§ 44. Mr. D. Jones
asked the Secretary of State for War on what date the report of the military court of inquiry, set up to 831 deal with the wounding of 22624079 Sapper Crangle, Royal Engineers, was available to the unit commander in the Middle East.
§ Mr. Hutchison
The hon. Gentleman must not confuse the finding of a court of inquiry with the finding of a postmortem. The court of inquiry was concerned with discovering the reasons for this stabbing affray, which took place out of bounds in the Canal Zone. That did not connect and would not normally connect the unfortunate death of this lad from nephritis with the stabbing affray.
§ Mr. Jones
Is the hon. Gentleman now telling us that the lieut.-colonel in charge of this unit, knowing this boy had been stabbed in the right arm and the right side on 27th March and that he died on 7th April, though he actually died from shock brought on by nephritis, did not realise that the stabbing on 27th March had nothing at all to do with the boy's death? Does it not appear that he was deliberately trying to mislead the parents?
§ Mr. Hutchison
No. There was absolutely no attempt, nor will there be any attempt, to try to mislead the parents. That has always been the policy of my right hon. Friend, and it is a policy we shall pursue. I think the hon. Gentleman in the position of the commanding officer would be very hesitant, not being a medical man, to attribute death to something until medical authorities had stated death was due to a particular cause. I think it was only reasonable to treat the matter in that way.