§ MR. ALDEN (Middlesex, Tottenham)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the nine battalions to be disbanded by order of the Army Council, though nominally 20,000, have only a total strength of 6,107 men of all ranks, and that 4,184 men have been transferred to other battalions or other regiments or to the staff; and, if so, whether he will state the approximate amount of reduction in cost as a result of this reduction in actual numbers.
§ MR. HALDANE
As I informed the hon. Baronet the Member for West Marylebone, on the 3rd instant,†the strength of the nine battations on 1st September last was 6,167, the total establishment being 7,390, and not 20,000. The 20,000 comprises other details. Though for the present the officers and men are mainly being transferred to other battalions or regiments, so that the immediate loss of actual strength is but small, the ultimate reduction in the cost of the Army will be the full cost of the nine battalions, viz.:—about £500,000 per annum. It is impracticable to give any figure for the saving by diminution in actual strength of the Army, owing to these disbandments, because that diminution is progressive, varying from day to day.