§ MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War what is the difference between the basis on which he has estimated the cost of the Territorial Force for 1908–9 to exceed by £443,000 that of the Yeomanry and Volunteers for 1907–8, and the basis on which he estimated in his Memorandum (Cd. 3296, of session 1907) that the annual cost of the proposed Territorial Force would be less by £1,541,802 than that of the auxiliary forces as then constituted.
§ THE SECRETARY or STATE FOR WAR (Mr. HALDANE,) Haddington
As stated in my Memorandum on Army Estimates 1908–9 the sum of £443,000 is the excess of Vote 4 of 1908–9 over the combined total of Votes 4 and 5 of 1907–8. The sum of £1,541,802 is the excess of the total cost under all Votes in 1906–7 of the Militia, Yeomanry, and Volunteers, over the first approximate estimate of the cost under all Votes, of the Territorial Force as shown in Cd. 3296 of 1907. The hon. Member will see that the figures are in no way comparable. The money which was formerly spent on the Militia is now being spent on the Special Reserve. If this is borne in mind the figures given will be found readily intelligible.
§ MR. ASHLEY
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman had not estimated the cost of the Territorial Force at a million and a half less, while, as a matter of fact, it was half a million more.
§ MR. HALDANE
That is founded on a misunderstanding of figures. When this question first came before the House of Commons the proposition was that the Militia should go with the Territorial Force, and we took the whole cost, therefore, of the Militia, Yeomanry, and Volunteers, and put the cost of the Territorial Force against it. When it was decided that the Militia should go to the Regular side, they went and took their cost with them. The only estimate I have ever given the House of Commons has been the estimate of the cost of the Territorial Force in the papers to which reference has been made. The 77 first sum was £2,850,000, which afterwards, as the result of discussions in this House, was raised to £3,500,000. Beyond that no estimate has been given, and there has been no increase in the estimate of what I believed would be the cost.