HC Deb 14 June 1898 vol 59 cc225-6

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Major A. Gybbon Spilsbury told Lieutenant-Colonel Boyd, his commanding officer, and Colonel Goldsmith, Chief of the Staff at Chatham, that he was prepared to stand a court-martial, and anxious to do so; and whether his attention has been called to the fact that on 1st June Major Spilsbury, in communication with the War Office, stated that the only arms landed in the Sus by him were 50 rifles and one case of ammunition for his personal escort in proceeding inland to Kirgh; and, if so, whether the permission granted to Major Spilsbury to travel in the Sus involved a necessary escort in a wild and unexplored country?


No application for a court-martial was reported to the War Office; but the circumstances were such that a court-martial would not have been held even had application been made. Mr. Spilsbury, who had shipped at Antwerp 4,000 rifles and 400 cases of cartridges, and had given a false destination, wrote, on the 1st June, that he had landed 50 rifles on the Moorish coast. No sanction, actual or implied, to do so was given him when he obtained leave to travel in Morocco.