HC Deb 04 May 1882 vol 269 cc90-1

asked the Secretary of State for War, What steps have been taken, in conformity with the undertaking of last Session, to establish a force of mounted infantry; whether he has had any communication with Major Barrow, lately returned from South Africa, on the subject; and whether at the forthcoming autumn manœuvres opportunity will be given of utilizing or experimenting with such a body?


Sir, the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Baldwyn Leighton) is entirely mistaken in stating that I undertook last Session to establish a force of Mounted Infantry. What I undertook to do was to inquire into the whole question, and I mentioned several alternative proposals which had been made to the War Office, and on which I looked favourably. Major Barrow has furnished several Reports on the subject, and some of his suggestions have been adopted. What we have decided to do is to keep necessary equipment for Mounted Infantry against the occasion, if it should arise, of employing soldiers on horseback, but not to organize a permanent force of this nature. A small pamphlet laying down the clothing, organization, drill, and equipment for Mounted Infantry will shortly be issued. We have not contemplated forming such a force for the Autumn Manœuvres; but the hon. Baronet's suggestion shall be considered.