Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

posed of regiments, each consisting of two talion of four companies, which you can mak battalions, within which service shall be inter- into a third battalion or a depôt. Mr. Cardwell, changeable for both officers and men ; (2) that in 1872, explained in the House of Commons the normal distribution of those regiments shall that in consequence of further withdrawals from be one battalion at home, and one abroad, which the Colonies and abroad the number at home was would take their tours of foreign service alter-71, and abroad 70 of the 141 battalions of InDately ; (3) (this was one of the advantages fantry of the Line;' adding, 'it is intended that pointed out of the scheme, says Mr. Knox] that of two Line battalions united in one brigade, the cadre of the home battalion be so organized as one shall always be abroad and one always at to admit of a second battalion being detached home. The two Militia regiments will be for service, and yet a strong cadre left at home associated with them in the same brigade.' He for depôt purposes. The plan in its perfection (Mr. Cardwell) continued—“That the permanent can be at once worked in all regiments possess- staff of the two Militia regiments will be assoing two battalions, one of which is at home and ciated with the local depôt, and when present the other abroad. As regards the other bat- interests cease, the new permanent staff was to talions, if it may be assumed that before long be appointed from the battalion which constithe number of battalions serving at home and tutes the depôt. Army Reserve men and Penabroad will be equal, one battalion at home could sioners in each district were to be attached to the be permanently attached to a battalion abroad depôt centre for payment, training, &c. Infantry as its reserve and depôt, and to alternate with it Militia battalions to be placed under canvas at in its tour of foreign service. Mr. Knox adds—their respective depôt centres. Line and Militia • Under this arrangement eight companies of the recruits were to be sent direct to brigade depóts two-battalion regiments would be on foreign ser- for their recruit training.' Adding--The object vice, and 12 companies on home service.' This sought to be attained by this arrangement is was in 1870, before the Memorandum of His that the battalion at home may serve as a feeder Royal Highness or the Report of General Mac- for the supply of casualties in the twin battalion dougall's Committee. In order to start this two- of the same district serving abroad.' After battalion system, a plan was started in the Short further questions and answers, A. 22, page 5, Service Act of 1870, which (he says) may be Mr. Knox says~- The plan which was in the described almost as general service for the mind of the Secretary of State in 1871-2 did enlistment of men.' In 1871 Mr. Cardwell ex- not include brigade depôts at all; it simply plained why he had abolished depôt battalions included an idea of dividing the country into (in language, as it seemed to him (Lord Gal- large sub-districts commanded by a colonel on loway), but too curiously applicable in every the Staff to superintend recruiting and inspect detail' to his own subsequent invention of the Auxiliary Forces. brigade dopôts) in these words~ That system was costly, it was inellicient, it removed

In 1870, estimates provided for 17 colonels

In 1872, the officers from direct subordination to their

In 1873,

reduced to 15 commanding officers, and placed them under the commanding officers of the depôt battalions.

On page 8, in reply to Questions 66-8, by Sir Now it is proposed to establish training centres Garnet Wolseley asking whether the intention for the Regular troops and the Militia upon the had not been to amalgamate eventually the local principle. He then explained a proposal to linked regiments, and designate them as one appoint colonels to command large bodies of corps, and whether the Army List was not from 15,000 to 20,000 men. The permanent staff changed with that view in its form, Mr. Knox of Militia and Volunteers were to be utilized by admitted all this, but said it was found inconthese colonels, who were to be colonels com

venient for reference, and was therefore changed manding of Militia, when the latter were not out

back again. Thus, up to 1872 (inclusive), had for training. Militia and Regular recruits were to be trained together. Militia recruits to have battalions; (2) short service enlistment; (3)

been formulated a system embracing (1) twin longer training. Billeting of Militia at this time

brigade depôts." also was objected to. More Regular battalions at home entailed a necessity for more barracks. Short service was not part of to-night's It was considered, therefore, a convenience was thus afforded to carry out what was wished, of question. The twin battalion, whether establishing a more intimate connection between double or linked, was the one and samo the two Forces; -and thus,', said Mr. Cardwell, principle-requiring one battalion al* follows the principle laid down by Mr. Pitt in ways abroad, the other always at home. 1803, that all the instruction of the Militia Forces should be given by the Army.' So far Brigade depóts may be shortly described up to 1871 (inclusive), the principle of short

of short as the localization principle, to be carried service and localization was determined on

on--that out by a fusion of the training machinery, is, identifying with each locality the recruiting and, in consequence, destroying the and training of Regular, Reserve, and Auxiliary single battalion (whether Regulars or Forces. In 1872, the mode of carrying it out was explained definitely by Mr. Cardwell, and at

Militia) as " the tactical unit." This the same time the brigade depôt system intro- was all started in 1873.

