HC Deb 31 May 1927 vol 207 cc189-90
10. Mr. HANNON

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has seen the communication recently addressed by the War Office to the Warwickshire Territorial Army Association relating to the loss incurred in the organisation of the torchlight tattoo in Birmingham in May of last year; if he is aware that the loss of £5,000 incurred by the promoters of the tattoo was wholly due to the general strike; that the arrangements for the tattoo were in every way efficient and entailed much loss of time and energy voluntarily given by Territorial officers and men, and that in the event of the tattoo having succeeded the surplus funds would have gone to military charities; and whether, in view of the terms in which it was couched, the rebuke given by the War Office to the association was sent with his approval?

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

I have no doubt that the General Strike was the cause of the loss on the Birmingham Tattoo; it has never been suggested that the loss was due to any want of assiduity, energy or efficiency by the Territorial officers or men. The decision is a generous one intended to mitigate any hardship arising from the loss. Steps must, however, be taken to avoid any future losses from whatever cause. The decision was my decision and communicated to the association on my instructions.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he was responsible for the text, of the letter which was sent to the Warwickshire Territorial Association; and does he approve of the terms in which the letter was couched?


The decision was my decision. As to what I said to my hon. Friend, it seems to be quite unnecessary to press the matter any further.


Is it not of great importance to the. War Office that they should keep on the most friendly terms with the Territorial Associations?


Of course it is, and if I myself had been drafting the letter I might possibly have used slightly different phraseology-but there it is.


Can the right hon. Gentleman inform the House as a matter of interest to a substantial section of the community, what was the economic result of the tattoo and how was it affected by the general strike?


That question does not arise.

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