HC Deb 20 April 1921 vol 140 cc1979-2021
Major Sir K. FRASER

I beg to move That, in the opinion of this House, the proposal to reduce the Mobile Forces of the Crown, and especially the disbandment of four British cavalry regiments, is contrary to the experience gained in the late War and inimical to the beet interests of the defence of the Empire. I know that many hon. Members who had great experience in the War wish to speak and some who commanded the three arms, and I do not wish to take up the time of the House. I only wish to deal with one part of my Motion, and that is as regards the light cavalry, the branch of the service I have served with. I would especially call attention to the case of the 5th Lancers, the senior Lancer regiment in the service. It is proposed to disband this regiment as if it was one of the junior Lancer regiments.

The Secretary of State for War decided to disband four light cavalry regiments for the sake of economy. I do not know what he knows about economy to treat the senior Lancer regiment as one of the juniors. The right hon. Gentleman was a bit out in his dates. He stated that the 5th Lancers were raised in 1858. They were raised 169 years before that. They have on their colours the battles of Oudenarde, Ramillies, Malplaquet, and Blenheim. Those battles were not fought in 1858. I saw a letter recently from the Secretary for Scotland to a constituent of his, a member of the 5th Lancers, saying the Secretary for War had decided that the 5th Lancers were junior because there were new men and officers serving in it in 1858, but it stands to reason that there were none who served in 1799 still serving in 1858. May I tell the House the history of the 5th Lancers? They were raised in 1689. They served with great distinction not only in the Marl-borough wars but since. There is no more distinguished regiment in the service. In 1799 they were disbanded, but I would ask 'the House to remember that George III. at that time was suffering somewhat from mental ill-health. I am not sure whether the Secretary of State" or his advisers at the War Office were also suffering from mental ill-health when they came to their decision to disband the 5th Lancers, I am told that the reason for the 5th Lancers being disbanded is because they are an Irish regiment, and yet they want union between the two countries. In 1858 the 5th Lancers were not being raised but they were being re-embodied. It is the only occasion that a blank has been kept in the Army List, and it was for the 5th Lancers. Their place had never been filled up. For all these years, from 1799 until 1858, there was a blank left, and in 1858 the 5th Lancers were re-instated. Their disbandment in 1799 was very unjust, because they were a very distinguished regiment. On the 8th January, 1858, the following General Order was issued to every regiment in the Service, and there is no other occasion when a General Order has been issued to every regiment in the Service with respect to the reinstatement of a regiment: His Royal Highness, the General Commanding-in-Chief,"— —the late Duke of Cambridge— has much pleasure in communicating to the Army the Queen's command to cancel the Adjutant-General's letter, dated 8th April, 1799, announcing the Royal determination of His late Majesty, King George III, to disband the 5th Royal Irish Dragoons. They were Dragoons then. The Queen commands that the 5th Royal Lancers be restored to its proper place amongst the cavalry regiments of the line, and His Royal Highness feels assured that this mark of Her Majesty's gracious favour will be appreciated. Now the right hon. Gentleman treats that Royal command as a scrap of paper. This question has been discussed in another place. I think the old lancers in the other place were a bit rusty. The whole lot of them might go back to the riding school. They talked only about sentiment. If you get the higher command disobeying Orders, and if you get the Army Council treating Army Orders and General Orders as a scrap of paper what can you expect of the rank and; file? I admit that my right hon. Friend is immune under Section 40 of the Army Act, which deals with conduct contrary and prejudicial to good order and discipline. He is merely a civilian. Members of the Army Council are also immune because they shelter themselves behind my right hon. Friend. Section 40 of the Army Act counts as nothing. What about Section 42? That Section says, that if an officer has a grievance, or an imaginary grievance, he has the right of appeal to his, commanding officer. If his commanding officer does not satisfy him he can go to the higher command. He can go as far as the Army Council, and if he is not satisfied with the Army Council he can go still further, through my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War—he can appeal to the King himself. This question came up quite recently on the Army Annual Bill and it was contended by hon. Members, and Members experienced in soldiering, that for all practical purposes Section 42 was of no account.

I quite agree, and I think the House will agree with me, that you must support authority. A man may have a grievance and he can make a complaint to a higher authority, and if he is not satisfied he can go further; but it is right and proper that authority should be supported, and in 99 cases out of 100 you will not find Section 42 of any use to an officer with a grievance. If the Secretary of State or the Army Council or any man in high rank disobey Orders, and sets Army and General Orders at defiance, just as my right hon. Friend has treated with contumely and as a scrap of paper a General Order, what discipline and justice can we expect? If Lord Allenby, the Colonel-in-Chief of the 5th Lancers, or if the officers serving in the 5th Lancers, who have given the whole of their lives to the Service, and who served throughout the recent War with great distinction, and also in the South African War—there is not a better regiment in the Service than the 5th Lancers, and every cavalry regiment thanks them for the service they have done—took advantage of Section 42 of the Army Act and appealed to the head of the Army for justice, because of his adviser disobeying a lawful Army Order, well, I should be sorry for my right hon. Friend. I do not know whether my right hon. Friend made a mistake or committed a breach of discipline when he decided the question about the Yeomanry. He decided to disband a number of Yeomanry regiments. I think he is not to blame. If I remember rightly, the question of the seniority of the Yeomanry was decided 30 or 40 years ago by one of his predecessors, and I think my right hon. Friend is not responsible for the action of his predecessor.

If complaint is made against my right hon. Friend by the 5th Lancers, I venture to say he will not get support. I am anxious to help him out of a difficulty. There is only one thing he can do. If he is going to treat the 5th Lancers as a junior regiment he has to cancel the Order of the 8th January, 1858. Otherwise they must remain as they are by the Order of the late Queen Victoria as the senior Lancer regiment of the Service. You cannot get away from that. I do not wish to suggest that you should reduce any of the Light Cavalry regiments for the sake of economy; but if you are going to do so the four junior regiments should be reduced, the 18th, 19th, and 20th Hussars and the 21st Lancers. You will find it a difficult thing to do that, and you will get into a lot of trouble. If you are going to reduce any Light Cavalry Regiments you must take the junior ones, and in all fairness, those who have less service than the others. My suggestion is that if you must reduce the Light Cavalry Regiments you must not pay attention to whether they are Lancers or whether they are Hussars. The way out of your difficulty is to make the 15th Hussars into a Lancers Regiment. They will not mind. They will be proud of it. I do not like to say it, and perhaps I ought not, but there are wheels within wheels. There is a certain officer in the War Office who has something to do with this question, and he is in the 18th Hussars.

If the right hon. Gentleman does not give some satisfaction to-night he will hear more of it. My right hon. Friend I think, looking at him, has a sort of idea that he is going to settle this question to-night about the 5th Lancers. I can assure him that he is not. There will be a cavalry charge coming later on before he can finally disband these four light cavalry regiments for the sake of economy. We hear of the poor taxpayer. I often wonder whether Cabinet Ministers realise that they are taxpayers themselves. Of course, I know that they are supermen. I read it in the papers, and so it must be so. But the question is not whether they are supermen, but whether they know anything about the animal horse. If they did they would not reduce the four cavalry regiments for the sake of economy. The House knows that every pound weight you put on a horse during war-time means hundreds of pounds to the British taxpayer. Yet you propose to keep the heavy cavalry and disband the light cavalry. It is impossible. I would be the last person to suggest disbanding heavy cavalry. I do not suggest disbanding any cavalry, but to disband your most mobile force in the cavalry only shows that the War Office and my right hon. Friend know nothing whatever about it.

In marching order the light Hussar, the young boy, will not ride under eighteen stone. The Dragoon will probably be up to 21 or 22 stone. Every pound weight you put on a horse on service means shortening the life of the horse on service, and yet you are going to do away with light cavalry for the sake of economy. Hon. Members may not know that a Hussar may not enlist if he is more than 5 ft. 8 ins., while the height of the old Dragoon is 5 ft. 11 ins. They are great big strong fellows, and they enlist when they are 18, and, as you know, big men put on weight, and everything a big man wears weighs more than what the small man wears. The Hussar, who comes from such places as Whitechapel, in London, is invariably thin. He is one of the best fighting men, but he is a very spare man. The old Dragoons are great big heavy fellows from the country, sons of farmers, and what not. It must be realised that the heavy cavalry are far heavier than the light cavalry, yet it is suggested to do away with the light cavalry. That is not within reason. The life of the cavalry horse on active service does not last long. He is under the saddle for many hours in the day. He has to move about for a long time. He is fed at irregular intervals; sometimes well, sometimes badly. He does not get water at the proper time. Then you get the inclemency of the weather, and you get the raw recruit. As I have said, every extra pound means a difference to the life of the horse, and yet, for the sake of economy, you are going to do away with light cavalry. Someone has blundered.

