asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that the band of the A Company, 5th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, is advertised to play at a political demonstration held under the auspices of the Stowmarket and District Conservative and Unionist Association; whether this band has been engaged with his consent; and what steps he is prepared to take to prevent the use of Army bands for political purposes?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Haldane)
The matter has been referred to the General Officer Commanding concerned, who, in accordance with the 954 Regulations, has stopped the band from playing at the meeting in question.
§ Mr. MacVEAGH
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman could state the result of his inquiry into the allegation that the hon. Member for the Brentford Division recently attended a political meeting in military uniform; what action has been taken by the War Office; and whether he can state what is the uniform of the regiment to which the hon. Member belongs?
§ Mr. HALDANE
I have ascertained that on the evening in question the Noble Lord was dining with you, Sir, and was therefore most properly wearing his uniform, and that after this dinner he had to proceed direct to a Conservative Club dinner at Brentford, having no time to change his uniform. The latter dinner does not appear to have been an open political meeting, and I think the House will agree that under the circumstances the Noble Lord can hardly be reproached. It would, I think, be pedantic in this case to insist on the letter of the Regulation, although that Regulation is one which ought to be strictly observed. The uniform of the Bedfordshire YRomanry is blue with white facings, and black and white plume.