HC Deb 22 November 1955 vol 546 c1248
22. Mr. Royle

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has studied the evidence given on 5th November at the inquest into the death of a private in the Women's Royal Army Corps, to the effect that she had drunk large quantities of whisky in a sergeants' mess at Catterick although she did not drink before joining the Army; and if he will cause an inquiry to be made into the rules concerning the consumption of alcohol in sergeants' messes and by members of the Women's Royal Army Corps with a view to preventing a recurrence of such tragedies.

Mr. Head

The inquiry is still going on. Privates are not allowed into sergeants' messes, nor are they allowed spirits in the canteen, N.A.A.F.I. or elsewhere in barracks.

Mr. Royle

I am not advocating that all members of the W.R.A.C. should have chaperones, but, pending the result of this inquiry, will the right hon. Gentleman see that it is quite impossible for an occurrence of this kind to recur?

Mr. Head

Yes, Sir; it is the last thing I want. I would point out, however, without prejudging the inquiry, that the only evidence on this was a statement made just before this unfortunate lady's death, so we should not draw an absolute conclusion that this has been happening.

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