HC Deb 18 May 1904 vol 135 cc171-2
MR. SLOAN (Belfast, S.)

To ask the Secretary of State for War, seeing that a recent Army order provides for a trimming of gold lace on the new service cap of sergeants of artillery, cavalry, and departmental corps, if he can say why the same privilege has not been extended to sergeants of infantry battalions, who possess the plainest pattern of this cap; and whether, seeing that the caps issued to the former corps have already a decoration of coloured braid, he can say when it is proposed to give sergeants of infantry battalions a uniform suitable to their rank, as is done in all other branches of the Army.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Arnold-Forster.) The cap worn by sergeants of cavalry, artillery, engineers, and departmental corps has always been different from that of the rank and file; that worn by infantry sergeants has always been of the same pattern as that of the rank and file; while in the case of the infantry the sergeant is distinguished by the sash, which is special to his branch of the service. There does not, therefore, appear to be any good grounds for carrying out the suggested alteration, which would involve a very heavy expenditure of public money.