And, as regards the officers of the Army, should you pass this Bill, I have no doubt the 248 large majority—I believe the whole—of the officers will feel in a much more safe position as regards their interests if they are allowed on moderate conditions to exchange. I have heard this question argued in the interests of the poor officer; I agree in that view; I believe it is really a poor man's question—but, of course, for a different reason from that advanced. The officers who come to me and urge me to promote exchanges are poor men. When they are serving at home they find their pay in England so small that they would in many cases have to leave the Service if they could not go abroad again, where the pay is better. I believe the code of regulations which will be framed is such that the system may be carried out successfully. I do not know, my Lords, that I have much more to add. I have argued the matter in a purely military sense. I hope I have shown that my answers to questions put to me by the Royal Commission are quite consistent with my support of the present measure. And if your Lordships have that confidence in the military authorities, which I infer from your having given the Commander-in-Chief the power of selection, you may rest assured that no ill effects will result from carrying out this measure as proposed; while at the same time you will have a well-contented Army, with the assurance that in no respect has the profession retrograded from the passing of this measure.
§ THE DUKE OF SOMERSET
My Lords, the illustrious Duke has spoken on this occasion, as he always does, without favouring either party, and with that earnest and anxious desire to promote the interests of the public service and the officers of the Army which has always distinguished him. Having heard his statements and read his evidence, as quoted by the noble Duke, I cannot help thinking that both are very satisfactory. He does not allow exchanges, except where they tend to the benefit of the public service and are consistent with justice to all the officers concerned. When, however, I look at the evidence before the Royal Commission, I must say I see a very different state of things—the evidence shows that underlying the system of exchanges there has grown up a practice of sale and purchase, even a market price. What do the officers say? They talk about their 249 right to exchange. Captain Campbell, in reply to Question 432 says, "I had a right to exchange;" and to Question 434 he says, "I might make any pecuniary arrangements." Lieutenant-Colonel Bray, in answer to Question 554, says—The loss of the power of exchange was very great. (555) There was a certain market price. The market varied, and poor men were obliged to watch the market.Captain Moffatt (596) "The right of exchange was a valuable consideration in the eyes of all officers." Captain Gonne (703) "I should have said to the agent,—' Find me an exchange as major to India."(704) "Was that a thing which could be obtained by going into the market?—I have never known any one search for it in vain.Captain Backhouse (2,827)—I had a right to exchange if I thought proper, receiving or paying money according to the part of the world in which my regiment was situated.Lieutenant-Colonel Johnstone (907) speaks of the power of obtaining by exchange the command of a Line regiment, and (912) he says it was worth about £3,000. Colonel Burnaby says (1,114), large sums could be received by Cavalry officers exchanging to the Infantry. Captain Spottiswoode says—(1,177) "Under the old system officers were always allowed to exchange to half-pay. Exchanges were not limited to regiments going abroad.I might quote a great many more extracts to show that officers were still treating the question as a matter of right. But the illustrious Duke tells us that no officer has any right to exchange—he can only exchange where it is for the benefit of the public service; or at least, where it cannot be at all detrimental and where it is seen to be just to the other officers concerned. If that line be taken, of course many of the evils expected to arise from the system of exchanges will be done away with. They had grown up, no doubt, in connection with the Purchase system, which tainted everything connected with the service; but if exchanges were carried out strictly on the principle laid down by the illustrious Duke, I think this Bill may safely be allowed to pass; and for my part, I should be very sorry if, a Royal Commission having reported in its favour, the other House of Parliament having passed it by large 250 majorities, and the whole Army being anxious for it, the House of Lords should oppose it. I admit the danger and difficulties of the question, but I say the illustrious Duke will be responsible for carrying it out, and I trust he will carry it out in the spirit in which he has spoken to-night, and that when hereafter a Committee looks into the question to see how the system of exchanges has worked under this measure they will be able to report that the principles of the illustrious Duke have been fully and fairly carried out.
§ LORD SANDHURST
said, it was with great reluctance he rose to address their Lordships, because, as he had the honour to hold an executive office under the Crown, he approached the subject with considerable difficulty, and he had the misfortune to differ from the illustrious Duke on the cross-benches. The noble Duke who had last spoken (the Duke of Somerset) dwelt at considerable length on the dangers which beset this measure, but concluded by saying that, while admitting the risks to which the discipline of the Army might be exposed, he was yet prepared to vote for it. Under these circumstances, he (Lord Sandhurst), for one, could not follow the noble Duke into the Lobby. If this measure was attended with such risks, it was the bounden duty of those who agreed with the noble Viscount (Viscount Cardwell) by every means to oppose the Bill, and, if possible, to throw it out. The question did not rest on the point put before their Lordships by the illustrious Duke on the cross-benches. It was a question totally foreign to the responsibilities of the military authorities. The question was one of the morality of the Army—of the morality of the officers—whether they should be regulated by the same principle as regulated other professions, or should be invited to barter that principle for money considerations. In the year 1832, a great measure of reform became law. That was the first great step in this country towards educating the people in the true path of political morality. It was not merely an electoral reform; it was a declaration that the trust confided for the performance of a public duty should not be so corrupted or changed as to become a freehold, to be used for private purposes and private interests. What had we been saying during the last 40 years? 251 Whichever party was in power, the education of the people was proceeding in the same direction. They had seen one Bill after another which had caused the people to become more alive to the necessity of enforcing practical morality in the transaction of Public Business. That was the principle which animated the House of Commons when it gave the people a new Charter, and when it relinquished the right of trying Election Petitions. Just as in 1832, a new Charter had been given to the people of England, so, in 1871, a new charter was given to the Army of England, and under it a contract was formed with the nation, by which the people were induced to tax themselves to the amount of seven or eight millions for the purpose, not merely of giving compensation to officers for their commissions, but still more of stamping out the notion that the trust incurred for the performance of duty could be any more corrupted or changed so as to became a freehold for the purposes of private interest. That was the cause which alone reconciled the people of England in 1871 to pay this enormous sum. But by the Bill before the House this great principle was violated. The contract for which this vast sum was paid was broken; and it was impossible too often to reiterate the assertion that private interests were preferred to public interests, and money considerations took the place of those obligations by which every man in the public service ought to be bound. It must be remembered that in all the speeches to which their Lordships had listened that evening the true distinction had been lost sight of between money paid to meet particular circumstances and money payments which were neither more nor less than bribes. It was impossible that two things could be more different than a bribe in the one case and in the other a sum of money paid to enable an officer to proceed to the scene of action. Under the administration of the illustrious Duke, exchanges had been regulated as far as was in his power. But, Administrations changed. We might not see the illustrious Duke always in the position which he filled with such remarkable distinction; other men might come to fill that office, with other views; and he would ask their Lordships whether the integrity of the Army—whether the morality of Her 252 Majesty's service—was to depend on the views of the individual holding the office of Commander-in-Chief? He might, perhaps, be allowed to give an instance in his own experience. When he was a young man, a captain in a Line regiment, what happened? It was a time when the saying was "That officers must either sell or sail." But this did not represent the true state of things. Exchanges were permitted wholesale under the system thus prevailing. At the very time they were about to sail, 10 young officers walked into the harbour in the place of 10 others who exchanged—four captains and six subalterns. Their Lordships might judge of the disorganization which existed in that regiment for many months afterwards. That occurred under the great Duke of Wellington. He was talking of the year 1844, when war was threatening in India. The regiment to which he belonged, within a few months after its landing, found itself in the presence of the enemy—those 10 officers had actually exchanged from a regiment which in a brief period was engaged on the frontiers of India. This was done unconsciously on their parts, although the authorities well knew the state of the case. He was only too well able to confirm what had been stated so emphatically by Lord Clyde, when he deplored the facilities given to officers to exchange when they were in dangerous foreign climates. If there was one thing which destroyed discipline more than another, it was when a regiment was on a distant frontier, when perhaps every third man was down, and when officers left their men to sicken while they sought healthier or more comfortable quarters. Were not such officers open to the same imputation as though they were actually guilty of misconduct? He did not mean to say that such things occurred; but if this Bill passed, such temptations would be put in the way of officers that we must expect the weak ones sometimes to yield to these temptations. He said this advisedly, after long experience of the way in which men did yield to temptation under these circumstances. It was matter of history that during the Peninsular War, the Duke of Wellington was exposed to great difficulties from this cause, and was obliged to take measures to coerce the weak men among his officers. 253 He appealed to every officer who had been in command or had held high Staff appointments, whether the great difficulty was not to keep regiments complete and retain the officers when what might be called the honour and glory had passed away. But when the honour and glory had passed away, the most difficult, if not the most dangerous, part of the service often remained, and by committing themselves to the principle involved in the Bill, their Lordships would render it possible for officers to avoid this part of their duty. It was said that the officers of the Army were generally in favour of the measure. But they were officers who had been brought up in the Purchase system, and who might be said to be saturated with Purchase. As a rule, the officers desired to return to the Purchase system; and though he believed that the Government were as hostile to the re-introduction of this system as noble Lords on his side of the House, they had forgotten the motives by which the human mind was in general swayed, and by that forgetfulness had laid themselves and the Army open indirectly to the re-introduction of something like Purchase. It was contended that no possible money profit could arise through exchanges. Now there might very well be cases in which it would be of advantage to officers to pay large sums to be allowed to exchange. He would give two or three instances, by which it would appear that appointments, if not commissions, might be directly bought. It sometimes happened that colonels wished for service in India, for the purpose of achieving a brigadier-generalship, which not only carried the command of a brigade, but very considerable allowances. Now it was quite worth the while of a colonel at home to give £2,000 or £3,000 to a colonel in India if, by reason of his seniority on arriving in India, he could see his way to the command of a brigade. Thus he would buy through an agent, not a commission, but that which would be of still greater importance to the State—the reversion of the post of brigadier-general in India. Then take the case of the Guards or a heavy Cavalry regiment. The prestige of the Guards carried great weight, and the officers enjoyed solid advantages by remaining in London with their families and friends. Suppose a young man 30 years old were tired of 254 London life, and proposed by-and-by, to retire from the Army altogether, having no objection meanwhile to visit India. The value of a commission in the Guards 10 or 20 years hence, as compared with one in the Line was problematical; but it was possible that an officer in the Guards who had not paid a shilling for his commission might by the time he became captain, if he chose to exchange to India, acquire a property worth £3,000. Would not this be permitting sale and barter—especially as the Secretary for War had determined to know nothing of the prices given, and to ignore the question of money, though it was really a question of money from beginning to end? If the Guards were to be excepted from the operation of the rule of exchanges into the Line, their Lordships ought to be informed of the intentions of the Government. He was aware that under the administration of the illustrious Duke exchanges between the Guards and the Line had been discouraged; and he greatly admired this policy, because by such exchanges the position of many of the older officers in the Line was prejudiced. He believed that for many years past the exchanges between the Guards and the Line had not exceeded one per annum.
§ THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE
There has only been one for each of the seven battalions of the Guards during the last 10 years.
§ LORD SANDHURST
said, that if the Bill passed, he did not see how if officers of the Guards asked for an exchange, they could be excluded from the privilege any more than officers in Line regiments; and if so, Parliament would have secured to them a property of considerable value which they would be able to dispose of under the Bill. The same thing would happen in heavy Cavalry regiments. These regiments were not sent abroad. Therefore a sub-lieutenant appointed to a heavy Cavalry regiment by the time he became a captain would be able to dispose of a property of considerable value if he chose to exchange for India: and this through no fault of either officers or agents, but simply as a logical consequence of the Bill. A great deal was said in 1871 in consequence of the Bill proposed by the Government of the day, about the mind of the Army being unsettled; but now, after the lapse of only four years, we 255 were again landed in a discussion of the principle of that measure. This, in his opinion, was a result greatly to be deplored. He could use no term less strong. That the present Bill would pass he entertained no doubt; but still noble Lords opposite ought to recollect that the question would not be settled by the passing of this Bill; and that when the Party now in Opposition were again on the other side of the House the question would certainly be re-opened, unless it could be shown on the most indisputable ground that the evil consequences they now feared had not been brought about. It had seldom been his lot to speak on a subject which had given him more pain than this. He was aware that he was opposing the wishes of the great majority of the officers of the Army. That was, of course, a disagreeable position to occupy; but it was his firm conviction that time would show that the concession now sought to be made to their wishes would be the greatest mischief and the greatest injury which had ever been done to them.
§ THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE
said, his noble and gallant Friend had made a very serious statement with regard to officers exchanging in order to avoid dangerous service. He could not leave such a question unchallenged, and therefore he hoped his noble and gallant Friend would, by naming the regiments, and giving the date of the occurrence, give him an opportunity of seeing how the matter really stood.
§ LORD SANDHURST
said, that as regarded officers leaving the regiment abroad at a time when the men might be suffering from sickness, he had already stated that he spoke hypothetically, but that the Bill before the House led directly to encouragement of such conduct.
§ THE DUKE OF RICHMOND
thought that the noble and gallant Lord ought to state the number of the regiment the officers of which he said had exchanged in order to avoid a dangerous service. He wished to impress upon the noble and gallant Lord that he ought to do one of two things—either to withdraw his assertion that any officers of any regiment in Her Majesty's Service had effected an exchange for the purpose of avoiding a dangerous service, or to give the name and number of the regiment referred to.
§ LORD SANDHURST
said, with regard to the question put to him by the noble Duke, he (Lord Sandhurst) must remind their Lordships that he was most particular in saying that the officers to whom he referred, like the public, were at the time doubtless unconscious of the war which soon afterwards broke out, although such a contingency was considered imminent in official quarters at the time, and that the Government and the Horse Guards of course knew the reasons of their actions. He was talking of what took place some 30 years ago, when sailing ships were the only means for the conveyance of troops, and when, of course, the communications between distant countries were greatly more tedious than at present. It was a fact that within a year and a quarter after leaving for India the regiment to which he alluded had to engage with the enemy on the North Western frontiers.
§ LORD PENZANCE
said, that, as one of the three Commissioners on whose recommendations the Bill was founded, he hoped the few observations he had to make would prove of a more tranquillizing nature than those which had fallen from those noble Lords who were more directly interested in the question than he was. He did not complain of the terms in which the noble Viscount (Viscount Cardwell), who did him the honour of placing him on the Commission, had spoken of the way in which the Commissioners had discharged their duty; nor did he complain of their being styled in "another place," "distinguished and amiable persons," though everybody knew what that meant in such a connection. It was true that the Commissioners were three civilians. They had no interest in the matter, and as little knowledge of it—speaking for himself, at least, he would admit he had no knowledge of it at all. Well, the Commissioners were authorized to investigate the question, and to ascertain how far the complaints of the officers could, without injury to the public service, be met by withdrawing the restrictions which had been placed on their exchanges. It had been said that the Commissioners exceeded their Instructions. He was sorry if they did so. They certainly did not desire, in their inquiry, to travel over any region where they were not authorized to place their feet; certainly, they had no desire to 257 carry their inquiries beyond the limits assigned to them; and it appeared to them their duty to carry their investigations to the extent to which they did carry it. The noble Viscount read a portion of the Commission under which they were appointed. He (Lord Penzance) begged leave to read another passage—because it was a passage that, in their humble judgment, thrust upon them the duty of investigating the subject of exchanges. The Commission recited that certain officers had alleged certain grievances—And whereas an humble Address has been presented to us by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled praying us to issue our Royal Commission for inquiry into the allegations of the said Officers.Now we appoint you our Commissioners "—for what?—"for the purpose of examining the allegations contained in the Memorials before referred to.Those Memorials differed very much. Some memorials laid great stress upon one complaint, and some upon another; but one and all put forward as a great grievance the interference with the free right of exchange. Therefore, if the Commissioners were to examine the allegations in the Memorials, it became their first duty to take the evidence of a large body of officers on that question, and they accordingly did so. But, said the noble Viscount, what the Commissioners were appointed to do was to see whether there were any grievances that could be compensated by a money payment. The Commissioners considered that question; but he (Lord Penzance) thought very little reflection would show any Member of the House that a money compensation for the loss of the free right of exchange was simply impossible. Could it be said in any one individual case that an officer in the course of a certain number of years would exchange with somebody else under the system of exchange? How, then, could they estimate the compensation in such a case for the loss of the right of exchange. They were, therefore, compelled either to pass over this particular grievance, or to take the course they did take with respect to it. After examining the allegations in the Memorials the Commissioners found that the officers had a real grievance with reference to exchange. He was sorry if the Commissioners exceeded their Instruc- 258 tions. They had no desire to do so; but to that hour he had not heard how they practically could have done anything else. The complaints of the officers were based upon this—they said they had entered the Army when certain facilities were open, and some complained that they were ordered to a foreign station, where their health did not enable them to carry on their duties. But the majority of the officers who complained were officers of the poorer class so called, who had always looked forward to this right of exchange which they had always practically enjoyed. The noble Duke behind him read evidence to show that there was no such right; but it was the practice—and the officers therefore complained that that practice was abolished by the Warrant issued on the subject. Let him remind their Lordships what the system of Purchase was—for it was much misunderstood out-of-doors. It was, in truth, simply a system of retirement, the retiring officer receiving a sum of money from the officer who succeeded him. The inequality which the system created between the rich and the poor was by no means the whole thing. No doubt, there were officers who could not purchase a step; but those were the very men who complained loudest of the abolition of Purchase. No doubt, other men went over their heads; but then they remained until they got to the top of their rank, and then when a vacancy occurred they took it without Purchase. This step they could turn to money account, and there were instances in which men who had risen from the ranks in this way got some thousands of pounds on their retirement. Well, then the question arose in the minds of the Commissioners, whether the abolition of Purchase made new Regulations, as to paying for exchanges, necessary. The Commissioners were resolved that nothing ought to be done under the Commission that tended in any way to restore the system of Purchase. It was an objection to Purchase—and an objection which, to his mind, was fatal to it—that under that system every officer had, as it were, a vested right to promotion on certain terms of payment. He had a right to buy a seniority upon its becoming vacant. The authorities were perpetually tied by those vested interests in the selection they wished to make of 259 men whom they wished to promote. In the Artillery and Engineers, which were non-Purchase corps, a system of exchanging similar to that contemplated by the present Bill had long existed, without tending, in the slightest degree, to call into existence a practice of purchasing commissions such as that which the late Government passed a Bill to abolish. It was not fair, therefore, to say either that the measure now before their Lord-ships would re-enact Purchase or call it into existence where it had previously been unknown. The Bill would not enable officers to obtain anything which they could exchange for money; it would simply put it within the power of officers to exchange precisely similar functions, with the sole difference that those functions would be discharged in countries other than those in which they would have been discharged if the exchanges had not been effected. With regard to the broad question which was constantly raised in discussions upon the present Bill, he had no hesitation in expressing his opinion that exchanges were beneficial, not in the abstract, but as affording an opportunity of choosing the least of two evils, one of which must of necessity exist. It had been urged that this measure was a retrograde proposal as compared with the Brokers Act; but it seemed to be forgotten that that Act permitted the exchange of commissions, subject to the condition that no more money should pass than was to be fixed by the Queen's Regulations. No