HC Deb 29 June 1880 vol 253 cc1122-3

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he is aware that the Kent County Annual Volunteer Competition had suddenly to be postponed on account of the nomination of a candidate for Gravesend having been fixed for the same day as the competition; and, whether, inasmuch as the proceedings at a nomination are now only of a formal character, he will alter the Volunteer regulations so as to limit the prohibition of Volunteer meetings to the polling day only?


Sir, in reply to the hon. Member, I have to state that I am not aware that the Kent Volunteer competition gathering was postponed on account of the nomination at Gravesend, Prohibitions on Volunteer gatherings are not limited to polling and nomination days, as in the case of Regular troops, by statute. It has, however, been considered desirable that Volunteers as a body should not assemble during the progress of an election; and the Volunteer Regulations therefore lay down (Section 14, paragraph 419) that Volunteer corps shall not assemble for drill or any other purpose between the issue of a Writ and the termination of an election. Considering the reasons which led to this Regulation, I am not in a position to say that I am prepared to alter it.