§ MR. RADCLIFFE COOKE) (Newington, W.
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether, by paragraph 359 of the Militia Regulations, Militia officers are specifically debarred from attending the classes formed at the School of Military Engineering, which officers of the regular Infantry are expected to attend; and whether, having regard to the important duties now assigned to the Militia under the mobilisation scheme, he will allow at least one officer in every Militia battalion to attend such classes, in order that in every battalion there may be an officer competent to superintend simple field engineering works. I have further to ask whether it is the intention to carry out the recommendation of the Committee appointed to inquire into certain questions affecting the Militia (Summary, p. xxxii.) that officers who, with the approval of their Commanding Officer and the Colonel of the district, attend garrison classes and obtain certificates, shall receive pay and allowances; also whether it is the fact that, as Colonel Grove states in his evidence before the Committee appointed to inquire into certain questions affecting the Militia (Question 212), the duties for which the Militia would be told off on mobilisation would be, broadly speaking, three, 684 namely, first, to re-inforce the garrisons of all our home fortresses and ports; secondly, to re-place the Line Battalions that would be withdrawn from Ireland; and thirdly, to form the greater portion of the Third Army Corps, the organisation of which is now very nearly complete as regards the troops that are to compose it; if so, what, if any, opportunities are now afforded to Militia officers to learn the tactical part of the duties they would thus be called on to perform under this scheme of mobilisation for home defence?
§ *MR. E. STANHOPE
The staff of officers employed in the instruction of Army officers in garrison classes would not at present suffice if Militia officers were added to the class. Officers of engineer Militia are received at the School of Military Engineering. There is no room in the school for officers of infantry Militia. The duties of the Militia, in case of mobilisation, would be, broadly, as stated by Colonel Grove in his evidence before the Committee appointed to inquire into certain questions affecting the Militia. Militia officers are given every opportunity of presenting themselves at the periodical examinations in tactics. The officers of artillery Militia are virtually practised in tactics, as they are taught to work the heavy guns in the positions which in war they would have to defend.