HC Deb 25 March 1892 vol 2 cc1813-4
MR. CONDON (Tipperary, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that, in compliance with an annual custom of attending church on the Sunday nearest St. Patrick's Day, the 5th (Irish) V. B. King's (Liverpool) Regiment held a church parade on Sunday last, 20th inst., and marched to St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Pro-Cathedral, every member or the corps, from Commanding Officer down to the youngest bugler, wore the shamrock, as they have done since the formation of the corps; and whether the officers and men who wore the shamrock on that occasion were guilty of any breach of regimental or Army discipline?

MR. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

Before the right hon. Gentleman answers, may I also ask him would there be any breach of discipline in the 5th Royal Irish Rifles attending Divine Service in Down Cathedral on 12th July wearing the Orange lily?


His Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief has no knowledge of the circumstances referred to in the question; but, assuming its accuracy, no breach of discipline was committed, as, provided the commanding officer permitted it, it is quite open to Volunteers to wear the shamrock. With regard to the question of wearing the badge of the Orange Society, that is a very different question, and I should certainly think the commanding officer would not allow anything of the kind.

MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

As it now turns out that what was yesterday described as a Regulation is a matter within the discretion of a commanding officer, I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has any objection to issue an instruction to the effect that Regulations do not prohibit the wearing of a national emblem on the annual festival?


I have all along said that a thing of this sort can be worn with the permission of the commanding officer, and that Private O'Grady, whose conduct was discussed yesterday, would have done perfectly right if he had obtained that permission.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he is aware that Lord Macaulay said of the Orange lily, that it is an "emblem in Ireland of civil and religious liberty."

SIR W. LAWSON (Cumberland, Cockermouth)

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the wearing of an emblem of an association called "The Primrose League" would be within the Regulations?

MR. P. O'BRIEN (Monaghan, N.)

May I ask the hon. Member for South Belfast (Mr. Johnston) whether, after the answer he has received, he will continue to give his support to the Tory Party?


Order, order!