asked the Minister of Defence how many soldiers sentenced by court martial for desertion last year were discharged from His Majesty's Forces.
I regret that the information for which my hon. Friend asks is not readily available. I can say, however, that during 1949, 71 deserters were sentenced by courts martial to dishonourable discharge from His Majesty's Forces.
Has the Minister considered the desirability of discharging deserters who are not likely to be of any further use to His Majesty's Forces?
As I pointed out, some have been discharged.
asked the Minister of Defence how many of the 19,500 deserters are Regular soldiers; and how many National Service men.
About 4,300 are Regulars and about 15,200 are National Service men called up under the 1939 and subsequent National Service Acts.
Can the Minister tell us whether any conclusions can be drawn from these figures?
None that I can think of.