§ 4. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Secretary of State for War if, in view of the special factors in the case, he will now recommend the early release of Private Walter Drinkwater, of Salford, from Wormwood Scrubs, where he is serving a three years' sentence by court-martial after an incident at Hilden Camp, Germany.
§ Mr. Allaun
In the light of the Pirbright affair, how can the Minister justify this savage sentence on a soldier with a first-class record for what was clearly an unpremeditated clash with a drunken sergeant in the N.A.F.F.I.? Is the Minister aware that Drinkwater's counsel, Brigadier Morrison, said that this was the worst case of man-management that he had seen in 32 years' Army service? Will the Minister use his power to intervene?
§ Mr. Ramsden
I am unable to accept what the hon. Gentleman said, including his comparison with the Pirbright affair, which involved a different set of circumstances. The hon. Gentleman and my right hon. Friend have exchanged several letters about this, and I assure him that all the points he has raised, including some that he raised this afternoon, have been taken into account 194 either by the court or at subsequent reviews and reconsideration of the finding and sentence.
§ Mr. Allaun
In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible opportunity.