§ Mr. JOWETT
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that on Tuesday, 6th March, Mr. Branson, as representing the chairman of the Committee on Employment of Conscientious Objectors, stated to Master Daldy, during the hearing of the action of Norman v, Samuel and others, that the Crown did not contend that conscientious objectors were bound by the undertaking they signed in prison, but were only bound by the terms of the conditional pardon granted by His Majesty and the schedule attached thereto; whether, in view of this statement by counsel appearing for the Crown, and in view of the fact that neither the conditional pardon nor the schedule attached provides that men released by virtue of those documents can be sent to prison or returned to the Army for breaches of conditions, he will state under what Statute, Order in Council, or Regulation men have been returned to prison or recalled to the Army for travelling on the railway, for alleged insolence, and other trivial offences; and whether he will at once order the release of such men?
§ Sir G. CAVE
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. These men are released from prison for employment on work of national importance, prior to the expiration of their sentences by virtue of a conditional pardon which operates only so long as the conditions, which are fully set out therein, are observed. A copy of these conditions is given to every man so released. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.1110W
asked the Secretary to the Local Government Board whether he is aware that Alfred Eungblut, a conscientious objector who voluntarily gave himself up on 12th September last, was court-martialled at Salisbury, sentenced to two years' hard labour, sent to Wormwood Scrubbs, and from there to Epsom lunatic asylum; and, seeing that this man was driven insane by the ill-treatment that he received at the hands of the military, and is now in a serious state of health and possibly dying, will he say what action he proposes to take?
§ Sir G. CAVE
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. This man was sentenced by court-martial on the 28th September last to 112 days' imprisonment. On the 10th November he was certified to be insane and removed to an asylum. I have no reason whatever for supposing that his insanity was due to ill-treatment by the military, but if the hon. Member has any evidence to support this very serious allegation he should submit it to the Army Council. The case is one for their consideration and not one that comes within my purview.
§ Mr. JOWETT
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that Joseph Illingworth, a conscientious objector so found by the Central Tribunal, was sentenced to two months' hard labour at Warwick Petty Sessions for breaches of Regulation 27 of the Defence of the Realm Regulations; that the chairman of the magistrates, in passing sentence, stated that the prisoner had been drawn into the discussion by the detectives employed; that the detectives admitted that the prosecution was founded on trap questions; and that Joseph Illingworth served the sentence imposed on him although a petition was sent to the Home Office on his behalf; whether, on the conclusion of his sentence, Illingworth has been recalled to the Army; and under what powers does the Home Office or Committee on Employment of Conscientious Objectors claim the right to inflict punishment additional to that imposed by the duly constituted court having jurisdiction to deal with the case?
§ Sir G. CAVE
I am aware that Illingworth was convicted of an offence against the Defence of the Realm Regulations and was sentenced to two months' hard labour. I have seen a newspaper report of the trial, from which it appears that the Justices, in passing sentence, took into consideration the circumstances in which the 1111W offence was committed, but it does not appear that the prosecution was founded on trap questions. Illingworth was recalled to the Army at the end of the sentence. In reply to the last part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer to a question put by the hon. Member for North Westmeath on 21st February last.