HC Deb 18 November 1919 vol 121 cc792-3
30. Major NALL

asked the Secretary of State for War what is the annual cost of the remount officers and the liability to provide veterinary treatment and replace casualties incidental to the scheme for hiring out to civilians 15,000 Army horses; and whether these horses can be sold subject to registration for Army requirements in order to avoid this expense?


No actual additional cost is at present incurred in respect of the remount officers employed on this scheme, as these officers are otherwise necessarily employed on other duties. The future cost under this head cannot yet be stated. The cost of veterinary treatment is estimated at £60,000 annually. The cost of replacement from casualties as distinct from age cannot be stated separately, but the total cost of replacement is estimated at an average of £150,000 when the scheme is in full working order. My hon. and gallant Friend is no doubt aware that the civilians in question make a payment for the use of the horses. Horses can be registered for use in time of war only. The essential feature of this scheme is that it provides horses for annual training in time of peace.

Major NALL

Is it not a fact that horses were always available for training in time of peace apart from this scheme; and would it not be far better to sell the horses and let the money go to the Treasury?


I am afraid that is not the case at all. I think most people would agree that the matter of getting horses for training in time of peace was a matter of almost insuperable difficulty.