HC Deb 18 August 1893 vol 16 cc517-8

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the statement, in the Recruiting Report of General Fielding, that in Ireland even those enlisted have been obtained with great difficulty from districts which 10 years ago provided the Army with an abundant supply of men of fine physique, and the chief causes are (1) great increase in number of emigrants, (2) the opposition of the Nationalist Party to the enlistment of any young Irishman in Her Majesty's Forces; and how the recruiting from Ireland for the first six mouths of this year compares with the corresponding six months of 1891 (the year referred to by General Fielding) and 1881 respectively?


The enlistments in Ireland during the first six mouths of 1893 were 1,616, against 1,679 during the same period in 1891 and 1,472 in 1881; but these numbers are rather misleading, unless compared with the total number of recruits of the respective years. This cannot yet be done for 1893; but the Irish recruits raised in the first half of 1881 were 5.6 per cent, of the whole number of recruits of the year, while those of 1891 were only 5.1 per cent. At the same time, the proportion of men in the Army of Irish nationality has fallen from 209 to 135 per 1,000.