§ *SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the periodic Returns furnished to the War Office from the various military commands have been suspended since 1899; whether it is from these Returns that the Preliminary Return of the British Army and the General Annual Return are compiled; for what reason have 709 these two Returns been withheld from the House since 1899, thus leaving Parliament so long without information as to the effect of operations in South Africa, on the state and condition of the military forces of the Crown stationed elsewhere.
§ MR. BRODRICK
I fully explained to my hon. and gallant friend last May that, as the units in South Africa were unable to furnish the usual elaborate Returns while the war lasted, it would not be possible to publish any Preliminary or General Annual Return until the war is over.
§ *SIR JOHN COLOMB
Is my right hon. friend not prepared to answer my question about His Majesty's forces in other parts than South Africa?