§ Mr. ASHLEY
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether it has been brought to his notice that a circular letter has been sent to a large number of secretaries of Church of England working men's clubs by a person purporting to be the secretary of an Association of Friends, inquiring whether they or any of the members of their clubs were inclined to act as conscientious objectors, and offering legal aid and assistance to any persons so endeavouring to escape military service; and whether the Home Office have refused to take any action against this person?
I am not sure to what letter the hon. Member refers. Parliament has enacted that a man may apply for exemption from the provisions of the Military Service Act on the ground of conscientious objection to the undertaking of combatant service, and that the tribunal, if they consider the grounds of the application established, shall grant a certificate of exemption of one of the several kinds specified in the Act. It cannot be held that any person or organisation commits an illegality through offering assistance to men who seek to avail themselves of this provision of the Statute.