§ Sir CLEMENT K1NLOCH-COOKE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will inform the House of the order permitting non-commissioned officers and men of the Royal Marines, when on shore, to wear plain clothes, has recently been varied; in what respect the order has been varied; why any variation was deemed necessary; and whether the regulation now in force regarding the wearing of plain clothes by non-commissioned officers and men in the Royal Marines, when on shore, are identical in every way to similar regulations governing the wearing of plain clothes by non-commissioned officers and men in the Regular Army; and, if not, will he say why they are not identical?
§ The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. McKenna)
Royal Marines serving on shore are subject to the provisions of the Army Act and of the King's Regulations and Orders for the Army except where otherwise distinctly provided for by special orders from the Admiralty. In the question of the wearing of plain clothes by non-commissioned officers and men of the Royal Marines, the general regulations as laid down for the Army are followed, but discretion in this matter is allowed to general officers commanding, under whom Royal Marines are serving at the various headquarters and the Royal Marine Depot, Deal. As non-commissioned officers and men of the Royal Marines are constantly being drafted for service with those of other divisions, it was recently considered desirable to issue instructions with a view to the same rules being applied to all of them. In this respect instructions have been issued for the guidance of commanding officers of the Royal Marines, but the general regulations remain the same as those governing the wearing of plain clothes by non-commissioned officers and men of the Regular Army.
§ Sir CLEMENT KINLOCH - COOKE
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that the men have to get leave daily in order that they may wear plain clothes?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I have given a very full answer to the hon. Gentleman. If he will wait until he sees it in print I daresay he will find that it contains all the necessary information.
§ Mr. ARTHUR LEE
Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether any special instructions have been issued to officers commanding in regard to the Royal Marines in the direction of extending or restricting the privileges now accorded to men in the Army?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The general regulations in the Navy as to the wearing of plain clothes are very much the same as those which govern the wearing of plain clothes in the Army.