HC Deb 23 June 1925 vol 185 cc1275-6

asked the Secretary of State for War if his attention has been drawn to the recent incident in which a soldier belonging to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers was compelled to discard his uniform by the Civic Guard of the Irish Free State when he crossed the border of Northern Ireland to the Irish Free State; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that a young recruit of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers stationed at their depot at Omagh, who went in uniform to Bundoran in the Irish Free State, was arrested by the Civic Guard because he wore the uniform of the British Army; and whether any representations have been made to the Irish Free State authorities in the matter?

76. Colonel GRETTON

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that a young soldier of the 4th battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers was arrested by the Civic Guard of the Irish Free State in Bundoran, where he had gone in uniform with some members of his family; if he is aware that this soldier was informed by the police that he had committed an offence by entering the Free State in British military uniform; that his military cap and tunic were taken from him; that he was provided with a civilian cap and coat; and that his uniform was handed back to him when he left to return to Northern Ireland; if wearing British military uniform is prohibited by authority in the Irish Free State; and what action he proposes to take in regard to this incident?

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Sir Laming Worthington-Evans)


ing period of the current year were as follows:

incident has been greatly misrepresented. The soldier was not arrested for wearing the uniform of the British Army, nor was he compelled to discard his uniform. The facts are that the soldier, who was a recruit on leave from the depot of his regiment, had gone in uniform with a party of excursionists from Enniskillen to Bundoran, where it was noticed by the Civic Guard that he was being followed by a rowdy element in the crowd and was is danger of being molested. He was, accordingly, asked to go to the barracks of the Civic Guard, where he was advised to remain for his own safety until his return train left for Enniskillen, but at his father's suggestion he was allowed to put on civilian clothes and return to the town. I am informed that there is no law or Regulation in force in the Irish Free State forbidding the wearing of uniform by members of His Majesty's forces; but it is still considered advisable by the British military authorities in Ireland that soldiers should not wear their uniform while on leave in the Irish Free State.


If that is a misrepresentation, what is an untruth?


Is there any other part of the British Empire where the War Office consider it inadvisable for British soldiers to wear the King's uniform?


I think there is no other part.