HC Deb 13 July 1899 vol 74 c685

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, whether his attention has been called to the case of Edward knight, charged on 28th June at Worthing with an assault on a girl; that the evidence being insufficient to convict, the accused was discharged, but the Chairman stated that his character was bad, and that if the charge had been proved he would have been severely punished, and that the best thing he could do was to enlist in the Army; and, whether, in view of the necessity of attracting respectable young men to the ranks, the attention of the Lord Chancellor will be directed to this obiter dictum of the Chairman.


Any remark such as that which the Chairman of the Worthing Bench is reported to have made when discharging Edward Knight, is, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, most reprehensible and injurious to the Army. It cannot be too clearly understood that the Army is not a penitentiary for bad characters, and the Secretary of State will consider what steps can be taken to induce magistrates to refrain from suggestions of so mischievous a nature.