such Regulations were, in fact, ever drawn up, and the present Bill would simply carry into effect that which would have been done by the Brokers Act if the necessary Regulations had been drawn up subsequent to its enactment. The present Bill would restrict the money payment on an exchange being effected to the sum necessary to defray the travelling expenses of the officer accepting the exchange. The change that the Commissioners proposed amounted to no more than this—they put it in the power of the illustrious Duke the Commander-in-Chief and the Army authorities to sanction exchanges in certain cases where it might seem desirable. What, then, was the objection to the Bill? If the power of permitting officers to exchange on payment of expenses was sufficient to induce them to exchange, why should they suppose that larger sums would 260 pass? Officers in the Army were not, as a rule, so rich that they paid more for anything they wished than the sum prescribed by law. One of two things was certain, either that the sum to be paid was a real restriction, or that it was not; but no doubt, practically speaking, this payment did act as a restriction on exchange between officers. He had seen a statement by a person who seemed to have a practical knowledge of the question, and who remarked that it was easy for persons to say that they did not object to exchanges, but only to the passing of money for exchanges. When one regiment was going out to India another might be coming home, and many officers of the regiment ordered home who had contracted ties in India might be not only willing but anxious to remain where they were, while some of those who happened to be enrolled in the list of the officers of the regiment ordered out might have an equal desire to be stationed at home. In such a case why should not an arrangement for mutual convenience be sanctioned? The opponents of the measure indulged in prophecies as to what would happen under its operation; but they seemed altogether to forget that exchanges were no innovation, but had existed for 100, or, for aught he knew, 200 years. It was said that the rich officers would live in comfortable quarters, while the hardships of the service would be left to their poorer brethren. But if such a thing was likely to happen it would have happened already, and who could say that it had? Again, it was said that the Regulations controlling exchanges could not be relied on. But they had the same guarantee on that head, as they had for the fulfilment of other Regulations of the Service. As for the purchase of promotion, such a thing might have been possible under the old system; but it was impossible now when there was no right of succession to any vacancy, the right of selection being vested in the Commander-in-Chief. The argument that an inferior man might exchange into a position for which he was unfit, was also fallacious; for, the Commander-in-Chief having the right of selection, it was absurd to suppose that he would with one hand appoint a properly-qualified officer to a particular post, and then with his other sanction the substitution of an officer who was 261 incompetent. It was said the officers of a regiment might "make a purse" to induce the senior officer to retire, and thus give them an opportunity for advancement. But that was a thing which had never been done, and what ground had they, therefore, for believing that it would be done in future? He came now to what might be called the sentimental side of the question. They had heard a good deal about a "degrading traffic," "higgling and huckstering," and so on. It was said "there were three things which ought not to be bought or sold—the virtue of a woman, the integrity of a statesman, and the honour of a soldier." Now, if that meant anything, it meant that the honour of the Army was compromised in this question, and that if exchanges were allowed the honour of the Army was impugned. That was a statement so alarming that one almost shrunk from exposing it. What said experience on the matter? Had the honour of the Army suffered from the Exchange system? It was the first time he had ever heard of it. Then it was said the morality of the Army would suffer; if this "higgling and huckstering" system were allowed to go on, officers would become so degraded in the eyes of the soldiers they would no longer care for them. Had this ever happened? Was that the spirit evinced in the lesson taught at Inkerman? The moment they came to look back to experience these delusions were entirely dissipated. Those who used these arguments substituted prophecy for the past and imagination for experience. He hoped their Lordships would deal with this question as one of a practical nature. It was of supreme importance to the State that the Army should be satisfied and efficient; and therefore it was a matter that should be treated on purely common-sense principles. If it was once affirmed with success that the payment of money was dishonourable, then it was immaterial whether officers were paid sufficient to cover their expenses, as at present, or something more. An accusation of having made a mistake as to military affairs would not have troubled him; but when he was told that he had recommended a course which tarnished the honour of the Army, he was not inclined to subscribe to this new definition of honour, which depended 262 upon whether they paid travelling expenses or something besides. He had two regrets on the present occasion—first, that in dealing with this question he found himself opposed to those who were around him, and the other was that the debates in that and the other House of Parliament might create some amount of irritation in the officers of the Army; but he was satisfied that in the long run they would find that, whatever course it was necessary to take, the interests and honour of the Army would be safe and clear in the hands of both sides of the Houses of Parliament.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
said, he had listened with great interest to the noble and learned Lord's defence of the Royal Commission of which he had been a distinguished Member. The noble and learned Lord would forgive him if he told him that he could not help feeling that his language was that of one who sought to extenuate an indiscretion rather than to repel an accusation. The Order of Reference was perfectly clear, and he could not see that any other interpretation could be applied to it than that of his noble Friend the noble Viscount. The Commissioners were required to report to the Crown whether any of the grievances alleged by the officers were such as should be compensated upon the principle of the Army Regulation Act. The principle of that Act was pecuniary compensation for a pecuniary loss, and who could ever have supposed that a Commission limited by such a reference as that would recommend, not compensation for the loss of the abolished right, but the restoration of the right itself—a right which, if not identical with those of which the Act assumed the abolition, was, at all events, very closely related to them. Nor could he persuade himself that the Commissioners themselves were unconscious of this. If he turned to their Report, what did he find? Every line of it which referred to the matter of exchanges breathed diffidence and doubt. The Commissioners, after enumerating the dangers apprehended by those who objected to all pecuniary bargaining between officers, stated—We are not satisfied that there is any real danger of this, but we are satisfied, from the evidence before us, that the return to the old practice of exchanges would be very acceptable to the Army.263 Their Lordships would observe that the evidence was appealed to in support of the proposition, which no one had questioned, that the restoration of this privilege would be popular with the Army; but there was no appeal to the evidence in support of the other and more important proposition—that the step would be unattended by those dangers which many anticipated from it. And the Commissioners were prudent in their reserve upon this point, for, with the exception of one or two leading questions to the Commander-in-Chief and the Adjutant General, they had not examined a single witness with regard to the dangers of a system of unrestricted Exchange. The Report of the Commission was, therefore, no justification of this Bill; and, whether it did good or harm, the responsibility must rest with the Government, and not with the Royal Commission. What would be the operation of the Bill? He was a little puzzled to answer that question, for the answers given to it were by no means consistent. They were told on the highest official authority—that of the Prime Minister—that the intention of the Bill was to stimulate exchanges; but what did the illustrious Duke the Commander-in-Chief say? He said that exchanges were necessary—he did not like them, but they were necessary to satisfy the Army, and the fewer there were the' better he should be pleased. Was that stimulating exchanges? Now, it had been said that the circumstances of the officers of the Army had altered, and that it was necessary to make up for that alteration of circumstances; but the fact was, that one of the principal reasons for which officers were formerly in the habit of selling an exchange had disappeared altogether with the abolition of Purchase. Under the Purchase system it often happened that an officer had no means of buying his step except by exchanging, if he could obtain a sum of money for doing so; and this fact was elicited by Sir Percy Herbert in his examination of one of the witnesses before the Commission. He asked this Question—I believe that it was open to an officer previously to that Regulation being passed, and previously to the passing of the Warrant, to receive a considerable sum for an exchange, and thereby, if he was a poor man, to obtain the means either of purchasing his promotion at a future time or of repaying money which he had 264 borrowed in order to purchase his promotion?—It was so. In fact there was no restriction, and he might receive anything he could get.One of the few arguments seriously advanced by the supporters of the Bill was that it was impossible, with the present arrangements of the War Department, to regulate the recognized payments between two officers effecting an exchange. But surely there must be some one in the War Office sufficiently ingenious to devise means by which these complicated matters might be adjusted. He wished, however, to point out that while Her Majesty's Government were seeking to relieve the War Department of this trivial and unimportant duty, they were going to saddle the military authorities with a duty much more irksome and odious—that of saying that exchanges in a particular regiment had reached such a point that it was necessary to interfere. So that they would have His Royal Highness stepping in and refusing an exchange in one case where it had been permitted in a similar case a few days before. And then let their Lord-ships mark the wonderful discrepancy in the statements of the supporters of the Bill. The Secretary of State for War said in his place in the House of Commons that we were bound for the future studiously to ignore the amount of those payments. What, in substance, had His Royal Highness said that evening?