asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that soldiers who become incapacitated through illness whilst on home leave and who can give proof of medical certification of illness and proof of communicating their inability to return to their units through illness and of making every endeavour to obtain treatment at local civilian or military hospitals, are arrested by local 1376W borough or county police, detained and sent back to their units; whether the police are, on such occasions, acting on the instructions of the commanding officers of the units; and whether better arrangements can be made, so that soldiers on home leave, temporarily incapacitated by certified illness, may be more justly treated?
§ Mr. Law
The procedure in the case of a soldier who becomes incapacitated through illness while on leave is not as indicated by my hon. Friend. A soldier's leave-pass includes instructions as to what he should do if he becomes ill on leave, and, if he carries out these instructions which are simple and easy to understand, none of the consequences envisaged by my hon. Friend will ensue. If, however, the soldier ignores the instructions, and if his commanding officer has not been informed of the grounds for his absence, the soldier will, in all probability, be regarded as an absentee without leave.