§ 85. Mr. ANDERSON
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether the commanding officer of any regiment has either the right or power to prevent officers in his command from proceeding on active service solely on the ground of their objection to undergo anti-typhoid inoculation; and, if not, whether he will at once issue a general order that officers have freedom of choice in this matter and that no steps are to be taken to coerce them into acceptance of the operation against their will?
§ Mr. TENNANT
A commanding officer of any unit would be within his rights and powers in preventing any uninoculated officer from proceeding on active service overseas, because such an officer may, if he contracts enteric fever, be a grave source of danger to his brother officers and the men under his command. It is not proposed to issue any such general order.
89. Mr. CHANCELLOR
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is aware that in the King's Liverpool Regiment, stationed at Old Park Camp, Canterbury, Christmas leave is being refused to soldiers who have served in some cases for over twelve months, and who have not a single crime recorded against them, on the sole ground that they exercise their legal right to refuse inoculation; and whether he will at once stop this penalising of soldiers for action which is perfectly legal?
§ Mr. TENNANT
I am sorry not to be able to confirm the statement which my hon. Friend brings to my notice. I have made inquiries in this case, and I find that in the two battalions of the King's Liverpool Regiment stationed at Old Park Camp, Canterbury, no man has ever been refused leave on the sole ground that he has not been inoculated, and, further, that Christmas leave is not being so refused.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that I personally know the soldier, and believe his word?