HC Deb 22 May 1879 vol 246 c1018

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is true as reported that reinforcements are about to be sent to South Africa; and whether the soldiers forming these reinforcements are to be taken from various brigades in England; and, in that case, whether the efficiency of those brigades will not be greatly impaired; also, whether, to give a stimulus to volunteering, gratuities of a guinea a head have not been offered?


It is true that drafts have been, and are being, sent out from time to time to South Africa; it is also the fact that for some time past it has been contemplated to send out reinforcements, if casualties in the command become very numerous. Soldiers forming these drafts have in some cases been taken from various brigades in England, and it, of course, follows that the efficiency of those brigades has to that extent been impaired. As to the last part of the hon. Member's Question, perhaps he will ask that again, as I have no means of positively answering it now. My impression is, that a gratuity may have been given in certain cases, in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee which sat some years ago.