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Military Forces, Germany

Volume 155: debated on Tuesday 27 June 1922

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has any information that the German officers' corps of the old army still exists; and whether it is officially recognised by the German military authorities?

The number of officers with the present army is restricted by the Treaty of Versailles to 4,000. All other regular officers have been retired on pension, or with a gratuity. The German authorities have recognised a society known as the Deutscher Offiziers-bund as the channel of communication for regulating questions affecting the pensions or other economic interests of ex-officers. This society has been formed since the War for the protection of those interests. There are other associations of officers which are not recognised, and which are in the nature of political associations.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has any information that the so-called peace army in Germany of 100,000 effectives consists almost entirely of noncommissioned officer instructors?

I am aware that about half the rank and file of the present German army were noncommissioned officers in the old army. This is due to the fact that the majority of the volunteers for long service were of this class.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether the German mobilisation laws have yet been repealed?

The Inter-Allied Military Commission of Control have reported that the German Government have repealed all laws relating to mobilisation, with the exception of the law of 13th June, 1873, relating to requisitions in time of mobilisation. The Commission have demanded the repeal of this law also.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether, having regard to the limitation of the German Army to 100,000, the Estimates put forward by the German Government compare favourably in the matter of expense with the Estimates of the other European Powers?

The whole question of the German Budget, including the Army Estimates, is at present being examined by the Guarantee Committee of the Reparation Commission, and I regret am unable to anticipate their opinion.


asked the Secretary of State for War what is the mobilisation organisation of the German Army; whether the arrangements for mobilisation in pre-War days are still in existence; whether he has any information as to the operation of the 12 years' term of enlistment in the German Army; whether this has now been put into force; and whether large numbers of men of military age have been passed through the ranks of the Reichwehr for short periods of training?

Article 178 of the Peace Treaty unconditionally forbids "all measures of mobilisation or appertaining to mobilisation,' and I am unable to confirm that any such measure exist. The 12 years' term of service is in force, and its operation is being supervised by the Inter-Allied Military Commission of Control. I have no confirmation of the suggestion contained in the last part of the question.