HC Deb 03 July 1919 vol 117 cc1198-9W
Major Sir K. FRASER

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Acting-Sergeant R. Harris, No. 13701, Army Veterinary Corps, enlisted in 1915, was attached to D Battery, 298th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, and went to France in March, 1917, was in hospital from July to October, 1918, suffering from rheumatism, and was medically boarded at Woolwich as a Category E man for discharge; that on the 7th January, 1919, he was put in charge of a fatigue party of other Category E men to clear up the sergeants' mess, and when the men had finished their work he allowed them to sit down and rest for a few minutes; that the regimental sergeant-major of the depot placed him under arrest; and that when he was brought before Lieut.-Colonel Dibben, Army Veterinary Corps, the acting commanding officer, the next morning he summarily reduced him to the ranks without giving him the option of being tried by court-martial, although this man had a clean defaulter sheet and had never before during his service been brought before an officer; and, in view of the fact that this award affected not only his pay but also his gratuity, and is therefore contrary to the Army Act, Part I., Section 46, Sub-section (8)', and also contrary to the Manual of Military Law, chap, iv., s. 20 and s. 23 (page 29), and also in view of the fact that this man's commanding officer, Colonel Brown, Army Veterinary Corps, Woolwich, disapproved of the award, if he will take steps to have it cancelled in the regimental orders of the Army Veterinary Corps depot at Woolwich?


My hon. and gallant Friend has already written to me about this case. Further inquiries are being made, and I will let him know the result as soon as possible.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Sapper M. Houghton, l/3rd Field Company, West Lancashire Royal Engineers, 57th Division, who was in the National Reserve prior to the War and re-enlisted for active service when the Government offered the bonus of £10 to men of the first class of that Reserve, and served in France for about two years with the 421st Field Company, Royal Engineers, 57th Division, has not yet been paid the bonus of £10 offered; and whether he will have the case inquired into and pay the bonus at an early date?


If the hon. Member will let me have further details, namely, the man's regimental number, his National Reserve number, and the district in which he was registered as such, I will have inquiries made.