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THE FRENCH ARMY

HIGHLY SENSATIONAL DISCLOSURES. A STATE OF COMPLETE UNPREPAREDNESS. NOTHING READY FOR WAR. A PITIFUL .MINISTERIAL ADMISSION. Prefs Association—By Telegraph-—Copyright. PARIS, July 14. (Received July 14, at 10.20 p.m.) A' senaatioa was caused in the Senate today. M. Charles Humbert, reporter for the Army Committee, surprised the Government by disclosing administrative scandals. He accused the general staff of gross incompetence, and the manufacturers of supplying armoured turrets inferior to those furnished to foreign countries; the supply of gun ammunition was insufficient, the sheik w«r.e old and dangerous to handle, the howitzers old and inferior to Germany's. French inventors were not, he said, encouraged. The Government had arranged to spand £4,000,000 upon mortars invented in France in 1910, and nothing had yet been done, though it now employed the services of Germany and Russia. Communications between the fortresses on the eastern frontier were hopelessly deficient. The army was short of two million pairs of boots, and in the event of war tha soldiers would start to the front with none except those on their feet. The army at present had only sufficient pontoons and other equipment to cross the Moselle and the Rhine. Millions of money voted for defence had been wasted. Parliament would consent to anv indispensable sacrifices, but it was essential to reorganise the army. M. Messimy admitted that most of M. Humbert's facts, taken separately, were correct; if not as presented, yet as exceptions. He promised to rigorously control the execution of the forthcoming programme. M. Clemenceau described the sitting as the most heartrending he remembered since 1870. He exclaimed : "We neither covered nor defended the Government, and must uphold the situation and indicate a remedy."

The debate was adjourned

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ODT19140715.2.58

Bibliographic details

THE FRENCH ARMY, Otago Daily Times, Issue 16126, 15 July 1914

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284

THE FRENCH ARMY Otago Daily Times, Issue 16126, 15 July 1914

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