HC Deb 29 March 1904 vol 132 cc969-70

To ask the Secretary of State for War whether he can state the percentage of recruits last year of eighteen years and under, of from eighteen to twenty years, and of over twenty years, and the age at which the average recruit is now considered fit for active service; and what recruits of seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, and twenty years of age, respectively, cost the country by the time they arrive at the age of twenty-one.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Arnold-Forster.) The percentage of recruits for the first nine months of 1903 are as follows: seventeen to eighteen, 5 per cent.; eighteen to twenty, 61 per cent.; twenty and upwards, 34 per cent. The normal age at which a soldier is considered fit for active service abroad is twenty. The details of the cost of recruits of the Infantry of the Line by the time they reach the age of twenty-one are as follows: Enlisting at seventeen, £186; eighteen, £144; nineteen, †See (4) Debates,exii., p. 655. £93; twenty, £45. Recruits of other branches of the service cost proportionately more.