HC Deb 04 March 1918 vol 103 cc1730-1W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the fact that Mr. H G. Twilley, who before the War was superintendent of a Sunday school in Leicester, has been sentenced four times, the last sentence being one of two years' hard labour, for being a conscientious objector; and what is the present intention of the War Office regarding such men?


I should be glad if my hon. Friend would let me have details as to regiment and number, to enable me to consider the case.


asked the Home Secretary whether he is in a position yet to inform the House whether conscientious objectors undergoing sentences of penal servitude are to have the benefit of the recent concessions announced with respect to those undergoing sentences of hard labour?


I am in communication with the War Office upon this subject.


asked the Home Secretary if a conscientious objector named W. J. Greene, late of the Works Centre, Wakefield, has been arrested and taken back to the Army; if Mr. Greene, prior to his first arrest under the Military Service Act, was an assistant organiser of the Bakers' Union in South Wales; if his arrest is due to a letter which he wrote three weeks ago to his general secretary, and which is considered by the Home Office to contravene Rule 12 regarding public propaganda; if this is the only reason for Mr. Greene's arrest, will he explain how this letter can come within the rule referred to; whether Mr. Greene's conduct during the fifteen months he has been at Wakefield has been exemplary; and whether this case will be immediately reconsidered with a view to his return to the Home Office scheme?


W. J. Greene has been arrested. His occupation was stated in prison as that of a baker, but there is nothing to show that he was an assistant organiser of the Bakers' Union. His conduct has been good, but the letter in respect of which his recall was recommended showed that he had broken the rule against taking part in public propaganda and made it impossible for the Committee to retain him in their employment.


asked how many conscientious objectors were confined in Shrewsbury Prison in January, 1918; whether A. Horton died there as a conscientious objector; and how many conscientious objectors have been released from Shrewsbury Prison since 1st January, 1918?


There were eighty-one prisoners of the class known as "conscientious objectors" in Shrewsbury Prison during January last. A. Horton was one of them. Six others of them have been released since the 1st January.