§ 15. Colonel WARDE
asked whether in the history of the Army a case has ever occurred in which, when an officer has left his command for a short period, whether on leave or on duty, an officer from the half-pay list has been appointed to replace him in command; whether it is the invariable rule for the next senior officer in the command to assume that command; and whether there were a number of field officers available and qualified to perform this duty when Brigadier-General Gough was summoned from his command to headquarters on a recent occasion?
§ The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Churchill)
With the indulgence of the House, I would ask permission to read a short personal statement. I regret that my recollection betrayed me into a misstatement yesterday, which I desire at the earliest moment to set right. In replying to the right hon. and learned Member for the Walton Division, and speaking of the document which the Adjutant-General had drafted for General Gough, I said:—The document did not arrive in time to be read by the Cabinet.This is not the case, and does not do justice to my colleagues. The document was read to the Cabinet, and was immediately dissented from by them. I was called out of the Cabinet Room on several occasions that morning, and I have no personal recollection of this particular discussion. The only impression left on my mind was that of the Prime Minister striking out the various paragraphs, and giving the paper to the Secretary of State as the Cabinet was breaking up. The true facts are as stated to the House on Wednesday last by the Prime Minister.