HC Deb 18 July 1916 vol 84 cc822-3

asked the Secretary of State for War if Mr. Bonar Thompson, a conscientious objector, who was tried by court-martial at Aldershot on 29th June and sentenced to fifty-six days' imprisonment, has been sent to the military part of Wormwood Scrubs Prison; and, if so, why has the Army Order of 25th May not been acted upon in this case and Mr. Thompson sent to a civil prison; and will the War Office at once see that Mr. Thompson is so treated and, as his case is one of undoubted genuineness, will he be considered under the new scheme recently announced by the Prime Minister?


This man was handed over to the civil prison authorities at Wormwood Scrubs in accordance with the Army Order referred to by the hon. Member. I am informed that his military equipment was brought back to Aldershot by the escort, and I have ascertained from Wormwood Scrubs Prison that Private Thompson is treated in all respects as a civil prisoner


Would the hon. Gentleman make some reference to that part of the question which asks whether the case of Mr. Thompson will be treated under the new scheme?


The case has been considered under the new scheme.


asked the President of the Local Government Board what action he has taken upon the complaint addressed to him by Mr. Herbert Wood, of Teddington, in regard to his treatment by the local tribunal at Teddington and by the Appeal Tribunal at the Guildhall, Westminster, where in both cases he was refused an opportunity to state his case, and where his offer to take alternative service was not allowed to be put, although his conscientious objection was admitted by the decision to give him noncombatant service; and, seeing that this man refused the offer of his employer to pay half his salary while with the Colours if he would join up, for which refusal he was instantly dismissed, thus proving the genuineness of his objection, will he have this case reviewed with the object of considering the offer of alternative service?


I am informed by the Appeal Tribunal, with whom I have been in correspondence, that they do not admit the correctness of the statements made by Mr. Wood. They say that the appeal was heard upon its merits. It is open to Mr. Wood to apply to the tribunal for a rehearing, subject to the consent of the Army Council, if he has joined the Colours.