§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. EMMOTT (Oldham) in the Chair.]
§ Army Estimates, 1908–9.
§ 1. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £840,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Expense of the Pay, Bounty, etc., of the Special Reserves and Militia (to a number not exceeding 132,737, including 2,000 Militia Reserve), which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1909."
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. HALDANE,) Haddington
I think it will be well if I rise now to make a statement about the present position of the Special Reserve. There is a good deal of misapprehension current about it, and, I think, as regards the figures and facts, it is desirable that these should be placed as clearly and as briefly as I can before the Committee. The Committee will remember how the Special Reserve came into existence and broadly what its character is. It consists of two parts, each of which is touched by this Vote—a Reserve of men and a Reserve of officers. The Reserve of men is itself divided into two subdivisions, the "A" Reserve, which contains the Infantry and the Artillery, and the "B" Reserve, which is intended to provide for auxiliary services, postal 891 corps, extra Army Service Corps men extra engineer men, and so on, who can be raised upon what might be called a Militia basis. These we designed to get in connection with the Territorial Force; that is to say, to get the class of civilians that trains for the Territorial Force specially to train for the corresponding unit in the Territorial Force, and, of course, as supernumerary to the Territorial Establishment, to take engagement to go abroad on mobilisation. We think that will probably turn out to be effective in getting these extra men, but as their number is comparatively small in proportion to the rest of the Special Reserve, and as it is obvious we cannot get them until the Territorial Force through which they are to train is properly in existence, I do not propose to dwell upon that matter to-day. But the other and larger part of the Special Reserve is in a very different position. I would for the moment leave the officers out of account and deal only with the men, and of the men the most important part in size are the Infantry, but not less important, at all event in function, are the men in the Artillery. Dealing with the Infantry first, it will be in the recollection of the Committee that by a suggestion that came from the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, and which was accepted by the Government, the establishment of the Special Reserve came to be what it is to-day, 101 units— 101 battalions—and in accordance with the suggestions of the right hon. Gentleman these units were made of nearly the same character and all of the same organisation, so as to fit them for performing two functions. They could, and must, be used to supply hafts for the wastage of war, and they are also organised so that at all events some of them—I think a considerable number of then— can either proceed as units when they are wanted for lines of communication, and to relieve garrison troops, or for the purpose of themselves taking part with their own officers, and the Special Reserve on its Infantry side in that way becomes divided into two functions. The 101 units will supply drafts, and they will also be available to go to the theatre of war, and some of them will obviously, when the time comes, be earmarked by the force of circumstances mainly for the 892 production of one result and others for the other result. Should they be embodied, they will take, of course, the surplus Reservists of the Regular battalions of the regiments to which they belong, and as recruits come in in time of war it may well be possible that they will expand, and when they move from, the depot, as the bulk of them would in such a case, to the barracks which have been rendered vacant by the Regular battalions going to the theatre of war, they will there be able to expand into additional battalions, which can be sent in due time either as drafts or to the front under their own officers. But the great function in producing drafts which the Special Reserve fulfils is to give scientific provision for the wastage of war. That is what the machinery is designed to do. With the pending withdrawals there would be seventy-four battalions of Infantry at home and seventy-four abroad, and fourteen Cavalry regiments at home and fourteen abroad. I will not dwell on the Cavalry, but each of these seventy-four battalions will have behind them one-third of the Special Reserve battalion, which takes the place of the old depot. Their primary purpose is to be there while the training is going on, both of Special Reservists and of men for the Line, to be trained, indeed, as the men who will form an establishment for providing the wastage of war. Hon. Members know what is the difficulty which formerly existed in connection with the Militia. The Militia at the time of the War had what used to be called the Militia Reserve—that is to say, 130,000 men were retained in the Militia for going abroad with the Regular troops, and when these were drawn on for drafts the result was to reduce the Militia battalion to a state of great weakness; so that, though it was useful in a time of war, its maintenance was disastrous to the Militia, and it was abolished, in the hope, however, that the Militia battalions would revive the force and get it out of its dwindling condition. But the Militia was dwindling steadily in 1906 when the changes now brought about were first, projected, and the purpose of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act of 1907 was to provide something like a scientific system of producing men who would keep up the wastage of war. The War Office 893 put it to the General Staff, who were asked what they recommended. They pointed out that the Militia was not maintained to go abroad, and that it depended on their goodwill whether they would come out and take service across the seas. They recommended in respect of the Militia Reserve retained to go abroad and on mobilisation that there should be 101 in all the battalions put together, or 58,580 men. All of these men are not fit to go, because young men of seventeen and upwards will be excluded, but they will form a reservoir out of which we can got 35,000 men. That is the actuarial calculation as to the Special Reserve. What is asked is that we should be prepared to supply for six months the wastage of war. These drafts will supply the wastage of war for the first six months, and then, of course, the 35,000 men being at the depôts training, another body will be ready to take the place of the first at the end of the six months, and so the machine will be at work to supply the wastage. There are 124 battalions of Infantry Militia, some of them very low in establishment and very low in the supply of officers. They are as low as 200 and 300 in strength. The establishment and the strength differ by about 50,000 men. The Department amalgamated 23 battalions with the others and produced 101 Special Reserve battalions, 74 to go behind the Regular battalions. An undertaking has been given that the Militia shall train until the end of this year's training. About half have now trained, and as they are trained they pass over into the Special Reserve, The result is that we have a substantial number of men of good age who have come over from the Militia and are now joining the Special Reserve. A question has been raised as to recruiting, and how matters will stand when the new system is in operation. I am glad to say that so fur the recruiting for the Regular Army is going on very well. In 1906–7 the recruits taken for the Infantry of the Regular Army were 25,328; this year the number is 27,666. For the first six months of 1907 we received through the Militia for the Regular Army 5,271 men; and this year we have taken from the Militia and the Special Reserve 5,249 men. On 1st January the strength 894 of the rank and file of the Militia Infantry and the Artillery together is 83,672; on 1st July the Militia is 44,137 and the Special Reserve 30,160, making a total of 74,297 men, so that we are not a very great deal behind what the Militia were on 1st January. It is true that we have given the Militia the £2 for turning over; but 71 units of Militia have turned over up to the 18th inst., and the total percentage of men who have come over is 70 per cent. The Infantry have come over at the rate of 69 per cent., and the Artillery at the rate of 75 per cent. There remains to turn over to the Special Reserve 49 units of Militia Infantry and 14 units of Militia Artillery. If they come over in the same way there will be a total coming over from the Militia of 41,918, to which must be added 12,000 recruits coming into the Special Reserve. It is not too sanguine to say, therefore, that we have in the Special Reserve 54,000 men in sight and over 30,000 actually in. The officers are coming over in an admirably large percentage. The next thing to consider is the conditions under which they are being trained. It is very curious to look at the table of recruiting. The War Office has found a very marked difference from the old state of things. In the period just before the summer months recruiting for the Special Reserve is at a much lower rate than it used to be for the Militia. But later on, and as the winter approaches, the rate is higher. The men will not give up summer employment, but as soon as they near the winter months they will be willing to come in. The Committee are not without experience of this. In the autumn of 1906 it was decided to train twenty Militia battalions experimentally for six months instead of forty-nine days. I have got here the table which shows the way in which it is working. The result is that the table of recruiting shows that the recruiting is going on almost in the same fashion for the Special Reserve as it does for the twenty experimental battalions which are trained on the same footing. The recruits taken between the 16th January, when we stopped recruiting for the Militia, and 18th July numbered 12,078. The number of Militiamen who have elected to join the Special Reserve is 20,258; the number who have elected 895 to remain in the Militia is 4,085, and the number who have elected to take a free discharge is 4,478. The number of Special Reservists who, on completing three months drill, have joined the Regular Army is 1,161. Of those who have completed four or five months drill and are under eighteen, only fifty-nine have gone over to the Regular Army, and of those of eighteen and over who have completed five or six months training, eighty-seven have gone over to the Regular Army. Out of the recruits who have enlisted in the Special Reserve 10.82 per cent, have joined the Regular Army. The number of men in the Special Reserve over twenty years of age is 20,994.
