HC Deb 27 June 1918 vol 107 cc1206-7
21. Mr. KING

asked the Home Secretary whether equality of treatment is meted out to Scotsmen in the three settlements of Princetown, Wakefield, and Knutsford for conscientious objectors in sending these men to Scotland when vacancies occur there in establishments; and, if so, will he say how many have been so sent from the first-named settlement?


I cannot give the figures asked for. The selection of conscientious objectors for employment does not depend on their place of origin, but on their capacity for the work, the distance to be travelled to the place of employment, and other circumstances. I may add that I am not convinced that Scotsmen invariably prefer to be employed in their native country.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that hopes were given to these men that they might return to Scotland, and that, they have been working all the better in consequence, and that therefore his implied promise ought to be carried out?


If either of the conscientious objectors desires to make an application, he may do so direct.

24. Mr. WATT

asked the Home Secretary whether he has had a petition from the Scotsmen amongst the conscientious objectors in the Princetown settlement asking that they should have the privilege of a Presbyterian service in the same way as is given at Wakefield and at Knutsford; and, if so, will he say whether any and what action has been taken to provide this?


No, Sir; but the Committee on Employment of Conscientious Objectors received a petition in May last from five Scotsmen employed at Prince-town asking that a centre for Scotsmen might be established in Scotland. The Committee were at the time negotiating with employers in Scotland for the employment of a large number of men, and these men were noted for transfer to this work. The negotiations, however, fell through, owing to the repugnance of other men to work with conscientious objectors. It is not practicable to make special arrangements for these men at Prince-town, but the matter will be borne in mind.