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Supply—Army Estimates

Volume 203: debated on Monday 18 July 1870

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Resolved, That this House will immediately resolve itself into the Committee of Supply.

(In the Committee.)

(1.) £412,400, Volunteer Corps.

said, he wished to know, When it would be convenient to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War to state the intentions of the Government with regard to the Volunteer Force?

said, that the Volunteer corps themselves could not be more anxious than the Government were that everything that was possible should be done to promote the continued and increasing prosperity of the Volunteer Service. He would remind the Committee that the Commission which sat on this subject 10 years ago did not recommend that the whole of the expense of this service should be borne by the public. On the contrary, they expressly recommended that a portion of the expenses should be defrayed by private subscription. Since that time, however, there was no doubt that the question had undergone considerable change. As the Committee were aware, a large deputation of Volunteer commanding officers had waited upon his Predecessor in Office, and had asked him to increase the capitation grant by £1. That was declined, and when, on his accession to Office, a similar request was preferred to him, he had also felt bound to refuse it. He was then asked to make an increase of 10s. To that request he was unable to give an affirmative answer; but he had instituted a very careful inquiry as to the real sum at which, as far as they were able to judge, the capitation grant ought to be fixed in order to make it secure the liquidation of all necessary expenses. The examination which he had made had convinced him that to do that it was desirable to make it easy for the Volunteers to earn a capitation grant of £1 15s. instead of £1 10s. But that increase they did not propose to give to the individual private members of the corps. On the contrary, their opinion was that the most desirable thing for them to do was to increase, as far as possible, the efficiency of the officers and non-commissioned officers of the Volunteer corps—an opinion in which he believed those hon. Gentlemen connected with the Volunteer Force would concur. They felt that it was desirable that the officers and noncommissioned officers should be better trained to the performance of their military duties, and with that view they proposed that the eight officers and noncommissioned officers in each company should be able to earn an additional £2 10s. each—an amount which would be equal to an additional 5s. capitation grant over the whole of the Force. Those were the views which he entertained, and, if approved by the Committee, he hoped to have an opportunity, shortly after the separation of Parliament, to confer with some of the most experienced officers of the Volunteer Force upon the arrangements necessary to carry the proposal into effect.

said, he hoped that his right hon. Friend (Mr. Cardwell) would remember that, although it was quite right that the officers should have an opportunity of earning more money, there were many officers who occupied rather peculiar positions; and he doubted whether his right hon. Friend's proposal would have the effect his right hon. Friend imagined. In some instances the presence of an officer, though but rarely given, was necessary to the success of a corps, and the time of others, again, was too much absorbed in trade or business to allow of their devoting themselves so assiduously to their duties as would be necessary. He believed it would be found the opinion of the Volunteer officers, whom his right hon. Friend proposed to consult, that the men ought to be allowed to earn an additional capitation grant by their own efficiency.

said, he was sorry that a general debate upon the subject of our Reserved Force had not been raised, and that a legitimate occasion so far as could be seen would not now be offered for such a debate. The statement just made by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Cardwell) with respect to the Volunteer Force had probably taken those hon. Members who were Volunteers somewhat by surprise, and they could not therefore venture to criticize with that freedom and decision which they otherwise would have done the details of a scheme which they now heard for the first time. It appeared to him, however, that the Government had arrived at a solution of the difficulty which would scarcely be satisfactory to the general body of the Volunteer Force. The Committee, of which he had been a Member, had gone into the matter with great care, but none of the recommendations which they had laid before his right hon. Friend had been approved; and as that Committee had been selected with great impartiality and represented all portions of the country, it could hardly be expected that this wholesale rejection of their recommendations would give much satisfaction. He could not refrain from urging upon his right hon. Friend that which he had often urged before—the necessity of giving the officers a little more hold upon their men. Considering that a great deal of the expenses incurred were now borne by the men themselves, it would not well be possible to impose more discipline upon them as matters now stood. He believed, however, that this object might be attained by giving them some trifling exemptions, such as from serving on juries. Until we had a ballot for the Militia, and exemption for those who belonged to any other arm of the service, we should never have a satisfactory Reserve Force.

