§ 28. Mr. Wigg
asked the Secretary of State for War whether the 50 National Service men provided as beaters for hare coursing by the 38th Regiment, Royal Artillery, at Kinmel Park Camp, near Rhyl, on 5th January, 1956, were volunteers; what payment was made to them; and whether the arrangements were made with his knowledge and consent.
§ Mr. Head
The training programme is so arranged that commanding officers can, at their own discretion, arrange two half-holidays as a whole holiday. The training programme was reorganised in this case because this kind of activity is popular among the troops. The number of volunteers was largely in excess of the numbers wanted. I see no vice in it, and as the hon. Gentleman is himself interested in chasing hares, I would have thought he could be more generous.
§ Mr. Wigg
I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that I often chase hares, but I am also fond of catching them and want an answer to that part of the question. Is it the fact that because certain aristocratic gentlemen asked for troops to be provided they were not only provided but Government transport was provided as well, which is a breach of regulations. Will the right hon. Gentleman take disciplinary action?
§ Mr. Head
No, Sir. There was no breach of regulations in this case. The people who asked for this were not the aristocracy, although I do not see that it affects the question whether they were aristocratic or plebeian. With regard to Government transport, one lorry was used to assist the men, and the driver was under instruction.