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mentary control.

scheme of new distributions, which he approves, or not, as he may think fit, and that the movements take place under his previous sanction. A secretary of state has, indeed, the power of ordering the Commander-in-Chief to move the army, without assigning any reason to him. In a system of parliamentary government, it is absolutely essential that the management of the army and navy, the two most important branches of our administration, should be under the complete control of the executive."

This doctrine of keeping the military administration subordinate to the civil government is not new. It was asserted by Lords Grey and Grenville, during the Regency, in 1812, and was fully recognised by Lord Hill, and by the Duke of Wellington, when they held the office of Commander-in-Chief, before the consolidation of the civil and military departments of the army. Lord Wellington, in 1836, publicly declared that the Commander-in-Chief cannot at this moment move a corporal's guard from London to Windsor, without going to the civil department for authority; he must get a route."

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In answer to the supposed danger of such a doctrine, as tending to make the army subordinate to the Parliament instead of to the crown, it was aptly remarked by Earl Grey, that the whole notion of there being anything unconstitutional in bringing the army more under the ministry of the day, seems to me to arise from a confusion between the powers exercised by responsible ministers of the crown and powers exercised by parliamentary committees, or some mode of that kind. Undoubtedly it was very unconstitutional in the Long Parliament that all the powers of the state should be assumed by committees of the House of Commons, but that power over the army should be exercised by a responsible servant of the crown appears to me to be an absolutely essential principle of our constitution.' Lord Grey was then asked


Rep. on Mil. Organis. 1860, pp. vii. 446.

• Ibid. pp. viii. xix. Rep. Com. on Transport service, 1861, p. 48.


whether certain changes he had recommended (which would assimilate the army administration to that now prevailing in respect to the navy) would not bring the army more under the influence of the House of Commons, than in times past. Observe his reply: The truth is that the House of Commons has always exercised, and always ought to exercise, a great control over the administration of the army; it cannot be called on to provide for the expense of the army without enquiring in what manner the money so granted is applied."


over, the very existence of a standing army depends on the annual Mutiny Act. The army would be disbanded de facto at the end of a year, if the Mutiny Act were not renewed.


To proceed from general principles to matters of detail. And, first, as concerns the discipline of the army. The Discipline committee thoroughly investigated into the practice in regard to interference by the civil authorities, with matters affecting army discipline, as well before as since the issue of the supplementary patents. The result appears to be embodied in the evidence of Lord Panmure, who says that while he did not think that any Secretary of State for War would interfere gratuitously with the discipline of the army, as exercised by the Commanderin-Chief; nevertheless, if there were anything in the conduct of the Commander-in-Chief which required his interference, the Secretary of State has not only the right, but it is his bounden duty to interfere. It was his business. to trust to the Commander-in-Chief the administration of the discipline of the army, and, except under peculiar circumstances, not to interfere with that at all.' Again, the Secretary for War, and through him the executive government of the day, is responsible for all the acts of the Commanderin-Chief; but the government and the Secretary of State, putting confidence in the Commander-in-Chief, trust to


Rep. on Mil. Organis. 1860, p. See ante, vol. i. p. 320.

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him entirely, and without interference with the discipline of the army.' Several instances of interposition, however, were adduced, but they were all cases involving political considerations, or implying some collision between the military and the civil portion of the community. To the same effect. Mr. Sidney Herbert, the then Secretary for War, observed that, in his opinion, the ordinary discipline of the army ought to be in the hands of military men and not civilians; but in cases which become public questions the Commander-in-Chief will always be glad to have the assistance of the Secretary of State.'s

Next, in regard to appointments in the army. Notwithstanding the reservations in the patent, the Commanderin-Chief admitted to the committee that, with respect to chief commands whether at home or abroad,-with respect to the appointment of colonels to regiments, and with respect to promotions, and to the higher staff appointments, the consent of the Secretary of State for War is invariably obtained before appointments of this description are submitted to her majesty by the Commander-inChief.t

Ordinary promotions in regiments are made by the Commander-in-Chief without communication with the Secretary of State, who has this check, however, that they are sent to him before being submitted to the queen, so that he can put his finger on any departure from regulations, or on anything else which ought to prevent the appointment or promotion from taking place."

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In regard to the higher appointments and rewards of the profession, such as 'government, or garrisons, regiments, and ribands,'-they are generally adjusted by personal communication between the Commander-in-Chief and the Secretary of State; on which occasion the Commander-in-Chief informs the Secretary whom he proposes to recommend. Doubtless he must possess immense influence in suggesting the names of officers, and bringing forward their claims to the Minister of War; but neverless, should a difference of opinion arise, H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge declares that the decision must rest with the Secretary of State, because, in the constitutional form, the Secretary of State would advise her majesty to take his opinion, and not that of the Commander-in-Chief; and thus the matter must finally come to the decision of the Secretary of State, who is the responsible minister.'" In the case of chief commands, naval as well as military, the appointments are frequently made a Cabinet question.*


First appointments, however, that is to say, first com- First commissions in the cavalry and infantry, constitute the peculiar missions. patronage of the Commander-in-Chief. First appointments in the artillery and engineers are given to the successful candidates in a competitive examination. But first appointments in the cavalry, and the line, either by purchase or gift, are at the disposal of the Commander-inChief, who has the sole power of nomination. The extent of this patronage is very great. Where commissions are sold by the government, the proceeds are carried to a fund, hitherto under the sole control of the Secretary of State for War. This fund is constantly augmented by the

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sale of commissions, for the regulated price, by persons who are not entitled to receive their full value; the difference going to the fund. It is used to diminish the charges upon the half-pay list, to lessen the price of cavalry commissions, and for other useful purposes. Commissions are, ordinarily, given away to such persons only as are supposed to have some claim upon the country.'

The Secretary of State has no voice in the selection of persons for first commissions, and does not interfere therein in ordinary cases. A list of the names is, however, sent to him from the Horse Guards, before the appointments are submitted to her majesty for approval. This is termed a submission paper, and it is accompanied by a memorandum, asking for the approbation of the Secretary of State. But the Secretary considers his duty in regard to first appointments to be perfunctory; he passes them as a matter of course, unless some distinct objection is raised. Moreover, he is not furnished with the means of ascertaining the merits of the candidates, or the reasons for recommending them. If objections to any particular appointment are brought under his notice, he has the power of withholding his sanction; and although such cases are very rare and exceptional, the existence of the practice is sufficient to show that, even in respect to first commissions, the Secretary of State is virtually supreme, and must be considered as responsible. Nevertheless, there is a decided public advantage in first appointments and promotions being primarily in the gift of an officer who is independent of political pressure.*

The conclusion of the matter is this: that notwithstanding any reservations heretofore contained in his patent, the Secretary of State for War has supreme mander-in- authority and responsibility in all matters affecting the

War Secretary and



y Rep. on Mil. Organis. 1860, pp. x.-xii. 472. In regard to the Military Reserve Fund, see ante, vol. i. P. 454. Commons Papers, 1868, No.

Rep on Mil. Org. 1860, PP. xxi., 158, 161. Rep. on Board of Admiralty, 1861, p. 155. Mirror of Parl. 1835, p. 1031.

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