§ 61. Captain PLUGGE
asked the Secretary of State for War whether it is the present practice when an officer or man retires from the Army for his gas mask to be retained by the authorities; and whether, in view of the fact that these masks are specially fitted, he will consider the desirability of allowing them to be kept by the retired officers and men so that there will be no need for them to be provided with masks from other sources, and that they may help in showing civilians how gas masks should be used?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I would explain, however, that gas masks for the troops are not specially fitted, but are made in a number of standard sizes, and those withdrawn when the wearers retire or pass to the reserve are made available to be taken into use again immediately.
§ Captain PLUGGE
Does the Minister not think that this would provide a very efficient means of spreading knowledge of anti-gas procedure throughout the country at very small cost?
§ Mr. DAGGAR
Could the Minister not promise that ex-officers in this House shall at least be allowed to retain their gas masks?
I do not think that ex-officers, whether in this House or otherwise, will be entitled to any special privilege against any other member of the public. In reply to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Chatham (Captain Plugge), I am not convinced that it would be worth the very large expense entailed upon the Army Fund to make this special provision, or that it would ensure a very wide measure of instruction to the public.