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South African War—Hospital Commission's Report

Volume 91: debated on Tuesday 19 March 1901

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I regret that the consideration of the Report of the South African Hospitals Commission, which deals with a subject which has moved the nation for a considerable time, should come on at an hour when it will be impossible, without overtaxing the patience of the Committee, to deal with it adequately, and therefore I will make an appeal before going on to the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House. It is this. Whether, considering that we have practically had no opportunity of debating this subject since the Report of the Commission was issued, considering the great interest which, I think, is felt on this subject, and considering also the opinions of the Commission, he would not consent to give a day or half a day for the discussion of the Report at any time he may find it convenient to do so. I should be content with this being given after Easter. I think I am able to say that if he could offer us a fair opportunity of discussing this very important subject the opposition to the Vote, which cannot possibly be successful, would not be persevered in.

The hon. Gentleman is not content with the opportunity he has now; but it is not very late, it is still early (1 2.5 a.m.). But if, in spite of that reflection, he still thinks that he would like some other opportunity. I think it would be in order on the Vote for the War Office, but this Vote must go on I should be quite glad to put down the Vote we have been discussing, or rather the whole body of Supply, as the first item on Monday for Report, and if the House consented to pass over the Votes which have been relatively fully discussed to-night, then the hon. Gentleman and those who desire to see the medical question raised will, of course, have ample opportunity of discussing it. If the opportunity of debate which I offer him on Monday does not fit in with his desire, then there will be a later opportunity of discussing the question on the Estimates.

I wish to understand this matter clearly. I quite coincide with the appeal that has been made to the First Lord of the Treasury with the view of getting a fuller discussion of the subject. Does the right hon. Gentleman propose that the Report stage should be taken early on Monday as the first Order, so that this question may be discussed?

Of course, the first Order would be the Order for the whole body of Supply. It could only be so by the rules of the House; but if the House were content to pass lightly and I rapidly over the Votes we have discussed, so as to come quickly to the questions which we have not hitherto discussed, then, of course, full opportunity of debate would be given to the hon. Gentleman. I am in the hands of the House in the matter. I shall be glad to put that down first on Monday, immediately after Questions.

The Mom day promise appears to be contingent on circumstances which it is impossible to foresee. Therefore, if I have not exhausted my right of speaking, I think it would not be respectful to the House of Commons or to the Committee if, after having passed some stringent criticisms on the action of this Commission in another form, I were not willing to support those criticisms on the occasion of this Vote, or not ready to meet any answer that may be made to them. I hope I am the last person to put things in the papers on public subjects which I am unwilling to back up in my place in Parliament. I believe that the Secretary of State for War, whose attitude on this question I venture to express my great appreciation of, intends to deal out reforms with no niggard hand. There is only one question with regard to which I am not absolutely clear, that is, how far he proposes to rest upon the results of this inquiry, for which we are now voting a large sum of public money, and how far he proposes to confine himself to its suggestions in framing his scheme of reform. I believe that if he does so his reforms will be a total failure, because I think the inquiry has been partial and imperfect, the conclusions lame and impotent, and the main suggestions of reform are framed on the wrong lines. I consider it a very grave matter that at this moment, when the Army is a subject of great national interest and great national anxiety, one of its chief Departments should have been investigated in a manner which has resulted in casting over its defects a cloak which has not only concealed the real nature and extent of the defects themselves, but has concealed their causes and the responsibility for them. We condemn a general for inaction in the field, but when we come to a more peaceful Department of the Army, but one in which inaction and mismanagement have far more deadly results, we are content to be silent as to cause and effect, and silent as to responsibility. What was this Commission? Was it a tribunal appointed with a due regard to the peculiar circumstances by which the inquiry would be surrounded, setting forth equipped with ample powers to meet those circumstances, and to pierce the wall of official defence that was certain to be set up? No, Sir. It had none of those powers which were essential to its work, and the consequence is that weakness, inconclusiveness, and partiality run through every page of its Report. Sir, it is not my object to discuss the Report so much as the inquiry which has been held; and the imperfections of this inquiry I prefer to attribute to the absence of compulsory powers. Why those powers were not given in the first instance I could never understand. But I am not going back on that subject, because once the Government had determined to send the Commission out without powers, the Government is freed to a large extent from its responsibility by having left it to the Commission to ask for the powers if necessary. From this point the blame rests on the Commission. But wherever the blame lies, the result is the same. What has been the result of the absence of powers? I take it from the Report itself:—

