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Army Mobilisation—The Reserve

Volume 230: debated on Thursday 29 June 1876

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asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is the fact that the number of men of the Army Reserve whom it is proposed to call out at the forthcoming mobilisation of the Army Corps has already been reduced from 5,800 (the number originally proposed to be called out) to less than 3,600; and, whether this has been done in consequence of difficulties raised by the employers of these men as to turning them off if so called out; and, if so, whether he will take steps to reassure those employers of labour, by notifying to them, by circular or otherwise, that the men will be called out for seven days only?

The number of 5,800 was taken from the Quarterly Return of January last. Since then a considerable number of men have been discharged from the Reserve, while all those who have joined the Army Reserve this year have been excused from this year's training. The number also included soldiers belonging to Cavalry, Artillery, and Engineers, none of whom have been called out this year. Some exemptions have been granted also on grounds of public service. In the few instances when objections have been made by railway companies and other employers, letters have been addressed to them expressing the Secretary of State's hope that the short period of training may not be allowed to injure the men concerned; and the answers that have been received have been satisfactory.

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether in the forthcoming mobilisation of the Second and Fifth Army Corps it is intended to assemble the entire strength of those corps, or of either of them, at one place before the conclusion of the mobilisation, so as to give an opportunity of ascertaining to what extent their strength in numbers and their condition as to service equipment has been brought up to what would be required in actual war?

It is intended that the Returns of the actual strength of each Army Corps as it stands on the 17th of July shall be forwarded to headquarters. The deficiencies will also be shown. The Second Army Corps will be assembled at Aldershot on or about the 22nd of July; but the Reserve men will not then be present, as they will only be called out for seven days.