HC Deb 06 June 1940 vol 361 cc986-7
20. Sir Henry Morris-Jones

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to meetings held in Wales recently under the auspices of the Peace Pledge Union, and, in particular, that held at a college at Bangor on 25th May; and what steps he intends to take to prevent the infiltration, especially into the rural areas of Wales, of members of this organisation from London, who are in effect endeavouring to thwart and divert our war effort?

Sir J. Anderson

I have had a report of a recent meeting at Bangor Baptist College. I understand that this was a meeting of local members of the Peace Pledge Union for conference among themselves and not for proselytising purposes. I have not heard of any activities of the kind mentioned in the second part of the Question.

Sir H. Morris-Jones

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, according to my information, a week or two ago classes were being held by this organisation in some of the rural villages of Wales to coach conscientious objectors before they appear before the tribunals? Will he draw the attention of the chief constables of the Welsh counties to this matter, because I know that it is going on at the moment?

Sir J. Anderson

I am aware that such meetings have been held, but the meeting referred to in the Question was not, so far as my information goes, of that character. I shall certainly see that the chief constables are alive to the matter.

Mr. McGovern

Is this the area where recently a number of Welsh Nationalists tried to destroy an aerodrome?

Miss Rathbone

Does the Minister not consider that the fact that the proportion of people applying for registration as conscientious objectors has steadily gone down, and is now something like 1 per cent., shows the inefficacy of the efforts of this organisation?