HC Deb 23 July 1912 vol 41 cc965-6

asked whether it is proposed that the late Quartermaster-General to the Forces should proceed on a tour of inspection to Cape Colony, Sierra Leone, and the Mauritius; whether any of these places, and, if so, which, were included in any recent tour of inspection by the Inspector-General of Oversea Forces; whether the Inspector-General of Oversea Forces is considered competent to report on all military questions affecting countries and stations visited by him; if so, why it is necessary to send another general officer to inspect them; what is the estimated cost of that general officer's tour, and will he be accompanied by a staff officer; and what does the Inspector-General of Oversea Forces cost the country annually in pay, travelling, and other allowances, including passages on men of war?

Colonel SEELY

Lieut.-General Sir H. Miles, accompanied by a staff officer, has been sent on a special mission to carry out a complete examination of the administrative arrangements in the commands concerned with which the Inspector-General was unable to deal in detail in his inspection, and which are largely connected with the Quartermaster-General's department. He is empowered to give decisions on behalf of the Council in those matters. The late Quartermaster-General is pre-eminently fitted to undertake this work. The various points raised in the question do not therefore arise.


Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the last two paragraphs of the question?

Colonel SEELY

I have said it does not arise, because it is assumed it is not worth while to send this officer. Our opinion is that he will perform a most valuable service, and the savings he will be able to effect without reducing efficiency will far more than cover the cost of the tour.

Sir J. D. REES

Is it to be assumed that Sir Ian Hamilton is unable to conduct this inquiry?

Colonel SEELY

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will put down a question on the whole point if he wishes it fully explained. Sir Ian Hamilton's principal duties do not concern these administrative details of Army expenditure which Sir H. Miles has gone to report about.


. May I still ask the right hon. Gentleman to give me a reply to the last part of the question?

Colonel SEELY

I can get the exact figures for any one year if the hon. and gallant Gentleman will put down a question.