I have been trying to think of what my right hon. Friend will say in reply. He may say, "There is no use saying that we shall do away with heavy cavalry. The old cavalry regiments might say, 'Make us into light cavalry,' which would be perfectly simple." Would it? There is a very distinguished regiment, the Queen's Bays, and among the former officers I have very good friends I hope. The Queen's Bays are a very old Dragoon regiment. They had a great reputation—I do not think that any regiment in the Service has a better reputation—for the way in which they took care of the horses. We in the 7th Hussars and other cavalry regiments used to look on them as a bit slow. Some thirty years ago a colonel commanding the Queen's Bays, who was a very good horse master, gave a word of command that will never be forgotten. He turned round while the regiment was on parade and he said, "Steady the Bays I am going to trot." You cannot turn the Dragoons into light cavalry and expect them to gallop about all over the country with whippets. Their horses would break down. Again, it may be contended by my right hon. Friend or by the Army Council that the Army is very strictly rationed with money, that there is every prospect of its being more strictly rationed next year, and that the Army Council have to think of the many new arms and devices which the War has produced—tanks, gas, machine guns, aircraft, etc. We may be told that all those things will cost an enormous sum of money and that if we spend that money on cavalry units it will be impossible to develop the new arms in times of peace. I see that contention from an entirely different point of view. Every person who has ever soldiered knows there is squandermania going on. In every Command in the Service there is squandermania, a reckless expenditure of money. My right hon. Friend is responsible. Cavalry regiments which have served with, distinction are to be exterminated because of the incompetence and waste of money in every Command in the Service.

The Army Council may maintain that they are not alone in their resolve to reduce our mounted forces. It may be said that India is making a reduction by no fewer than 20 regiments. Is that any reason why we should abolish four of our light cavalry regiments? I have been a few years in India, and I ask the House earnestly to consider that matter. It is a most dangerous thing to do away with Indian cavalry regiments. I do not know who chose the regiments for disbandment, but they have been chosen from the best in India, from our most loyal subjects in India. These men are high caste men, and their profession is to fight. An Indian cavalry regiment is not like the ordinary regiment that we know. When an Indian leaves a cavalry regiment he goes back to his own village. If a father serving in a regiment has a son, the son follows him into the regiment. It becomes a family concern. When the son has served his time he goes back to the village and lives among his fellow soldiers who have retired before him. Mark my words. There is to be trouble in India; there is sedition. I have heard it suggested that it was sedition which persuaded the Government to get rid of these extremely loyal subjects. Probably that is not so. If you do not allow these loyal men, who have served us for generations, to fight for us in any struggle in India, they will fight against us. Again, we may be told that France is reducing her cavalry from 85 to 62 regiments. Does France rule a great Empire like ours—the greatest the world has ever known? We have taken on enormous new territories in Asia and Africa, and in any future wars we shall want mounted units. The Government may say that Italy has reduced her cavalry from 29 regiments to 12. He might just as well say that Japan has reduced her cavalry, and that therefore we should reduce ours. What has Italy to do with this great Empire? It is beyond reason that, for the sake of economy, these regiments should be abolished.

It may be contended that it is the business of this country to see that we keep no redundant units, that every unit maintained should be able to fight the moment war breaks out, and that it is impossible that we should want more than two cavalry divisions in the first six months of the wars; moreover that if we kept more they would be out of proportion to the six infantry divisions and the fourteen Territorial divisions. When war breaks out you want to increase your cavalry. You could get your infantry trained in fourteen weeks. There are many Members of this House who trained infantry battalions in fourteen weeks and jolly good ones they were too. I cannot see the sense or the reason of this proposal. If you want to economise do away with six infantry battalions. I could understand that. When war starts, are you going to denude the whole of the Empire of cavalry. With your two divisions at the front, are India and Africa to have no cavalry regiments? I would beg the Government not to form new cadres for the sake of economy. Do not form a new corps for the sake of economy. Do not create a new staff. If you have a Tank corps you will have staff officers galore. Staff officers mean more correspondence and more correspondence means more staff officers, and the more staff officers there are the more the correspondence grows. You should attach light tanks to the cavalry. Let detachments of light tanks be attached to every cavalry regiment, but do not do away with one of the cavalry regiments. I know what it is in the cavalry in winter time. Put the men on the tanks. I know the infantry, too. I was with them 30 years ago as a militiaman. The men go on parade and do a bit of drill. They go into the barrack room, they clean their belts and their rifles and they go to sleep for the rest of the afternoon. Let my right hon. Friend imagine himself in the Tank Corps and that he has enlisted for 7, 12 or 21 years. How long will it take him to learn about a tank? One year? Not that. What is he going to do with the rest of his time? He will not be allowed to parade; you cannot go parading about in tanks. The men will be drawing good pay, probably as mechanics, and they will sit and look at their tanks for 21 years. The tank should be an adjunct to the cavalry and to the infantry. The day will come when light tanks will operate with cavalry, and cavalry will be able to fight mounted, in trenches as infantry, and in tanks as well. The days of cavalry are not over. In conclusion, I sincerely hope my right hon. Friend will not proceed with this proposal for a reduction such as is suggested.


In the absence of the hon. and gallant Member for Ilkeston (Major-General Seely), I rise to second the Resolution. I am very much in sympathy with the remarks of my hon. and gallant Friend who has just sat down, as I have taken very much to heart this proposed reduction in the mounted arm. I am going to put it from the point of view of the importance of the mounted arm in offensive battles. We must remember that a great deal of the experience of the War Office regarding the recent War has been experience of the Western Front, which was trench warfare and fortress warfare, recalling the times of Dutch William and of Louis Quatorze, whereas the war we had in Mesopotamia and Palestine was a war of movement, which is absolutely different. In that war of manoeuvre we had battles where the three arms were engaged. I cannot understand how any general who has ever commanded a force of the three arms in an offensive battle—where you have to win by manoeuvre—could ever agree to a reduction in the mounted arm. It is an unanswerable argument that you win offensive battles by victory in manoeuvre. The secret of success is the turning manoeuvre, where you hold the enemy in front and throw a net round his flank and rear, and fling your heavy mass, with the cavalry far ahead, to get around him. That is the principle on which victories are generally won in warfare of this character, as any student of military history will agree. Though I do not wish to bring personal matters into this question, I am one of the few in the War who commanded a force of the three arms. I have won battles with my cavalry thrown out on that principle of the turning movement, and if I were in the War Office no one would ever induce me to agree to a reduction in the mounted arm. I am not going to join in any suggestion that the Secretary of State is not fully aware of the importance of the mounted arm, but I would urge that this reduction has been too hastily put forward as a result of experience on the Western Front alone. I do not think if the Commander-in-Chief in Palestine were here now he would agree to it, or the gallant lord who is now dead, and, as a much more humble man, no one will ever get me to agree to it.

9.0 P.M.

Regarding the tanks, on the last occasion when I spoke on this subject it will be remembered that I took what may have seemed to have been a some what exaggerated view about the tanks. One does exaggerate a little sometimes, but it is very difficult to discuss military matters in this House, where the bulk of one's audience is composed of civilians to whom the rudiments of military science are naturally unknown. One like myself, who has been studying the matter for 37 years, does not wish to talk at any length on subjects the discussion of which are more suited to the lecture-room. In the last discussion that we had on the 15th March, I therefore only lightly indicated what I thought were the faults of the tank, and what I had heard men of experience saying about it. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman if he has considered the possibility of future wars? I hope we shall not have any, but the horizon is very dark when one looks all round. If this war is allowed to go on in the Near East, who can say what may not happen? Would you propose to use tanks in Anatolia or in Cilicia? There are other possible theatres of war where I do not think they would be suitable. Europe favours the tank, but in considering the future we must look to North Africa, Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Near East, India, and so forth. I submit that the conclusion you must come to is that the mounted arm is absolutely necessary. As the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just sat down said, you cannot improvise cavalry of a quality to compare with the regular trained and disciplined cavalrymen. We saw quite enough of that in South Africa. The fact that they are reducing cavalry in India does not console me at all. A Member of the House told me to-day that they were making a reduction in India and I replied, "What do you think I care What India does?" I have seen enough of India, having had about 18 years service there, and my experience is that Army Headquarters at Simla possess all the worst faults common to Army Headquarters and some peculiar to themselves besides. In seconding this Motion I would ask the right hon. Gentleman if we cannot have more time to consider this matter. There is no hurry, until we are out of the wood on this Near Eastern question, because I regard it, and I am sure most people regard it, as a most dangerous situation. I would ask that there should be some sort of care or waiting before we entirely destroy these cadres. I would have kept up the cadres. I remember the right hon. Gentleman told us the amount that it would cost, and it did not seem to me a big amount. The real economy I look for is in greater efficiency, and I would not reduce that money. You have got enormous Departments. I was staggered to see the figures the other day of the size of the R.A.M.C. and our Chaplains' Department, and the Pay Department is enormous, although the strength of the Army has gone down. I would have looked right, left, and centre before I would have agreed to have destroyed the cadres.

