HC Deb 15 August 1940 vol 364 c934
12. Mr. Sloan

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that Mr. A. Anderson, Ashton, Green Street, Darvel, who was registered as a conscientious objector, received a notice from his employers, Messrs. A. Jamieson and Company, Limited, lace manufacturers, that since he had registered as a conscientious objector his services were no longer required by them; and what action does he propose to take towards the firm?

Mr. Bevin

I have no knowledge of the facts in this case. I have stated previously that I strongly deprecate action of the kind alleged, but I have no authority to control an employer's action in such circumstances.

Mr. R. Gibson

Will my right hon. Friend give the tribunals authority to deal with such a matter as being contempt of court?

Mr. Radford

Is there any objection to a British firm preferring to employ genuine British men and women rather than conscientious objectors?

Mr. Bevin

I take the view very strongly that when the House of Commons carries a law giving to any minority a right, it is wrong for any citizen to try by individual action, either by starving a man or doing anything else, to depreciate the right which this House has conferred.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

Has the right hon. Gentleman any evidence that conscientious objectors are being starved?