Orders of the Day — Army Offences (Sentences).

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 9th July 1942.

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Photo of Mr John Martin Mr John Martin , Southwark Central

I want to raise one point in connection with Army justice to which I hope the Secretary of State will pay some attention. A number of cases have been brought to my notice lately in which men have been sentenced by their commanding officer for committing some crime and subsequently have had their leave stopped. It is customary for punishment to expunge the crime, and two punishments, one passed at the moment of the infliction of justice and another imposed later, without the knowledge of the convicted man that it was going to be imposed, is a very serious miscarriage of justice according to British ideas, and it is a great hardship on the family and the friends of the convicted man. A great deal of distress, anxiety and sorrow have been caused, to the knowledge of some of us, by cases of this kind, and I feel that there is a case for inquiry into the administration of justice in the Army. When I was an officer in the last war, certainly in my unit no company commander would have got away with that kind of conduct.