HC Deb 06 December 1906 vol 166 cc1171-2

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the decision to withdraw cavalry from Scotland is mainly due to financial considerations; and, if so, whether inquiry has been made as to the possibility of providing adequate accommodation at a much less sum than £200,000; can he give any indication as to the period to which the temporary withdrawal of cavalry is likely to extend; and has he received any assurance from the Treasury that the necessary funds will be forthcoming at some future date.


As I explained to the Lord Provost in the letter of the 28th ultimo, the withdrawal of the cavalry from Piershill is due to the unsuitable character, for such a unit, of these barracks, and I can at present see no reason why Scotland should cease for more than a time to have cavalry stationed in it. But I cannot now say how long the interval will be, though I undertake to do all that I can, consistently with my duty to this House and to the Army, to make the interval as short as possible I do not pledge myself as to the exact sum required, but judging from experience about £200,000 is what would be wanted for the site and for building a good up-to-date barrack for cavalry.

MR. YOUNGER (Ayr Burghs)

May I ask will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether his decision would not be expedited if the public authorities with suitable grounds would communicate with him to that effect?


There seems to be an outburst of patriotism in Scotland at this time, and if some patriotic people who own beautiful land in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh would put their parks at my disposal it would help to a solution of the problem.


Arising out of that Question, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he limits that suggestion to Edinburgh.


No, I am open to offers.


With regard to the Answer of the right hon. Gentleman respecting barracks, would he undertake to use his influence with the great landlords with whom he undoubtedly has great influence?

MR. A. L. STANLEY (Cheshire, Eddisbury)

Has Lord Rosebery made any offer to the right hon. Gentleman to supply a training ground?


Is the right hon. Gentleman correctly reported as having stated a few days ago that this regiment of Scottish patriots consists mostly of Irishmen who desire to escape from Scotland?

[No Answer was returned.]