§ 24. Mr. ASHLEY
asked what is the average number of returns per month which a commanding officer of a third-line unit of the Territorial Force has to compile and send in to superior military authority?
§ Mr. FORSTER
All returns are standardised, and Army forms are provided so that they may be rendered with the minimum trouble, and the number of such returns is kept as low as is consistent with due regard to proper and economical administration. It is impossible to say without instituting inquiries what the average number of returns per month would be over the whole of Great Britain, and it would hardly meet my hon. Friend's view if the War Office were to call for special returns in the matter. Only two weekly returns are rendered regularly to the War Office, but commanding officers are continually being asked for information on various subjects due to questions in Parliament.
§ Mr. ASHLEY
Would the hon. Gentleman be surprised if I furnished him with the names of two battalions where the average number of returns which every commanding officer has to send in during the last three months is between 175 and 200 per month'? Is it not better the commanding officer should be out training his men instead of making returns which nobody reads?