53, Cadogan Square, S.W.
Januray 10th, 1900
Dear Mr. Chamberlain,
I beg to refer to our conversation of yesterday and to state that if the proposal should meet with the approval of H. M. Government I should like to provide and sent to South Africa at my own expense two squadrons of mounted men and officers, say, 400 men and horses.
My idea is that both men and horses should be largely drawn from the Canadian North West, the men to be unmarried, expert marksmen, at home in the saddle, and efficient as experienced rough riders or rangers.
I propose to pay the cost of equipment, similar to that of the Canadian Contingent, and the transportation of both men and horses to South Africa, where they would be taken over by the Imperial contingents. I presume on the same terms as the other colonial contingents. After the close of the campaign the men to have the option of returning to Canada the same way as those serving with the contingents sent by the Government of Canada, the horses and arms to be taken over by H. M. Government.
The suggestion has I may say, commended itself to the Dominion Government, and they are prepared to allow the use of their organization for recruiting and equipping purposes.
I shall be glad to hear from you at your earliest convenience if it is the opinion of yourself and your colleagues that the force proposed to be raised would be of substantial benefit in South Africa. If the proposal is in every way favorable regarded from that specific point of view, I will arrange to put the matter in train without delay.
Incidentally, I had just a word with the Marquis of Lansdowne a few days ago in regard to the project; and I need only add that for the present at any rate, I do not wish my name to be publicly mentioned in connection with it.
P.S. Since the above was written I have received a further cable message from Sir Wilfred Laurier in the matter, and if you can quite conveniently let me have your answer today. I shall feel greatly obliged
Military Historical Society