§ MR. T. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
On behalf of the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. HUDSON KEARLEY), I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty (1) whether his attention has been called to the sentence recently passed at Devonport on a first class petty officer for walking with his wife in the country on the evening of Her Majesty's birthday (a local holiday) in plain clothes; (2) whether it is a fact that the captain of the naval barracks, who observed, reported, and ultimately tried the offence, was himself in plain clothes at the time in question; and (3) whether, inasmuch as the sentence involves the loss to the man of a penny per day for the remainder of his service, as well as the good conduct medal carrying with it a gratuity of £15, and all chance of securing promotion to the warrant rank for which he was qualifying, and his service record has hitherto been an excellent one with no previous offence recorded against him, the sentence will be reconsidered with a view to its modification?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square
The facts of the case are as stated in the first and second questions of the hon. Member, except that the breach of discipline was committed on the 21st May, not on the evening of Her Majesty's birthday, and that the petty officer was alone when met by the captain of the naval barracks. In reply to the third question, the punishment awarded was deprivation of a good conduct badge, which involves the loss of a penny a day until the badge is restored. This by very good conduct can be recovered in six months.