§ 31. Mr. BUTCHER
asked the number of conscientious objectors who have applied for total exemption and for exemption from combatant service, respectively, and the number of exemptions granted in each case?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Hayes Fisher)
I have been asked to answer this question on behalf of the Local Government Board. I regret that I am not in a position to give my hon. and learned Friend any complete figures on this subject.
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
I am afraid I am not able to give any approximate figures. We are very reluctant to trouble the Department at the present moment for any return.
§ 32. Mr. BUTCHER
asked the Secretary of State for War the number of applicants for exemption on the ground of conscientious objection who are now engaged in combatant service, in non-combatant service, and in work of national importance, respectively; and whether he will, in the last case, state in general terms the nature of the work or works of national importance in which such persons are now engaged?
§ Mr. FORSTER
I would refer my hon. and learned Friend to the answer which was given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, to the hon. Member for North Somerset, on the 10th October. The Board of Trade is responsible for the Pelham Committee, and the Home Office for the Brace Committee. The strength of the rank and file of the Non-Combatant Corps on the 1st October, 1916, was 2,691.
79. Mr. EDMUND HARVEY
asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. C. W. Curtis, a conscientious objector to military service, suffering from serious organic disease of the heart, lungs, and kidneys as well as from double hernia, who was sent from Hounslow to Woolwich and detained in hut 16 X, Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich, along with a number of men, all but one of whom were suffering from venereal disease, with inadequate sanitary accommodation affording no precaution against infection; and whether, as this is not the first time that this form of punishment has been given to conscientious objectors, he will take steps to ensure the isolation of men suffering from venereal disease from other patients and prisoners?
§ Mr. FORSTER
Instructions were issued some time ago that men under detention were not to be accommodated in the same wards as venereal patients if not themselves suffering from venereal disease. These instructions, of course, remain in force, but appear not to have been complied with in the case mentioned in the question. Inquiry is being made as to the reason for this non-observance of the instructions.