HC Deb 01 February 1955 vol 536 cc87-8W
83. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that 22562475 Trooper Smith was returned to London by Army transport from Egypt, having paid £25 for his fare; that he was ordered to report to Bovington Camp, Dorset, but refused a travel warrant on the grounds that he had purchased his discharge from the Army; that Trooper Smith was subsequently taken into custody as a deserter, but released after representations had been made to the War Office; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. F. Maclean

As I have already explained in my letter of 25th January to the hon. Member, I am still investigating this complicated case. I am not, therefore, in a position to make a statement which would in any event be unduly lengthy. I will, however, write again to the hon. Member as soon as I have completed my enquiries.

84. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for War what allowances were paid to 22562475 Trooper Smith for the period he was posted at Bovington Camp.

Mr. F. Maclean

None. Trooper Smith arrived at Bovington Camp on 3rd January for the purpose of purchasing his discharge. He went absent without leave on the 10th and rejoined the Depot on the 21st. The necessary discharge procedure was completed and he went home the same day. Trooper Smith was not in possession of his pay book, and did not ask for any pay. It is, however, customary in such cases, if the soldier asks for a payment, for a temporary pay book to be prepared and a suitable amount paid.

85. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for War the number of men who, during the past year, have been at Bovington Camp for more than four weeks waiting for their discharge papers to be sent from abroad, after they had paid for their discharge from the Army.

Mr. F. Maclean

No man who has been sent home from abroad to Bovington Camp, after paying for his discharge from the Army, has been retained at the Camp for any period approaching four weeks. Three men who applied to purchase their discharge after arriving at the Camp from abroad did, however, stay there for more than four weeks.