§ 28. Mr. Woodburn
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty on what grounds George 563 C. Price, of 7, Northfield Square, Edinburgh, born and bred in Edinburgh, was refused entry into the British Navy, in which his British West Indian father fought during the Great War; whether persons born and reared within the British Isles are subject in the recruiting regulations to caste or racial discriminations; and what steps he is taking to abolish colour prejudice in the ranks of the Navy?
According to the information available at the Admiralty, George C. Price has never applied to join the Royal Navy. During the war men of colour may be considered for entry for hostilities only service in competition with other candidates on their merits, and without regard to their colour, provided they are British born and sons of British born parents.
§ Mr. Woodburn
Is the Minister aware that this young man appeared before the conscientious objectors' tribunal and that that tribunal expressed sympathy with him in the fact that before the war he had applied to join the Navy, and that vicariously he offered to join the Air Force, and that in both cases he was rejected because of his colour; and am I to understand that there is any test of alien blood that distinguishes the Admiralty from the Army?
I think I have given the position. I understand that this is rather an extraordinary case. The man's mother is Danish. Therefore he is not the son of British-born parents, but, if the hon. Member has any further particulars which he would like to bring to my notice, I shall be glad if he will do so. I understand that his brother applied in 1935 and mentioned this man, who himself has never applied. Perhaps the hon. Member would like to communicate with me further.
§ Mr. Woodburn
Is not the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware from the Question that this man's father served in the Navy during the last war, and, if his father was able to serve as a West Indian during the last war, it seems rather strange that his son cannot serve to-day?