HC Deb 30 May 1916 vol 82 cc2546-7

asked the Under-Secretary for War whether he has received a communication from the religious denomination known as the Scottish Baptists of North Wales in reference to the liability of their ministers under the Military Service Acts; whether he is aware that they administer the sacraments of the Church and perform all the duties usually assigned to ministers; and whether he can give an assurance that under these circumstances they will be regarded as regular ministers of a religious denomination?


Disputed cases—where there is a dispute—as to whether certain individuals do or do not come within the conditions of the Military Service Acts, can only be settled authoritatively in the Civil Courts. I have, however, received the communication referred to in the question, and I should be much obliged if my hon. Friend would see me about this matter or await the receipt of a letter which I am sending to him.


Are theological students in colleges, studying for the ministry, exempt or not? Can we have a straight answer to that question?


I think my hon. Friend misunderstood the question. It does not apply to theological students; it refers to unordained clergy, if I may so describe them, who administer the Sacrament.