said, he took the same view as his hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Barttelot), that we should do everything in our power to make the men themselves efficient.

said, he held that any extension of power to the officers, such as had been advocated by the noble Lord (Viscount Bury), would be extremely unpopular. He hoped any additional contribution to the Volunteers would be in consideration of their efficiency. There need be no fear, under present circumstances, that the Volunteers would not be anxious to make themselves efficient. He hoped opportunity would be given them of acquiring in large numbers a better knowledge of drill in connection with the Forces of the Line.

Vote agreed to.

(2.) £68,000, Army Reserve Force, (including Enrolled Pensioners).

said, he would beg to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman could give any idea of what the Army Reserve really consisted?

said, the present Vote had nothing to do with the Militia Reserve, which was liable to be called on foreign service, and whose number was complete at 20,000. The latest Returns, with regard to the Army Reserve, showed that the First Class Reserve amounted to 2,108, and the Second Class to 18,507, or a total of 20,615.

Vote agreed to.

(3.) £374,900, Control Establishment, Wages, &c.

(4.) £1,428,300, Provisions, Forage, Fuel, Transport, and other Services.

(5.) £551,300, Clothing Establishments, Services and Supplies.

(6.) £820,400, Supply, Manufacture, and Repair of Warlike and other Stores.

said, the question of which he had given Notice on Vote 15 with regard to ordnance experiments had better be raised on Vote 12, which they now had reached. However, if he received an assurance from his right hon. Friend (Mr. Cardwell), that it was not intended to proceed with the experiments with the Whitworth gun which had been contemplated, and which would re-open the whole controversy, he would not, as he had intended, move to reduce the Vote by £10,000. He held in his hand a correspondence which had passed between a committee which sat at the War Office and the Admiralty since the date of the late discussion, and he was glad to find that the Admiralty, acting under the advice of the War Office, had decided that the point to which he had called attention on that occasion was one well deserving the best consideration. He rejoiced that unnecessary expenditure had been put a stop to; for if it had proceeded, it would have opened the door to a renewal of the whole Whitworth and Armstrong controversy, upon which £94,000 had been already spent.

said, that the correspondence laid before Parliament gave a guarantee that no portion of the Vote for the present year would be expended on the matter.

said, he wished to ask whether there had been any trial of that deadly instrument, the mitrailleuse; and, if so, whether it was to be compared with the field gun? Had not the result been to prove the superiority of the field gun?

said, there had been a trial of two of those instruments—an American and a Belgian. They had both been returned to their inventors for improvements; only one of them had yet come back, but the experiments would be renewed when both were in our possession.

said, he wished to ask a question with respect to the Martini-Henry rifle. It must be clear, if we were taking measures to arm our men with another deadly weapon, that weapon ought to be the very best that could be procured in the world. The question was, whether the Martini-Henry was the very best? Its admirers said that it was; but others said that a better was to be found. The question he had to ask was, to what test the right hon. Gentleman had put the Martini-Henry rifle in order to prove that it was the best weapon; and whether it had been submitted to some person who was competent to give a decided opinion as to its mechanical construction? He had been told it was defective with regard to its lock and breech-loading apparatus. That was a point of the greatest importance to us as a nation. The weapon served out to the British Army ought to stand all the tests that could be applied. He would like to hear that every opportunity had been and was being given to secure that the best arm should be introduced into the service.

said, it was most desirable that the House and the country should be informed what was our exact position with regard to the small arms for the Army. A committee was first appointed by General Peel, and sat for two years at the War Office. It was presided over by Colonel Fletcher, and it recommended the adoption of the Martini-Henry rifle. He was informed that this had been succeeded by another committee, and it was desirable that the House should know something as to its deliberations.

