HC Deb 05 December 1939 vol 355 c493W
Rear-Admiral Beamish

asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been drawn to the remarks of the president of the South Wales Military Tribunal on 29th November, deprecating toe fact that mock tribunals are being held in order to coach applicants desiring to be registered as conscientious objectors; and what steps he is taking to prevent this abuse?

Mr. E. Brown

My attention has been drawn to the matter. I have no power to prohibit the practice referred to. There is, so far as I am aware, no reason to suppose that it prevents the Tribunals from arriving at the right conclusions.

Mr. Gallacher

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the chairman of the South Wales Tribunal stated last week that the objections put forward by certain applicants for registration as conscientious objectors were not conscientious objections but political objections; and whether it is the Government's intention to discriminate between objections providing that in both cases the conscientious nature of the objection is proven?

Mr. E. Brown

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for West Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) on 9th November. The duty of deciding whether objections are or are not "conscientious" within the meaning of the Act rests not upon the Government but upon the Local Tribunals, subject to appeal to the Appellate Tribunal.