§ MR. R. WALLACE (Edinburgh, E.)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, whether he is aware that Colonel Edward Mitchell, Royal Engineers, retired, sent, in an official letter, dated 24th May 1894, an application to the Secretary for War for certain moneys alleged to he due to him on enforced retirement under new rules; and that up to the present date no reply to that letter has been sent to the officer in question; whether a few months ago the same officer laid the particulars of his claim in writing before the present Secretary for War, and respectfully asked for justice; and that in about a fortnight it was returned to him in an official envelope from the War Office, unaccompanied by any memorandum or letter in reply; whether, by official letters of 3rd December 1895 and 26th February 1896 the same officer submitted his claim to the Under Secretary for War, asking that justice should be done; whether, up to the present date no reply has been sent to that officer to either of these letters, and what is the ground of the delay; and, whether he will lay copies of the above-mentioned letters upon the Table of the House?
THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. POWELL-WILLIAMS,) Birmingham, S.
The case of Colonel Mitchell has been fully considered by successive Secretaires of State during the last ten years, and it is impossible to re-open it. It has been repeatedly before the courts of law, and, after protracted litigation, Colonel Mitchell was condemned in costs, which the War Department agreed to forego after an undertaking from Colonel Mitchell that the question would now be allowed to rest. Despite this undertaking Colonel Mitchell has continued to appeal to the Secretary of State and to the Judges, and it has been necessary for some years past to desist from further correspondence with him. The Secretary of State is not prepared to lay any correspondence upon the Table
§ In answer to a further question from Mr. WALLACE,
said that as he was informed, the decisions of 146 the courts of law were on the merits of the case.