(5.) £15,000, Metropolitan Police Courts.
(6.) £8,500, New Palace at Westminster and further Embankment of the River Thames.
said, the Government ought to explain why these Supplementary Estimates were not brought forward at an early period of the Session. He protested against the Committee pledging the House by the adoption of that Vote to a very large expenditure of money. The sum of £8,500 was a portion of an expenditure of £35,000, that would be required to complete the work of embankment. and would lead to the expenditure of £138,000 for the completion of the buildings to be erected thereon. The Government ought to show the Committee that they could not bring on the Vote at an earlier period of the Session; and if they could not satisfactorily explain it, the Vote ought to stand over until next year. He was led to insist upon that course, the more especially as neither plans nor estimates had been furnished showing the need of the outlay. Before the right hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner of Works acceded to office he often insisted that piecemeal Votes of this sort should not be agreed to before the Government explained what was the total amount of the expenditure contemplated.
said, it was quite true that when he sat in the place now occupied by his hon. Friend, he always contended for the principle, with regard to the administration of the Office of Works, that no Estimate should be proposed unless at the same time the whole expenditure to which that Vote would lead was fully brought under the consideration of the Committee, because he had repeatedly observed that Estimates which appeared to sanction but a small expenditure at first were but the beginning of a very much larger outlay. He was sorry he was not able to vindicate that view with reference to the present Estimate. It was an Estimate with which, though in a certain form prepared by himself as First Commissioner of Works, he was not in reality responsible. It was prepared in its present form by the Treasury, and proposed on their own responsibility, and he had first seen it, like other hon. Members of the House, when it was distributed as a Parliamentary Paper. That, therefore, entirely acquitted the Department over which he presided. He could not tell the Committee what the nature or the extent of the expenditure was to be, because he was not in possession of information on the subject. All he could say was that this Embankment was for the purpose of obtaining land on the bank of the river Thames, embanking it to form a terrace in continuation of the terrace in front of the Houses of Parliament, he understood with the purpose of erecting public offices on some portion of the land. What those public office were to be, or what they would cost, he did not in the smallest degree know. As to the question of the hon. Gentleman—namely, what urgent necessity was there for bringing these Estimates before the House of Commons at that period of the Session—he could not give him the least information on that point. If it was urgent that this Embankment should be made, and that the erection of these public offices should be commenced, of course, it was urgent that the Committee should vote the money. If there was no urgency in the matter he thought it might be postponed till next Session.
protested against Estimates being brought forward in the last few days of the Session. The Government ought to inform the Committee why these Estimates had not been brought forward at an earlier period of the Session, and also show why they could not now be postponed till next year. A very bad system had been pursued lately. At an early period of the Session the Government got certain sums "on account" which they required, but they consulted their own convenience, and not that of the House, as to when they got the remainder; and the consequence was, that the Estimates were put off till near the close of the Session.
hoped the Secretary to the Treasury was able to give the Committee the explanation which was due from the Government, the right hon. Gentleman the First Commisioner having declared his ignorance of the subject.
protested against one Department of the Government being made responsible by another Department with reference to expenditure, without any information being given to the Department thus made responsible of the reasons for that expenditure. This matter of Ministerial responsibility was becoming serious. The First Commissioner of Works was fully imbued with the principles of economy, and he was ready at all times to carry them out at all risks. He had a great respect for the right hon. Gentleman; but it appeared he was totally ignorant why, and for what this expenditure was required. It was right the Committee should know if the Treasury could impose on the Board of Works, for which he (Mr. Ayrton) was not responsible, the carrying out a scheme of expenditure of which he knew nothing. He, therefore, trusted the House would set its face against that scheme of expenditure.
said, the Vote was headed "Acquisition of land and Embankment;" but during last year and the two previous years the principle had been strongly laid down by Her Majesty's Government, that all works for the embankment of the Thames should be executed at the expense of the metropolitan ratepayers, and not at the expense of the country. He wished to know why that principle was not adhered to in the present instance; and, whether it was absolutely necessary, in reference to the Palace of Westminster, that that additional piece of embankment should be constructed? If the hon. Member pressed his Amendment to a division, he should give him his support unless these questions were answered satisfactorily.
proceeded to explain the matter by stating that there formerly existed beyond the Victoria Tower, and in dangerous proximity to the Houses of Parliament, a large stack of old buildings, which, together with the land on which they stood, were purchased by the Government under an Act of Parliament, and the houses were then pulled down in order to prevent the danger of their taking fire, which might be communicated to the Palace, and it was now proposed to embank the land which had thus become the property of the Government. It was deemed desirable that a building should be erected fronting the Victoria Tower, one of its flanks resting on the river, and the other on Abingdon Street, and of a sufficient height to screen the buildings beyond from the Houses of Parliament; but before such a building was erected, it would be necessary that the land should be embanked, in order to provide the necessary extent of ground for it to stand upon. Taking into consideration the very advantageous situation of the property, it was intended that the building to be erected upon it should be appropriated to public purposes—probably it would be used for the purposes of Royal and other Commissions, the lodgings for such Bodies at present entailing considerable expense on the country. The cause of the delay had arisen from the doubts and difficulties that had existed how the land should be laid out. Seeing what had already been done in the way of embanking the Thames by the Metropolitan Board of Works, it was only fair that the Government should do their own share of the work, and the Committee, he hoped, would not object to that course. He trusted that the hon. Member would not press his Amendment.
regarded that discussion as a striking proof of the inconvenience occasioned by the Government postponing Votes until the end of the Session when they could not be properly discussed.
in view of the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the proposed new building was to be appropriated for Royal and other Commissions, wished to know from the First Commissioner of Works, whether there were not a large number of unoccupied rooms in the Palace which were well fitted for the purposes of such Commissions?
