HC Deb 06 July 1916 vol 83 cc1662-3
82. Mr. E. HARVEY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he can state the result of his inquiries into the-treatment of Frank Ward, a conscientious objector to military service, at Chelmsford Barracks; and whether any steps have been taken to deal with his case under the-Army Order X., of 25th May, 1916?


Yes, Sir. I have now received a report. The allegation that he has been subjected to ill-treatment at the Chelmsford Detention Barrack is unfounded. Neither he nor any man has-been bound with ropes and dragged along the ground. On one occasion Ward refused to drill and, flinging himself upon the parade ground, declined to stand up or move. He was consequently removed, but no violence was used As regards the allegation that he had to be moved to hospital in consequence of his ill-treatment, I am informed that the only hospital treatment that Ward has received was for a blistered heel caused by an ill-fitting boot. Ward has made no complaint either to the Commandant on his daily inspection or to the detention barrack weekly visitor. Conscientious objectors are not treated at this detention barrack differently from any other soldiers. If they break the rules or disobey orders they are necessarily admonished or punished, but the punishments inflicted are in strict accordance with the King's Regulations. I think this is another case where my hon. Friend's warm heart has triumphed over his cool head, or he would not have been led into describing as persecution action which was perfectly proper.