HC Deb 26 February 1940 vol 357 c1720
12. Mr. Thurtle

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether officers and men serving in the Royal Navy enjoy the same right as is enjoyed by members of the other Fighting Services of declaring that they do not wish to be classified as belonging to any of the orthodox and recognised religions?

Mr. Shakespeare

Yes, Sir. We have no record of any officer or man wishing to declare himself as of "no religion." It is open to anyone to declare himself an agnostic or freethinker. In a few cases this is done and done without exciting any comment. No pressure of any kind is exercised on anyone to express an adherence to any religious body.

Mr. R. Gibson

Is it not the case that Scotsmen who join the Navy and say they have no religion are passed as Church of Scotland?

Mr. McGovern

Why have they no religion?