§ 40. Mr. PRINGLE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether John Montgomerie, a regular minister of the Plymouth or Christian Brethren, was on 7th January convicted in the Sheriff Court, Glasgow, as an absentee under the Military Service Acts, and was thereupon posted to the Royal Flying Corps; whether ministers of this denomination in England have been exempted from service; and whether, in view of the arrangement made in England, he will give instructions that John Montgomerie be discharged from the Army on the ground that he is a regular minister of a religious denomination?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of NATIONAL SERVICE (Mr. Beck)
My hon. Friend has asked me to reply. This case had already been brought to my notice, and I understand that after a full hearing, at which Montgomerie was represented by counsel. at the Sheriff Court, Glasgow, on the 5th January, 1918, the sheriff decided that Montgomerie was not a regular minister of religion within the meaning of the fourth paragraph of the First Schedule to the Military Service Act, 1916, and fined him the sum of £2 and ordered him to be handed over to the military authorities. I understand that the sheriff has agreed to state a case for the opinion of the High Court, and the War Office was on the 2nd February requested to release Montgomerie on furlough pending the hearing of the case stated