THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
in asking, Why the Royal Naval Volunteers were not drawn up on the right of the line at the Review held on Saturday, 2nd July, in accordance with invariable practice; and whether it is intended to make any change in the Regulation in this respect? said, that this question arose on a former occasion, at the Review in 1881, between the Honourable Artillery Company and the Naval Volunteers, when it was decided in favour of 29 the latter. In accordance with that precedent, the General in command on Saturday last ordered the Naval Volunteers to take the right of the line, but subsequently altered that arrangement, and ordered the right to be occupied by the Honourable Artillery Company. He wished also to ask whether the Honourable Artillery Company claimed this right in virtue of the fact that they are not under the direction of the War Office and are not Volunteers. He desired to know further, whether the Honourable Artillery Company were, or were not Volunteers; and, if not, by what right were they present on that occasion.
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Lord HARRIS)
, in reply, said, that as to the question whether the Honourable Artillery Company were Volunteers or not, a special exemption was made in favour of the Honourable Artillery Company by Section 52 of the Volunteer Act, which provided that "nothing in this Act shall apply to the Honourable Artillery Company "; but, in a subsequent Act, the term "Volunteer" did include that regiment. If a Volunteer meant a person who gave his services voluntarily, undoubtedly the members of the Honourable Artillery Company were Volunteers, seeing that the only assistance they had received from the Government had been in the shape of arms and harness. As to the late Review, he had to say that by a General Order of 1883, Her Majesty was pleased to grant the Honourable Artillery Company, in consideration of its antiquity, precedence immediately after the Regular Forces, and therefore, before the Militia and Yeomanry, who themselves took precedence of the Volunteers. While, therefore, the right of men of the Royal Navy to take the right of the line when in alignment with the Land Forces was not contested, nor that of the Royal Naval Volunteers to take precedence over other Volunteer Corps, the Honourable Artillery Company must be regarded as on a separate footing, with precedence over Volunteer Corps of every description.
§ LORD SUDELEY
said, he thought the answer of the noble Lord was very vague; either the Honourable Artillery Company were Volunteers, or they were not; and, whilst he understood, from what the noble Lord had said, that the Honourable Artillery Company took 30 precedence before the Militia and Yeomanry; but the point really was this—whether, in the absence of these two Corps, they took precedence thus of all other Volunteers. It seemed to him that if they were Volunteers they would rank only as such when none of the regular forces were present, and thus the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers would have their right precedence, and he hoped the noble Lord would have the matter properly looked into.
said, that the answer he had given was perfectly clear—namely, that a General Order of 1883 gave the Honourable Artillery Company precedence.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
said, he was aware that the Honourable Artillery Company had precedence over the Militia and the Yeomanry. That was by Order, and that might be a very good answer as regarded those corps. But that Order did not refer in any way to the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers, and it did not appear that the Order giving the Honourable Artillery Company precedence over other Volunteers referred to them.
said, that the Militia and the Yeomanry had precedence over all Volunteers, and as the Honourable Artillery Company had precedence over the Militia and Yeomanry, they necessarily had precedence also over all Volunteers.