1 JULY 1905, Page 10

The total losses, Mr. Brodrick added, were greatly exaggerated, being

not more than 40 per cent, on the cost price. The dual system, by which contractors bought and resold, was bad ; but the House must remember that only a small part was resold,—in oats, to take an instance, only 3,000,000 pounds out of 15,000,000 pounds. We would call special attention to Mr. Brodrick's condemnation of the system of employing relations in contravention of Army regulations on the matter. He asked for a Court-Martial, which was not granted, and he declared—a point in which we thoroughly agree—that the case should come before the Royal Commission. The other speeches call for little comment, Mr. Arnold-Forster explaining the circumstances which led to the appointment of the Butler Committee, and Mr. Balfour delivering a eulogy of Mr. Brodrick. On the whole, we may say that while the debate showed that the loss to the British taxpayer was not so great as we had feared, no explanation was given of the suspicious features, or the policy which made them possible. On a division, the Vote of Censure was rejected by 329 votes to 255,—a majority of 74. We think we are safe in saying that this majority does not reflect the opinion of the country, which is that the Govern- ment, though in the abstract most anxious to prevent corruption, failed conspicuously in the work of supervision. The public, as is pointed out in a very striking and significant letter from "A Tory Leader-Writer" in our correspondence columns, was also not a little annoyed that Mr. Balfour did not realise from the first that he must grant an inquiry of the most complete kind.