1 JULY 1905, Page 10

On Monday in the House of Commons Sir Robert Reid

moved a Vote of Censure condemning the conduct of the Government in connection with the disposal of Army stores in South Africa. He began by explaining that there was no suggestion of connivance at malpractices on the part of Miuisters. But he maintained that if they had shown reason- able competence, the events complained of would not have occurred, or would have been at once detected. The War Office knew of the occurrences two years ago, and apparently took a serious view of them ; but it had avoided the publicity of an inquiry until its hand was forced by the questions of the Comptroller and Auditor General. A special staff should have been sent out at the close of the war to deal with the whole question of surplus supplies. Mr. Brodrick made a rather querulous reply, which contained, however, some reassuring statements. He declared that to have sent out a new supplies staff at the close of the war to supersede the Army Service Corps would have been to disregard Lord Kitchener's advice. He did all he could, and sent out auditors to supervise. In 1902 he asked for Returns which were not sent, and throughout he maintained he had taken every precaution.