HC Deb 28 March 1904 vol 132 cc831-2
MR. AINSWORTH (Argyllshire)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War in what places the £3,300,000 for cantonments in South Africa is being spent; and whether, seeing that such expenditure is largely of a permanent character, it is intended to maintain a permanent military force in South Africa.

MR. OSMOND WILLIAMS (Merionethshire)

I beg also to ask the Secretary of State for War whether any of the troops in South Africa still live in bell tents, single ply, with five to eight men in a tent; if so, does he propose to remedy this condition of things shortly; have huts been yet erected in any one of the military districts in South Africa; and, if so, will he give the number of military districts with huts; and the number without.


I will reply at the same time to the Question put by the hon. Member for Merionethshire. The sum mentioned is being spent at Pretoria, Middleburg, (Transvaal), Potchefstroom, Standerton, Barberton, Bloemfontein, Harrismith, Middleburg (Cape Colony), and Somerset West. The hutments in most cases are already completed or will be completed by the end of July, but I cannot give exact details. Some of the troops are in circular tents, but these are being steadily replaced by the Indian pattern tents as the latter become available. The accommodation is required for the force now required in South Africa. I am not able to say how long it will be necessary to maintain that force at its present strength.