HC Deb 16 June 1893 vol 13 cc1192-3
Mr. WOLFF (Belfast, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the song, "Rouse ye, Ulster," which has been played in public by many regimental bands, has been forbidden to be played by the band of the Coldstream Guards; and whether such prohibition is by order of the Horse Guards, or by order of the officer commanding the regiment?


The officer commanding the Coldstream Guards reports that he has forbidden the bandmaster of the regiment under his command from playing the song entitled "Rouse ye, Ulster," as he considered that it had a political significance; and the General commanding the Home District informs me that he entirely concurs in this action. I feel sure that the House will approve of the decision of these officers. I have myself no knowledge of this song; but so far as one can discern, under the bad grammar of its title, it seems to be an appeal, on one side or the other, to political passion; and I will endeavour, so far as I can, to discourage the participation by military bands in any expression of political feeling.

MR. MACARTNEY (Antrim, S.)

I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will recommend that Volunteer and Army bands shall cease to play "The Wearing of the Green;" and whether he can distinguish between one and the other?


With very little knowledge of what this music-hall song may be, I think I can distinguish between the two, and I will deal with each case as it arises.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the case of "The Wearing of the Green" if I bring it before him?


If the hon. Member brings before me any tune or song which involves a direct appeal to political passion I shall be happy to consider it. [Cries of "Sing it!"]


Order, order!


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the chorus of the question is— Shall we from the Union sever? By the God who made us, never.