HC Deb 02 August 1904 vol 139 cc523-4

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether investigation by the War Office authorities of the various dealings of Colonel Morgan with military stores in South Africa and the peculation of public money, which has been the subject of the strong condemnation from the Bench of the Chief Justice of the Transvaal with reference to those dealings, is to be suspended pending the hearing of actions for libel brought by Colonel Morgan against certain organs of the London Press; and, if so, whether Colonel Morgan is under any and, if so, what obligation to the War Office to proceed with these actions; and whether, having regard to the fact that none of the actions, if expeditiously pressed forward, can be heard for many months, and that after lapse of time there will be difficulty in sifting the dealings in South Africa of Colonel Morgan and his subordinates with the property and money of the public invested in military stores, and to the effect of the delay of the War Office in dealing with this case, he will say whether any and, if so, what undertaking will be given by the War Office that these transactions will be thoroughly and speedily investigated.


As I have already informed the hon. and learned Member, no steps will be taken by the War Office in this matter until the case has been decided in Court. Colonel Morgan is under no obligations to the War Office to proceed with the case. Should the result of the case prove the necessity of inquiry by the War Office, the hon. Member may rest assured that full investigation will be made.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman see that that inquiry cannot be made for several months and in the meantime may be destroyed? Will he give us an assurance that the War Office will make an investigation, as there is a suspicion they are shielding the offenders?


Order, order The Question has been answered.