"We have also Had to recognise that our private soldiers are very slow in making complaints."
Why did not the Commission ask for compulsory powers?
"Witnesses… would only state the facts which they thought assisted their own views. and by keeping back other information… would tend to give a false impression as to the true state of things."
They could not get their questions answered. Compulsory powers, which would have included taking evidence on oath and compelling the answering of questions, would have made this vain and futile examination impossible. At any moment the Commission might have obtained those powers. That is the declaration of the Commission—that the soldiers would not give evidence, that witnesses would not answer questions. May I be pardoned if I remind the Committee that when I stated this here last summer I was told that my evidence on that account was to be discredited, and that I was insulting the whole British Army. When the Commission state it they are rewarded with a medical baronetcy and a legal Grand Cross of the Bath. I do not want to interfere with gentlemen getting these distinctions if they like them; but I wish they had been ear-marked as rewards for undertaking a laborious task rather than as implying approval of the manner in which the inquiry had been conducted. Now, Sir, I want to say two things about this remarkable declaration or confession of the Commission about the difficulties of getting evidence. If the Commission had placed it at the head of their Report instead of wrapping it up in an obscure paragraph, we should have known how to estimate the nature of the inquiry, and how to appreciate the value of the Report. The second thing I have to say is, When did the Commission find this out? Was it at Netley, when they were first appointed? Was it at Cape Town, a little later? Where was it? In any case why did they not apply to Lord Roberts for compulsory powers? He could have given them under martial law by a stroke of his pen. as he gave them to the Concessions Commission presided over by my hon. friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington. But the Commission chose to go on without them. I have drawn attention elsewhere to what I bare called a "sinister corollary to the absence of powers, and that was the presence of an overwhelming organisation supervising the inquiry, choosing the witnesses, producing the greater part of the evidence, acting as amicus curiœ, throughout the investigation; whereas there was not the slightest attempt at organisation, there was not a single guiding voice or assisting hand to help the other side. Sir. I do not want to inquire who was to blame for this state of things. All I say is that it is not within the widest stretch of imagination that an inquiry so circumstanced could arrive at the truth. The Commission discard the suggestion that there was any possibility of their getting evidence as to what had taken place in April and May by a personal inspection of the hospitals at the time of their visit to South Africa: the "magic transformation scene" which took place within a week of the disclosures in the press and in this House, and which to my mind is the very strongest possible proof establishing previous official neglect, had cleared away most of its traces. But there was no concealment about the getting up of the case. Two officers of the Royal Army Medical Corps were appointed to go round the hospitals, select the evidence, and prepare the way for the Commission. One of these returning home stated in public, while the Commission was still sitting—
"Everything was as perfect as possible. Everything that mortal knowledge and foresight could supply was at hand. Many of the hospitals generated their own electric light and manufactured their own soda water."
This was the picture presented to the Commission which was appointed to inquire into the bell-tents at Bloemfontein in the months of April and May ! I seem to hear the echo of the speeches at the Reform Club banquet on April 29th:"Everything that prevision could suggest or money supply was present on the spot." Now it may be stated, in fact I think I have seen it stated in a high quarter, that these two officers were appointed to collect the whole evidence, that is, as much against as for the authorities. Very well. I want to call the attention of the Committee to something more about those two gentlemen who were appointed to get up the ease. It is contained in a letter from the Chaplain to the Forces at Norval's Font. The proceedings are thus described in a letter to the President of the Commission printed in the evidence, which runs as follows—
"To the Right Hon. Lord Justice Homer, Chairman of the Royal South African Hospitals Commission.—About 2nd August two majors of the R.A.M.C. came to Norval's Pont, saying that Lord Roberts had sent them to visit all the military hospitals in South Africa, and ascertain where there was evidence for the Hospital Commission, and then to meet the Commissioners in Cape Town, and act as guides to them. To one of those gentlemen I told some of the distressing things that had come to my notice here; for example, how during May enteric and dysenteric patients had to walk 400 yards to a latrine; how. during June, there were, first, no bedpans, disinfectants, or nurses, although the war had passed away north in the middle of March, and the railways from Cape Town and Port Elizabeth were clear, and the neighbouring civil hospital, the Edinburgh, had all it needed; how so-called convalescents arrived here actually suffering with enteric, and were sent on again somewhere else a few days later; and how I had seen them crouching or lying by the railway line for hours before a train was due. Mention was alse made in our conversations of the fact that a Board of Inquiry into hospital officers' mess expenses had sat, as a result of which, while these two gentlemen were still here, the Senior Medical Officer was suspended; and also of the fact that letters home of a civil surgeon here, commenting severely on the treatment of the sick and wounded, had got into a local newspaper, and so into The Times. Yet this officer, giving evidence before your Commission in Cape Town, said ' There was no cause for complaint of any kind at Norval's Pont.' "—Cape Times report, 22nd August.
This was one of the officers who got up the case for the Commission, and that is my answer if it is contended that they were ordered to do their work impartially. Sir. I repeat that the absence of powers on the one hand, and the presence of such an organisation on the other, should have made the Commission ten times more careful with regard to its proceedings. I have complained of the inadequate number of patients examined. Who could so well tell of the treatment of the sick and wounded as the man who was treated? The refusal to hear, or want of care in hearing, patients' evidence was a grave infringement of the Reference to the Commission as amended by the words of the First Lord of the Treasury—"a Commission to inquire into the care and treatment of every sick and wounded man in South Africa. "I do not want to press that amended Reference too literally, but I say that the peculiar circumstances of the case demanded the fullest and most careful examination of soldier-patients. Now as to the method in which patients were examined. There was not only the state visit to Netley, when they examined on a single afternoon, in the wards of the hospital, seventy out of the 154 soldier-patients examined during the whole inquiry; but nearly all the other patients were examined in batches in hospitals, their comrades and officers knowing perfectly well the sort of evidence they were going to give and had given. Is it not incredible that this method of examination should have been adopted, when the Commissioners themselves say, "especially while the men are in hospital, they may be deterred from complaining by fear of consequences." The Commission condemns itself out of its own mouth. To hear these soldiers who have been the real sufferers, and have seen their comrades suffer and die; to hear them, not on formal visits to hospitals, surrounded by official supervision and many other deterrent conditions, but individually and apart, and by careful examination to get out their whole story; finally, to hear them in the largest possible number, especially with regard to the times and places which led to the inquiry—these methods were more essential to a just conclusion than volumes of evidence from official and Army medical authorities, placed on their defence, and practically monopolising the witness-box. Up to this point I have complained (1)of the absence of compulsory powers;(2)of the presence of a watchful and omnipotent organisation on one side of the case, with nothing of the sort on the other, and of the getting up of the case by two officers of the Department which was on its trial; (3) of the inadequate number of private soldiers examined; (4) of the fatally deterrent conditions under which they were heard. I will now ask the Committee to listen to a few further facts which I desire to lay before it.
  • 1. At the time the Commission were appointed there must have been in this country some 3,000 or 4,000 soldiers who had been patients in the hospitals, and at the times of which I complain. The record of every patient who bad been in hospital, what hospital he had been in, when he had been there, how long he had stayed, was in the hands of the Department. Was any real effort made to search out these men or to take their evidence? There was the afternoon visit to Netley; the patients there were taken haphazard. That was all.
  • 2. The Committee will remember that one of the main points to which his attention was directed last summer, one of the main things that led to the appointment of the Commission, was a description I gave of a certain field hospital at Bloemfontein. The Commission recognised the importance of the case. They devoted two whole pages to it, and they came to a feeble and most inconclusive verdict. Now, Sir, before the appointment of the Commission at least 1,000 soldiers must have passed through that hospital as patients. As far as I can see, and I have examined the evidence very closely, not a single man who was in that hospital as a patient was examined before the Commission.
  • 3. Take another ease, the case of the eight patients on the platform at the Bloemfontein railway station. I have pointed out how the Commission, in spite of my personal evidence, who was there; in spite of the evidence of the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley, who was also there; in spite of the evidence of the civilian medical officer who received the patients at the Irish hospital—the Commission accept the story of the Principal Medical Officer, who was really responsible for the scandal, and recite it as their own verdict upon this painful affair. But, Sir, what I want to ask is this. Why did they not call at least one of the seven surviving men of that incident? Not one was called.
  • 4. One of the strongest complaints I have made against the medical arrangements was the bad feeding of convoys of sick and wounded sent by train, mostly in open trucks. How does the Commission pursue its inquiry into this matter? Out of 154 patients who were examined only seven were asked questions about their feeding on trains. Four of these stated they only got bully beef and biscuits. That is how the Commission inquired into the important question of the feeding of these convoys, and that is the basis of their verdict.
  • From Blocmfontein: "We think that sufficient and proper food and medical comforts were provided for them." From Kroonstad: "As a rule, we think that proper food and comforts were provided for the men on the journey." General conclusions; "Before the men started on any journey they were, as a rule, well supplied with such comforts, as well as with proper food."
    The Committee will notice that my last four points have been:—(1) That no real effort was made to obtain patients' evidence with regard to the places and times of which I complained; (2) that no patient in the crowded field hospital was examined; (3) that not one of the sick men on the platform was examined; (4)that practically no evidence with regard to the feeding of convoys in trains was taken. I will now deal with two individual but important instances of the methods of the Commission with regard to evidence. I take first a letter from the Archbishop of Cape Town, who writes as follows—
    "The Hospitals Commission is returning this week. Whether the result will justify their mission is, I think, very doubtful. There can he no doubt but that while the defence was thoroughly and completely organised, the fact that it was no one's real business to make the attack made the case against the authorities very difficult to establish…
    "I had said all I knew, or the most important part of it, on paper and forwarded it to the secretary. But in spite of this they so strongly urged me to meet them that, though it involved much inconvenience to myself and to others, and caused me an additional journey of 600 miles, I came to Cape Town—to be asked two or three questions, which [ had already answered on paper, and to be dismissed after about live minutes. When I wished to hand in some evidence afterwards about the serious deficiency in hospital equipment even at the hospitals near Cape Town, I was somewhat curtly informed that the Commissioners desired no further information on that point…
    "For one thing one may be thankful. I have heard it said far and wide that from the moment the controversy was raised in England and here, the comforts of the patients were much better attended to."
    Now, Sir, what is the point here? I put aside the peculiar treatment meted out to a high dignitary of the Church busily engaged performing the functions of his office and dragged 600 miles up to Cape Town to have two or three questions put to him. The real point is that he tendered new evidence with regard to the base hospitals, and that that evidence was peremptorily declined. Now let us look at the verdict of the Commission about the base hospitals. They quote the opinion of the staff' commander at the base, who was really in a military sense responsible for the condition of the hospitals—
    "They were all housed, and all had good mattresses to lie on, and were well looked after—much better than I have ever seen on service elsewhere."
    I wonder if he has ever seen a campaign where the base was at a great town and a great port provided with every comfort that the world could supply. But that is not my point. The Commission made up their mind with regard to the base hospitals and they did not want any more evidence. Now, Sir, I am not a lawyer, but I put it to any lawyer here present—Did he over hear of a judge or a jury refusing new evidence and then making up their mind in favour of the side against whom that evidence would tell? That is exactly what the Commission did in this case. There is another case which I mentioned in one of my letters and which is so similar to that I have just related that I will remind the Committee of it here. It is connected with what is known as the "Intombi Scandal." With regard to that matter the Committee print the evidence of two Army medical officers, and the evidence of an Army Service Corps officer who was appointed by Sir George White to inquire into the matter. The latter officer gave evidence against the medical arrangements. The Commission give their usual verdict—
    "But we think, after making all just allowances, that no complaint can reasonably be made with regard to the steps taken by the authorities or the way in which the patients were looked after."
    I may say that the main complaint against Intombi was the stealing of the patient's food and comforts by the orderlies and non-commissioned officers. But that is not the point I want to make. There was another Court of Inquiry into Intombi, which is actually referred to in the evidence, composed of three officers, and one of these officers wrote to the Commission stating that the evidence taken before that Court would be of great value, suggesting that they should call for it, and offering himself to appear as a witness before the Commission. He was not called, and he never had any answer to his letter. And yet the Commission say there was no just cause of complaint as to the way in which the patients were looked after. This officer who wrote to the Commission is a well-known member of the Natal Legislature, and served throughout the war with considerable distinction as an officer of the Natal Volunteers. He naturally feels somewhat strongly on the subject, and writes—
    "If the hospitals were a scandal it seems that the work of the Commission is going to be a greater scandal."
    Now, Sir, I put this opinion of a leading colonist side by side with that of the Archbishop of Cape Town—and if time served me I could give other equally strong and authoritative opinions from the Colony—and I want to ask the Committee, Is this the lesson we want our colonies to learn of our methods in such a matter? Remember, far and wide over there they have seen and known what happened. Their own sons and brothers and husbands and fathers have suffered from our mismanagement of this great Department of the campaign. And we tell them that this is the sort of inquiry into those thing with which England is content, and we ask these young administrations to accept this model, stamped with the mother country's high authority and honour, of how we conduct our public business and how we guard the interests of truth and justice, in a matter of life and death. Ho you think this will increase the love and honour of the colonies for the mother country? Do you think this will strengthen the tie which at best depends on the moral force of a high example, upon that purer conception of public life and that more just and honest regard for public truth, which the colonies look for from the sovereign government and the Mother of Parliaments? I have spoken much of the evidence the Commission did not take. I now desire to say a few words about how they treated certain evidence they did take. At Pretoria, when the Commission had but half completed its inquiry, Lord Roberts gave evidence. As is well known, Lord Roberts's evidence was highly favourable to the medical arrangements in the war. I am not going to discuss the opinion of Lord Roberts on this subject. I am only dealing with the action of the Commission. Lord Roberts's evidence was published the next day throughout South Africa. Sir, the publication of that evidence from that moment closed the mouth of every officer in the British Army. What is the custom in courts-martial and councils of war? Is it not that the junior officer gives his opinion first and so on upwards in the successive ranks, the opinion of the senior officer being taken last, in order that it should not affect the free expression of opinion by his subordinates? The case is infinitely stronger here. All the witnesses had to come forward voluntarily. Who was Lord Roberts? He was the most popular commander of modern times. He was Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in South Africa. He was the future Commander-in-Chief of the British Army. Talk about insulting the Army ! Did not the real insult lie in placing officers in a position where they must either condemn the views of their Commander-in-Chief or be silent as to evils from which they knew their men had suffered? What did we hear the other night from the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Colonies? That when Lord Roberts had given his decision, it was not permissible even for the House of Commons to discuss the merits of the case or to have any opinion. A fortiori, how could you expect officers of the Army to come forward, not under compulsion, but spontaneously and of their own free will, to contradict the authoritative opinion and traverse the published decision of their Commander-in-Chief? Mr. Lowther, the publication of Lord Roberts's evidence by the Commission before they closed their sittings was the greatest barrier that was ever placed against the truth coming out in an inquiry like this. Sir, I will make but a brief reference to what I frankly own I think the greatest blot in the history of the Commission, and that is the refusal to hear the witnesses I offered to send before them. I had spent four months collecting this evidence; it came from the most capable and intelligent set of eye-witnesses I have ever met. brave men who scorned to complain of hardships in the field, but whose practical common-sense had been offended by seeing men suffer and die from defects in hospitals which they knew were easily remediable and had nothing to do with military exigencies. The Commission had been all along in the hands of the Department. They had practically promised to take the evidence in England on their return; they refused to do so. I leave this matter, and the only inference that can be drawn from it, to the Committee and the public. All I say is that, had they heard those witnesses, it would have been impossible for them to have presented such a weak and vacillating Report. I will now refer to a very grave omission in the Report. We have heard something about the bad feeding of patients in trains. Does the Committee really know how the results of that neglect were averted? Throughout the whole campaign, for a year and a half, these trains have been slowly dragging down to the base with their convoys of sick and wounded, and throughout the whole campaign their feeding and refreshment on the way has been largely done, not by the military or medical authorities whose duty it was, but by the voluntary aid and great kindness of the civilian population all along the line, most of which ran through a sparsely inhabited area. Many of these people are poor and hard-worked. They have given their time, their savings, their labour to this humane and loyal service—little stationmasters' wives and daughters, even porters' and platelayers' womenfolk; they have waited up all night keeping a fire lighted to make beef-tea or warm milk, or other nourishment suitable for the painful complaints of the patients. It was a most important part of the medical arrangements, into which this Commission was to inquire. Was there no place for an adequate reference to it in the Report, if not by way of tribute, at least in recognition of its importance in the medical arrangements? No, none; because it was not done by officials or by a Department. So in this Report, which I suppose will be the authoritative and historic record of the medical arrangements in the war, this continuous chain of generosity and self-sacrifice, reaching over 700 miles of that railway, displayed by the humble and loyal colonists to the vast armies which have poured into that country, goes entirely unacknowledged. I deeply regret it. Sir, the complexion which colours the Report throughout is shown to be fatal when we come to the Commission's suggestions of reform. Whatever is firm—and it is very little—is partial to the Department; whatever is not partial to the Department is feeble to a degree. I can only very briefly touch on some of their proposals. They recommend first—first, mark you—the increase of the Royal Army Medical Corps. It is quite true that lower down they admit that the scientific status of the corps ought to be improved; but they treat the subject in a very half-hearted way. They miss altogether another instance where surely a tribute was due, but none has been paid, and which also touches closely the question of reform. The Committee has heard of the New South Wales Medical Contingent, with its fine field hospital and gallant bearer company. It was the only colonial medical service in the war. It was a sort of militia service, but its medical officers were mostly distinguished medical men in the colonies, who left their practices and gave their services. Their staff, non-coms., and orderlies were splendidly disciplined and efficient. There was no stealing patients' money and property in the New South Wales Field Hospital. Wherever there was firing the New South Wales Bearer Company was sure to be close at hand at the right moment. Yet. with the exception of a brief and colourless mention, there is no tribute of any kind to this splendid colonial service in that department of the campaign which the Commission was sent out to inquire into. No; it did not belong to the Department. But surely the lesson is an important one in these days, when the extension of the auxiliary forces plays such a large part in this Army scheme. It is absolutely lost on the Commission. They do not inquire into, the, make no comment on, its bearing on the question of enlargement of the Medical Service. But in their treatment of the question of civilian aid you see how the spirit of the Department, grasping at complete control, has permeated the Commission, and set them on the wrong track in this matter. They recommend the mixing up of the Royal Army Medical Corps officers with civilian doctors in medical work—the private hospitals which did such splendid work in the campaign, such as the Yeomanry, the Irish, Scotch, Welsh, and many others. These hospitals, with complete civilian staffs and only one Royal Army Medical Corps officer to form a link with other departments, afford an irrefutable proof of the value of self-rganised, self-controlled, independent civilian medical aid, and of the facility with which it can be applied for the period it is required. Sir, that is my case—or, rather, a small part of my case—against the inquiry that has been held. The inquiry has failed to give any true picture of the extent of the evils, has failed to point out any of the causes, and has failed to push home any of the responsibilities; and by the manner of conducting its proceedings, by the refusal of evidence and the failure to take the right evidence, and by allowing itself to fall into the hands of an organisation on one side of the case, it has reflected grave discredit on English public life. For these reasons I have appealed, and I appeal again, to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War to go outside of the Report which has resulted from such an inquiry, and to take larger and more practical views in framing his reforms than are to be found in that document. And, Sir, I venture to make another appeal to the Government, an appeal which perhaps it would not be in order, in connection with this Vote in Supply, for me to make in any larger or more specific terms than by stating this. If we have entered on an era when the demands of our position call not so much for new legislation as that we should put our house in order, and if that can only be done in every department by a full, searching, and relentless investigation of its defects, then the worst model we can adopt for that process, and the weakest and rottenest basis of reform, will be this farce of an inquiry for which we arc now voting this large sum of public money.

