HC Deb 09 December 1941 vol 376 c1371
15. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Secretary of State for War how many soldiers serving in. units at home stations are now posted as deserters?

Captain Margesson

I regret that the information is not available and could only be obtained by calling for a return from every unit.

Mr. Bellenger

Are not the names of such deserters given to the police, and would it not be an easy matter for the War Office to ascertain this information; and will not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman agree that if they have not got it, they ought to have it, because I have reason to believe that the number is very considerable?

Captain Margesson

I am trying as far as I can to keep down the number of returns, and, as I say, I cannot readily get this information accurately without calling for a number of returns.

Mr. Hannah

Should not this matter be discussed in private?