HC Deb 08 March 1906 vol 153 cc609-10
MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)

To ask the Secretary of State for War if he will state what steps he proposes to take in the case of Gunner H. Flanagan, X Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, who on December 23rd 1905, was warned that he was to be tried by district court martial for fraudulently enlisting in the 6th Dragoon Guards on February 7th, 1902, and who, within two hours of being warned, was brought before the court, and despite the evidence in his favour, was convicted and sentenced to 112 days' imprisonment, and to be discharged with ignominy from His Majesty's service; and whether he will state why, on January 31st, 1906, the finding of the court was quashed and the prisoner released and ordered to rejoin his battery.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Haldane.) This man was tried for fraudulent enlistment as a deserter from another regiment He denied this, but the court, having satisfied themselves from the evidence before them of the prisoner's indentity with the deserter, convicted him. When in prison he submitted a petition which caused the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief to make further inquiries, which satisfied him that the prisoner was not identical with the deserter. Accordingly, on the advice of the Judge Advocate-General, the conviction was quashed. The prisoner was given twenty-four hours' notice of trial, as required by the Rules of Procedure.