HC Deb 03 April 1919 vol 114 cc1392-3
101. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Secretary of State for War of what units, roughly, the Indian troops in course of demobilization are composed; and whether, when their demobilisation has been completed, the Indian Army and the British troops serving in India will be up to normal strength and bear the normal numerical relation to one another?


The Indian troops in course of demobilisation come principally from those units which were raised during the War, and comprise all classes usually enlisted. The question of the post-war strength and composition of the Army in India is under consideration, and the Secretary of State for India is not at present in a position to answer the latter part of the hon. Member's question.

102. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Secretary of State for War whether officers and men of the Indian Army serving in the Middle East (20,650), in Egypt and Palestine (42,750), and in Mesopotamia (63,000), are being returned to India as reductions are effected in the Armies of Occupation; whether these figures include officers and men of British regiments temporarily on the Indian establishment or are Indian troops proper; and whether the Indian troops (73,000) now being demobilised contain both classes or only the latter class of troops?


The figures referred to in the first part of my hon. Friend's question are the establishments of Indian troops to be maintained in the Armies of Occupation. The Indian troops are being reduced to these numbers. The officers are British and Indian belonging to the Indian Army and the men are Indian troops. I am afraid I do not understand the last part of my hon. Friend's question, as considerably more than 73,000 Indian troops are to be demobilised.

Colonel YATE

Considering the large number of men of the British Army who are there, would it not be advisable to demobilise less of the Indian Army?


The composition of our forces depends on a certain proportion being maintained of Indian and British troops. That has to be maintained irrespective of the relative claims of British and Indian troops to demobilisation.