HC Deb 02 April 1900 vol 81 cc934-5
MR. M'KENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the case of John Garland and Tom Phelps, No. 7,553 and No. 9,563 respectively, Active Service Company South Wales Borderers, who recently volunteered at Newport, Monmouthshire, for service in South Africa; whether he is aware that after enlistment both these Volunteers were discharged for the sole offence of being absent one day without *See The Parliamentary Debates [Fourth Series], Vol. lxxx., page 569. leave; and whether, seeing that other Volunteers who committed the same offence have been allowed to proceed to the front after punishment according to the regulations, he can hold out any prospect that these Volunteers will be allowed to proceed to the front in accordance with their desire.


I am afraid that the hon. Member has considerably understated the offence committed by these men. They were absent from the inspecting officer's parade on the 10th February, and were duly warned that a repetition of the offence would lead to discharge. They were, however, again absent from inspection on the 12th, having broken out of barracks when prisoners at large. When they returned after thirty-six hours absence they had evidently been drinking heavily. After an interval, when they were considered sufficiently sober, they were ordered to be discharged.