Lieut.-Colonel MCLEAN

It is very evident that the Government has made up its mind to reduce our mounted forces within the Empire. A great many soldiers are firmly of opinion that the Government should reconsider their decision. We must remember very strongly the usefulness of cavalry. We cannot agree perhaps, and I do not think soldiers will agree, as to whether cavalry or mounted infantry is the most useful arm, but there is one evident fact, and that is this, that a great number of mounted troops are needed in nearly every theatre of war. The early stages of the Indian Mutiny is an example, and the late Boer War is a remarkable instance of the uselessness of an army without plenty of mounted troops. We all remember Lord French's advance from the Modder River to Pretoria. On entering Pretoria, the number of mounted troops was 6,000, and the number of infantry 22,000, or one cavalryman to every three or four infantrymen. In regard to the late War, the best thing I can do is to read an extract from Lord Haig's final despatch. He says: In the light of the full experience of the War, the decision to preserve the Cavalry Corps has been completely justifies. It has been proved that cavalry, whether used for shock effect under suitable conditions or as mobile infantry, have still an indispensable part to play in modern war. Moreover, it cannot safely be assumed that in future wars the flanks of the opposing forces will rest on neutral states or impassable obstacles. Whenever such a condition does not obtain, opportunities for the use of cavalry must arise frequently. Throughout the great retirement in 1914, our cavalry covered the retirement and protected the flanks of our columns against the onrush of the enemy. He ends up by saying: Finally, during the culminating operations of the War, when the German armies were falling back in disorganised masses, a new situation arose which demanded the use of mounted troops. Then our cavalry, pressing hard upon the enemy's heels, hastened his retreat and threw him into worse confusion. At such a time the moral effect of cavalry is overwhelming, and is in itself a sufficient reason for the retention of that arm. Again, in Lord Allenby's despatch describing the operations which resulted in the destruction of the Turkish Army, the liberation of Palestine and Syria, and the occupation of Damascus and Aleppo, he said: The complete destruction of the VII and VIII Turkish Armies depended mainly on the rapidity with which their communications were reached. The enemy's columns, after they had outdistanced the pursuing infantry, were given no time to reorganise and fight their way through. In these operations, Lord Allenby had two mounted and seven infantry divisions, or one cavalryman to every three or four infantrymen, so that there is one evident fact in these examples, and that is that all our successful operations have been conducted with a proportion of one cavalryman to every three or four infantrymen. On Tuesday, 15th March, the Secretary for War said it was intended to economise by disbanding four cavalry regiments, but I would point out that before the War we had 55 yeomanry regiments, and these have now been reduced to 10; in India we had 39 cavalry regiments, and these are being reduced to 21. If you work out the total of mounted troops to infantry, you find that you have one cavalryman to every 12 infantrymen. It is a very serious step indeed to destroy regiments proud of their traditions, but it is a much more serious step to reduce below the safety limit the number of mounted troops in the Empire.

Only one thing could justify such a course of action, and that is that a new instrument had been found to replace the fighting value of these troops. My right hon. Friend said he was experimenting with light tanks, but he did not know yet what the result would be, and he did not know the value of the tanks until the experiments had been finished. I can recall vividly the failure of the tanks on the Somme and at Ypres, and I can see them now strewn about the country. They had a moderate success at Cambrai as an instrument of frightfulness and surprise. Their failure may have been due to lack of experience in the tactical handling of the tank, but the fact remains that their radius of action was limited by the exhaustion of the crews, and that no distant troops have anything to fear from tanks, and that a well-placed mine or field gun would quickly place a tank out of action. Yet, on the strength of these experiences, we are reducing the mounted forces not by four cavalry regiments only, but by 67 cavalry regiments, which is an enormous number. If the question is one of money, there is nothing more to be said, but if it is a question of economy coupled with efficiency, let us find the money for the upkeep of these four cavalry regiments from the mounted police force of London, full dress uniforms, an overstaffed War Office, the upkeep of prehistoric fortifications, and the maintenance of barracks in the most expensive districts of crowded cities. I must conclude by saying that it is not by the help of the State that the cavalry maintain their great traditions and high state of efficiency, but in spite of the State. Faced, as they will be in the next great war, by the almost superhuman task of raising and training mounted troops with a reduced staff of capable instructors, I assure you that the reforming of these regiments which you now disband will be the one great joy and achievement of their lives.

Lieut.-Colonel ARCHER-SHEE

I rise to support the Motion, because I am particularly interested in this matter as one who has served in one of the regiments which it is proposed to disband, and, in fact, belong to the reserve of that regiment now, and also as having been associated with two of the other regiments which are going to be disbanded, the 5th Lancers and the 18th Hussars, with which my regiment was at the seige of Lady- smith. I think the Secretary of State for War based his proposal to disband these regiments on the ground of economy. On the 15th March he said he was going to economise in two different directions. The first was to be in cutting down excessive numbers of officers, which, he said, amounted to something like 7,000 more than our pre-War strength, and that a committee was sitting at that time at the War Office which had already come to the conclusion that they could dispense with the services of 2,200 officers; and expected to be able to dispense with some few hundreds more. Then he said that the other method by which he hoped to establish some economy was by disbanding these cavalry regiments. He then went on to say that the cavalry regiments cost about £100,000 each per annum to keep up, and therefore the total economy to be effected by reducing the four cavalry regiments is to be £400,000 per annum. That works out at a percentage of something less than 6 per cent. of the whole amount voted for the Army this year, which is something like £70,000,000, if we exclude the non-recurrent expenditure and the expenditure upon the Middle East.

What I would suggest is, that if we are to make economies, they should be made, first of all, along the grounds of general policy; that is to say, we can save far more money on the Civil Services, which now are costing us something like £280,000,000 a year, than by cutting down the Army by four of, perhaps, the most highly trained troops we have got. The total expenditure of £70,000,000 upon the Army only forms about 5.8 per cent. of our total revenue, which is about £31,200,000,000, and we are going to spend less than 6 per cent. of that on the Army, whereas before the War, when we had a very much less revenue, we were spending 14½ per cent, of our revenue upon the Army. Before the War we were spending, both in 1912–13 and 1913–14, only 17 per cent. on our Civil Services, and now they are costing us 28 per cent., and that does not include the pensions, of course. Therefore I say if we are to economise at present—and everybody knows that that is absolutely necessary—the field for economy should be in the Civil Services of the country rather than in the Army, because the Army at the present time is ridiculously inadequate for the tasks which it has to perform. We have got a rebellion in Ireland. It is quite true we have got over 50,000 men in Ireland, but that is not enough if we are going to restore law and order rapidly and properly in Ireland. We ought to have a much larger force in order to protect the police and ensure the establishment of order. We have got troops on the Rhine and in Constantinople, and we have a state of war existing in Mesopotamia. In India, we have a country which is generally reputed to be simmering with sedition, whilst in Egypt affairs are not at all too hopeful. Under those circumstances, to cut down the Army by one man seems to me to be an absurdity. Our Reserves are at less than one-half the strength they ought to be, and our Territorial Force is only at one-half the strength it ought to be.

Therefore, at such a time, to cut down the Army by a single man, seems to be a very short-sighted policy. But if you are going to cut down the Army at all, why select that arm of the service which is certainly one of the most highly trained? It takes a long time to train cavalry soldiers, and when they are trained they form a nursery for the Reserve. They also form an excellent cadre of troops which can be used for many other purposes, such as those they were used for in the War. During the War large numbers of cavalrymen were turned to other purposes. Some were used as machine gunners, some went into tanks, and large numbers, who were not wanted for the cavalry, served with infantry battalions. I remember very well, after the Somme battle, as commander of a battalion, receiving a large draft of cavalrymen, and I am sure lots of ex-officers who are in this House will have had the same experience that the cavalry reinforcements they received were some of the finest men they could get, because all were well-trained and well-disciplined. Not only that, but the cavalry in the past have always attracted a somewhat superior class of man, more intelligent, perhaps, because he comes from a better-off class who have been able to give a better education, and so on. I do not mean to say for a moment that the cavalryman is a bit braver or better than his infantry brother, but he is, as a rule, deived from a more intelligent class, perhaps, than the infantryman. [HON.

MEMBERS: "No!"] Yes, and I say that as one who has served in the infantry as well, and who, as I need not say, does not wish in any way to disparage the British infantry soldier, because anyone who attempted to do such a thing would be simply making himself ridiculous. The British infantry soldier is known to be the finest infantry soldier in the world, as has been acknowledged even by Napoleon. That does not mean he is necessarily a very intelligent man, but the cavalry have always drawn that class of men to it, and, therefore, they can at any moment be turned into other branches of the service, without any loss to the service.

Therefore, I say that, as the cavalry are derived from this class, to destroy these four regiments, which have long tradition—and that means a great deal, as everybody who has ever served knows—is a false economy from every point of view. I know it has been in the past generally a sort of cheap gibe at the cavalry officers that they were supposed not to be officers who took their profession very seriously. I think that idea has been knocked on the head in the War. Out of the eight Field-Marshals in the British Army to-day, four are cavalry officers. Considering that the cavalry were less than half the strength of the artillery and less than a quarter of the strength of the infantry before the War, the proportion of cavalry officers who have risen to high rank in our Army is magnificently high. Two Commanders-in-Chief on the Western Front, Lord French and Lord Haig, were cavalry officers all their lives until they had high command. Lord French actually commanded one of the regiments which it is proposed to disband, the 19th Hussars. Lord Allenby, the man who has made his name immortal through what has happened in Palestine, was a cavalry officer all his life until he also arrived at high command. Lord Byng, another great general, was a cavalry officer all his life. Sir Philip Chetwode, the right-hand man of Lord Allenby, and also an ex-commander of the 19th Hussars, was a cavalry officer, and is now a member of the Army Council.

