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Army—Strength Of The British Army—Question

Volume 203: debated on Monday 1 August 1870

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said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, If he will state the strength of the British Army at the present time, including that portion of it serving in India—the number being, according to the Estimates presented in February last, 178,000 men?

Sir, including all ranks on the 1st of July the whole Army, including the regiments in India and their depôts, was below the numbers given in the Estimates 2,590 men. This deficiency arises entirely on the regiments in India and their depôts, and is not extraordinary, but due to well-understood arrangements, under which—Firstly, the regiments in India about to return home do not receive any draft to make up their casualties within a period of two years before their return; and, secondly, the Indian depôts, which were emptied in the early months of the year on the embarkation of their drafts, have only recently commenced recruiting for the drafts for next winter and spring. I believe the deficiency on the Indian establishment is less than it has been for years past.