§ 60. Major CRAWFURD
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, whether he is aware that the memorial, recently erected near Hyde Park Corner, to the officers and men of the Machine Gun Corps who fell in the great War, bears the inscription, "Saul hath slain his thousands but David his tens of thousands"; and whether he is prepared
§ the live register are to count as unemployed?
§ Following is the statement promised:
§ to take steps to have this inscription replaced by one more in keeping with the spirit in which these men fought and died?
The design of the memorial referred to by the hon. Member was submitted by the Memorial Committee of the Machine Gun Corps and approved by the First Commissioner of the day. The memorial includes the figure of David, and the inscription, which is a Biblical quotation, is intended to draw attention to this fact, and is not, therefore, one to which the First Commissioner can take exception.
§ Major CRAWFURD
Are we to assume that in the opinion of the First Commissioner of Works and of the Government that the reference to slaughter is an adequate tribute to the heroism of these men?
The design was approved by the Memorial Committee in the first place, and was submitted to the First Commissioner of the day, who approved it.
§ Major CRAWFURD
May I ask for an answer? Is it really the opinion of the Government or of any First Commissioner 1159 that memorials to the dead in the War should contain references to the amount of slaughter?
The difficulty is that this inscription was given in order to indicate to the public that the statue was a statue of David. Without the inscription the statue itself would not be identified by everyone.
§ Mr. JAMES HUDSON
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the quotation on the statute was modified last year as a result of the intervention of the First Commissioner of Works, and would it not be possible to get some other quotation from the life of David more in keeping with the sacrifices of these men?