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Army—The Volunteer Review In Hyde Park

Volume 230: debated on Thursday 29 June 1876

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Question Observations

said, he wished to put a Question to the First Commissioner of Works, and as it was one in which the public took an interest, he hoped that he might be allowed a little latitude in doing so. The Question he desired to put had reference to the Volunteer Review, and related to a matter which materially affected the convenience and comfort not only of Members of Parliament, but of their families and of the public generally. As he understood, there were to be no stands, but there were to be a certain number of separate inclosures, into which Members and their families would be turned as into so many pens. It would be impossible that ladies could stand for two or three hours during the march past. He could not help thinking that it would be a great convenience if a certain number of chairs were allowed to be placed in the inclosure. Again, if people on horseback were allowed to stand behind the inclosures they would see a great deal better; and with regard to the public, although the alignment would be nearly altogether occupied by persons who held tickets, still, if they were admitted to the flanks of the alignment, he thought their convenience would be much better provided for than under the present arrangement.

In answer to the Question of my noble Friend, I have to say that after conferring with His Royal Highness the Ranger of the Park, I am happy to be able to state that I have made arrangements whereby the whole of the front row of the inclosure, from one end to the other, shall be furnished with four rows of seats, which will enable the ladies to sit in front, and the gentlemen to stand up behind. With regard to a third line of horsemen behind these two lines, I am afraid, after consultation with the heads of the Metropolitan Police, that I cannot accede to any such request. This permission has never been granted on any previous occasion, and it would greatly interfere with the comfort and safety of the sight-seeing public who are not provided with tickets, and would greatly increase the difficulties of the police in passing the people from the road into Hyde Park and into the inclosures for which they have tickets. I may, perhaps, be allowed to correct a general misapprehension as to what fell from me on Tuesday evening when I said there was a small space left for the sight-seeing or general public. What I meant on that occasion was the general public provided with tickets—namely, those who did not belong to the Civil Service, the Army and Navy, and the Volunteers. I am happy to say that on this occasion the general public, the sight-seeing public, who are not provided with tickets will see much more of the Review and have more ample opportunities of seeing the march past than they have ever had on any previous occasion when a Review has Been held in Hyde Park.


I wish to put a Question to the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister of which I was unable to give Notice, but which probably he may be able to answer without Notice. I wish to ask him, Whether he is able to state that the Government has received any news respecting the intended declaration of war by Servia?

No, Sir. We have not received any information, and I believe I may venture to say that the Servian troops have not crossed the frontier. We have, within an hour of the House meeting, received news from Belgrade—from our Consul, a man of considerable information and ability—and it appeared that nothing of the kind contemplated in the Question of the noble Lord had then occurred. Still, Prince Milan had repaired to headquarters. That is all the information we have received. At the moment that news left, within a few hours, certainly the Servian troops had not crossed the frontier.