The cavalry has turned out some of the best officers in the British Army, and from the point of view of training officers alone, it would be a false economy to re duce the cavalry regiments. Personally, I should hate to see any single regiment in the Army cut down; on the contrary, I think we ought to increase the strength of our Army, but if it is to be kept down, then, as has been pointed out before, there are other branches. I think that the supply services in the Army are overdone. The French used to laugh at us in the War because of our tremendous transport arrangements behind the lines. They used to describe the British Army as a triangle with its apex at the front. Although that was an exaggeration, we had a smaller proportion of our men at the front in the battle line than the French. There are some of the auxiliary arms that could be pruned out a bit without reducing the fighting forces of the Army. I do not think, therefore, that to save£400,000 a year, less than one-half of 1 per cent. of the amount voted for the Army, we should reduce these troops. When the right hon. Gentleman made his statement on 15th March we did not know we were going to call out 70,000 Reservists and 70,000 for the Defence Force for use in this country. It is an ironical commentary upon his statement that he was going to disband four cavalry regiments—four regular regiments—of the Army, that within three weeks he should have had to issue an appeal to the country for thousands of men to join the Defence Corps and to call up the Reservists.

Our Army is totally inadequate for the purpose for which it is designed at the present moment. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman, in view of what has happened and of the enormous expense to which the country is being put at the present moment through having to call out other men temporarily to fill a gap, if he cannot see his way, at any rate to postpone for a year or two, this question of cutting down the cavalry. We do not know what is going to happen in the world. Ireland is in an awful state, India is in an unsettled state, and we cannot tell what wil happen in Egypt. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to ask the Army Council to reconsider that decision. Better still, I would ask him to go to the other end of the street, and ask the Cabinet whether they will not sanction any further provision for the Army Estimates, so that he may retain these splendid regiments at any rate for another year or two until we know better what is going to happen.


It seems to me in these days of almost universal poverty it is incumbent on the Government to see to it that the taxpayer gets the best value for the money which they are going to spend on the Army. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who moved this Resolution rather scoffed at the sufferings of the taxpayer, but I can assure him that a great many people are feeling most acutely the pinch of excessive taxation from which this country is now suffering. It is therefore up to the War Office and the Government to see to it that this £108,000,000 that is going to be spent this year on the Army is devoted to those services which will give us the best and most effective fighting force, should we ever be called upon again to use it. I admit that there is a very great difficulty in deciding which particular arms will be of the most use in any particular war. If the war takes the line it took in Palestine, or Mesopotamia, then there is no doubt that the Government are wrong in dispensing with the services of these four cavalry regiments. If, on the other hand, it takes the line of the war on the Western Front, there is not the least doubt they are right. With regard to what happened in Palestine and Mesopotamia I know nothing. I never took part in great victories such as those won by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for the Wrekin Division (Sir C. Townshend). We did not win victories on that unimportant quarter of the battlefield, the Western Front, we merely struggled for an existence, which makes all the difference.

So much depends upon the particular line which the war is going to follow. Perhaps a good many of us remember how, after the South African War, we all thought that we knew exactly, or that our senior officers at any rate knew exactly how a war ought to be carried on and what ought to be done, only to find that as regards European warfare the French and the Germans had forgotten more than our men ever knew. Although the Commander-in-Chief was once credited with making an observation to the effect that nothing that had happened during the War had caused him to alter his opinion as to how men should be trained or how operations should be carried on, the fact remains that we had radically to change our organisation, our equip- ment and our methods of training our men, and to adapt them more closely not only to the French, but to the German methods before we could make any headway at all upon the Western Front. If we are going to model our future methods upon the lines which were necessary upon the Western Front during the War I do not hesitate to say that cavalry is of very little use.

The fact remains that the cavalry contributed less to the ultimate victory of the Allied arms on the Western Front than any other unit of the Allied forces, except perhaps the Army Veterinary Corps. I daresay some hon. Members will be disposed to challenge that, but I do not think they can do so consistently if they trace the career of the cavalry during those five years of war. After all, what did the cavalry do to further to any extent the ultimate victory of the Allied Armies? Of course, it is quite possible that, had the War gone on for any length of time, they might have shown up in their true colours; but I am only dealing now with what really did happen, and not with what might have happened. I have heard and read that the cavalry rendered very good and most valuable services during the retreat from Mons and Le Cateau. I do not know; I was not there. My first experience of seeing the cavalry was at the first Battle of Ypres, when they undoubtedly held the line extremely well, and suffered heavy casualties, but no better than their very much cheaper and more economical comrades the infantry. You must not forget that, from the point of view of that fighting, or of any other kind of fighting except shock tactics, a cavalry soldier is very uneconomical. He is very expensive in proportion to his infantry brother, and the cost per man is more than two and a half times as great. Except for shock tactics, a cavalry regiment can hardly put into the line as many men as an infantry company; in fact, two infantry battalions will practically put into the firing line as many men as a whole cavalry division.

The next appearance of the cavalry was at the second battle of Ypres, when they crammed their trenches with an unnecessary large number of men. I know perfectly well I held a subordinate position at the time, but I was informed of these things. We had been taken out of the line, as we understood, for a month's rest, and were sent up again after six days because we were told that the cavalry were making such a mess of it. That may be true or not. It may be only what may be called professional jealousy. The next appearance of the cavalry was coming up behind at the battle of Loos, where they were held up in readiness should the infantry break through. In fact, they were held in readiness during the whole time that the infantry were making attacks on the Somme and at Cambrai, with the idea that an opening was coming. At the battle of Cambrai, reading the official despatches, we are informed they were held up by an obstacle, a partially constructed canal, which they ought to have crossed. In fact, I think the only cavalry unit which distinguished itself on that occasion was a squadron of the Fort Garry Horse, irregular troops, which certainly at that time performed one of the finest feats the cavalry performed during the entire War.

It is not my intention to inflict any more of these reminiscences upon the House. In conclusion, I would like to say that the matter depends upon whether the Government are right or wrong in their forecast as to the lines on which the next war—should there be one—will be fought. If they think it is going to be fought on the lines of the campaign in Palestine or Mesopotamia, then, as I said before, they are quite wrong in taking action such as they have taken. If, on the other hand, they consider that the War will be fought out on the lines that it was fought on the Western Front, then there is not the slightest doubt that they are right in dispensing with the services of some of these very ornamental and also rather expensive cavalry regiments.

Brigadier-General WIGAN

I disagree with almost every word the last speaker has said with regard to the cavalry. Before dealing in some detail with what he said I should like to have a few words on the general question. The proposal is to abolish, not only four cavalry regiments, but 45 yeomanry regiments, and some 20 Indian cavalry regiments. The easiest form of economy for any Department or any Minister to come and announce to this House is that of abolishing so many fighting units. It may be the easiest form of economy, but so far as the power of the offensive of your Army goes it is certainly the worst. As the hon. and gallant Member opposite (Lieut.-Colonel Archer-Shee) said there are very many fields of economy in which you can practice without interfering with the efficiency of your Army. The hon. and gallant Member referred to our swollen Civil Service Estimates. If we turn to the staff of the Army a very large reduction could well be made without interfering with the efficiency of your fighting power. I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman if he can let us know what size the War Office staff is now as compared with 1914? Why is it necessary to have it three or four, or five times as large? Why is it necessary for the War Office to have 20 times the number of motor cars attached to it than before the War?

I heard, not lately, but a year ago, of an officer not very high up in the War Office driving about the park in a Government car and going for a ride in the morning on a Government charger. This is only very small, it may be said; but the extravagance and waste in the Army is in the larger commands, and the War Office leads the way. We saw in the last Estimate£250,000 of the taxpayers' money spent on a single-line of railway between the Suez Canal and Jerusalem, where we have some 3,000 troops. If Palestine or Egypt wants that railway, why cannot they pay for it? If that money was saved you could pay for two cavalry regiments without further cost to the British taxpayer. My right hon. Friend talks about economy. I think the House would feel more convinced if we were assured, when some minor extravagances are pointed out, that some real effort would be made to deal with them. Let me give an instance.

I asked a question some time ago as to why there were 14 major-generals and a large number of brigade commanders employed some 18 months and paid for commanding 14 territorial regiments and a large number of brigades which did not exist. I repeated the question. These officers were still being paid, and the divisions were still non-existent. I am told that the cost of these to the country for one year was£75,000. I asked the predecessor of the right hon. Gentleman why they were necessary. I was told they were employed in conferring with the War Office. I know some of these men. They were not living in their commands. One was in Scotland. Another was abroad, and this one admitted to me that they were not doing one hour's work per week. They were being paid£100 for doing one hour's work, and were not commanding anything. When that is pointed out to the War Office not the slightest notice is taken, and then they come to us and plead for economy in cutting down regiments.

