Mr. EDMUND HARVEY
asked the Home Secretary how many men have been transferred to civil prisons after courts-martial as conscientious objectors to military service; how many of these have declined to accept work under the Home Office Committee and are still in prison; how many have accepted such work; and how many are now engaged at the different work centres?
§ Mr. JOWETT
asked the Prime Minister if he will inform the House of the number of conscientious objectors in military detention or in civil prisons on 10th February; what number of conscientious objectors had been released to take up work under the Home Office scheme on that date; what number of conscientious objectors were still in prison or in detention whose cases had not been inquired into by the Central Tribunal; what number of conscientious objectors were in prison or in detention waiting for work of 814W national importance to be found them; what number of conscientious objectors in prison or in detention had declined to accept the Home Office scheme; what number of conscientious objectors in prison or in detention had been refused the opportunity of coming out under the scheme as the Central Tribunal was of opinion that their genuineness had not been established; and what number of conscientious objectors who had been released under the scheme have thrown up the scheme or have been re-arrested for various reasons?
§ Sir G. CAVE
I will answer these two questions together. The total number of men who have been sentenced to imprisonment by court-martial, transferred to civil prisons, and reported to the Central Tribunal as alleging that their offences were prompted by a conscientious objection to military service is, I am informed, 3,025. The Central Tribunal has reported 2,369 of these cases to the Committee on Employment of Conscientious Objectors, and of these 2,297 have been or will immediately be offered release from prison and from military service on condition that they perform work of national importance under the Committee. Of these, 265 have refused to accept release on these conditions, 1,731 have been released, and 284 are awaiting release. Of the 1,731 who have been released from prison to work 101 have subsequently refused to work or have broken the conditions on which they were released, and have accordingly been sent back to prison or to the Army. There are 339 men now in prison whoso cases have not yet been considered by the Central Tribunal.