§ Mr. JOWETT
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Mr. G. H. Stuart Beavis, a conscientious objector, was arrested on 25th May, 1916, and handed over to the military authorities, and a few days later sent to Franco, tried by court-martial at Boulogne for refusing to obey a military order, sentenced on 24th June, 1916, to death by shooting, which was afterwards commuted to ten years' penal servitude, was brought before the Central Tribunal, who considered him to be genuine and offered him work under the Home Office scheme, which he refused, and is now in Maidstone Prison; and whether, seeing there is no 1293W doubt as to his genuineness, he will be discharged from the Army and released from prison?
§ Mr. JOWETT
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Mr. Oswald Clark, a conscientious objector, formerly clerk to the Doncaster preparative meeting of the Society of Friends, assistant secretary to the West Laithe Gate adult school and of the Don-caster International Polity Club, plan secretary of the Doncaster Gospel Temperance Union and of the Yorkshire adult school Co-operative Holiday Committee, member of the committee of the Doncaster Amateur Swimming Club, director of the York Retreat, assistant at Warms-worth Sunday School, Doncaster Friends Band of Hope, Factory Lane Band of Hope (president), Sunday evening children's meeting, and Factory Lane Mission, was arrested on 23rd May, 1916, taken to Pontefract Barracks, court-martialled, and sentenced to 112 days, sent to Armley Gaol, Leeds, appeared before the Central Tribunal, adjudged genuine and offered work under the Home Office scheme, which he refused, court-martialled again at Rugeley on 6th October, 1916, sentenced to two years' hard labour, and is now in Wormwood Scrubs; and whether he will consider the desirability of employing Mr. Clark at his occupation as a tanner and currier and giving him his liberty in accordance with the provisions of the Military Service Acts?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
Perhaps my hon. Friend will inform me which provision of the Military Service Acts he has in mind.
§ Mr. KING
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Tom, Archie, and John Umpleby, residing at Stockton, and described as farmers and market gardeners, were called up for military service in May last, have since been sentenced to terms of imprisonment as conscientious objectors, and were at the Wakefield works centre until recently; whether he is aware that these young men assisted on a farm which, in addition to growing vegetables and other foodstuffs, had 37 head of cattle, including 12 milch cows, 47 sheep, and 30 pigs; that, owing to the loss of the sons' help, thou- 1294W sands of cabbages and other foodstuffs were wasted; that, owing to his age (sixty-three years), the father finds the work too heavy, and the farm is likely to run to waste, the loss to date being reckoned at £200; and whether these young men will now be employed in the national interests and sent to work on their farm in order to increase the national food supply?
§ Sir G. CAVE
My hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I am aware that these men are at present working under the Committee on the Employment of Conscientious Objectors at Wakefield, and that they describe themselves as farmers and market gardeners. I have no information as to their previous employment. Arrangements are being made for their employment on agricultural work within the next few days.
§ Mr. T. RICHARDSON
asked the Home Secretary whether Walter Joseph Cunningham, formerly a teacher under the West Ham Education Committee, a conscientious objector now engaged on navvy work in road cutting at Llangattock waterworks, is in consumption; whether he is aware that this man's father and brother died of rapid consumption; that right up to the time of his being arrested the man was attending a dispensary for consumptives; whether he is aware that the man was told by the prison doctor in the presence of an officer that he was unfit for road-making; and whether it is the intention of the authorities to release this man?
§ Sir G. CAVE
This man, who when in prison described himself as a fruit-grower, at first refused to work under the Committee on the Employment of Conscientious Objectors, but subsequently withdrew his refusal and was sent to work at Llangattock on the 11th January last. In consequence of representations made by his mother he was examined by the medical officer of the camp, who reported that on a thorough examination he could not find any sign of disease and pronounced the man fit for the work which he had been ordered to perform. On 29th January Cunningham informed the committee's agent at Llangattock that he desired to return to service with his unit, No. 7 Eastern Company, Non-Combatant Corps, Newhaven. The committee informed the War Office, and Cunningham voluntarily 1295W reported himself to his commanding officer at Newhaven on the 17th February last.
§ Mr. R. LAMBERT
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he will state the number of conscientious objectors serving a sentence of penal servitude on 1st March, 1917; the length of the sentence in each case; and the circumstances under which it was imposed?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
There are now nine conscientious objectors serving a sentence of penal servitude; they were sentenced in France to ten years' penal servitude. There were thirty-five conscientious objectors so sentenced; of these all but nine have accepted work under the Brace Committee; of the nine, three of them refused to accept work, and the other six were recalled to penal servitude by the Home Office for misbehaving whilst on work of national importance.