HC Deb 23 March 1888 vol 324 c182
MR. KING (Hull, Central)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Why it has been decided to withdraw from the Permanent Staff serving with the Volunteers the privilege of wearing plain clothes when not on duty, which they have hitherto enjoyed; whether Commanding Officers of Volunteer corps have been asked their opinion on the matter; and, whether, as a fact, the majority of Commanding Officers have exercised the discretion given them under "Army Order 84, 1st March, 1888," par. 474 (a.) to permit Sergeant Instructors to wear plain clothes?

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

Members of the Permanent Staff of Volunteer corps serving on their Line engagement are soldiers of the Regular Army, and, as such, bound to appear in uniform. The matter is one of Army discipline, and would not be referred for the opinion of Commanding Officers of Volunteer corps. As, however, the circumstances under which Sergeant Instructors serve are sometimes peculiar, a discretion has been given to General Officers commanding Districts (but not to the Commanding Officers of Volunteer corps, as stated in my hon. Friend's Question) to allow, when expedient, a dispensation from the strict Rule.