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if he could tell him how much of that they should pay some share of the cost, money would-directly or indirectly - the amount should be fixed and not benefit the Irish people. The number of exceeded year after year. That was done Irishmen in the Fleet was extremely in the case of the Colonies, and he would small, and, as regarded the cost of the ask the Secretary to the Treasury, Coast Guard Service, that service was, in without going into details, to say whether, Ireland, also a comparatively small one. supposing our naval expenditure continued It would, therefore, be impossible to growing year by year, the demand upon suggest that Ireland participated to the Colonies would increase in proportion. any extent in the benefit of the ex. They knew very well that it would nou ; penditure of this money. An increase that a sum had been fixed to cover a was apparent in all the Votes con certain period of years, and that whether tained in the Estimates, and in con- the expenditure on the British Navy was nection with everyone of them he larger or smaller that given sum only ventured to assert that the Irish people would have to be paid. The case of Iregot no return whatever for the expendi- land, however, was quite different from ture. It was perfectly futile for the that of the Colonies. The Irish people Secretary to the Treasury or any other were poorer, their resources were much hon. Member representing the Govern- slighter in every way than the ment to tell him that they had in return resources of the Colonies. They certainly for that great expenditure the satisfaction were not so 'wealthy, and it was, thereof knowing that they were protected and fore, most unnecessary to call upon them safeguarded all round their coasts by the to pay this enormously huge sum of British Fleet.
money, increasing as it was, year by year. He did
The whole position of Ireland in reference not know whether this
to Great Britain in this matter was most country was in danger or not ; he did not know whether the standard set unjust and unfair, and he would go even up—the two-Power standard which had
further and would say that, in his opinion, been set up for our Fleet to render it able it was a downright mean thing for a great to cope with the fleets of any other two
and wealthy Government like the present nations in the world--was justified by one to insist upon the Irish people, whose circumstances not. This country poverty was perfectly well known, sharing might be in danger, and it might be to the fullest extent the burden of this considered necessary to spend even more expenditure. He might cite another point. money than it was now proposed to spend Some years ago a Royal Commission sat for its protection ; but, however that to consider the relative positions of Iremight be, no one could seriously urge land and Great Britain in the matter of that it was necessary for the welfare and taxation, and it was on record that that security of Ireland, with its population of Commission reported that the Irish people 4,500,000, to spend year after year increas- were contributing several millions a year ingly large sums of money for the upkeep more than they ought in fairness to pay of the greatest and largest Fleet in the for national purposes. That could not be world. They in Ireland were in no danger; gainsaid in any way, and yet the demands their foreign trade had unfortunately al- upon the Irish taxpayer were being inmost vanished. A hundred years ago there creased year
The Irish people was a considerable trade throughout Ire- found the greatest possible difficulty in land, but one of the results of the destruc. providing for themselves the ordinary tion of the separate Irish Government had necessaries of life, and yet, without the undoubtedly been the disappearance of slightest reference to their deplorable the foreign trade of Ireland, and it was, condition, the representatives of the therefore, absurd to say that any theory wealthy English nation came there and of national security or well-being could without any hesitation insisted that they justify a demand on the Irish people to should consent to the increased naval spend millions of their money for a Fleet expenditure. The Irish people had no from which they derived absolutely no advantage whatever. He said seriously sympathy whatever with this braggart it would only be fair and reasonable to policy which had been adopted by the arrive at some arrangement in regard to present Government, the result of wbich Ireland whereby, if it were necessary that they saw in the expenditure of those VOL. CXXX. [FOURTH SERIES
enormous sums of money. If the Govern- money expended on them? The days of ment considered these things were neces- smuggling had long gone by, and the sary, if they considered that the wealth Coastguards apparently had nothing to of the country should be sunk in ship- do except to fire big guns at nothing at building and gunmaking, it was their all in the sea. Along the Irish coasts business, and no one had any right to there existed some of the poorest and interfere with their opinion or their most miserable populations in the whole decision to spend their own money as world; the people were huddled together lavishly and as generously as they chose without sufficient land to live upon and upon their Fleet. They might make that with their fisheries undeveloped. Side Fleet four times its present size, they by side with these poverty stricken might fill their dockyards with work people would be found a Coastguard and employ thousands more men than station, the cost of whose upkeep, if they did at the present day ; but they had spent in improving harbours or buying no right to ask the people of Ireland, who boats, might greatly relieve the lot of were not threatened by any danger from these poor people. The contrast was any Power in the wide world, to keep pace really too great. He could not expect with them in that expenditure, which was English Members, who probably reprecreating alarm by reason of its very magni sented constituencies in which there was tude. He had asked a Question of the Chan this matter, but if they came from
no real poverty, to enter into his view ob cellor of the Exchequer that day with a view to securing a Return which would districts in Ireland they would readily give in a handy and intelligible form in for agree that there was much to complain mation showing to the taxpayer of this of in the enormous expenditure from which country, and of Ireland as well, what had the Irish people derived no benefit whatbeen the growth of naval expendi- ever.
