Court-Martial Sentences.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 27th January 1942.

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Photo of Mr Campbell Stephen Mr Campbell Stephen , Glasgow Camlachie

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Mr. Gerald Henderson, 2142026, No. 2 Motor Transport Training Depot, Royal Engineers, was sentenced to four months' imprisonment by a court-martial for refusal to obey order on grounds of conscientious objection to military service, and that at a subsequent court-martial he was sentenced to a further six months' imprisonment for a similar refusal to obey orders on the same grounds; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent this man, with his conscientious objection to military service, from being subjected to this cat-and-mouse series of imprisonments?

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

Private Henderson has undergone two sentences in respect of each of which he exercised the right of appeal to the Appellate Tribunal under the National Service Act, 1939. On each occasion he was given proper facilities for exercising his right, but his case was rejected by the Tribunal. He must therefore be held to serve in the Army in accordance with the original decision of the Tribunal before which he pleaded his case on entering the Army.

Photo of Mr Campbell Stephen Mr Campbell Stephen , Glasgow Camlachie

Will not the Minister have this man's case referred to another tribunal so that he may receive some justice?

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

No, Sir, I have no power in the matter whatsoever. This man has already appeared on two occasions before the appropriate body.

Photo of Mr Campbell Stephen Mr Campbell Stephen , Glasgow Camlachie

Does the Minister realise that this man is not going to serve in the Army, and will he not therefore exercise his power and order his discharge?

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

No, Sir. I have no power to do so.