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it would involve a large and indefinite ex- | right hon. and gallant Friend (General pense, although that expense would be les- Peel) said something about amateur resened by being spread over a considerable formers of the army, obviously meaning number of years; and partly, also, because that this was a subject with which civilians at present, whatever the opinion of the had little business to interfere. Now, I general public may be, military opinion is venture to say, that although those who not ripe upon the question. I do not want have been brought up in a system are proto overstate the case, and I fully admit bably the best qualified by experience to that a numerical majority of officers would administer it, they are, as a rule, not the now be opposed to the abolition of the best qualified to judge whether the system purchase system. But in a matter of this itself is one which ought to exist. I speak kind opinions should be weighed as well of officers of the army with all respect, but as counted; and when I look at the testi- I shall be excused if I do not speak of mony given by such men as Sir Duncan them with higher respect than I should of M'Dougall, Lord West, Sir James Scar- the judges upon the bench. Now, it is lett, General Franks, General Spencer, notorious, that thirty years ago, when there and, above all, by Lord Clyde, all against was an agitation for a reform of our crimipurchase, I must be allowed to doubt whe- nal law, when a man might be hung for ther there is such a preponderance even of stealing above the value of 40s., the great military opinion as is sometimes claimed majority of the judges were in favour of in favour of retaining the present system. maintaining the then existing law, and As I have mentioned Lord Clyde, perhaps argued against concessions of which now I may be allowed to point out that, by a no rational man doubts the expediency. I curious accident, he has, in evidence given only mention this in order to show that six years ago, completely answered one of persons not previously familiarized with a the strongest points made in his speech to- system are perhaps the best qualified to night by the right hon. Baronet the Secre- judge as to the policy of retaining it, betary for War. The right hon. Gentleman, cause they will be likely to form an unarguing against the system of selection, biassed judgment, one not warped by presaid "What a cruel case it would be, vious habit or training. The House will when the colonel of a regiment dies, if remember that the system of purchase is after the major has taken the command, unknown in any other army than ours. and months have passed, he is told that In the Indian army it exists, but in a form he can retain the command no longer, and so modified, and so divested of its objec somebody else is put over his head." But tionable features, that the two systems does not that happen under the purchase cannot fairly be compared. It is unsystem? Lord Clyde says— known in the navy, in the civil service, and in a large part of our army-in the Artillery and Engineers. Perhaps the fairest test you can find of its merits, is to appeal from those who are accustomed to it to those among whom it has not been introduced, and to ask what would be the feeling of all or any of these professions if you were to try to establish it where it has not existed before. But, in fact, I am understating my case. There is nothing new in purchase. The system of purchasing offices has, at some time, existed in every European country; in every European country it has been abandoned; it has existed in the civil service of England, and here, in every profession but one, it has been abandoned as incompatible with the ideas and requirements of modern times. In the seventeenth century civil offices were purchased in England, and that without secrecy or corruption. the old monarchy of France military, civil, and judicial appointments were purchased.

"An officer in the 55th had been promoted for service in the field, and had obtained his brevet majority. He led the assault at Chinkiang-foo, and though he became brevet lieutenant colonel, and was in command of the regiment in the field, in the presence of the enemy, a young captain who had just come out purchased over his head, and he was obliged to descend to the command of a company."

That shows that the very abuse of which the right hon. Gentleman speaks as likely to arise under the system which he deprecates, does actually arise under the present regulations. As regards military opinion, I do not think that we are to test it by the opinions expressed in this House. It is a popular belief, and in the main it is true, that the system of purchase unduly favours those officers who happen to be men of fortune. Now, that is just the class who are likely to be represented here, and I do not think we ought to take their opinion as being an absolutely accurate representation of that of the army in general. My


And now let us consider a moment how the system works-first, as to the individual officer, and next as to the State. As to the individual, I do not see how any one can make light of the hardship he must feel it to be purchased over. On that point I will again quote an authority-that of Lord Clyde. In his evidence before the Commission he says

