§ Mr. Thorne
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can give any information in connection with the two hours' wave of gas emitted on a Salisbury suburb about midnight, causing distress and annoyance to residents; and why the Southern Command were not prepared to make a statement about the matter?
§ Sir J. Grigg
I much regret the inconvenience caused to the local inhabitants by the release of some gas in a camp near Salisbury. I have received a report on the incident. The gas was released as part of an exercise necessary for the training of the troops. It was expected that the effect of the gas would be confined to the camp, but, unfortunately, the direction of the wind changed. As soon as the sentries specially posted to observe the spread of the gas reported this the generator was buried and no more gas was released. Numerous exercises of this kind had been held before without any inconvenience to the local inhabitants, but in view of what happened on this occasion the military authorities have agreed to keep the chief constable of Salisbury informed of such exercises in future, and I hope that an incident like this will not happen again. As regards the second part of the Question, no statement was made by the Command as the incident was then being investigated.