HC Deb 04 August 1942 vol 382 cc833-4
20. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for War the reasons for the discharge from the Army of 11411528 Lance-Bombardier W. Cunningham, Royal Artillery, under paragraph 390 (XVIII) (a). King's Regulations, 1940?

Sir J. Grigg

King's Regulations provide that a soldier may, at the discretion of the competent military authority, be discharged on the grounds that his services are no longer required. In view of the hon. Member's Question, I have looked into this particular case and am satisfied from the confidential information available that the military authorities concerned were justified in their action.

Mr. Driberg

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this man was an outstanding fighter for democracy in the Spanish war and that his character and ability have recently earned him promotion in the British Army, and is this not a clear case of political victimisation?

Sir J. Grigg

The answer to the first part of the question is that I am aware of all the facts, and the answer to the second part is, "No, Sir."

Miss Rathbone

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this is only one of something like a dozen cases where there are strong reasons for suspecting political prejudice to the disadvantage of men who served in the Spanish Civil War?

Sir J. Grigg

No, Sir.