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Army Organization—Exchanges— Hon Captain Drummond

Volume 217: debated on Friday 1 August 1873

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asked the Secretary of State for War, Why Captain the honourable James Drummond was transferred from the 14th Foot to a vacant troop in the 6th Dragoon Guards in the Gazette of the 25th of June last; whether he is aware that this Officer exchanged of his own accord as a Captain from Cavalry to Infantry some years ago, receiving, as was then the custom, a large sum of money for so doing; and, whether he approves of officers who have exchanged to Infantry, and received money for so doing, being brought back to fill vacancies in the Cavalry?

Sir, Captain the Hon. James Drummond was transferred from the 14th Foot to a vacant troop in the 6th Dragoon Guards, upon the selection of His Royal Highness the Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chief, with the approval of the Secretary of State, in the manner prescribed by the Royal Warrant. I am aware that this officer exchanged from cavalry to infantry some years ago, when the practice enabled him to obtain money by doing so; and I have no reason to suppose that he omitted to avail himself of his opportunity. The present transfer gives him no pecuniary advantage, inasmuch as if he were to retire from the Army from either commission the Purchase Commissioners would give him exactly the same sum.

Elementary Education Act— Board Schools—The National Anthem—Question

asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether any instructions have been issued to the Inspectors of Schools in England and Wales directing them to exclude the National Anthem from the list of songs allowed to be sung in Public Elementary Schools on the ground that it contained an appeal to the Almighty?

in reply, said, a similar Question was addressed to him some time ago, in regard to an Inspector who thought the terms of the Act of Parliament might exclude the National Anthem from the songs permitted to be sung during the time of secular instruction. He stated at the time that he was much surprised at the Inspector having given such an opinion, which he deemed a mistaken one. That statement received public circulation, and the Department thought it unnecessary to do more than communicate it to the particular Inspector who had given the opinion. The noble Lord now said, another Inspector had pronounced a similar opinion, and if that turned out to be actually the case, he also would be informed by the Department that he had made a mistake. He should be loath to issue a general instruction to the Inspectors, because the matter was so very clear; but, nevertheless, if a general instruction were found to be necessary it should be issued. Perhaps he might prevent the necessity for any further action, if he stated now that it was decidedly the opinion of the Department that the National Anthem was not a song or hymn of such a kind that there could be any objection whatever to its being sung during the secular hour in which the children and the managers ought to be allowed to obey their own loyal instincts. The Committee of Privy Council would not feel it to be their duty to recommend any hymn or song, however excellent; but they could prevent them from being excluded.

said, he received his information from a clergyman who was sitting next the Inspector, and saw him strike out "God save the Queen" from the programme.