11 NOVEMBER 1905, Page 14


Sin,—I think you will allow a short rejoinder to your reviewer's reply in last week's issue to my previous letter. There appears to be a little confusion as to the issue. His original statement was that, owing to the influence of Lord Granville, the Peers passed a measure for the abolition of purchase in the Army. Surely it is common knowledge that they refused to do that. Otherwise the Royal Warrant and the subsequent criticism of the Government would have been un- necessary and unmeaning. It is true that the House of Lords afterwards passed a Bill providing for compensation, but as this might well be considered by them, under the circum- stances, a simple act of justice to individuals, no persuasion would be necessary. However this may be, it is not possible to describe it as a measure for the abolition of purchase. The Peers could not abolish something which had been already destroyed. Every one will agree in your reviewer's appreciation of Lord Granville's unfailing tact; the only difference has been as to its application in a particular [I am sorry to differ from your correspondent on a matter of words. As a matter of fact, (1) the Government in 1871 introduced an Army Regulation Bill providing, inter alia, for the abolition of purchase, and the payment to officers of compensation for the prices—Regulation and over- Regulation—which they had paid for their commissions ; (2) the Lords, on the Motion for the second reading, carried an amendment expressing their unwillingness to assent to the Bill, and the Royal Warrant was issued; (3) the Bill was read a second time and became law. How far this result was secured by the Royal Warrant, and how far by Lord Gran- ville's tact, is a matter of opinion which I have no desire to argue with Mr. Ralph.—THE REvIEwER.]