§ COLONEL SIR H. VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, in view of the fact that the 2nd battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, under Colonel Mainwaring, has been for the past 15 months under canvas in Crete, and that the conduct throughout that period of all ranks has been very favourably reported on by Sir Herbert Chermside, as well as by the senior naval officer, and that at a recent medical inspection of the regiment it was found free of contagious disease, and that only 14 out of nearly a thousand were unfit for active service, while the majority had between four and five years' service, and were over 22 years of age, whether the claim of the battalion, now under orders for Cairo, as a senior regiment in the Mediterranean, to the privilege of going to the front in the approaching advance on Khartoum may, if opportunity offers, be favourably considered.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea District)
I beg, at the same time, to ask the Under Secretary of State for War will he explain why the 2nd battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which has been stationed for 15 months in Crete, and when recently medically examined had 960 men of all ranks fit for active service, the men of all ranks of the battalion showing an average service of 4½ years, has been ordered to proceed to Cairo on garrison duty; whereas the Rifle Brigade, now at Malta, which only went out there this year, has been ordered to go 285 to the front for the purpose of taking part in the military operations in the Soudan; and is he aware that dissatisfaction exists among the Welsh Fusiliers in regard to this preference of the Rifle Brigade?
§ MR. BRODRICK
The appropriation of corps to any particular expedition rests with the Commander-in-Chief, who has many points to take into consideration. Nothing has reached the War Office which would make us doubt that this distinguished regiment will cheerfully execute the duty committed to it in Lower Egypt, unless required in the Soudan.