§ MR. LEA (St. Pancras, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he will order some inquiry to be made as to the cause of the amount of crime in the 16th Lancers during the twelve months ending February 28th last, seeing that during that period seventy-five courts martial were held in the regiment, besides 300 other regimental entries having been awarded in addition; and if he will give the result of that inquiry.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. HALDANE,) Haddington
I do not think this is a matter which calls for a special inquiry, but as the hon. Member has raised the question, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command has been requested to furnish a Report. This Report will be confidential.
§ MR. LEA
May I ask the right hon. Gentlemen whether he does not think that this amount of punishment points to the fact that there is an enormous amount of crime in the regiment, and that either there is the finest collection of bad characters in the 16th Lancers or else that there is something radically wrong with the system?
§ MR. WYNDHAM (Dover)
Will the right hon. Gentlemen consider the facts that a large number of these men joined the regiment in South Africa during the later stages of the war, that the regiment has lately returned home after fourteen years' service abroad with hardly any non-commissioned officers, and that many of the men have had no experience of life in English towns?