I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether, as it is announced that no Manœuvre Bill will be introduced this Session, and as the ground to be acquired on Salisbury Plain is not yet available, and as he has 1233 informed the House that Manœuvres are absolutely essential to secure efficiency, he will stale what description of exercise it is proposed to give the troops in this country this season?
§ * THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. BRODRICK, Surrey, Guildford)
I can only answer that the military authorities propose to give the troops the best tactical exercises which the nature of the ground at their disposal will allow.
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman proposed to bring in any Measure dealing with the subject tit is Session?
§ * MR. BRODRICK
said that the hon. and gallant Gentleman must be perfectly aware that the authorities at the War Office were earnestly desirous of such a Measure as he indicated being passed, but that the state of public business would not allow it to be done.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether legislation will be proposed this Session, or early next Session, to enable those large manœuvres to take place in 1898, which both the Commander-in-Chief and the Government have declared to be important for the efficiency of the Army; and whether a Manœuvres Bill will be put before the Reserve Forces Bill?
§ THE FIRST LORD Of THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR, Manchester, E.)
The Government fully recognise that the provision already made as to a large manœuvring ground on Salisbury Plain does not really exhaust all the necessities of the case, though it goes some way towards it. In these circumstances we hope to introduce a Manœuvres Bill which shall meet with general approval in all quarters of the House.