Lecture, Brighton (Transport of Officers).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 17th February 1942.

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Wing-Commander Wright:

asked the Secretary of State for War how many special trains were used to convey officers of South-Eastern Command to a lecture at the Savoy Cinema, Brighton, on 31st January; what was the approximate cost to the public, including trains, petrol for cars, officers detention allowances, hire of cinema, etc.; and whether, as nothing was said that could not have been conveyed to the officers concerned, in writing, he will give instructions that transport facilities are not wasted in future?

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

Six special trains were used to bring officers to this lecture, and the total expenses incurred were approximately £3,000. It is not the case that nothing was said that could not have been conveyed to the officers in writing, and in view of the special circumstances of this lecture I cannot agree that transport facilities were wasted.

Wing Commander Wright:

Am I to understand that my right hon. and gallant Friend agrees to the policy at the present stage of withdrawing no fewer than 3,000 officers from their units in a vitally important defence area and congregating them in one hall in a very vulnerable town?

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

The number of officers brought to the lecture by special trains was about 1,466. The lecture was such that I think it was well justified for these officers to go there and hear personally from the General of his recent experiences and the lessons to be learned from them.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Would it not have been possible for the lecture to have been given at several different times at several different places?