HC Deb 13 May 1952 vol 500 cc93-4W
68. Mr. Fernyhough

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware of the disquiet arising from the circumstances revealed in recent courts-martial involving non-commissioned officers who have given orders for irregular punishments to be carried out by private soldiers; and to what extent, under the Queen's Regulations, a private soldier may refuse to obey the order of a superior officer to carry out such a punishment.

Mr. Head

I am not aware of any particular instance arising in a recent Army court-martial. If a non-commissioned officer gives a private soldier an order which is obviously illegal, the soldier is justified under military law in questioning or even in refusing to execute it. But so long as the orders of the superior are not obviously in opposition to the law of the land, the duty of the soldier is to obey and, if he thinks fit, to make a formal complaint afterwards.