HC Deb 24 February 1960 vol 618 c363
34. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for War what inquiry he has made into the circumstances of the death of the late 23517612 Guardsman John Charles Nugent, who was accidentally shot and killed during the course of rifle practice at Pirbright Camp on 18th March, 1959.

The Under-Secretary of State for War (Mr. Hugh Fraser)

At an inquest held at Aldershot on 8th April, 1959, a verdict of accidental death was recorded. A military board of inquiry was then directed to report on the accident with particular reference to safety precautions and other matters affecting military training. No evidence came to light at this inquiry which had not been given to the coroner.

Dr. Johnson

Is my hon. Friend aware that the parents of this boy, who live in my constituency, are extremely unhappy at not being given more particulars about these inquiries, particularly as the father alleges that he was not given sufficient notice to enable him to be represented at the inquest? Does not my hon. Friend agree that the public relations of his Department are at fault in tragic cases of this nature?

Mr. Fraser

I will look into any matter that my hon. Friend raises, but the point was that the family asked to see the report of the proceedings of the Board of Inquiry and, as the House knows, Crown privilege is claimed for such documents, and must continue to be claimed.