§ MR. HALDANE
I have not the figures here. That is how matters stand so far as the men are concerned. I will not trouble the Committee with the details of how the various battalions have come over, but I have got here some particulars relating to the officers. The officers are coming over to the Special Reserve better than the men. The men have come over at the rate of about 70 per cent.; but the officers have come over, I will not say en bloc, but in a very large proportion of cases en bloc. I have stated on a former occasion that the deficiency of officers, including India, is 8,640, and I wish now to explain what steps have been taken to make that formidable figure good. In the first place we have made a Special Reserve of officers the standard of which is the Continental standard of service of one year with a Regular unit on the part of a candidate who has got the necessary knowledge tested by appropriate tests. But we know that, in order to get the Reserve of officers full, it will be necessary to go to the Universities and public schools. We are opening up a sort of second or alternative career to young men who are going in for the professions, but who are not too busy to give a little time to soldiering. If they train for two years in the reformed cadet corps at the public schools that will let them off four months of the 896 twelve which is to constitute the standard, and if they give two years more in the University corps that will let them off another four months. We offer to the University student who is to be a doctor, a barrister, a solicitor, or a schoolmaster, on the production of what is called the "B" certificate, if he chooses to go through four months work with a Regular unit, a commission as a Reserve Regular officer. He gets £20 and his outfit, and he gets £35 down as a solatium for the trouble he has taken in getting his "B" certificate in the belief that that is a very useful sum for a man to receive when he leaves the University. He will be paid as a Reserve officer and he will have to train troops with his Regular unit for about fifteen days in the year. The whole organisation for the training of officers, both in the public schools and at the Universities, has been put under the General Staff. Already arrangements have been concluded with six Universities, and officers' training corps have been formed, the total number of under-graduates who have joined being 2,092. From fifty-nine public schools we have got 7,049 qualified cadets. Of course I do not suggest that anything like all these will become available for the Reserve which we want for mobilisation; but it is satisfactory that, in the case of a scheme which has been working for only a few weeks, so many students and schoolboys should have come forward. Cambridge has given 540, and, in addition, forty-five for the cavalry. Oxford has done still better, and has, up to date, given 674. Manchester has given 111, and it is estimated that Birmingham will furnish 280. The detailed figures relating to the public schools show that Harrow has given 287, Clifton 300, and Uppingham 212. The arrangements in regard to Eton are not yet complete. There is a great deal of evidence of keenness to make this military training a new part of a University career, and it seems to me that this is altogether to the good. Out of 1,113 Militia officers 921 have come in up to date. The proportion which has come over to the Special Reserve, from the regiments which have completed their training is 82 per cent. That is not a bad result, but a good many more 897 Special Reserve officers are wanted, and the training machinery of the University and public school training course cannot be expected to produce them for several years. Therefore interim means have to be taken to facilitate matters. The first appointments during the transition period will have to be under easier conditions. The plan is that a year shall be the standard except where cut down in connection with the training courses of the Universities and public schools. For the present it is proposed to allow the average candidate for Militia officership to join the Reserve after four months training in a Regular unit, provided he comes in before 15th December next. We have got 82 per cent, of the old Militia officers, and we are beginning the process of getting new officers for the Special Reserve. The process must be very slow until the new training machinery becomes available, but the condition of the Reserve officer will be better than it is under Militia conditions. There will be bettor pay, better rank, and better provision for giving him employment. It is proposed to allow them to take the place in the Regular battalions when officers were wanted of Regular officers who have been seconded. The colonel of a Special Reserve battalion will be a Special Reserve officer, the major will be a Regular major, there will be three Regular captains and five Militia captains; there will be two Regular lieutenants and eleven Special Reserve lieutenants. The position of Special Reserve officers will be much better than that of the old Militia officer. I am in great hopes that something will be done to meet social necessities. I was in Cumberland the other day, and I found that there was a great difficulty in finding employment for labour during a period of distress. I suggested to a large employer that the men should take their six months training, and I was informed that such a system was unknown, but if it were known it would meet a want in the labour market, and would be much appreciated by those who were responsible for finding employment for men. The miners are short of work at a different time, and I think that the Special Reserve system may be also worked as to enable employers of labour to do something to mitigate the trouble 898 of unemployment. In a letter written by a right hon. Gentleman, who, we all regret, is disabled by illness from taking to-day the distinguished part which he generally takes in these debates, this sentence is, I think, a little too strong. He wrote—Enough has been said to show that, even under the most favourable conditions, the Special Reserve not only may be, but must be, an absolute and disastrous failure as far as the infantry portion of it is concerned.I do not know why it should be a failure when there is such a large proportion of recruits over twenty years of age. Why should it be a failure when the Militia are coming over as they are at the present time? Why should it be a disastrous failure with such an organisation of officers and such a number of men? Why should that be a disastrous failure which is organised under advice of the most competent Gen the Staff with the view of providing in definite fashion for a want which up to that time has been characteristic of the British Army? I am far from suggesting that full machinery for making good the wastage of war has yet been provided, but we have got a long way on the road. An immense amount of work has yet to be done, but it is a sound plan to recognise that the days of the Militia are over; and it is not by accident, but by force of circumstances that the organisation of that force has become rickety and that its officers and men are dwindling away, and that they have better prospects with a Reserve which is constructed, designed, and organised for the fulfilment of a definite function and the officers and the men of which are maintained to fulfil that function.
§ *MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)
said that the right hon. the Secretary for War had given a very interesting historical review of what had happened to the Militia and to the Special Reserve during the last few months, but he had not told the Committee one word to enable them to judge whether this new force would make an efficient land force any more able to meet an enemy than the force which he had destroyed. He thought that this discussion was far and away the most important which had taken place this year in connection 899 with our land forces, because it was the first time that the new organisation of the Special Reserve had appeared in the Estimates. The Special Reserve had been avowedly started for two purposes. First of all, it was to take the place of the old Militia which had done such good service in the past; and in the second place, to make up in some small degree for the reduction in the Regular Army. He would first compare the loss and gain in numbers. Leaving out, for the moment, the Militia Artillery and other corps, on 1st October, 1907, the strength of the Militia Infantry was 67,740 non-commissioned officers and men. In order to make the comparison fair between the old Militia and the Special Reserve they must rule out all men, except engineers, who were over thirty-six, and all men under twenty, because the right hon. Gentleman had declared men over thirty-six unfit for active service, and under regulation men under twenty were not allowed to be sent abroad in case of war, or to serve abroad for any other purpose. There were 7,500 men in the old Militia infantry over thirty-six, and 18,300 under twenty, or an actual total of 25,800 to be deducted from the number of men serving in the old Militia Infantry. There were, therefore, 42,000 men available in the Militia Infantry on 1st October, 1907. But there must be further deducted 10 per cent, for casualties or as being medically unfit, say, 4,000, leaving 38,000 Militia Infantry fit to take the field. That force had been absolutely wiped out by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War. Again, since the right hon. Gentleman came into office he had reduced the Regular Army by 12,000 foot guards and infantry—nine battalions and their Reserves. Taking these two forces together they had 50,000 men who had been wiped off the pay-list of the British Army. That was a very large and a very serious weakening of our defence forces. What did the right hon. Gentleman propose to put in. their stead? If they looked at the Army Estimates it would be found that the right hon. Gentleman proposed to establish an Infantry Special Reserve, numbering 59,000 non-commissioned officers and men. These men were to be all under thirty-six years of age, except the en- 900 gineers, who were a small body. Now, in order to compare this body with the old Militia, he thought the right hon. Gentleman would admit that it would be perfectly fair to deduct from it the same proportion of men under twenty as was in the old Militia, because the men would be recruited from the same class and be of the same age. Allowing 10 per cent, for casualties and as being medically unfit, and for those under twenty years of age, that would amount to 23,000. Deducting these from the proposed establishment of 59,000 men there would be a Special Infantry Reserve of 36,000 non-commissioned officers and men compared with 38,000 of the old Militia, or 2,000 to the bad. Therefore, he had destroyed since he came into office 12,000 Regular and 38,000 Militia Infantry, and proposed to substitute for them 36,000 effective Infantry Special Reservists, making the net loss to the country's defence 14,000. That was the very minimum loss, because it was impossible to imagine that the strength and the establishment of the Infantry would coincide. Last year the old Infantry Militia was 31,000 non-commissioned officers and men below the establishment, and it was extremely unlikely arguing from the analogy of the old Militia that the right hon. Gentleman would get anything like the number of men for the Infantry Special Reserve that he wished. He would point out to the Committee that on 1st July only 25,500 had been recruited out of the 59,000 the Secretary of State wanted, and of those not more than 18,000 were over twenty years of age, and therefore only 18,000 were available for the purposes for which he created this Reserve, which was to be the Reserve of the Regular Army in time of war. From 15th January to 16th May, 4,545 less recruits of all arms were enlisted in the Special Reserve than were recruited for the old Militia last year. The recruiting had fallen by 5,000, so that the right hon. Gentleman was not likely to get so many recruits for the Special Reserve as he got for the old Militia, and indeed how could he expect to? This year too they had been obtained mostly by the old Militia permanent recruiting staff of 2,232, who in the future were to perform 901 other duties, and the right hon. Gentleman was now going to rely on only 148 recruiting officers. Besides this he had deliberately dispensed with the services of 7,500 men of over thirty-six years of age who were in the Infantry Militia. He could not understand the attitude of the right hon. Gentleman with reference to this age limit. If he had insisted upon every man who had reached thirty-six years of age being medically examined to see if he was an exception to the general rule, and if he was found to be medically unfit, discharging him, he would have been with him. But why should the right hon. Gentleman say a man was not fit for active service after he had reached thirty-six? There were 10,000 men now serving with the Regulars, 4,000 of whom were in the Colonies and India, and 3,500 in the Reserve over thirty-six years of age, and yet the Second Reserve must not take these men who were most useful as non-commissioned officers. When he had 3,500 of them in the First Reserve it was somewhat pedantic to say that they must not serve in the Second. That was extremely hard on the Special Reserve, which the right hon. Gentleman desired to make a success, because it was these older men who were required to steady and stiffen the ranks. The right hon. Gentleman was so hard in the matter of age that he would not even allow men who were thirty-one years of age who had served seven years with the Colours and five in the Reserve to take on in the Special Reserve till they were thirty-six. He knew of two instances which had already happened. His hon. friend the Member for Petersfield, who commanded a Special Reserve battalion, had told him of two men who for many years were most valuable non-commissioned officers who had served their full twelve years and whom he was obliged to tell, owing to this ridiculous regulation, that they were of no use to him. He had demonstrated that since the Government came into office they had reduced the Infantry by 14,000 as the minimum and had disposed with the service of 7,500 men over the age of thirty-six, a largo proportion of whom would be most useful men to have in the Special Reserve. How could the right hon. Gentleman justify these reductions not 902 only in the Regular but in the Special Reserve? Hesurely could not say the reduction was justified on the ground that the Infantry Reserve in 1899, when the Boer War broke out, was sufficient. Let the Committee read the War Commissioners' Report. Fifty-five battalions went out short of strength, some of them being as much as 200 below. The Reserve of the Guards alone sufficed. The Regular Infantry strength to-day was 5,000 less than when the Boer War broke out. Instead of the Special Reserve being superior it was immeasurably inferior to the strength of the Militia in 1899. There were now 5,000 less infantry and not more than half what the Militia was in 1899. The action of the right hon. Gentleman had made the position much worse, as he would find when the next war broke out. Could it be justified on the ground that we had an enormous Reserve at the present time? He had supposed the right hon. Gentleman would have justified it on those grounds until he heard the Under-Secretary of State for War make a speech in another place on 16th July. Lord Lucas was asked why he had closed down enlistment into Section D of the Army Reserve, and replied that the Reserve at the present time was unduly inflated. They thought the Reserve was too large, and therefore they would not allow men to join the Reserve. If that was the Government's view it was no use arguing with them. It was perfectly true that our Reserve had increased by 40,000 men since the Government came into office, but the Reserve which was now so large would in a year or two begin to diminish, and in the course of six years dwindle down to an insignificant factor. But all the credit which was due for the creation of the present Reserve must rest not with the Government, but with Lord Middleton and the right hon. Member for Croydon, who by their extension of the terms of enlistment, three years with the Colours and nine with the Reserves, founded the Reserve which existed at the present time. In 1899 the Reserve was found to be ridiculously inadequate. Lord Midleton took office and stated the three-year Colour system in the Line; this system broke down because of the drafts for India and concurrent seven and three years Colour service had to 903 be initiated. So much for the Infantry. What had the right hon. Gentleman done for the Artillery? In 1907 there were 11,000 Garrison Artillery Militia present at training, non-commissioned officers and men. There were now to be only 1,450 Special Reserve garrison gunners. The Regular garrison gunners had been reduced by 5,000; 11,000 Artillery had been abolished by the right hon. Gentleman, and in their place were 1,450, and the Committee was asked to consider a Reserve of 1,450 sufficient.
