DR.EARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the admitted preference of the great majority of Militia commanding officers for the old system of preliminary drill, he will consider the question of allowing the Regulations to be elastic, so thatbattalions which are unable to obtain recruits under present arrangements may resort to the former plan?
§ *MR. E. STANHOPE
In February last I presented to this House a very valuable Report on the Militia, and at pages 17 to 19 my hon. Friend will find the question of preliminary drill fully discussed. The Regulations allow of preliminary drill when a minimum number of recruits elect to be so drilled; but it is held to be of great importance for recruiting that the option should rest with the men, and from the Report it appears that 80 per cent. of them prefer to drill at the depôt at a time when work is slack and their wage-earning power at its lowest.
I beg to give notice that, as this question affects very much the interests of recruiting for the Militia in my county, I will direct attention to the question upon the Vote.