Oral Answers to Questions — Officer Cadet Training Unit (Duties).

– in the House of Commons on 28th January 1942.

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Mr. McNeil:

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will instruct the commanding officer of an officer cadet training unit, privately identified to him, that the present proportion of ceremonial parades is too high, and the insistence on small unnecessary details and duties from cadets, such as the present practice of enamelling bayonets with nail polish to keep them bright, is inordinate?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

The syllabus provides for two formal parades each week, and I am informed that this number has not been exceeded. I understand that contrary to the regulations, bayonets have been polished. Instructions have been issued that this practice is to stop.

Mr. McNeil:

Is the Financial Secretary aware that in this O.C.T.U. the time allotted for radio training has been cut to permit of ceremonial drill, and does he not consider that since the unit is training for technical warfare this is certainly foolish and possibly wicked?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

The main part of the training of the unit is of a technical character, and it is desirable that there should be a certain amount of parade drill. Although it is not fashionable to say so nowadays, smartness on parade has never done troops any harm.