HC Deb 10 December 1912 vol 45 cc229-30
15. Mr. KING

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has taken note that certain Lords Lieutenant who have recognised duties and powers in connection with the Territorial Forces have expressed disapprobation of the Territorial system, and their belief that safety is alone to be found in compulsory military service; whether he has considered an expression of opinion made on behalf of the Duke of Bedford, Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex; and whether, having regard to the impossibility of working the Territorial system by county associations presided over by hostile persons, he can devise means whereby Lords Lieutenant may be relieved, if they wish, from these duties?

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Colonel Seely)

I believe that the Lords Lieutenant who are presidents of the county associations have carried out their duties as such conscientiously, and I do not think that any expression of opinion of the nature alluded to in the question would affect the manner in which they should discharge the duties of their office.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a very large number of authorities are stating at the present time that the Territorial Force is incapable of doing the service required, and will he therefore make inquiries to see what Lords Lieutenant are really whole-hearted in this matter?

Colonel SEELY

I do not agree with the statements attributed to some authorities, but I cannot usefully add anything to the answers I have already given.


Is it not a fact that the majority of Lords Lieutenant belong to the party sitting on this side of the House, and that they ate conscientiously doing their duty?

Colonel SEELY

I do not see that that has anything to do with the matter.


asked what is the percentage of men liable for compulsory military service who are called to the colours in Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, and Italy?

Colonel SEELY

The figures are approximately as follows:—

Germany 50 per cent.
Austria-Hungary 51 per cent.
France 88 per cent.
Italy 29 per cent.


asked what percentage of the men voluntarily enlisting in the British Army and the Territorials form of those who would be available for military service on the basis of the German conscriptive system?

Colonel SEELY

Seventeen per cent.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say approximately how many of these men have actually joined the National Reserve?

Colonel SEELY

The last question refers only to the British Army and the Territorials.