HC Deb 10 February 1904 vol 129 cc1311-2
CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the fact that according to the Imperial Yeomanry Training Return for 1903 just published, it appears that out of an establishment of 34,594 no fewer than 8,293 are wanting to complete, that 2,593 were absent from training, and that out of a total of 22,610 horses, 10,667 were hired, he will state what steps he proposes to take in order to place this force upon a more satisfactory footing.


When the maximum of about 35,000 was fixed in 1901, the enrolled numbers stood at about 10,000 and those at training in the previous year amounted to 8,657. Since that time the numbers enrolled have risen to 27,054 on 1st January last, and the number at training in 1903 amounted to 23,779. These figures show very satisfactory progress. As regards the horses, without incurring considerable extravagance, it has been found impracticable to avoid hiring.


Am I to understand that although this is still a paper force, it is less a paper force than it was?


The hon-Member must understand nothing of the kind. A high establishment has been fixed, and a greater approximation to it has been attained every year. The recruiting for the Yeomanry has been most satisfactory.