HC Deb 02 November 1937 vol 328 cc723-4
62. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Secretary of State for War whether it has been finally decided in the near future to mechanise the Royal Scots Greys; how many regiments will, in future, remain horsed; and whether, in view of the necessity of having at least one Scottish horsed regiment for ceremonial occasions and the damage which will be done to recruiting in Scotland if the Scots Greys are done away with, he will reconsider the whole matter?

64. Mr. Erskine Hill

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the strong public feeling in Scotland that if any cavalry regiments are to be allowed to keep their horses the Royal Scots Greys should be included in their number; and whether he can give an assurance that the claims of this regiment, as being the only Scottish cavalry regiment, will not be forgotten?

66. Mr. Anstruther-Gray

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the proposal to deprive the Royal Scots Greys, Scotland's only cavalry regiment, of their horses while other regiments are to remain mounted is causing widespread indignation throughout Scotland; and whether he will postpone a decision until he has informed himself of Scottish opinion on this matter?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

There is no foundation in fact for the assumption underlying these questions. The changes imposed by modern developments in the Army have been loyally accepted, and I regret if the present agitation should suggest to others that this is not universally the case. It is the policy of the Army Council on military grounds to retain in the British Army at least the equivalent of one brigade of cavalry horsed. In addition to the Household Cavalry, the two oldest regiments of cavalry of the line, namely the Royal Dragoons and the Royal Scots Greys, will remain unaffected by the policy of mechanisation.

Sir T. Moore

May I thank my right hon. Friend for that very welcome statement?

Mr. Boothby

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether he has been able to trace the source of this rather reprehensible agitation?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

The matter will follow the usual course. There are certain facts now before the Army Council, and military law and practice will be followed.

Mr. Kirkwood

Then that will mean that the officer who has raised this question is not a citizen.

Mr. Anstruther-Gray

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the fact that some officers put the good of their regiment even before their chances of military promotion?