HL Deb 14 March 1864 vol 173 cc1895-6

said, that a noble Friend, who was not now present, had on a recent evening asked the noble Earl the Secretary for War, Whether the military authorities recognized the part taken by the Deputy Judge Advocate at the court-martial on Colonel Crawley as a precedent to be followed in future? The noble Earl stated in reply, that it was a question of some difficulty; but that it might be desirable to consider whether the duties of the Judge Advocate General ought not to be limited to his judicial functions, and that the matter was under the consideration of the Government and the military authorities. He had heard that statement with great satisfaction; but it was dissipated a few nights afterwards by the answer given in the other House by the Judge Advocate General himself, who stated that it was not his intention to propose any alteration whatever in the duties of the office. He would now ask, Whether any alteration was contemplated, or whether things were to remain in their present state, with a chance of the recurrence of circumstances which had caused considerable dissatisfaction?


said, that there was no difference of opinion between the Judge Advocate General and himself on this subject. He (Earl de Grey) stated on the previous occasion, that the question was under the consideration of the Government and the military authorities, but that it was not a matter on which it was desirable to come to a hasty conclusion. At that time the Mutiny Act had not been passed, and the question put in another place had reference to the Articles of War, which were founded on the Mutiny Act, and the answer was that this year it was not proposed to make any change in the Articles of War. There was, however, nothing in the Articles of War which rendered the employment of the Judge Advocate General necessary in such cases. The tendency of the Articles of War was, on the contrary, rather in the opposite direction. The matter was well worthy of the consideration of Her Majesty's Government, and he quite agreed with the noble and learned Lord as to its importance.

Back to