—"Whenever I hear of an excessive payment, that will be an occasion when the military authorities will step in and interfere." By which of these views, he should like to know, were they to be guided in giving their votes this evening? Another statement was that the passage of this Bill would facilitate what he might call, for the purpose of this argument, the typical exchange—that, namely, between an officer suffering from bad health in India and another officer suffering from temporary money difficulties at home. Such a case as that he would be perfectly willing to concede at the outset. He readily admitted that there were circumstances in which exchange had been useful by enabling us to retain the services of two gallant officers who otherwise might have been lost to the country. But the argument told both ways. It was quite true that, under a system of unrestricted exchange, some sickly officers might be able to come home from India; but it was equally true 265 that other sickly officers, equally or more deserving, would be kept in India, because they would not have money enough to pay the price in the Exchange market. But what did the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs tell the House? He said this was a question between two officers, A and B; it suited A and it suited B, and therefore the Government had nothing at all to say to it; the transaction was purely a voluntary one, and nobody was the worse for it. But there were surely numerous instances of purely voluntary transactions between parties which were detrimental to the highest interests of society, although, as far as the parties themselves were concerned, they might be advantageous or useful in the highest degree. Take a case of which the House had lately heard a good deal—the case of a simoniacal bargain in the Church. A patron might make a corrupt and illegal contract with a clergyman; the clergyman might be perfectly well fitted for the duties of the cure; the patron might spend the price received in building a school, or as a marriage portion for his daughter. This was a purely voluntary transaction, and its immediate results were beneficial to all parties, and yet it was one which we should certainly not wish to encourage by legislation. Not long ago there was a brisk traffic in Parliamentary boroughs, and the only way in which a man who did not wish to stand under an obligation to another could enter Parliament, was very often by purchasing a seat. Sir Samuel Romilly, for instance, entered the House of Commons in that way, and the House gained very much by his admission to its ranks. And yet no one would ever have proposed the introduction of a measure for stimulating the traffic in rotten boroughs. In his opinion, the results of the Bill would be two-fold, and the first result would be this—that whereas the service of the Queen involved, perhaps, more than military service in any other country in the world, rough places and smooth, officers who were able to buy exchanges would gravitate to the smooth places and officers who were obliged to sell would gravitate to the rough. His Royal Highness, when before the Duke of Somerset's Commission, in 1857 (Question 4,194), spoke of the English Army as one 266Scattered over the face of the globe, some performing very painful and disagreeable duties, not much known to the public, and others performing much more agreeable duties, but which come more under the notice of the public.Nobody could question the accuracy of that statement; and the result of this Bill would be that under the ordinary laws of supply and demand the rich officer would get more than his fair share of the agreeable duties which would bring him under the notice of the Crown, while the poor officer would get the work which was not only more "painful and disagreeable," but less in evidence, and less likely to be "noticed" by the public and by his superiors. It was said that this state of things would not be new, for exchanges had been before and would be again. But he could not admit the force of that statement. The military authorities said now—"Find a substitute, and if you can do so we will not be so pedantic as to prevent you from paying the legitimate expenses of the transaction." But under this Bill they would say—"You want to quit a disagreeable place in which you serve the Queen. Now we give you carte banche to go into the market and buy a substitute." The Royal Commissioners said that there were many good officers with slender means, who would be willing to serve in India or elsewhere for a consideration. What was that but saying, Ibit eo quo vis, qui zonam perdidit. Now, he should like to remind the House what those duties were which would in nine cases out of ten be avoided by officers buying their exchange out of one regiment into another. Foreign service, now that the troops had been withdrawn from the Colonies, meant, speaking generally, service in India. The duties of the English officer in India might be painful and disagreeable, but he could not conceive a moment more important in the career of a young officer than that in which he found himself for the first time serving Her Majesty in Her Indian dominions. There was a country of 1,000,000 square miles, with a native population numbering some 200,000,000, kept in control by 60,000 or 70,000 English troops. Every part of the country was consecrated by memories of the great men who had won our Empire and held it afterwards; the colours of his regiment very likely bore upon them the names of the vic- 267 tories which they had achieved. Everything conspired to make an officer proud of the Service and the career on which he was entering. Were they at that moment to allow a Mephistopheles in the shape of an army agent to come forward, and by some tempting proposal to induce him to exchange that glorious service in India for an uneventful life in an English cathedral town? These, then, would be some of the effects of the Bill. But it would have others not less mischievous. Under the Bill it would come to pass that whereas some corps possessed exceptional prestige and popularity, both those things would henceforth be expressed in terms of money, for the purpose of the sale and purchase of exchanges. This proposition was stated in his evidence by Colonel Burnaby with the most cynical frankness. He spoke of the custom of selling the intrinsic value of the prestige of commissions in the more privileged regiments, such as the Guards, Household Cavalry, Heavy Cavalry, not quartered in India, and Light Cavalry. According to this gallant officer, it would appear that the prestige and popularity attaching to commissions in certain regiments were to be used for the inglorious object of providing for the necessities of officers who happened to be in embarrassed circumstances. Observe how this would work. The late Government hoped to establish a local connection between the English Army and particular localities. But if a sub-lieutenant in the Militia got a commission in the county regiment, he might by-and-by convert it, if the regiment happened to be a popular one, into a sum of money wherewith to pay his debts, and the intention of the military authorities in posting him to a particular regiment would be frustrated. These evils were, at all events, possible. The safeguard proposed was that the military authorities would prevent these things. But were the military authorities always able to prevent abuses under the old system? The late Mr. Higgins, who was examined at great length before the Purchase Commission, referred to the ease of the 43rd Regiment, which went to the Cape, and then on to India—It was a Light Infantry regiment, and was considered to be a very good regiment; when it went to India there were eight or nine sons of Peers in it, but in about 18 months after it had 268 been there only one son of a Peer remained in it, and he had got an S attached to his name, having got on the Staff somewhere. I then looked back to see what had become of those men who had thus evaded the wish of the Horse Guards that they should take their tour of Indian duty, and I found that nearly everyone of them had fared much better by returning home than if he had remained with the regiment.Could anything be more mischievous than that this kind of impression should obtain in the Army or in the public mind? The same witness continued—I think that the abolition of the system of exchanging would be beneficial, because the way in which you occasionally see an officer with good interest manage to dodge his way upwards by exchanging from one regiment into another is most scandalous. Civilians cannot understand it. I recollect perfectly one man on the Staff whom I met in Dublin, who had exchanged so often that it had become quite a joke; when his friends asked him what regiment he was in, he used to call his servant and say, 'What regiment are we in now?' He was a man of very good interest, or he could not have done it.The hardest work as well as the most dangerous work is done by poor men.But the Report of the Duke of Somerset's Commission was most explicit upon this point. The Commissioners distinctly admitted the inability of the War Department to keep these practices within limits—Exchanges from one regiment to another, "the Commissioners said," and sales to officers on half-pay, facilitate an evasion of the Regulations which the higher authorities of the Army are unable to prevent.The noble and learned Lord (Lord Penzance) said that no mischief resulted from the old system of exchanges, and that for this reason no mischief was likely to result if this Bill became law. But it must be remembered that the Bill would do more than restore the old system. It would introduce the purchase and sale of exchanges into a non-purchase Army, which was a widely different thing from the old system. It would deliberately consecrate, with all the solemnity of an Act of Parliament, a system never yet recognized by the law of the land; and this being so, their Lordships must not delude themselves into the belief that they were simply reverting to the state of things which existed before the passing of the Army Regulation Bill. Noble Lords on this side of the House had been severely taken to task for stating their apprehen- 269 sion that this measure would affect the honour of the British Army. Now, he did not wish to speak lightly of the honour of the British Army. In every calling, however, and in every profession, there was a standard of honour based not only upon unchangeable moral precepts, but upon other considerations much more variable and conventional. In no profession was this more true than of the British Army; and he feared that if their Lordships allowed it to go forth that officers of the Army, when called upon to perform painful and disagreeable duties in out-of-the-way parts of the world, might avoid these duties by paying poorer men to perform them, the standard of honour within the British Army, in so far as it was a conventional standard, would be appreciably lowered, while the estimation in which that Army was held, particularly by those classes from which its ranks were filled, would suffer, and suffer materially. He feared that their Lordships were about to pass a measure which he could not but regard as likely to prove a serious misfortune to the Army and to the country. He was, however, not without hope that such a law would not be allowed permanently to disfigure the statute book; and if, at some future time, no matter how distant, the House was called upon to re-consider this question, their Lordships would be reminded of the solemn protest which those who sat near him would, at the termination of the debate, record against the passing of the Bill.