§ *MR. ASHLEY
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman said there were more than 1,450 Garrison Artillery Reserve.
§ *MR. ASHLEY
said in that case he did not press that point. The right hon. Gentleman was about to abolish 2,400 Horse and Field Artillery, and said he wished to train Special Reservists to take their places. Had he desired to train the Reservists to supplement these men he would have been entirely with the right hon. Gentleman, but he thought it would be most pernicious to use them in substitution. Take the case of training and organisation. The Militia Infantry battalion was an entity in the past. It had regimental traditions and feelings; it was proud of having served in the Crimea and in South Africa; indeed, Members of that House, who had been associated with the Militia were aware that officers, non-commissioned officers and men were as proud to serve in their Militia battalion as were the officers and men of any line battalion. They had their organisation, band, mess and everything that a line battalion possessed. All that, however, had been swept away, in order to have these special battalions, 904 which were just the old line depots brought back in their worst form. The right hon. Gentleman had cut down the staff to a most absurd degree, and his hon. friend reminded him that the depot staff was abolished altogether. Where these 220 extra Regular officers were to come from he really did not know, because he could not imagine that any Regular officer who really cared for his profession would join a Special Reserve battalion, if he was able to get a job anywhere else. Indeed, he thought, apart from the military side of the question, that the money inducements which were going to be offered were not such as to induce him to go there. Take the men of the Special Reserve battalions. They were going to have them at seventeen, in many cases younger. The recruit would be trained in a squad in a corner of the barrack square, apart from the regular recruits for the Line. He did not say that he would be bullied, but he would be treated in an inferior way until he volunteered for the Line. He would have coaling duty and all the dirty work of the barracks to perform, and at the end of six months time he would drift away with just enough money in his pocket to keep him from doing any regular work, but not enough to maintain him in a proper state. He would come up next year for a fortnight's training and six days musketry, and that would go on for three years, and at the end of that period, when the boy had become a man in age, he was turned into a first-class Reservist. If the right hon. Gentleman, instead of reducing the Army, had said he was going to have these men to supplement his proper Reserves, he would not have had a word to say, or he might have said that it might be an improvement on the past; but what the right hon. Gentleman had done was to reduce the regular Army by 24,000 men (12,000 Infantry), and, in substitution for the Reservists, he was putting forward these half-trained boys to take their place. In February last the right hon. Gentleman himself had said that the Militia was composed of youths of seventeen years of age who could not be sent to the front until they were twenty, and had added that it was a deplorable state of things. So it was a deplorable 905 state of affairs, but then they had just as deplorable a state of affairs in the Reserves of the right hon. Gentleman. Why had they all this upset simply to have a more deplorable state of affairs than under the old Militia? In regard to the question of discipline, in the old Militia the men were associated with those who had the right to command, and the habit of obeying came automatically. The men knew their captain, officers, and non-commissioned officers; they were associated with the men who would be with them on active service, and when they went abroad with their units they, therefore, obeyed automatically. What was to happen in the Special Reserve? They knew perfectly well that the officer who had trained the Special Reserve recruit would not be the officer who would lead him in time of war; the non-commissioned officer who had trained him for Army work would not be the officer who would command him on the field of battle; the comrades who had stood right and left of him in the barrack square when he learned the goose step, would not be with him when he fought the enemy; and, what was more, the very corps in which he enlisted would in all probability not be the corps in which he would fight in battle, and the man who joined the Rifle Brigade at Winchester might very well be sent abroad with the Seaforth Highlanders. How could the right hon. Gentleman expect that these boys, trained so inadequately, could be efficient substitutes for the veteran Reservists who had served seven years in the ranks, and who were now abolished? This plan must undoubtedly be a failure, and he, personally, could conceive only one way— it was an expensive way, for it would mean building barracks—out of the impasse into which the right hon. Gentleman had got by having abolished the Militia. He must revert to three Hues instead of two. He must have a Regular Army, he must have a Special Reserve as a short service Army, and then he must have a Territorial Army in reserve. Instead of having Special Reservists trained for six months and for three weeks every successive year, let him make a minimum training of one year. He would then always have a military body which was an entity, and 906 not a fortuitous collection of individuals in a Special Reserve. It would always go on exactly as a Line regiment, and it would enable the Government in time of stress to not only get a considerable number of efficient men to fill up the ranks when depleted by war and disease, but would also enable these Special Reserve battalions to go abroad in time of war. Under present conditions it was perfectly impossible that they could fulfil these functions. The number of men in each battalion must be nearly doubled, and the period of training must be raised from six months to a year. If the right hon. Gentleman did that, he thought he would revive the old Militia in its best form, and would get a military body which would be a strength and not a danger to the Empire.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)
said the speech of the hon. Gentleman was a sample of the way in which hon. Members thought it their duty to find fault with everything in a system because there was something in it of which they disapproved. No doubt the Secretary for War was in. a very difficult position, and his advisers, being Regular officers, had given him advice which did not apply to Reserve battalions. The hon. Gentleman opposite had said that the Militia had traditions which had been swept away and nothing put in their place; but the Reserve battalions were exactly the same as the Militia battalions. The hon. Member shook his head. But he himself, like the hon. Member, commanded a Reserve battalion, and he found it quite possible —he had taken care to do it—to maintain the old traditions, and to have the band, colours, and so forth. He quite agreed that it was difficult to continue old traditions when a great change was made. He was old enough to remember when a greater and more comprehensive change than the present one was made in the Militia battalions, and when they ceased to be the Militia of the county and became infantry attached to other battalions. That was a long time, and it caused a great shock to a good many people. Still, that had not stopped the Militia, nor would the present change stop it. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Blackpool had gone on to say 907 that there were 5,000 less recruits for the Special Reserve. But as the Secretary for War had explained, recruiting did not commence in the early months of the year, but in the autumn or winter. This had been carefully explained by the Secretary of State. Men did not join in the early part of the year, because six months brought them to the summer, and that would interfere with their summer work. They joined in August or September. If they took 1906, they found that the recruits had joined the regiments, where there was six months training, in the late autumn and early winter, and not in the spring and summer. That accounted for a great many more than 5,000. Besides which, it should be remembered that there was always a sort of stage-fright in connection with anything new, and for some weeks men would hardly join on any terms. Of course, there was a slight check at the start, but he had no doubt that as regarded the Special Reserves there would be no difficulty as far as men were concerned. The hon. Member for Blackpool had referred to the question of separate training. If there was to be a training separate from that of the Regular troops it would be a very serious thing for the Reserves. There were three things which stood in the way of their being trained with the Regular recruits. In the first place they were being trained with a rifle that was obsolete, while in many cases the Regulars had the new rifle, and they could not be drilled together. That was to be got over very soon he understood, and he hoped they would have some information as to when the new rifle would be issued. Secondly, there was the question of clothing, which made a distinction between them, and it was a very serious distinction. He hoped gradually the Secretary of State would manage to get over that and do away with any material difference in the clothing of the troops of both classes. There was a most elaborate scheme issued, he thought, by the Director-General of Recruiting and Gymnasia, who had the instruction of these men because they were supposed to be recruits. They were recruits for the first three months, but not after that time, and it was the Director of Troops who ought to have the training of these men, and they 908 ought not to be treated entirely as recruits. However, their recruit training had been laid down for the six months in such a way that it could not coincide with that of the troops required to join their Regular battalions in three months. The man that joined the Regular Army got three months drill at the depôt and was then sent on to his Regular battalion. He had to learn a certain amount in three months. But a syllabus hid been made out by the War Office authorities for men who were going to be trained for six months as Reservists who they thought could not learn enough in the first three months to be put alongside the Regular recruit. In fact, there were two different systems of training ordered by the War Office. He hoped that that would be stopped before long, and that the first three months of a soldier's training, whether Reservist or not, would be the same, and that the three months afterwards would be dealt with in other ways. The right hon. Gentleman had made great efforts to get the officers he wanted by