said, he had no objection to the Embankment scheme, but he wished to know, if the Committee sanctioned the Vote, whether it would pledge them to the erection of any new public offices? When the ground in question was purchased, they were told it was to be cleared so as to guard against the possibility of fire from the adjoining houses; but now they were going to put up new buildings upon it, which would be exposed to fire from the houses which lay beyond it. Were they to buy up those houses, too? If so, he did not see where the process would end.
explained that by agreeing to the Vote the House would in no way be pledged to provide funds for the erection of any building whatever. The Vote was for embankment only. It was intended that the interval between the new building and the Houses of Parliament should be more than the 150 feet prescribed by the Act of Parliament, in order to protect the Houses of Parliament against fire. It was desirable that the proposed building should be erected in order to shut out the view of the low class of property which lay beyond.
complained that the Vote had been put upon the Paper in so am- biguous a form that it was impossible for an uninitiated person not connected with a Government Department to imagine that it was intended for the purposes which had been explained. It had led him to believe that the Embankment was to be constructed between the Palace and the river, and not in continuation of the Palace river terrace. He thought it very desirable there should be an Embankment in the direction proposed, and he should have been prepared to vote for a larger sum, and for a further continuation of the Embankment.
also expressed his approval of the plan, which was the proper complement to the original purchase of the property. As the House had bought the property, they ought to put it into a proper condition and make it useful.
in answer to the question put by the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. White) said, it was quite true that there were numerous rooms in the Palace which had not been used for many years, but which at one time he had thought might be used for the purposes of Commissions. When, however, he thought thus, he was not aware that the Treasury contemplated erecting a block of buildings for that purpose. If the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. White) had adverted to an opinion which he formerly expressed in the House; he must now be pleased to consider that opinion as obsolete. With regard to this particular Vote, there was, perhaps, thus much to be said in favour of it. The land in question was of considerable extent, and it was necessary that part of it should be left unoccupied for the purpose of protecting the Palace from fire, by not allowing other buildings to be in close contact with it. The land gained from the river by embanking in front of the land to be left vacant would be a part of that protection; but the expense of making the Embankment for that land would not amount to anything like the sum stated in the Vote. The rest of the Embankment would be an improvement of the remaining land for any purpose whatever. The hon. Member for Warrington (Mr. Rylands) had challenged him with having brought forward a proposal which was contrary to the views lie had expressed, and he wished to explain that he had done nothing of the kind. So far as related to the construction of the Embankment, that was a part of the question which stood entirely on its own merits, and the House was perfectly able to pronounce a judgment on the matter. For himself, he thought that it would be necessary. The erection of buildings for the accommodation of Commissions, or any other purpose, was, however, a totally different matter, and one on which he would rather not express an opinion until after a full investigation of what was proposed, and of the necessity for it, and the expense that might have to be incurred. As he had no information on the subject, beyond what he had heard in the House, he was no wiser than any other Member of the Committee.
thought that among the numerous virtues which his right hon. Friend possessed, there was one which hon. Members had scarcely given him credit for before that evening—he meant diffidence. It was quite clear he was most anxious to impress upon the Committee that he knew nothing about the erection of the buildings in question, and that he was seized with a strong desire to obtain all the information which he could from the Government to which he belonged. As the Committee appeared to be equally in the same state of dense ignorance and helplessness as his right hon. Friend, on their part, and on behalf of his right hon. Friend, he should like to hear the reason why it was proposed to embark upon an expenditure to which he could see no limit. It was the duty of the Committee to refuse to grant money unless they were made aware hoc it was to be laid out, and he was glad to think that five years on the Treasury Bench had not debauched that virtue for which his right hon. Friend was distinguished as an advocate of economy when he sat below the gangway. Governments might come and go, but virtue, like the river, "ran on for ever."
wished to know, whether the new club-house being erected at the end of Westminster Bridge was not being built in violation of the rule that no building should be raised within 150 feet of the Houses of Parliament?
asked the Committee to resist the Vote. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had not assigned any reason why, even if it were ultimately required, the Vote could not be post- poned till next year. The right hon. Gentleman appeared to be ignorant of the fact, that in the large building in which they were then assembled, there were rooms that were utterly unused, and no steps were ever taken to utilize them; yet they were now asked to embark on a large expenditure for buildings, without its being shown for what purpose they were wanted. He hoped the Vote would be withdrawn until next year.
pointed out that the scheme which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had explained, would be proposed to the House at some future time; but that the Committee were simply asked on the present occasion to grant the sum necessary for the construction of the Embankment, which was a work it was necessary to have done whether buildings were erected on the property or not. The Estimate had not been brought forward earlier because it was not until the beginning of June that the arrangement mentioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been made. The Embankment, he might add, would be proceeded with as soon as possible.
pointed out that the money asked for was, in accordance with the statement of the First Commissioner of Works, more than sufficient for the construction of the Embankment. If there was to be some other work beyond that undertaking, plans ought, he maintained, to have been laid before Parliament.
said, that the money was intended for the Embankment only.
pointed out that, if that were so, the money should have been asked for as an Ordinary and not in the shape of a Supplementary Estimate.
remarked that the length of the proposed Embankment would be greater than the 150 feet which was said to be necessary for the protection of the Houses of Parliament.
Vote agreed to.