§ EARL CADOGAN
would venture to say that many of the questions imported into this discussion by the opponents of the Bill did not come within the four corners of the measure. For example, a large portion of the arguments against the Bill were directed against the revival of the Purchase system. Everyone seemed agreed that, as the illustrious Duke had said, exchanges were indispensable to our Army; but as to the re-establishment of Purchase, if he (Earl Cadogan) thought this measure would lead directly or indirectly to such a result, he should decline to support it. It was said that, wherever money passed, a purchase and sale were intended. But exchange and purchase differed materially. In purchase under the old system a new office was acquired and a new emolument; whereas, in paying for 270 an exchange you acquired neither of these things. Then it was contended that you might purchase not promotion, but the prospect of promotion. Since the abolition of Purchase, however, there was no certain prospect of promotion. It was now a system of seniority tempered by selection. But men would hardly purchase when there could be no certainty of obtaining the promotion desired. Mr. O'Dowd stated that with ordinary vigilance on the part of the authorities the system of exchanges now proposed would not be liable to abuse under the non-purchase system. Considering the recommendation of the Commissioners, the Government were bound to take action in some manner, and he did not see how they could have done so better than by preparing the present Bill. The members of a noble profession had been censured in no measured terms for their desire to see this Bill pass into law, and one of the noble Lords who had taken part in the debate seemed to think that the mere name of money would be enough to make officers in the British Army lose all sense of honour and patriotism. He, however, altogether denied that that would be the case. In order to dispose of the argument that an officer would have a vested right in whatever station he obtained under an exchange, he might mention the case of a lieutenant in the 35th Foot, who in 1845 obtained leave to exchange with a junior officer when his regiment was going to Mauritius. The money was paid; but news arrived soon afterwards of disturbances in Madagascar, and the result was that the lieutenant sailed in the same ship with the officer to whom he had paid the money for the exchange. If the Bill merely allowed liberty of exchange without supervision, it might be open to grave objections; but he felt sure that proper regulations would be made, and entertained no doubt whatever that they would be enforced. He thought that in framing the Bill every care had been taken to guard against the evils its opponents apprehended would arise from its operation, and he should therefore support the second reading.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
My Lords, my noble and learned Friend who spoke from this side of the House in favour of the Bill (Lord Penzance) said, he was induced to interpose in this debate in 271 order to restore it to calmness. My Lords, I must say I think this debate has been on the whole conducted, not only with great ability, but with perfect moderation and good temper; and certainly I shall endeavour not to use any exaggerated language. I confess I have been wholly unconvinced, even by the able argument of my noble and learned Friend, that the Bill will not lead to evil and injurious results. Both sides are agreed, as I understand, that under certain conditions exchanges may be tolerated and permitted. We are both agreed that there may be many circumstances under which it is a matter of perfect indifference to the public service whether a given officer serves in this regiment or in that. Indeed, my noble Friend behind me (Viscount Cardwell) himself made Regulations for the purpose of facilitating exchanges wherever they were considered to be legitimate. I admit, therefore, with my noble and learned Friend, that we have no right to use any arguments which imply that exchanges must necessarily be mischievous; but you have no right, on the other hand, to use any arguments which imply that this Bill is necessary under existing circumstances—because you have yourselves admitted that exchanges are perfectly free on condition that they cost nothing more than the actual expenses incurred. It has been argued that the introduction of sale and purchase into the system of exchanges will make no difference in the conditions of the ease. Now, I listened attentively to the speech made by the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Richmond) in opening his case to-night, and I think I am correct in saying that he adduced no evidence whatever to show either that the Bill would make no change or only a slight one, or that the measure was necessary in the interests of the public service. If it be so, there is no great object in passing the Bill. The only argument which the noble Duke brought forward was that it was exceedingly inconvenient for an officer in the War Office to draw up a schedule of expenses—it was to get rid of that inconvenience and for no other reason that he advocated the Bill. Yet the noble Duke was not wholly consistent in his argument, for he said—If your Lordships think the importance of this Bill is to be measured by its length and the number of its clauses, you will be much mis- 272 taken, but it will contribute materially to the loyalty and contentment of the Army.It is plain, however, that this Bill is intended to effect important alterations in the system of exchanges, and that it will introduce a new motive for exchanging. At present exchanges are regulated by the personal convenience or the health of the officers, and they are strictly subject to the conditions imposed by the War Office; but henceforth they are to be regulated by the question of money and price. The illustrious Duke on the cross-benches spoke as if the Bill would make hardly any change at all; but, if so, why did the officers attach so much importance to the passing of the measure? They wished it to pass because, in the language used by Mr. Disraeli in the other House of Parliament, it would stimulate exchanges. Then, I ask, is it consistent with the public service that exchanges should be artificially stimulated by being made the subject of sale and purchase? I cannot understand how it is consistent with the argument used and quoted from the evidence of the illustrious Duke on former occasions that exchanges are in themselves an evil, and that the regimental system of the British Army consists essentially in the connection—the almost family connection—between the officers of a regiment and their men; and that the discipline and efficiency of the Army would be injuriously affected by a breaking up of that system. But this Bill will make the officers a fluctuating body, and thus the regimental system will lose its distinctive advantage. We are bound in the interest of the public service to see that riches as such shall not give a great and fatal advantage to the rich over the poor. An argument used by the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary to-night, which I have often heard "elsewhere," has a certain force; and it is this that this Bill, whatever you may say of it, is popular with the poorer officers. To a large extent I believe that is true. The reason of it is plain. The poorer officer who has his exchange to sell will be no doubt a gainer by this Bill; but when he comes to buy his exchange he will be a loser by the exchange—because this Bill will unquestionably raise the price of exchanges. Each man, it is true, trusts to his own luck, and does not look to the latter contingency. But a poor man will have 273 little chance of exchanging from an unhealthy climate, for undoubtedly the Bill will have the effect of raising the price. This is the way in which it is proposed to consult the interests of the poorer officers of the Army. But it is said that the Regulations will prevent mischief from arising. My Lords, I do not think it will be possible for the illustrious Duke by any Regulations he may make to prevent the making up of purses by officers to induce officers who are before them to exchange into other regiments. This Bill will, for the first time, formally give the sanction of Parliament to the doctrine that money is to be made by the sale of exchanges of posts in the Army. I quite admit that this Bill will not re-introduce the old system of Purchase;—it will not enable one officer to buy over the head of another; but this it will do—it will introduce a sense of property among officers in the positions which they hold in the Army; and I am bound to say that that argument seemed greatly strengthened by the speech of the noble Earl the Foreign Secretary. The most stringent regulations in the old Indian Army system, and as to our own Regulation prices, could not prevent the evils arising against which they were intended to guard, nor will they do so in the present instance. Our officers, as a body, are poorly paid; and instead of passing a Bill to enable the poorer officers to increase their incomes by exchange, I think it would be infinitely preferable to give them better pay. I most heartily agree with my noble Friend (Viscount Cardwell) in desiring that this Bill should be rejected by this House. I know very well that is a conclusion we cannot hope to attain. I believe this Bill will pass, and I can only say I earnestly trust it will never become necessary to retrace the step. I think it would be most unbecoming and most injurious to the public service if we on this side of the House should hold out any threats that when changes of Government occur in the course of time we shall do this and the other. I trust we are not actuated by a desire to do anything that is not for the good of the officers and the Welfare of the Army. If our predictions are undeserved and it proves that the mere regulations of the War Office can prevent the continuous pressure which arises from the accumulation 274 of personal and private interests we shall be happy in the failure of our anticipations. But if it shall be found, on the other hand, that this system leads to underhand negotiations which it is impossible for you to oversee or to suppress, then unquestionably there will be changes made—and made probably with the authority of the Crown and Parliament—in order to meet the necessities of the case. I regret this because I think it important above all things that this question should be permanently settled in order that in the Army a feeling of contentment may spring up, based upon the conviction that a final settlement has been reached. I cannot see that this feeling is likely to arise from the passing of the present Bill; but, at the same time, I repeat my hope that our prophecies may prove unfounded.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
