HC Deb 30 October 1919 vol 120 cc903-4W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Percy Morley, No. 2415, 4th Northern Company, Non-Combatant Corps, and Arthur Fountain, No. 1911, of the same company, were court-martialled and sentenced to six months imprisonment in August last; whether these men are still in prison; and, if so, whether he will explain the reason for their continued imprisonment in view of his statement that all conscientious objectors were to be released from gaol?


The two men to whom my hon. Friend refers had served in the same company of the Non-Combatant Corps without giving any trouble for just over three years, when on the 22nd July last they both suddenly objected to military service on conscientious grounds. It is, I think, quite clear that their objection was due to a desire for early demobilisation which they could not otherwise secure. They were tried by court-martial, as my hon. Friend states, and are still in prison, but their sentences were mitigated to 112 days' imprisonment with hard labour. At the time when the statement quoted in the last part of the question was made these men were not in prison.