HC Deb 08 May 1916 vol 82 cc276-7

asked the Under-Secretary for War if he has received a memorial, signed by seventy conscientious objectors now attached to the non-com-hatant unit at Kinmel Park, asking that they may be put to work of national importance under the Board of Trade Committee scheme as agricultural workers, miners, joiners, weavers, spinners, electrical workers, education, forestry, which are occupations they are qualified to follow; and in view of the importance of national economy and the need for utilising the labour of the nation most usefully, will he allow these men to undertake such work instead of keeping them in prison and spending national money upon courts-martial and other forms of punishment?


I am uncertain whether the seventy conscientious objectors in question were, or were not assigned for non-combatant military work by the local tribunals duly constituted by an Act of Parliament before which their cases came. In any case, I could not interfere with the decisions of the tribunal.


Did the right hon. Gentleman look into this memorial? Did he notice it was from non-combatants, and did he assume that the men had been given non-combatant work?


I did assume that. When I asked about the petition I was unable to get the information which I wanted. Perhaps my hon. Friend will see me about the case.