    said he was sure ho was expressing the opinion of many hon Members on both sides of the House that the hon. Gentleman had no need to make any apology for the very important and valuable speech to which they had just listened. He thought they ought to all associate themselves in the protest that a question of this magnitude and far-reaching importance should be discussed at one o'clock in the morning. He did not say anything about who was responsible; but he called it a public scandal that the only opportunity they had of discussing a matter in which the lives of thousands of our countrymen were involved should be at that hour in the morning. He wished to draw the attention of the Secretary for War to one or two statements on which ho thought they were entitled to some explanation. He agreed with the hon. Gentleman that a Commission without powers to take evidence on oath could not present a Report which would be satisfactory. Take the case of the Belfast Riots Commission, where only a few lives were concerned. That Commission reported that it would be useless to take evidence unless on oath. Not only had the South African Commission no power to take evidence on oath, but they had no power to protect witnesses, and anyone giving evidence was liable to official criticism and censure. He would point out that the Report itself stated that the Royal Army Medical Corps was totally insufficient, and was so constituted that it could not be materially enlarged or have its deficiencies made good, and that these deficiencies were felt throughout the whole of the South African campaign. It then went on to state that for a considerable time before the outbreak of the war the necessity for increasing the staff of the Royal Army Medical Corps was urged upon the military authorities, but for the most part without avail. That was a direct charge that, the corps being insufficient, recommendations had been made that it ought to be increased, and that those recommendations had not been acted upon. The Committee was entitled to know who were responsible for that inaction and neglect. Why was it that when responsible people at the head of the Royal Army Medical Corps recommended that the corps should be increased no attention whatever was paid to their recommendations? That was a very serious charge against the Government, meriting some notice from the right hon. Gentleman in his reply. There was one other point. At the out break of the war the hon. Member for the Ilkeston Division pointed out the inevitable results of typhoid in South Africa, and suggested that a special Commission should go out to assist the Army doctors with their experience. That Suggestion was rejected by the authorities on the ground that there was not the same need of special assistance with regard to sanitary matters as with surgical operations. But recently the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State had gone entirely back on that position. and had practically censured the Government by saying that he thought the experience of the war had shown that a Committee of that character would have done good service. It certainly seemed that that refusal required some? explanation. The points he put to the right hon. Gentleman were: Why was it that we went to war with the Royal Army Medical Corps not even up to peace strength and altogether unfit to deal with the conflict in which we were engaged; and, secondly, what justification was there for the Government in not adopting the suggestion with regard to taking proper sanitary precautions? The Committee had every confidence that the right hon. Gentleman would take advantage of the Report and act upon it, but that was not the whole question. We had to do with a state of things in the past which it was no good hushing up or attempting to discuss at one o'clock in the morning. In that Report there were sufficient charges to demand an explanation from the Government, because upon them, after all, rested the responsibility for the neglect.

