MR. CONLON (Tipperary, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that an officer of the 2nd Welsh Regiment, stationed at Aldershot, sentenced Private Thomas O'Grady to 48 hours' punishment for refusing to remove a shamrock from his cap, O'Grady not being on regimental or any other military duty at the time; and whether this conduct of the officer was authorised by any of the Queen's Regulations?
§ SIR T. ESMONDE (Dublin Co., S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Private Thomas O'Grady, of B Company, 2nd Welsh Regiment, stationed at Aldershot, was sentenced to 48 hours' punishment for wearing a shamrock in his undress cap on St. Patrick's Day, although he was not on duty at the time; what Military Regulation did he infringe by wearing the shamrock; and upon whose authority was he so severely punished?
§ MR. HAYDEN (Leitrim, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State "for War whether his attention has been called to the fact that on the 17th instant an officer of the 2nd Welsh Regiment sentenced Private Thomas O'Grady to 48 hours' punishment for refusing to take a shamrock from his undress cap when ordered to do so, although O'Grady was not on duty at the time; and can he state under what Regulation this officer acted?
§ MR. WEBB (Waterford, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Private Thomas O'Grady, at Aldershot, received 48 hours' imprisonment for refusing to remove a shamrock from his cap on St. Patrick's Day, he being off duty at the time; and if he will state what Regulation was infringed by O'Grady's conduct?
§ MR. E. STANHOPE
I have not yet received the Report which has been called for from the General Officer commanding at Aldershot; but, judging from the question. I would say the soldier appears to have been punished for disobeying an order.
§ MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)
Will the light hon. Gentleman have any objection to insert in the invitations to Irishmen to join the Army that they are liable to be insulted for wearing the shamrock?
§ COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.)
In consequence of the answer of the light hon. Gentleman, I beg to give notice that on the Third Reading of the Army Annual Bill I will move that it be re-committed, in order to insert a clause dealing with this matter.
§ MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
Is it not the fact that the late Duke of Clarence were the shamrock with his regimentals when he attended York Cathedral at the consecration of the late Dr. Magee as Archbishop of York? MR. E. STANHOPE: It is perfectly obvious that I ought to have notice of that question.
§ MR. P. O'BRIEN (Monaghan, N.)
Is it not a fact that the Lord Lieutenant on St. Patrick's Day were a shamrock when reviewing the troops, and will the right hon. Gentleman see that this, treasonable practice is discontinued in the future?
§ MR. E. STANHOPE
Perhaps the House will allow me to say that I only received private notice of this question yesterday. I have telegraphed to Aldershot, and no doubt a written Report is now on its way, although I have not yet received it.
§ COLONEL NOLAN
Will the right hon. Gentleman put off the Third Reading of the Army Annual Bill, which is down for to-night, until he gets that answer? I must press for an answer. Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to press through the Third Reading?
§ MR. E. STANHOPE
I do not see any object in pressing it on to-day. I am perfectly ready to put it off till Thursday.