(7.) £28,740, Embassy Houses at Vienna and Washington.
said, that that Vote should not have been brought on now. If the Government were not prepared to include it in the Ordinary Estimates, they might have postponed it altogether. He now asked the Committee to reject it, because looking at the cost of the Embassy houses of Great Britain at Paris and Constantinople, they had been exposed to so heavy an expenditure, as not to feel any encouragement to enter upon any increase of it. In 28 years, according to Returns before Parliament, the Embassy house at Paris had cost the country £158,799; while the Embassy house at Constantinople had cost £378,203, or together, nearly £500,000. The reason which had induced the Foreign Office to own a house at Constantinople was, that it could take means to protect it from fire, it having been burnt down 30 or 40 years ago; and yet, when it was burnt down a year or two ago, it appeared that the neglect of all ordinary precautions against fire had been disgraceful, that the water tanks were empty, and that the fine-engines were unworkable. A great disadvantage in having a large palace was, that it involved all Ambassadors alike in the necessity of maintaining large establishments, whether they wished to do so or not. These large sums were far from representing what those establishments cost the country, and though it was used as an argument in their favour, when their erection was proposed, that they would be a great saving to the country, there could be no question that it would be much cheaper to hire a suitable residence for an Ambassador. The fact was, that these gentlemen put a strong pressure on the Government, and the Government yielded to it. An Ambassador went out to his post, and found the house occupied by his predecessor too large or too small, and then complaints were made, and it was represented that it would be better and cheaper to provide a house, and the consequence was, that it was determined to provide, furnish, and maintain houses large enough for all. The house at Paris cost £1,000 a-year to light and warm; there were similar charges at Constantinople, and some of these payments were made to the servants on the establishment. The present Vote included £14,000 for Vienna and £14,700 for Washington; and the total sums it was proposed to spend were £42,000 at Vienna and £31,000 at Washington. He hoped the Committee would support him in resisting this expenditure by refusing the Vote.
remarked that the situation with regard to the signing of the Treaty of Vienna was being repeated now in the case of the new Commercial Treaty with Paris. The Revenues of the country were about to be pledged, without the House having an opportunity of expressing itself.
rose to Order.
said, the hon. Member must be aware that he was not addressing himself to the subject-matter of the Vote.
said, he should make his remarks the subject of a Question to the Government.
said, that our ownership of Embassy houses had been twice recommended by Committees of the House of Commons on economical grounds. The recommendation had been insufficiently attended to, owing to the prevalence of an unwise parsimony; and it was well worth the attention of the Committee, now that they were dealing with the cases of Vienna and Washington to take into their consideration the Embassy houses at Rome and Berlin, which were very inadequate as regarded accommodation. In the latter place, they had rented a house on a short lease at £1,000 a-year; but on the expiration of the lease, they would not be able to replace it, under at least £1,500 a-year. There was no more economical Government than that of Prussia, which had bought Embassy houses, he believed, not only in all the principal capitals of Europe, but also in the smaller capitals, and such a course had been found most advantageous. He felt perfectly convinced that if the Committee refused to endorse the Vote, or if Parliament set itself against purchasing sites for our Embassy houses, the expenditure of the country, so far from being diminished, would be very much increased.
said, it was not at the largeness, but at the smallness of the sum asked for in the Vote that he was surprised. He rejoiced that the Government had taken the matter in hand; but he wished to obtain from the Government some assurance that £42,000 in the one case and £31,000 in the other represented the whole amount which would be required.
begged, in the first place, to remind hon. Gentlemen of the Resolution agreed to by the Select Committee on the Consular and Diplomatic Services, of which both himself and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Warrington were Members, to the effect that though it would be attended with some increase of charge on the Exchequer, the Committee agreed in the opinion expressed by the Committee of 1861, that it would be of advantage to the public service that there should be permanent official residences in all the large capitals for the heads of Missions. The allowance for the Embassy house at Vienna had up to the 31st of March of last year been £1,200 a-year. Since then it had been £1,500. The facts were as follow:—The lease of the present Embassy house expired on the 1st of November of the" present year, and could not be renewed. The allowance for house rent made to the Ambassador was £1,200 a-year, for which sum he found it utterly impossible to find a house in any way suited for an Embassy. Under these circumstances, he entered into negotiations with the Ban Verein, a Vienna building society, who seemed at first disposed to build a house and let it to the Embassy on a long lease for a sum not exceeding the allowance. As the negotiations proceeded, however, it became evident that the company would not give a long lease at all, being made cautious by the steady rise in value of house property; they would only consent either to sell outright, or to let on a short lease at a high rate of interest for their money. The offer was then put in this shape—For sale, a sum of about £26,000 was required; for that sum the company would make over land and build the house. For a lease they would not take less than £2,200 for a term of 15 years; or £1,520 (after considerable bargaining) for a term of six years. Upon these propositions Her Majesty's Government had to decide. The Embassy must be housed, and the Ambassador had with great difficulty found temporary accommodation for a year from the 1st of November next for £1,700 a-year, this accommodation being in many ways very unsuitable for the purpose. There could be no doubt that the most economical course was to buy; the price eventually agreed upon for sale was about £27,000, representing, at 30 years' purchase, an annual sum of about £1,100. If at any time the house built had to be sold, it could hardly fail to prove a good investment. With regard to Washington the case was this—The building of a Legation house at Washington had long been contemplated, having been advocated by Sir Frederick Bruce. The present house was obtained with great difficulty, was inconvenient, and had only a very short lease. The choice lay between purchasing land and building upon it, purchasing a house, or obtaining one on a long lease. No house of a proper size could be found with a long lease; when one was offered for sale in August last, which, with necessary additions and furniture, would have cost about £21,150, Sir Edward Thornton was allowed to buy it, whereupon the proprietor increased the price, and the offer was declined with the approval of the Government. This year the question became urgent, as he was to vacate his present abode, and nothing was obtainable except at an extravagant price, increased by the knowledge that the house was wanted for Her Majesty's Legation. Sir Edward Thornton was there upon allowed to purchase a site on his own responsibility. One containing 29,055 square feet was found in a fairly favourable situation for £2,741, which, for fear of losing, he agreed to purchase and pay down the money on the 25th of April. On the 22nd of April he received the necessary sanction, and plans and descriptions of the house which is to be built, have since been sent home, which have been adopted after some alteration by the Board of Works. His hon. Friend had no idea how enormously house rents had increased in the capitals of Europe, and he (Viscount Enfield) agreed with the hon. Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Cartwright), that if, following the example of the German Government, they had purchased land and built houses some years ago, they would have found it a most economical arrangement for the country. In Berlin the lease of the Embassy house would expire in 1876, and the landlord would not renew the lease except at double the present rent. Offers had been made by other parties, but the amounts demanded were most extravagant, and far higher than in Vienna. For one house, and that of an inferior character, £45,000 was asked. Another house was offered for £112,500. But those were all de- clined. Another person offered his house for £300,000. That was not accepted either. The house of Prince Adelbert was in the field for sale, and the price asked for it was from £50,000 to £60,000. He trusted, after the explanation he had given, the Committee would not think that very disadvantageous terms had been made.
