The total establishment of February, 1904, which is the basis of this whole question was 46,043. It is proposed to drill this year something over 43,000, and tike difference is chiefly in officers and non-commissioned officers who were added in order to be trained for the contemplated expansion of the smaller company into the larger company. They are not struck off the role ; they are on the establishment ; they are simply placed in a column by themselves and notified that although they will drill this year, so far as the city regiments are concerned, in future they will not drill until authority is given for them to do so, and that will probably not be until the central camp is organized when the money necessary to train them will be properly expended.
I have a letter here from the Adjutant General and I would like to give my authority, because I can only speak from information which I received from the department. This is addressed by the Adjutant General to the Chief of the General Staff :
Referring to your minute of the 2nd instant, herewith is a detailed statement showing the differences between the establishments authorized by the Governor General in Council on the 23rd of February, 1904, and those set forth in the special general order of the 9th May ultimo, together with the specific reasons for each item of difference. 2. In the training establishments, 1905, officers' servants should have been disallowed in all instances.
That is a case in which there was a mistake made in favour of the regiments, so to speak. _
In the training establishments, 1905, officers' servants should have been disallowed in all instances in accordance with the settled policy that all men proceeding to camps of instruction should he thoroughly trained as soldiers, their being included in the artillery establishment was an error. 3. The addition of officers, servants and batmen in establishments authorized on the 23rd of February, 1904, was an entirely new departure, as in previous years officers made their own arrangements for servants in camp. It has, however, since been decided to add the same number to all arms for training for the present year and orders to that effect are about to be promulgated.
Possibly that is one of the points mentioned in the newspapers.
4. Your attention is especially invited to the following Omission, namely : bands and sergeant trumpeters. Both these items were omitted in the training establishments carefully prepared by Lord Dundonald for the past year and it was in consequence considered inadvisable to place them on the establishment for training for the present year until the matter of permanent establishments for the entire force which is now under consideration has been finally approved of.
I may say just here that I have been in the habit of going to camp with my regiment for the past twenty-five years, up to five or six years ago, and it was the invariable rule that the strength of the hand was deducted from the regiment so many per company.
The bon. gentleman is slightly misinformed as to that, because the matter took such a wide range that the rural battalions began to get uneasy too. They certainly got the impression that they were to be cut down, at all events in regard to the drill.
On looking into the question of corps having special establishments, I find that, in addition to the normal (so to speak) infantry establishment of 30 privates per company, city corps were allowed two stretcher bearers per company, total 32. General order No. 81, of June, 1904, authorized 19 privates per company extra for the 1st, 10th, 48th and 66th regiments, and 7 extra per company for the 13th regiment. This addition was reaffirmed by General Order No. 12 of January, 1905. Hence the 1st, 10th, 48th and 66th regiments should have 51 privates per company, while the 13th should have 39. It appears that the two stretcher bearers per company were accidentally omitted from the training establishments just promulgated, but, except for this omission, that training establishment gives both the normal regiments and these special regiments, which I have just mentioned, exactly the same number of privates per company which they had before its issue.
(Sgd.) PERCY LAKE.
So I flunk I may venture to hope that tbe difficulty is practically over, for the present year at least, and while there have undoubtedly been some errors made, they bave been chiefly misprints and typographical errors, which have now, as X understand, been corrected.
;Mr. TISDALE. I hope tbe bon. gentleman will not misunderstand me. I am as anxious as be can possibly be to bave this matter cleared up, so that the man in tbe
street will understand tbe situation ; because an impression bad gone abroad that a very serious change bad been made or was about to be made. From what one could see in the newspapers, and from any expressions from tbe force which one bad an opportunity to bear, it would have bad a very bad effect upon the force. That is tbe reason I wished tbe matter to be cleared up. I understand now, from what tbe bon. gentleman has read,, that tbe establishments, whether special or ordinary, are left alone, and that the only changes contemplated were tbe additions that would be made when tbe central camp arrangements were carried out.