school and University corps. They might be very good things, but they had not produced a great number of officers in the past, and he did not believe they would in the future. It was no use to say there were 2,000 men in the corps of the Universities and 5,000 in the corps of the public schools. There was no guarantee that they would ever be officers. It was true that officers of Militia had been offered £20 a year, and those cadets were to be given £25 when they left the cadet corps and became Reserve officers, but that would not make a very great difference or encourage many men to go into the Reserve Army. The difficulty had been that they could not get enough subalterns in the Militia, but they had all the same difficulties in the Special Reserve, except that they had training for six weeks instead of four, and there were very few youngsters who would appreciate that. One thing they were asked to do was quite impossible—to give a longer period to it at just the moment when they were entering into the world. In the old days it used to be two months training for Militia officers and now it was to be three. That would be rather a difficulty and he would press on the Secretary for War that the difficulty in getting officers would be very much 909 increased by requiring them to be better trained. It was true that if they could afford to insist on a higher stand and they might have longer training with Regular units, but the unfortunate part of it was that they had never been able to get enough officers without this higher standard, and it was a question whether they would have enough officers of the old standard—he was quite sure they would not get enough of the new. The Secretary of State ought to make it easier for men to go into the reserve of officers instead of more difficult by raising the standard. He did not see that it was necessary in the least to put them in important positions or to promote them. He might leave them as second-lieutenants until they were efficient, but he should make it as easy as possible for them to be made second-lieutenants. It was suggested that these officers would be better trained because they would be attached to a Regular unit, but that was not a good way of getting all the information they required for making them into officers. It was a very bad training for an officer, and the sooner it was altered and he was sent for a shorter period to a school or training depot the better the officer would be and the easier it would be to get officers. He hoped these little details might be altered, and he was sure that with such alterations the Special Reserve would be quite as efficient as the old Militia. It would be available to be sent abroad, which the old Militia was not, without volunteering, and there would not be much difficulty in raising the numbers of the battalions to any standard that was required. The age of thirty-six might be too low, but even at that it was quite possible to get what would be a very strong stiffening of the Special Reserve battalions in the form of men who had been through their Army training and the Reserve, and in time of war probably bounties might be given them to join and create the next battalion that was to be formed when the others were wanted to be sent abroad. He believed the scheme would be a success. He was sure the Militia had not been injured by it so far, and he hoped it would be strengthened by small improvements which might yet be made.
§ MR. ASHLEY moved the reduction of the Vote by £100.910
§ Motion made and Question put, "That a sum not exceeding £839,900 be granted for the said service."—Mr. Ashley.
§ MR. GUY BARING (Winchester)
said he would like to give his approbation to part of this scheme—the idea of raising the Auxiliary services on a Special Reserve basis. He thought that a very good idea and likely to work well. He also thought the reserve of officers would be strengthened. The right hon. Gentleman had said he was adopting the Continental standard for the reserve of officers and giving them one year's training. But that year was very soon whittled down when he said service with a cadet corps would entitle him to take off four months of the year, and service in a University corps to take off four more; the result was that in the end he would only have four months with a regular battalion instead of the year which Continental officers had, which was hardly on all fours with his statement. There was another point in which he thought the right hon. Gentleman would do an injustice to the Regular officer. That was that these Reserve officers were to step into a Regular battalion to take the place of officers seconded. Many times in his life he and his brother officers had sat down to calculate how soon they would command a battalion, and they had more or less a line to go on, but with Special Reserve officers coming in and out when they pleased, it would be very hard indeed on the Regular officer who wanted to get some idea of how his promotion was going. He would very much like to have some explanation on that point. With regard to the quality of the men to be turned out in the Special Reserves, with an establishment of 62,000 men they were only going to have 35,000 if war broke out. That was rather a falling off. They had also to face the fact that undoubtedly out of that 35,000 a very considerable number would be scooped up by the battalions mobilising. The right hon. Gentleman had to increase his establishment if he was to avoid that, and as to that he had to consult his colleagues and his Party, and then to get the men; so there was a great deal before him if he wanted to have even 911 35,000 men out of the Special Reserve. These men were going to be the Reserve of the Expeditionary Force of 160,000 men. The Expeditionary Force no doubt would be well trained and equipped, but they would require drafts which would be made up from the Special Reserves. How did their training compare with that of the drafts which Continental armies would get? The right hon. Gentleman was one of the members of the Cabinet who received messages from the German Emperor, and he had a message not long ago congratulating him on the formation of the Territorial Army. He did not think the right hon. Gentleman had received any congratulations upon the formation of the Special Reserve. It was ridiculous to compare the Special Reserve with the German Reserve, who had been trained for certain one year and probably for two years. How could those men take the places of Regular soldiers after only six months training? The fact that they had a voluntary enlistment forced them to give up 11,000 or 12,000 recruits every year for the Regular Army. He did not think the right hon. Gentleman's force would ever be trained fit to take the field. The statement which the Secretary for War had made about men enlisting in the winter was not in his favour, because that was the worst time for training soldiers. He would like to know if the training was to be given at Aldershot, Salisbury Plain, or at the depot. There was a great military difficulty here, and he regretted that the right hon. Gentleman instead of showing them a way out of it had left them no better off. He did not think anything would be done till they had a reverse in the Field or some regrettable incident happened, and then they would probably have a War Commission. Some general would be crucified and the blame would not be put in the right place, which was the House of Commons.
*CAPTAIN FABER (Hampshire, Andover)
said the debate had reminded him of an old adage that they might do anything with bayonets except sit on them. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to be between the devil and the deep sea, because the Army was bleeding to death his Special Reserve, and the Territorial 912 Force was bleeding the Special Reserve. The Special Reserve must always be weakened by this process, and they were in a position which was by no means satisfactory. If they were going to be short by many thousands in the Special Reserve, and 50,000 short in the Territorial Army, he was sure the House and the country would prefer that the right hon. Gentleman should get up and declare that he meant to get the men somehow. He had always believed in the scheme brought forward by the Secretary for War, provided he could get the men. He was inclined to think that the way out of the difficulty would be to insist upon those counties which had not contributed their proper quota by 50 per cent. providing the remainder. He did not see why those counties should not be called upon to do so. His hon. friend behind him had stated that it would be a bad plan to train soldiers in the winter, but he was inclined to believe that training them in both summer and winter was a good plan, and if that fact was better known they would be able to get more men. As regarded the age Unit about which the hon. Member for Blackpool had spoken, he agreed that it was desirable to get a doctor's opinion in regard to the men of thirty-six years of age before getting rid of them. It seemed very strange not to enlist men over thirty-three years of age because they would reach thirty-six years of age before their service was up. The Secretary for War might think over that point, because it was one which might, help him. With regard to the clothing of both officers and men, it was changed so often that it became a great strain upon the resources of the men. It had been said that another member of the Cabinet had been interfering in War Office affairs, and that was rather hard upon the civilian servants at the War Office, and he hoped no more would be heard of this complaint. In conclusion, he desired to call attention to the absence of so many hon. Members on the Ministerial side of the House.
§ *MR. W. NICHOLSON (Hampshire, Petersfield)
said that as one who had served some years in the Militia and who had had a slight experience in the Special Reserve perhaps he might be allowed to make a 913 few remarks. He would like to call the attention of the Committee to the conditions under which recruits joined the Special Reserve now serving at the depots. A recruit joined in order to undergo six months drill. If he was eighteen years of age and completed three months drill he could then go on to the Regular Army and receive a bounty of 30s. If he was seventeen years of age or under he could do six months drill and at the conclusion he would receive a 30s. bounty and go into the Army. If in the Army they laid down a rule that they would take no recruits under eighteen years of age, why did they give a recruit in the Special Reserve 30s. to join the Army when he was under eighteen, and might be only seventeen or under? The special recruits did six months drill at the depot, and they did it side by side with the men who went into the line. His point was that the pay of the recruit for the line was the same as that of the recruit for the Special Reserve, who received in addition a bounty of 30s.
