HC Deb 10 July 1923 vol 166 cc1156-7
21. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War the ration and bayonet strengths of the French Colonial Army before the War and at the present time; whether he can give the approximate present numbers of trained native soldiers which can be mobilised by the French Government: and whether he has information of preparations being made to largely increase the number of native troops in the French Colonial Empire?

Lieut. - Colonel GUINNESS

The approximate ration and bayonet strengths in question before the War were 135,000 and 90,000 respectively, and the present strengths are one or two thousand less in each case. The numbers mobilised during the War were 475,000, and the total now available for mobilisation in similar circumstances is probably about the same. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

What does the right hon. Gentleman understand by native troops in this case? Does he base his answer on Moroccan troops, or only on coloured troops from French colonies in Africa?