HC Deb 21 March 1950 vol 472 c1749
31. Mr. Gerald Williams

asked the Secretary of State for War when he expects to implement the recommendations of the Lewis Committee.

Mr. Strachey

A considerable number of the recommendations of the Lewis Committee on Army and Air Force courts-martial which did not require legislation have already been implemented by administrative action or by amendment of the rules of procedure. As the House knows, the Government felt it necessary to defer a decision on the major recommendations, concerning the setting up of a court of appeal and the re-constitution of courts-martial, until the Report of Mr. Justice Pilcher's Committee on the naval system had been received and considered. As announced by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty, on Wednesday last, the Pilcher Committee presented a Report covering these aspects of its terms of reference on 21st February. This Report is now under urgent consideration, but I cannot yet give the date when His Majesty's Government will be ready to announce their decisions or when it will be possible to introduce any legislation that may be necessary to give effect to them.

Mr. Williams

As it appears to be the Pilcher Report which is holding up the whole matter will the Minister expedite the implementation of that Report so that consideration of the implementation of the Lewis Committee can proceed at once?

Mr. Strachey

Yes, Sir. We have now received the Pilcher Report and we must consider action arising from it.