HC Deb 28 November 1927 vol 211 cc30-1
47. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Prime Minister if he can give the comparative total figures, before the War and now, of the number of the officers and men in the armed forces of the European nations, including the navies, armies, and air forces, and including the reserves?


I do not think I can do better than refer the hon. and gallant Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Rennie Smith) on the 22nd November. An answer to a question of this kind which may be interpreted in more than one sense is apt to be misleading and the information as regards reserves is not generally available.

Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT

Would it be possible to get out a return showing the number of armed men, in proportion to population, in the British Empire and in the various other countries of the world; and would such a return not show that the British Empire has fewer armed men, proportionately, than any other country in the world?


My hon. and gallant friend must recognise the difficulty that lies on the threshold of such an inquiry. What is the definition of "an armed man"? That is one of the difficulties of answering this question.