§ 18. Mr. MacVEAGH
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that many officers in the Army are subjected to severe demands upon them for mess contributions; that those who do not wish to partake of wines are nevertheless compelled to pay their quota towards its cost; and that officers are also put to unnecessary expense in the matter of uniforms and horses, with the result that it will be difficult for officers who have no income beyond their military pay to remain in the Army in times of peace; and whether immediate steps can be taken to require officers to pay for their own wines and to prohibit their consumption at meal times and also to relieve officers of charges for uniforms or for horse-keep?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
The policy of the Army Council in this matter has not changed from that defined by my right hon. Friend who was then Under-Secretary of State in answer to a question by my hon. and gallant Friend for the Egremont Division of Cumberland on the 11th November, 1915. I cannot accept the hon. Member's suggestion that severe demands are made upon officers, as the King's Regulations contain specific instructions to the contrary in paragraphs 1163–1167, and any unnecessary expenditure on horses or uniform is similarly forbidden. To prohibit the consumption of wine at meal times would be to impose on officers a restriction which is not placed upon the general public.
§ Mr. MacVEAGH
Is it not a fact that in times of peace it is practically impossible for a man to get a commission in the Army unless he is in receipt of a private allowance from his friends?
§ Major NEWMAN
Is it not a fact that only on guest nights officers are compelled to contribute towards the general cost of the wines?