HC Deb 17 February 1948 vol 447 cc974-5
22. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is now able to state what disciplinary action was taken against the British officer and N.C.O.'s involved in the interrogation and beating-up of Herr Werner Kleindienst; and if he will circulate in HANSARD a full account of the incidents which led to this action.

23. Mr. Benn Levy

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will name the officer responsible for the bruta[...]es practised upon Herr Werner Kleindienst last October; and disclose the nature of the punishment that this officer received.

Mr. Shinwell

I am having further inquiries made about this case, and I will communicate with my hon. Friends.

Mr. Driberg

Will my right hon. Friend also say whether the "undesirable methods" of the interrogation that he referred to last week included the holding of the interrogation at 2.30 in the morning, and the beating of this innocent witness with a rubber truncheon on the scars of his war wounds?

Mr. Shinwell

I have no such detailed information. No doubt further information will be forthcoming.

Mr. Levy

Will the Minister now tell the House what is the reason for still withholding the nature of the disciplinary action taken against the officer responsible for this bestiality?

Mr. Shinwell

Because further inquiries have to be made.

Mr. Hynd

Can the Minister tell us whether the officer and N.C.O.s responsible for this incident are still serving in Germany?

Mr. Shinwell

I am not certain about that. That is precisely why I want full inquiries made.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Will he also take into account the fact that three other Germans were beaten up in this incident, when these British thugs, trying to show the British way of life to the Germans, behaved so disgracefully?

Mr. Shinwell

On the information in my possession, I regard what my hon. Friend has said as a gross exaggeration.