supported the Bill, which he regarded as a measure of justice to the officers of the Army, and therefore likely to produce a feeling of contentment. Nothing could be more injurious to the Service than to permit a spirit of discontent to continue in existence when it could be removed by adopting a course that would confer a boon upon a large class, and, at the same time, tend to the advantage of the Service. The subject had been very carefully considered by a body of most able and impartial Commissioners, and the time that had since elapsed had enabled the Government to embody their recommendations in the present measure. He hoped it would pass. In his opinion, young men would hesitate to join the Army if exchanges were not allowed.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
My Lords, although this debate has already extended to a considerable length, perhaps you will bear with me while I make a few observations in defence of the vote which I intend to give this evening. I paid particular attention to the speeches made by my two noble Friends the Members of Her Majesty's Government, and I gather that, in their opinion, exchanges are so necessary and so beneficial that it is not sufficient they should be permitted under proper supervision, but that an additional stimulus should be applied in the shape of sums of money to be paid by the richer to the poorer officers. I also gathered that the agencies to which they trust for the proper administration of the system are an inquiry 275 on the one hand, and the discretion of the military authorities on the other. The noble and learned Lord (Lord Penzance) seemed to think we were disposed to make attacks upon him and his Colleagues on the Royal Commission. So far as I am concerned I entirely disclaim any such intention. I think it would be most unjust and excessively ungrateful on the part of those who had the honour to represent the late Government in this House to make attacks on the gentlemen who at the request of that Government, and in deference to the command of the Queen, undertook an onerous and in some respects an invidious duty. I may, perhaps, recall the circumstances under which that Commission was issued. Very loud complaints were made by officers that they were ill-treated under the new Army Regulations. Your Lordships were so impressed with the justice of those complaints that you agreed to an Address to the Queen for the issue of a Commission of Inquiry. That Commission was appointed, not on the merits of the ease, but from a sincere respect for your Lordships who voted for the Address in such large numbers, and from an earnest wish to do something towards soothing the feelings in the officers of the Army. The Commission agreed in the main with the late Government; but a question arises as to their authority to make the particular recommendations on which the Bill is founded. My noble and learned Friend says he came to the inquiry perfectly ignorant of the subject before him. Well, what persons were examined before the Commission? A series of officers, some of the highest distinction, who all acted really as counsel for exchanges, and not one word of evidence was given the other way:—so that it is not remarkable if the noble and learned Lord and his Colleagues, admirably adapted though they were to consider the points referred to them, should in a matter concerning the discipline of the Army have made a mistake. The noble Duke (the Duke of Richmond) says you must do one of two things—you must either vote for this Bill or declare your belief in the incompetency of the military authorities and that in that case the sooner they are changed the better. Now, I admit that. I do not know any one who so well understands all the different parts of the Army as the illustrious Duke; I do not know one who has 276 worked with greater zeal and anxiety to promote its efficiency and welfare; but because he tells us that he is determined to watch over the system of exchanges with the same strictness he has hitherto displayed—because he tells us he will maintain that strictness to the uttermost—is that any reason why I should vote for a Bill which is not limited to the duration of the illustrious Duke's possession of office, but establishes a principle which I think will be most injurious for the future? And with regard to confidence in the military authorities, I must say it is much more likely that the Government will fail in that confidence than that we on this side should do so. It has already been remarked that the Prime Minister tells us it is necessary to encourage and stimulate exchanges; but what says the illustrious Duke? He says that exchanges are detrimental in themselves to the Army, following the Duke of Wellington, Viscount Hardinge, and Lord Clyde, whose remarkable evidence was quoted to your Lordships by my noble Friend the noble Viscount (Viscount Cardwell). But the illustrious Duke went still further, for he said that he should watch the system most strictly, and that it was not his intention that more exchanges should take place than have been made hitherto; and he said he should inquire whether excessive sums of money were paid—although that is contrary to the declaration of the Secretary for War that he was determined to know nothing as to whether the sums were large or small. The noble Earl the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs said, as one of his principal arguments in favour of the Bill, that officers were poor, and he looked to the system of exchanges as a mode of remunerating them. Now, first of all, I hold that system of remuneration is as bad as any one can conceive, but what comes of that argument if the illustrious Duke is to keep the number of exchanges the same as at present? The noble Duke (the Duke of Richmond) referred to the opinion of "the Intelligent Foreigner." Now, I do not know of any foreign Army except the French which tolerates exchanges, and in the French Army practically the resemblance is much greater to the system of my noble Friend the noble Viscount than to that which it is now proposed to sub- 277 stitute. It is, I know, the opinion of some of the most eminent French military authorities that the system of exchanges in the French Army had in the last war a very bad effect; it destroyed to a very great degree the esprit de corps of the French regiments. My Lords, we do not object to exchanges. We have sanctioned exchanges in various departments of the Public Service. The only question is, whether in the Army alone the passing of money should be legalized between officers in order to promote exchanges. I have at different periods held various offices in the State, as Secretary for the Colonies, Foreign Minister, and President of the Council. I have often been applied to to sanction exchanges, and my answer has always been—"You have been a good officer; when there is a vacancy I will take care to put the new man in your place and you in a more southern district. But, what would have been my feelings if I had learnt that £500 had been pocketed by either of the parties on the occasion of the exchange? The noble and learned Lord (Lord Penzance) stated that these persons had established a grievance, and the only alternative the Commission had was either to ignore the grievances of the officers or to make the recommendation they did. I do not think that was the only alternative. If it were a pecuniary grievance it would have been easy to recommend a money compensation, or another thing which might be perhaps more difficult—that this compensation should be continued to the officers who had entered the Service before Purchase was abolished. The noble and learned Lord repelled with some indignation the idea that the Commissioners recommended a course which would be pernicious to the British Army; and in the only part of his speech in which there was any warmth referred to the word "huckstering" as applied to officers who might take advantage of this system. He said that a thing which had not happened for 100 years was not likely to occur in the future. But my noble Friend the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Lansdowne) read just now a sentence from a noble Lord of high authority on the subject, saying how impossible it was for the military authorities to check abuses under the circumstances referred to. But in the very sentence before I find such words as these— 278A mercenary spirit is created in men whose guiding principle should be a nice sense of honour and a loyal attachment to the Service.These are words which I do not wish to adopt; but coming from such high authority, they do not justify the noble and learned Lord in what he has said. Now, with regard to the noble profession of arms, I venture to say that there is no one who has more respect for the British officer than I have. I will remind your Lordships of what the British Army is in time of danger. At the outbreak of the Ashantee War a young officer volunteered for the service. Immediately afterwards one of the most eminent surgeons in this town, hearing of the fact, wrote to him, saying, "You know that I know you well. If you go to the West Coast of Africa it is simply death." Well, my gallant young friend put that letter in his pocket, did not tell one of his friends or relations about it, but wrote back to the surgeon that it was too late to change his plans. He went out—but did not return. That young man was the heir to a high fortune and to a seat in this House; but the minute he heard that fighting was going on he determined to go out. I do not mention this because he was a friend of mine or of any of your Lordships, but as a type of what the British officer feels when fighting is going on. But it is not only the British officer, but the British non-commissioned officer also: and, as for the British soldier, we sometimes hear complaints of the difficulty of recruiting. But the illustrious Duke will tell your Lordships that once there is war recruits come in abundantly. Therefore, I will not say a word against the British Army once there is a question of fighting. But when the question is one of irksome duty I will not say that the same readiness is found; and I am sure it is a mistake for Her Majesty's Government and the Legislature of this country to invent artificial modes of stimulating the desire of retiring from the Army. I have not a hope of the possible rejection of this Bill; but I should be wanting in my duty to my noble Friend behind me and to myself if I did not by my vote to-night utter a solemn protest against this most pernicious and unnecessary Bill which has been presented to your Lordships this evening.