HC Deb 11 February 1904 vol 129 c1019

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he can explain why, at the outbreak of the Boer War, there was the deficiency in armaments, reserves of guns, ammunition, stores, and clothing, and in regard to the power of output of material of war in emergency, described in Sir Henry Brackenbury's Minute of 15th December, 1899, and what steps have been taken to render this state of affairs impossible in the future.


I am afraid that it is not possible within the limits of a reply to a Question to give an answer to the first part of this Question, but if the hon. Member will kindly refer to Paragraph 55 of the Report of the Royal Commission he will find considerable information on the subject. As regards the second part of the Question, the provision of the guns, stores, clothing, etc., recommended by the Mowatt Committee is being carried out; and will practically be completed by the middle of 1904. To guard against a recurrence of deficiencies of stores it has been decided that the reserves shall be permanently maintained, and that any guns, ammunition, stores, or clothing withdrawn for service shall be immediately and automatically replaced.