HC Deb 27 July 1914 vol 65 cc923-4
56. Mr. KING

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that on the 22nd July men of the Irish Guards quartered at Wellington Barracks made a demonstration when the hon. and learned Member for Waterford and the hon. Member for East Mayo passed the barracks on their return from Buckingham Palace; whether any notice was taken of this action by the commanding officer or any other officer; if so, what action; and whether any Regulations were infringed by the men in question?


I am informed that the facts are as follows: On Wednesday last, at about 1.20 p.m., a large civilian crowd were accompanying and loudly cheering the two hon. Members in question as they left Buckingham Palace and proceeded along Birdcage Walk. The shouting attracted the attention of some ten or twelve men of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, off duty at Wellington Barracks, and also attracted the attention of some twenty or thirty men in the barracks, who leant out of the windows. These men joined in the general cheering. There was no infringement of King's Regulations. At 9.45 on the following day the officer commanding formed up his battalion informally behind the Orderly Room, and in a few words told his men that such an incident, small and minor as it was, was liable to be misinterpreted, and reminded them that, as soldiers in or about barracks, they were not allowed to give public expression to private opinions.

Colonel GREIG

Does or does not the principle of the admonition given by Lieutenant-Colonel Morris to the rank and file of the Irish Guards not to demonstrate their political opinions publicly equally apply to officers, honorary or otherwise, of that and other regiments?


Will the right hon. Gentleman discourage any attempt to drag in the Army by means of the Irish Guards?