HC Deb 13 May 1878 vol 239 cc1717-8

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, What is the number of the forces at present employed for the safety of the United Kingdom and the defence of the Possessions of Her Majesty's Crown, including those to be employed at the depôts of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for the training of recruits for service at home and abroad, but exclusive of the number actually serving within Her Majesty's Indian Possessions; and whether, by the addition of the Native troops which it is proposed to remove from India, the number of forces so employed will exceed the number authorized by Parliament, viz., 135, 452 men?


Sir, the Native Indian troops of Her Majesty are not, and never have been, reckoned in the numbers mentioned in the Mutiny Acts. The Native Indian troops recently ordered to Malta are not, and ought not to be, reckoned in the number mentioned in the Mutiny Act of the present year. The number of the Forces mentioned in the Mutiny Act of this year is 135,452 men. This is an Establishment separate from that of the Indian Native troops, and on this Establishment the present number is 136, 167 men, being 715 over the authorized Establishment; but that is accidentally owing to the fluctuations in recruiting, which I believe are constantly occurring. This is exclusive of the Reserves recently called out, which are added to the Establishment by the operation of existing Acts of Parliament. These are about 35,000 men.