HC Deb 11 December 1946 vol 431 cc1152-3
48. Mr. Bowden

asked the Minister without Portfolio what percentage of the men now serving sentences after conviction by courts-martial were sentenced for crimes other than desertion or absenteeism.

Mr. Alexander

For the Navy, the percentage is approximately 24, which includes men serving sentences both at home and overseas. For the Army and the R.A.F., figures are available only for men serving sentences in this country. The percentages are 24 and 49, respectively.

Mr. Hector Hughes

In cases of absenteeism and desertion, will the Minister facilitate the return of these men to industry and the Forces by suspending their sentences, as was done in 1915?

Mr. Alexander

The circumstances are different from 1915. My right hon. Friend has already stated in the House that a constant review of sentences takes place in the Service Ministries to see that justice is done, and that any compassion which needs to be shown is shown.

Mr. Hughes rose

Mr. Speaker

I would point out that this Question only asks for the percentages of sentences, and is not about remission of sentences.