HC Deb 27 February 1941 vol 369 c637
70. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Secr-tary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make representations to foreign Governments in this country to provide conscientious objectors to military service with similar rights to those accorded to British subjects under our own legislation?

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Butler)

In the event of appropriate legislation being introduced, consideration would be given to this among other aspects of the problem of enabling Allied military conscription to be enforced in this country.

Mr. Davies

Does the right hon. Gentleman remember that when we dealt with this problem on the Floor of the House the other day, a promise was made that those Governments would treat their conscientious objectors on the same lines as our own?

Viscountess Astor

Will the right hon. Gentleman also bear in mind that in the last war out of about 10,000 conscientious objectors, 1,000 were real Christians and 9,000 political objectors?

Mr. Butler:

I think the hon. Member who asked this Question will be aware that at present there is no provision in our law whereby Allied Governments in this country can enforce conscription of their nationals, but if such legislation arose, that point would be taken into account.