HC Deb 27 July 1855 vol 139 cc1459-60

asked the First Lord of the Treasury whether, having regard to the gallant conduct of Irish soldiers in the Crimea, Her Majesty's Government will recommend that a Royal Regiment of Queen's Irish Guards shall be embodied, with privileges similar to those enjoyed by the English and Scotch regiments of Grenadier, Coldstream, and Fusilier Guards?


I can inform my hon. and learned Friend, that the matter to which his question relates, has been considered by Her Majesty's Government. Undoubtedly, we should be very desirous of making any arrangement which would be gratifying to the Irish, to whose services upon all occasions, more especially military—but that I need hardly say, because there never has been any difference of opinion on that point whenever and wherever they have been employed—but to whose services both by sea and land the Crown and country owes so much. But with respect to the particular method my hon. and learned Friend has pointed out, this is to be considered, that the Guards are a privileged body, and those privileges more or less place them in a position with respect to the rest of the army which gives rise to observation. We think that the privileged corps already bear as large a proportion to the rest of the army as is expedient, and we do not think that it would be advisable to increase the establishment of that body, but every endeavour will be made to induce Irishmen to enlist into the existing regiments of Guards. Those regiments should be considered as belonging to the United Kingdom generally, and not to England, Scotland, or Ireland in particular. They consist of men enlisted indiscriminately from all parts of the United Kingdom, and all the individuals belonging to them should be considered as having an equal share in the glories that may attend the services of those distinguished corps.