HC Deb 10 March 1885 vol 295 cc619-20

asked the Secretary of State for War, If he will issue a Return of the number of Militia Officers now on service in Africa, and with Line Battalions at home, and if he will state how many have just I been accepted in response to the recent offer from the War Office; if he will give the number of Militia Officers on the 1st of January 1855; whether the present short number of Officers will not be further depleted, in the course of some two months, by absorption into the Line of those now serving; whether it is the case that some fifteen per cent, of Militia Officers now serving would, in I case their regiments were embodied, have to retire in consequence of their professional and other engagements, and that thus they cannot be regarded as available or efficient; and, whether, in view of the inefficiency of the Militia, as at present constituted, he will give the matter his serious attention?


A Return of Militia Officers on service in Africa and with Line battalions at home, and of those just accepted in response to the recent offer, can be given if the hon. Baronet will move for it. On the 20th of February there were 2,804 officers serving with the Militia. The successful candidates in the March examination will be transferred to the Line, and will, of course, cause vacancies in the Militia. There is no record of the professions or engagements of Militia Officers. I am not prepared to admit the inefficiency of the Militia, though the number of vacancies for officers is to be regretted. Since the answer I gave in this House on the 20th of February, the number of applications for Militia commissions has increased.

In reply to a further Question from Sir FREDERICK MILNER,


said, that two months ago a number of queries were addressed to commanding officers of regiments; and suggestions were invited from them as to the means they would recommend in order to increase the number of applications for Militia commissions. Some of the replies involved recommendations of increased allowances, but no very large proportion of them; and whether the hon. Member's suggestion was among them he did not know.