said, as he had been in Washington last year, he wished to state that if the thing could be done for £31,000 it would be an excellent bargain. If we could get an Embassy house in Washington, in which the Embassy could be properly lodged for such a sum, he believed the arrangement would he one which would do credit to the most economical Government that ever existed.
also approved the arrangement as being economical.
recommended the Government to build or buy an Embassy house at Rome, where the price of land and houses was rising enormously.
Vote agreed to.
(8.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
"That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £5,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge winch will conic in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1874, for the Superintendence of Convict Establishments, and for the Maintenance of Convicts in Convict Establishments in England and the Colonies."
In answer to Mr. F. S. POWELL,
said, that Millbank, which was built in the beginning of the present century, was a cluster of six or seven prisons, and so ill-adapted to its present purpose that it was intended to replace it by a new prison at Wormwood Scrubs. Millbank was an exceedingly expensive prison, in consequence of the large proportion of warders required, and the number of warders who, for want of accommodation, were obliged to live outside the prison. In exchange for the £10,300 required for the site at Wormwood Scrubs, the Government would gain 24 acres in the middle of Westminster, and of much greater value. The new prison would be built by convict labour at a cheap rate, and the whole building would cost less than the sum sacrificed by the present costly establishment. There was, therefore, good reason to believe that the exchange would be highly economical and advantageous.
said, it was commonly reported that Millbank Prison was to be turned into a cavalry barrack. It was said to be an unhealthy place for prisoners, and it did not seem therefore very fit for a cavalry barrack.
said, he was not aware to what purpose Millbank was to be turned by the Government.
asked how many prisoners the new gaol at Wormwood Scrubs would contain?
said, that the number at Mill bank at present was 1,277, and there was no reason to suppose that the number would be less hereafter.
said, he rose at the same time with the hon. and gallant Member for West Sussex (Colonel Barttelot) to put the same question. He did not think the Home Secretary had answered the question, whether the convict prison at Millbank was to be turned into a cavalry barrack? If the Embankment were continued upwards from Westminster Bridge, it would be desirable that Milbank should be occupied by buildings more ornamental than either a prison or a barrack. Perhaps, if the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary were not in a position to give the House an assurance on the subject, the Secretary of State for War could tell the Committee whether Millbank was to be turned into a cavalry barrack.
said, it could never be supposed for a moment that the prison would be turned into a barrack. It had been long intended to remove the cavalry barracks from Knightsbridge, and among the places contemplated for the site of a new barrack was Millbank. That, however, was not the ground on which the present Vote was asked.
said, that as the right hon. Gentleman declined to pledge himself that the Milbank site would not be adopted for the barracks, he should like to know where the saving was to be effected?
said, the value of the Crown land upon which Knightsbridge Barracks now stood was very considerable. But he was not committing himself, or asking the House to commit itself, to any definite opinion as to the place to which these barracks would be removed.
said, he should like to know if it was intended to build private houses on the site of the Kensington Barracks?
said, the subject referred to was not in his Department, and suggested that the question should not be discussed in the present Session.
said, he was compelled to move the omission of the Vote, with the view of eliciting from the Government some expression of their determination with reference to the erection of cavalry barracks on the site of Milbank Prison.
said, he was quite unable to give a definite answer when a definite proposition had not been arrived at.
supported the Amendment. That was not a mere question of erecting a new prison, but part of a general scheme with all the details of which they ought to be made acquainted.
suggested that further time should not be wasted in discussing a question which had already been fully considered.
The Committee divided:—Ayes 129; Noes 45: Majority 84.
(9.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
"That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £26,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1874, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Commissioners of Police, of the Police Courts, and of the Metropolitan Police Establishment of Dublin."
in moving the Supplementary Vote of £26,000 for the Salaries and Expenses of the Commissioners of Police, the Police Courts, and Metropolitan Police Establishment of Dublin, said, the question of the pay of the Metropolitan Police and the Irish Constabulary had been inquired into by a Commission, which reported in favour of a considerable increase of pay to both Forces, and he thought that every hon. Member who had read the Report, and the grounds on which it was based—namely, the increased facilities which men eligible for that Force had of obtaining employment and good pay in England—would come to the conclusion that the increased pay which was recommended was fully warranted by the circumstances. An additional amount of £12,600 had already been voted in the ordinary Estimates, and the sum now asked would make the total increase for the year £38,600. This sum would include four months' extra pay before the commencement of this present financial year, in accordance with the recommendation of the Commission, and the total annual increase for future years would be £28,700. Of the entire annual charge for the police service a considerable sum was drawn from local resources. The Consolidated Fund contributed 51½per cent, and local taxation 48½ per cent. If, of the additional sum now moved for, the City of Dublin contributed the former proportion, it would be a tax of 4d. in the pound. Having regard, however, to the high taxation of the City of Dublin, the Government were willing to fix the tax, not at 4d., but at 2d. in the pound; but, as the question of local taxation was being considered by Parliament, it was thought that for the present the Imperial taxation ought to bear the entire increase. It was not, however, to be understood that that state of things was to continue beyond the present year, and he therefore hoped to be able to propose to Parliament next Session a measure for the purpose of dividing on some equitable basis that additional expenditure between the Dublin police district and the Imperial Exchequer.
