HC Deb 07 July 1879 vol 247 c1716

asked the Secretary of State for War, The reason for billeting a detachment of the 7th Dragoon Guards, numbering 206 officers and men with 119 horses, after 11 p.m. on the night of the 17th of June, upon the public houses in Bath; whether the serious inconvenience occasioned by the necessity of providing accommodation and food at so late an hour might not have been obviated by quartering the troops at Bristol upon their landing from Ireland; and, whether steps will be taken to guard against the arrival of troops at so late an hour in future?


Her Majesty's ship Assistance, with the detachment in question, only arrived at Avonmouth on June 17 in time to allow of the troops disembarking at 5 p.m. So soon as this was known at head-quarters the officer commanding was directed by telegraph to arrange to keep the detachment on board until the following morning. The troops, however, had started on the march, in obedience to their former orders, before the telegram reached Avonmouth. The occurrence of any inconvenience of this character is, I understand, extremely rare. It is impossible to fix the exact date and hour of arrival in movements by sea, and, therefore, each contingency must be dealt with as it arises.