HC Deb 20 July 1934 vol 292 cc1417-8W

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether authority is given to officers commanding-in-chief, or to any other military officers, non-commissioned officers, or soldiers, to use military stores, equipment, horses, waggons, cars, petrol, or 'any other military material whatsoever, for purposes connected with such demonstrations as tattoos or pageants, such purposes being in excess of the normal requirements of military service; and, if not, whether he will give an assurance that the use of military stores, &c., for the purposes indicated will be forbidden?


Authority has been given, within limits and under definite conditions for military horses, stores, etc., to be used in connection with military tattoos and pageants. The fundamental condition of such use is that no expense shall fall on Army funds and that the stores, etc., other than consumable stores which are charged for, shall be insured against the risk of damage or loss.


asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office what rules, if any, are laid down by the War Office regarding the holding by the Army of public demonstrations which are said to have no military purpose, for example, tattoos and pageants; why children are admitted free to such demonstrations when it is claimed that their purpose is to raise funds for soldiers'. welfare; and what part, if any, of the funds voted by Parliament for the Army is devoted to the expenses of such demonstrations.


Rules have been in force since 1929 governing the holding of military tattoos and pageants, to ensure that the numbers required to take part and the periods of rehearsal do not interfere with training programmes, and that the items either exemplify skill at arms, drill, and musical efficiency, or portray incidents connected with British military history prior to the Great War. I understand that children are only admitted free to the daylight full-dress rehearsal, which is held, not with a view to raising funds, but to perfect the tattoo before actual presentation. It is a funda- mental condition of the holding of such displays that no expense shall fall on public funds.