§ *MR. W. NICHOLSON
said that for the Special Reservist who went into the Army at the end of six months there was a bounty of 30s. The right hon. Gentleman had told them that the number of recruits who had done three months drill and joined the Regular Army numbered 1,161. That was the reason a bounty of 30s. was given at the completion of three months drill. The right hon. Gentleman had not told them how many recruits joined the Regular Army at the age of seventeen who had completed six months drill. He asked the right hon. Gentleman whether there was at all the depots sufficient accommodation for the carrying out of musketry drill by these recruits. Those who at the end of five months were dismissed home in consequence of there being no accommodation for the musketry drill did not receive the bounty, while others who had only done three months drill and had joined the line had their bounty paid. This was considered unfair, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would look into the matter. With regard to the question of allowing the men who had 914 served in the Army to enlist in the Special Reserve, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would alter the age from thirty to thirty-five or more. He was sure that many men were kept out in consequence of the arrangements already in existence. With regard to the question of officers, he hoped he might be allowed to call the attention of the Committee to the extraordinary regulations under which they had to serve. The officer of the Special Reserve was on a different footing from every other officer in the Army. He had to undertake to serve for a year and during that year he could not retire, and he could only give notice of his intention to retire at the end of the year. He was bound to the Army for a year, he could be sent away from his unit, he could be sent to any other unit, or he could be sent to any other part of His Majesty's forces. This pressed very hardly on the younger officers. He in stanced the case of a boy who wished to join the Special Reserve when he came down from Cambridge or Oxford. If he joined the Special Reserve he was bound to it for a year, and perhaps it might be that, in consequence, he was unable to take up other employment that might be offered to him. The senior officers especially found it very hard that they had to retain the responsibility of belonging to the Special Reserve for a year under any circumstances, and there was a great feeling among those officers that they should be allowed to retire if they wished. One way out of the difficulty which had been suggested was that if an officer wished to retire he should be allowed to do so by paying back the £20 which he had received. He was sure it would be difficult to get officers unless they got a chance of retiring. Another point to which he desired to call attention was that an officer of the Special Reserve was bound to go abroad with any Unit, and not necessarily the battalion to which he belonged. An officer of the Territorial Army was not bound to go at all, and consequently that officer was able to make his own terms with the War Office. Again, an officer of the Territorial Army might choose to go with his own battalion or not at all. He was, therefore, in an entirely different position from the officer 915 of the Special Reserve. Referring to the training of the officers of the Special Reserve, the hon. Member said that at the present time they were going to be allowed to take on special duty if their services were required. He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman why it was that the officer of the Special Reserve had not been allowed to take the place of a Regular officer at the depot when no Regular officer was available. Speaking on 21st February last at the Militia Club dinner the right hon. Gentleman said—We shall require for purposes of the now third battalions a considerable number of additional Regular officers—more than 200. These are officers who must be there all the year round at their work. Now we are quite prepared to consider with you whether it is possible for Militia officers of the old organisation to help us to the accomplishment of that end. It may be that we may find ourselves in a position to offer to you commissions which will enable those of you who desire and are qualified to come in and take your place as part of the 220, if that is the exact number of Regular officers whom we require for this new task. At any rate, this is a matter into which we are prepared to go with you, and we shall rely on the advice of your representatives in securing to us the particular standard of men who are able to do the work of the Regular officers and to be present the whole year round.He had asked the right hon. Gentleman how many commissions, if any, had been offered to Militia officers who desired to come in as part of the 220 additional Regular officers required in the new third battalions, and on 20th July he received the following reply—No such commissions have been offered to Militia officers in place of the proportion of Regular officers allocated to the new third battalions, nor was this at any time contemplated. As the outcome of a conference with the representatives of Militia Commanding Officers the Army Council have arranged to employ Special Reserve officers both with Regular units and at the depots, in the latter case where the number of recruits at the depots exceeds a certain number. Special Reserve officers will be employed with Regular units when, as often happens, there is a temporary shortage of Regular officers, or when Regular officers are seconded. I may add that to enable Special Reserve units to obtain junior officers pending the machinery of the new training corps becoming fully operative, the Army Councils have decided, as an interim arrangement, to allow candidates for commissions in the Special Reserve to qualify by serving with a, Regular unit for four months provided that they apply for commissions before the 18th of next December, instead of the full probationary period of twelve months.916 He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman how he could reconcile these two statements. It was a matter of disappointment to the officers of the Militia, many of whom thought they would be elegible and qualified to come in and take part as Regular officers in the depot. He hoped the matter would be reconsidered by the right hon. Gentleman, He was sure that there was not a sufficient number of Regular officers available to go to the third, battalions. As to special service as a whole he pointed out that not only had the members of the different battalions been cut down, but many of the battalions, instead of being amalgamated as the right hon. Gentleman had promised last year, had been disbanded. That might seem rather a minor matter, but it was not so regarded by the officers of the battalions which had been disbanded. Ho was very sorry that the War Office had seen fit to do away with the services of some of those officers who had had experience of war and who were well qualified to be officers in the Special Reserve. He pointed out that the War Office had cut down the establishment of the existing Special Reserve. In the case of the battalion with which he was himself connected there used to be ten companies and now there were only eight, and the establishment had been reduced from 1,000 to 500. He thought the right hon. Gentleman had not allowed the Special Reserve sufficient staff to undertake the duties which would fall to them in future. In connection with the reduction of the staff many non-commissioned officers had received notice to go in the next few weeks. He thought the question of reducing the staff should be reconsidered, and that instead of cutting it down sufficient staff should be allowed to meet emergencies.
§ MR. HALDANE
was understood to say, in respect of the Winchester case, that there had been a misapprehension in the treatment complained of, but that the point would be dealt with. As to the officers of the Special Reserve, a conference of Militia officers had been assembled, and he understood that the Committee had decided that another suggested plan was preferable. The 917 War Office, however, was anxious to do all it could to meet the case of the Militia officers, and he would consider the matter further. He believed that the suggested arrangements of the Committee were satisfactory to the Members present, even if they had not worked out so in practice.
§ LORD J. JOICEY-CECIL (Lincolnshire, Stamford)
said the right hon. Gentleman prided himself that his Special Reserve battalion would be able to go abroad as a solid battalion in time of war, and that he would be in a better position than he was with the old Militia battalions in the last war. He thought the right hon. Gentleman would be no better off. He had done away with the Militia battalions which used to supply drafts for the line battalions. Under the old system they had a certain number of battalions which they could send abroad anywhere because they always volunteered when wanted. Consequently the War Office knew what number of men it had. Now they had done away with those battalions, and he did not see that the forces of the Crown had been strengthened. The Secretary for War was always saying that the great drawback to the old Militia Reserve was that at the commencement of a war the Militia found themselves deprived of their best men, who were taken to fill up the line battalions; and that he had done away with this trouble for ever. As a matter of fact the trouble was done away with after the war, by abolishing the Militia Reserve, and so keeping the Militia battalions intact, except for volunteering for the Regular Army. So, if a Militia battalion of 400 men were sent to garrison, say, Aden, or some other place, the authorities would know that there were 400 men there till otherwise ordered; and that none of them had been enlisted to serve with any but their own battalion. The Secretary for War had reverted to the old plan of Special Reserves, as, if a Special Reserve battalion was sent out for garrison duty and a reverse happened, say in Aden or India, and men must be had, a telegram could bring a warship and embark practically the garrison, leaving the place undefended. He contended therefore that there was danger in doing away with the Militia as had been 918 done. He believed that the men they would get from the Reserve battalions to supply the deficiences in the Line would in most cases require a great deal of knocking into shape before they were fit to take their regular place in the line battalions. The position which Regular officers would have to take during the training of the Special Reserve battalions must cause friction, and esprit de corps would be absolutely extinguished by enlisting men for general service in the Special Reserve, and also by mixing up Regular and other officers. He did not agree with the hon. Member for Lich-field that the traditions of the Militia battalions would go down to the Special Reserve battalions. The feeling in the majority of counties was just the reverse, and the plan of drafting reservists from one regiment to another would have the effect of preventing men from joining the Special Reserve battalions.
