§ Mr. TOMKINSON
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the Cheshire Royal Engineers (Railway Battalion), which a few years ago, under the old Volunteer system, consisted of six companies numbering 700 men, with railway reserves, numbers, now 213 officers and men only; why recruiting has been stopped; and whether, in view of the useful service rendered by that body in railway engineering in the South African war, he will allow the battalion to be recruited up to its former strength?
§ Mr. HALDANE:
The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. Recruiting has been stopped pending a decision being come to as to the most suitable method of raising and training troops intended for purely railway work. It is not, therefore, possible at the present time to permit this battalion to recruit up to its former strength. It may be added that the Army Council is well aware of and fully appreciates the useful service rendered by the section of the battalion which went to South Africa.