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!M Rl.lAMENTAliT LWELLIGE.V0E —. THE ARMY ESTIMATES.—In the House of Commons Mr. Hardy made his annual exposition of the Army Estimates, which, he remarked, were peace estimates, and in no sense such as would enable the country to conduct a war with the establishments they left us. At the same time, there were some considerable amounts of money more than were required last year. In the first place, the medical expenses had increased by the introduction of a system of short service, which, although it had been complained of, he thought was entitled to a longer trial. In the next place, the vote for the on-effective Service was also swelled this year by the money piid for the abolition of purchase j but that was only the ordinary increase, over which the Government had no control. Then the vote for stores showed a material increase, consequent upon the arger demands for guns and torpedoes for the navy this year. As to the Militia, he regretted to say that there was a small diminution in the Militia Reserve,' though the patriotic spirit which animated the force was of the highest character, and this was dis- played by several regiment* having offered to serve abroad. He was not at all satisfied with the Army Reserve which had fallen far short of what was calculated. It numbered at present 12,000 men, and with the Militia Reserve would amount to 37,000; but eventually the whole Army Reserve would be about 6'>,000 men. The volunteer force presented the pleasing feature of 183,078 efficients, and only 10,216 non-efficients, and the whole force now numbered nearly 200,000 men. It bad been suggested that the force should be a paid one, but to that he decidedly objected, remembering its origin, and that it had been a volunteer body from the beginning, though he approved of giving it assistance. Its spirit wa9 such that there were many of them ready to quit the coun- try and take garrison service abroad in case of necessity arising, and this was a feeling which was shared in alike by officers and men. This year it was intended to have military manoeuvres on a large scale, probably in the neighbourhood of Salisbury, where an Army Corps would be placed ready fot service; and which would involve an expenditure of £ 80,000. Another item of increase was the transport of troops to the Cape of Good Houe, with regard to which 'I he thought that colonists who were able ought to pay some proportion of. their military expenditure, for he felt sure that they would never organise a force for themselves so long as the Imperial Govern- ment were content to bear the cost. A feeling existed that the country was dependent upon an army that was not so efficient on account of its youth as it ought to be. Under the short-service system, however, a great number of young men was a necessity, but the Field Marshal Commanding in Chief had examined the condition of the men at drill and the recruits at Aldershot that day, and his report was perfectly satisfactory. Desertions had goner on to some extent among the men who had come lately into the army, but allowing for che number who had returned to the service the nett desertions for the past year were 2621, which was not so large a proportion as in former years. Finally, in proposing the vote for the number of men for the service of the year, the right hon. gentleman, whilst expressing a hope that the army would not be called on for active service, felt confio dent that, should its services be required, i' would be found deficient neither in officers nor in men. After some further debate the vote of men and that for pay and allowances were agreed to. CONTAGIOUS DISEASES (AHIWALS) BILL.-In the House Of Lords the Duke of Richmond and Gordon moved the second reading of this bill, the provisions of which were criticised by Lord Ripon, who, while approving of the pro" posed transfer to the central authority of the powers not* vested in the local authorities in dealing with the cattle plague, questioned the policy and efficiency of the restric' tions to be imposed on the internal cattle trade of the country, and suggested that the bill should go to a Select Committee. Lord Dunsany had no doubt that the bill wa9 framed in the interests of producers and consumer6 alike, but apprehended tliat the effects ef its restrictions would be to raise the price of meat aj a time when trade was slack. Lord Speneer was of opinion that the experience which the country had had of the rinderpest justified the measures already taken, and approved of the proposal to place fid* powers in the hands of the Privy Council in tJlØ event of fresh outbreaks occurring. As to the ordinll11 regulation of the trade, however, he deemed the existing powers sufficient; whilst he questioned the efficacy the restrictions rclat ng to toot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia. Lord Fortescue thanked the President for what he believed would prove an efficient melJo" sure. Lord Belmore recommendea that Ireland should bf placed on the same footing as England, but that care would be taken not to make the restrictions incon- veniently severe. After a reply from the Duke of Rich' mond and Gordon, who said he should ask the House to go into committee pro forma, in order to introduce amend' ments, and then recommit the bill, when discussion be taken, the second reading was agreed to.


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