HC Deb 11 September 1942 vol 383 c502
7. Mr. John Dugdale

asked the Secretary of State for War, whether he is satisfied with the steps that are being taken by the military authorities to prevent the wanton destruction of houses and grounds occupied by troops?

Mr. A. Henderson

To check the efficacy of the steps taken to deal with this matter periodic inspections of requisitioned buildings have been made over a period of more than a year. Within this time there has been a very marked diminution in the number of unsatisfactory occupations. A further instruction calling attention to the gravity of offences of this nature will however be issued very shortly.

Mr. Dugdale

Will not the hon. and learned Gentleman take steps to make the disciplinary Regulations more stringent to prevent this sort of thing?

Mr. Molson

Is it not possible to have an inspection before each unit leaves, in order that responsibility may be brought home to those who are to blame?

Mr. Henderson

I will consider that suggestion.

Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

Does not the continuance of cases of wanton destruction show a serious absence of discipline, and is it not time that some disciplinary action was taken against the officers responsible?

Mr. Henderson

I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that the number of reported cases shows a very considerable diminution, as the result of steps taken by the War Office.

Mr. Dugdale

In view of the hon. and learned Gentleman's reply, I beg to give notice that I will raise this matter at the earliest opportunity.