In two years duced. The chief points were thus notified the Militia found it was suffering from * Association of two battalions of Regulars, and the effects of the new organization, and two of Militia ; the two battalions of Regulars set up a howl of lamentation which having 20 companies, giving technical strength of one battalion of eight companies for foreign sulted in the appointment of a Commitservice, the same for home service, and one bat- tee which reported in November, 1876.

30

[merged small][ocr errors]

Here he wished to point out that was most important to bear in mind in
Colonel Stanley, then Financial Secretary arguing the merits of this question, for it
at the War Office, and Chairman of was too apt to be lost sight of. This time,
this Committee, prefaced a question in 1878, indeed, was the first opportunity
which he put to Mr. Knox by a remark of testing the new system. But what
which showed that the whole object of the happened? Two years ago there were
appointment of the Committee was to in- two small wars on our hands, the Zulu
quire into the evils from which the Militia War and the Afghan War; but in both
was suffering. He said—"This question cases there was a universal outcry against
of the brigade depôtis only referred to us the wretched state in which our bat-
as far as the Militia is concerned." The talions had to be sent out. There were
two chief points which the Committee innumerable Returns called for on the
of which Colonel Stanley was the Chair- subject; and, as their Lordships must
man recommended were—first, that the remember, on both sides of both Houses
Militia battalion should have returned the subject was continually brought
to it its Adjutant, Quartermaster, and forward. He himself, among others,
permanent Staff
, in order to have it brought the subject under their Lord

.
restored as a tactical unit; and, secondly ships' notice; and his special argument
he was quite prepared to admit this was that the breakdown was far more
much-that the double or twin bat- attributable to the twin battalion, with
talion system having been established, its sequitur the brigade depôt system, than
as far as the Infantry of the Line was con- to the short service system. After he had
cerned, the two Militia battalions of the spoken, the Duke of Buccleuch ac-
district should become the third and quiesced in his remarks, upon which
fourth battalions in direct association Lord Cardwell got up and said he was
with them, thus forming in each district surprised at the noble Duke's acquies-
a regiment composed of two battalions cence, because he was one of those who
of the Line and two of the Militia. signed the Report. The noble Duke said
But the Committee further said that it was perfectly true he had signed the
where both battalions of the Line Report -
were abroad at the same time the

“ But the result of his experience since 1876 normal establishment of 100 men at the had disappointed his expectation that the new depôt should be expanded to 600, and system would prove a success. that, if necessary, one Militia battalion Lord Limerick, who also sat on the or more should be embodied. It should Committee of 1876, said on the same oc also be remembered that that Committee casion it was true that he also bad was empowered to report only as to im- signed the Report ; “but if the ques. provements in detail on the system tion had been an open one "—in other established, not to recommend its re- words, if they had had to report on the versal. The Report was made in No- advisability of the system itself "the vember, 1876; and in 1877 the noble result would have been different." The Viscount (Viscount Cranbrook), then real fact-as told him by Members of Secretary of State for War, acted on the the Committee-was that there was so advice of the Committee as to restoring much recommended in the Report that each Militia battalion as a tactical unit was good that no one liked to decline to by giving it back its Staff

. The recom- sign it. But there was a further fact, mendation about the “ territorial” regi- which was that though the "territorial" ments came to nothing; and it might, system was recommended by the Comtherefore, be fairly argued that the pro- mittee, anyone who read the evidence position could not have found favour would find that Sir Garnet Wolseley want Pith Viscount Cranbrook. In the spring the person who was really anxious for

