HC Deb 09 June 1904 vol 135 cc1214-5
MR. WEIR () Ross and Cromarty

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is now in a position to state under what circumstances Captain Crosthwaite, of the 3rd North Staffordshire Regiment, signed a certificate for the arrest of William Vernon of that regiment as an absentee, seeing that Vernon was at the time absent from duty on leave under a certificate signed by the same officer; and will he explain why the military authorities were not represented when the stipendiary magistrate at Hanley, Staffordshire, before whom Vernon was brought on the 30th May, ordered his release.


Private Vernon, 3rd Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment, was granted leave from the annual training by the adjutant, Captain Crosthwaite, on the 26th April. Through inadvertence the adjutant reported this militiaman to the police authorities as an absentee; consequently, he was arrested at Tunstall and a report was made by the police to the officer commanding the 3rd Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment on Sunday, the 29th May. The same day the regimental authorities telephoned to Police Inspector Dodd of Tunstall that Vernon had been arrested in error, and the inspector replied that he would explain the circumstances to the stipendiary magistrate on the following morning. It was in consequence of this arrangement that no officer of the battalion attended the Police Court.