§ SIR A. ACLAND-HOOD (Somerset, Wellington)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War to what extent the heavy cavalry, Royal Artillery, and infantry of the line quartered at home are now below their respective establishments; and, whether, as regards the infantry of the line, none are sent to the Mediterranean stations unless they are twenty years of age and have completed twelve months' service in the Army?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. BRODRICK, Surrey, Guildford)
On the 1st July the heavy cavalry were five, and the infantry of the line quartered at home were 1,389 below their establishment. The artillery were 179 above their old establishment, but 706 below the establishment to be reached by the 1st of April, 1898: Soldiers are sent to the Mediterranean irrespective of age, provided they have had three months service.
§ MR. H. O. ARNOLD - FORSTER (Belfast, W.)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he will furnish a Return giving particulars of the batteries and battalions present at Aldershot on the 1st July, showing the number of all ranks in each battery and battalion, the present establishment, the number of men and horses which under existing regulations will be left behind in the event of the battery or battalion being sent to India, and the number which will be required to raise each unit to war strength; the Return to relate to any day during the mouths of June or July which it may suit the convenience of the War Office to select for the purpose?
§ MR. BRODRICK
The Secretary of State will not object to give a Return showing for each battery and battalion which was present at Aldershot on the 1st July, the effective strength, the establishment, the number who would have to be left at home on account of length of service if the unit were ordered on war service, and the number which would be required to complete it for war service; but in addition some would have to be left behind as medically unfit. The number could only be ascertained by a medical inspection of all the men concerned; and this the Secretary of State is not prepared to sanction.