HC Deb 26 October 1899 vol 77 cc721-2
SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War if, having regard to the acceptance of the services of Volunteer Corps offered for active service in South Africa by the colonies, and to the raising of Volunteer Corps in Cape Colony, Natal, and Rhodesia, some of whom have already done good work, the Secretary of State and Commander-in-Chief will, should circumstances require the despatch of further reinforcements, bear in mind the offers of service they have received from members of the Volunteer force in Great Britain, always provided that only the best marksmen and best trained men are accepted, and that this can be done without taking such a number from any one regiment as might interfere with its efficiency in the general scheme for home defence.


The law does not allow us to employ Volunteers as such outside the United Kingdom. Any Volunteers employed would have to enlist in the Regular Army. Subject to this reservation, the patriotic offers from members of the Volunteer force will certainly be borne in mind, though there does not appear to be any immediate prospect that their services will be required.

MR. DUNCOMBE (Cumberland, Egremont)

May I ask under what law the War Office are not allowed to accept the services of Volunteers?


We cannot avail ourselves of these patriotic offers unless the Volunteers wishing to leave the country enlist for a short term in the Regular Army. As Volunteers they cannot go out.