HC Deb 12 February 1897 vol 46 cc265-6
GENERAL LAURIE (Pembroke and Haverfordwest)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether the Brigade of Foot Guards and the Garrison Artillery are severally complete in numbers or below the establishment; and, if the latter, what is the actual deficiency in numbers, and what is the present standard for recruits in those two Corps respectively; how many specially enlisted men (i.e. men deficient in one or more of the prescribed qualifications) have been permitted to join these two Corps during the years 1895 and 1896; and how many men, enlisted for three years with the Colours and nine in the Reserve, are now serving in the Brigade of Guards?


On February 1st the Brigade of Foot Guards was 26, and the Garrison Artillery 176, below establishment. The standard for recruits is 5ft. 8½in, for the Foot Guards and 5ft. 7in. for the Garrison Artillery. The special enlistments for the Guards were 207 in 1895, and 316 in 1896. Those for the Garrison Artillery were 439 in 1895, and 191 in 1896. On February 1st there were serving in the Foot Guards 1,603 men enlisted for three years with the Colours.

CAPTAIN BAGOT (Westmorland, Kendal)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether in view of the fact that the barrack accommodation of the Guards' recruit depôt at Caterham is now only barely sufficient for the number of recruits stationed there, it is proposed to enlarge it to receive the large number of extra recruits which will be required if two more battalions are to be added to the Guards?


Some enlargement of the barracks at Caterham will be necessary.

SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War if he can inform the House how long has been the average station at Gibraltar of Regiments of the Line; if they have been generally reported on as insufficient or unfit to fight after service at Gibraltar; how many nights a week privates are as a rule on guard, and if more or less than the Foot Guards at Wellington or Chelsea Barracks; and if regiments suffer in greater proportion there from disease than at home?


The average stay of the last 11 battalions at Gibraltar has been three years. The reports on regiments leaving Gibraltar have not been such as are indicated in the Question; the Foot Guards in London as a rule have one night out of bed on guard in every eight nights, and the guard duty at Gibraltar is about the same. The health statistics show that in the last ten years the admissions to hospital at Gibraltar were 39 per 1,000 less than in the United Kingdom, the number of men discharged as invalids were 8.71 per 1,000 at Gibraltar, while those discharged in the United Kingdom were 16.34 per 1,000, and the number of deaths at Gibraltar were 4.90 per 1,000, against 5.20 in the United Kingdom.


asked if the right hon. Gentleman meant that the proportion all the year round was seven nights in bed to one night out?


said such was the information supplied to him, 7.28 nights to one night out of bed.