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The Volunteers

Volume 180: debated on Thursday 15 August 1907

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I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War what is the present deficiency of officers in the Volunteer force; how many resigned their commissions; and how many were appointed between 1st January and 31st July of the present year.

The present deficiency of officers amounts to 2,875. The number of resignations in the period mentioned was 473, and the number of appointments was 439.

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if, having regard to the fact that some 50,000 engagements of Volunteers expire on the 31st October next, when the Volunteer year closes, and the men require time to consider as to whether they will renew them under the altered conditions of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act, he can state what decision has been arrived at as to putting the Act into force.

I beg also to ask the Secretary of State for War, if officers or men joining the Volunteer forces after the 1st November will be requited to engage for a fixed period under penalties for default; if not, when this requirement will be enforced; and if officers and men already serving in the Volunteer forces will be required to reengage under new conditions if they continue to serve as Volunteers.

Until the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act comes into operation, it is not intended to alter existing conditions under which Volunteers enrol It is not anticipated that the Act will come into operation by 1st November next. Officers and Volunteers who may be serving when the Act becomes operative will be given the option of engaging under the new conditions under Section 29 (3) (a) of that Act.

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman would undertake to give as long notice as he could of his intention to bring the Act into force.

asked whether it is not the case that under present conditions, except on reaching the age limit, the engagement of a Volunteer does not expire unless by voluntary resignation.