HC Deb 12 June 1882 vol 270 c824

asked the Secretary of State for War, To state how many, and in what ranks, soldiers are taken away in Ireland for duties as caretakers, and for other duties usually confided to police, and to explain under what Article of the Military Regulations, or by what powers, are enlisted soldiers withdrawn from Military duties to perform duties destructive of discipline; and to say when will such employment cease?


Sir, in reply to my hon. and gallant Friend, I have to remind him that it is one of the first duties of a soldier to act in aid of the Civil power, and that the exact manner of rendering this aid must depend on the circumstances of each case, provided that the requirements of the Army Acts are always observed. In Ireland about 500 officers and men are so employed, and we have acted in the matter strictly under the advice of the Law Officers of the Crown, and on the urgent requisition of the Civil Government. Of course, I regret the necessity of this employment as much as my hon. and gallant Friend; but I cannot concur with him that it is destructive of discipline, although I shall be extremely glad when it ceases.