HC Deb 03 July 1913 vol 54 cc2183-4
48. Mr. HUNT

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that, in response to his request for their opinion, the Association of Chambers of Commerce, the most important representative commercial body in the country, has pronounced decidedly in favour of universal national training, he proposes to take any further action in the matter to meet the urgent necessity for adequate national defence?


The Association of Chambers of Commerce of the United Kingdom passed a resolution at their annual meeting in April last on the subject of the desirability of a Bill for the adoption of such a course of universal training in discipline and arms for the youth of the nation as would meet the urgent necessity for adequate national defence, and they asked me to receive a deputation on the subject. In reply, I requested the association to place their views in writing, in the first instance. A memorandum was then submitted by the association, which is receiving careful consideration. The question of national defence is receiving the most serious and continuous attention from the Government, and has been the subject of frequent discussion in Parliament.


Arising out of that reply could not the right hon. Gentleman now allow national training to be a non-party question, if the Leader of the Opposition will do the same? If not, could he say why: for what resaon? Is he afraid of the Labour party, or what is it?