HC Deb 23 October 1945 vol 414 cc1942-3W
Lieut.-Colonel Price-White

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that appeals tribunals set up under the National Service Acts have recently cancelled the direction to certain employments made in cases of conscientious objectors, to enable the latter to return to study at universities and other educational establishments; whether this policy has received his approval, and whether equal consideration will be given to students who are still serving in His Majesty's Forces.

Mr. Ness Edwards

My right hon. Friend is aware that local and appellate tribunals have recently made a few orders of this kind, in cases which possessed special features, such as medical unfitness. The tribunals are independent statutory bodies, with complete discretion to prescribe the form of work to be undertaken by persons who are ordered to be registered conditionally as conscientious objectors. No question, therefore, arises of approval of their action by my right hon. Friend. With regard to the second part of the question, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Hallam (Mr. Jennings) on 9th October.

Lieut. -Colonel Price-White

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can provide statistics with regard to those who were granted full or conditional exemption from national service under the National Service Act, upon objections of conscience; and whether he can give the totals for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

Mr. Ness Edwards

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Major Beamish) on 10th October, a copy of which I am sending him. The totals for England, Scotland and Wales were 26,589,2788 and 2,920 respectively. The National Service Acts do not extend to Northern Ireland.

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