HC Deb 19 February 1917 vol 90 cc969-70

asked the President of the Board of Education whether the Board of Education has sanctioned the calling up of a teacher named D. F. Griffiths, of Llanelly, passed as C 3, in defiance of the Board of Education Circular 952; and, if so, why?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Fisher)

The case of Mr. D. F. Griffiths, who is a conscientious objector, has, I understand, been dealt with under the Military Service Acts by the Central Tribunal, who granted his exemption from military service on condition that he undertook work of national importance to be approved by them. They were not prepared to approve the work of teaching in a school for that purpose. Circular 952 describes what is merely an administrative arrangement under which the decision on any particular case is reserved to the Army Council. The Board have no authority to use it in such a way as to override the decision of a statutory tribunal under the Military Service Acts.


Are we to understand that national education is not regarded as work of national importance? Cannot the Department do something to impress upon such a tribunal the importance of teaching as a work of national importance?


I did not imply that the view of the Board of Education coincided with the view of the tribunal.


Is it not the case that a man who has these antecedents and who holds these opinions would be strongly resented by the great bulk of parents and that his work in that capacity would not be to the national advantage?