HC Deb 21 June 1888 vol 327 cc812-3
MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether the Ayrshire Artillery were lately removed from Ayrshire to Plymouth; is it true that this regiment has not been removed from Scotland for 12 years, and that in its number there are 200, or a considerable number, of Parliamentary voters; was the regiment removed before or after the death of the late Mr. Campbell, Member for the Ayr Burghs; was a remonstrance made to the authorities about the removal of the regiment on the eve of a Parliamentary election; and, if so, can he state why this remonstrance was not attended to?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

There is no Militia corps of Ayrshire Artillery. The Ayrshire Infantry Militia will train at Ayr next month. Probably the hon. Member refers to the Argyll and Bute Artillery, which was selected in December last to train this year at Plymouth. The actual orders for its embarkation were issued on May 17. No application was received asking that any change in the arrangements should be made; but if it had been it is improbable that it could have been acceded to.


asked, whether in the Argyll and Bute Artillery Militia there were 200 voters of the Ayr Burghs; and, whether the regiment had long been stationed at Campbeltown, one of the Ayr Burghs?


With regard to the number of voters in the regiment I have no information, and I do not in- tend to ask. I believe that the regiment has been stationed at Canapbeltown; but the Military Authorities decided in December last that this year it should be drilled at Plymouth.

MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

Are we to understand that the Military Authorities have the power of disfranchising a number of soldier voters by removing them from the constituency in which they have a vote at a time when an election contest is going on?


I am afraid that military considerations override every other consideration, and that those who are in the service of the Government—whether in the Army or the Militia—must expect to go wherever they are called by the Military Authorities.

In reply to Mr. MAC NEILL,


said, it was purely a matter for the Military Authorities to decide; and until this Question was put down he personally had no knowledge whatever on the subject.