    , having taken an interest in this matter from the beginning, felt bound to say that he was startled and pained by the very grave position in which they found themselves. The hon. Member for Westminster had levelled against the Commission some of the most serious charges ever made against any public inquiry, and which really deserved the grave consideration of the Government. It had been shown that the Commission started without proper powers and never took the trouble to arm itself with those powers; that it refused evidence over and over again; and that citizens of high standing were invited to attend and then the evidence they were prepared to give was practically refused. In the Report the Commissioners themselves virtually admitted the whole case brought forward in the House before the Commission was constituted, for on page 39 they stated—

    "We think that the deficiencies of the staff at Bloemfontein were not thoroughly realised as soon as they might have been, and that more doctors might have been obtained and sent up so as to supply these deficiencies earlier. We cannot think that the deficiencies of transport, which we are fully aware of, could have prevented doctors being obtained and sent into the town."
    The same remarks applied to the lack of nurses. That was an admission of the whole case with regard to the unfortunate men who died at Bloemfontein, and the Report, from beginning to end, if read between the lines, admitted most of the charges which were made in the House. There were many things which struck one in analysing the Report. In any thorough inquiries, even without professional experience, if animated by a desire to get at the bottom of the matter, one of the first things would he to state the death rate from typhoid fever. But there was nothing of that sort in this document. One gathered from Lord Roberts's telegram that the death rate at that date was about twenty-one per cent. It was as low as twelve and a half in some hospitals and under eight per cent. in others, but there was nothing whatever in the Report to show why our men had died at the rate of twenty-one, or in some places twenty-three per cent. With regard to the supply of beds, it was laid down by authorities on all hands that the minimum supply should be equal to ten per cent. of the force. That question the Commission did not attempt to grapple with, and in the Report it was almost impossible to find the number of beds at any time available for the Army. On the information he had from time to time received it seemed that at no period was the minimum of ten per cent. provided. At the beginning of the active advance there were about 116,000 soldiers in South Africa, and, on the widest computation, only 9,000 instead of 11,600 beds. When the number of men had reached 184,000, the beds numbered only about 12,000, instead of 18,400, so that apparently as the Army increased, the medical appliances and the provisions for the comfort of the troops became less. Even in the middle of last year, after all the debates in the House and the efforts of the War Office to supply the deficiencies, the proper proportion of beds had not been supplied. Taking the Report as it stood, and analysing the figures given as to beds, it presented a very grave condemnation of the medical arrangements in connection with the war. The most amusing thing—if anything concerning this matter could be amusing—was that the only conclusion the Commission, after holding its inquiry in South Africa, could come to. was that another Committee should be appointed to do the work they did not do. The Leader of the House had stated that the object of the Commission was to inquire into the treatment of every wounded and sick soldier in South Africa; but that was the very thing the Commission had not done. They had gone altogether on the wrong track, and the responsibility, no matter on whom it rested, was a very grave one. Instead of carrying out the object with which they were sent, the Commission inquired into the efficiency of the Royal Army Medical Corps, with the view, apparently, of preparing a defence. The Royal Army Medical Corps was not attacked in the House. Mistakes doubtless were made by the corps; there were some bad officers among them, but bad officers I had been discovered in almost every branch of the Army in the course of the campaign, and the Royal Army Medical Corps was no worse than other depart- merits. Some men did not do their duty, but, taken man for man, he believed that the Royal Army Medical Corps in this campaign had deserved as well of the country as any other branch of the military service. But the great complaint was that the corps was undermanned from the beginning, and, with all the additions the right hon. Gentleman had been able to make, it was still about 100 less than it was forty years ago. That in itself was a scandal.

    reminded the hon. Member that the Vote under discussion was for the Commission of Inquiry, and that it would be out of order to discuss thereon the policy of the War Office with regard to the organisation of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

    did not wish to go into the question of the re-organisation of the Army Medical Corps. The Report of the Commission assigned its defects to the underimanning of that department, and the result was that we had had to fall back upon civil surgeons. He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman how he proposed to follow out the recommendations contained in the Report with reference to the Army Medical Corps Corps.

    It is impossible for an answer to be given to such a question upon this Vote.

    said that apparently those recommendations did not come within the purview of the Vote, but he would be able to ask his question, no doubt, on the Army Medical Vote. That would be no inconvenience to him, and perhaps it would be better to discuss it then. The Army Medical Department, in endeavouring to meet the deficiencies, had had to rely upon sending out a large number of civil surgeons. He thought we were bound to recognise that those civil surgeons had rendered a vast amount of service, but they had not received the same amount of consideration that they might have done in view of the large number sent out and the good work they had done. Over 300 of them had been sent out. We had about 468 members of the Royal Army Medical Corps, and no less than 385 civil surgeons had been doing similar work. That additional staff which was obtained during the difficulties in South Africa, was a measure of what we should require in order to meet similar difficulties in the future. He wished to get out of this debate and out of this Report such a consideration of the whole question, as would lessen the sufferings of the soldier on his campaigns in the future by preventing, whore-ever possible, the spread of preventible diseases. The Army Medical Department must be kept in such a state of efficiency that what had been called scandals might not occur in the future. It was true that this Report said that there was no such thing as a hospital scandal, but he thought that statement went a little too far. Those who had read the Appendix of the Report must admit that there was a want of proper organisation on the part of the Army medical officers, and a want of supply of those ordinary creature comforts which were absolutely necessary in sickness. The absence of those led not only to an enormous amount of needless suffering, but also to the sacrifice of hundreds of lives. He knew that the right hon. Gentleman was in no way responsible for this, but ho hoped that under his régime steps would be taken to prevent a repetition of what he thought was one of the most painful features of this campaign, by which many lives had been lost which might, under more favourable conditions, have been saved.

