HC Deb 15 July 1959 vol 609 c384
8. Mrs. Braddock

asked the Secretary of State for War what immediate action he is taking to investigate the facts relating to discipline contained in a letter from a soldier serving in the 1st Battalion, Cameronians, a copy of which has been passed to him.

Mr. Soames

Inquiries are being made.

Mrs. Braddock

Is the Minister aware that allegations of this sort have a very serious effect upon the families of the men concerned? Will he see that immediate inquiries are made with reference to this matter, and also give instructions to senior officers in an area of this sort that when inquiries are being asked for, and a Question is on the Order Paper of the House of Commons, they should not make comments to the effect that the allegations made are completely untrue?

Mr. Soames

In answer to the first part of the hon. Lady's supplementary question, the allegations concerned ill-treatment, by an N.C.O., of soldiers undergoing sentence. Charges have now been preferred against the N.C.O. which will settle the matter one way or the other. I have in mind the comment to which I think the hon. Lady is referring, namely, the remark made by the General Officer Commanding, East Africa. What he said was that it was absolute nonsense to talk about any question of mutiny in the unit concerned, and with that I profoundly agree. This is not in any way symptomatic of the very high spirit and morale which exist in the unit.