§ MR. BUCHANAN (Edinburgh, W.)
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether the decision against the formation of the corps of Fortress Engineers at Edinburgh and Leith, as proposed in the Estimates, has been arrived at in consequence of difference of local military opinion on the subject; whether this opposition is due to any lack of men willing to join the corps; whether the Military Authorities at the War Office are still favourable to the formation of such a corps, and whether its formation is an essential part of the scheme of defence of the Eastern Coast; and, whether, in view of the public interests involved, he will still endeavour to carry out his original intention.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)
The decision against the formation of the corps was arrived at on the advice of the Local Military Authorities. Its formation, though not essential to the defence of the Eastern Coast, would have been desirable; but, in view of the local objections, I did not think it advisable to approve its being raised.