Apart from economy I believe this decision has been given—allowing some of the minor aspects of it—from the experience of France. There you had an unprecedentedly protracted war on a huge scale, and it came down to trench war-fare. You had no flanks, that is to say, one flank rested on the sea and the other on a neutral country. Therefore, obviously in trench warfare, with no flanks, the action of cavalry, as cavalry, was restricted. But the right hon. Gentleman may be interested to know that a great many of the highest commanders consider that the cavalry very much more than pulled their weight as a mobile reserve. No other force you could have put in their place could possibly have fulfilled that function so admirably.

Colonel L. WARD

If that is so, why is it that whenever this mobile force has to be sent from one place to another, it is usually sent in motor omnibuses or lorries?

Brigadier-General WIGAN

I was not aware that that was the case. The shock tactics of cavalry are one of their most important functions. People say that aeroplanes will take the eyes and ears of the army in place of the cavalry, but I do not think you will find any responsible commanders agreeing with that view. Aeroplanes may take their place to a certain extent for distant reconnaissances, but no commander dare allow an aeroplane to cover his immediate advance. It is easy for an enemy to hide from an aeroplane where they could not do it from cavalry. Another function of cavalry is to push home a success, and to convert an enemy defeat into a run. There is no arm that can cover the retreat of one's own side like the cavalry. In the seizing of tactical positions no army can take the place of the cavalry. In the last advance to Damascus General Allenby had three corps, two infantry and one cavalry corps, and by having that cavalry corps, he was able to cut the line of retreat of the Turkish Army and so annihilate three Turkish Armies which led to the capitulation of the Turks, and materially hastened the Armistice with Germany.

I have tried to bring before the House very shortly a few reasons in regard to the value of cavalry, and what high commanders think of them, but if you are to abolish your cavalry regiments, I really think the War Office decision is wrong. You have got three Household Cavalry regiments. I have asked questions about them in the House, and I am fully aware of their fine traditions and efficiency, but you cannot get away from the fact that those regiments cost more than an ordinary line cavalry regiment, and the Secretary for War admitted that in answer to my question. The Household Cavalry spend two-thirds of their time in London. They are either at Knights-bridge, Regent's Park, or Windsor. I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman if he thinks London is a good place to train cavalry? With regard to the Household Cavalry, they are, as a rule, big men, and weigh more than the ordinary cavalry men. When I asked the Secretary for War whether he thought heavy men were as efficient as lighter men in the cavalry, he said that it was a debatable point. The hon. and gallant Member who proposed this Motion said that for every pound you put on the back of a horse you take a year off its life. A light Hussar would weigh about 10 stone 7 lbs., and would represent with equipment about 18 stone, whereas a Household cavalryman with equipment would represent about 23 stone. On the grounds of economy, training, and efficiency for war, I would like to ask why one of these three Household Cavalry regiments should not take the place of a line regiment, and why should one of them not be abolished or converted into a line cavalry regiment?

The previous speaker spoke about the training of the cavalry and the way they did their work, but you cannot improvise cavalry, and it takes three years to make an efficient cavalryman. You cannot rapidly train infantry, but when you have trained a cavalryman you can make him straight a way into an efficient infantryman, whereas you cannot take your infantryman and convert him into a cavalryman in so short a time. It was found during the War that the rank and file of the cavalry were more adaptable for machine guns and tanks than any other arm, and when you come to the higher commands, I think the cavalry found a greater proportion than any other arm of the whole Service.

In view of that it seems additionally surprising that you should decide to do away with 32 out of 42 yeomanry regiments. I am not going to underrate the splendid work the yeomanry did in the War, but the cost of 14 yeomanry regiments is only the same is one cavalry regiment. As you cannot train cavalry quickly, surely it is necessary to have some auxiliary cavalry beyond the ten you mean to keep. If that is so, I would point out that for the cost of one regular cavalry regiment you could maintain 14 yeomanry regiments. Therefore to maintain another division of yeomanry would be a true economy, and it would add to the efficiency of the Army. Lastly I would submit that the best people to judge as to the policy of the Government in reducing the cavalry units, whether regular yeomanry or Indian cavalry, are those who have held the highest commands in the field. For this reason I should like to ask the Secretary for War if he will say whether before coming to this decision he consulted our greatest commanders, Lord Haig and Lord Allenby.

Lieut.-Colonel D. WHITE

I wish very briefly to support those who have spoken in favour of the Motion. When the right hon. Gentleman made his statement in March, I listened to it with a considerable amount of sympathy, because I knew the incessant cry there was for economy and I was aware of the pressure which was put upon him and on the Army Council to produce some reduction in the Army Estimates. I admit that I was not at the moment fully seized of the staggering reduction which was proposed in the mounted arm, not only in the cavalry and yeomanry, but even more so in the Indian Army, and I must confess that I think these reductions, coming together and at once, approach very nearly the danger line. The hon. Member for the Wrekin Division (Sir C. Townshend) spoke of the advantages which cavalry afford in winning a battle. They not only aid in winning battles but what is even more important, they help in avoiding battles and consequently in avoiding loss of human life. The South African war has been alluded to by the hon. Member for Brigg (Lieut.-Colonel McLean) and though, of course, South Africa, as compared with the Great War, was comparatively nothing, still I think we must visualise the situation as it stood at that time. When Lord Methuen started on his Western advance he had to fight the battles of Modder River and Maggersfontein, and I have seen a letter he wrote just after Maggersfontein in which he complained of having had with him only one cavalry regiment, the 9th Lancers, which by constant scouting and patrolling was so worn out that they could barely go beyond a walk, and he added that if he had only had three cavalry regiments he might have outflanked the enemy both at Modder Eiver and Maggersfontein. These battles were very costly in the matter of casualties, and that is a thing we ought to remember.

The War Office, and indeed the Army generally, are much too inclined always to run at a tangent and to be guided by the experience of the last War. They said that nothing but what happened in the South African War would ever occur again, and, later on, they declared that nothing but what happened on the Western Front could ever happen again. I think it is exceedingly possible that in the future we may have campaigns of something in the nature of the South African War or the Egyptian Campaign, where mounted troops would be af great value and tanks could not be used. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be inclined to deal with this matter in a spirit of compromise. That spirit is very much in the air at the present moment. We find it mentioned in the papers every morning in connection with various great disputes, and I would ask him to consider whether, instead of abolishing all four cavalry regiments, he cannot see his way to abolish only two, and those the two junior regiments, which would go far to meet some of the objections which many of us entertain to the scheme.

10.0 P.M.


I rise on behalf of those with whom I am associated on these Benches to offer our support to the Government, and to the Secretary of State for War, in resisting the principle contained in this Motion. We offer a vigorous opposition on principle to any departure being made, because we feel that no one has talked more to other people than have the representatives of this nation upon the absolute and imperative necessity of reducing the burden of our present armaments. Unless we carry that out in the policy laid down by the Minister for War we shall be told that we have been talking with our tongues in our cheeks, that our professions were false, and that we were full of insincerity. We have throughout the land declared that our forces should be reduced to the lowest possible minimum. I am in entire disagreement with the hon. and gallant Member who moved the Motion as to the results obtained, at any rate on the Western Front, in the last War. I was a witness, unfortunately, of the failure of our cavalry at Cambrai and in other places. Of course, the fiascos which were brought about were undoubtedly due to the change in the method of warfare carried on on that front. I do not claim to be any authority on military matters, but I can honestly say that if the war on the West ern Front proved anything it demonstrated beyond all doubt the utter futility of cavalry being employed in modern warfare. We shall have in future to depend as far as we can upon new machinery, on new explosives, and on science, and I do not think there will be the scope for cavalry in the future that there has been in the past. We know that they are very ornamental and pleasing to see on parade, but we hope the Government will not agree to this motion, because if it does it will have no real answer to the charge with regard to our excessive expenditure. One despairs of the attempts made from time to time in relation to the spending of money. We know our exchanges have tumbled down, and that our export trade has come almost to a standstill. We know for a certainty that the, next Budget will be a startling revelation to all of us. We are at the present moment living under a £1,200,000,000 Budget, and I do trust that the majority of this House, by their votes, will convey the view that we must do everything possible to reduce expenditure in this direction.

Colonel BURN

As one who has served all his life in the cavalry, I wish to add my voice in support of this Motion. If we are going to reduce our already very small force of cavalry, it is well we should know on what ground the reduction is going to be made, and if it is going to be on grounds of economy or an grounds of utility. If the former, how much are we going to save by wiping out these four regiments, the yeomanry, and the native cavalry regiments in India? If it is on the ground of utility, is all the organisation of our Army for the future to be based on the experience of the Great War? It is very unsafe, when you have already a comparatively small body of cavalry, to break up historic regiments which have done splendid service ever since they were first raised. You wipe them entirely out of the British Army. You do not keep so much as even a cadre. If you did, it might be possible to form a regiment comparatively easily, but if the regiment entirely disappears, and you have to begin again and form it from the very foundation, I know from my own experience the difficulty and the great expense that are entailed. I had the honour of raising a regiment for service in South Africa, and when I did so I had the advantage of the depots of four of the Scottish yeomanry regiments. That made my task very much easier, and the regiment, when formed, by its service in the South African War more than justified itself. On my return home, I raised, at the request of the War Office, a new regiment of yeomanry, the Westminster Dragoons. That regiment I raised from the very foundation. Indeed, I was the regiment, and from myself I had to form everything: and I know the extraordinary amount of time, trouble, and expenditure that has to be put into it before you can make a regiment efficient.

