§ Lieut.-Colonel Sharp
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is now in a position to amend the regulations compelling soldiers who had completed their Colour Service before their conviction for desertion, to complete another seven years' service after such conviction before they are entitled to release.
§ Mr. Bellenger
Although, under the Army Act, a Regular soldier convicted for desertion forfeits the whole of his prior service and has to begin his service over again, authority already exists under King's Regulations whereby, after a period of good behaviour the soldier can have his former service restored. In order to bring the Regular soldier into line with the non-Regular whilst the Release Scheme is in progress, instructions were issued in April, 1946, that applications for the restoration of forfeited service of Regular soldiers, who desert after completing their original period of Colour Service, may be submitted for consideration by the War Office after they have served 12 months clear of an adverse entry in their regimental conduct sheets. The period reckons from the date of release from detention or imprisonment or the date of the order dispensing with trial. Cases which merit special consideration may be submitted before the 12 months' period has elapsed.