He was perfectly aware that no ture during the last twenty years attention whatever would be paid to This year there was a further increase, anything Irish representatives might sav. next year there would be another, and It was true that they did not share the doubtless in the year following the Englishman's enthusiasm for the Navy same thing would happen, and 80 the and the Empire. As a matter of fact, thing would go on until there was as many of their constituents had never much spent on the Army and Navy as
even seen a man-of-war, and they could was at present spent on all the Depart- not be said to be unreasonable in ments put together. That was the road objecting to enormous increases in the to ruin. One day there would be a rude Votes from which they would derive no awakening, and the masses of the people practical benefit whatever. A system by would see that national safety did not which Ireland made a reasonable fixed exist in this rivalry between nations as payment might work, but the present to expenditure. Personally he did not system under which she had to pay more care if it did lead England to disaster, as and more every year simply perpetuated in many ways she deserved it. She illfeeling, dissatisfaction, and disloyalty. could make her Navy as large as she It was well known that Ireland had no liked, but she ought to do it with her sympathy with the policy which necesown money, and not force Ireland to pay
sitated the expenditure of £42,000.000 whether she liked it or not.
As an illus. 'on Navy and £25,000,000 or tration of the manner in which Ireland
the Army; she was treated he instanced the Coastguards. was outside it in every way except He had no objection to Coastguards as that she was compelled to bear her full such; they were picturesque - looking share of the cost; but as long as that individuals, and with their flags and guns position continued there would remain to they served to break the monotony of her representatives the consolation, poor the coast.
But so far as Ireland was though it might be of protesting vigorously concerned far too much money was spent and repeatedly against an impost which on the service. What was the use of was unfair and mean to the last degree. the expenditure? When had the Irish He begged to move. roast been attacked? When had these Motion made, and Question propord, men made any practical return for the " That Item A (Wages, &c., of Officers,
Mr. William Redmond.
Seamen, and Boys) be reduced by examination. He also wished to point £281,692.”—(11r. William Redmond.) out that to test the success of the scheme
would require a considerable number of SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge Uni- years. His hon. friend behind him seemed versity), who was very indistinctly heard, to think that the scheme had succeeded referred to the method by which the already. He agreed that it would not be Admiralty now selected the young officers difficult to get a great number of boys to for the Navy. He heartily supported the join the Navy, but it would be at least principle of the scheme. Without com- twenty or thirty years before they could mitting himself to every detail, he be- tell whether the naval officer produced by lieved the plan adopted was an admirable this sort of training would be an imone, and he hoped it would be successful. provement. One objection he had There were two methods of selecting always made was that the plan of taking officers-that adopted by the Admiralty boys at twelve years of age had been tried of taking the boys at a very early age, and been found wanting. The plan of and becoming responsible for their entire taking them at seventeen or eighteen education, and the system adopted by all years of age had not been tried, but he other civilised nations of taking the young did not think the age of fifteen or sixteen offi cer at seventeen or eighteen years of years as an alternative was a satisfactory age from the ordinary civil population and compromise. then beginning special training. The system of the Admiralty was not necessarily With regard to school management, to be condemned because it was unique. when the Admiralty undertook to He believed the British naval officer, all manage a school they should be very round, to be the best in the world, but careful to that it was really a whether that was in consequence or in good one. If public schools were never spite of the method of training was a going to be better than they were now, point upon which differences of opinion then the Admiralty would be right in saymight exist. One of the chief disadvan- ing that they must have a school of their tages of the present system was that the own. He was not sure that the Admiryoung boys were deprived of the immense alty would be able to maintain the school advantage of being brought up, and edu- as well as the public schools were now cated amongst the ordinary youth of the maintained. He would suggest that the country. They had not got the ideas which Admiralty should have this school they would get in association with other examined by the Department of the Board boys, and that was no doubt a very great of Education, and that the reports of disadvantage. Another disadvantage was that inspection and examination should that when a boy was twelve years of
from time to time be laid on the Table of age,
the House. it was difficult to say whether he would
He thought that would be a make a good naval officer or not. Again safeguard for the Admiralty itself, and a they could not tell when he arrived at guarantee that the large amount of money the age of seventeen or eighteen years asked for would be usefully and properly whether he might not have developed an
