HC Deb 18 February 1941 vol 369 c5
7. Mr. Silverman

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that 13076368, 905th Company, Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps, Private Joseph Hopkinson, registered for military service with the 28 age group in August last; that he informed the military authorities of his change of address; that he received a new registration card showing his new address; that on 9th December last he was arrested, charged as an absentee, placed in police cells, and then discharged by a magistrate before whom it was proved that his calling-up papers had been sent to the wrong address; that, nevertheless, he was sentenced by his commanding officer to 14 days' confinement to barracks, and loss of pay and allowances; and what compensation he is to receive for this miscarriage of justice?

The Secretary of State for War (Captain Margesson)

I am not yet in possession of all the facts in this case, but I have ascertained that, when Private Hopkinson was given 7 days (not 14 days) confinement to barracks, his commanding officer was not aware of all the circumstances regarding the change of address. The period for which the soldier did not receive pay was the 12 days between the date on which he was due to join and the date on which he actually joined, not the period during which he was confined to barracks. I will inform my hon. Friend when my inquiries have been completed.

Mr. Silverman

If the commanding officer when he imposed that sentence was not aware that the man was innocent, is it not clear that there was a serious miscarriage of justice, and ought not some compensation to be awarded?

Captain Margesson

It is just those facts to which I am giving my personal attention, but my inquiries are not yet complete.