§ 41. Mr. OUTHWAITE
asked how many men have been executed by orders of courts-martial who had previously been in hospital in consequence of shell-shock?
§ 42. Mr. OUTHWAITE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that boards of guardians are refusing to provide relief to dependants of soldiers who have been executed by orders of courts. martial; and can he say how many dependants have been left by these men?
§ The PRESIDENT of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Hayes Fisher)
My hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I am not aware that boards of guardians have refused to grant relief in the cases to which he refers. Some boards of guardians have, however, passed a resolution asking that pensions should be paid in these cases, thus removing the obligation of the guardians to give relief. I have no information as to the latter part of the question.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that such cases have come up and been discussed by boards of guardians, and that at least in one case relief has been refused; and can he take steps to prevent such a discussion and such a decision?
§ Mr. FISHER
A discussion has come up before some boards of guardians in some of these cases. but this is a question whether or not we should give pensions and other rights to widows and children of deserters, and whether, as a matter of policy, we should put them on exactly the 1999 same footing as the widows of those who have died honourably in the service of their country.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
When the right hon. Gentleman is coming to a decision on this matter, will he bear in mind that some of these men have been executed shortly after having been in hospital for shell-shock?