§ Captain J. HAY
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is aware that the Colonel-Commandant at Woolwich has issued an order to the effect that all troops not vaccinated within the last six years will be given a week in which to submit to the operation, failing which leave would be stopped, and those refusing the operation would not be allowed to leave Woolwich; whether this order applies also to officers; and whether, as members of the Royal Artillery band are shortly going on summer leave, he will have this order withdrawn?
The information possessed by the hon. and gallant Member is not quite accurate. No order of the character indicated has ever been issued regarding the troops at Woolwich generally, and there has never been any question of interfering with the summer leave of the members of the Royal Artillery band. The order issued was to the effect that unvaccinated bandsmen could not be allowed to undertake private engagements to play in places of general resort where they might meet with infection. The order, which applied equally to all ranks, was intended as a precaution in the general interest of the troops and public, and not as a penalty for the bandsmen concerned. It has now, however, been rescinded.