    I do not think that the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy was quite fair when he said that this was a very inconvenient occasion, and, at the same time, the only occasion upon which this subject could be discussed. The hon. Member will remember that we had some discussion on the subject, including a speech from the hon. Member for Westminster, on the King's Speech. Possibly some hours debate has been devoted to less important subjects which might have been devoted to this question. The position at this moment is that we are invited to consider how this Commission performed its duty. My hon. friend the Member for Westminster has made a most vehement attack upon the character of this inquiry and the principles which have guided them. In the few words I propose to say I would like to ask, as a matter of common sense, on what grounds are these motives imputed to this Commission? What can possibly be the grounds upon which my hon. friend thinks he has discovered in the whole action of this Commission the sinister motives of a determination to shield the Army Medical Corps, to burke the inquiry, and to report something that will be favour- able to the military authorities? What can be the motive of these independent gentlemen—not one of whom, so far as I know, has anything to gain in the matter from the Government—doing this? They are all independent men with nothing to gain by such action; they are men of the highest character, and what can be the motive which would induce them to act in the way the hon. Member for Westminster says they have acted? I am at a loss to understand what their motive could be.

    I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that I did not give my opinions, but I confined myself to giving the facts with regard to the inquiry. I had to give a précis of my speech, and I devoted the whole of my remarks to facts and incidents.

    I hold no brief for the Hospitals Commission, but I know that they are a body of thoroughly high-minded gentlemen who gave an immense amount of time and hard work to this subject, who travelled a great many thousand miles, and who took up this inquiry for a public purpose, and reported on matters as they found them-If their Report is not altogether satisfactory to my hon. friend and to some other hon. Members of this House, I can only say that so far as I am concerned I do not feel that I am bound by the four corners of this Report as to what requires to be done in the Army. In the nature of things it cannot be an exhaustive Report. Looking at this matter quite impartially, I think the hon. Member cast a very unmerited slur upon the Commission when he said that these gentlemen concluded their labours by appointing a Committee to do the very work which they had been appointed to do. That was not an accurate statement of the facts. This Commission was appointed to consider and report upon the care and treatment of the sick and wounded during the South African campaign. They may or may not have carried out that instruction to the satisfaction of some hon. Members of this House, but I think they were fully justified in recommending the appointment of a Committee to inquire into and report on the steps needed to attract in the futurea sufficient supply of medical officers and nurses. This Committee which is suggested deals with the future and not with the past. I think hon. Gentlemen who have spoken have pushed these matters against the Commission a great deal too far. I am not going to weary the Committee by dealing in detail with the points raised in the very vigorous indictment which my hon. friend has made, but I wish to refer to a statement which ho made with regard to Lord Roberts. The hon. Member said, with a great appearance of force, that Lord Roberts having been called as a witness at Pretoria, it was obvious that no private soldier who afterwards gave evidence would be anxious to give a different opinion. That statement no doubt impressed many hon. Members with the idea that nothing like fair evidence would be obtained. To prove this I think the hon. Member ought to have shown that, whereas the evidence given before Lord Roberts was of one character, the evidence given by officers afterwards was of a totally different character.

    I am sorry that the late hour at which I spoke obliged me to leave out some very important parts of my speech. I had intended to close with the sentence that if you had any doubt upon this point, it was only necessary to examine the' evidence which followed Lord Roberts's evidence, and it would be found that not a single officer in the Army afterwards gave an opinion opposite to that expressed by Lord Roberts.

    I confess that I can produce one or two pieces of evidence which will hardly bear out that statement. I do not wish to widen the gulf between myself and those hon. Members who look upon this Report as being unsatisfactory, and I hope we shall all took at it as the commencement of the reform of the Army Medical Service. The hon. Member for Kirkcaldy asked why the Army Medical Corps were not fully equipped at the time we entered on the war. I can only remind the House that the blame for this shortage lies as much at the door of this House as at any other point. We have had the Army Medical Corps organised on the principle that three army corps only were necessary, and if that principle had been adhered to I believe that the arrangements organised in regard to the Army Medical Corps would have been sufficient. But instead of three army corps, provision had to be immediately made for six army corps. I well recollect how some remarks I made a fortnight ago, in regard to the necessity of preparing to send out 120,000 men abroad, were received. If this House only allows us to organise the Army Medical Corps to supply 120,000 men, how can you expect the same medical staff to supply the medical requirements of 220,000 men? I may tell the hon. Member that I think the experience of the war will show that a Committee such as that suggested by the Commission would be an extremely valuable one. Looking at this matter impartially, I think it is regrettable to pass this unmerited slur on men who have, at any rate, tried to do their duty properly according to their lights. I do not think it ought to be supposed for a, moment that a Commission appointed to inquire into the care of the sick and wounded during the campaign could cover the whole ground, nor would its Report be the only guide for the future In regard to the reform of the Army Medical Corps. For the re-organisation of the Department I will not look to the Report alone. I am perfectly aware that in the past the condition of the Army Medical Corps has not been satisfactory in several respects. First of all, we have had far too small a choice of men to bring into the corps, and until we remedy that defect we shall not have an efficient Service. We have not had sufficient elasticity in connection with the Service. I approach this question with an absolutely open mind. I do not feel that we can build altogether on the existing foundation. We shall not limit ourselves to official sources for inspiration. I am not in the least without hope, that before very long the steps about to be taken will enable us to bring before the House a scheme which will give us a really effective Army Medical Service.

    said the right hon. Gentleman had stated that it was an independent and impartial Commission, but was that really so? He had complained of the hon. Member for Westminster attributing sinister motives to the Commission, which was composed of independent gentlemen. It should be remembered what was the position of the Government at the time the Commission was appointed. At that time it was most important for the Government that the Commission they were appointing should bring in a Report in favour of the action of the Government with reference to the provision made for the Army Medical Service in South Africa. It would have been a serious thing for the Government if, as the result of their inquiries, the Commission had found that the Government had failed in their duty to the soldiers in South Africa. The Commission had at its head Lord Justice Romer, who was the legal grade, if he might say so, of the Commission. It had been conclusively proved that in his method of conducting the inquiry he had departed altogether from legal traditions, customs, and forms. What happened? Before the Commission left England the evidence of certain witnesses was tendered, and it was refused by the Commission. The hon. Member thought he was correct in stating that Lord Justice Romer promised that the evidence of those witnesses would be received on the return of the Commission from South Africa. On their return Lord Justice Romer and the other members of the Commission absolutely declined to receive the evidence that was tendered. In an ordinary case in any of the courts of this country such a proceeding in the way of refusing to receive evidence would be rightly regarded as a disgrace to the judicial bench. The case for the accusers of the Government in connection with the provision made for the Army Medical Corps in South Africa was not heard by the Commission, and all the evidence taken was evidence for the defence. On reading the Report they found that it was not the judgment in any sense of an impartial or an independent tirbunal. It was a special plea from beginning to end for the defence and against the accusers. It was a most amusing thing to go through the Report. All through the Report such expressions were to be found as "on the whole," "generally speaking," and "as a rule." The Principal Medical Officer and head medical staff were strongly animadverted upon, and then the Report said—

    "But taking their work as a whole, and considering the difficulties they have had to contend with, we think that the Principal Medical Officer and his head staff have done excellent work."
    There were pages devoted to criticising the Principal Medical Officer and his staff and showing how they had failed to do their duty in very important details. The Commission accused the orderlies of general thievery, but their Report also said—
    "Complaints against orderlies in this war have been somewhat numerous, though, on the other hand, the way in which the orderlies as a body discharged their duties has deservedly been the subject of high praise from many witnesses of experience."
    With respect to the condition of the Field Hospital of the 12th Brigade at Bloemfontein the Report says—
    "This hospital was in many respects unsatisfactory, but the results on the patients were not so bad as might have been anticipated."
    The whole Report showed a lack of organisation and want of attention to detail. Even the headings of the various portions of the Report confirmed this—as, for instance, "Delay in bringing up hospitals," "Delay in bringing up medical staff," "Delay in moving patients from railway stations," and so on. The Report from beginning to end was a special plea on behalf of the defendants in the dock for their treatment of the soldiers of the Queen in South Africa. It appeared to him, in reading the Report, that Lord Justice Romer probably had most to do with the drafting of it, but that on the one hand he had the angel of truth compelling him to put in these reservations and exceptions, while on the other hand stood the angel of whitewash, because the Report proved that the Commission was a whitewashing Commission and nothing else. His Lordship therefore had a very difficult part to play in framing the Report, and under all the circumstances; he did his task extremely well. As an Irish Member he had no sympathy with Irishmen who joined the King's Army, and he had done his best to persuade them not to do so. But when unfortunate Irishmen, through poverty, had been driven to enter the Army he was entitled to intervene in the debate in order to criticise the action of the Government and the Royal Army Medical Corps in not properly providing for the comfort of the men who were fighting the battles of the country. He moved to reduce the Vote by £1,000.

    Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Item. Class 7, Vote 1, be reduced by £1,000."—( Mr. O'Shee.)

    drew the attention of the Committee to the case of a Unionist friend of his who, joining the Army, was sent to South Africa. While there he fell sick and was put into one of the bell-tents. For five days he was lying on the ground without a blanket and without any sanitary accommodation whatever. He was half-starved, and it was only his strong Irish constitution which kept him alive. The doctor never went near him, he had no medicine or treatment of any kind, and apparently nobody cared whether the wounded and sick lived or died. In contrast to that, another friend of his, who went out with the Irish Yeomanry, was taken prisoner by the Boers, and the man said that the Boers treated him as a prisoner a great deal better than our own men were treated in our own hospitals. He full}' agreed that the Report was a whitewashing Report. The gentlemen who went outwore no doubt impelled by the highest motive, but that highest motive was to get the Government out of a difficulty. There was not the slightest doubt that this eminent judge was put at the head of the Commission in order that no damaging admissions should appear, and the result was that the Government had got a Report according to order, and the Committee were expected to swallow everything contained therein. The War Office and the officials responsible ought undoubtedly to be brought to justice at the bar of public opinion. This was nothing else but a public scandal in regard to the way the wounded were treated, and he promised his friend that ho would make the case public. He was prepared to give the gentleman's name, only he told him that he did not want to pose as a martyr. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would take these facts into consideration.

    thought very grave and serious charges had been made by the hon. Member for Westminster, and he had proved his case up to the hilt, and they were entitled to have a clear and sufficient answer to that ease from the Government. He thought this Hospitals Commission was simply an electioneering Commission sent out for the purposes of the General Election. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the members of this Commission were impartial and disinterested, but he did not say that two of them had got titles which they never would otherwise have got. When the Government appointed Commissions to inquire into the riots at Belfast and the Broadhead outrages at Sheffield they were given power to protect witnesses who gave evidence; but in the case of this Commission, which dealt with the lives of thousands of soldiers, that power was refused. That being the case, how could they expect any other result than the very limited Report which was presented to the House? The hon. Member for Westminster had told them plainly how the wounded were treated. He knew a private in the Irish Yeomanry who fought at Lindley, and he received a slight injury which ought to have healed in a week or two with proper treatment, but in consequence of being dealt with by an incompetent doctor at the front that soldier was now limping about Dublin with one leg. That would not have happened if they had not tried to run the Army on society lines, with society generals and society doctors. There were numbers of men in Ireland who had lost their limbs through merely trivial wounds, and this could have been prevented if their injuries had been attended to at the time by competent doctors. The Report presented was simply a whitewashing Report, and the £8,000 spent on this Commission was simply for official whitewash. He hoped his hon. friend would press his motion to a division.

    said he could not sit silently and hear the Army Medical Department abused. It was not the officers, but the system under which they worked that was to blame. He know a large number of medical officers engaged in this war, and they told him in communications that they knew where to get the supplies, but the system was such that, although, they went and begged for these things for the sick and wounded, they could not get them. After the letters of the hon. Member for Westminster appeared in The Times then all these difficulties were removed. There could not be the smallest doubt that not only this House, but the country and every British soldier, owed to the hon. Member for Westminster a debt of gratitude for what he had done. He did not hesitate to say that the action of the hon. Member for Westminster had been instrumental in saving the lives of thousands of men in South Africa. He did not blame the Government so much, because they had sent out large quantities of every sort of supplies; but the system of distribution was such that it destroyed the vitality of the service. He knew a case where a soldier had his hand blown off, and when the medical officer came to amputate the limb there was no antiseptic for him to use. They were not allowed to keep such things in small estab- lishments, and they could not be supplied within ten days. He knew another ease where there was an outbreak of diphtheria, and the medical officer had to buy diphtheric anti-toxine because the Government had not provided any. Those were absolute facts, and he felt sure that the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary of State for War, who had shown such a great interest in reforms in the Army, and had proposed such an elaborate scheme, would do all that was possible to remedy the state of things which existed in the Army Medical Service at present. As regarded the Army Medical men themselves, amid great dangers, wherever their services were required they were always there. They never spared themselves in the Crimea, and they had not spared themselves in South Africa.

    contended that the system under which the Army Medical Corps worked was bad and defective, and it was not right to try and throw the blame for what had occurred during this campaign on the doctors. These men did not wish to pose as martyrs. In fact, some of them, were rather doubtful of the results that would accrue to themselves for the sacrifices they had made for the honour of Great Britain. It was clear that the evidence of the men who had suffered most had not been accepted. This was proof positive that the Commission was appointed not to find facts or to bring home any defects in the system, but to make it appear to the public that the statements made by the hon. Gentleman, who was not an opponent but a supporter of the Government, were exaggerated. The Commission was a fraudulent Commission from the beginning, and was sent out to South Africa to cover up the defects of the system, and to bring a plausible Report before the country, to exonerate the

    AYES

    Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.Archdale, Edward MervynAshmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis
    Agg-Gardner, James TynteArkwright, John StanhopeAtkinson, Rt. Hon. John
    Agnew, Sir Andrew NoelArnold-Forster, Hugh O.Bagot, Capt. Joceline FitzRoy

    Gentlemen on the Front Bench who were responsible for the muddle in South Africa. It was not a Commission that did any practical good, and it was never intended to do anything else than purely and solely to whitewash the Government. The Report was not worth £8,000; in fact, it was not worth the cost of the paper on which it was printed. His contention was not that the doctors had neglected their duty in the field, or that they were inefficient as individuals, but that the system as a whole was inefficient, and that the staff were not numerous enough to cope with the difficulties with which they were surrounded. The war was entered into without sufficient food, supplies, clothing, or medicines. The Commission did no earthly good. If any good was done it was by the hon. Member for Westminster; who, however, had been closured when he wanted to bring forward evidence to prove every charge that had been made. It was a clover move on the part of the Commission to ask the head of the Army to give his evidence first. That was done intentionally to prevent any underling, or non-commissioned officer, or private giving true evidence. He himself had seen men driven mad by their sufferings and neglect. He had taken a man to the police quarters who had been driven out of barracks by his colleagues.

    rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

    Question put, "That the Question be now put."

    The Committee divided:—Ayes, 154; Noes, 72. (Division List No. 77.)

