HC Deb 11 June 1877 vol 234 c1571

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been called to the following statement in the "Belfast Morning News" of Tuesday, May 29th, in a letter signed "Inquirer," of whom the editor says— We are prepared to say that implicit credence may be given to his facts." Referring to the 94th Regiment, "As the matter at present stands it would appear as if certain officers of the regiment have connived at the escape from justice of a man said to have been guilty of a crime. The question presents itself—How is it that the officer alluded to is an absconder. Is duty so laxly performed in the 94th that a prisoner can so easily escape. We know that, accused of a crime, he was placed under arrest and that he broke his arrest, for, leaving the officers' quarters in broad day, he quitted by the barrack gate and fled. But how was it that he was able to do so, and, whether, if the above statement is well founded, any inquiry has been instituted into the matter, and with what result?


Sir, my attention was called to the paragraph about the same time by the hon. Member's Question and by an anonymous letter in which it was enclosed to me. It is perfectly well known that an officer of the 94th Regiment was charged with an offence. He escaped; but there is no reason whatever, as I am informed, to suspect any connivance on the part of any of the officers or soldiers in the regiment. There was nothing so extraordinary in the case as to make the arrest different from that which is usual in the case of an officer. He was placed upon parole, and he broke his parole and escaped from barracks. There was nobody in charge of him. He was trusted on his word, and he broke it.