§ Mr. Rhys Davies
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that, under a Treasury ruling, employees in Government Departments who, when registering for military service, register provisionally as conscientious objectors, render themselves ineligible for promotion, whereas they would be entitled to retain any promoted rank received between the time of registration with their age groups and the subsequent date of any provisional registration; that provisional registration as a conscientious objector may be effected at any time within two days after medical examination and is a preliminary adjudication by a competent tribunal; and whether he will amend the rule so that ineligibility for promotion becomes effective either after such persons have been heard by the appropriate tribunal or after medical examination?
§ Sir J. Anderson
The great majority of conscientious objectors apply for provisional registration as such at the time of their registration with their age groups, in the knowledge that otherwise they are regarded as accepting all forms of national service and that the tribunals may regard any later application for provisional registration as indicating a change of view. The existing wartime rule against the promotion of conscientious objectors in the Civil Service applies as from the time when, by registering as conscientious objectors, they first declare that they are not unreservedly at the service of the State. If my hon. Friend's suggestion were adopted, the operation of the rule would be unjustifiably delayed or, in certain cases, completely avoided.