HC Deb 29 June 1893 vol 14 cc332-3

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the fact that, on Sunday 18th June, at Inverness, at the annual Church parade of the 1st Volunteer Battalion Cameron Highlanders, Dr. Norman Macleod, chaplain to the battalion, preached a vigorous sermon against Sir Charles Cameron's Disestablishment Bill, declaring that he could imagine no greater National crime than that the Church endowments should be diverted from their present object, and asking how the blessing of Heaven could be expected to rest upon houses built on lands stocked by the spoliation of the Lord's sanctuary; and, if so, whether it is in accordance with military discipline for a chaplain to deliver a political address on the occasion of a Church parade?


Dr. Macleod states that his sermon on the 18th instant was preached in the parish church in obedience to an Order of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. I cannot discover, from such information as I have received, whether this was a special Church parade of the Volunteers. If it was, it was entirely within the discretion of the Commanding Officer to select the particular Sunday for it; but, in my opinion, allowing for the fact that the Volunteers are not compelled to attend, it would not be well judged on the part of a Commanding Officer to select for such a parade a Sunday on which it had been announced that questions would be prominently dealt with upon which widely different views might be held by the men under his command. As I have said, I am not aware that this error of judgment was committed in this instance.