HL Deb 02 July 1907 vol 177 cc497-9

My Lords, I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for War—(1) What is the form of attestation to be signed by a Militiaman of each branch of the service on his transfer from the Militia to the Army Reserve as proposed by the Territorial and Reserve Forces Bill? (2) Is it proposed to give any bounty to the Militiamen to induce them to transfer to the 3rd and 4th battalions? (3) What is to be the pay, bounty, and allowances of the Militiamen when transferred to the Army Reserve under the Bill? (4) What is to be the rate of pay of the recruits joining the proposed new 3rd and 4th battalions? (5) Is it proposed that the arrangements now applying to the Militia as regards clothing should be continued to the new 3rd and 4th battalions? (6) Will the Militia non commissioned officers who transfer to the 3rd and 4th battalions when called upon to servo with the Regular line battalions, 1st and 2nd, be allowed to retain their rank 1 (7) On what terms will a Militia man who has transferred to the new 3rd and 4th battalions be allowed to purchase his discharge from the Army? (8) If any bounty is given to a Militiaman to transfer to the new 3rd and 4th battalions will he be required to refund such bounty on joining the Colours? (9) Will Militiamen now serving who elect to remain under the Militia Act of 1882 until time expired, and who are not called up for training, receive non-training bounty? and (10) Will Militiamen now serving be allowed to take their discharge free if they decide not to join the new 3rd and 4th battalions or the Territorial Army?


My Lords, the Answers to the ten Questions put to me by the noble Duke are as follows:—(1) An attestation form has been drawn up, to be signed by a Militia man of each branch on his transfer from the Militia to the Special Reserve. (2) It is our intention to offer a bonus of £2 to every Militiaman of over one year's service who is permitted and agrees to transfer. (3) We propose that (a) the pay and allowances shall be as at present for Militia; (b) the bounties will be rather less than at present, in view of the shorter annual training; they will amount to £4 instead of £4 10s. (4) The rate of pay will be as now for Militia recruits. (5) The issues of clothing are at present under consideration. (6) Yes. (7) This Question involves numerous and complicated details which have not yet been finally settled. (8) Men who receive a bounty to transfer to the Special Contingent will-not be allowed to join the Regulars within one year without refunding the bounty.(9) Yes. (10) Yes.


Might I ask the noble Earl whether the attestation paper is sufficiently ready, so that we may be able to see it?


The reason I have not been able to give the form is that it is not yet complete, but as soon as it is ready I shall be very glad to lay it on the Table.


My Lords, in reference to the reply of the noble Earl the Under-Secretary to Question No. 2, dealing with the bounty which it is pro posed to offer to Militiamen, might I ask him whether the Government have considered that under the present rates of pay the Militia is largely short of its establishment, and that the £2 bounty proposed to be given on one occasion only to induce the Militia to undertake very grave additional duties is out of all pro portion to what has been given in the past; and whether His Majesty's Government have any reason to think that the £2 bounty will be sufficient to obtain the men whom we all desire should be obtained.

[No Answer was returned.]