This letter might be sent to the H.[ome] O[ffice]? Thanks. RC
[To] The Rt. Hon. [Right Honourable] The Lord Robert Cecil etc. etc. etc. K.C., M.P.,
No. 13 Westholm Green,
For some months a very active anti-conscription propaganda has been carried on here by the Independent Labour Party, The No Conscription Fellowship and kindred organisations. At first many meetings were held but more recently these have been abandoned and the work is carried on mainly by the distribution of large quantities of leaflets and pamphlets, although I believe surreptitious meetings are still held.
About two months ago I noticed an account of the prosecution and conviction at Oxford of a man for being concerned in the distribution of a leaflet headed "Shall Britons be Conscripts". As a copy of this leaflet had been delivered at my house, and enlarged reproductions prominently exhibited in the town I thought it my duty to inform the Police of the facts. Accordingly on the 18th. of March I saw Sup[erintenden]t. Reed at Hitchin and handed him the leaflet I had received, at the same time giving him particulars as to persons whom I suspected of being concerned in its distribution. I have since on several occasions seen both Supt. Reed and Inspector Warren of Letchworth giving them further particulars of other literature distributed as well as information obtained by me as to the activities of the No Conscriptionists here.
Supt. Reed tells me that he duly reported the matter to his Chief at Hatfield who sent the papers to the Competent Military Authority. Further evidence was asked for, it was obtained by the Police and sent forward some weeks ago. The Supt. adds that since then he has heard nothing more, though he has been expecting at any time to receive instructions to prosecute.
In the meantime the propaganda goes on with unabated, nay increasing, energy; the net result up to the present being a crop of 32 "Conscientious objectors", but I suspect that its baleful effects will not be fully felt or understood until the time comes for putting into practice the forthcoming Military Service Act.
I venture to bring this matter to your Lordship's notice, not in any spirit of complaint, but in the hope that you may take such steps as may seem to you desirable with a view to stopping a propaganda which is eminently calculated to hinder His Majesty's Government in the prosecution of the War. I cannot help thinking that if the responsible authorities were fully alive, as many of us here are, to the harm that is being done, they would lose no time in taking the necessary action.
I attach an extract from today's 'Morning Post' from which it appears that steps are being taken in Wales in a precisely similar case to the one which is the subject of this letter.
With great respect
I.L.P. OFFICES RAIDED.
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