HC Deb 12 May 1887 vol 314 c1670
MR. TOTTENHAM (Winchester)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether the eight batteries of Horse Artillery of the two Army Corps about to be formed will be on the peace or war establishment, and if there has been any alteration in the latter establishment from that laid down by the War Office Equipment Regulations—namely, 175 men and 168 horses per battery; if no alteration, how it is proposed now, or on sudden emergency, to supply the deficiency of men and horses required to raise these batteries to their war strength; whether the full complement of horses in these eight batteries at war strength would be 1,344; whether the total number effective on 1st April of present year, in the whole of the 13 batteries then existing and before the reduction, was 980; and, whether it is now but 808 for the nine batteries which remain after the reduction has been carried out?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

The Horse Artillery batteries will be on the peace establishment. The war establishment of a battery has not been altered. On full mobilization—that is, of two Army Corps, a Cavalry Division, and lines of communication—the batteries would be completed in men from the Reserve and in horses by purchase. At war strength the eight batteries would require 1,304 horses On the 1st of April the effective number was 1,032. If the Horse Artillery batteries required for the two Army Corps were to be kept at full strength, to enable them to take the field instantly, we should require 568 more horses and 230 more men, and the extra cost the first year would be £51,000. I should be very glad if there were the least probability of such a proposal being accepted by the House; but I do not think it likely that they would approve an establishment far in excess of what other countries think of maintaining in peace time. I may add that the supply of horses for the Artillery forms part only of the much larger question of horse supply generally, about which I hope to be in a position before long to make proposals.