CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - ARMY REGULATIONS RE WEARING OF UNIFORM BY OFFICERS.

asked the Minister for Defence if his attention has been drawn to recent allegations in the daily Press to the effect that the regulation on the wearing of uniform is strongly resented by the overwhelming majority of the commissioned ranks; and if he can state whether there are any grounds for these allegations.

I have seen the statements referred to. I am well assured that officers give this regulation their hearty approval.

I am also aware that every officer with a proper sense of discipline resents statements in the Press that suggest that they would break Army discipline by voicing disapproval of Army Regulations.

May I ask the Minister whether in view of the fact that officers will have to wear the uniform on all occasions, he will consider an alternative uniform of a pattern similar or resembling that which is worn by the Gárda Síochána, a uniform with the collar and tie, which is more comfortable than the high collar uniform?

Will the Minister state whether in view of the fact that certain journals took advantage of the enforced silence—enforced upon the commissioned ranks of the Army—to misrepresent very grossly their attitude in the matter of the uniform, whether the officers have any redress or whether they are obliged to bear in silence this misrepresentation without any means of replying?

I am afraid my replies here will have to act as such redress as they can look for.

Can the Minister say upon what grounds he made this regulation?

I think that is an entirely different question.