# 1878 Colonel Stanley became Secre- that system. Sir Garnet Wolseley had tary of State for War; but he did not at that time carried out the Red River attempt to introduce territorial” regi- Expedition – a bloodless campaign

He wished their Lordships to with great credit to himself; he had bear in mind that Mr. Cardwell, when afterwards marched to Coomassie through Secretary of State for War, always urged a mass of jungle, in very difficult client that the sole object of the new system cumstances, fighting his way up to was to insure that the country should that city with yet greater credit to always be prepared for war; and this it himself, having rightly estimated ere

The Earl of Galloway

ments.

actly the number of days it would the Report still remained in the hands of take. He was thus, at this particular the Government, in spite of the constant moment, at the zenith of his fame, and it remonstrances of political friends and was only natural that his opinion at the foes in Parliament. On November 1 The time should be taken in preference to any Times published the first of a series of other. Anyone who went through the articles on Army Reform, which bore evidence would see that the Report, as re-evident marks of inspiration, and this garded the "territorial ” system, was his continued at intervals until the tardy child alone. His reason for dealing fully production of the Report early in last with that part of the subject was that on March. He did not blame a journal the 3rd of March last the Secretary of for anxiously endeavouring to be well State for War having at length been informed; but it was extraordinary, to induced to proinise the production of the say the least of it, that the Report Report of the Army Organization Com-should have been so long withheld from mittee on the following morning, had Parliament after it had been practically announced that his Predecessor's Com- 1 communicated to The Times, and even mittee in 1876 had recommended the after the production of the Report their complete fusion of the four battalions | Lordships had further just reason to two of the Line and two of the Militiam complain. Notice was given in that intoone territorial regiment; and he was, | House that attention would be called to therefore, now anxious to point out that, the Report by Lord Abinger on the 20th although attributed to Colonel Stanley, March, scarce a fortnight after its producas Chairman, the scheme was in reality tion ; but the debate was postponed for that of Sir Garnet Wolseley. It might a fortnight at the special request of the be, naturally, further asked why the Duke of Argyll, at that time a Cabinet changes recommended in 1876 had not Minister, as his Grace suggested, " for been carried into effect up to this time, the convenience of the Government.” if Colonel Stanley was so anxious to act The discussion was therefore fixed for upon his own supposed recommendation. April 4; but before that day arrived But too much stress, it must be admitted, was issued, bearing date the 1st of should not be laid on his not having April, Mr. Childers's re-organization adopted it during the time he was Secre- scheme. That was treatment of which tary of State for War, for he found on his both the Committee and the Members hands, in 1878 and 1879, the Afghan of both Houses had a just right to comand Zulu Wars. Shortly after the late Se- plain. The Secretary of State for War cretary of State for War came into Office had in some cases accepted the recomthere were constant complaints of the mendations of the Committee in a modiunprepared condition of our Forces; fied form. In adverting, however, to the and Colonel Stanley evidently doubted proposal for abolishing the system of whether the establishment of territorial linked battalions, the right hon, Gentleregiments was likely to prove the true man saidremedy forthat unfortunatestate of things. “I must refer to this part of their Report He, on the contrary, appointed a Commit- / with some qualification because, however tee, as strong a Committee as could pos- eminent may have been the gentlemen who sibly have been chosen, to inquire into this question was not sought in the official re

constituted the Committee, their opinion on the subject. It was worth while to notice ference to them. On the contrary, they were the treatment received, not only by that told that there was no intention on the part Committee, but also by Parliament, at of the Government to depart from the general the hands of the present Government. principles of re-organization which had been The Blue Book in which this Report was accepted by the country since 1870.”” published contained great quantities of This was not a pleasant way of alluding important evidence, and the Report itself to what a Committee of distinguished displayed the deepest and most copious Officers evidently considered to be the knowledge of military matters. That most important part of their Report. Report was received by Colonel Stanley Mr. Childers went on to remarkduring the last few days of his tenure “I find, however, that at the last moment, of Office; then came in March, 1880, the when five-sixths of the Evidence had been Dissolution of Parliament, and, though taken, and when the Committee were on the Parliament re-assembled in April and unofficial form, of which there is no record in sat on into the second week in September, the War Office, was received by the Chairman

