§ 15. Mr. JOHN JONES
asked the Secretary of State for War the number of soldiers who are now serving terms of imprisonment for breaches of discipline; how many of these are under twenty years of age; and if he will take into consideration the advisability of recommending a general amnesty in view of the recent Peace celebrations?
I would refer the hon. Member to my reply on the 23rd July to the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland, in which I promised a Return showing the members imprisoned at home and abroad on a given date, and this is now in course of preparation. In view of the labour involved I regret the information asked for in the second part of the question cannot be given. As regards the last part of the question, as already stated, after very careful consideration the Cabinet decided not to adopt the course suggested.
The proposal in the question is obviously one for Cabinet decision, and not the War Office. With regard to the details of the offences for which the men are undergoing imprisonment, the War Office are taking the course suggested.
§ Mr. HOGGE
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many young lads who went into the Service under admittedly extra ordinary conditions are serving sentences for cowardice in front of the enemy, a perfectly natural thing in the case of such young lads, and will not the Government consider the reasonableness of releasing them?
The House must not be allowed to form the impression that where sentences in cases of this kind were passed they were not given the utmost humane consideration before they were confirmed. These cases have been treated with the utmost leniency.