HC Deb 10 August 1916 vol 85 c1254W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the court-martial held at Cambridge Barracks, Portsmouth, on 4th August, when Stanley Ashman, a conscientious objector, was unanimously held by the court to be genuine; whether he is aware that the court declared that he should be liberated if the sanction of the Prime Minister could be obtained; and whether this course, if taken by other courts-martial, will be allowed to have effect, and the labours of the Central Tribunal correspondingly lightened?


I am not aware whether any procedure such as that indicated by the hon. Member was adopted by the court-martial, but if such be the case it was entirely outside the province of the court to express such an opinion. I regret I am unable to adopt the suggestion of the hon. Member in view of the fact that a court-martial is only permitted and required to give an opinion as to whether or not any particular offence has been committed, this opinion taking the form of the finding of the court.