HC Deb 02 April 1957 vol 568 c220
24. Mr. Kershaw

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will take steps to permit the wearing of walking-out dress of a pattern or colour more distinctive of regimental traditions than No. 1 dress.

Mr. John Hare

No. 1 dress was chosen as the most suitable walking-out dress after very careful consideration. In addition to their cap and collar badge and buttons, most regiments already have some distinctive features in their No. I dress uniform, such as the colour of their caps, trousers, piping or trouser stripes.

Mr. Kershaw

May I ask my hon. Friend not to be inhibited by the amount of ladies' underclothing which he has in stock from dressing the men decently? Does not he agree that this No. 1 dress is both dowdy and dull and is no help to recruitment? If, as I hope he will, he dresses the infantry of the line and other units in scarlet, will he remember that the place to buy the cloth is in my constituency, at Stroud and Cam?

Mr. Hare

I thought that my hon. Friend probably had some ulterior motive in asking that supplementary question. I do not accept his implication that the No. 1 dress is either dowdy or dull. I personally think that it is a smart walking-out uniform.

Mr. Strachey

Is not the provision of No. 1 dress the important question?

Mr. Hare

Very large quantities of the No. 1 dress have been issued.

Major Legge-Bourke

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the fact that when I last went to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst I was informed that the general view of the No. 1 dress was that it looked like that of an overripe bus conductor?

Mr. Hare

I think that the smartness of any uniform is open to debate, and this is no exception to the rule.