§ MR. HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if his attention has been called to the recent detention at Queen-borough, by the vigilance of Her Majesty's officers of Customs, of a case of swords marked with a British crown and the words "Royal Scots Lothian Regiment," but subsequently released upon "Manufactured in Germany" being pointed out hidden under the hilt; if the swords were imported for the officers of Her Majesty's First Regiment of Foot; if he can state the name of the importer; and whether, having regard to the dangerous failure in the Soudan of foreign weapons in the hands of British soldiers, and the importance to the nation of the lives of the Queen's officers in battle crises, they are free to equip themselves indiscriminately from abroad, or if colonels of regiments are responsible to the Military Authorities for the proper arming of the officers under them?
§ *MR. E. STANHOPE
The facts are as stated by my hon. Friend in the first paragraph. It is presumed that the swords were imported for the officers of the Royal Scots, but the War Office has no information on this point. The importers are Messrs. Hartjen & Co., of No. 4, Falcon Street, E.C., and I understand that the Board of Customs has informed them that the country of manufacture should be more conspicuously marked in future. Officers of the Army and Navy provide their own swords, and they are at liberty to buy them where they please.