HC Deb 08 April 1884 vol 287 cc70-1

Bill, as amended, considered.


said, he begged to move a new clause which had been drawn up in pursuance of the engagement entered into with the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell). It was as follows: — (Unauthorised Punishments.) Whereas questions have arisen as to the punishment which may be inflicted on persons subject to military law under 'The Army Act, 1881,' under or by virtue of power derived from Foreign potentates or rulers, and whereas it is expedient to determine such questions: Be it therefore enacted as follows:—There shall he added to section forty-four of 'The Army Act, 1881,' at the end of this section, the following enactment:—No officer or non-commissioned officer shall, under or by virtue of any power or authority derived from any Foreign potentate or ruler, inflict, or cause to be inflicted, on any person subject to military law under this Act, for or in respect of any offence against such law, any punishment not authorised by this Act. The above enactment shall be numbered section twelve. That, he thought, would meet the views of the hon. Member for the City of Cork. It would be observed that to bring the clause into operation three things must concur. The person inflicting the punishment must be an officer of the Army; the offender must be subject to English military law; and the offence must be an offence against that law. He could go no further.

New Clause (Unauthorized Punishments,)—(The Judge Advocate General,)— brought up, and read the first and second time.


said, he was doubtful whether the clause would meet what he desired; and what he wished to know was, whether by the clause an officer would be prevented from punishing persons serving under the military law of England for any offence against the military law of the State in which they might be serving; if the offence was one against the military law of England and also against the military law of Egypt, whether the punishment should proceed under the English or under the Egyptian Code? His object was to prevent the recurrence of such an action on the part of a British officer as the flogging of Egyptian camel-drivers by Admiral Hewett.


said, there could be no doubt that an English officer could only act under the English Code. This Bill, however, dealt only with the Army, and would not cover the case of a naval or civilian officer. Admiral Hewett had acted under a civil authority; and the Bill would not, therefore, affect such circumstances.

Clause agreed to, and added, to the Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."—(The Judge Advocate General.)


asked whether the Government would give a Return of the number of non-commissioned officers in each regiment who were Catholics, in continuation of the Return granted to the hon. Member for Leitrim? His object was to ascertain whether Protestant non-commissioned officers had been unduly favoured in the matter of promotion.


said, he believed it had been the practice of his Predecessor to decline to give Returns relating to particular regiments; but if the hon. Gentleman would communicate with him, he would consider what amount of information he could furnish him with.


asked whether the Government would consider the possibility of extending the effect of the clause just added to the Bill to the Navy by an amendment of the Queen's Regulations?


said, he would communicate with the Admiralty upon the subject.

Motion agreed to.

Bill read the third time, and passed.

It being ten minutes to Seven of the clock, the House suspended its Sitting.

The House resumed its Sitting at Nine of the clock.

Forward to