HC Deb 29 April 1907 vol 173 cc520-1

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether Lord Roberts, on the conclusion of the South African War, proposed that a local force of 12,000 constabulary should be raised for the maintenance of order in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony, to be paid for by the Colonies concerned; whether that force has since been cut down to 4,500 men or less; and, if so, whether the reduction of this proposed constabulary force has had any effect in determining the magnitude of the military garrison maintained at the expense of the British taxpayer.


The South African Constabulary is a force maintained entirely for police purposes. At the time of its formation in October, 1900, it was recruited, I understand, on the advice of Lord Roberts, up to a strength of 10,000. Since then the authorities in the Colonies concerned have reduced the numbers until they now stand at about 3,100.