§ The object of this Bill is to facilitate in case of emergency—
§ (1) the calling out of the yeomanry and volunteers;
§ (2) the calling out of the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers;
§ (3) the use of railways for naval and military purposes;
§ (4) the provision of horses and carriages;
§ As respects (1)—
§ At present a corps of yeomanry can be called out for actual military service in case of actual invasion or appearance of an enemy in force on the coast of Great Britain, or of rebellion or insurrection arising or existing within the same on the appearance of any enemy in force on the coast, or during any invasion.
§ A corps of volunteers can at present be called out for actual military service in case of actual or apprehended invasion of any part of the United Kingdom.
§ The yeomanry and volunteers, when called out, are required to serve in any part of Great Britain, subject, possibly, in the case of yeomanry, to certain exceptions.
§ The militia, on the other hand, can be embodied in case of imminent national danger or great emergency, and are required to serve in any part of the United Kingdom, and when the militia is embodied Parliament is required to meet within ten days after the order for the embodiment.
§ The object of the Bill is to authorise the yeomanry and volunteers to be called out for actual military service whenever the militia is embodied; but it is not proposed to impose any additional liability on existing men without their consent.1251
§ As respects (2)—
§ At present Royal Naval Coast Volunteers raised under 16 & 17 Vict. c. 73. s. 4. from seafaring men and others deemed suitable (s. 4.) can be called out "in case of imminent national danger or of great emergency" by proclamation specifying the cause.
§ The Royal Naval Volunteers raised under 22 & 23 Vict. c. 40. from seafaring men and others deemed suitable can be called out "on such occasions as Her Majesty shall deem fit."
§ The Naval Artillery Volunteers raised under 36 & 37 Vict. c. 77. can (s. 16.) be called out in case of actual or apprehended invasion of any part of the United Kingdom.
§ The object of the Bill is to authorise the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers to be called out for actual service whenever the Naval Reserve is called out, but it is not proposed to impose any additional liability on existing men without their consent.
§ (34 & 35 Vict. c. 86.)
§ As respects railways, the Regulation of the Forces Act, 1871, provides that when the Queen by Order in Council declares that an emergency has arisen in which it is expedient for the public service that Her Majesty's Government should have control over the railways in the United Kingdom, the Secretary of State may empower any person to take possession of a railway, and compensation is to be paid, which is to be ascertained, in case of difference, by arbitration under the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845.
§ The object of the Bill is to enable the Queen, whenever the militia is ordered to be embodied, to order that naval or military traffic shall have precedence over other traffic on a railway without the Secretary of State being obliged to take the extreme step of taking possession of the railway.
§ As respects carriages and horses, s. 115 of the Army Act, 1881, provides that the Queen by order, stating that a case of emergency exists, and signified by a Secretary of State, may authorise any general or field officer commanding Her Majesty's regular forces in any place in the United Kingdom to issue a requisition of emergency.
§ On production of the requisition by an officer of Her Majesty's forces mentioned in the requisition, or by an officer authorised by a Secretary of State, a justice must issue his warrant to constables to provide such carriages and animals, and such vessels used on a canal or river, as may be required.
§ The Secretary of State is to cause due payment to be made for the carriages, animals, or vessels furnished, and in case of difference, the amount is to be determined by a county court judge.
§ The section is considered not to be sufficiently definite, as it might be held to apply only to hiring. The object of the Bill is to clearly extend it to the provision of carriages, animals, and vessels for the purpose of being purchased as well as hired by the Secretary of State, but this extension is to exist only when the militia have been ordered to be embodied.