HC Deb 04 May 1897 vol 48 c1522
MR. JOHN WILSON (Falkirk Burghs)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary for War if it is the case that the Autumn Manœuvres have been abandoned, and, as arrangements have been made at great expense to bring two battalions of Scotch Militia to participate in these, will he now countermand these orders, seeing that brigading with regulars can be arranged in Scotland, and thus economy as well as efficiency secured; whether, if there is a musketry instructor in Scotland as well as at Aldershot, efficient instruction might be obtained at Lanark; and, if not, will he explain the reason; could he state what is now the special object in bringing two battalions of Militia from Scotland, and is he aware that the time now fixed for doing so is contemporaneous with the time fixed for the training of the 4th Battalion of one of the same regiments at Lanark, and that the staff is not sufficiently complete to admit of splitting the battalions, seeing that there is only one band, one piper band, and one quartermaster for the two battalions; if it is intended to utilise these two battalions of Scotch Militia, during the Jubilee celebrations; and if he is aware that neither has a complete full-dress uniform, not having shakos but only forage caps?


It is not proposed to make any change in the arrangements contemplated for this year's training of the Militia. There is great advantage in occasionally brigading Militia with Regular troops, and this could not be done at Lanark. These battalions are to be brought to Aldershot in order to assemble there the four battalions of the 16th Militia Brigade, of which they form part. The two Militia battalions of the Scottish Rifles and the two of the Highland Light Infantry have always been considered as separate units, and have a staff sufficient to act accordingly. It has not yet been decided which Militia battalions will attend the Jubilee celebration; but it is known that these battalions are without full-dress headdress.