§ *CAPTAIN MORRISON-BELL (Devonshire, Ashburton)
thought that we were as a nation in a very serious position as regarded our Army. We had done what he considered the strangest thing that any nation could possibly have done, by abolishing not only a large number of men, but a very important part of the personnel of the Army before we had anything to take their place. He could not imagine any other nation doing anything so short-sighted. When he heard the hon. Member for Lichfield saying that he hoped the training of the Special Reserve officers would be made more easy than at present in order to fit them for the duty which they might be called upon to perform in time of war, it led him to think we were entering into a very dangerous position. He did not think that the present training of those officers was a bit too arduous. He himself had had experience in the Militia, of which he was an officer before he joined the Regular service. He knew they thought a great deal of themselves and believed they were nearly as good as the Regulars, but when he got into the Regular Army he found that he had a great deal to learn. Seeing that, so far as he could understand, the Reservists would have to take the place of Regular soldiers in time of war, he deprecated strongly the idea of reducing 919 the training which was given to them at present. It would be disastrous to make that training less onerous for those who would have, in the event of a campaign, to take their place in the Line. He had also been greatly disappointed with the remark of the Secretary of State for War that some of the Special Reserve officers, when occasion arose, would have to take the place of combatant officers. The right hon. Gentleman knew well enough that there was a very deep feeling right through the service that at the present moment officers were thinking themselves extremely badly treated because of this foolhardy reduction in the number of battalions. Owing to that reduction a great number of officers were sent into the Line battalions, promotion was stopped to a considerable extent, and much injustice was done to those unfortunate regimental officers who were the backbone of the service. Those regimental officers were threatened that if they were seconded for particular duty, Special Reserve officers were to be brought into their places, and that would make it absolutely impossible for the regimental officers to secure their promotion. He knew of a particular instance where a senior subaltern had only a few months to run to complete nine years service when another officer was brought in and stopped his promotion, with the result that he had to wait nearly three years before he got his troop. All that had caused a great deal of feeling in the service. It was no use asking officers to serve in the Line regiments when statements were made such as those of the right hon. Gentleman. They felt that the moment might come when, after all, they were not going to get the promotion which they deserved and had worked for. He hoped that the Committee would be given some sort of explanation of the remarks which had been made by the right hon. Gentleman, for he felt very strongly and he knew that the regimental officers felt just as strongly that they had not been well treated, and there was great soreness amongst them because officers were brought in from other regiments very much against their wishes and so prevented them getting their, step. Another point was that they heard over 920 and over again that there was a great dearth of officers, that they did not know at the present moment where to look for officers to fill up vacancies both in the Reserve and in the Regulars. It was no good talking about the Eton and Harrow Volunteers being able to furnish a sufficient supply. It was well-known that the percentage of officers coming from such cadet corps was not very great, and it was no use pretending to the country that because we had cadet corps in the public schools we should have a sufficient supply of officers. The question of the sufficiency of officers was a most serious one, more especially when they did not know where to look for them, and he felt it was no solution of the problem to say that we had these cadet corps in the public schools. They had had cadet corps before; they were not new institutions, and therefore, from past experience they could not be looked to to provide a sufficient supply of officers. He only hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would give some explanation on the points that he had raised. He was certainly not one to run down any scheme, and he sincerely hoped that this new scheme of Special Reserves would be a success. He felt very nervous about the matter. He did not think much would be done by this winter training. The training was becoming more practical every year, and he did not believe in the men being put into depots by way of training for the work which they would have to do in time of war. Then there was the question of shooting. If these Reservists were to be asked to take their place in time of war among the Regulars, they should have facilities given them for perfecting themselves in their duties. They should not be allowed to have old rifles, but those which they would have to use in time of war. If, as he understood, they were to be armed with the new rifles, then he would urge that there should not be too long a delay in supplying them, and also proper rifle ranges at which to practise. He hoped the scheme would be a success, but he did not at present see that they could look forward to it with much hope of its being so. He sincerely trusted that the men 921 would come forward, that every facility would be given to them to attain proficiency, and that the training would not be reduced or in any way made easier for either officers or men.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)
said he did not rise to take the part in the debate which his right hon. friend the Member for Croydon was so well qualified to take, because his knowledge of the circumstances was not comparable with that of his right hon. friend who, unhappily, had had to leave under medical orders, and could not be present. He rose to ask two questions. He was in full agreement with his hon. friends in deploring the reduction which the Government had thought fit to make, both in the Regular Army and in the number of Militia battalions. He thought it a very unhappy step, the consequences of which they were not even yet in a position fully to measure. His first question related to the drain which would be put on the Special Reserve Force if, unhappily, hostilities broke out. The theory, as he understood it, was that the function of supplying the waste of war would only begin after the battalions had been adequately mobilised. If his memory served him rightly, the old Reserve was inadequate to meet the necessities of mobilisation at the time of the South African war. Was he right in supposing that the normal Reserve in future would not only be not greater than in 1899, but would actually be less, because the number with the Colours was less now than it was then?
§ MR. HALDANE
The Reserve produced will be in the normal 117,000. That is sufficient to mobilise the battalions for home defence.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the answer of the right hon. Gentleman as regarded the figures was satisfactory, but he was a little puzzled to know how that result was arrived at, for this reason. He believed the establishment was lower than it was in 1899. The terms of service were the same as in 1899. The Reserve in 1899 was inadequate, and he should have anticipated under those Circumstances that the right hon. 922 Gentleman would not have been in the favourable position in which he seemed to think himself. If the right hon. Gentleman could give the House some assurance on that point it would be a great satisfaction to many hon. Members. We were in a very favourable position as to Reservists because the late system gave a great many men for that purpose, and it was unfortunate, from that point of view, that it had to be abandoned. But it was necessary because it could not supply the drafts for India. He wished to know whether the right hon. Gentleman had not, in trying to arrive at a system satisfactory from many points of view, found that it was not satisfactory from the point of view of sending battalions into the field at their full strength. The right hon. Gentleman would find that the number of units in the Reserve was not normal; the Special Reserve would have to be drawn upon at once and the Special Reserve would be at once reduced to far below its proper strength. It would be seen that his first question referred to the mobilisation of the battalions for the field. His second question referred to the Special Reserve itself and especially to those battalions in the Special Reserve who were regarded as in the fullest sense the successors of the Militia, and who would probably be called on in an emergency to take the place of Regular garrisons in the Mediterranean and elsewhere over sea. Did the right hon. Gentleman think that under his system they would have the same esprit de corps as the old battalions of Militia working under officers who had trained them? It had been made a matter of criticism of his scheme that the drafts from the Special Reserve might be sent to any battalion to make up the wastage of war. That, he took it, was inevitable, but the consequence by which a man might be called on to serve in a regiment with which he had no connection or local association was to be deplored. But his question did not relate to that part of the problem. It related to the use of those Special Reserve battalions by themselves, not as supplying drafts. Would they go on foreign service, for which they were now liable, with the same officers, carrying with them the same traditions, and in all respects as favourably constituted as 923 existing Militia battalions were when called upon to volunteer in times of emergency?
§ MR. HALDANE
replied that it was the intention to preserve the esprit de corps of the battalions, and to give them as far as possible their own officers. They never knew what might happen when they went to the theatre of war; but their desire was to go on as at present. As to the drain on the Reserve, the right hon. Gentleman would remember that there was a great deal of discussion last year over the actuarial calculations. He himself did not feel competent to check the actuarial calculations, and he was not sure that anybody in the House could. But he had them made again, and the numbers arrived at were obtained, he thought, from taking 89,000 of the ordinary Reserve and 25,000 of Section B. That gave, and he thought that was the way in which the result was arrived at, about the figure he had mentioned.
§ MR. HUNT (Shropshire, Ludlow)
said that in the Territorial Army the officers were excused from being obliged to serve as High Sheriffs, whereas the officers of the Special Reserves were not so excused. Why was that? He would like a reply to that question. He might be allowed to congratulate the right hon. Gentleman, at all events, on his attempt to get officers from the Universities and public schools. He thought that that was the right way to go about the matter. But he was afraid that he could not congratulate him on getting the men he required, and if he got officers they would be of no use without men. It seemed to him that the recruits would be found to be youths of under twenty years of age, who would be of little or no use in actual warfare. Many of them were certainly weedy and undeveloped, and they enlisted because they had been starved to a great extent, their parents being so badly off that they could not afford to bring them up on heavily-taxed tea and bakers' bread, with most of the nourishment taken out of it, and which might or might not be cheap. Certainly, this was one of the "advantages" of allowing our markets to be free to nations outside of Great Britain. There was another thing which had struck him in 924 connection with the recruiting of immature boys; it was that the new rifle kicked a good deal more than the old one, in spite of its bell mouth. He was afraid that this new rifle kicked so much that the poor lad of seventeen would not be able to let it off more than twenty or thirty times, instead of perhaps 100 times, as would be required in actual warfare. It seemed to him that it was these underfed, immature lads who were to help to hold back the thoroughly trained, picked, fully-developed and well-fed men from Germany, or other countries, and they had to be able to do that with six months training, and until the Territorial Army could be got into form. It would appear that the Secretary for War had declined to allow old Volunteers and old men of the Militia and Army to be so organised that they could be used in case of emergency. He understood that the right hon. Gentleman had put his foot down and said that he would not have it. He pointed out that these old soldiers and Volunteers of forty or fifty years of age had received a thorough training, and were of a great deal more use than these poor boys of seventeen years of age. Probably they could get them at considerably less expense. He would like to give an example of the sort of horses which were hired for the Artillery forces. Ha happened to have a friend who lived not very far from where he resided; he had known him for a good many years; he was a butcher. Three horses were hired at £3 3s. a week. He happened to know them—they were all "screws"; and the butcher was told that they were on no account to go out for a walk. One horse was a small boy's pony; the second would not pass a bicycle except under very severe compulsion; and the third threw itself down when it was not pleased. None of them wag strong enough for the guns. A fourth horse, with navicular lameness, was stronger than any of the other three, being up to 12st. 2lbs. Ho was sure that the right hon. Gentleman would see that in this case he had got economy and efficiency combined. Ho could not see how the right hon. Gentleman's scheme was going to work, and he thought Lord Tweedmouth was right when he said that this new scheme was a gamble. He thought the Secretary 925 for War was gambling with the safety of the country; yet the right hon. Gentleman, from the speech he made in Bristol in May last, certainly had realised our dangerous position. This was what the War Minister had said—That we must, take care that we did not beat our swords into ploughshares before the other nations did the same; that there was no curse greater than war except being unprepared for it when it came, because defeat would mean the destruction of our trade, commerce, credit and security; that war came very suddenly, and nations still did wage war; that a blow at the heart of the Empire, at a great city like London, was a prospect so tempting to an enemy that they might be sure that on the least encouragement an enemy would take advantage of it; that it would be the easiest way of bringing a war to a conclusion, and would mean ruin to our country and starvation to our people.That was what the right hon. Gentleman had said, and he would remind him that he had previously warned them that it was quite possible that we might become too poor to keep up the two-Power standard. He supposed that that meant we should have to depend upon our Army to defend us against invasion. The right hon. Gentleman had also said that our Navy might be evaded, and that we could not keep it tied to our shores. And it was on immature boys, with this short period of training, most of which was apparently to be carried out in the winter months, when it was impossible to do field work, the right hon. Gentleman told them they were to depend in case of serious national emergency. He would point out that the great German port of Cuxhaven was twenty-five and a half hours from Hull, and ten and a half hours from Berlin by troop train, and many German Army corps could easily be trained to that port. There was nothing near Hull except untrained Territorial units, which were not yet in complete existence, being without horses, and their artillery entirely useless. Colonel Repington, the military correspondent of The Times, on 6th June wrote that we should require 700,000; but the Secretary for War had first of all told them that he was going to get 700,000 to 900,000 for the Territorial Army and the Reserve.
