British Army (Strength).

Oral Answers to Questions — India. – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st July 1939.

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Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe 12:00 am, 31st July 1939

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India what is the strength of the British Army in India now and what was it at the same date in 1937?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Anthony Muirhead Lieut-Colonel Anthony Muirhead , Wells

The strength of the British Army in India on 1st July 1939, was 2,630 officers and 37,668 other ranks; on the corresponding date in 1937 it was 3,052 officers and 52,387 other ranks.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Is this not an enormous reduction of strength?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Anthony Muirhead Lieut-Colonel Anthony Muirhead , Wells

Yes, Sir, it is a considerable reduction. Partly it is due to the abolition of holding and partly to the actual transfer of units. It is done in the general Defence interests, and thanks are due to the military authorities in India for the ready co-operation they have given in this matter.

Sir Nairne Stewart Sandeman:

Is there any intention of bringing them up to the old strength?

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

asked the Under-secretary of State for India whether any further reduction in the strength of the British Army in India has been decided upon, and, if so, what?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Anthony Muirhead Lieut-Colonel Anthony Muirhead , Wells

Yes, Sir. It has been decided that one British cavalry regiment will revert to home establishment without relief during the next trooping season.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Will there be any further reduction in the infantry?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Anthony Muirhead Lieut-Colonel Anthony Muirhead , Wells

I could not say that, offhand. No reduction is contemplated at the moment.