You are going to do away with some 30 or more of the yeomanry regiments of this country. The cost of those yeomanry regiments is comparatively small, and I maintain, in regard to them and the four cavalry regiments, that it is more than possible to save in other direetions, so that the taxpayer shall not be burdened by their remaining in the Army List of this country. I should like to know if a report has been sent in by the military attaches at the capitals of the Continental nations. Does my right hon. Friend know what is being done regarding reduction in France, Germany, Italy, and the other Continental countries, remembering always that the British cavalry regiment is a very small unit when compared with the cavalry unit of the Continental nations? Anyone who has had experience with cavalry knows that it cannot be improvised, and I think that we ought to a certain extent to be guided by what Continental nations are doing. But we, with our world-wide responsibilities, have a different task from any Continental nation. From my experience of India, extending over a period of 10 years, I am certain that no other country is more suited by its features to the action of cavalry, and the upkeep of cavalry in that country is far less expensive than in Europe. The natives are natural riders, and in all minor campaigns, as, for instance, in Egypt and Mesopotamia, cavalry has proved and always will prove itself to be invaluable. We know that mechanical transport is coming very much to the front, and that great improvements are being made each year, but, in the scouting work that is necessary in every open country, no tank can do what cavalry can do—no tank can be as mobile as cavalry, nor can the examination of any locality be made in the same way by a tank as it can by cavalry. Those are points which are very strongly in favour of the retention of cavalry. Experience has proved that British cavalry is the most highly trained arm in the world. An hon. and gallant Gentleman just now spoke of cavalry in a very derogatory tone, but he can have known very little about the part played by the British cavalry in the early days of the War after the retreat from Mons. Had it not been for the part played by the British cavalry in those days, the tale now would have been a very different one. It is very galling to me to hear any hon. Gentleman, knowing practically nothing about cavalry, run it down and base his remarks on something that he has been told or has heard casually.


If that remark refers to me, I should like to point out that I was present there, and that I said that I knew very little about cavalry or about military matters generally.

Colonel BURN

I was not referring to the hon. and gallant Member, but to an hon. Gentleman below the gangway who is no longer in the House. If the hon. and gallant Member feels that the cap fits, I am afraid he must have a guilty conscience. Then there is another rôle in which cavalry has always proved invaluable, and that is when it is necessary to call in troops in the event of civil strife. Our body of cavalry is small enough at present, and is spread very widely. There are a certain number of regiments in our own country, and others in India and South Africa. The number of cavalry that we retain in England, Scotland, and Ireland is comparatively small, and the regiments are placed more or less stategically. 'It will be a very great pity if that force is made less than it is. Cavalry is necessary for the duties we have to perform in various parts of the Empire, and the name of the British cavalry stands high. The behaviour of the British cavalryman, wherever he may be, has always been, on the whole, very satisfactory. Whatever task our cavalry has had to perform has always been well done, and I know that the strongest advocate of our cavalry is the former Commander-in-Chief in France, Lord Haig. I appeal to my right hon. Friend to consider once, twice, and thrice before these regiments are once and for all wiped out. Can he not leave a cadre of each regiment so that in case of necessity the regiment can be formed with comparative rapidity? As long as you have a cadre, it is not such a difficult matter to form the regiment. You have something to start with. But if you extinguish the regiment altogether, it is a very different affair. When you choose the regiments that are to be wiped out, why do you take a very old historic regiment, whtin another might certainly be taken in its place? When my hon. and learned Friend (Sir John Butcher) moves his Amendment for the rejection of the 5th Lancers, I should like very strongly to support him.


I should not have risen but for what I consider one of the most unfortunate remarks ever made in this House by the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Lieut.-Colonel Archer-Shee), who said cavalry required more intellect than any other portion of the British Army. I repudiate that remark with all the Parliamentary language you, Sir, would allow me to use if I dared say what I would like to say about it. I held a commission in the Royal Engineers, and I have yet to learn that the Royal Engineers do not require as much intellect as the cavalry, and I have yet to learn that the infantry do not require as much intellect as the cavalry, because there is no body of officers and men who suffered more in the War and had to bear the brunt of it more than the infantry, and I repudiate with everything that is in me that the cavalry require more intellect than the infantry. A great many of the cavalry regiments were turned into infantry in the War, because cavalry were found to be of no use. My hon. Friends go back to Waterloo and the South African War, but there is no comparison. The place of cavalry has to-day very largely been taken by aeroplanes and science, and new inventions have taught us that the cavalry cannot be of the same use. They could not be of use in the War because of the trenches. It is an insult to the Service that the hon. and gallant Gentleman should say the cavalry require more intellect than any other arm of the British Service.

Colonel Sir A. SPROT

The decision which apparently has been arrived at by the Army Council to reduce four of our historic cavalry regiments, in addition to the large reductions in the same arm which are proposed both in India and in the yeomanry, is a very serious one. We must give the Army Council credit for having well considered the matter, but I think the House of Commons also has a right to examine the question, and to come to some decision upon the point. There are two reasons that are given. The first is economy. I am all for economy, but what is the amount of economy that is going to be effected? It means a saving of £400,000 a year. Due hon. and gallant Member spoke about a Budget of £1,200,000,000. What is a saving of £400,000 a year out of a Budget of £1,200,000,000? It would not carry us very far in the way of economy. Other hon. Members have pointed out many other ways in which a similar or even a much greater economy could easily be effected by the Government. Some pointed to the Civil Service and some pointed to the staff. I can make a slight suggestion without going very far from the subject with which we are dealing to-night. Great economy could be effected in the Remount Department. If you compare the cost of the Remount Department at the present time with what it was before the War, you will find that the cost has considerably more than doubled. It employs a large number of officers at a very high rate of pay, and most of them are retired officers in receipt of pension, so that their services could easily be dispensed with without reducing them to abject poverty. The cost of the Remount Department to-day is, I believe, double the saving proposed to be effected by the abolition of these four cavalry regiments.

I suggest that in dealing with remount matters we ought to make more use than we have hitherto done of the Veterinary Department. I saw during the War in France large veterinary hospitals accommodating 5,000 sick horses. Some of these horses became fit; but they were not sent out to the front from the veterinary hospitals. They had to be marched or conveyed by train to the Remount Department some miles in the rear, where there was another set of officers to look after them and feed them for a considerable time, and then from the Remount Department they were sent up to the front when they were wanted. My suggestion is, and I believe it has been made at the War Office, that if there was more co-operation between the Remount Department and the Veterinary Department a great deal of saving in war time, and probably in peace time, could probably be effected.

So much for economy. I will pass to the reason that has been given with respect to the disbanding of these cavalry regiments, namely, that the mounted branches are not so useful nowadays as they used to be and that these regiments can be more easily spared than other parts of the Service. There is no saying what sort of war we are going to be in for next. Our Empire is very large and we have very many vulnerable points. I suppose the argument which will be put forward by the Army Council will be something like this: "We intend to provide 6 Infantry Divisions, 14 Territorial Divisions, and 2 Cavalry Divisions, and these 4 Cavalry Regiments which we propose to abolish do not fit in with that scheme in any conceivable way" For what reason is that particular sealed pattern force kept up? For what possible war could such a force as that be required in the future? If you had a war anything resembling the last war you would require a great deal more than these divisions, whereas we might have many small expeditions for which this particular form of force might not fit in. We cannot say what form the next campaign is likely to take nor can we tell what will be the class of country in which it is to take place nor the style of fighting in which we shall be engaged. In these circumstances it is a great pity to abolish any unit of the present force.

The mounted branches, I submit, are of the greatest possible importance, as every trained and instructed soldier will be ready to agree. I deprecate entirely the throwing of reflections from one branch of the Service to the other. Members of one branch should recognise the usefulness, traditions, bravery, and skill of the other branches. Let us all do our duty in the branch to which we belong. Those who belong to the mounted branch have never taken part in any criticism with regard to the performance of the infantry or any other branch of the Service. We should look at the matter from the purely utilitarian point of view. I was pleased to hear in the last debate on the subject the very strong and thoughtful speech by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ilkeston (Major-General Seely). He gave the greatest credit to the utility in the future of the mounted branches. You must not look on the cavalryman as making charges such as you see depicted in the illustrated London papers. He must be prepared for that sort of thing, but he must be prepared to give up other things as well, and he is able to do them. For instance, he is able to fight on foot and to act as mounted infantry just as well as the best of mounted infantry, and he has frequently done so. The chief weapon of the mounted forces is their mobility. They can be taken up and applied at any points, and it is necessary to have them, as every instructed soldier knows.

