HC Deb 01 March 1921 vol 138 cc1634-5W

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Sapper Gallagher, attached R.T.O., Aix-la-Chapelle, was brutally assaulted by Belgian police at the instance of a Belgian military officer; that inquiry was held; that no report had been sent to British quarters; and that there have been frequent complaints of rudeness to our soldiers on the part of the Belgian authorities; and, if he is not aware of the allegations made, will he have inquiry made and compensation awarded to Sapper Gallagher?


I am informed that this case has been investigated and it was stated by Sapper Gallagher's commanding officer and two Belgian officers that Sapper Gallagher when passing a sentry post at Aix-la-Chapelle declined to obey a local order whereby all persons passing a Belgian sentry step off the pavement. An argument ensued during which, it is alleged, the sapper struck the sentry who retaliated by striking the former in the face with the butt of his rifle. The sapper denied striking the sentry and no disciplinary action has been taken against him; but in the circumstances no compensation is considered possible in view of the conflicting evidence. The local order referred to has been withdrawn as far as British troops are concerned.