§ MAJOR RASCH () Essex, S. E.
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the fact that on the arrival of the 51st Company of Imperial Yeomanry at Colchester Camp on 22nd February, no quarters or accommodation were ready for them; and that, after waiting for some hours, they had to provide food at their own expense, and sleep on the floor of the artillery barracks or in the public-houses of the neighbourhood.
* MR. J. POWELL-WILLIAMS (for Mr. WYNDHAM)
No, Sir. The facts are not at all as suggested in the question. The company arrived at Colchester on the 16th February, and not the 22nd, as stated. In consequence of the miscarriage of a telegram the 51st Company arrived without having sent in 1521 advance to secure billets. The staff at Colchester made every effort to house the men, and billets could have been ready for them by 8 p.m., but they preferred to sleep in barracks, where every man had a bedstead and three or four blankets, with a fire in each room. The men were provided with money in lieu of rations, which they were in the habit of finding for themselves. The officer commanding the company thanked the staff at Colchester for the arrangements made for his men at such short notice.