HC Deb 12 April 1889 vol 335 cc369-70
CAPTAIN HEATHCOTE (Staffordshire, N.W.)

I wish to ask the Secretary of State for War why H.R.H. the the Commander-in-Chief has refused to allow the Royal Artillery Band to play at a fete at Medeley; and if there is any regulation as to military bands being confined to their own districts; and, if so, on what occasions has this rule been relaxed in the case of the Royal Artillery Band since June, 1888?


The reason for the refusal to allow the band of the Royal Artillery to play at the fete in question was that the occasion was not considered of sufficient public importance to justify a departure from a rule laid down by the military authorities—that military bands are not, except under special circumstances, to play outside their own military districts. On 23 occasions since June, 1888, engagements outside the Woolwich district have been allowed to be accepted by the Royal Artillery Band, or by portions of it.


I should like to ask whether, considering that the rule has thus been broken 23 times in a little over nine months, the right hon. Gentleman thinks it is worth maintaining?


I hardly pre-same, not being a military man, to express an opinion upon it. But if my hon. Friend cares to have my personal opinion in answer to his question, I should say that the rule does not seem to me worth maintaining.

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