expended. Instead of taking a much
of earnest desire for some other profession. larger number of boys at the It was a great misfortune for a grown-up system by which the wastage could be
eighteen it might be better to have some young man to be obliged to follow a
supplied from the outside. That had profession to which he had not a natural been done in former days in the Admirhent. Having made their choice he alty, and in that way they had a great thought the Admiralty were carrying it check upon the efficiency of the system. out in the best way they could, and he Those were points which he desired to cordially wished their plan success. urge upon the Government last year, hoped they would never send these young but he did not get the opportunity. He boys to anything approaching a competi- wished the Admiralty to consider this as tive examination, for it did them a most a matter of education, and not as a pernicious injury to cram them.
If matter of naval policy, and if they did he the system adopted was to be given thought it possible that some system of
fair chance they must make up the kind might improve and assist the their minds not to have a competitive plan which the Admiralty had adopted
and in the carrying out of which he had Russia for Navy purposes. It might not no desire to do anything but give them be always possible to give the grounds the most cordial support.
for which money was asked for the Navy.
What he felt in regard to the Vote for MR. MUNRO FERGUSON (Leith new construction was that sufficient cause Burghs) said there coul be no doubt had not been made out for raising it tn that expenditure upon the present the figure at which it stood. It might scale of the Navy Estimates pressed very not be possible to do that in public. The hardly upon this country as well as upon consideration which he wished specially Ireland. Knowing as he did the import- to put before the hon. Gentleman was ance of having a sufficiently strong Navy, one which had been already referred to, he had never found any difficulty in and that was whether it would not be supporting the Navy Estimates, and, possible to appoint a Committee of the despite their growth, which had bein House with power to sit in secret session, almost alarmingly rapid, he should not as the Foreign Relations Committee did oppose any part of the expenditure upon in America, and whether fuller informathe Navy which was now being asked for. tion could not be imparted to those Years ago he said in this House that he Members of the House who were most would ultimately rise to £40,000,000, qualified, irrespective of Party, to serve on but he did not think it would have arrived so soon. With regard to the Navy Estimates had the support of a
Committee of that kind there would be information upon which they granted the money that was asked for, he thought that much less disposition. either in the information was in some respects some details of this great expenditure with
House or the country, to cavil at the what slender. It was, indeed, almost impossible that it should be otherwise, which the country was burdened. He because they all knew that there were
would always be, as he had always been, items in naval expenditure as in other in favour of voting the fullest provision Departments which could not well be dis. for the requirements of the Fleet, and he cussed in public. They took a very
submitted the suggestion as to whether it serious responsibility upon themselves in was not possible to take the House of voting an expenditure which increased at Commons more into the confidence of so rapid a rate unless they were certain the Admiralty, hoping that it that means could not be devised by which might be seriously considered. Не the House could be more fully taken believed the suggestion could be worked into the confidence of the Admiralty. out without any great difficulty. They could not consider the Navy Estimates without bearing in mind what *MR. KEARLEY (Devonport) said he was being spent annually upon naval knew some of the hardships involved works. The naval works at Rosyth would in the
principle of entering cost over £5,000,000. He gave that as an boys at twelve years
because example of the expenditure they were it shut out those of a class who, prior asked to sanction without having any to the introduction of the new scheme, real knowledge of what it was for. If had an opportunity of entering the Navy; one had to defend that expenditure in That would apply to the engineer class of the country it could be justified fully officers most particularly. He did not in only upon the ground that it was neces- the least suggest snobbery, but there could sary to have properly equipped dock. be no doubt that little opportunity would be yards situated in the cheapest centre of given to certain people to gain admittance production. In order to continue this in future to the higher ranks of the Navy. great annual outlay upon the Navy it was He did not suppose in these democratie necessary that the Government should days anyone would attempt to argue that take the country along with them as well all the best train was reserved for a few. as the House of Commons. It was stated In the United States and other countries by Lord Goschen in introducing the Navy very many of the best men came from the Estimates in 1899 that a Supplementary most humble beginnings. He thou zht it Estimate was needed because a large sum would be shutting out a great element of had been taken from a special fund in strength to absolutely close the doors
Sir John Gorst.
