§ 76. Mr. HINDS
asked the Minister of National Service whether general instructions have been issued to call up for military service all ministers and clergymen, including Anglican clergy and Roman Catholic clergy, who have been ordained subsequently to the appointed day under the Military Service Acts; and, if not, why exceptions have been made in the case of certain regularly ordained Nonconformist ministers in Wales?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of NATIONAL SERVICE (Mr. Beck)
No general instructions have been issued to call up for military service all men in Holy Orders or all regular ministers of a religious denomination who have been ordained subsequently to the appointed date upon which they became liable to military service under the Military Service Acts, 1916, and in this connection I must refer the hon. Member to the very full answer given by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for War to the hon. Member for East Denbighshire on the 19th July, 1917. While it is not proposed to call up for military service all men who have been ordained or admitted to the ministry after they became subject to the provisions of the Military Service Acts, 1916, it is considered that men who have been ordained or admitted to the ministry immediately after being refused exemption by the tribunals, or while an application for the withdrawal of their certificates of exemption was pending before a tribunal are in a different position, and that in such cases the decision of the tribunal, making the man in question available for service, should be given effect to. In dealing with cases of this nature no differentiation has been made between the members of the various denominations, and the hon. Member is in error in suggesting that certain regularly 18 ordained Nonconformist ministers in Wales have been singled out for exceptional treatment.