HC Deb 24 March 1896 vol 39 cc53-4
MR. A. M. BROOKFIELD (Sussex, Rye)

On behalf of the hon. Member for Great Yarmouth, Sir JOHN COLOMB, T beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, whether he will take an early opportunity of explaining to the House, either by a Memorandum or otherwise, the general principles which have determined the grouping of the Military Forces in the Paper (107) presented by Her Majesty's command, showing approximately the cost of Military Forces as divided under Colonial Garrisons, Field Army, Depôts, &c., and of stating:—why the 79,000 Army Reserve is distributed in the proportions stated under the different heads, only 5,000 of the whole being placed under the heading "Troops held in Reserve;" why the Militia Reserve of 30,000 is not also so distributed, but placed under one head "Troops held in Reserve:" why a Yeomanry Force of 8,200 is placed under the heading "Troops held in Reserve," and only 1,500 placed under head of "Defensive positions at Home;" and the reasons for including under the same headings troops available and troops not available for service beyond sea; and, whether, in the form of a Memorandum or otherwise, he will state the total force of Cavalry, Field Artillery, and Infantry respectively, now in the United Kingdom and available for service beyond sea?


It would be impossible within the limits of a reply to a Question to give the information asked for, and it seems hardly desirable to justify in a Memorandum the exact allocation of troops. But generally speaking it is desirable to hold in reserve some troops of each arm, available, to reinforce the field Army, whether for service at home or abroad.