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Court Martial Sentences, Palestine

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 27 April 1949

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asked the Minister of Defence if he will consider granting an amnesty in all cases arising out of operations in Palestine.

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to men sentenced by courts-martial. If so, the answer is "No, Sir."

Does not the Minister of Defence think that in view of all the circumstances this would be an appropriate time for a generous gesture, and that it would receive great support from the party which is supporting him?

In most of the cases in connection with Palestine the sentences have already run out. If we were to adopt this principle in respect of the remaining cases the same question would surely be raised in regard to other theatres as well as Palestine, and there would be no end to it.

Can my right hon. Friend say how many persons now remain in detention and in what proportion of these cases the offences for which the persons were sentenced were offences against regulations involving no act of violence of any kind and regulations outside the ordinary realm of law?

I answer only about cases which are tried by court martial. I could give figures if my hon. Friend put down a Question.