HC Deb 31 July 1916 vol 84 cc2102-3W

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he is aware that the Bedfordshire branch of the Farmers' Union wrote to his Department calling attention to the fact that one of their members had been threatened with arrest for protesting against the destruction of his crops by soldiers, when immediately adjoining was grass land which could have been utilised, and giving full particulars of the name of the officer and his unit, at the same time stating that they had been unable to get any satisfaction from the officer commanding the Signal Service Training Centre at Woburn; and, if so, will he say what action was taken by his Department in dealing with the Farmers' Union and in dealing with the officer involved.


I have not been able to trace the letter from the Farmers' Union, but I have made myself acquainted with what took place. The officer's statement of the law was not, I am informed, strictly accurate. The farmer could not have been arrested without a warrant, though it might in certain circumstances have been possible to take out a summons against him. The officer's attention will be called to the error of judgment which he committed. The farmer has been compensated for the slight damage done.