It may have been the same in other coun- | such a system as that? I do not wish to tries; but, under the influence of the ideas exaggerate the grievance; but it seems to that have prevailed during the last seventy me, that as a general rule the officer puryears, the practice has everywhere died chased over is likely to be the best rather out except in the British army. The ori- than the worst, and for this reason-that gin of the practice itself is easy to explain. of two men entering the profession with When offices were more lucrative than they equal talent, one of whom takes up his are now, the Government felt a reluctance profession merely as a temporary occupato displace the holders of them summarily; tion, having nothing dependent upon it, and thus, if I may use the term, a sort of while the other feels that not only his tenant-right grew up, and those who suc- chances of distinction, but his very indeceeded to an office paid a compensation for pendence and fortune, depend on successit. The history of this system of purchase the latter, by no merits of his own, but is that of many other abuses. First, a from the circumstances of his position, is practice is more or less openly connived at; almost sure to work harder and to prove then it grows into a custom; and, lastly, the more active and efficient. Then look what has been a general custom grows into at the effect of the system on the officer an institution. Then theories are invented who purchased. He says, with perfect to defend that institution, which would be truth, that his pay is only a fair income on unintelligible to its earliest authors. capital laid out, or 5 per cent on an average on what he has paid. He may say he gives his services to the State without remuneration. And, though the honourable feeling of officers induces them to take this circumstance very little into consideration, yet it is impossible they should not think it something of a hardship if called to perform arduous duties in time of peace. If the feeling is not stronger, it is a proof that the men are good, not that it is a good system. Again, consider what a speculative transaction is the purchase of a commission to an officer of small means. At the best, he sinks half his fortune in a life annuity. If he dies on service, the whole of the capital is lost to his family. Since the subject was last discussed in the House it is true there has been some improvement in the system; now if an officer is killed in action, or dies within six months of a wound received in action, his family receive the value of his commission. Thus the grievance has been partially removed; but if an officer dies from disease, or the effects of climate, there is nothing for his family. Thus an officer is not only exposed to the risk of losing his life in the performance of his duty, but his family are subjected to a fine because he has been forward to expose his life. And what is the defence made for this system? It is said you get younger officers by it. I believe we have younger officers in the English army than in any service in Europe. But the real reason is, in England a large class of young men enter the army for a few years, not intending to make it the permanent business of their life; but attracted by congenial society, and perhaps by the hope of seeing a little service. This class of officers retire

"There is always pain felt if one man gets over the head of another by means of mere money." IIe stated, too, from his own experience, that he was put to great pecuniary inconvenience in order not to be passed over by other purchasers. He mentioned the case which I quoted just now, of the major who was purchased over while commanding his regiment in the field. Another case cited in the Report is that of an officer, who, on the ground of qualification, received from the Duke of Wellington, in the Peninsula, the command of a regiment, which he would have been compelled to decline for want of funds unless other officers had combined to make up a purse for him; and this happened in time of war. Can you have a stronger argument against the necessity of purchase than the fact that an officer whom the Commander in Chief in the field thinks the fittest man to command a regiment cannot hold that command but for the accidental interference of his brother officers to help him, and that without that help the command before the enemy must have gone to some one less fit to hold it? Those who have read the life of Sir Henry Havelock will re member his feelings of mortification at being purchased over three times. Could any one suppose that the army gained by

from the army early, but not in conscquence of the purchase system. They would equally retire on succeeding to estates, or forming local ties, if they had paid nothing and were to receive nothing back. Then, it is said, selection would be invidious, and that there is no danger of bad ap. pointments, because there is a veto on all appointments in the War Department. But though the official veto may exclude bad characters, it does not exclude incompetence; and I could never understand why a man placed in the high position of the Commander in Chief should be more afraid of exercising a responsibility that is exercised of necessity by every head of a great department continually. But, it is asked, does the Commander in Chief know the state of the many different regiments scattered so widely over the world? If he does not, the army must be in a far worse state than I believe it to be. I have always supposed that the Commander in Chief is informed of the state of every regiment in the service. Then it is said there is the risk of touching a susceptibility of feeling in the men who may be passed over. But I never could understand how, under a system of selection, a man can feel disgraced because he has been passed over, when near the top of the list by seniority, by a man on the whole better fitted to command. That is a degree of Busceptibility which is not indulged in any other profession, and which is inconsistent with the course of human affairs. Then, however painful it may be to any man to have another preferred over him, the question ought to be considered, whether that state of things has not its good side as well as bad. The fear of being passed over may act as a stimulus to exertion. At present the deficiency of the service is the absence of any stimulus to officers, especially in time of peace. There are in the army many men who, it is evident, are well-meaning, but who are as evidently incompetent. Such men as these may be passed over by the system of selection. But, if there must be cases of this kind, is it not much better for a man to feel that he has been passed over because somebody else is thought more fit to command than to know that he has not risen because he could not obtain a certain sum of money? It is quite clear that having better men put over their heads when they reach a certain rank would precisely supply a stimulus of emu lation which at present is not in existence. I have only, in conclusion, to ask the