said, the hon. and gallant Member opposite (Colonel Barttelot) had expressed exactly his own (Mr. Cardwell's) feeling—namely, that the very best small-arm should be adopted in the British Army. Colonel Fletcher's committee having reported in favour of the Martini-Henry rifle, a limited number of that arm were made and sent to Wimbledon last year, where they were seen by some of the expert riflemen engaged there. Two hundred were made as soon as the machinery was ready, and were now in the hands of the troops at home and in India. Some of the Reports received concerning them were very favourable. Colonel Fletcher's committee was still sitting, and sifted these Reports. Two distinguished Volunteer officers were members of the committee—the noble Lord the Member for Haddingtonshire (Lord Elcho), and Mr. Ross, the celebrated rifle shot, and they were paying the utmost attention to the question of the lock. They would report finally upon the Martini-Henry rifle, and his desire was that the best possible weapon should be placed in the hands of our troops at no distant period.

said, he wished to know whether the committee had the power of examining into the merits of every other rifle submitted to them?

said, he had placed no limitation upon their powers, and he presumed that the committee would exercise their discretion freely.

said, it was currently reported that in the French service there was a very superior kind of mitrailleuse. He understood that a committee had examined the weapon, but they had not yet reported upon it, and he wished to know how long that committee had been sitting? If they had been sitting some time, he thought it would have been very advantageous to them if they had had some plan of the French pattern of that arm before them.

said, he had received no official Report on the subject, though the French mitrailleuse had been described to him personally. He had no additional information to give beyond that which he had already communicated.

said, the gun-makers and manufacturers of the country complained that the committee sitting at the War Office was not a judicial committee alone, but also a constructive committee, having power to alter and amend the inventions placed before them. The gun trade of the country thought that that was most unfair, for that they, the gunmakers themselves, were quite able to alter and improve their arms. They considered that the committee was reverting to the form of the old Ordnance Committee, and making alterations in the rifles submitted to them for the benefit of those employed by the Government, and not for the general benefit of the country. The trade thought that the committee should be simply and purely a judicial committee. It was said that there was an arm which was superior to the Martini-Henry, and the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cardwell) ought to allow the two to be tested together, and reported upon by experienced officers, who had commanded regiments, and who were competent judges of such matters. Our soldiers ought to have the best rifle that could be procured for them, and not one that had been tinkered up.

said, he thought it most undesirable that the committee should be precluded from suggesting any improvement in the rifles laid before them. The object was to get in any way the best rifle that could be obtained, whether as laid before the committee, or as the result of the suggestions of the committee. He could not see that any injury thereby resulted to private manufacturers, and it would be injurious to the public service to silence the men most competent, from their experience, to suggest improvements. As to the mitrailleuse, it appeared to have been tried in Prussia and other countries, and all the inventions were a good deal alike in principle, that adopted by the French not differing materially from the rest. It consisted of a number of rifle barrels fastened together and worked by machinery, which discharged them very rapidly. Though the experiments tried in this country had not been completed, enough was known of the mitrailleuse to show the practical result of using it, and he believed that it would not prove particularly valuable or dangerous.

