HC Deb 14 March 1887 vol 312 cc217-8

Neither is any considerable change contemplated in our present force of Infantry. After providing for the reinforcement of Home and Colonial garrisons, there still remain more than sufficient battalions of Infantry for the proposed establishment of two Army Corps and the necessary line of communications. The present Estimates provide for a small reduction in the numbers of every Infantry regiment from 750 to 730. This reduction is in consequence of the fact that the abnormal demand for the increase of the British Army in India having been nearly satisfied, the necessity for so large an establishment no longer exists.

For this branch of the Service also the reports of recruiting are satisfactory. The Inspector-General states that the great advance made in 1885 has been fairly maintained during last year. The total number of recruits tested and finally approved is 39,409, which, though less than in 1885, was considerably more than in any other year since the introduction of short service. the report also shows that an increasing number of the men recruited for Infantry regiments were born in the regimental district.

The effect of the now mobilization scheme, as regards the Cavalry and the Infantry, may be described as a readjustment of existing forces, but in respect to the Artillery and Engineers, organic changes, and a great deal of new material, are entailed by the requirements of the new system.