§ MAJOR SEELY (Isle of Wight)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether, seeing that the number of efficient Volunteers, as stated in the annual Return, is 244,537, he can state by what method and within what time it is proposed to eliminate the 64,537 efficients so as to reduce the total force to 180,000.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. BROMLEY DAVENPORT, Cheshire, Macclesfield)
In the absence of my right hon. friend I will read his Answers to the Questions addressed to him. Until reports have been received from the general officers commanding as to the condition of the Volunteer corps in their commands, it is impossible to say whether there will be any, and if so, what reductions in the numbers of the Volunteers. I have already explained to the House that the figure named is that which will allow of the additional grants which I think necessary being made to the Volunteers. I do not anticipate any considerable diminution of the Volunteer force until the incidence of the capitation grant has been altered in such a way as to enable commanding officers to get rid of unfit men, without thereby impairing the financial condition of the corps under their command.
§ MAJOR SEELY
Will the hon. Gentleman tell us at what time it is proposed to reduce the Volunteers to 180,000 men? Will he give us a date?
§ MR. BROMLEY DAVENPORT
The information which has been asked for in the circular recently issued will, presumably, be in the War Office by October 31st, the date named in the circular. When that circular has been replied to my right hon. friend will be in a position to judge what further action is required.
§ MR. MCCRAE (Edinburgh, E)
May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether the information there asked for, being for 870 active service abroad, is to be taken as the standard of efficiency?
§ No Answer being forthcoming.