§ 3. Mr. Stephen
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that complaints were made to the War Office regarding the treatment at Maryhill Barracks, Glasgow, of a conscientious objector, Mr. Philip Boyle, 246, Todd Street, Glasgow, who complains that he was forcibly dressed in a military uniform and was assaulted in his cell by military police, and was afterwards sentenced to 28 days' imprisonment for refusal to obey orders; and whether he will have inquiry made into the charges of assault committed against this young man, and take steps to have this case for exemption as a conscientious objector to military service re-submitted to a tribunal for consideration?
§ Mr. Eden
This man's claim as a conscientious objector was, I understand, dismissed by both the local and appellate tribunals. Nevertheless, he failed to report for military duty and had to be arrested by the civil police. On arrival at his unit, he refused to put on uniform, and was subsequently tried by court-martial for refusing to obey an order. He was sentenced to 112 days' detention, of which 84 days were remitted. A court of inquiry has been held to investigate the complaints that have been made, and the evidence is that no force was used and no injury inflicted, and that the soldier made no complaint. His father was given the opportunity of calling witnesses of the alleged assault, but did not do so. Section 13 of the National Service (Armed Forces) Act, 1939, defines the circumstances in which this man could apply to have his case re-submitted to the appellate tribunal.
§ Mr. Stephen
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have a letter from the father and a letter from one of the other prisoners stating that they were willing to give evidence?
§ Mr. Maxton
Is the Minister aware that this matter is common knowledge in Glasgow and that the facts are accepted by a large section of the community? Is he further aware that the Glasgow Trades Council have specifically protested against this case, which is the only conscientious objector case about which they have felt it necessary to protest, and will he have these things in mind when he is looking into the matter?