Lord Hartington during this debate, though quite civil, and indeed
complithentary, to the Duke of Cambridge, was strongly of opinion that his office should be abolished, or at all events remodelled ; but he expressed one opinion of first- rate importance which we find rather extraordinary. While agreeing to the creation of the Cabinet War Committee, he was inclined to think that the military and naval heads of departments, who will give it information and advice, should also sit on it as voting members. Surely that would never work. The Cabinet Ministers might be outvoted, and then what would become of their responsibility? As Mr. Stanhope subsequently said, "technical advisers are the worst judges and the best witnesses in the world," and the Government is right in keeping them to that function. It is true the other plan is followed in regard to the Council of India ; but then, its natural effects are mitigated on important occasions in two ways. The Secretary of State can ask for a Cabinet decision, to which the Council yields, or he transfers the dispute to the Secret Department, in which he is as absolute as a deity, and could order an expenditure of fifty millions without explanation. Besides, the Indian arrangement does not work so well that we should repeat it in other divisions of State business.