HC Deb 31 October 1916 vol 86 cc1563-4W

asked the President of the Local Government Board if the Central Appeal Tribunal have given a decision to the effect that an appeal by a man of eighteen years of age for exemption on the ground of conscience cannot be entertained, as the views of men of this age are deemed to be immature; and, if so, will he at once instruct the Central Tribunal to withdraw the decision as a distinctly illegal one under the provisions of the Military Service Act, which gives all who come within it the unquestioned right to claim exemption on any of the grounds specified in the Act?


I am not aware of any such decision. I presume that the hon. Member has in mind No. 55 of the circulated cases. What the Central Tribunal said in that was, "The Central Tribunal regard the age of the man alleging conscientious objections as an important factor in the consideration of the question whether his objection is so deliberate and settled as to entitle him to exemption or to the widest form of exemption."


asked the President of the Board of Trade how many conscientious objectors to military service have been referred to the Committee on Work of National Importance; and what proportion of them have obtained employment such as meets the requirements of the Committee?


One thousand seven hundred and forty cases have been referred to the Committee by the tribunals, of which 180 were afterwards withdrawn. Employment meeting the requirements of the Committee has been found in 71 per cent, of the remaining cases. In addition the Army Council asked the Committee to-deal with 1,254 cases, and, so far, suitable employment has been found in 79 per cent, of these cases.