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, as it seems to me, the debate this 279 evening has divided itself into two main classes of arguments—those which affect, or are deemed to affect, the honour of the Army, and those which affect the interests of the public service. My noble Friend who has just sat down (Earl Granville) has set an example which if it could have been acted upon retrospectively would have had a most salutary effect on the debates in this House, and much more on the debates in "another place." No word was used by my noble Friend which could be justly complained of as impugning the honour of the British Army in relation to the provisions of this Bill. But that has been far from the tone adopted by many opponents of the Bill in "another place;" and I wish to ask on what grounds this charge of dishonour to the officers of the British Army, arising out of the practice of exchanges, can be justified? In the minds of many who have argued this question, we seem to be dwelling in some romantic and ideal country where the notion of money payments has been entirely divorced from the military profession. Nay, from the high tone occasionally adopted, my impression is that some persons have persuaded themselves for the time that we live in an age when men in every profession perform their public duties and shrink from contact with filthy lucre as any reward for what they do. Now, I fear that the time when the British soldier shall do his duty to the State and expose himself to hardships in a spirit procul negotiis ut prisca gens mortalium is very far from the day in which we live. Lest, however, our spirits should thereby be discouraged as to the present or future honour of the British soldier, let us remember that the same facts apply to other illustrious professions. I have heard that lawyers and doctors do not disdain to take fees; I believe that even Cabinet Ministers occasionally pocket their quarter's salary; and I cannot think that any practical advantage is derived by assuming that the British soldier performs his duties in disregard of any pecuniary rewards. If that is the case, what is the disgrace and dishonour of exchanges? The service undertaken by the British soldier is composed of rough and smooth. Every man who has engaged to serve the Queen engages to take his portion of rough—that is to say, the portion which by the practice of the Service naturally 280 falls to him—and if he demanded extra payment for this share of duty he would be unreasonable, perhaps even dishonourable. But if, besides this natural proportion of rough, he takes another portion of rough, why is he more dishonourable for asking to be paid in respect of this second portion than he was for taking his original pecuniary reward for the first portion? He is paid by the man who derives the benefit and not by the State. If to do this work for money is like the loss of integrity in a statesman or loss of virtue in a woman, the same stigma applies to every Indian official who takes his furlough and leaves behind him an official substitute to perform his duties. A good deal of pity was expressed for those unfortunate men who, in the Army, perform additional work for additional remuneration. I was struck by the romantic tenderness expressed for them by the noble Viscount (Viscount Cardwell), and the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Lansdowne), whose tenderness was only exceeded by the eccentric mode in which they bestowed it. They wish to minimize the difference between rich and poor; and we were told in an eloquent speech in "another place" that wealth is already a sufficient power, and ought not to be assisted in establishing a predominating influence over the poor. The way in which you carry out this benevolent theory is to say to the poor officers in the Army—"You might if you were left alone have got £1,000 by means of an exchange; but we are so determined to assist you that this £1,000 shall not henceforth go into your pockets." The noble Viscount, however, had in his budget some solace for the poor man deprived of his £1,000. He said—"Only think! If you abstain from earning this money, you will establish another argument in favour of an addition to your pay, and may induce a future Chancellor of the Exchequer to add to the Estimates for that purpose." Now I should like to take a plébiscite of the poor officers upon this question—whether they prefer the privilege of exchanging or the prospect that some future Chancellor of the Exchequer may add a penny to the Income Tax for the purpose of increasing the officers' pay. Then we have heard this evening once more of "the Intelligent Foreigner." As he appears upon the stage, I should 281 like to know what he would think of the character of the British Army as it has been depicted in these debates? In the first place, it appears from the speech of the noble Lord who in the last Parliament represented the War Office in this House (the Marquess of Lansdowne), that all the rich men will get into the smooth and all the poor men into the rough places. In other words, the general impression would be that the rich men of this country, or such of them as take to the profession of arms, are universally afflicted with a desire to escape from all that is disagreeable in their duty.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
What I said was that those who were able to buy exchanges were likely to gravitate naturally towards the smooth places.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My impression was that the noble Marquess went a step farther and described what that process of gravitation would result in. At all events, the impression left by the debate upon the mind of any Intelligent Foreigner must be that the richer officers in the English Army are particularly anxious to spend their military career upon the pavement of Pall Mall, while the poorer officers are so anxious to get money from their richer comrades that, impose what regulation you will, their subtlety, cunning, and unscrupulousness will be more than a match for regulations. They will all combine, they will all conspire, they will all lie, they will all perjure themselves, to obtain this money. ["Hear!"] Well, I am merely placing on the language used a construction which it is open to any Member of the House who has listened to the debate to verify. What was meant when we were assured again and again that the Regulations would be nugatory? If they were of no use they must be evaded in spite of solemn declarations and in combination, and does not this point to the conspiracy, lying, and perjury of which I have spoken? These things are justified by an appeal to experience. Now, the experience, I venture to say is false, and the inference drawn from it is unjust. We are told that, do what we will, the accumulated pressure of private interests will drive aside any regulations which the military authorities may make, and in justification of this doctrine the his- 282 tory of the Indian Bonus is quoted. I assert that if in any case illicit and illegitimate rights have gradually grown up until their illegitimate character has been cast aside—if prohibitions which the State has fulminated have been disregarded, and if the disregard has ultimately been crowned with State approval—I will venture to say that it was the result of no pressure or combination of private interests, but was simply due to the fact that in each case the State thought it saw a good bargain before it and preferred that so it should be. This was the case with regard to the bonus of the East Indian Army. The Directors of the East India Company tried at first to discourage it, and it maintained itself in a hazardous sort of way without any real and recognized position; but as time were on the Directors became wiser, and found that it would be a hopeless difficulty without such a system to insure a proper flow of promotion by speedy retirement. Bear this in mind, then, that the system was allowed to grow up by the Directors of the East India Company, because they saw in it an advantage to their treasury and a benefit to their service. Do not assume, therefore, that it was because the officers were false to their oaths that this system attained the position it ultimately reached. The objection that the present measure will introduce pseudo-purchase has been so fully dealt with that I need not refer to it at any length. The answer to it is that as long as you have a system of selection any system of Purchase is impossible. I know it was said in the other House of Parliament that selection is practically dead, and that seniority is all in all. Well, some of us a few years ago prophesied that would be the case; but I refuse to believe that it is the case so soon as this. If it be true, however, that pure unmitigated seniority has fixed its grasp on the British Army, no system of Purchase which you can devise would be so fatal to the public interest as a system which would produce officers of high rank with exhausted minds and bodies, and in the lower ranks of officers permanent discontent. It is very difficult for those who scrutinize the advocacy of noble Lords opposite to ascertain what doctrine they hold; but I apprehend that the general sense of this House, and