asked the Secretary of State for War what steps he is taking in respect of the case of Private Breakspear, of 62, Newhall Street, Swindon, who was arrested as an absentee when in fact he was on sanctioned leave.
Private Breakspear is a recalled reservist who was sentenced to 91 days' detention by court-martial on 5th December, 1950, for absence when under orders for overseas. He has since had various grants of compassionate leave and his case was submitted to the War Office for decision in March, 1951. Private Breakspear was due back from compassionate leave on 13th March but received permission from his Company Commander to remain at home until the War Office decision was known. The Company Commander did not notify the appropriate authorities that he had given this permission and when Private Breakspear had not returned by 30th March instructions were given for him to be apprehended. I very much regret that his arrest was carried out. The matter has been taken up with the unit concerned with a view to ensuring that such mistakes do not occur again.