said, he wished to say one word with regard to the abandonment of the Whitworth gun. His hon. and gallant Friend opposite (Sir John Hay) appeared to assume that the experiments instituted by the Whitworth and Armstrong Gun Committee proved that the Whitworth gun was not a success; but the contrary was the fact. He (Mr. Vivian) had recently read very carefully the experiments made with the Whitworth gun, and the conclusion he came to was that the Whitworth gun had proved itself superior, and very greatly superior, to the other guns which were brought into competition with it. In one instance the committee reported that all the guns were upon an equality; but, with that exception, the Whitworth gun was shown to be superior to all others, and ranges were obtained which were wholly unobtainable by either the breech-loading or the muzzle-loading Armstrong. As to our field artillery, which was in the same condition as in 1865, the breech-loading 12-pounder had proved itself in almost all cases inferior to the muzzle-loading Whitworth and Armstrong, except for boat service, and he could not understand why it was allowed to remain in this inferior state. As to the large guns, the Government had been building 12-inch guns of 25 tons weight; but that weight was not sufficient to allow of the full quantity of powder which a bore of that size would consume being discharged from the gun, and the Government had now adopted the weight suggested by Sir Joseph Whitworth, and all his proportions, in all respects. The superintendent of the manufacturing department at Woolwich had, however, undertaken to produce a gun of the size which should be capable of discharging 120 lb of powder instead of 67 lb; but he thought the arrival at such a result was questionable, considering the metal to be used in the construction of the gun. Sir Joseph Whitworth had succeeded in producing a metal of enormous strength and power, and had satisfied him, and many other hon. Members capable of forming an opinion, that that metal was not liable to the ordinary conditions of steel, in that it would not burst explosively. It was 2½ times stronger than the metal employed by the Government. A great desire existed at the Admiralty to have the metal tested in guns, and it was a great misfortune to the country that that desire had not been carried out, for if it had been it might have carried us a year forward. Personally, he could not appreciate the reasoning of the Professor who advised the War Office that there was no analogy between the explosion of powder in tubes and its explosion in guns. If Sir Joseph Whitworth's gun had been tested we might have been a year more forward than we were. We should have to wait 6 or 12 months for the completion of the Woolwich gun, and if it were not successful we should then only be just where we were at present. The Government had apparently been much influenced by considerations of expense, for while the Whitworth gun would cost something like £6,000, the Woolwich gun would only cost £2,400. But very few of these large guns could be put on board our ships, and only the very best that could be got should be put on board of them. A 25-ton 12-inch gun, consuming 67 lbs. of powder, could scarcely be so good as a 30-ton 12-inch gun consuming 120 lb. of powder. He trusted no time would be lost in completing this Woolwich gun, so that we might see how we stood, for it was doubtful, indeed, whether the right course had been pursued in declining to order one of the Whitworth guns.

said, he would suggest that Sir Joseph Whitworth should make a gun of his new metal and send it down to Shoeburyness, where it could be tried with the others.

I am informed that Sir Joseph Whitworth is willing to do that, and that he has submitted a proposal to the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Horse Guards. Here we are, on the eve of a great European war, and I believe we are unable to play our part in Europe because we have got into such a muddle with our cheap and nasty system. I say it advisedly, we have pared things down to such an extent that you could not put an army of 50,000 men in the field. I agree with what has been said about arming our infantry with the best weapon; but why should not our artillery also be armed with the best weapon? Sir Joseph Whitworth is known to have greater knowledge of gunnery and of the scientific mechanism connected with it than any other man in this kingdom; and this is admitted by all except those who belong to the jealous ranks of what may be called the regular profession. Has he not revolutionized the armament of this country and of the world? Why, then, is his gun not to have a fair trial? I do not profess to have an intimate knowledge of the matter; but I have taken some pains to inform myself; and I believe that it will be found hereafter, when some other nation gets guns of this metal, that we have committed one of our usual blunders of expensive economy.

said, there were two questions involved—one affecting the artillery and the other the metal; but the two were distinct, and ought to be kept distinct, and their separation would save us from difficulty. That the Whitworth metal was not liable to burst was a theory which it was difficult to substantiate. Some experiments had taken place with small tubes of not more than three inches in diameter, but they could afford no fair test, because the explosion of charges in large guns brought into play a certain set of conditions, the cause of which was unknown, and which destroyed the analogy between such an explosion and the explosion of powder in small tubes. Therefore experiments which were satisfactory with small tubes could not be regarded as satisfactory with large ones, and it was on these grounds that the scientific authorities of the War Office had questioned the value of the experiments which had been alluded to. What would be satisfactory would be that Sir Joseph Whitworth's steel should be further tried in order to test whether it was or was not the best metal. It had been tested in the ordinary way and returned as first-class steel. He believed that the reason of the rejection of the metal by the War Office was on account of its not being quite so dense as some others, and therefore presumably not so strong. While the War Office was quite right in not accepting it as being of extraordinary value, it would be as far wrong if it refused to try experiments until the strength and adaptability of the metal had been tested to the entire satisfaction of their professional advisers. An offer, as he understood, had been made to Sir Joseph Whitworth, that he should supply a tube of his metal as a lining for an ordinary gun, to be tested against tubes of the particular class of metal which was now used. It was said that Sir Joseph Whitworth objected to his gun being dealt with on the combination principle; but he (Captain Beaumont) thought that a more satisfactory trial could be obtained in that way than in any other, and that, under the circumstances, the War Office was justified in doubting whether, on the ground of economy, it was right to commit the Government to the cost of constructing a gun of 35 tons.

