Mr. STAN TON
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he will consider advising His Majesty the King to grant a free pardon to all deserters from the Army and Navy, conditional that in such cases those fitted by age and fitness shall at once rejoin His Majesty's Forces, the others to take up some form of national service?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
In August, 1914, His Majesty was pleased to approve of pardons being granted to deserters who surrendered before the 4th September, 1914, at home or the 4th October, 1914, if abroad. Desertion in war-time, however, is such a serious offence that I am afraid I could not be responsible for the adoption of the suggestion of my hon. Friend.