§ MR. MORRELL (Oxon, Woodstock)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether Militia regiments recruited in purely agricultural districts show more marked deficiency if called out in August and September than in May and June; and, if so, whether he will communicate with General Officers commanding districts with a view to consideration of this point when fixing dates for drill and training next season?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. G. WYNDHAM,) Dover
Statistics have been collected which show that the percentage of men absent from training is not affected by the season, but that the percentage of those who buy their discharges is, as a rule, somewhat higher when the training is in August than when it is in May. The date of the training is always fixed after consultation with the commanding officer of each battalion, and every effort is made to comply with his wishes. In reply to a Question of which the honourable Member has given me private notice, I may say that in the Bucks Militia the percentage of men absent, and of men who bought their discharges, was lower in 1898, when the battalion trained in August, than in 1897, when it trained in May.