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United States Department of State / The executive documents of the House of Representatives for the first session of the fiftieth Congress. 1887-'88

Belgium,   pp. 25-44 PDF (8.1 MB)

Page 25

                                No. 23.
                        Mr. Tree to Mr. Bayard.
 No. 175.]                LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
              Brussels, November 29, 1886. (Received December 13.)
   Sir: I have the honor to inform you that a bill has been introduced
 into the House for the reorganization of the Belgian army, the chief
 provisions of which are that every Belgian twenty years of age is liable
 to military duty; that the army shall be recruited every year, and that
 there shall be no exemptions in time of war; that the active contingent
 shall be fixed each year; that the permanent army in time of peace will
 represent always 1 per cent. of the population. The length of service
 is to be ten years for all branches, three years of active service, four
 years of service in the reserve of the active army, and three years of
 service in the national reserve.
   Under the present service any one who draws an unlucky number at
 the annual drawings for recruits may free himself by buying a substi-
 tute for about 1,600 francs. This feature of the military law has been
 always very distasteful to the working classes, who have to do personal
 service in the army when they draw a bad number, because they
 have not the money to purchase a substitute, while those who are more
 fortunately situated pecuniarily may escape by paying 1,600 francs.
 As however, theGovernment does not seem to be in accord with the
 principal features of the bill, it is probable that it will not be accepted,
 but it will doubtless produce considerable discussion.
      I have, etc.,
                                                 LAMBERT TREE.
                               No. 24.
                      Mjr., Bayard to Mr. Tree.
No. 66.]                          DEPART1MENT OF STATE,
                                     Washington, December 3, 1886.
  SIR: I inclose a copy of a letter from Capt. J. F. Burke, command-
ing the Gate City Guard, of Atlanta, Ga.
  This volunteer organization, which is highly commended by his ex-
cellency the governor of Georgia, is one of the foremost in the country
for drill and discipline.
  As you will see by the inclosure it is the deeire of the organization
which is about visiting Europe to wear their uniforms and to carry their
arms when on parade.

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