HC Deb 20 February 1918 vol 103 cc715-6

asked the Under-secretary of State for War if he is aware of the condition of Emanuel Ribeiro, a conscientious objector, now in Lord Derby War Hospital, near Warrington, who has been forcibly fed for more than twelve months and that, in the opinion of one of the doctors attending him, his condition is such that if the present treatment be continued it must soon end fatally; and what action he proposes to take in the matter?

19. Mr. KING

asked whether Emanuel Ribeiro, a conscientious objector, is still an inmate of Lord Derby War Hospital, Warrington; whether he has been forcibly fed for over twelve months; whether he is still considered non-genuine in his conscientious objection; and whether, in view of his broken health, he will now be released?


I am aware of the condition of Emanuel Ribiero, as a Special Medical Board has recently assembled to render a report, which I have perused. Briefly, the report is that his physical health is good, that he has gained 20 lbs. in weight in the last six months, that he himself says that he is far from being depressed or downcast, and he amuses himself with reading. He declines to tell anybody anything of his family history, but smiles and has a cheery face, and is in no way melancholy. The Board are of opinion that he is absolutely free from any form of mental disorder and in the full enjoyment of his faculties.


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that Thomas D. Matchett, a schoolmaster, lately employed under the Wilts education authority, residing in Bath, and a conscientious objector, who was given exemption from combatant service by the Bath local and Somerset Appeal Tribunals which he declined to accept, stating his willingness to pursue his professional work as being the work of greatest national importance which he could perform, who was court-martialled at Weymouth and sentenced to 112 days' imprisonment at Wormwood Scrubs, and who suffered in health during his confinement, losing over 15 lbs. in weight, was again court-martialled and sentenced to one year's imprisonment in Dorchester Gaol and, having developed tuberculosis, accompanied by severe hæmorrhage, was sent to Winsley Sanatorium, near Bath, on or about the 12th of November, and after six weeks pronounced an unsuitable case by the medical officer of that institution; that he has since been discharged from the Army and from custody and is now lying dangerously ill at his home in Bath, and is unable to earn anything in support of his wife and two children; and whether he proposes to make him any allowance by way of maintenance of those dependent upon him?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir George Cave)

This man was released from prison in order to go to a sanatorium in November last. I have no information with regard to his present circumstances, and I am not aware of any public fund from which any allowance could be made to him or his family. Certainly there is no such fund under my control.