§ THE DUKE OF RUTLAND
rose to ask the Under-Secretary of State for War whether the travelling and other expenses of the officers and men composing the detachments of the Territorial Regiments, which are to be presented with Colours by His Majesty on June 19, are to be defrayed by the War Office if not whether the Territorial Associations are to be allowed to pay those expenses out of their funds, or whether such expenses are to be met by voluntary contributions; also, what will be done in the case of regiments which have not been able to procure Colours owing to the shortness of the notice given them by the War Office, and the consequent pressure on the firms authorised to supply such Colours; and if the Under-Secretary of State can inform the House as to the hour when the ceremony of the presentation will take place.
The noble Duke said
My Lords, I shall not trouble the noble Lord who is going to answer this Question in the place of the Under-Secretary for War with any superfluous remarks at this time of the evening, but I would merely emphasise what I venture briefly to hint at in my Question. Although it has been answered to a large extent in another place, still I do hope that we may be given assurances on the part of His Majesty's Government that the Territorial Detachments which will be under orders to go to Windsor on June 19 for the purpose of receiving Colours from His Majesty will be given a full and ample amount of pay for their expenses. It appears to me there is a great danger that if something of that sort is not done in a fairly generous spirit a feeling of 1107 dissatisfaction will grow up amongst the Territorial Forces that they are being treated somewhat differently from the Line battalions of the county regiments, because in the present case the Colours have not been issued free to these Territorial battalions. I make no complaint of that, for it was an understood thing in the Circular of last September that that should be the case. At the same time, if any further call is made upon the private finances of the county with which these regiments are connected I think an unpleasant feeling will exist that there is too much difference made between the first and second battalions and the third fourth and other battalions which compose the Territorial battalions of any regiment. I am sure in the present case the noble Lord who is going to answer for the Under-Secretary of State for War will agree with me that the Territorial Force requires every possible encouragement and help to keep in as sound a position as it has reached, and that anything which discourages or appears to make a differentiation between the Line and the Territorial battalions will go far to remove that energy and sympathy which might otherwise exist in the Territorial battalions. I am not going to press any further remarks upon the noble Lord now because time will not permit; but I hope we may be assured that adequate payment for the detachments of the Territorial Regiments who are going to Windsor on June 19 will be given by the War Office. With regard to the second portion of my Question, I fancy that need hardly be asked now, as I understand arrangements have been made by which the difficulties that certainly existed when I put the Notice on the Paper have been very largely removed. The last part of the Question has, I think, been already answered, but I should like an assurance on that point.
§ LORD HENEAGE
My Lords, I hope I may be allowed to put at the same time the Question standing in my name on the Paper—namely, to ask what arrangements have been made as to the place and time when His Majesty will present the Colours to the Territorial Forces; and what provision the War Office propose to make for the travelling expenses, subsistence, and lodging of the escort parties; and what is to be the number of officers and rank and file of each escort party. I hope the Secretary of State for War will take as 1108 carefully into his consideration as he can what time this review is to be held. The 19th of June is a Saturday, and it will very seriously affect the regiments from the Northern and Midland counties if they cannot get home on that night.
The Under-Secretary of State for War is absent owing to indisposition, and has asked me to answer these Questions for him. I learn that it has been decided that the travelling and other expenses of the officers and men attending this function shall be paid from public funds on the following basis:—For the Colour Party of two subalterns and three sergeants (one subaltern and three sergeants in the case of mounted units), and for a detachment of ten non-commissioned officers and men, there shall be paid—(a) railway fares at Territorial Force rates; (b) travelling allowances according to the time occupied on the journey, at the following rates:—Officers, daily rate 3s. 6d. or 6s. or nightly rate of 15s.; non-commissioned officers and men, daily rate 1s. or 1s. 6d. or nightly rate of 2s. 6d. As regards the inability of certain regiments to have the Colours quite ready by the date specified, His Majesty will not require them to be complete in all respects, and a circular letter is being sent out by the War Office giving detailed instructions on this point. I understand that the hour fixed is three p.m. on June 19. With regard to what the noble Duke has said, I would remind him that it is an entirely voluntary proceeding as to whether the units choose to send representatives to this function or purchase colours at all for their battalions. I quite agree with the noble Duke that it would be a very great pity if friction of any kind should ensue on such a unique occasion, and I hope the provision made by the Secretary of State will be regarded as adequate.