Select Committee on Armed Forces Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Mr A S Foster

This is a resubmission of a memorandum submitted to the 1986 Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill

  With reference to my telephone call on 10 February 1986, please would you ask the Chairman if I may appear before the Committee to state a case for additional clauses in the Armed Forces Bill which will correct known deficiencies in Service Law.

  The subjects which need greater consideration by the Select Committee are:

    (a)  The Security implications of administrative, legal, or financial injustice against servicemen and ex-servicemen.

    (b)  The need for a clear, well publicised, and practical, procedure for the correction of injustices where servicemen have been the victims of corrupt or malicious practice by those in authority, whether commissioned or non-commissioned rank, Admin, Technical or Medical professions—Legal Aid.

    (c)  Redress of Grievance, the legal process, Legal Aid. Serious criminal offence to destroy or not to process. No time limitation on right to pursue process when Redress has been formally presented.

    (d)  Desertion and Illegal Discharge from Service. Duty of Military and Civil Police to act with equal diligence. Right of illegally discharged serviceman to return to Service Payroll and duty of Military Police (Provost Marshal) to properly investigate.

    (e)  Personal Data Protection (Personnel and Medical). Right of access (annual or on posting) to verify correctness. Right to correct, or have expunged, false records and subsequent records influenced by them.

    (f)  Discharge from Forces on Medical Grounds. Need for open and honest system. Personnel and Technical input. Right of Appeal. Legal Aid. Agreement on financial compensation/pension before removal from Service Payroll. Right to re-training for civilian life. Pension rights due to reduced income (retirement pensions). Right to sue Crown if no agreement—Repeal of Section 10 of Crown Proceedings Act, 1947. Legal and Medical Aid of Servicemans own choosing, no cost restriction. Expeditious procedure and rate of compensation/pension equivalent to that applied to Police, Local Government Officers and Civil Servants, some proven or suspected of criminal offences or Public Sector Corruption.

  Criminal offence to create, transmit (by any method including orally), or store, any personnel or medical records known or thought likely to be malicious or in error and likely to cause loss, or injury, or prejudice right to beneficial medical treatment. This to apply particularly to records passed to DSS for Disablement Pension purposes.

    (g)  Crown duty to locate serviceman and repay monies, or return property, taken from serviceman while in Military (Forces) hospital and for which official receipt given. This duty to repay, or the request from a serviceman for repayment shall not be subject to the Statutory Limitations Act; the final date for repayment should be that on which a deceased serviceman's (or ex-) estate is settled.

    (h)  All civil servants dealing with servicemens, or ex-, affairs shall be subject to both Military and Civil Law (Common & Statutory). The Common Law offence of Misprision, "Concealment of a criminal offence" shall be written into legislation. Any person making allegations of administrative/medical type offences shall have a legal right to participate in a Document Audit. It shall be clearly defined whose responsibility it is to investigate allegations of misconduct/criminal offences when the acts and subsequent actions overlap between Service, Civil Service, NHS, Medical and Police regimes. The complainant to have a legal right to participate in investigations to ensure investigations are correctly carried out.

  The Secretary of State for Defence, Mr G Younger MP, has received representations on the need to repeal Section 10 of the Crown Proceedings Act. This injustice should not be replaced by tortuous and costly civil court proceedings and so aggravate the injustice. Equality must be given with those other Public Servants as already mentioned.

  Enclosed are copies of some documents/letters which are relevant to some of the above issues, some of which relate to my own case which is representative of others.

  In the next few months I shall be trying yet again to resolve the matter of my illegal discharge from the Regular RAF and trying to correct the serious SECURITY scandal revealed by the case. If the MoD and DHSS do not co-operate this time I shall consider myself free from all constraints of Common, Civil and Statute Law, including the Official Secrets Act.

  In order not to prejudice any action taken, I must respectfully ask that no attempt is made to contact anyone other than members of the Select Committee or by special arrangement between the Chairman and myself.

February 2001

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