HC Deb 10 July 1916 vol 84 cc34-5

asked the Secretary of State for War whether in view of the fact that the visiting officer who was sent to make an independent investigation into the complaints of brutal treatment made by Private Ithel Davies at the Mold Detention Barracks, where he was detained as a conscientious objector to militarism, never examined Private Davies himself on the complaints made on his behalf in this House, he will now direct some investigator to see and examine Private Davies with reference to the said complaints; whether he will take the evidence of Sergeant-Major Binmore, the commandant of the said detention barracks, who rescued Private Davies from the treatment which he received during the first three days of his detention at the hands of a staff-sergeant and other non-commissioned officers; whether he will direct the investigator to examine Private E. Jones, No. 8108, 4th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and Private Turner Williams, No. 7332, 4th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who were eye-witnesses of the brutality suffered by Private Davies, and who will bear out the statement made on behalf of Private Davies as to the treatment which he received; and whether, if further investigations show him to have been misled, he will take steps to punish the persons responsible for Private Davies's treatment?


I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by pursuing this matter further in view of the fact that Private Davies has not preferred any complaint himself, although he has had ample opportunity. In this connection I desire to draw the hon. Member's attention to Section 43 of the Army Act and the "Rules for Military Detention Barracks and Military Prisons. "I would also remind the hon. Member that it is not the duty of a prison visitor to examine soldiers under sentence in regard to complaints made on their behalf. It is his duty to examine complaints made by the man concerned, and ample provision is made under the above quoted rules and Section of the Army Act.