HC Deb 09 April 1940 vol 359 cc456-7
76. Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Secretary of State for War how many English officers from English regiments have been posted to Scottish regiments since 1st January, 1940; whether he is aware that such transfers have prevented Scottish cadets, the sons of Scotsmen, from being posted to Scottish regiments; that this causes discontent and is lowering the morale of Scottish units; and whether he will give an assurance that the practice complained of will cease?

Mr. Stanley

I regret that no record has been kept which would show the number of English officers from English regiments posted to Scottish regiments since 1st January, 1940. But I am assured that, except in the case of Home Defence battalions, the number is negligible, and that such a posting is not made except when there is a particular requirement for which no Scottish officer is available. Even so, endeavour is always made to provide an officer of Scottish descent. I do not think, therefore, that the effect can be such as the hon. and learned Member indicates.

Brigadier-General Sir Henry Croft

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Scottish officers are swarming in English regiments, who do not really mind very much?

Mr. Gibson

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that this is causing very grave concern among officers and men, both those in Scottish regiments and those prevented from joining Scottish regiments, and can he say what is the machinery for posting officers to particular regiments?

Mr. Stanley

It will only be causing concern at all if the facts are misrepresented. This posting seldom occurs, and only when a specialist officer is required for any particular job and when there is no Scottish officer available.

Sir H. Williams

Could my right hon. Friend say how many Scottish officers are serving in the Navy?