to some of those who had had
MR. GROVES (Salford, s.) said the opportunity hitherto of access. He right hon. Gentleman the Member for desired to raise a question affecting Cambridge University spoke with training. They told by the authority on all matters relating to Secretary to the Admiralty that the education. Whether boys were to take training of the Navy in the future was their place in the services or in the bound to be scientific, mainly concerning ordinary walks of life, any opinion which gunnery and the care of machinery, and the right hon. Gentleman gave on their that all boys as soon as they went into education deserved attention. He had training ships would have their attention had experience in his own family of directed to those matters. It occurred to various methods of naval education. One him that there would be a great need in of his boysentered the Navy some ten years
A future for schoolmasters to prepare the ago, and had had a successful career. minds of the lads for the higher examina second boy who afterwards entered
some four tions they would have to pass at a later
five years later had
also been successful. He had a third period for the posts of petty and warrant officers, and so on. Of course in the old boy who would soon apply for entrance. days the seamanship instructor was a great innovation was one which was likely to
His opinion was that the most recent on the ship, when promotion was have considerable advantages in the dependent almost entirely on good
matter of education, and in the future of seamanship. That had entirely dis- the Navy. He did not agree with the appeared and a new state of affairs
right hon. Gentleman that it would be wise had come
ato existence, and a scien- to leave the education of officers to the tific knowledge would be needed even age of eighteen, because the earlier they among the lower deck to enable them to had the environment round the young make thatscientific progression expected of life the more likely were they to develop them in gunnery, torpedo work, signalling, their predilection in favour of the career
1 and so on.
At the present moment he they were going to take. It was possible understood that no schoolmaster was for the boys themselves, after running carried on any ship afloat. He would through the earlier period of training, if suggest that the Admiralty should consider found by the parents to be unfit for the desirability of introducing into all the career, or if the boys expressed sea-going ships carrying, say, a crew definite distaste for it to be of 200 more,
schoolmaster, withdrawn from the service. He had who should be carefully selected. found in his own experience that it was He wished to ask the hon. Gentleman a of the greatest possible advantage to give Question in regard to a matter which boys an early naval environment. The was referred to in the First Lord's State- fate of the country might depend on the ment. He referred to the assimilation of natural inclination of officers for their the scale of the Marines to the scale work and their scientific training, and, if approved for the Army both with regard their selection was leit to a later period of to pay and allowances. Would that life, valuable time for training would be assimilation be extended to separation wasted which the most recent change in money ? Now there was an undertaking regard to entrance would enable them to on the part of the Admiralty to equalise improve. It must not be forgotten that the condition of the Marine with that of under the new system youngsters did not the soldier because it was held to be make a selection of the particular branch practically impossible to have different of the service to which they eventually rates of pay prevailing for these services. I
attached themselves till a later period. What he wanted to know was whether the Admiralty was acting actually on an
| They were now to be put through the equality basis if they ignored the claims same curriculum and training up to a of the Marine to the separation money determined by selection, merit, or effici
certain period, and afterwards it was which the soldier who married received when abroad. This
ency which branch they should enter. He matter of considerable interest to
thought this was a considerable gain
under the new system. The natural bent many, and he hoped the hon. Gentleman would be able to give some satisfaction was given full play, and that was also a
great advantage over the old system.