said, a fortnight ago he gave Notice of his intention to move a Resolution to the effect that the people of Dublin should be called upon to pay a further portion of the expenses of their police, instead of the Consolidated Fund being called upon to pay the amount it was. He found, however, that the Forms of the House would not allow him to move that Resolution, and he should now move the reduction of the Vote by £25,000. [Laughter.] The Committee might appear startled, but the facts of the case were startling. In the Miscellaneous Estimates for the present year the increased cost of the Dublin police was put at £13,000, and now they had an Estimate for an additional £26,000, making the increase for this year alone £39,000. He found that the Dublin police force cost the Government no less than £106,784; indeed, as other sums, amounting together to over £11,000, obtained from the taxes on carriages and pawnbrokers' licences, were paid for the same purpose, it might be said the Dublin police force cost the national Exchequer over £118,000. That was a most extravagant expenditure. In all England outside the metropolitan area, the police cost the Government £290,000, and in all Scotland the cost was £45,000. The Dublin police cost, therefore, two-and-a-half times as much as those in all Scotland, and taking England and Scotland together, the Dublin police cost the country one-third more. The population of England and Scotland, outside the metropolitan area, was 22,000,000, and the population of Dublin was about 300,000. That large expenditure was going on from bad to worse, and it seemed that the more peaceful Ireland became the greater was the police force required in Dublin. By-and-by Parliament would be asked to pay the house-rent of the people of Dublin. By that Supplementary Vote the amount which the Committee was now asked to vote for the Irish Constabulary was raised to £1,137,000, and if the Dublin police force were added the amount was increased to £1,277,000. A penny in the pound might be taken off the income tax in England and Scotland, if the Irish people would pay their own police expenses.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
"That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £1,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1874, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Commissioners of Police, of the Police Courts, and of the Metropolitan Police Establishment of Dublin."—(Mr. M'Laren.)
said, he wished to remind the Committee that it was an arrangement made by Sir Robert Peel that the expenses of the Irish Constabulary should fall upon the Consolidated Fund. In Dublin, however, only one-half was paid out of the Consolidated Fund, the remaining moiety being defrayed by the inhabitants. The hon. Member for Edinburgh must remember that the situations of Dublin and Edinburgh were widely different. Dublin was a seat of government, whilst Edinburgh was not. Dublin contained double the number of inhabitants that Edinburgh did; and it was a real metropolis, which Edinburgh was not. The finan- cial arrangements of the City having been concluded before the increase was granted, the Government had wisely borne the whole this year, intending that hereafter the Dublin people should pay a proportion, to which they did not object. Unless the hon. Member for Edinburgh was jealous of Dublin, he ought not to oppose the Vote.
while supporting the Vote, said, that the hon. Member for Edinburgh had fallen into error in regard to the population of Dublin; but, taking everything into the account, the cost of the police in Dublin appeared to be very high compared with the cost in Edinburgh. The amount available for the payment of the police might, however, be considerably increased by the removal of exemptions of Government and other classes of property from the police rate, and by the enlargement of the Dublin police area. He would ask the Government whether there were no means of diminishing the number of the police?
recommended the withdrawal of the Amendment, on the ground that a strong police Force, coupled with the Peace Preservation Act, formed part of the policy of the present Government.
regretted that a question of such magnitude should have been brought forward at so late a period of the Session. Last year the maintenance of police in Ireland cost £978,000. The cost this year, including these Supplementary Votes, would be £1,277,000, or an increase of £299,000. This charge was becoming so serious as to call for the gravest consideration on the part of the Government and of Parliament. The increased pay to the men was inevitable; but, considering the peaceful state of Ireland and the loyalty of the people, a force of 12,000 was too large. Another alternative was to make the Irish people themselves pay for the maintenance of their own police, as the English people paid for theirs. He hoped his hon. Friend (Mr. M'Laren) would take the sense of the House on his Amendment.
said, if that increase of 25 per cent to the pay of the Dublin metropolitan police was justifiable, what a comment it was upon the policy of the Government that they should be obliged to accept en bloc the recommendations of their Commissioners in that manner. Such a proposal could never have been seriously made to the House except in the last week in July. The noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland said that next year he would propose that the City of Dublin itself should pay an increase of 2d. in the pound for the additional pay of the police. He (Mr. Sclater-Booth) had no great hope that that proposal would be carried out; but in order to stimulate the Government to make it, he would suggest that the hon. Member for Edinburgh should propose to reduce the Vote by £10,000, which would be the amount yielded by a 2d. rate. If the hon. Member would agree to that alteration, he should be happy to support him in his Amendment. While the Government resisted the Motion of the hon. Member for South Devon (Sir Massey Lopes), they were in this case proposing a large grant from the Imperial Exchequer in aid of local rates. Some explanation was required from the Treasury as to why they accepted the recommendations of their Commissioners so implicitly in that matter, and yet declined to accept their recommendations in regard to the Civil Servants in Dublin, into whose position and remuneration they were also authorized to inquire. Before adding 25 per cent to the pay of the Dublin police, surely the Government ought to have seen whether the whole Force might not have been reconstructed.
