HC Deb 30 March 1900 vol 81 cc793-4
COLONEL PRYCE-JONES (Montgomery Boroughs)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, in view of the fact that the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, furnished guards of honour on the occasion of the visit last year of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of York to Wales, and that this battalion has a company now at Holyhead, and that the officer commanding the battalion offered a guard of honour to consist of 100 men, whether he will explain why arrangements are being made to convey men of the Derbyshire Militia to act as guard of honour; and, whether it is possible to alter these arrangements.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there was not only an offer from the 3rd Welsh Battalion, but an offer from the 2nd Welsh Battalion, including the services of 118 men now waiting orders for service in South Africa? Why were these two offers set aside and the Derbyshire Militia chosen? Was the selection made on military or personal grounds?


This matter rests entirely in the hands of the general officer commanding the district. He, however, has detailed a guard of honour of the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Welsh Fusiliers as well as of the 3rd Battalion Derbyshire Regiment. In reply to the hon. Member for Anglesey, I have to say that I have no knowledge as to the offer of the second battalion. I must remind the hon. Member that Her Majesty is travelling privately from this country to Ireland, and therefore there are no guards of honour at all by command. The presence of any guard is a matter of local arrangement between the residents and the general officer commanding the district. I think this will show the hon Member that these are matters which should be left to the general officer commanding the district and that we should not endeavour to take them out of his hands. I may also point out that Derbyshire is in the north-western district command.


Can fifty men form a guard of honour for the Queen?


I have explained that there is no regulation guard of honour in question. Her Majesty is travelling privately through the northwestern district, and the inhabitants have represented to the general officer commanding that some of the troops in the district should be present, and that the honour has been allocated between one district in England and one district in Wales.