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Charge (Court Of Inquiry)

Volume 409: debated on Wednesday 11 April 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will set up a committee of inquiry, whose chairman shall be independent and at which evidence can be taken on oath, in the case of Miss Middleton, of which particulars have been sent him.

No, Sir. This case has been fully investigated by a properly constituted Service court of inquiry, at which evidence was taken on oath.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Miss Middleton, against whom this very serious charge was brought, claims she was not in court all the time and had no opportunity of cross-examining other witnesses? As this was a travesty of British justice, will the right hon. Gentleman order a new inquiry?

No, Sir, certainly not. It was a thoroughly competent and careful inquiry and this very serious charge was brought, not against Miss Middleton, but by her against a doctor employed in the Royal Air Force. It was most patiently inquired into, and I am convinced that the report of the court of inquiry is correct.

No, Sir, she herself was a witness. She was not the accused; the doctor was the accused.

Can the Minister say whether Miss Middleton was present throughout the whole of the inquiry and had an opportunity of making any observations she thought fit, or conducting any cross-examination which she thought the evidence warranted?

As a witness, of course she was not present throughout the whole of the inquiry. The accused was present throughout the whole of the inquiry.