HC Deb 27 February 1940 vol 357 c1911W
Mr. De Chair

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can make a full statement on the working of the Section in the Military Training Act referring to the employment of conscientious objectors in non-combatant units on work of national importance; and how many conscientious objectors are still working in their old jobs, and how many have been given work of national importance in open-air camps?

Mr. E. Brown

Section 5 (6) (b) of the National Service (Armed Forces) Act empowers tribunals, if satisfied that the ground upon which an application was made to them is established, to direct by order that the applicant shall be registered as a conscientious objector on condition that he undertakes work specified by the tribunal, of a civil character and under civilian control. Up to 10th February, 3,422 men, or 45 per cent. of those whose applications came before the tribunals, were so registered. Where tribunals consider that the national interest so requires, they specify the applicant's existing work, and in other cases they specify such work as agriculture, forestry, or work of a humanitarian nature in connection with civil defence, e.g., ambulance work. Statistics showing the various types of work specified by tribunals are not available. The power of the Minister to order training for the work specified by the tribunal has not yet been exercised.

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