thought when a comparison was drawn between the cases of Dublin and Edinburgh, it should be remembered that the Edinburgh police were under the control of the municipality of that city, whereas the Dublin police were exclusively controlled by two Commissioners appointed by the Lord Lieutenant. In Ireland they had a system of government based on distrust of the people, while in England they had a system of government based on trust of the people. He should be glad to see the police of Dublin placed under the control of the municipality, and employed for the purpose of keeping the peace, and then the inhabitants of Dublin would be willing to pay for them. But at present the police of Dublin were used for political purposes, and to prevent peaceable meetings of the citizens, and that spoilt them for the purpose of keeping the peace. While that system was continued justice required that the whole cost of police in Dublin should be borne by the Imperial Exchequer.
said, he had often been astonished by speeches which he had heard in that House, but he was never more surprised than that night. His Scotch Friends—who now said "Ireland is peaceable, therefore reduce the Irish police"—were, at least some of them, the same party who not long ago said "Double and treble the police force in Ireland." Why was that change? It was "money"—nothing but "money." His hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh said the police of the City were under the municipality; and, that being so, he (Sir Dominic Corrigan) had no doubt their duties did not extend beyond the municipality; but the duties of the Dublin police extended nine miles beyond the city, and many miles along the coast with the foreshore and river and some distance out to sea. In London, if he was rightly informed, they had a river police. In Dublin their police must do both land and sea service. When they compared the Dublin with the London police, the difference in the conduct of the two was great. What did the London police do recently when there was wanted an increase of salary? They marched to Trafalgar Square, and said, addressing the authorities—"Pay us properly; if you will not, we will leave you." The Irish police bore their sufferings, and did not threaten. He hoped the Committee would pass the Vote as proposed, without any reduction, and that more especially when they considered the fidelity the Force had evinced throughout the Fenian disturbances. He attributed much of the costliness of the Dublin police to the practice in that City of keeping the public-houses open all day on Sunday and to a late hour on Saturdays.
regarded that as an important question, but thought the hon. Member for Edinburgh had asked them to reduce the Vote too much. They paid not long ago a little more than half of the cost of this Force, and now they were called upon to pay the whole of this increase. He thought they ought to keep on the lines which had been already laid down, and if the hon. Member for Edinburgh would move to reduce the amount by £12,000, he thought a good many hon. Members would be inclined to vote with him.
was surprised to hear the speech of his hon. and gallant Friend. Every country ought to pay according to its resources; but although Ireland was a poorer country than either England or Scotland, she was called upon to pay more than her just proportion to the Imperial Exchequer. That Vote, then, would only tend in some small measure to adjust the disproportion which at present existed, and he would therefore support it. If the public Exchequer did not bear the expense, the Fenians and Home Rulers who kept up a state of disquietude in the country ought to do so, and therefore he would have no objection to Government placing a poll-tax upon those gentlemen.
said, there were two faults in the proposal made by the Government. One was, the time when it was brought forward, and the other, the merits of the proposition itself. No explanation had been given why that addition to the charge for the Dublin Police Force had not been brought forward in the Original Estimates which were in the hands of hon. Members at the end of February. As the Report of the Commission was presented before the close of last year, the Government had ample time before now to decide whether they would grant the increase to the police or not. For his own part, he entertained a strong objection to the proposition on its merits. The question as to the proportion of payment by local authorities for police purposes had been repeatedly raised in that House, especially by his hon. Friend the Member for South Devon (Sir Massey Lopes), in a discussion which resulted in a majority of 100 against the Government; but, notwithstanding that circumstance, the Government had since refused to give any assistance to the local authorities for the payment of the police throughout the kingdom. It was now proposed, however, to make an alteration in the proportion paid by the Imperial Exchequer and the local authorities respectively in the case of Dublin. It was proposed, indeed, that the whole of the addition should come out of the Imperial Exchequer. He objected to the question being dealt with in that piecemeal way, on the ground that if any change were made, it ought to be made with regard generally to the whole of the United Kingdom. It appeared to him that the right proportion of the addition would be for the local rates to bear £12,000, and the Imperial Exchequer £14,000, and he would support the Amendment if it were altered to that sum.
asked the House to hesitate before they adopted the Amendment of the hon. ember for Edinburgh. The increase of pay to the Dublin police was but an act of justice, and the money was asked for in order to carry out the recommendation of the Commissioners, who reported that when there were strikes of the police in London and great excitement, the Dublin police maintained an attitude of the most stoical and loyal calmness. For that very reason the Commissioners pressed on the Government not to delay doing what was right in the matter. It was true the apprehension of further delay caused something like a threat of a strike on the part of the Dublin police, since all the men declared they would give as a body a week's notice, which individually they were entitled to do; but Colonel Lake, who had secured their confidence, made an appeal to their loyalty and forbearance, and a strike was prevented. If, however, the present measure of justice were longer delayed, hon. Members might regret the consequences. He hoped it would not go forth to the public of Ireland that this so long-delayed act of justice was still to be postponed. All he could say was that the consequences would be that the House would probably hoar of the matter again.
thought that if Ireland desired legislation separate and distinct from that of England as she had in respect to the Church and as regarded landed property, she ought to pay for it. At the same time, Irish Members should make allowance for the interference of English Members, whose constituents otherwise would have to bear the pinch of that kind of legislation.
said, the proposition of the Government was an exceedingly fair one—that hereafter the proportion of increase should be paid by the City of Dublin. It was but a simple act of justice to the police to give them the increase; but at present, there were no means of making the City of Dublin pay it. It was impossible to reduce the num- ber of the Force, and the effect of the proposal of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick that the police should be placed in the hands of the Corporation would be that it would become necessary to send over a military Force to take care of them.
