§ 38. Brigadier - General SURTEES
asked the Home Secretary if, at the beginning of and during the War, a number of incarcerated criminals volunteered to go to the front; how many, if any, were given that privilege on the condition that they returned to prison when their services were no longer needed; how many were rewarded and commended for bravery on the field; how many of the survivors returned to prison: how many of those allowed to retain their liberty were sufficiently provided for by the authorities to remove them from temptation; and how many have since been arrested and convicted for different offences?
§ Sir J. BAIRD
A certain number of prisoners were released during the War to join the fighting forces, some as volunteers, others later under the Military Service Acts. Most, though not all, were men of previously good character who had served a substantial part of their sentence, and in no case was the condition imposed that they should return to prison when their services were no longer required. It is known that some of them earned military rewards for good service, but it has not, of course, been possible to keep records of their careers, and my right hon. Friend cannot give either the number rewarded or the number (which he believes to be small) of those convicted of subsequent offences.