said, he did not wish to enter upon the merits of the Armstrong or Whitworth gun; but distinguished Prussian and other foreign officers had been heard to say that the English were at present armed with one of the worst guns in the world. With regard to the War Office, he entirely agreed with the remarks of the hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. Osborne); he believed it was at present in the greatest state of disorder. Two days ago he heard that on the occasion of the "fatal march" a requisition was made for water-bottles; but when the water was served out, every one of the bottles leaked, and the result was that the Commandant at Woolwich relieved the thirsty troops with two barrels of water. He had also been told that there was the greatest difficulty in finding the proper fuses for shells. He only trusted that if England went to war — though he hoped that would not be the case—the country would not be found as unprepared as at the time of the Crimean War. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cardwell) would not be led away by the cry of retrenchment, for those who raised that cry would be the first to turn round on him, if any unforeseen accident occurred. He (Lord Eustace Cecil) had expected that the First Minister of the Crown would have come down that day to say that it was absolutely necessary that some extra Supply should be granted for the Army and Navy. The right hon. Gentleman had not done so; but he (Lord Eustace Cecil) trusted, nevertheless, that no long time would elapse before the country was placed in an efficient state not only of defence, but also of offence, should occasion require.

said, he had heard that the other day nine regiments could muster only 3,000 men on parade. He should be glad to hear that some decision had been come to in regard to the pattern of field artillery. He wished to know whether it was proposed to substitute for the breech-loading Armstrong gun a muzzle-loading gun, stated to be an improvement on the French pattern?

said, the question of fuses was intimately connected with the use of breech-loading or muzzle-loading guns. There was some doubt whether they had acted wisely in using the breech-loader as a field gun. The committee which had been appointed to consider the matter with reference to India had determined to adopt the muzzle-loader; and he had thought it right, therefore, to send down a battery of those guns to Aldershot on trial. Sir Joseph Whitworth had been asked to supply the Government with his metal, for there were two points to be considered. The mode of making the metal might be the best, while the principle on which the guns were constructed might not be the most perfect. The recent investigations with regard to gunpowder, which were extremely curious, had the most important bearing on this question. The Admiralty first desired to have a 35-ton gun. The matter was referred to the Ordnance Council, consisting of a number of most competent men, and the decision of the Council was unanimous.

said, he had asked for a Return some time ago with regard to the expenditure incurred in connection with the Armstrong and Whitworth and other large guns, and also with regard to the small bores, but he had not yet received the Papers. He thought there was much to complain of in respect to the enormous expense the country was put to for the trial of guns, considering the unsatisfactory results which had been obtained. If the Government would offer a handsome premium for the best gun there would no doubt be plenty of manufacturers who would compete for it, and that would be a cheaper and surer way of securing success.

said, he wished to know whether any money was taken in the Estimates for the construction of the Moncrieff gun-carriage, and whether it had yet passed out of the experimental stage? The carriage was accepted as satisfactory, yet only two or three had been manufactured, nor had any experiments been made as to the effect of a shot or a fragment of a shell on them, though their chief virtue was supposed to lie in their defensive power. We were in the position of a man who should buy a horse for use and not ornament, and yet should never take the animal out of the stable.

said, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would not be led by anything that had been said about retrenchment in this debate to alter the management of the War Office. He was perfectly satisfied that extravagance did not produce efficiency, and that inefficiency was not the necessary result of economy. He wished to ask how soon the Volunteers would be armed with breechloaders, as he was satisfied that they were depressed by being armed with an obsolete weapon.

said, the store of breech-loaders had been kept low, because he had not yet got the Report upon the Martini-Henry rifle, and it must be obvious to the Committee that it would not be desirable to make a number of breech-loaders until the new pattern had been determined upon. There were at present in stock only 300,000 Sniders, the usual number being 400,000, and, therefore, as soon as he received the Report on the Martini-Henry rifle, he would proceed with the manufacture of the new breech-loaders. With regard to the Moncrieff gun-carriage experiments had been and would be made, and as to the cost of them he apprehended it would be found in the item for wages in the manufacturing department.

Vote agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £700,400, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Expenses of the Superintending Establishment of, and Charges for, Works, Buildings, and Repairs, at Home and Abroad, which will come in course of payment from the 1st day of April 1870 to the 31st day of March 1871, inclusive."

said, he wished to call the attention of the Committee to the item of £5,000 for the repair of Knightsbridge Barracks, a work on which it was contemplated to spend £12,000. He asked whether it was wise to spend that large sum of money on a building in such a state of repair? The present Chancellor of the Exchequer was one of a deputation some years ago in reference to the state of the barracks, when he strongly condemned them and said they ought to be removed. When the Committee considered the amount it was proposed to spend on the Prince Consort's Memorial, the Hall of Arts and Sciences, and the South Kensington Museum, they would probably agree with him in thinking that it would not be right to spend £12,000 on those barracks. Believing that £1,000 would be sufficient to provide for all present necessary repairs, he moved to reduce the Vote by £4,000.

said, he understood that the days of Knightsbridge Barracks were numbered, and that that building was to be removed.

said, he would save his noble Friend the necessity of discussing the matter further by consenting to the withdrawal of that item of £5,000.

said, he wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the idea of removing Knightsbridge Barracks had been abandoned?

said, the idea had not been abandoned, for it had not been definitely entertained, and he did not know where else the barracks could be put.

said, he hoped there would be a further explanation on this point, which had caused much public anxiety. While he was in Office the deputation which had been referred to waited on him; after much deliberation he resolved to keep the barracks in their present position; and, indeed, he knew no other place where they could properly be put. The barracks were chiefly objected to by the owners of the houses that had been built in the neighbourhood, and his obvious answer to their arguments was that they had brought their houses to the barracks—to which they could make no reply. By the outlay of a moderate sum the barracks might be made fit for their purpose; but to remove them would be very difficult, and would involve an immense expenditure which he thought was not called for. As the right hon. Gentleman had withdrawn the item for the repair of the barracks, it should be understood whether it was his intention to change the policy of his Predecessor, and side with those whom he might call the enemies of the barracks.

said, he only wished to put himself in precisely the same position as his Predecessor. He did not wish to ask for any money on account of Knightsbridge Barracks, because he had ascertained that this year could be got through without any expenditure on them. With regard to the maintenance or removal of the barracks, he was not prepared to give a positive answer on the subject. He had no other plan, and, therefore, could not say a word in favour of removal; on the other hand, if he knew of any satisfactory plan by which the wishes of the neighbourhood could be met, without inconvenience being given to the public service, he should not think it right to object.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That the Item of £5,000, for Knightsbridge Barracks, Alterations, and Repairs, be omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Mr. Secretary Cardwell.)

Question put, and agreed to.

begged to call attention to the amount of £3,000 for providing billiard-rooms, an item of which he did not approve, and which he hoped would not be seen in future Estimates.

said, he wished to ask, whether the Secretary for War had on hand a plan for a model barrack, and whether the time had elapsed during which the right hon. Gentleman felt himself obliged to employ a particular architect? The barrack at Chelsea was a most expensive one, and gave general dissatisfaction.

said, he had not entered upon the consideration of any plan for the new barrack, and was not able to answer the question.