I may refer to what happened at the outset of the South African War, to which an hon. and gallant Member has already alluded. Lord Methuen's force consisted of the very finest troops which we could send out from this country. He had the Guards Division and the Highland Brigade and many other distinguished regiments, but he had only one cavalry regiment. His mission was to relieve Kimberley. In three months he fought three or four very tough battles with the Boers, but he finally came to such a pass that he could no longer advance. Lord Roberts went out and reorganised the plan of campaign. General French's cavalry division was assembled at the Modder River, and in four days, and with very small losses indeed, that cavalry division effected the relief of Kimberley, and two or three days afterwards stopped Kronje in his retreat to Bloemfontein, and held them there until the infantry came up and surrounded him and finally made him surrender. If we follow that campaign we find that there were many other occasions on which the cavalry, the mounted forces, showed their extreme utility. How are we going to know that we shall not have a similar campaign in open country in the near future? If we refer to the Great War we recall that a great deal has been said about the good work done by the cavalry. During the retreat from Mons they covered our flank all the way under the direction of Lord Allenby, and I have always heard my friends in the British cavalry say that they had the greatest contempt for the German cavalry whenever there was occasion to meet them. It has already been said that at the first Battle of Ypres, the cavalry came up mounted—they got there on their horses that time and were not conveyed by lorries—and they defended the line about Messines and Wyschaete, and were the only line which at one time stood between the Germans and defeat.

That sort of warfare was, of course, unfavourable for the use of the cavalry. It was exceptional in that there were no flanks. Trench warfare is no novelty. If you read the history of Marlborough's wars you will find they had trench warfare and bombs and so forth very much the same in those days. But the characteristic of the Western Front in the Great War was that there was no flank. One flank rested on the sea and the other on Switzerland. There were, therefore, no opportunities for the cavalry. It was practically a siege, and you do not expect cavalry to do much in a siege. The mistake made by our commanders was that they were too anxious to push the cavalry through. You could not expect to do that unless you had a very wide and very deep break-through of the enemy's lines, because naturally the Germans would have more than one line of trench which it would be necessary to surmount. The cavalry were used all through that part of the campaign as a mobile reserve, and their utility in that capacity has been acknowledged by all the Generals under whom they served. When the German break-through took place in March, 1918, our infantry—one cannot blame them—were driven back by overwhelming numbers, and having been a long time stationary in the trenches they were unable to manoeuvre as trained troops should have done. The cavalry was moved up, and formed a very useful support and rallying point for our retiring infantry. I would like to read to the House a few words from Earl Haig's despatch dealing with that particular matter. He said on 24th March, 1918: Throughout the whole of the fighting in this area very gallant work was done, both mounted and dismounted, by units of the Second and Third Cavalry Divisions in support of our own and the French infantry. The work of the mounted troops in particular was invaluable, demonstrating in marked fashion the importance of the part which cavalry have still to play in modern war. Without the assistance of mounted troops, skilfully handled and gallantly led, the enemy could scarcely have been prevented from breaking through the long and thinly held front before fresh reinforcements had time to arrive. That is the opinion of Lord Haig upon the matter. We ought to consider the campaign as a whole. I do not wish to go into-the question of the Eastern or Western fronts; that is too big a question for me. We ought to look upon the whole as one single line extending from the English Channel, along the North of Italy, through the Balkans, and so on to Mesopotamia. It was practically one continuous line, and it was our object to break through somewhere. I am reminded of the saying of the American general, Sheridan, when he stood alongside General Buller at Oolenso. He said, "Say, General, ain't there some way round?" For years we attempted unsuccessfully to break through, and finally we did break through; but where did we break through first? The first and most important break-through was that effected by Lord Allenby in Palestine, and the mounted troops enabled him to attain that wonderful success by which he crumpled up the Turkish Army.

I have said enough to show that the mounted arm is of importance, and it behoves the Army Council to think, not once nor twice, but many times, before it comes to such a decision as is, apparently, in contemplation. When the last Debate on this subject took place I was upstairs attending to some Scottish business, so I did not hear the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, and when I came into the House I was unaware of what had happened, but I heard hon. Members talking about a reduction in cavalry regiments. I did not know, what had happened, but terrible misappre hensions entered my mind. I wondered could it be possible that the distinguished old regiment, in which I had the honour to serve for some time, was one of those selected for disbandment. I made inquiries, and was glad to find there was no danger of that, but from my feelings at that moment I can realise the feelings of those who are now connected, or have been at any time connected, with those regiments unfortunate enough to be included in this proposal. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider this matter if he possibly can. I ask him to take up the suggestion that if it is necessary really to effect some economy in this line, he should keep alive the names and the cadres of these regiments in the Army List, because we have often seen regiments and battalions reduced, and we have after a short time seen them raised again. The time may very shortly come when the country will desire to reincorporate these regiments.

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Sir Laming Worthington-Evans)

This Motion has given rise to a most interesting Debate. My hon. and gallant Friend (Sir K. Fraser), who moved it in a very entertaining and forceful speech, has set me a task which I shall endeavour to fulfil. I am handicapped in some ways, because unlike so many hon. and gallant Members who have taken part in this Debate, I have not had the fortune to be in a cavalry regiment, but I shall endeavour to justify my opposition to the Motion, not by criticising the work of the cavalry or by running them down in any sense. I have far too high an opinion of their past and their future services to attempt to justify my opposition on that ground, but I shall oppose the Motion, and on two grounds—on the ground of policy, due to the lessons of the War, and on the ground of economy. First of all, let me take the lessons of the War. I am very far from suggesting that the War has proved that cavalry will not be required in the future, but we have not got an unlimited sum to spend, and it is our duty to spend it in such a way that the fighting forces of the country, taken as a whole, shall be as strong as they can possibly be for the expenditure which is devoted to them.

Let me first deal in a very few words with the question of the reduction of the yeomanry. A reduction of yeomanry from cavalry is being carried out, it is true, but that reduction is being made largely by the conversion of the yeomanry regiments into artillery. Can anybody say that artillery is not as much required—I will put it no higher than that for the moment—as is yeomanry cavalry? I have not the slightest doubt that the real answer is that the artillery is even more required and even more necessary to be strengthened than the yeomanry cavalry regiments. Hon. and gallant Members have spoken as if it was proposed to abolish the cavalry altogether. That is not the proposal. The proposal is to reduce them from 31 to 27 regiments, or a reduction of four regiments. The War, as I am advised—I speak as a layman, but on the other hand, I am blessed with very learned and experienced advisers—has proved the vulnerability of cavalry through machine guns and through air forces to such an extent that this is certain, that there will be occasions in the future where cavalry cannot be used because of the machine guns and the air forces, and if you want to get the same amount of force you have got to choose some other arm, some mechanical means, which will be better protected against these particular forms of attack, and so it is intended, not to reduce the general mobility of the Army, as has been suggested, but to replace the four cavalry regiments by other mobile forces, namely, tanks and armoured motor-cars. There is, therefore, no refusal to realise the real lesson of the War, that the Army should be mobile, but what is happening is that a different form of mobility is being chosen because of the lesson of the War, namely, the increased vulnerability of the cavalry.

My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Torquay (Colonel Burn) said we might be guided to some extent by Continental examples. If that test is applied—and I have no objection to applying it—we find that, whereas we are reducing our regular cavalry by something under 13 per cent., France is reducing hers by just under 30 per cent., and Italy is reducing hers by just about 20 per cent. So that we are, in fact, not going to the full extent that either France or Italy is going. That, I agree, is not conclusive, because the requirements of our Army are not on all fours with either France or Italy. I do not want to put it too high. We may be engaged in a class of warfare for which neither Italy nor France may need to provide, and for which it is; essential for us to provide, and that may well account for the difference in the amount of the reductions that are being, made. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Finsbury (Lieut.-Colonel Archer-Shee), keen advocate though he is for the cavalry—and who wonders? His distinguished connection with a very distinguished regiment, which is one of those doomed, would excuse much greater warmth of language than he thought it necessary to use to-day—he had to admit in an aside that large numbers of the cavalry were used as infantry during the War, and he very properly praised them. But used how? As infantrymen in the trenches, and he rightly claimed that they made fine soldiers on foot. Yes, but they were not being used as cavalry, and they had had to go through that long and expensive training which would have provided two, or even three, infantrymen at the same cost.

Lieut.-Colonel ARCHER-SHEE

That was for a Continental war.


I hope I have not over-stated it, but I was really quoting what my hon. and gallant Friend said. I agree it was for a Continental war, and I admit that that is not the only war for which we have got to provide. I hope I have made it quite clear that this policy is not based upon any idea of belittling the enormous services that the cavalry officer and man have rendered, not only during the last War, but during all history. It is not based upon that at all. It is based upon other considerations. It has been also stated that this economy which is proposed is, after all, only £400,000, or 6 per cent, of the total expenditure on the Army, and that this is a false economy, and that savings ought to be made in other directions. It is noticeable that economy is never right in the particular arm or the particular object that we have most at heart. It must be so. You could not expect the mounted arms to be willing to admit that they should be reduced even by £400,000. It is suggested that the same amount might be saved in other directions. My hon. and gallant Friend opposite suggested that motor cars were extravagantly used. He quoted a case—I am glad to say it was a year ago—where some officer of not very high rank drove about in a Government motor car, and went on a Government horse for a ride in the Park. If that were ever done, it certainly has not been done in recent months, and I should have doubted whether it had even been done as recently as a year ago. The most rigid economy has been enforced, and is practised day by day now, and such an incident as he quoted could not now obtain.

