HC Deb 25 February 1947 vol 433 c1861
2. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for War how many times Mr. Justice Lewis's Committee, set up last October to inquire into the court martial system, has met; and how soon a report may be expected from it.

Mr. J. Freeman

The committee held its tenth meeting on 20th February. There is a great weight of evidence to consider and I cannot say how soon a report is to be expected.

Mr. Driberg

Does my hon. Friend recognise that this is a very serious matter, and that this committee's report is awaited most anxiously?

Mr. Freeman

I regard it as quite as serious as my hon. Friend does, and I have no doubt the committee will take note of what he has said.

Mr. Stephen

Will the Minister ask the committee to try to have the report ready before the Army Annual Bill is introduced?

Mr. Freeman

No, Sir, I should think that would be quite out of the question. The Oliver Committee, which did a somewhat similar job, took four and a half months to report, and the terms of reference in this case are such that I do not think it would be possible to have the report ready when the hon. Member suggests.