6

of the Committee, saying that they were not | weighted," making, however, this re• precluded from touching on this question markable admission, thatWhatever may have been the authority for this note, I must decline to treat the recommenda. “ It is only in time of peace that the number tions of the Committee on this head, in which of battalions at home can balance the number they were not unanimous, as other than the abroad;" personal opinions of a body of officers for whom, and yet it was acknowledged that it was as individuals, I have the greatest respect.”[3 Hansard, cclix. 195.]

this basis upon which the system was Within the last three days he had been dependent for expansion in time of war. authorized by his noble and gallant that too much importance ought not to

Their Lordships would see, therefore, Friend who presided over that Com- be attached to the so-called want of mittee to say that on various occasions he went on various points for more direct unanimity on the part of Lord Airer's

Committee. authority to the Secretary of State for sion to quote several passages from the

He must now ask permisWar, and that the right hon. Gentleman's special instructions were, that the Report of the Committee in support of his Report should be made as wide as pos. 21, &c., on page 10 of the Report of the

argument. On reference to paragraphs sible. It had been alleged that the note Committee

, it would be seen that the ori: was an unofficial one; but his noble and gallant Friend would'inform their Lord- ginal scheme—that was, Lord Cardwell's

—could never be carried out-namely, ships that he not only received a verbal

“that one battalion should always be at sanction from the Secretary of State to go into this question, but that, in order that home, and one always abroad," on ac

count of the distribution of battalions there might be no mistake, a note was sent to him by the permanent Under shown by quoting the following. ex.

from year to year, which would be best Secretary corroborating that sanction. tracts from the Report of the Committee, But if further proof be wanted on this tracts from the Report of the Committee, subject, reference need only be made to

of which paragraphs 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, Clause 14 and the following paragraph of 28, 29, and 30, 31, 32, 34, were thus the Instructions to the Committee, signed analyzed

BATTALIONS. by the Secretary of State for War

At Home. Abroad. “Clause 14 (n.) Lastly, as being a matter

1872

70

71 closely connected with the above considerations,

1873

70

71 it would be well that the Committee should

1874

69

72 place on record their opinion whether the pre

1875

70

71 sent organization of battalions and companies

1876

69

72 is, on the whole, the best for the purposes re

1877 quired for the English Army, both at home and

68

723 1878

77 abroad. “ The Committee may further report upon

1879 (Feb.) 59

82 any other question that may be raised, during “Defects of scheme as worked are that even the investigation, in connection with the above in time of peace the demand for men to supply references, and they may call for any Papers or the battalions on foreign service cannot be met Returns which they may deem necessary. from the depôts, and recourse must be had to “ War Office,

the linked battalions, which are thus deprived “ 20th June, 1879. (Signed) Fred. STANLEY." of their best men; the recruits being trans

ferred, after few weeks at depôts, on to home In regard to the remark of Mr. Childers battalions, and then on to others, unsettles their “ that the Committee were not unani | minds, their interest in obtaining good opinion mous on this head,” he might point out of officers lessened, discipline and regimental that this could only refer to Sir Patrick esprit de corps both suffer-no knowledge of one

another between men and officers must prove M.Dougall, who, having been Chairman

fatal. of the Localization of Forces Committee, In time of war these defects are intensified, was bound to put a good face on the and battalions first for service are rendered in. matter and to support the system of efficient. linked battalions. For Sir Patrick was

“ A call for volunteers from the Reserve may the only dissentient to unlinking; and sergeants, 19 corporals, and 1,059 privates only

be ineffectual (as proved in June, 1879, when 11 even he (whose opinions on Army Re- responded at a most favourable opportunity in organization the noble Lord quoted at every way),; but in any case the men not imme. great length) admitted that the system of diately available. linked battalions had not worked well, of numbers of battalions decreased in their

These defects caused by varying distribution though he excused its shortcomings on

strength. No source left available whence the the ground that it had been “unfairly men required for war could be supplied but by