§ MR. HALDANE
was understood to say that he stated that the number, in 926 time of national emergency, might rise to 700,000 or 800,000.
§ MR. HUNT
said the right hon. Gentleman might have been wrongly reported, but he had certainly seen that statement. The military correspondent of The Times said we should require 700,000–500,000 mobile Army and fairly trained; 150,000 for garrison duty in Great Britain, and 50,000 to protect Ireland.
This is not relevant to the subject of Special Reserves. The hon. Gentleman is talking about other matters outside.
§ MR. HUNT
thought he had about come to the end of his remarks. He hoped he would hear an answer from the right hon. Gentleman about the officers for the Territorial Army and the Special Reserves in connection with the obligation to serve as High Sheriff and to serve on juries, and that the right hon. Gentleman would also tell them something which would make them feel a little more comfortable about the safety of the country.
§ *THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY To The WAR OFFICE (Mr. ACLAND,) Yorkshire, Richmond
said he might perhaps be allowed to say a few words on the general matters which had been raised in the debate. He thought that quite the most important question was as to whether or not the Special Reserve could be relied upon to perform the function for which it had been called into existence—namely, for finding the drafts. If they found that the Special Reserve was required to fill up the battalions, and only some portion of it remained for drafting purposes—the purpose for which it had been called into being—then to a considerable extent it would have failed. They relied not on the Special Reserve but on the ordinary Reserve to raise units to the full strength at the beginning of hostilities. They had been asked two or three times in the course of the debates: "As it was the fact that some units were not able to mobilise at full strength at the beginning of the South African War, how will you be certain that that will not occur again, and that 927 you will not have to call upon these Special Reserves in order to mobilise your units in the first place?" The answer was largely that the condition of things at the beginning of the South African War was by no means a normal condition. In the first place, they had just before that time been creating new units, and had been re-enlisting men from the Reserve into these units. The Reserve had been specially depleted to form new units, and was therefore considerably below the strength it would otherwise have been at.
§ *MR. ACLAND
said that there had been considerable re-enlistment from the Reserve into the Line. Another reason for the special difficulty was that they had not power at that time to call out men from Section D until the whole of Section B had been exhausted. Now, they could take men from Section D when they wanted them, and therefore those special disadvantages which existed at the beginning of the war no longer existed. They were, of course, in a specially advantageous position now owing to the Reserve containing many men who had served for three years, but it was as certain as anything could be that when the normal had been reached, provided care had been taken that units did not sink below the safe and proper establishment, the ordinary Reserve would be amply sufficient to complete the units to the full strength.
§ MR. ASHLEY
I wish the hon. Gentleman would explain how, in view of the fact that at present the Infantry are 5,000 below the strength they were in 1899, 5,000 fewer men could produce a greater Reserve than was produced in 1899.
§ *MR. ACLAND
said he was only speaking about such units as existed. It was no doubt true that Units had been done away with in the last few years—not by one Secretary for War alone. He could not pretend that the same total force would be mobilisable as at the time before any reforms had taken place 928 several years ago. Then there was the important question whether the training which was going to be given to these Special Reserve units would be sufficient to fit them for this purpose of providing drafts for the Regular Army. Time would show. All they could say for certain at present was that the training these men were having would be at any rate a great deal better than the training which the Militia used to have. Very good opinions were given as to the results of the training of the Spectator Company, which was trained during the winter—the worst time of year. The training of the Special Reservists would be for six months, and it would give very much better material than anything they had had before. More they could I not say. With regard to the officers, there, again, surely they would be in a better position. The normal position of the Special Reserve officers under the new conditions would be that they would have been through a special two-year course at a school, a special two-year course at a University, and four months attachment to a regular unit. That, again, was a great improvement on anything which was asked for before, and especially in this way—that to spread the training over a series of years and to have graduated courses which were not all taken in a few months together was, he believed, a much better way of training men who already possessed a certain amount of education than trying to concentrate their training altogether, because they were interested in their work, keen about it, and thinking about it, and picked up in one year very quickly at the place they left off the year before. Then there was a question about the bounty on transfer to the Regular Army. Here the right hon. Gentleman who wrote a letter in The Times that morning had fallen into an error. It was not a fact that there was a special £2 bounty on transfer from the Special Reserve into the Regular Army. The £2 bounty was for transfer from the Militia into the Special Reserve, and the bounty given on transfer from the Special Reserve into the Regular Army was 30s., and that given, not as a bounty on transfer into the Regular Army, but as a bounty on completion of the six months service. They regarded the men as having earned 929 that bounty whether they joined the Regulars or not, and they did not offer the special bounty to try to induce men to go over into the Regulars extra to that which was given in any case.
§ *MR. W. NICHOLSON
The 30s. bounty is given to boys of seventeen or under. On the other hand, the War Office lays down that eighteen is the earliest age for any boy to join the Regular Army.
§ *MR. ACLAND
said that that was not so. These bounties were not given to boys of seventeen. They would take great care to see that no boys of that sort joined the Regulars. But they were no doubt taking boys of seventeen and a half, joining the Special Reserve at seventeen, doing their six months and getting their 30s. They were no doubt taking these boys younger, at the end of their six months training, than they would like to take them if they came straight as recruits for the Regulars. They had the disadvantage in that case that they were younger, but they had the very great advantage that they came after their six months training and therefore in a much better physical and military condition than they would be if they sent them away for six months and then took them at the age of eighteen. They gained in efficiency and lost perhaps in the age at which they were taken into the Regular Army.
§ *MR. W. NICHOLSON
said that according to the Regulations a recruit at the conclusion of six months might join the Regular Army even if he had not attained the age of eighteen years, provided he fulfilled the necessary physical requirements, and he was to receive his bounty. If the boy was under eighteen the country had to pay for him for the extra six months and keep him during that time, and did not gain a man who could go on foreign service. The country had to keep him so many months longer until he could go on foreign service.
§ *MR. ACLAND
stated that the quotation just read from the Regulations showed that the statement previously made by the hon. Member that these boys were taken by the Regulars under 930 seventeen was quite erroneous. Referring to a further point raised, it was, of course, true that they had taken powers to post these Special Reservists to any unit in the Army of the arm to which they belonged. That was inevitable. They could not give anything like an absolute guarantee that men would only be sent to join the Regular unit to which the Special Reserve unit belonged. It might quite well be that in those particular units of the Regular Army there had been no wastage at all. If that were so, it would surely be unreasonable to ask them to lock up the Special Reservists belonging to those units and not to post them to other units in which there might have been very heavy wastage. He was sure it was intended not to break the Territorial connection, but they could not give any guarantee on the point. It had been said that officers were going to be posted to Regular battalions instead of officers seconded, but that was only intended to be done very much as a temporary measure. It was not intended thereby to reduce the rate of promotion, but there might be periods when an officer was seconded for a comparatively short time and where it would not be fair to make a promotion, because he would be soon coming back and the particular rank that he belonged to would be over-full. It was very carefully considered by the Adjutant-General, and he could not imagine anybody more careful as to rights of officers of the Regular Army. With regard to jury service, surely it was true that the Territorial officers and men got less pay and probably quite as much if not more responsibility than those of the Special Reserve. The responsibility of the Territorial also lasted the whole of the year, whereas that of the Special Reservist was only for a comparatively short period. It was only fair, therefore, to give the privilege, such as it was, of being excused from service on juries all the year round to men of the Territorial Force.