Another hon. and gallant Gentleman said, "Look at remounts, there you are spending £800,000 a year." The figure surprised me. I cannot carry in my mind what the actual cost of remounts is, but, certainly, that shall be looked into. During the course of this Debate I have noted a good many very useful suggestions where inquiry may be made and, perhaps, economy effected. Undoubtedly, we will do that, but that is no reason why, if policy dictates that it is possible to save £400,000 upon cavalry, that that saving itself should not be made. The other question about which my hon. and gallant Friend waxed very warm was, the choice of the regiments. I hope he will sympathise with me—

Brigadier-General WIGAN

I do.


It is invidious enough to have to make such a choice at any time and to have to carry through the destruction of honourable and ancient regiments; but it is worse still that there should be a controversy as to which regiments should be retained and which should go. Let me repeat the principle upon which we are acting. It is necessary to reduce two Hussar regiments and two Lancer regiments. I will come to the question of linking up in a moment, but let me deal with the thing in my own way. There is no question about which of the two Hussar regiments it must be—the 19th and 20th. The dispute arises over the Lancer regiments, but can it really be said that the 21st and 5th are not the two junior regiments?


Yes, certainly.


The hon. Baronet thinks that they are not the two junior regiments?


Most certainly; Lancer regiments, no.


That is what I wanted to know. I know what the argument of the hon. Baronet is, that these are not the four junior cavalry regiments, but that is not the point I am dealing with at the moment.


From one point of view, which was fully expressed by my hon. and gallant Friend behind me, the 5th Lancers are the senior Lancer regiment in the Service.


I would like to deal with it, because I think on proper consideration that cannot be claimed. The 5th Lancer Regiment, as I stated during the Estimates Debate, were re-raised in 1858. There might be some controversy as to what the effect of that Order, to which my hon. and gallant Friend referred, was, but there can be no doubt that they were re-raised, and the establishment started as from 3rd February, 1858. They were not in the Army List for 59 years; there was a gap in their history for 59 years. I do not want to refer to the gap except to state that they did not exist as a regiment for 59 years, and if you take the time of continuous service from the re-raising, they are clearly, next to the 21st Lancers, the junior of the Lancer regiments.

I believe the four regiments that have been chosen are the right ones—the two junior Hussar regiments and the two junior Lancer regiments. The hon. and gallant Member says "Why do you make it two Lancer regiments and two Hussar regiments? Why not three Hussar regiments and one Lancer regiment?" It has been suggested that if that were done it would be perfectly easy to convert one of the other regiments into a Hussar regiment in order to get equality. I want to deal with that argument. It is not nearly so easy to do as hon. and gallant Members seem to think. As they know, reinforcements for cavalry regiments abroad are, and have to be, trained in the similar regiments at home. For that reason there is the linking system in the cavalry regiments. The difficulty of converting a Hussar into a Lancer regiment it is not merely that of the consent of officers and men; you have to remember that you will be affecting five regiments instead of four if that course were followed. It is not only that you have to reclothe them: the difficulty is greater than that. The Lancers are a corps and the Hussars are a corps. These enlist into the corps, and we sent the men of one Lancer regiment into another; not out of a Lancer corps into a Hussar regiment. I am not talking of war-time, but of peace time, and whether the proposal made by the hon. and gallant Gentleman is feasible or practical, I am afraid hon. and gallant Gentlemen have not realised the difficulty of converting an Hussar regiment into a Lancer regiment and vice versa. They must admit that we have got to continue the linking system, and that if one cavalry regiment is likely to be abroad we must keep equality of lancers and hussars, and conversion of the one into the other is fraught with the greatest difficulty.


Was not the 21st Lancers converted from Hussars into Lancers quite recently?


No, not quite recently, twenty odd years ago, I think it was. But it does not affect the point. There are not only the difficulties of the serving men but of the reserves. There are the reserves of a corps, and they can only be called up for the purpose of serving in the corps. On the question of the choice of regiments there is, I think, no dispute. If you take the date of re-raising the 5th Lancers and the 21st Lancers they are the junior lancer regiments; and there is no question that the 19th and 20th Hussars are the junior regiments. I am going now to give my

hon. and gallant Friend an opportunity of correcting a sentence that I am sure he would wish to do. He said there was some officer in the War Office connected with the 18th Hussars. I am here to answer for the War Office. My hon. And gallant Friend cannot wish to throw any blame upon any officer in the War Office who is not here to defend himself—


I would do the same.


I am perfectly certain my hon. and gallant Friend would wish to withdraw—


If I were in the same position I would do the same.


I am afraid my hon. and gallant Friend has less than his usual forbearance. He is entitled to attack me, but not junior officers in the War Office, who are not able to answer for themselves. These two regiments of Lancers and Hussars have been fairly selected. Much as we regret the necessity; much as I regret the necessity for reducing regiments with such a distinguished history, officered by such gallant officers, and with good, gallant men in their ranks, it has to be done, and because of that I am unable to accept the Motion.

Sir K. FRASER rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put;" but Mr. Speaker withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.

Question put, That, in the opinion of this House, the proposal to reduce the Mobile Forces of the Crown, and especially the disbandment of four British cavalry regiments, is contrary to the experience gained in the late War and inimical to the best interests of the defence of the Empire

The House divided: Ayes, 34; Noes,143.

Division No. 81.] AYES. [11.0 p.m.
Ainsworth, Captain Charles Hopkins, John W. W. Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)
Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel-Martin Lort-Williams, J. Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Lyle-Samuel, Alexander Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.
Barker, Major Robert H. M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W. Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.
Barnett, Major R. W. Macquisten, F. A. Wheler, Lieut.-Colonel C. H.
Brown, Captain D. C. Meysey-Thompson, Lieut.-Col. E. C. White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)
Butcher, Sir John George Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J. Wigan, Brig.-Gen. John Tyson
Farquharson, Major A. C. Morden, Lieut.-Col. W. Grant Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
Goff, Sir R. Park Moreing, Captain Algernon H.
Gretton, Colonel John Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Gritten, W. G. Howard Pickering, Lieut.-Colonel Emil W. Major-General Townshend and
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmond Sir Keith Fraser.
Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston) Scott, Sir Samuel (St. Marylebone)
Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Rankin, Captain James S.
Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N.
Armitage, Robert Hayday, Arthur Remer, J. R.
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W. Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)
Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.) Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)
Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes) Hinds, John Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Betterton, Henry B. Hirst, G. H. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bigland, Alfred Hodge, Rt. Hon. John Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.
Breese, Major Charles E. Hood, Joseph Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Brittain, Sir Harry Howard, Major S. G. Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Bruton, Sir James James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Shortt, Rt. Hon E. (N'castle-on-T.)
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A. Jameson, J. Gordon Sitch, Charles H.
Cairns, John Jephcott, A. R. Smith, Sir Harold (Warrington)
Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield) Jodrell, Neville Paul Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)
Casey, T. w. Johnson, Sir Stanley Stanier, Captain Sir Beville
Chilcot, Lieut.-Com. Harry W. Johnstone, Joseph Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)
Churchman, Sir Arthur Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Sturrock, J. Leng
Clough, Robert Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly) Sugden, W. H.
Cobb, Sir Cyril Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M. Sutherland, Sir William
Conway, Sir W. Martin Kenyon, Barnet Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)
Coote, Colin Reith (isle of Ely) Kidd, James Thomas-Stanford, Charles
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Kiley, James D. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Cowan, Sir W. (Aberdeen and Kinc.) King, Captain Henry Douglas Thorpe, Captain John Henry
Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe) Kinloch-Cooke. Sir Clement Tryon, Major George Clement
Davies, Thomas (Cirencester) Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales) Turton, E. R.
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick) Lister, Sir R. Ashton Waddington, R.
Edge, Captain William Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n) Wallace, J.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwelity) Lynn, R. J. Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)
Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South) Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie) Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.
Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark) Mallalieu, F. W. Weston, Colonel John W.
Entwistle, Major C. F. Marriott, John Arthur Ransome Whitla, Sir William
Evans, Ernest Matthews, David Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)
Ford, Patrick Johnston Mills, John Edmund Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)
Forrest, Walter Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Williams, Col. Sir R. (Dorset, W.)
Galbraith, Samuel Morgan, Major D. Watts Wilson, James (Dudley)
Gardiner, James Morison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbrdge)
Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham Mosley, Oswald Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)
Gillis, William Murchison, C. K. Wintringham, T.
Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross) Wise, Frederick
Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne) Neal, Arthur Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Greenwood, William (Stockport) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Yeo, Sir Alfred William
Gregory, Holman Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G. Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)
Greig, Colonel James William Oman, Sir Charles William C. Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Grundy, T. W. Parker, James
Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E. Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry Mr. McCurdy and Colonel Leslie
Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Pollock, Sir Ernest M. Wilson.
Hailwood, Augustine

Question put, and agreed to.