§ MR. BRADLAUGH
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he can state the date or dates or tenor of any charges of insubordination preferred against the bandsmen of the 19th Middlesex (Bloomsbury) Rifles; when such charges were investigated; and whether the accused were then severally present and heard in their defence, or whether he will cause inquiry to be made in the matter?
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. E. STANHOPE,) Lincolnshire, Horncastle
The commanding officer reports that the insubordination of the bandsmen consisted of persistent and long-continued defiance of, and opposition to, the bandmaster's authority. Apart from this general course of insubordination, they were insubordinate on December 11 and January 25, on which latter day some of them were very insolent to the adjutant. I have no doubt that the commanding officer satisfied himself that these men could not be retained as bandsmen consistently with discipline; and I do not contemplate any further inquiry.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that with reference to Bandsmen Andrews, C. Butler, W. Butler, and Norman, the colonel heard the charge against them, and acquitted them; while with reference to five others there has been no charge and no hearing against any of them? If the right hon. Gentleman can be satisfied that such was the case, will he direct inquiry into the matter?
§ *MR. E. STANHOPE
In the interests of discipline, I shall not go behind the decision of the commanding officer.