    Bain, Colonel James RobertHardy, Laurence (Kent, AshfdPlatt-Higgins, Frederick
    Balcarres, LordHarris, Fleverton (TynemouthPretyman, Ernest George
    Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)Heath, Arthur Howard (HanleyPryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
    Bathurst, Hon. Allen BenjaminHeath, James (Staffords, N. W.)Purvis, Robert
    Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (BristolHope, J. F.(Sheff'ld,BrightsideRandles, John S.
    Bentinck, Lord Henry C.Howard, Capt J (Kent, Faversh.Reid, James (Greenock)
    Bignold, ArthurJessel, Capt. Herbert MertonRentoul, James Alexander
    Bill, CharlesJohnston, William (Belfast)Renwick, George
    Blundell, Colonel HenryKenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (DenbighRidley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge
    Bond, EdwardRidley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green
    Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
    Brassey, AlbertLaw, Andrew BonarRobertson, Herbert (Hackney)
    Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. JohnLawrence, William F.Royds, Clement Molyneux
    Cautley, Henry StrotherLawson, John Grant
    Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)Legge, Col. Hon. HeneageSackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
    Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.Leigh- Bennett, Henry CarrieSadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
    Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. SSassoon, Sir Edward Albeit
    Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
    Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm.Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, SSharpe, William Edward T.
    Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'rLowther, C. (Cumb. Eskdale)Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
    Chapman, EdwardLoyd, Archie KirkmanSinclair, Louis (Romford)
    Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A.E.Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)Skewes-Cox, Thomas
    Corbett, A. Cameron(Glasgow)Lucas, Reginald J.(PortsmouthSmith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
    Smith, HC (North'mb Tyneside
    Cranborne, ViscountMacartney, Rt.Hn. W G EllisonSmith, James Parker (Lanarks.
    Cubitt, Hon. HenryMacdona, John CummingSpear, John Ward
    Dalkeith, Earl ofM'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)Stauley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
    Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)Majendie, James A. H.Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
    Dewar, T. R (T'rH'mlets, S.Geo.Malcolm, TanStock, James Henry
    Dickson, Charles ScottManners, Lord CecilStrutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
    Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.Maxwell, WJ H (DumfriesshireSturt, Hon. Humphry Napie
    Dimsdale, Sir Joseph C.Melville. Beresford ValentineTalbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
    Disraeli, Coningsby RalphMilward, Colonel VictorThornton, Percy M.
    Durning-Lawrence, Sir EdwinMolesworth, Sir LewisTomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
    Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William HartMontagu, G. (Huntingdon)
    Moon, Edward Robert PacyValentia, Viscount
    Egerton, Hon. A. de TattonMore, Robt. Jasper (ShropshireWalker, Col. William Hall.
    Fielden, Edward BrocklehurstMorgan, Day, J. (WalthamstowWarde, Lieut.-Col. C. E.
    Finch, George H.Morgan, Hn. Fred(Monm'thsh.Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
    Finlay, Sir Robert BannatyneMorrell, George HerbertWelby, Lt.-Col. ACE(Taunton)
    Fisher, William HayesMorris, Hon. Martin Henry F.Whiteley, H. (Ashton under L.
    Morrison, James ArchibaldWilliams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
    Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.Morton, Arthur HA(Deptford)Willox, Sir John Archibald
    Cordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&NairnMount, William ArthurWilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
    Goschen, Hn. George JoachimMurray, Rt Hn A Graham (ButeWilson, John (Glasgow)
    Greene, Sir EW (BryS. Edm'ndsMurray, Charles J. (Coventry
    Greene, W. Raymond(Cambs.)Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
    Grenfell, William HenryNewdigate, Francis AlexanderWyndham, Rt. Hon. George
    Groves, James GrimbleNicholson, William Graham
    Guthrie, Walter MurrayNicol, Donald Ninian

    TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.

    Hambro, Charles ErieO'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
    Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'xPemberton, John S. G.
    Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.Penn, John

    NOES.

    Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)Dalziel, James HenryJoicey, Sir James
    Abraham, William (Rhondda)Doogan, P. C.Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)
    Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc, Stroud)Dully, William J.Jordan, Jeremiah
    Barry, E. (Cork, S.)Elibank, Master ofJoyce, Michael
    Boland, JohnFarrell, James PatrickKennedy, Patrick James
    Boyle, JamesFenwick, CharlesLeamy, Edmund
    Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)Field, WilliamLeigh, Sir Joseph
    Burke, E. Haviland-Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)Levy, Maurice
    Burns, JohnFuller, J. M. F.Lundon, W.
    Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)Gilhooly, JamesM'Crae, George
    Clancy, John JosephGladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert JohnM'Dermott, Patrick
    Condon, Thomas JosephHammond, JohnM'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)
    Crean, EugeneHardie, J Keir (Merthyr TydvilMooney, John J.
    Cullinan, J.Hayden, John PatrickMurphy, J.
    Daly, JamesHayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N

    O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)Reddy, M.Thomas, J. A. (Glam.,Gower)
    O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)Redmond, J. E. (Waterford)Thompson, E. C. (Monaghan, N.
    O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)Redmond, William (Clare)Tully, Jasper
    O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)Roche, JohnWarner, Thomas CourtenayT.
    O'Dowd, JohnSamuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)Weir, James Galloway
    O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)Soares, Ernest J.White, Luke (York, E. R.)
    O'Kelly, Jas (Roscommon, N.)Sullivan, DonalWilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
    O'Malley, WilliamTennant, Harold John

    TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.

    O'Mara, JamesThomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)
    O'Shee, James JohnThomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings

    Question put accordingly, "That the Item, Class 7, Vote 1, be reduced by £1,000."

    AYES.

    Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)Gladstone Rt. Hn. Herbert J.O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
    Abraham, William (Rhondda)Hammond, JohnO'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N
    Allen, C. P. (Glonc, Stroud)Hardie, J. Keir(MerthyrTydvilO'Malley, William
    Barry, E. (Cork. S.)Hayden, John PatrickO'Mara, James
    Boland, JohnHayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-O'Shee, James John
    Boyle, JamesJoicey, Sir JamesRoddy, M.
    Brown, George M.(Edinburgh)Jones, William (Carnarvonsh'eRedmond, JohnE. (Waterford
    Burke, E. Haviland-Jordan, JeremiahRedmond, William (Clare)
    Burns, JohnJoyce, MichaelRoche, John
    Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)Kennedy, Patrick JamesSamuel S M (Whitechapel)
    Clancy, John JosephLeamy, EdmundSoares, Ernest J.
    Condon, Thomas JosephLeigh, Sir JosephSullivan, Donal
    Crean, EugeneLevy, MauriceTennant, Harold John
    Cullinan, J.Lundon, W.Thomas Alfred (Glamorgan, E
    Daly, JamesM'Crae, GeorgeThomas, F. Freeman (Hastings
    Dalziel, James HenryM'Dermott, PatrickThomas, J. A. (Glam., Gower)
    Doogan, P. C.M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)Thompson, E.C. (Monaghan, N
    Duffy, William J.Mooney, John J.Tally, Jasper
    Elibank, Master ofMurphy, J.Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.
    Farrell, James PatrickNolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.)Weir, James Galloway
    Fenwick, CharlesO'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)White, Luke (York, E.R.)
    Field, WilliamO'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)Wilson, Jhn. (Durham, Mid.)
    Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.
    Fuller, J. M. F.O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
    Gilhooly, JamesO'Dowd, John

    NOES.

    Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. E.Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)Goschen, Hon. George Joachim
    Agg-Gardner, James TynteCecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)Greene, Sir E W (B'rySEdm'nds
    Agnew, Sir Andrew NoelChamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs)
    Archdale, Edward MervynChamberlain, J. Austen (Wore.Grenfell, William Henry
    Arkwright, John StanhopeChapman, EdwardGroves, James Grimble
    Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A.E.Hambro, Charles Eric
    Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir EllisCorbett, A. C. (Glasgow)Hamilton, Rt. Hn Lord G (Mid'x
    Atkinson, Rt. Hon. JohnCranborne, ViscountHanbury, Rt. Hon. Rbt. Wm.
    Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoyCubitt, Hon. HenryHardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfrd
    Bain, Colonel James RobertDalkeith, Earl ofHarris, Fleverton (Tynemouth
    Balcarres, LordDavies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley
    Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'rDewar, T. R. (T'rH'mlts,S.Geo.Heath, J. (Staffords, N. W.)
    Bathurst, Hon, Allen BenjaminDickson, Charles ScottHope, J. E (Sheffield, Brightside
    Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (BristolDickson-Poynder, Sir John P.Howard, Capt. J (Kent,Faversh
    Bentinck, Lord Henry C.Dimsdale, Sir Joseph CockfieldJessel, Captain Herbert Merton
    Bignold, ArthurDisraeli, Coningsby RalphJohnston, William (Belfast)
    Bill, CharlesDurning-Lawrence, Sir EdwinKenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh
    Blundell, Colonel HenryDyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. H.Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W (Salop.
    Bond, EdwardEgerton, Hon. A. de TattonLaw, Andrew Bonar
    Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-Lawrence, William F.
    Brassey, AlbertFielden, Edward BrocklehurstLawson, John Grant
    Brodrick, Rt, Hon. St. JohnFinch, George H.Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
    Finlay, Sir Robert BannatyneLeigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
    Cautley, Henry StrotherFisher, William HayesLeveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.
    Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.
    Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&NairnLong, Rt Hn Walter (Bristol,S.)

    The Committee divided:—Ayes, 72; Noes, 153. (Division List No. 78.)

