§ 26 Mr. KING
asked the Under-secretary of State for War (1) whether, on 17th January, 1918, seven men of the 1st Western Non-Combatant Corps refused at Inceville, near Dieppe, to handle shells, were court-martialled on the 31st January, and sentenced to six months' hard labour; whether these men are now serving their sentences in France; (2) whether eight men of the 1st Northern Non-Combatant Corps at Rouen were court-martialled on 4th December, 1917, sentenced to field punishment No. 1, and, after serving part of their sentences, released with a clean crime sheet; whether these men are now doing their usual work; (3) whether seven men of the 1st Northern Non-Combatant Corps were at Rouen on 1st February, 1918, sentenced by court-martial for refusing to handle rifles; whether they are serving the sentence of fifty-six days' field punishment No. 1; whether it is in accordance with Regulations that they are tied up three nights out of four; (4) whether seventeen men in the 2nd Northern Non-Combatant Corps were, on 10th December, 1917, sentenced at Abancourt for refusing to handle military supplies; whether their sentences of two years' hard labour has been com muted to eighty days' field punishment No. 1; whether, while undergoing punishment, they were, contrary to Regulations, dragged round the square and thrown on the ground, picked up, and again thrown down and kicked; whether soldiers who watched these, proceedings made their disgust apparent; where these men now are; (5) whether in December, 1917, four teen men, being Seventh Day Adventists, were court-martialled at Abancourt for refusing to do military work on the Sabbath; whether they received sentences of nine months' hard labour; and whether any of these men are now in Wormwood Scrubs Prison or at Knutsford Work Centre?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
If my hon. Friend wishes me to inquire into these cases, I should be glad if he would furnish me with the names and regimental numbers of the individuals concerned, but I would remind him that men of the Non-Combatant Corps can be called upon to carry out any duties other than those of a combatant nature—i.e., other than the bearing of arms or instruction in their use.
37. Mr. SNOW DEN
asked the Under secretary of State for War if a medical student attached to the Non-Combatant Corps is entitled under the new Army Council Instruction relegating medical students to the Reserves with a view to resuming their medical studies would be required to conform to the condition imposed, namely, joining an Officers' Training Corps, or whether, seeing that such a person has received a certificate of exemption from combatant duties on conscientious grounds, he will be permitted to substitute some other voluntary work of national importance instead of joining the Officers' Training Corps?