Order for Second Reading read.
, in moving that the Order of the Day for the Second Reading of the Bill be read and discharged, said, when he brought it in the hon. Member for Stirling Burghs (Mr. Campbell Bannerman) requested that he (Mr. G. Hardy) would give the House an opportunity of fully discussing it. He thought at the time it was his duty to do so; but unfortunately a week had elapsed without his having been able to find any such opportunity; and now he would state what course he proposed to adopt with reference to the measure. He saw on the Paper an Amendment by the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson) to the effect that it was inexpedient, especially at that late period of the Session, to take into consideration a Bill which appeared to be a first step in overturning the Army legislation of last Parliament. Perhaps, the hon. Gentleman would permit him to say that he (Mr. G. Hardy) was not in any way interfering with the question of purchase, and if he did not think this was a totally different question, he would not have brought in the Bill. The matter had been forced upon his consideration by the Report of the Commission which had recently sat, and which recommended that they should revert to the old system of exchanges which existed before the late alteration. That alteration had been made by Royal Warrant, and it was in his power also to alter the new arrangement by Royal Warrant, if he thought proper. But if he were to do so, he should do what he thought a very unreasonable thing. Under the new system, it had been relegated to the War Office to see what payments should be made in cases of exchange; but that was a duty which ought not to be thrown on the Department. What he wished was, that what-ever should be done for the future, Parliament should have the power of considering it. He had, therefore, brought in a Bill, with which he could not now proceed. He hoped, however, at the very earliest period of next Session to bring in the Bill anew, because he believed it to be in the interest of officers of the Army, and of the Army itself, that that question should be settled by Parliament, and not left as it was. He should now move that the Order be discharged, with a view to the Bill being withdrawn.
said, he was not surprised that the right hon. Gentleman had moved in the matter, which was forced upon him by the Report of the Royal Commission; but in his opinion, neither the Royal Commission nor the right hon. Gentleman himself had fully realized the question before them when they attempted to re-introduce the system of exchanges. The right hon. Gentleman had referred to certain payments being allowed, payments for change of uniform and for necessary expenses of the journey. But he believed to re-introduce any other payments would be to revive many of the evils of the purchase system, which the House of Commons a few years ago was very strongly of opinion should be put an end to.
who had an Amendment on the Paper to move—
said, that of course he should not move it, as the Bill was about to be withdrawn. He bogged, however, to give Notice that when the Bill was re-introduced next year, if it should contain similar provisions to this Bill, he should oppose it, because he did not take the same view as the Secretary for War did. He believed that attempt to re-introduce the old system of regimental exchanges was the first step to the re-introduction of the purchase system. He objected altogether to the officers of the Army trafficking in money about their commissions, and he therefore opposed the Bill."That it is inexpedient, especially at this late period of the Session, to take into consideration a Bill which appears to he a first step in over-turning the Army Legislation of last Parliament,"
Motion agreed to.
Order discharged: Bill withdrawn.
House adjourned at five minutes before Six o'clock.