HC Deb 22 November 1927 vol 210 cc1578-9
13. Viscount SANDON

asked the Secretary of State for War whether at future Cenotaph services on Armistice Day the Rise Soldiers Rise reveille can be used in the place of the one used at present; whether the last post can be sounded immediately before the silence and the reveille immediately after it, flags being kept at half-mast till the first notes of the latter; and whether the detachments on parade will be wholly or principally in steel helmets and gas masks instead of in bearskins, etc., in order to emphasise the spirit of the occasion?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Lieut.-Colonel Sir Vivian Henderson)

I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary sees no reason for making any change in arrangements which have met with universal approbation, and could not recommend the adoption of any of my noble Friend's suggestions. I would point out to my noble Friend that the British Empire celebrates Armistice Day not as a day of national mourning nor as a celebration of victory, but rather as a commemoration of a great occasion in the national history.

Viscount SANDON

Has the War Department discussed this matter with the British Legion, and does the hon. and gallant Gentleman not think that the last part of the answer is in itself a strong recommendation for the proposals which I put forward?


I am afraid that I did not hear the last part of the hon. Member's supplementary question.

Viscount SANDON

My supplementary question was that I thought the last part of the answer given by the hon. and gallant Gentleman was in itself a recognition of the proposals which I put forward.


Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman not think that memory becomes a mockery when they have all these bearskins and nonsense of that kind? The men did not die in bearskins.