HC Deb 19 December 1947 vol 445 cc469-70W
Major Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for War when the hon. Member for East Renfrew can expect a reply to his letters of 9th June and 16th October concerning James F. Johnston of Glasgow.

Mr. Shinwell

A letter has now been sent to the hon. and gallant Member about this case. I regret the delay which has occurred, but considerable difficulty was experienced in obtaining the information necessary to establish Mr. Johnston's entitlement to airborne pay as from 1st July, 1944.

Mr. Wilkes

asked the Secretary of State the length of sentence now being served by Sapper Henry Hart in Central Gaol, Lucknow, India; what further charges are being preferred against him for further trial; what arrangements for this soldier's defence are being made; and whether it is intended that this soldier shall serve the remainder of his sentence in an Indian prison after the withdrawal of British troops.

Mr. Shinwell

So far as I am aware, this soldier is not now serving a sentence, his conviction by the Civil Power on a charge of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition having been quashed. The last part of the Question does not, therefore, arise. A new trial by the Civil Power for an alleged offence under the Indian Arms Act, 1878, was begun on 15th September, and adjourned. The necessity to expedite the case has, however, been impressed upon the Court by the military authorities in India. The legally qualified civilian counsel who acted for the soldier at the first trial and submitted a successful appeal against the finding and sentence has been retained for his defence.