    Lowther, C. (Cumb., EskdaleNicholson, William GrahamSmith, HC. (North'mb. Tynes'e
    Loyd, Archie KirkmanNichol, Donald NinianSmith, James Parker (Lanarks.
    Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)O'Neill, Hon. Robert TorrensSpear, John Ward
    Lucas, Reginald J. (PortsmouthPemberton, John S. G.Stanley, Hn. Arthur(Ormskirk
    Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. EllisonPenn. JohnStanley, Lord (Lanes.)
    Macdona, John CummingPlatt-Higgins, FrederickStock, James Henry
    M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)Pretyman, Ernest GeorgeStrutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
    Majendie, James A. H.Pryce-Jones, Lt-Col. EdwardSturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
    Malcolm, IanPurvis, RobertTalbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
    Manners, Lord CecilRandles, John S.Thornton, Percy M.
    Maxwell, WJH (Dumfriesshir)Reid, James (Greenock)Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
    Melville, Beresford ValentineRentoul, James AlexanderValentia, Viscount
    Milward, Colonel VictorRenwick, GeorgeWalker, Col. William Hall
    Molesworth, Sir LewisRidley, Hn. M. W. (StalybridgeWarde, Lieut.-Col. C. E.
    Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal GreenWason, John C. (Orkney)
    Moon, Edward Robert PacyRitchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. ThomsonWelby, Lt-Col A.C.E (Taunton
    More, R. Jasper (Shropshire)Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)Whiteley, H Ashton und. Lyne
    Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)Royds, Clement MolyneuxWilliams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
    Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-Willox, Sir John Archibald
    Morrell, George HerbertSadler, Col Samuel AlexanderWilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.
    Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.Sassoon, Sir Edward AlbertWilson, John (Glasgow)
    Morrison, James ArchibaldSeely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B. Stuart-
    Morton, Arthur H. A. (DeptfordSharpe, William Edward T.Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
    Mount, William ArthurShaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew
    Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(ButeSinclair, Louis (Romford)TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
    Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)Skewes-Cox, Thomas
    Newdigate, Francis Alexander-Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East

    (remaining seated and speaking with his hat on) asked if this would preclude them from discussing two very important Votes relating to salmon fisheries and the Port of London.

    The Leader of the House having claimed that the main question be now put, and I having accepted that motion. I am afraid the hon. Member will be precluded from further discussion.

    May I ask, Mr. Lowther, on a point of order, what is the main question? Is the question you are putting the total sum of £893,000?

    AYES.

    Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'rBurdett-Coutts, W.
    Agg-Gardner, James TynteBathurst, Hon. A. BenjaminCautley, Henry Strother
    Agnew, Sir Andrew NoelBeach, Rt. Hn. SirM. H. (BristolCavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)
    Archdale, Edward MervynBentinck, Lord Henry C.Cavendish, V. C.W (Derbyshire
    Arkwrigbt, John StanhopeBignold, ArthurCecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)
    Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.Bill, CharlesCecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)
    Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir EllisBlundell, Colonel HenryChamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.
    Atkinson, Rt. Hon. JohnBond, EdwardChamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r
    Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoyBoscawen, Arthur Griffith-Chapman, Edward
    Bain, Colonel James RobertBrassey, AlbertCochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.
    Balcarres, LordBrodrick, Rt. Hon. St. JohnCorbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)

    asked if it would be in order to exempt the Vote dealing with the funeral of Her late Majesty, because this would be the only opportunity afforded to the House of discussing that Vote.

    There is no means of exempting that item. Original Question put accordingly, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £893,316, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1901, for Civil Services and Revenue Departments."

    The Committee divided:—Ayes, 159; Noes, 64. (Division List No. 79.)

    Cranborne, ViscountLeigh-Bennett, Henry CurrieRidley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge
    Cubitt, Hon. HenryLeveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S.Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green
    Dalkeith, Earl ofLockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson
    Davies, Sir Horatio D (ChathamLong, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, SRobertson, Herbert (Hackney)
    Dewar, T. R (T'rH'ml'ts,S. Geo.Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)Royds, Clement Molyneux
    Dickson, Charles ScottLoyd, Archie KirkmanSackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
    Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
    Dimsdale, Sir Joseph CockfieldLucas, Reginald J. (Portsm'th)Seely, Charles Hilton(Lincoln)
    Disraeli, Coningsby RalphMacartney, RtHn W. G. EllisonSharpe, William Edward T.
    Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-Macdona, John CummingShaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
    Durning-Lawrence, Sir EdwinM'Killop, James (StirlingshireSinclair, Louis (Romford)
    Egerton, Hon. A. de TattonMajendie, James A. H.Skewes Cox, Thomas
    Fielden, Edward BrocklehurstMalcolm, IanSmith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
    Finch, George H.Manners, Lord CecilSmith, HC (North'mb.Tynesi'e
    Finlay, Sir Robert BannatyneMaxwell, W. J. H (Dumfriessh.)Smith, James Parker(Lanarks)
    Fisher, William HayesMelville, Beresford ValentineSpear, John Ward
    Fuller, J. M. F.Milward, Colonel VictorStanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
    Gladstone, Rt. Hon. H. JohnMolesworth, Sir LewisStanley, Lord (Lancs
    Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)Stock, James Henry
    Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&NairnMoon, Edward Robert PacyStrutt, Hon. Charles Hadley
    Goschen, Hn. George JoachimMore, Robt. Jas. (Shropshire)Sturt, Hon. Humphrey Napier
    Greene,SirE. W. (BySEdm'ndsMorgan, D. J. (WalthamstowTalbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
    Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thshThomas, Alfred(Glamorgen, E.
    Grenfell, William HenryMorreli, George HerbertThomas, J. A. (Glam.,Gower
    Groves, James GrimbleMorris, Hon. Martin Henry F.Thornton, Percy M.
    Guthrie, Walter MurrayMorrison, James ArchibaldTomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
    Hambro, Charles EricMorton, Artbur H A. (Deptford)Valentia, Viscount
    Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G.(Mid'xMount, William ArthurWalker, Col. William Hall
    Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Rbt. Wm.Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (ButeWarde, Lieut.-Col. C. E.
    Hardy-Laurence, (Kent, AshfdMurray, Charles J. (CoventryWason, John Cathcart (Orkney
    Harris, Fleverton (TynemouthNewdigate, Francis Alex.Welby, Lt.-Col. ACE (Taunton
    Heath, Arthur Howard(HanleyNicholson, William GrahamWhiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne
    Heath, James (Staffords, N.W.Nicol, Donald NinianWilliams, Col. B. (Dorset
    Hope, J. F. (Sheffield BrightsideO'Neill, Hon. Robert TorrensWillox, Sir John Archiba.
    Howard, Capt. J. (Kent FavershPemberton, John S. G.Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.
    Jessel, Capt. Herbert MertonPenn, JohnWilson, John (Glasgow)
    Johnston, William (Belfast)Platt-Higgins, FrederickWortley, Rt, Hn. C. B.Stuart-
    Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)Pretyman, Ernest GeorgeWyndham, Rt. Hon. George
    Kenyon, Hn. G. T. (Denbigh)Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
    Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (SalopPurvis, RobertTELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
    Law, Andrew BonarHandles, John S.
    Lawrence, William F.Reid, James (Greenock)
    Lawson, John GrantRentoul, James Alexander
    Legge, Col. Hon. HeneageRenwick, George

    NOES.

    Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.Hammond, JohnO'Kelly, James (Roscommon N
    Abraham, William (Rhondda)Hardie, J Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)O'Malley, William
    Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc.,StroudHayden, John PatrickO'Mara, James
    Barry, E. (Cork, S.)Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-O'Shee, James John
    Boyland, JohnJordan, JeremiahReddy, M.
    Boyle, JamesJoyce, MichaelRedmond, John E. (Waterford)
    Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh)Kennedy, Patrick JamesRedmond, William (Clare)
    Burke, E. Haviland-Leamy, EdmundRoche, John
    Burns, JohnLeigh, Sir JosephSamuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
    Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)Levy, MauriceSoares, Ernest J.
    Clancy, John JosephLundon, W.Sullivan, Donal
    Condon, Thomas JosephM'Crae, GeorgeTennant, Harold John
    Crean, EugeneM'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)Thomas, F Freeman-(Hastings
    Cullinan, J.Mooney, John J.Thompson, EC. (Monaghan, N.
    Daly, JamesMorton, E. J. C. (Devonport)Tully, Jasper
    Dalziel, James HenryMurphy, J.Weir, James Galloway
    Doogan, P. C.Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.White, Luke (York, E.IR.)
    Duffy, William J.O'Brien, Kendal(Tipper'ryMidWilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
    Elibank, Master ofO'Connor, T. P. Liverpool)
    Farrell, James PatrickO'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.
    Fenwick, CharlesO'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
    Field, WilliamO'Dowd, John
    Gilhooly, JamesO'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)

    Resolutions to be reported To-morrow; Committee to sit again To-morrow.

    Adjourned at Three of the clock a.m.