asked the Secretary of State for War why the cavalry regiments, which now form part of the Royal Armoured Corps are not allowed to wear on their uniforms their regimental badge or name, as this decision has caused great dissatisfaction to these regiments with their individual traditions and long roll of battle honours?
These regiments are now part of the Royal Armoured Corps and follow in this matter the practice in other corps such as the Royal Artillery and the Royal Engineers. Personnel may, however, wear a flash in the colours of their particular regiment and they may wear a regimental cap badge.
Does not the Army A.C.I, begin with the words "In order to foster esprit de corps," and does the right hon. Gentleman think that this part of the A.C.I. will help that spirit? May I take it that it is not the policy of the War Office gradually to-destroy the individuality and identity of these old cavalry regiments?
Yes, Sir, that is the case but they have been transferred for some years past to the Royal Armoured Corps, and this A.C.I, was produced after very-careful consideration and after a very wide range of consultation. On the whole, I think it solves the difficulties of a very difficult problem as best they can be solved.
Is not keen regard to tradition a part, not only of the spirit of the British Army, but of the whole nation, and will not this really be a blow at the traditions which have made our Army great?
No, Sir, I do not think so at all. As regards the first part of the Question, it is necessary at times to compromise between tradition and the facts of the case, and on the whole, as I say, I think that this is a reasonable solution of an extremely difficult problem.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that some of these regiments which are now done away with are, so far as tradition is concerned, among the oldest regiments in the British Army, and is not this unfair discrimination against the cavalry units?
They are not being done away with in the least. Some years ago they were transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps. Special arrangements were made to preserve their identity as much as possible, subject to their being transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps.
I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.