(7.) Original Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

£695,400, Works and Buildings.

(8.) £139,300, Establishments for Military Education.

(9.) Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £50,600, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Expense of Sundry Miscellaneous Services, which will come in course of payment from the 1st day of April 1870 to the 31st day of March 1871, inclusive."

said, that one of the items—£2,000 for experiments connected with torpedoes — was very small, and as our fortifications were not in so satisfactory a state as they could have hoped, and as the great importance of torpedoes was now admitted by most military men, especially for defensive purposes, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would not neglect the opportunity of developing, as far as possible, that important branch of our defensive works.

said, he fully acknowledged the importance of the Question of torpedoes; but he would remind the hon. and gallant Gentleman that the torpedoes were already provided for under a separate head in the Store Votes. This item was only for experiments, and he had been told upon the best professional authority that the sum was sufficient.

said, he would draw attention to the fact that £5 5s. was put down as the public subscription to each of the following hospitals:—St. George's, Brompton Consumption, Convalescent, and Small Pox. Soldiers derived a great deal of benefit from these institutions, and he must express his regret that the subscription was so paltry in amount.

said, he had only asked for the same amount as had been granted in former years.

said, the sum which was required for an annual governorship in the hospitals in question had probably been fixed on as the amount of subscription, although no doubt it was very small.

said, he hoped the subject would be considered before next Session, and that the subscriptions would be increased.

said, he would not pledge himself to ask for a larger sum next year. But if it appeared that we got more than we could reasonably ask for our subscriptions, he would.

said, he objected to the item of £600 for the salary and travelling expenses of the Inspector under the Contagious Diseases Act. He moved the reduction of the Vote by that amount.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That the Item of £600, for Salary and Travelling Expenses of the Inspector under the Contagious Diseases Act, be omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Mr. Miller)

said, the policy of the Act was one thing, and the duty of the Executive to carry the Act into effect was another. While it remained in force the Executive should not be left without the means of defraying the expenses in connection with it. The Inspector was a most meritorious officer.

said, he would remind the Committee that this question had been debated at considerable length when an hon. Member took notice that Strangers were in the Gallery. The question was adjourned till Wednesday next, when a Motion would again be made that strangers be ordered to withdraw. He thought the Vote should be reduced.

Question put, and negatived.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(10.) £27,300, Rewards for Distinguished Services, &c.

(11.) £73,000, Pay of General Officers.

(12.) £598,000, Full Pay of Reduced and Retired Officers and Half Pay.

(13.) £155,300, Widows' Pensions, &c.

(14.) £20,800, Pensions for Wounds.

(15.) £36,000, Chelsea and Kilmainham Hospitals (in Pension).

said, he desired to learn what decision had been come to with regard to Chelsea Hospital, and whether it had been determined, as reported, that the vacancies which occurred should not be filled up?

said, he wished to ask what attention was to be paid to the recommendations that had been made that the schools of these hospitals should be made instrumental in training and rearing young men for the Army? Some such plan might be adopted with benefit, and he wished, therefore, to know whether the suggestion was under consideration?

, in reply, said, that the subject referred to by the right hon. Baronet had been under the consideration of the Royal Commission on Education, and their Report would, probably, convey the views of the Members upon the subject.

said, in reply to the hon. and gallant Member opposite (Colonel North), he had to state that the Report of the Committee appointed to inquire into the Chelsea and Kilmainham Hospitals had only just been printed, and there had not yet been sufficient time to allow of its being considered.

said, he trusted that it was not, at all events, the intention of the Government to abolish the Chelsea Hospital before the reassembling of Parliament.

Vote agreed to.

(16.) £1,220,100, Out Pensions.

(17.) £148,300, Superannuation Allowances.

(18.) £18,000, Non-effective Services (Militia, Yeomanry Cavalry, and Volunteer Corps).

House resumed.

Resolutions to be reported To-morrow;

Committee to sit again upon Wednesday.