§ 31. Mr. WATT
asked the Secretary for Scotland whether a conscientious objector named Hugh Russell was on the 8th instant sentenced to another two years with hard labour, and is now undergoing such in Duke Street Prison, Glasgow; whether it was for the same offence as he had before that date served a term of imprisonment, and is it permissible under the King's Regulations to punish twice for the same offence; and is he aware that this man has brothers fighting with distinction in the Armies of France?
§ The UNDERSECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Macpherson)
My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. I presume my hon. Friend is referring to Private Andrew Russell, who was sentenced by court-martial on the 4th October and is now undergoing punishment as stated. He was not sentenced for the same offence but for a further offence of a similar nature.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell me why he has been able to identify this case, seeing that on a great many occasions he has refused to answer questions put by me because I did not indicate the regimental number in such cases?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
I invariably try to answer any question put to me. I have no recollection of having refused to give the hon. Member any information that I had. It is extremely difficult to identify any particular private soldier unless you get his number and rank, but in this case I happened to have personal knowledge of it.