HC Deb 23 April 1855 vol 137 cc1623-4

said, he begged to ask the hon. Under Secretary for War whether the last detachment of Guards, 1,000 strong, left London on the 12th April with the clothes of 1854, the new clothing due on the 1st April, 1855, not having been issued; whether the allowance made to the men for wearing their own clothes will be borne by the contractors or by the Government, from the 1st April to the date of issuing the new clothing of 1855; and whether any steps have been taken to provide the Guards with clothing suitable to the Crimean summer, the issue of white trousers having been lately discontinued?


said, he thought the question of the hon. and gallant Gentleman had been put from the want of information as to the regulations that were observed by the Guards with respect to the wearing of their clothing. In the case of regiments of the line, when an issue of clothing was made, the clothing of the preceding year was discontinued, but, in the case of the Guards, it was usual for them to have two suits of clothing in use, the suit last issued being reserved for Sundays, parades, and reviews, while clothing issued to them for the preceding year was worn on all ordinary occasions. The detachment referred to consequently had in wear, at the time of their departure, the clothing issued for 1854, and it would be against the regulations if they were to take into use, on leaving London, the new clothing of the present year issued on the 1st of April last. No allowance, therefore, would be due to them; and, with regard to the last portion of the question, although it was true that white trousers had been discontinued, light clothing of another fashion would be substituted, and would be sent from this country as soon as it was ready. In the meantime, he might say that a supply of light clothing for the army generally in the Crimea had been provided at Constantinople. He would take that opportunity of answering a question which had been put to him the other night by a noble Lord opposite. He had been asked whether a detachment of the 50th Regiment had not been landed from the Alma, while the baggage of the detachment was taken on to the Crimea. He had then stated that he had received no report on the subject, but he thought it was extremely unlikely that such a circumstance should have taken place. Since that time he had been put in possession of a report from the commanding officer of that detachment, and he found that the whole of the regimental baggage and camp equipage was duly landed, One officer, however, had left behind him a portmanteau, and another officer had left behind him a camp bed, and for that the Government were not responsible. With those exceptions the statement was entirely without foundation.


said, that perhaps the House would allow him to explain that the new clothing of the Guards was not sent out, but the clothing they had taken out had only been worn one quarter of a year, and was as good if not better than that now in wear by the army in the Crimea. The new clothing would be sent out in the course of the summer, and would be taken into wear when most wanting, namely, during the next winter.

Back to