§ 117. Mr. Rees-Williams
asked the Secretary of State for War whether in view of the state of public feeling in Eritrea, it is intended to dispense with the services of 163W Sudanese troops among those occupying the country.
§ Mr. Bellenger
We do not intend at the present time to dispense with the services of the Sudan Defence Force in Eritrea, as they are employed on duties for which no British troops are available.
§ 118. Mr. Rees-Williams
asked the Secretary of State for War what were the results of the courts martial arising out of the disturbances in Eritrea on 28th August, 1946.
§ Mr. Bellenger
Originally 69 men were brought to trial on eight charges of murder whilst members of an unlawful assembly, and an alternative ninth charge of conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline by creating a disturbance. During the trial, one man was admitted to hospital and later died. At the end of the prosecution's case, it was found that seven men had no case to answer. Of the remaining 61, 10 were found guilty on one or more charges of murder whilst members of an unlawful assembly. Of these 10, two were sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment, two to 12 years' imprisonment, and the remainder to lesser sentences. Thirty-six were convicted of the ninth alternative charge only, and their sentences ranged from 9 to 18 months' imprisonment. The remaining 15 have been acquitted. All the convicted men have also been discharged from the Sudan Defence Force, and their sentences will be served in the Sudan.