§ 37. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Attorney-General when the present practice of trying British-born subjects by court-martialin cameraand executing decisions so reached was introduced; whether before those trials or before the executions the legality of that procedure and the law, if any, on which it was supposed to be based were ascertained, and the fiat of any Civil Court, judge, or law officer obtained; how many British-born subjects have been executed and how many are now undergoing penal servitude in pursuance of sentences of courts-martial heldin camera, and, seeing that this procedure is not warranted by any law, but only by a Regulation which has never been judicially reviewed, and that its victims are now powerless to have it so reviewed, whether he will take immediate steps to get a decision of a competent Civil Court on the legality or illegality of holding field general courts-martialin camera, in order that Parliament may deal with the matter this Session?
§ Mr. FORSTER
My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. As far as I am aware, trial in this 29 country of British-born subjects by court-martial has only been resorted to by virtue of the powers given by the emergency legislation passed by Parliament to meet the situation caused by the War. During this period the public have been excluded from any trial where the safety of the State requires this to be done. As regards the second and fourth parts of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the answers given to him by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on the 3rd July. As regards the third part of the question, I may inform him that the results of all these trials have already appeared in the Press.
§ Mr. GINNELL
This question has been postponed at the request of the Attorney-General, and yet he is not here to answer it. What is the Statute law under which persons in this country are denied trial as stated in the question? There is no law, but a Regulation which has never been revised by any Court.