HC Deb 30 May 1916 vol 82 cc2545-6

asked the Under-Secretary for War if he has yet received a report upon the case of Jack Foister, a school teacher, of 17, River Side, Cambridge, who, after applying for exemption on grounds of conscience, was recently enlisted for non-combatant service, and particularly if he will say whether, on 8th May, a notice was sent to this man from the Cambridge recruiting office calling him up for service with the Colours on 23rd May; whether on 25th April, nearly a month before the date on which he was due to join, he was arrested as a deserter and taken before the Cambridge bench of magistrates; whether, as the result of their order, he was handed over to the military authorities, although his application for exemption had not then been finally disposed of; whether, on 3rd May, while still not liable to military service under the Act, he was sentenced by a court-martial to twenty-eight days' imprisonment for refusing to sign a paper, and kept in solitary confinement; whether, on 8th May, he was removed under escort to France along with sixteen others who had also refused service; and whether he is still there?


This question was deferred, but I wrote to my hon. Friend at length on this case on 24th May, so that there might be no delay in his obtaining the information he desired.


How was it notice was served on this man on 8th May calling him up for service on the 23rd May?


I will look into the facts in order to give my hon. Friend an adequate answer.

24. Mr. E. HARVEY

asked the Under-Secretary for War whether his attention has been called to the case of four conscientious objectors, Messrs. Carter, Jones, Knight, and Mandale, of Kendal, who, being recognised to have conscientious objections by their local tribunal and having failed to obtain permission from either the local or Appeal Tribunal to undertake service of national importance, declined to undertake military service and were arrested and handed over to the military authorities; whether the officer commanding the district expressed his desire to refer these men to the Friends' ambulance unit, which was willing to accept them; whether the men in question are now in detention in a camp in North Wales; and whether he will take steps to allow these men to engage in useful and necessary national service, in accordance with their religious convictions, which they are anxious to undertake, instead of retaining them in useless inactivity at the expense of the nation?


No, Sir, my attention has not been called to these cases, but I have asked that an inquiry may be made.