HC Deb 05 July 1955 vol 543 cc932-3
17. Mr. Simmons

asked the Secretary of State for War what proficiency regimental barbers are required to attain; and if they are allowed to give National Service men any choice of hair style when operating upon them.

Mr. Head

Paragraph 1,003 of Queen's Regulations states that hair will be kept short. A soldier may please himself what style he wears provided this rule is observed. There is no establishment for regimental barbers and, although units usually provide civilian or soldier barbers, any man may choose his own civilian hairdresser.

Mr. Simmons

Is the Minister aware that many of the people who practise their art as hairdressers upon National Service men are more fitted to practise the arts of a carpenter or a metal shearer? Will he look at a photograph I have? I have not brought it here, as I think it is not desirable to make an exhibition of this House. It is of a National Service man who looks a perfect fright after the operations of a regimental barber. This is a very important question. If we are to encourage National Service men to continue in the Service, we have to treat them as human beings. I ask the Minister to give serious consideration to the way in which some of these Service men are treated.

Mr. Head

I am all in favour of people having decent haircuts. I will certainly look at the photograph and take the matter up.

Mr. Burden

Have any instructions been given about trimming moustaches in the Army?

Mr. Nabarro

Order, order.