HC Deb 05 April 1898 vol 56 cc193-4
MR. H. O. ARNOLD-FORSTER (Belfast, W.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether, of the Reservists offering themselves for re-engagement, a large number have been for various reasons rejected as unfit for service with the Colours; whether the proportion of rejections has in some districts been as high as 25 per cent., and in one instance over 40 per cent., of the number of men offering themselves; whether the War Office has in any case sanctioned the retention in the Reserve of soldiers who have been rejected as medically unfit; and, if so, on what ground the country is to pay 6d. a day to men who have been certified as unfit to render the service for which the money is paid; and, whether he can state the total number of men who have offered themselves for re-engagement, and the number who have been accepted?


The total number of Reservists who have offered themselves for service with the Colours has been 2,074 up to the 31st March. Of these 1,934, or 93¼ per cent., have been accepted. The question of the final disposal of those Reservists who are found unfit is still under consideration.


May I ask if it is not a fact that in several cases the final decision has been come to?


I do not think any final decision has been taken. At any rate, anything as yet done will be subject to revision.