The Earl of Galloway

64

[ocr errors]

taking volunteers from battalions at home. I will be more than compensated if, by this means, They in turn when wanted become skeletons." a proper feeling of esprit de corps can be reHe must ask permission further to read, necessity of maintaining larger depôts, but will

stored. This expenditure will be caused by the in extenso, paragraphs on page 42“ be compensated, in great measure, by the connamely, 263, 264, 265, 266 (as well as siderable additions it will bring to the Reserves, paragraph 27 in the Summary)on Linked and their more rapid growth. Such brigade Battalions

depôts as shall not be converted into training

depôts should be used for the head-quarters of " We cannot close our Report without re- Militia regiments; for training the recruits of ferring to a question which, being intimately the Militia ; as recruiting centres; and as cenconnected with the present organization, has tres for the Reserve men residing in that subbeen pressed upon our consideration in the evi- district. The establishment of a depôt from dence we have taken, and has a most important each regiment in each district will not be nebearing on the efficiency of the Army. In the cessary, and the staff of the brigade depôts early part of our Report (in 25 and following should be reduced to such an extent as will sufparagraphs), we pointed out the evils which fice for the duties which will remain to be perhave arisen from the system in force of linking formed thereat. battalions, by which the battalion at home is "(Summary 27.) With a view to prevent the practically converted into a depôt for its affi- | frequent drafting of men from one regimer for liated battalion abroad, having to furnish drafts service in another, to the cessation of the system for its maintenance to such an extent as to be by which one regiment serves as a depôt for utterly subversive of efficiency and of that another, and to the re-establishment of esprit esprit de corps which is essential to the con- de corps in, and efficiency of, regiments, the prestitution of a good and effective corps for service sent system of linking should be done away in the field.

with. "(264.) We pointed out that under this

(Signed) system the field for the selection of non-com

AIREY (Chairman) missioned officers was restricted, and that the

NAPIEROf MAGDALA efficiency of the battalions first on the roster

J. L. A. SIMMONS for foreign service was seriously impaired.

P. L. MACDOUGALL Generals. (265.) We have expressed our opinion

J. W. ARMSTRONG (paragraph 170) that it is essentially necessary

H, W. NORMAN that the weak battalions at home should be in a

A. ALISON condition to receive the men of the Reserve

W. B. SAUNDERS when called out on emergency, so that they

H. HUTTON

Colonels. may be got into good working order without

T. G. Bigge delay; but we are of opinion that this cannot be the case so long as the home battalion is the He fearlessly challenged the statements depôt of its affiliated battalion abroad. The made by the right hon. Gentleman the Seevidence, also, as to the conduct of the young cretary of State for War on this subject. battalions employed in the Zulu War has clearly The right hon. Gentleman said that if the shown that under the existing system there is a deficiency of that solidity which is due to a

a large scheme was adopted they should thorough knowledge of the various members of repeal their legislation and undo their a corps, including officers, non-commissioned policy. That need not be the case, for, officers, and privates, of each other, and of that practically speaking, they need hardly feeling of comradeship which is a great motive disturb the existing organization. “They in causing men to stand by each other with firmness and resolution in the hour of trial. should," said the right hon. Gentleman,

" (266.) The result of the evidence we have " alter the whole system of brigade taken has been to impress strongly upon our enlisting.” Well, he asked whether it minds the absolute necessity of some decided

was not easier to enlist men for one measure heing taken to re-establish to tho utmost that esprit de corps which formerly particular regiment than for more than bound men of the same regiment together as one regiment? Again, he said that they a family having common interests and such would “ confuse the right and seniority strong ties that the honour and credit of the of every officer appointed within the last regiment was dearly cherished by each indi: eight years.” That was simply an effort vidual composing it. This feeling not only tends to efficiency in war, but to promote good

of the imagination. discipline and conduct in peace. After much EARL GRANVILLE wished to point consideration, we have come to the conclusion out to the noble Earl that it was not that it can only be re-established by unlinking usual in that House to read from a the battalions, by which we mean that the

the written speech. officers and men should, as formerly, belong to separate units, and not be transferable from one

THE EARL OF GALLOWAY said, that to the other. We are aware that this measure, to read a speech was not his habit. He according to the scheme for organization we had copied quotations he meant to rely have proposed, will be attended with expense; on, thinking that it would be more consity, that we unhesitatingly recommend it, and venient to read them from the manuare decidedly of opinion that the expenditure script in his hand than from the Blue

}

« ForrigeFortsett »