certainly the general sense of the military authorities, is that ex- 283 changes are an absolute necessity. The illustrious Duke on the cross-benches has used language which has been much quoted in reference to this subject. He said they were an inevitable evil—meaning not that he would wish under existing circumstances to prevent them, but that they are a necessary consequence of an Empire extending over so many climates as ours. We have to send men to Canada, China, and India. The men who have chests cannot go to Canada; the men who have livers cannot go to India. Most reasonable men will agree that if a man is not fit for the climate of India it is better to send him to a climate where he will be fit for service. Assuming, then, that exchanges are necessary, how are they to be obtained? Noble Lords opposite seem to assume that they will always come of themselves, and that there will always be an officer in England who wants to go to India for every officer in India who wants to come to England. This assumption is contra-dieted by the figures, which show that in the two years before the abolition of Purchase there were 159 exchanges, and only 97 in the two years following the abolition. The truth is that the difficulty of getting men to serve in India is still considerable. It is known to the illustrious Duke on the cross-benches that even now in the native Army of Madras there are as many as 30 vacancies among the local officers, while there are no candidates to fill them. Even with the high pay of India as compared with that of England there is no great pressure for exchanges. If you intend to keep up exchanges you must allow a free course of monetary considerations to act upon those who desire exchange. You must remember there are expenses which the War Office can never estimate. The noble Viscount was very confident that there was some accomplished person within the walls of the War Office who would be competent to say what amount of underclothing ladies would require. Well, the noble Viscount, I dare say, is well acquainted with and could lay his hand upon that competent man, but evidently my right hon. Friend is not yet acquainted with him. But there is one thing which this accomplished man would not be able to ascertain, and that is the amount which an officer would have to add to his insurance when he leaves this country. That is a legitimate expense. 284 On going to India he would have to pay a much higher premium. That money cannot be found by the State—it cannot be found by the outgoing officer—it can only be found by the officer who benefits by the exchange. In fact, it is impossible to estimate or control these expenses. The truth is that we have been sailing all along in very low latitudes. We have heard a great deal of the feelings of officers and very little of the interests of the public service. We have heard much of what the poorer officer would feel when he found he was unable to rise on account of his poverty; but I cannot admit that a feeling of that kind can legitimately be entertained on a question of this kind. If exchanges and the encouragement of exchanges are good to the public service, I do not care whether the system helps the rich man to Pall Mall and condemns the poor man to India. I do not care what theories in policy it violates; I do not care what sensitiveness or jealousy it may cause. If it is good for the public service that it should be so, all these considerations must be disregarded. My noble Friend the noble Marquess who represented the War Office in the last Administration (the Marquess of Lansdowne) told us what a fearful thing it would be if some Mephistopheles in the shape of an agent should tempt a young man to abandon the very glorious career that was opening before him in India. All my sympathies are with that young man. I think it is for the good of the public service that that young man should be tempted from a career for which he is obviously unfit, and relegated to the atmosphere of Pall Mall. Speaking as an Englishman, and in the interests of the public service, I should not much regret it. I will venture before I conclude to notice one mistake into which the noble Earl opposite fell in the course of his remarks. He told us about an Intelligent Foreigner, and that the Intelligent Foreigner was on his side, because exchanges were permitted in the French Army, and the French Army was not successful in the late war. I am speaking on very high authority when I say that exchange is permitted in the Prussian Army; and if that is the case, I am afraid the noble Lord made a mistake in the inference he drew, for whatever effect exchanges have had in the French Army, they have obviously had a good 285 effect in the Prussian Army. The hour is too late to permit me to continue this argument; but I will only venture, in conclusion, to urge upon you that, trivial as this measure may in some of its aspects seem to be, it is a matter of much importance, worthy of your serious attention and of your decisive verdict. The earnestness with which the measure has been debated shows that it is not its mere apparent value you are requested to estimate. If you pass it you will pronounce a condemnation which is much needed upon the application of theoretic and pedantic formulas to the practical interests of the British Army. Philosophers produce splendid chimeras in their closets, and if those philosophers had power in the Legislature they would try to apply their chimerical views to the practical interests and wants of the State. It is for your Lordships, judging of these matters with impartial mind, to check a tendency which threatens much evil to the public weal. And you have another duty to perform. This Bill has been recommended to you by high authority. That it has been supported by large majorities in the other House, and by the unanimous voice of the Commission, will commend it to your prudence, and you will not be sorry to be able to grant a boon to a portion of an Army which, in recent arrangements, has been somewhat neglected—perhaps I may say has been hardly dealt with. It will be no small recommendation to you that this boon will be accepted by the Army with gratitude. But you must remember that it has been opposed by arguments, assertions, and vituperations of which it is not too much to say that they are base calumnies on the Army of which they were spoken. It is for you now, not by a narrow, but by a great majority, to place your stamp of condemnation upon those false assertions, and in giving a well-deserved boon to an Army which has so long adorned its country's annals to declare that in your estimate its reputation is as high, and its honour as untarnished as it has been through many centuries of fame.
§ On Question, That ("now") stand part of the Motion? Their Lordships divided; Contents 137; Not-Contents 60: Majority 77.286
§ Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Tuesday next.287
|Cairns, L. (L. Chancellor.)||de Vesci, V.|
|Beaufort, D.||Hardinge, V.|
|Buckingham and Chan-dos, D.||Hawarden, V. [Teller.]|
|Grafton, D.||Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.)|
|Manchester, D.||Strathallan, V.|
|Northumberland, D.||Templetown, V.|
|Somerset, D.||Gloucester and Bristol, Bp.|
|Bristol, M.||Abercromby, L.|
|Bute, M.||Abinger, L.|
|Cholmondeley, M.||Bagot, L.|
|Exeter, M.||Bateman, L.|
|Hertford, M.||Bloomfield, L.|
|Salisbury, M.||Boston, L.|
|Brancepeth, L. (V. Boyne.)|
|Amherst, E.||Braybrooke, L.|
|Bandon, E.||Brodrick, L. (V. Midle-ton.)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Carleton, L. (E. Shannon.)|
|Brownlow, E.||Castlemaine, L.|
|Cadogan, E.||Clanbrassill, L. (E. Roden.)|
|Clonmell, E.||Clifton, L. (E. Darnley.)|
|Denbigh, E.||Clinton, L.|
|Derby, E.||Colchester, L.|
|Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queens-berry.)||Colville of Culross, L.|
|Ellesmere, E.||De L'Isle and Dudley. L.|
|Fitzwilliam, E.||De Mauley, L.|
|Fortescue, E.||Denman, L.|
|Haddington, E.||de Ros, L.|
|Hardwicke, E.||De Saumarez, L.|
|Harewood, E.||Digby, L.|
|Harrowby, E.||Dormer, L.|
|Jersey, E.||Dunboyne, L.|
|Lanesborough, E.||Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.)|
|Lucan, E.||Dunsany, L.|
|Malmesbury, E.||Ellenborough, L.|
|Nelson, E.||Elphinstone, L.|
|Poulett, E.||Forbes, L.|
|Powis, E.||Forester, L.|
|Romney, E.||Foxford, L. (E. Lime-rick.)|
|Sandwich, E.||Grinstead, L. (E. Ennis-killen.)|
|Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)||Hampton, L.|
|Verulam, E.||Hartismere, L. (L. Henniker.)|
|Westmorland, E.||Hawke, L.|
|Wicklow, E.||Heytesbury, L.|
|Wilton, E.||Inchiquin, L.|
|Ker, L. (M. Lothian.)|
|Bangor, V.||Leconfield, L.|
|Lovel and Holland, L. (E. Egmont.)||Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)|
|Manners, L.||Saint Leonards, L.|
|Ormonde, L. (M. Or-monde.)||Stratheden and Campbell, L.|
|Penrhyn, L.||Strathnairn, L.|
|Raglan, L.||Strathspey, L. (E. Sea-field.)|
|Romilly, L.||Templemore, L.|
|Rossmore, L.||Tyrone, L. (M. Water-ford.)|
|Sandys, L.||Ventry, L.|
|Silchester, L. (E. Long-ford.)||Vernon, L.|
|Skelmersdale, L. [Teller.]||Walsingham, L.|
|Willoughby de Broke. L.|
|Stanley of Alderley, L.||Winmarleigh, L.|
|Devonshire, D.||Dinevor, L.|
|Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.)|
|Lansdowne, M.||Eliot, L.|
|Ripon, M.||Emly, L.|
|Abingdon, E.||Hare, L. (E. Listowel.)|
|Airlie, E.||Hatherley, L.|
|Cathcart, E.||Houghton, L.|
|Clarendon, E.||Lanerton, L.|
|Cowper, E.||Lawrence, L.|
|Granville, E.||Leigh, L.|
|Innes, E. (D. Roxburghe.)||Lisgar, L.|
|Meldrum, L. (M. Huntly.)|
|Spencer, E.||Monson, L. [Teller.]|
|Sydney, E.||Monteagle of Brandon, L.|
|Canterbury, V.||Mostyn, L.|
|Cardwell, V.||O'Hagan, L.|
|Powerscourt, V.||Ponsonby, L. (E. Bess-borough.)|
|Annaly, L.||Robartes, L.|
|Ashburton, L.||Rosebery, L. (E. Rose-bery.)|
|Belper, L.||Sandhurst, L.|
|Blachford, L.||Sefton, L. (E. Sefton.)|
|Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller.]||Selborne, L.|
|Strafford, L. (V. Enfield.)|
|Brougham and Vaux, L.|
|Camoys, L.||Sundridge, L. (D. Ar-gyll.)|
|Carlingford, L.||Vaux of Harrowden, L.|
|Carrington, L.||Waveney, L.|
|Coleridge, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Crewe, L.||Wrottesley, L.|
§ House adjourned at half past Twelve o'clock, to Monday next, Eleven o'clock.