HC Deb 15 July 1952 vol 503 cc1972-3
42. Mr. Royle

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that officers reporting for duty as Z Reserve officers at Lulworth Camp, Dorset, are instructed, in the absence of mess uniform, to wear dinner jackets in the mess; how far this order is general in all Z Reserve camps; and if he appreciates the embarrassment caused to officers who are not in possession of such clothing.

Mr. Head

Existing instructions provide that on no occasion shall the wearing of a dinner jacket be obligatory for officers, and the commanding officer of this unit has been reminded of the fact.

Mr. Royle

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one of these officers, an officer with distinguished service throughout the war in Burma, had to eat out at a local café every night to avoid embarrassment, and that another one was asked not to attend on guest nights lest the absence of a dinner jacket should create a ticklish position? Is it not rather ridiculous that any commanding officer should insist on this?

Mr. Ellis Smith

It applies to more than the Army.

Mr. Head

I have been into this question, and six officers dined in the mess dressed as I am now at the present time. As regards the ticklish position, perhaps that referred to wearing battle-dress in hot weather.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are far more stuffed shirts in the Labour Party than at Lulworth Camp?