Colonial Troops (Corporal Punishment)

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons on 25th April 1944.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Secretary of State for War what alterations it is proposed to make respecting the infliction of corporal punishment on West African and East African soldiers; and the number of such punishments given during the preceding two years.

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

I am not yet in a position to add anything to the replies given on this subject last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Why should it take such a long time to make a very simple decision of this kind?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

It is not so simple as all that. Inquiries have to be made.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

But the information is in the possession of the right hon. Gentleman, and the only decision is whether a punishment not inflicted upon other troops should be inflicted upon these troops.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

When is the right hon. Gentleman going to make up his mind? Why is it necessary to have an inquiry into the question of whether men should have corporal punishment inflicted upon them? Cannot the right hon. Gentleman make up his own mind?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

I am entitled to consult—in fact I should be foolish not to consult—the people under whose command these troops are serving.