HC Deb 20 January 1942 vol 377 cc187-8
22. Mr. Parker

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will take steps to amend paragraph 541 (a) of King's Regulations which, as interpreted by the Privy Council, forbids officers and men to take an active part in the affairs of non-party organisations such as the League of Nations Union or the Federal Union, in view of the fact that the educational work of such societies is essential to the formation of an informed electorate?

Sir E. Grigg

I do not think it would be desirable to amend King's Regulations in the sense suggested by my hon. Friend; but there is nothing in King's Regulations to prevent serving officers and other ranks attending the meetings of these societies with a view to informing their own minds, provided they do not take an active part in their affairs.

Mr. Mander

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Prime Minister is President of the League of Nations Union, which contains members of all parties?

Sir E. Grigg

That may be true but the Regulations lay down that no officer or soldier may take any active part in the affairs of any political organisation or party, until he has retired or been discharged. It is very hard to draw the line between party and non-party organisations.