asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that commanding officers, in addition to awarding the usual form of punishment for offences, put back the offenders' leave for a long period, and that this causes great resentment among the men as well as inflicting hardship on innocent relatives; and whether he will discourage this practice?
Is it not possible, if a man has received 14 days' confinement to barracks and that is not considered sufficient, for it to be increased to 21 or 28 days, rather than penalising the dependants of the man, as happens when a man who is expecting to go on leave at the end of June is not allowed to go home until the end of August?
It is impossible to deal with the whole of the variety of cases that arise. That is why I think it would be wrong to interfere with the discretion of commanding officers. To take a very simple example, it would not be in the least unjust, I think, to defer the privilege leave of a soldier who had been absent without leave.
In cases not of that description, would the right hon. Gentleman look very sympathetically into the hardship which is caused by the infliction of two kinds of punishment for one offence?