HC Deb 24 February 1908 vol 184 cc1341-2
Thanksgiving Church Parade-MR. ARTHUR LEE (Hampshire, Fare ham)

On behalf of the right hon. Member for Croydon, I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, whether the War Office circular, dated 28th January, and addressed to lords-lieutenant of counties, and containing a suggestion by the Secretary of State that a special parade of the Territorial Army should take place on 5th April next, for the purpose of giving thanks to Almighty God for the patriotic spirit which has hitherto imbued the Yeomanry and Volunteers, to ask the blessing of God on the Territorial Force and on the men who are to direct and compose it, and to offer the prayers of the nation for the continuance of the blessings of peace, has been followed by the issue of an order for the parade referred to; and whether it is proposed that such a parade shall in fact take place.

MR. BLACK (Bedfordshire, Biggleswade)

was understood to ask, as we cannot claim to have a monopoly of the Almighty's favour, would it not be better to have kept His name out of the question.


I think that would involve dissociating all religion from the army and navy. As the suggested Church Parade is a purely voluntary one, no order will be issued from the War Office on the subject. Although 5th April was proposed as a suitable date, the parade, if considered desirable by Associations and the Commanders of units, may be held at such times and places as the various local conditions render advisable. The suggestion is that of the Chaplain-General on behalf of the chaplains of all denominations, made with my full assent and approval, but as a suggestion merely. Complete liberty is left to the Associations as to whether they will adopt it.