HC Deb 04 July 1905 vol 148 cc975-6

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the Army scheme proposed by him has been abandoned; whether the proposed reduction of fourteen battalions has been given up, and these battalions are in future to be recruited on the short-service system; whether that short-service system will be applied exclusively to these battalions; and whether he has any communication to make to the House with reference to his own position in the War Office in reference to these matters.


The reply to the first paragraph of the Question is in the negative. As I have explained on previous occasions, the introduction of the scheme of short-service enlistment has been necessarily postponed until a sufficient number of men have been enlisted for nine years service with the colours to provide the men necessary for the Indian drafts. This condition has not yet been fulfilled. It has never been proposed to reduce fourteen battalions unless and until an equal number of other battalions equally efficient has been created.


Then is the Arnold-Forster scheme in a state of suspended animation?

[No Answer was returned.]