HC Deb 03 May 1916 vol 82 cc8-9

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that much discontent prevails amongst the Yeomanry against the undue pressure being put upon them to join the Regular Cavalry; and will he bring to the special attention of the officer commanding the 3rd Reserve Cavalry Regiment stationed at Canterbury the Army Council Instruction 742 of 1916, and request him to conform not only to the letter but to the spirit of that instruction?


I am not aware that what is stated in the first part of this question is a correct representation of the facts. As regards the second part of the question I regret that such a charge should have been brought. A parade of the 3rd Line Yeomanry units attached to the 3rd Reserve Cavalry Regiment was held on the 11th April, and the commanding officer explained to the troops the Army Council instruction referred to and asked for volunteers for transfer, when three men came forward. Subsequently to that date fourteen other men have voluntarily presented themselves and applied for transfer. It is not the case that any undue pressure has been brought to bear on the men.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, after the general request had been made by the officer commanding, and there was little or no response, the regiments were ordered to parade separately, and that at the end a further request was made?


My information is that it is true a request was made first on parade and three men came forward. Subsequently to that, without any undue pressure, I am sure, by the commanding officer, these other men offered voluntarily.