HC Deb 18 March 1903 vol 119 cc1096-7

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he can see his way to classifying the privates of the Regular forces at home, so than no soldier shall be reckoned effective until he has been dismissed all recruit drills and courses, and is by age and physique qualified for active or foreign service; whether he will distinguish in Army Estimates between; recruits and effectives, as shown by the Returns of the previous 1st January; and, if he cannot see his way to this classification, whether he will inquire the opinions of officers commanding units of Regulars at home, and [...]er final decision till those opinions have been considered.


I must point out to my hon. and gallant friend that in the first place the qualifications for active or Foreign Service vary according to the nature of the service or the climate; and in the second place the returns already furnished to the War Office give all particulars necessary for the detailing of drafts or forming of a true estimate of the state of units. When the increased rates of Service pay come into operation soldiers will be classified accordingly, but I do not think any distinctions can be drawn on the lines suggested.

COLONEL WELBY suggested that under the circumstances the right hon. Gentleman should obliterate the word "effective" from the Army Estimates.