§ 4. Sir B. Janner
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many young Army officers have been subjected to courts of inquiry or courts-martial in the past five years in connection with negligence or mishandling of small funds such as mess funds; and whether he will take action by means of instruction in accounting and the provision of adequate books and forms to ensure that young officers who are not specialists in accounting have a better chance of avoiding such cases.
§ Mr. Kirk
In the past five years, five subalterns have been tried and convicted by general court-martial of charges of fraudulent misapplication of non-public funds. During the same period, two subalterns have been convicted at a summary trial for offences in relation to non-public funds. Records of the number of boards of enquiry are not maintained, nor of the number of officers found not guilty at a summary trial.
Instruction in accounting is given to officer cadets before they are commissioned into the Regular Army and there is no lack of official books of instruction. These, with the guidance available from more experienced officers, should be sufficient to enable a young officer to avoid difficulty in handling small accounts.