HC Deb 18 June 1875 vol 225 cc158-9

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether the Under Secretary of State for War, in reply to a Memorial from the Catholic Union of Ireland, relative to the attendance of Catholic Soldiers at Mass on certain specified days, stated that the Right honourable Gentleman had no objection to officers commanding giving facilities to the troops of any denomination to attend Divine Service if asked to do so by their clergy, but that he did not consider that commanding officers should take the initiative in such a matter; whether the case of those men of the Meath Militia quartered in barracks, who were confined to barracks during the hours of one Divine Service, and engaged in the usual parades during the hours of the other Divine Services, of the denomination to which they belonged, after a request had been made by the Chaplain that they might be allowed to attend one service, is contrary to the intention of the Eight honourable Gentleman as conveyed in the above-mentioned reply; and, whether the Eight honourable Gentleman would think it expedient to draw the attention of officers commanding Irish Militia regiments to that mentioned reply in order to prevent future misunderstanding?


, in reply, said, the hon. Gentleman was correct in saying that a reply of the nature described was sent by the Under Secretary of State for War. It had reference not merely to Roman Catholic soldiers, but to the troops of every denomination. He was informed in the case of the Meath Militia that the men were not confined to barracks, and the parade took place in the ordinary way. Only one man asked permission to attend service, which was granted, and the man fell out and left. He did not think it was his duty to call the attention of officers commanding Irish Militia regiments to the reply, any more than to direct the attention to it of officers commanding other regiments.


, referring to the soldiers who bore the canopy over the Cardinal Archbishop at the College at Ladbroke Road, on the 31st of May, wished to know if it was not inconsistent with the regulations that soldiers should appear at Church in full dress?


said, he could give no information to the hon. Member upon the subject, as he had not given him any Notice of the Question.