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Territorial Army Review

Volume 159: debated on Wednesday 10 November 1948

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2.43 p.m.

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

[The question was as follows:

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they are aware that commanding officers of Territorial Army units and their wives were not allotted seats at the Royal Review of the Territorial Army held on October 31; and further whether this omission will be rectified at any future occasion of a similar nature.]

My Lords, the number of Territorial Army Units is so large that it was not a practical proposition to allot seats to commanding officers and their wives. I cannot at present predict what may be the arrangements at any future review of the Territorial Army.

While thanking the noble Lord for his reply, may I ask whether he is aware that the Territorial Army consider as an insult the non-allotment of seats to them at this review? Further, is he aware that there were two stands filled with people other than serving Territorial officers, and is this not another indication of the need for a Territorial representative in the War Office?

To describe what occurred as an insult to the Territorial Army is, in my opinion, a gross abuse of language. I would add that on this occasion there was a standing enclosure for Territorial Army personnel.

I am aware of that, but is it not a fact that there were two stands filled with other than Territorial Army personnel?

I have no doubt that the noble Viscount will raise this and other matters with my honourable friend the Secretary of State for War when he comes to a Committee Room to address members of your Lordships' House.

Would it not be better if in future some of the Territorial commanding officers and other people actually in the Territorial Army were allotted seats, rather than that the seats should all be occupied by Regular soldiers from the War Office, as happened on this occasion?

Perhaps the noble Lord would care to pursue the matter with me privately, when we could investigate in greater detail the distribution of seats. I do not, however, accept as accurate the statement which he has just made.