Skip to main content

Personal Cases

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 12 April 1945

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will now state the result of the latest periodical review of the case of 14568413 Private Board-man, York and Lancaster Regiment, sentenced to four years' detention for a first offence, namely, being 24 hours absent from duty on the Italian front in 1944.

Yes, Sir, Private Board-man's case has now been reviewed by the Commander-in-Chief, Central Mediterranean Force, in the light of the more lenient policy now in force, but in view of his unsatisfactory conduct the Commander-in-Chief ordered the sentence to remain in execution. The Commander-in-Chief states that arrangements have been made for Private Boardman to be transferred, immediately, to No. 34 Special Training Barracks where soldiers are given a special course of training and rehabilitation with a view to suspension. I am, however, cabling for further particulars.

asked the Secretary of State for War why J. E. Yately, 6214131,with five years' service, mostly overseas and now on home service, is down for posting to India.

As this soldier is in Group 34 he was eligible for posting to India under the usual rules. He embarked on 24th November.

asked the Secretary of State for War if he has considered the case of J. E. Yateley, No. 6214131, of 3rd Reserve Regiment, R.A., particulars of which have been forwarded to him; how the large debt in question was incurred by this man; why a detention sentence of four months resulted in a deduction of four years of service; why after prolonged foreign service he is still on the lowest rate of pay; and why the hon. Member for Wallsend has as yet had no answer to his letter of 30th August, 1945, in this matter, other than an acknowledgment from the Department.

I have considered this case. The debt occurred through excessive cash payments, due mainly to the fact that it was overlooked by his unit that the soldier had. been reverted to a lower rate of pay. His former service was forfeited for pay purposes because he was convicted for desertion; this is a normal rule, although in certain circumstances the service can be restored. He is no longer in receipt of the lowest rate of pay, having received increases on 15th May and 15th November. A more detailed explanation of the case was sent to my hon. Friend by letter on 30th November. I much regret the delay in dealing with my hon. Friend's letter, which required investigation by a number of Departments.

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that the next of kin of 14574465 Private Dennis James Miller, R.A.S.C., who was accidentally killed at Saigon on 10th November, only received official information of his death on 22nd November after having read Press reports of the death published on 13th November; and whether he will take further steps to ensure that there will be no repetition of unnecessary shocks and pain to next of kin first reading of Service deaths in the Press.

The unfortunate death of this soldier was the subject of a report through the normal channels which reached this country on 19th November and was notified to the next of kin on 20th. On the face of it there was no avoidable delay in making the report. It is a matter for regret that the soldier's next of kin should have learned of the casualty first through the Press, but I cannot prevent the Press from reporting occurrences of which they become aware, even where casualties are involved, though I am happy to say that in the great bulk of cases they refrain from naming casualties. Every endeavour is and will be made to expedite the official notification of casualties.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the application of 13082406, C.Q.M.S. Smart, L. F. S., Reception Wing, No. 12 Pioneer Corps Holding and Training Unit, Prestatyn, for compassionate release, made on 2nd October, 1945, can be hastened.

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is now in a position to give the result of the representations made on behalf of 2930368, Gunner O'Neil, A., on 6th August, 1945.

No, Sir. The decision rests with G.H.Q., India. I have cabled for a report of the position and will inform my hon. Friend of the result.

asked the Secretary of State for War when the hon. and gallant Member for the New Forest may expect an answer to his letter, dated 29th August, 1945, about 195612 Sergeant Curtis, L. T., addressed to the Financial Secretary of his Department; whether his further letters on the same subject, dated 29th October and 9th November, have been received; and why no acknowledgment of their receipt was given.

A reply was sent yesterday. The delay and failure to acknowledge the reminders, which were received, is much regretted. Authority for release, subject to operational availability, was sent on 26th November, shortly after the receipt of the final report.

asked the Secretary of State for War why the reply, referring to steps taken on 4th August, to the letter of 17th September from the hon. and senior Member for Sunderland, was not given until 21st November.

The facts of the case were not known to the War Office and had to be ascertained from the overseas command, after the whereabouts of the soldier had been verified. Some further delay occurred in sending the answer for the reasons more fully explained in my reply on 16th October last to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for South Cardiff (Mr. Callaghan).