§ MR. LEA
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War with reference to the Annual Report on the Army [Cd. 2696], page 77, what were the names and corps of the nine men serving at Home who were sentenced to penal servitude and the fifteen men serving Abroad who were likewise sentenced in 1905, will he give in each case the offence or offences for which each man was tried, and when, where, and by whom they were tried, also the names of the persons who confirmed the sentences, and what opportunity was given in each case to appeal; and whether the evidence has since been submitted to the Judge Advocate-General, and if he approved of each sentence.
§ *MR. HALDANE
I am glad my hon. friend has given me an opportunity to correct a clerical error in the return. The figures for soliders sentenced to penal servitude in 1905 should have been stated to be, one serving at Home; eleven serving Abroad. All these sentences were inflicted by General Courts-Martial and were confirmed at Home, by His Majesty the King; Abroad, by the General Officer Commanding the troops. The proceedings have all been reviewed by the Judge Advocate-General concerned, and, in India, the confirmations were approved by the Governor-General in Council. The particulars of the cases are as follows:— At Home: a man of the Manchester Regiment was tried at Ashton in January, 1905, for deserting from Ladysmith during the siege. Abroad: a man of the 2nd Border Regiment was tried at Thayatmyo in September, 1905, for wounding with intent to murder, and another of the 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers was tried at Mooltan, in November, 1904, for a similar offence. Seven men of the 1st West India Regiment were tried at Barbados in October, 1904, for perjury. A man of the 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers was tried in Mauritius, in October, 1904, for striking a lieutenant on duty, and another of the 3rd Lancashire Fusiliers was tried at Middelburg in April, 1905, for striking a sergeant on 403 duty. It is considered, in the interests of the men, not advisable to make public their names. As regards appeal the reply is as given to Question No. 58.†
§ †See preceding Question and Answer.
§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER
Why is it considered necessary to conceal the names of men who deserted to the enemy?
§ *MR. HALDANE
The necessity does not apply specially to that case. The information is always available if required.