HC Deb 26 October 1916 vol 86 cc1274-5

asked the President of the Local Government Board, whether he is aware that the Appeal Tribunal at Reading have refused conditional exemption to a man who maintains his father and mother, the former being almost blind and the latter suffering from heart disease, in addition to an invalid brother and his grandfather; and whether, in view of the speeches made by responsible Ministers at the time of the passing of the Military Service Acts, it is proposed to take any action to obtain more uniform and equitable administration of the Acts?


My right hon. Friend is not aware of the case. If the hon. Member will furnish him with full particulars he will consider whether he can usefully make inquiries.


asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that when hearing the appeal of E. V. Burns before the Liverpool Appeal Tribunal on 5th October the Lord Mayor, as chairman, and after consultation with the clerk, stated that there was no provision in the Military Service Act for exemption from military service on moral as distinguished from religious grounds of conscience and dismissed the appeal; and whether he will take steps to point out clearly to tribunals the powers they possess under the Act in order to avoid the recurrence of such misconception?


My right hon. Friend is not aware of this case. He has no reason to think that the tribunal are not fully aware that exemption can be given in respect of a conscientious objection based on moral grounds. I am sending the tribunal a copy of the hon. Member's question and of my reply.