House seriously to recollect what is the power which is put in the hands of a commanding officer. It should never be forgotten that an officer in command of a regiment, by his ignorance and incompetence, may compromise the lives of hundreds of men, and perhaps decide adversely the fate of a battle. I think any man, looking without prejudice or preconceived notions, must see that a position which may, under certain circumstances, be of so much importance, ought not to be given away by hap-hazard; but that it ought to be under that control by the Commander in Chief which can only be obtained by a judicious system of selection. And let me say further, that where there is neither marked incompetence on the one hand, nor marked superiority on the other, the rule of seniority would not often be departed from, and that the painful cases of officers being passed over would occur less frequently in practice than is assumed for the purposes of argument. I will only remind the Government, that however they may regard the question now, they are, as a Cabinet, pledged to the measure which my hon. and gallant Friend recommends. It was formally announced by them to this House that they intended to adopt the recommendation of the Commission; and though that pledge may go the way of other pledges, and that reform share the fate of other reforms, the present is not an age tolerant of abuses, and I venture to say that in less than a quarter of a century not one rag of the system of appointments by purchase will remain in the English army.

COLONEL SYKES was understood to say, that they had already gained sufficient experience of the working of the nonpurchase system in some divisions of the army. What necessity was there, there. fore, to decline carrying out the recommendation of the Commissioners? The Indian army was an example of the working of a system of promotion without purchase, as up to 1832 the practice of Indian officers making a purse to induce their seniors to retire was unknown and unrecognised. As to interference of the House in matters connected with the army, which had been deprecated, he should justify it upon the ground that they voted the supplies, and passed the Mutiny Act. It was said that the purchase system brought out young men at the head of the army, but he regarded that as a disadvantage rather than a benefit.


greater part of the speech of the noble officers for their army, may very possibly Lord opposite was upon a question which deprive, and frequently docs deprive, the is not now brought before us-namely, service of men perfectly competent to upon the general question, whether pur- command, and who would be most dischase is or is not expedient in our army? tinguished in their career; and therefore Upon that I will say a few words. I there is a great objection to it in practice. quite admit that the English army, and, The principle of selection for the army notwithstanding what my hon. and gal- may be very good as a general principle lant Friend behind me (Colonel Sykes) for a despotic Government. I do not has said, the Indian army, were the only mean to say that it is likely to be better cases in which a system of purchase administered by a despotic Government, prevailed; and, with all deference to him, but that the complaints to which it may I think the system of purchase in the give rise do not find their way so readily army of the East India Company was far to the public car. But, in a country with more objectionable than the system of a free constitution such as ours, where a purchase in the Queen's army. In the man may say, print, or send for publicaBritish army it is optional with each offi- tion to the newspapers whatever he likes; cer to purchase or not, as his means where no man is so friendless that he canenable him to decide. In the Indian not get some zealous advocate in this House army it was compulsory upon every offi- to urge his case, to expose to the world the cer to contribute, and every officer who tyrannical prejudice of some higher authodeclined to contribute to a purse to buy rity against him, to institute a comparison out the superior officers, was looked upon between his services and merits and those as a black sheep, and received a civil hint of the person who has been placed over him that he had better retire from the service. -under such circumstances, I am afraid I quite admit, that if the system of pur- that the general principle of selection would chase did not exist in the British army, lead to consequences which would not be no one probably would think of intro- for the advantage of the public service, ducing it. But I do not agree with the and would, indeed, be exceedingly detrinoble Lord, in saying that a thing, which mental to the position and usefulness of would not be thought of originally, might the men in authority by whom the selection not, when established, and when opinions would have to be made. I think what has and habits become attached to it, work been stated by the right hon. and gallant well, although theoretically objectionable. General opposite (General Peel), as to the That, I believe, is the case of the system inconvenience which might arise on a vaof purchase. Then the noble Lord says, cancy happening in a regiment on a foreign what an effect it must have on the station, where no opportunity had been feelings of an officer to be passed over afforded of acquiring distinction, is quite because he is not able to purchase. I unanswerable. The Commander-in-Chief say, in answer, that when a man goes would find an officer belonging to another into a career, knowing what the regula- regiment, whose good fortune it had been tions are, he does not feel so much mor- to be at the seat of hostilities, and to distification, when the regulations of that tinguish himself by some brilliant exploit, career apply in his particular case to his and would send him out to the guard stadetriment, as he would in any other case tion to supersede the major in command, when the detriment brought upon him is who was, in all probability, as brave, as not the result of established well-known judicious, and in every way as competent regulations acting impartially on all, but to perform the duties of the office, and who arises from what he would consider & would, if on the scene of action, have capricious exercise of power. In other earned as much distinction as the other services, where purchase does not exist, who had been lucky enough to attract pubthe rule of seniority or the rule of selec- lic notice. One can conceive how an officer tion applies. The inconveniences of senior- in the situation of that major, who finds ity are met in the French service by a himself superseded by one whom he does regulation which compels every officer to not think his superior in merit, while he retire at a certain age, that age being in may be his junior in the army, must suffer proportion to the rank which he holds, from a sense of great and unmerited inless for a lieutenant than for a captain, justice; and such cases I believe would and so on. I hold that it is a regulation very often occur. I am therefore of which, although it insures a set of young opinion, that with regard to the Motion of

