HC Deb 08 May 1888 vol 325 cc1605-6
MR. HANBURY (Preston)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is the fact that the Commander-in-Chief did not, before the Estimates for this year were settled, recommend or make "any demand whatever" for any considerable addition to the numbers of the Army, which he has since declared to be too weak for its duties; and, whether the preparation of the Estimates, or what other occasion, presents the proper opportunity for the chief military adviser of the Secretary of State to place on formal record his responsible opinion as to the number of men which he, as such military expert, may deem necessary for the requirements of the country?

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

I stated the other day that no demand for an addition of 11,000 men to the Army was made to me officially or unofficially. The not addition asked for was between 2,000 and 3,000 men. The hon. Member will find in the Estimates of the present year that the battalions of Infantry and regiments of Cavalry first for service and in the Aldershot Division were raised to a higher establishment. He will also find a considerable increase in the number of the Royal Engineers and the Commissariat and Transport Staff. On the other hand, certain reductions were made which fixed the net increase to the Army at 276 men. The natural opportunity for raising any question of increase of establishments is before the Estimates are framed, because, of course, they entirely depend on the numbers of the establishment.


asked, whether the construction placed by the Civil Authorities at the War Office on the sentence in the Order in Council imposing on the Commander-in-Chief the duty of preparing the Estimates was that he should submit what he considered to be an adequate estimate of the military requirements of the country?


No change whatever has been made in this respect by the recent re-organization. The Commander-in-Chief has always submitted annually his proposed establishment, and he does so now.