HC Deb 07 November 1939 vol 353 cc20-1
34. Mr. Glenvil Hall

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the unsatisfactory conditions under which men of the Warwickshire Yeomanry are living in the camp allotted to them; and whether he will take steps to see that both rations and facilities for sleeping and recreation are immediately brought up to the standard prevailing elsewhere?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

I have called for a report, and have received the following reply from the Command: Allegations unsatisfactory living conditions Warwickshire Yeomanry have no foundation in fact. No troops are under canvas and all have been quartered in permanent buildings both for sleeping and feeding since September except line guards who have huts. Only tentage in use is that of Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes for which huts are now being provided. Every man in possession palliasse and bolster. Standard of messing is high. Standard of discipline is high. Regimental Sports Board meets regularly and rugby and Association matches take place on half holidays. Free cinemas and concerts have been and will continue to be provided. No complaints against either living conditions or food have been made to either commanding officer or squadron commanders. Regiment deeply resents allegations contained in your message under reference. I wish to add that much valuable time has now been wasted examining a charge which I am satisfied is entirely baseless.

Mr. Hall

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I made no reference whatever to canvas in my question? Is he aware that this information came to me from what I thought was an unimpeachable source?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

I would only say that it does not matter to me personally or TO the hon. Member personally, but every one of these statements is broadcast in Germany.

Mr. Maxton

If I put down a question along similar lines, well authenticated, and not coming from Germany, will the right hon. Gentleman promise to give me an answer without being bad tempered about it?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

Yes, Sir. I should be equally as good tempered in answering a question of the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) as I have been in answering this question.

Lieut.-Colonel the Marquess of Titch-field

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I live within five miles of where the Warwickshire Yeomanry are stationed, and that I have seen a great deal of the officers and men, and I can assure him that there is nothing in the allegations put forward?

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