HC Deb 24 June 1881 vol 262 cc1221-2

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been called to a Letter in the "Daily News" of the 13th instant, signed "Philip H. B. Salusbury, Captain late First Royal Cheshire Light Infantry," in which that gentleman states that his father, being Chairman of the Committees of the Liberal Candidates at the late General Election, both in the borough and county (Chester and West Cheshire), and it being well known that he, his son, was an ardent Liberal, he received an order from his commanding officer, Colonel the Honourable T. G. Cholmondeley, forbidding him to attend political meetings, although this Colonel was then himself actively engaged on the Committee of the Conservative Candidates, and permitted his Adjutant and other Conservative officers to attend Conservative meetings, and although at the late bye-election for West Cheshire he was prominent in the cause of the Conservative Candidate; and, whether, if upon investigation these statements are proved to be correct, he will take steps to call upon Colonel Cholmondeley to retire from the service, if he be, as is reported, past the age when, according to the Regulations, he has to do so, unless an exceptional favour be accorded to him?


Sir, the letter to The Daily News to which my hon. Friend refers purports to criticize an article in that paper on the "German Soldier," and to quote the writer's own case as a proof that Militia officers do not live in "serene freedom." The writer then narrates the circumstances under which he, being a Liberal, attended a Conservative meeting at Chester in February, 1880; and complains that for his conduct there he was blamed by his superior officer, Colonel Cholmondeley, who himself attended Conservative meetings. I have read another letter, in The Daily News, dated the 16th of June, from Colonel Cholmondeley, in which he explains under what circumstances he wrote to Mr. Salusbury, in consequence of evidence at the police court relative to the language used by Mr. Salusbury at the Conservative meeting. It would be, in my opinion, of no public advantage in June, 1881, to inquire what Mr. Salusbury said, or what inquiries Colonel Cholmondeley made in February, 1880; but I may say that the result was that the papers were sent by Colonel Cholmondeley to the officer commanding the Brigade Dep ô t, who desired Mr. Salusbury to be cautioned as to his future conduct at political meetings. I do not think that this correspondence discloses any reason for removing Colonel Cholmondeley from his command. He will not be exceptionally dealt with.