said, in answer to the remark of the hon. Member for North Hants (Mr. Sclater-Booth), that the Report of the Commission was received in December, and, although the Estimates were laid on the Table in February, they were, as a matter of fact, prepared long before—too long before to admit of the Government having fully considered the Report. They, therefore, inserted in the ordinary Estimates an item for provisional increase, seeing, whatever might be their decision on the general recommendations, a considerable increase would be necessary. Since that time they had gone into all the recommendations, and, not seeing that any modification could be made, they had nothing to do but to propose them en bloc. No one acquainted with Dublin could suppose that the constabulary there was in excess of the ordinary police duties, and it was a matter of fact that the officer in command would be glad to have the Force increased for purely police purposes. Why Dublin should require a larger police Force than Edinburgh he left it to the hon. Member for Dublin (Mr. Pim) to explain. The hon. and learned Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt) had maintained that the Irish constabulary was a political Force; but, whatever might be said in regard to the Royal Irish Constabulary, he thought nobody could contend that the Dublin police was not a success for police purposes, or that it was a political Force in any sense of the word. A reduction of the Vote would have a most unfortunate effect on the Force, and he trusted the Committee would not assent to it.
said, it was, perhaps, unavoidable that the Government at the fag-end of the Session should have to propose such a large increase in the pay of the constabulary of Ireland; but still it was neither just nor politic to alter the proportion of Imperial aid given in one case without reference to others. One would have thought that that was a question which the Government ought to have carefully avoided; and, what- ever happened that night, the fact would not be easily disposed of. The pay of the police had been increased in most counties; but the Government had not increased their contribution; and why should the Government do for Dublin what it had not done for any other part of the country? The proportions ought to be kept the same in all places; and, if any alterations were to be made, the claims of the United Kingdom should be fairly weighed. That was a wholly separate question from increase of pay, and he did not see why the Government had mixed up the two.
said, the first vote he gave in the House was against the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland; he was then in a minority of 5 against 300, and he had since warmly supported all measures which Irish Members believed to be for the benefit of Ireland. The question now was, not whether the increase of pay should be given, but who should pay it. In compliance with the suggestions made, he would, if permitted, withdraw his Amendment and move another.
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
Original Question again proposed.
Motion made, and Question put,
"That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £14,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1874, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Commissioners of Police, of the Police Courts, and of the Metropolitan Police Establishment of Dublin."—(Mr. M'Laren.)
The Committee divided:—Ayes 71; Noes 124: Majority 53.
Original Question put, and agreed to.
(10.) £153,750, Constabulary Force (Ireland).
said, it was the intention of the Government to revise the whole of the expenditure under this head, and, if possible, not only reduce the Force during the Recess, but devise some scheme by which the Irish counties should contribute a reasonable proportion of the expense.
complained that the Government had not made up their minds upon the subject long before this. It was most extraordinary that they should have waited until the last days of July to increase the Vote for the Irish con- stabulary to the extent now proposed. He protested against that course.
Vote agreed to.
(11.) £23,725, Supplementary sum, Miscellaneous Legal Charges in Ireland.
said, there was an impression in Ireland that the Vote was applied to corrupt purposes. He protested against such a Vote being brought forward at the fag-end of the Session.
said. he had listened with patience to what the hon. Gentleman had said, believing that he would have given some reason for saying that the Vote was for corrupt purposes.
explained what he had said was, that the feeling in Ireland was that it was intended for corrupt purposes.
asked the hon. Gentleman to say what were the corrupt purposes to which he had alluded? If the hon. Gentleman objected to the Vote, he should have opposed the 63rd clause of the Irish Land Act, which provided that remuneration should be given to certain parties, and it was to carry out that object this Vote was proposed. The hon. Gentleman ought to have given some grounds for making such an extraordinary statement, and stated against whom, or to what it referred.
asked if the charge was in consequence of the Irish Land Act?
Yes; the 63rd section of the Act was, that additional remuneration for duties cast upon the Chairmen of Quarter Sessions should be paid out of the Imperial Exchequer.
said, that if the 63rd section was what the noble Marquess stated, then the Act was not what he thought.
asked, why the case of the officers of the Civil Bill Courts was not considered as well as that of the Chairmen of Sessions?
said, it was under consideration; but a difficulty had arisen with respect to them as they were paid by fees, and not by salaries.
Vote agreed to.
(12.) £27,000, Supplementary sum, British Museum.
said, he must draw attention to the increased duties which would be thrown upon the officers of the Museum by the purchase of the Castellani and other Collections. The noble Lord was proceeding to urge the propriety of increasing the salaries of these officials, in consequence—when
called the noble Lord to Order. The Vote now before the Committee was of a definite sum for a specific purpose—the purchase of the Castellani Collection. The grant of salaries having already been voted, it was not competent to the noble Lord to revert to that question.
submitted that if he was out of Order, the Chairman was still more out of Order in proposing to the Committee a Vote for the "Salaries and Expenses of the British Museum," when it was in reality a Vote for purchasing a Collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. It was, he ventured to suggest, still more out of Order for the Treasury, through the Chairman of Ways and Means, to ask the Committee to vote £27,000 towards the salaries and expenses of the British Museum, when that sum was not to pay such salaries and expenses. If he was out of Order, it was because the Treasury had not correctly described the Estimate.
explained that the heading of the Estimate was prescribed by the Exchequer and Audit Act, but the Vote put from the Chair did not bring in the words of the Estimate.
said, he had given Notice to the right hon. Member for Cambridge University of a Question which the right hon. Gentleman had consented to answer. He wished to ask if there were not upon the shelves of the British Museum a large number of duplicate copies of books, which—["Order!" "Question!"]