my hon. and gallant Friend the House will do right in adopting the proposal of my right hon. Friend to proceed to the Orders of the Day. The noble Lord opposite charged my right hon. Friend (Sir George Lewis) with departing from a Resolution which had been communicated to the House. It was Lord Herbert who came to the conclusion, on full reflection, that the Resolution was one which it would not be advisable to carry out; and last year that change, or rather postponement of purpose, was announced to the House. My right hon. Friend having succeeded to office, after deliberate consideration, adopted the view of Lord Herbert, and by that view the Government is prepared to stand. The noble Lord complains that my right hon. Friend is in the position of a man who is unwilling to do anything. There may be cases in which disinclination to do what you are satisfied is a good thing may be an objectionable quality; but the disinclination to move forward in order to do that of which you doubt the propriety, and which you apprehend may be attended with inconvenient results, is a different thing. We know the maxim in dubio siste, and I believe the course followed by my right hon. Friend is a matter not of censure, but of praise.

Question put, "That the words posed to be left out stand part of Question."

The House divided :-Ayes 247;

62 Majority 185.

Question again proposed, "That Speaker do now leave the Chair.

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COLONEL DICKSON, in rising to call the attention of the Chief Secretary for Ireland to certain murders lately committed in Ireland, and to move for a Select Committee to inquire into the organization, equipment, and employment of the Irish Constabulary, said, he trusted he should not be understood as being influenced in any degree by a spirit of hostility to a body of men whose conduct and discipline had invariably been above all praise, and who, he believed, under more favourable circumstances, would most efficiently perform the important duties for which they were enrolled. His sole object was to draw the attention of the right hon. Baronet the Chief Secretary and the


House to the military appearance which that force was assuming, and which he conceived, in common with many others of his countrymen, was detrimental to their efficiency as police. The first thing that attracted his attention in connection with the subject was the enormous increase of the expense of the force. In 1842, when Ireland was in such a state of excitement that Earl De Grey might be almost said to be barricaded in Dublin Castle, the expense of the Irish constabulary was £433,600, half of which was borne by the counties. Since that time the whole of it had been put on the Consolidated Fund. In 1858, when that country was again in a state of disturbance, the expense of that body was £562,500, the increase being £128,000; whereas at present, only four years afterwards, it had increased to the enormous extent of £779,860. was that the whole of the expense; for, independent of that, there was a large outlay for barracks, which was charged in the Estimates for the Board of Works, and which, if taken into consideration, would make a very large addition to the cost of the police force. He thought that at a time when there existed a general feeling that the public expenditure was unduly increasing, the House had a right to demand the reason for so large an increase in the expenditure of the Irish constabulary. Among other items there. was one of £80,000 for distribution of the Enfield rifle among the force, and their instruction in its use. Now, he could not understand why it was necessary to arm. a purely constabulary force with that weapon, which was fit only for military service. He knew very well that the noble Lord would say, "If the men are to be armed at all, let them be armed with the best weapon;" but the most useful and appropriate weapon for the police was the short carbine, which was handy to carry, and did not impede the rapidity of their movements, whereas the Enfield rifle was a most delicate as well as expensive rifle, which was peculiarly liable to injury in the rough work police had sometimes to do, besides which it was a serious inconvenience to have to carry it in a hand-tohand encounter. If they wished to make a standing army out of the police force, he could then understand arming them with such a weapon, and also sending detachments of them for training and instruction to Hythe and other military schools; but he contended that in the case of police

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