HC Deb 09 March 1915 vol 70 cc1248-9

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that some 9,000 or 10,000 soldiers, members of the Salvation Army, have joined His Majesty's Forces since the War commenced; whether the Salvation Army has applied to the War Office for the appointment of two or more chaplains to minister to those who belong to that body: whether he is aware that the Dominions of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada have each appointed Salvation Army officers as chaplains and that the reports of their work are in every respect satisfactory; on what ground the application of the Salvation Army to the War Office for the appointment of chaplains has been refused; and who is responsible for such refusal?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Tennant)

I have no information as to the number of men connected with the Salvation Army who have enlisted. As a rule, such men declare themselves as adherents of other religious bodies. I am informed that the Canadian Government has appointed one Salvation Army chaplain and that the Australian and New Zealand Governments also each appointed one with their respective contingents. There does not at present appear to be a sufficiently large number of Salvationist soldiers at any one military centre at home to justify the appointment of a chaplain, but the local military authorities have been instructed to afford the Salvation Army all possible facilities for working among their members in the Army. I may add that the Salvation Army have expressed their sincere thanks for the steps taken by the Army Council.