I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the fact that a number of militiamen now serving in the 3rd Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders is only 170 and that a full staff of regimental officers, many of whom are serving at great personal inconvenience, has to be maintained on full pay, he will consider the advisability of disembodying the battalion.
The hon. Member has understated the figures. The Returns of the 1st March show 373 men embodied, of whom 241 were at headquarters and the rest chiefly on furlough. The details, including the recruits, of the 1st Battalion, which is now in South Africa, are incorporated with the 3rd Battalion, thereby bringing up the strength of the combined unit to an effective fighting battalion. The full staff of regimental officers is therefore absolutely necessary.