HC Deb 08 May 1884 vol 287 c1692

asked the Secretary of State for War, On what principle Officers of Her Majesty's Household Troops are apparently exempted from that Clause of Her Majesty's Regulations for the Army (Section vi., Clause 9) which strictly prohibits Officers on full pay from taking any part whatever in political meetings or demonstrations; and, whether it is the case that an Officer commanding a Regiment of Household Cavalry, on full pay, and lately returned from Abroad, has been recently engaged in political demonstrations; if so, whether such action is in contravention of the Regulations above quoted, or is a privileged exemption therefrom; and, if the latter, on what grounds?


In reply to this Question, I must refer the hon. Member to an answer which I gave in this House on the 21st of February last to the hon. Member for Sligo (Mr. Sexton). I said— The meaning of this Order seems to me to be that officers or soldiers on duty should not attend political meetings in which they have no local interest beyond being quartered in the vicinity. It could never have been intended that an officer or soldier should be altogether deprived of his civil rights, which would be the case if the word 'elsewhere' was interpreted literally."—(3 Hansard, [284] 1595–6.) As I adhere to that interpretation of the Regulation, I am not aware of any case of recent occurrence in which an officer of the Household Cavalry has infringed the Rules. I may add that I propose to alter the wording of the Article in question in the new edition of the Queen's Regulations, so as to make clear what I consider to be its true intention.