Conscientious Objectors (Postings)

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd July 1952.

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Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon 12:00 am, 22nd July 1952

asked the Secretary of State for War what is his policy in regard to the posting to Korea, Malaya or Western Germany, of avowed Communists who have registered as conscientious objectors on political grounds but have been refused exemption from National Service.

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

There is no specific policy on this matter: each case is considered on its merits.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

Quite apart from the rights of the Army or of any individual in it, is it not evident that it would be absurd to post to Korea, for instance, a man who is legally entitled to believe that the other side in Korea is the right side?

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

If I gave to this House an undertaking that I would post no Communists to Korea, it might result in a recruiting drive for the Communist Party.

Photo of Mr Peter Roberts Mr Peter Roberts , Sheffield, Heeley

Could I ask my right hon. Friend whether this means that those people consider that they owe a greater allegiance to Russia than they do to this country?

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

That is not within my province.