said, the Question before the Committee was a Vote for the purchase of the Castellani Collection, and it was very desirable that hon. Gentlemen should keep to that question.
said, he thought the whole matter of the Vote might be brought under discussion upon a Supplementary Vote, as he understood this Vote was for a sum required to supplement the sum already voted for the salaries and expenses of the British Museum. He submitted that his noble Friend was perfectly in Order, when it was proposed to add to the duties of the officers of the British Museum by entrusting to them the care of certain acquisitions, to discuss the question whether they were adequately paid for their duties.
said, he did not interrupt the noble Lord (Lord George Hamilton) whilst he confined his remarks to the question of the additional duties which would be imposed upon the officials by the purchase of the Collection; but when he departed from that to discuss the general questions of duties and salaries, he thought it his duty to interfere.
thought the noble Lord had a perfect right to move the omission of the Vote, and, as an argument for the Motion, to refer to the inadequacy of the present salaries.
said, he would repeat his Question to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge to-morrow.
expressed his regret if what he had said should be deemed to imply any discourtesy towards the Chairman—he had merely desired to call the hon. Gentleman's attention to what he considered a mistake in his ruling. As the Chairman ruled that he was out of Order, he would not pursue the observations which he had intended to make, but would simply ask the Secretary of the Treasury, whether the Government would reconsider the scheme or memorial which was forwarded to them in March last?
After a pause—
moved to omit the Vote.
On Question? Vote agreed to.
(13.) £1,500, Supplementary sum, National Gallery.
(14.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
"That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £3,711, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1874, for the Expenses of Her Majesty's Embassies and Missions Abroad."
complained that the discussion of the Vote had been postponed to one of the last days of July. He objected to the Vote on a principle of public policy—namely, that no presents should be made to Judges, and Judges these Arbitrators were to all intents and purposes. A few days ago the Prime Minister, in answer to a Question he (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) put to him on this subject, referred to five cases which he called precedents in support of that proceeding; but not one of them applied to this case. All of them were cases in which gifts were presented to agents of Foreign Governments for services rendered to British subjects. Nobody could doubt that if a present were offered to the Lord Chief Justice of England for having taken part in that Arbitration, he would refuse it. If presents were to be made to the Foreign Members of the Geneva Arbitration, why was it not proposed to offer a present to the Emperor of Germany who had discharged judicial duties of, perhaps, more importance to this country than had those Arbitrators? In 1824 a sum of £533 was voted to the Danish Minister; a Vote of £1,000 was passed for a present to the Emperor of Morocco on his accession; and in 1829, £2,000 was voted as a present to the Grand Seignor. Arbitration, it seemed, was to be the guiding principle for the future. But was it not right to stop the practice of giving presents in such cases? In foreign countries it was true the giving of presents to Ministers was of common occurrence; but he altogether objected to such payments as this, and should therefore move the rejection of the Vote.
explained that under the 8th Article of the Treaty of Washington the two Governments proposed to pay the personal and travelling expenses of the Arbitrators appointed by the Brazilian, the Italian, and the Swiss Governments. The Italian and Swiss Arbitrators accepted the payment of those expenses, the Brazilian Arbitrator declining to accept them. Near the close of the Arbitration, the American Counsel proposed that he should consult the English Agent as to what should be the remuneration to he given to the three Arbitrators. The English Agent declared that he was not empowered to make any proposal of that nature, but that he would refer home for instructions. He did so, and the instructions he received from Her Majesty's Government were to the effect that, in their opinion, it would not be seemly to offer a sum of money to the Arbitrators, considering their judicial capacity and the functions they had performed; but that, in accordance with diplomatic usage, they thought it might be perhaps advisable to present them with some complimentary testimonial in the shape of a piece of plate. To that the American Government agreed, and they had themselves provided three pieces of plate for the Arbitrators. It became the duty of Her Majesty's Government to provide the same; the sum asked for was about equal; and he trusted that after that explanation the Vote would be agreed to.
The Committee divided: Ayes 138; Noes 16; Majority 122.
(15.) £51,706, Supplementary sum, Colonial Local Revenue, &c.
(16.) £15,000, Supplementary sum, Tonnage Bounties, &c.
(17.) £14,000, Supplementary sum, Temporary Commissions.
objected to the Vote, and asked whether it was the intention of the Government to send out a Royal Commission to Vienna?
said, there was no intention to do anything of the kind.
complained of the late period at which the large Supplemental Vote for the Vienna Exhibition Commission had been applied for. Owing to the niggardly Vote taken in the first instance, to the small amount of which he had before called attention, the Commissioners had actually been compelled to defray many of the expenses out of their own pockets.
Vote agreed to.
(18.) £7,000, Supplementary sum, Miscellaneous Expenses.
objected to the manner in which the Vote was put in, inasmuch as the House might be called on hereafter to pay a further sum. He thought the whole charge ought to have been placed on the Civil List.
said, that, as he understood, £7,000 would be the whole expenditure charged to the public. Her Majesty undertook one portion of this expenditure and the Treasury the other, and he believed the public would have the best of the bargain.
Vote agreed to.
(19.) £5,760, Repayment of Moneys under the Kensington Station and North and South Junction Railway Act 1859 (Repayment of Moneys) Act 1872.
(20) £10,000 Dover Harbour.
explained that the Vote was intended to be applied towards the completion of these works, according to a plan which had been sanctioned by high engineering authority.
said, if the Vote were agreed to, the House would be committed to an expenditure of £850,000, or perhaps £1,000,000.
said, £500,000 would be lent by the Public Works Loan Commissioners on security of the harbour dues.
Vote agreed to.
(21.) £43,000, Supplementary sum, Telegraph Extension Works.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—( Mr. Miller.)
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.