Detention Barracks.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 10th March 1942.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether any inquiry has been made into conditions at detention barracks; and whether any improvements are to be carried out in the near future?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

A Departmental investigation has recently been made as to whether the treatment, training, accommodation and feeding of soldiers under sentence in military prisons and detention barracks is in accordance with modern standards and satisfies the requirements of a war-time Army. Generally speaking, the investigation showed that the conditions at detention barracks were good. Certain recommendations were, however, made, some of which have already been put into operation.

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

Would it be possible to publish the report of that inquiry, or parts of it, for Members of Parliament, as they and others are receiving widespread evidence that conditions are not so satisfactory as this inquiry made out?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

If the hon. Gentleman is not satisfied, I shall be glad to arrange for him and other hon. Members to form a small party and to go and visit one of these detention barracks.

Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne

Would the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that there is considerable public anxiety about various incidents which have occurred, and if this report would serve to allay that anxiety, would it not be as well to publish it?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

I will consider that question, and I would suggest that the hon. Gentleman forms one of the party.