HC Deb 06 August 1940 vol 363 cc36-7
59. Mr. Denville

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he has considered a resolution passed by the Ex-Service Civil Servants' Association objecting to conscientious objectors in Government Departments; and what reply he has returned thereto?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Crookshank)

I have not received direct representations from the association in question. The National Service (Armed Forces) Act, t939, provides that the appropriate tribunal may direct that a conscientious objector shall undertake work of a civil character. In the case of a civil servant the employing Department takes no action unless the conscientious objector refuses to perform duties which can appropriately be required of him, and in this event he is dismissed.

60. Mr. Erskine Hill

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether civil servants who have registered as conscientious objectors, and have been instructed by a tribunal to remain in their Civil Service employment, will obtain any advantage over their colleagues who are serving in the Forces?

Captain Crookshank

No, Sir. Such persons will not be permitted to secure any advantage over their colleagues serving in the Forces, and will in consequence, for the war period, be barred from consideration for promotion.

Mr. Erskine Hill

While thanking my right hon. and gallant Friend for that reply, may I ask whether he means that in regard both to pay and promotion those who are performing honourable service with the Forces of the Crown will be in at least as good a position as anybody who is a conscientious objector and continues in the Civil Service?

Captain Crookshank

I think my hon. and learned Friend has put the proposition the other way round. What I said was that those who are working in the Civil Service as conscientious objectors will not get any advantage as a result of that as compared with those who are at the war.

Sir T. Moore

Does that mean that a Civil Service conscientious objector will receive exactly the same pay as civil servants who are serving in the Armed Forces of the Crown?

Captain Crookshank

It depends upon the work they are doing. If my hon. and gallant Friend will study the reply which I have given, I think he will find the answer.

Mr. Levy

Are we to understand that no advantage of any kind or description will be obtained by conscientious objectors over those who have gone to fight?

Captain Crookshank

That is what I said.

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