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 professionsLegal 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
(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 agreementRepeal 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
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.