§ MR. CARLILE (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)
said it was a thankless task to have to criticise the Special Reserves, and it always went against the grain to criticise the provision made for the defence of the Empire. He thought the 931 speeches delivered that night had taken the right and just course. When the Minister for War last rose from his seat it was to offer to the Leader of the Opposition an assurance that in connection with the Special Reserves the esprit de corps should be carefully watched and preserved. It was very difficult indeed for those sitting on the Opposition side of the House to realise that that was the attitude of the Minister for War. The men who enlisted in this force were not told that they might be drafted in any time of emergency to any other unit and that they might be called upon to fight in a unit to which they were not accustomed. This applied not only to noncommissioned officers and men but also to the officers. Any officer of the Special Reserve when war broke out or a national emergency arose might be drafted off to another unit to fight among perfect strangers. Of course the officers would feel those strange surroundings less than the men, but in the case of the men it would be more serious, because they were greatly influenced by the fact that they had with them comrades to whose habits and friendship they had been accustomed, and to be thrown amongst complete strangers seemed to him to be a curious way of safeguarding the esprit de corps of those troops. Why did the right hon. Gentleman go out of his way to destroy sentiment in connection with this force? He did not believe there was any assembly which was more controlled by sentiment than the House of Commons. He had seen the House almost in tears over sentiment, and he had often seen it reduced to laughter. The House of Commons did not ignore the fact that sentiment was one of the greatest powers in the world, and yet the right hon. Gentleman when handling this part of the defensive forces went out of his way and destroyed owe of the finest sentiments by changing the name of the Militia, around which military men had clustered ever since the days of Waterloo, ever since the days when they garrisoned the Mediterranean, and ever since they volunteered for South Africa, where they did a noble work on behalf of their Queen, King, and country. Why could he not allow them to remain under the name of the Militia of which they were proud? He had now 932 given them an emasculated kind of title known as Special Reserve. He did not think the right hon. Gentleman ignored the power of sentiment always, although he had done so in connection with this force. What chance was there of this being made an efficient force? The lads joined at seventeen years of age, and as soon as they were any good the best of them would be drafted off into the Army. So this force on which they would learn to rely as years went by, in which the right hon. Gentleman had succeeded by regulations in destroying esprit de corps and sentiment, would be constantly emasculated by the removal of all those who constituted its best members and there would be only the residuum left. They were to have six months training in their first year. That surely was little enough for such a future as the right hon. Gentleman proposed to place them in. The next year's training dropped from six months to three weeks. Those lads did not come from the classes which provided the Territorial Army. They did not come out of the great operative and textile centres throughout the country, but they came more or less from a poor class and many of them had suffered from unemployment. They joined this force, got their six months training, and the next year they got three weeks training—which was far too little—and in the meantime, while they were not being trained for the other forty-nine weeks of the year, they were seeking employment and were bound to deteriorate. For forty-nine weeks in the second year they had to seek a precarious livelihood, and they would deteriorate not only in physique, but intellectually and morally as well. This could not possibly be avoided under the system. Why should they be told that they could rely upon this Special Reserve which was marked off as something peculiarly choice? This was the force they were to rely upon in case of war. It was true that boys learned quickly, and at seventeen a boy would learn in half the time that a man at twenty-seven would take, but it should not be overlooked that they were equally quick at forgetting what they had learned. Instead of taking care of these men, nurturing them, protecting them so 933 as not to allow them to deteriorate, they were allowed to suffer through unemployment. It should not be forgotten that the Militia sent out 24,000 men to the South African War, but he would like to know how many this Special Reserve could send out. Out of the 58,500 who would be necessary to form the establishment of the Infantry, only 18,000 at the very utmost would be available to go abroad in time of war. During the South African War the Militia sent out 24,000 men, and they did grand work. When the right hon. Gentleman's Special Reserve was formed, it would not be able to do what the Militia did with an organisation which had sentiment and esprit de corps, which the right hon. Gentleman had done his best to destroy. What could they say about the men trained in the depots? The one thing they wanted now was to be able to train the brains of their men, and the humblest private in the Special Reserve ought to have his brain trained. They wanted to institute initiative amongst the men. They would be sent out to do work in extended order, and they could not always be in touch with the captains and others. The men would have to think for themselves, and they were not being trained in the country where they could be taught to take cover. How could they train the men to take cover in a barrack square? It could not be done. The first year the men might get a little training, but the second year's training would be fatal to any powers of initiative in the men. They wanted them to think. These were serious considerations which ought to be kept in mind by the Secretary of State for War before he gave the assurance to the Leader of the Opposition that the esprit de corps was to be carefully nurtured and preserved in connection with the Force which he feared very much would never really be an efficient Force. His hon. friend the Member for Mid. Devon, who had had considerable military experience, said he was nervous about it. He did not wonder at that. The word of the hon. Member in the matter ought to carry considerable weight. What did the hon. Member think of boys of seventeen being sent to garrison Malta and other places like that? The right hon. Gentleman had 934 told the Committee that the Special Reserve was going to be sent out to Malta. He would like to see the right hon. Gentleman attempting to send boys of seventeen to garrison the Mediterranean fortresses. There was not a mother in the country who would not be coming up and saying: "You will not send my son of seventeen to those climates." The Prime Minister had had a hot time in regard to the suffragettes, but that was mere child's play compared with the experience which the Secretary of State for War would have with the mothers of England, who would give him such a time as he was never likely to forget. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would take to heart many of the things which had been said by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House. He hoped that, notwithstanding the present regulations which were very much against the esprit de corps which was always essential in a British military Force, the sentiment which enabled our soldiers to rally round the name which they held dear would be shown, for without it a military Force nowhere could do any good.
§ *CAPTAIN MORRISON-BELL
said there was one remark of the Secretary of State for War which, he was sure, the whole of the officers of the Regular Forces would receive with the deepest disappointment, namely, the statement that the officers of the Special Reserve were to be allowed to go into the places of those seconded from their regiments. Were these Special Reserve officers to fill the gap? If that was the intention of the right hon. Gentleman, he felt that he would cause the greatest disappointment to the officers of the Regular Forces. The regimental officers were the backbone of the Army, and yet they had been passed over again and again and others had been put into positions which might have been given to them. There might be reasons for that, but he did not know what they were. He thought it was a mistake to put in the Special Reserve officers, and he hoped it was not too late to reconsider the matter. If he commanded a regiment, and an officer came to him to ask to be seconded under these circumstances 935 he would see him—[laughter]. This was a serious question, and the proposal would cause the greatest consternation among regimental officers. There was no justification for it, and he hoped there would be some further reference to the matter by the Secretary of State.
§ MR. ACLAND
said the matter was made perfectly plain by the Secretary of State in the following Answer to a Question on 20th July—Special Reserve officers will be employed with Regular units when, as often happens, there is a temporary shortage of Regular officers, or when Regular officers are seconded. I may add that to enable Special Reserve units to obtain junior officers pending the machinery of the new training corps becoming fully operative the Army Council have decided, as an interim arrangement, to allow candidates for commissions in the Special Reserve to qualify by serving with a Regular unit for four months, provided that they apply for commissions before the 18th of next December, instead of the full probationary period of twelve months.It was not intended to block the hopes of promotion of the regimental officers.
§ CAPTAIN MORRISON-BELL
said that if these Special Reserve officers were going to be put in the place of officers who were seconded for three years a great injustice would be done to the regimental officers, who already felt that they had a strong grievance.
§ *CAPTAIN MORRISON-BELL
said he could not take great comfort from that statement. Already promotion had been delayed to a most dangerous degree, and the officers were deeply disappointed. The officers knew at present that they had a very poor chance of promotion to the command of a regiment. From start to finish promotion was slow, but now they were told that Special Reserve officers were to be put in. That would make promotion still slower, and there was not the slightest justification for such an injustice being done.
§ MR. BELLAIRS (Lynn Regis)
concurred in the expression of pity which had fallen from hon. Members on the other side of the House as to the abolition of the Militia. He believed that the Militia had been abolished through the procedure in past years by which the Volunteers had entered so much into competition with the Militia. He understood that of the 101 battalions there were twenty in Ireland where there was no competition with the Territorial Army. Of these twelve were kept intact and eight were draft-producing battalions. He wished to know how the right hon. Gentleman had succeeded in recruiting officers and men from the Militia in Ireland as compared with the recruiting of officers and men from the Militia in this country, where the Territorial Army was in competition.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 77; Noes, 231. (Division List No. 224.)939
|Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Morrison-Bell, Captain||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Nield, Herbert||Sloan, Thomas Henry||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B. Stuart.|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Starkey, John R.||Younger, George|
|Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.|
|Percy, Earl||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Ashley and Mr. William Nicholson.|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Valentia, Viscount|
|Ronaldshay, Earl of||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Lynch, H. B.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Farrell, James Patrick||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Findlay, Alexander||Maclean, Donald|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Fuller, John Michael F.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Fullerton, Hugh||M'Hugh, Patrick A.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Gill, A. H.||M'Micking, Major. G.|
|Balfour, Rebort (Lanark)||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Maddison, Frederick|
|Barker, John||Glendinning, R. G.||Mallet, Charles E.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Glover, Thomas||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Gooch, George Peadboy (Bath)||Marnham, F. J.|
|Beaumont, Hon. Herbert||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Massie, J.|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Bell, Richard||Griffith, Ellis J.||Mond, A.|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Gulland, John W.||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt)||Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton||Mooney, J. J.|
|Benn, W, (Tw'r Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Morse, L. L.|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Hall, Frederick||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Myer, Horatio|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh||Napier, T. B.|
|Branch, James||Harwood, George||Nicholls, George|
|Brooke, Stopford||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Haworth, Arthur A.||Nolan, Joseph|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Hasel, Dr. A. E.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hedges, A. Paget||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Nuttall, Harry|
|Byles, William Pollard||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Higham, John Sharp||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight||Hobart, Sir Robert||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Hogan, Michael||O'Grady, J.|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Horniman, Emslie John||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Partington, Oswald|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Hudson, Walter||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Cleland, J. W.||Hyde, Clarendon||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Idris, T. H. W.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W)||Illingworth, Percy H.||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd)||Jenkins, J.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford. E.)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Radford, G. H.|
|Crooks, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Jowett, F. W.||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Delany, William||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Rees, J. D.|
|Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.)||Kekewich, Sir George||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras. N)||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Laidlaw, Robert||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Duckworth, James||Lambert, George||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Edwards, Clement Denbigh)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roche, Augustine (Cork)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lewis, John Herbert||Roche, John (Galway, East)|
|Essex, R. W.||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Rowlands, J.|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Lyell, Charles Henry||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Sutherland, J. E.||Whittaker, Rt. Hn Sir Thomas P|
|Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Seaverns, J. H.||Thomasson, Franklin||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Seddon, J.||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Shackleton, David James||Thome, G. R. (Wolverhampton||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick, B.)||Tillett, Louis John||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Torrance, Sir A. M.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoushton)|
|Sherwell, Arthur James||Wads worth, J.||Winfrey, R.|
|Simon, John Allsebrook||Walsh, Stephen||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent||Young, Samuel|
|Stanger, H. Y.||Wason, Rt. Hn. E (Clackmannan|
|Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)||Waterlow, D. S.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of Elibank.|
|Steadman, W. C.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Strachey, Sir Edward||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Whitehead, Rowland|