HC Deb 16 March 1891 vol 351 cc1061-2
MR. AINSLIE (Lancashire, N. Lonsdale)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he can explain on what grounds the grant of 12s. per efficient Volunteer is held to be enough for the provision of the equipments required under the regulations in the cases of country battalions; if he is aware that the lowest charge at which these equipments are procurable is 18s.; if he can make a distinction in favour of battalions whose detachments are widely scattered; if he is aware that the regulation which limits this grant of 12s. to efficients on the previous October will adversely affect those corps which were below their strength at that time; if also, in the case of the Volunteer Artillery the grant of 5s. has been found wholly insufficient, and, without including valises, does the required equipment cost fully 11s. 6d. per man; and if he can make a substantial increase upon the allowances alluded to?


The special grant for the equipment of the Volunteers was intended to complete their equipment with which they were already partially supplied, and not to completely re-equip the Force. As regards the Infantry Volunteers, the articles deficient were taken to be braces, pouch, mess-tin, haversack, water-bottle, and carrier. These it was estimated last year could be obtained for 12s. A rise in prices has since taken place, and the sums are somewhat insufficient. Accordingly, the grant of 12s. will be increased to 15s. for those corps which wear buff, and to 13s. for those whose accoutrements are black or brown. As regards Artillery Corps, they were understood to be already in possession of a waist-belt and pouch, a frog, and a sling. The remaining equipment can, it is known, be obtained for 5s. Consequently it is not intended to increase that amount. Great-coats will, in many cases, be issued in kind, to the advantage of corps concerned. The grant of 30s. sanctioned for all future cases of increase of establishment will be made retrospective to April 1st, 1890.