Challenging Militarism


From The Tribunal April 25th 1918

This is a further update in a series of extracts from the No Conscription Fellowship’s journal, published in the UK between March 1916 and November 1918
For other extracts go toL

The Tribunal keeps Scotland Road busy. Once more we have had to change our printer. This time the authorities adopted the method of smashing up the whole of our printer’s plant and converting it into scrap iron without any warning, because they were annoyed by an issue of “The Tribunal.” Evidently what “The Tribunal” says is of no small importance.


The following is the statement of what happened at his works, sent us by Mr. Street, the printer of “The Tribunal”:

“On Monday afternoon, April 22nd, 1918, at about 3 o’clock, six police officers entered my printing works at 4 Blegborough Road, Streatham, S.W.

The officer who seemed to be in charge asked if my named was Samuel Howells Street, and did I print “The Tribunal for April 11th? I answered, ‘I did.’ He then told me he was instructed to break up the whole of my plant and machinery. They produced no warrant. I told him that part of it was not mine, but belonged to the landlady, Mrs. Love, and it was on the premises when I took them. He told me that it did not matter, he must carry out his instructions and at once told his men to continue.

They started taking the machines to pieces by unscrewing them, but when they found any difficulty, they simply broke the piece off. In this way they have completely ruined a Crown folio cropper, a Crown folio handpress, a Foolscap folio Mofitts, Empress platen, and a Foolscap folio cropper.

They then started throwing the parts into separate boxes, and put them in the cart. They then took the forms and standing matter, split what was tied up, and the books, invoices and stationery, the ‘copy’ of jobs that were in that place.

Again I remonstrated with them about Mrs. Love’s part of the plant, but they would not hear me.

Belonging to Mrs love there was: half h.p. gas engine, Crown folio cropper, Foolscap folio cropper and about six hundredweight of type in cases.

Of my plant there was: Foolscap folio platen machine, Crown folio handpress, 20 inch cutting machine, all the fittings, and two and half tons of type, about 4 cwt. of paper (value about £15.)

The same amount of plant could not be bought today for than £480 or £500.”


The same day (Monday, April 22nd) three detectives from Scotland Yard visited the publishing office of “The Tribunal,” 5 York Buildings, Adelphi, W>C>, and asked to see the publisher, Miss Joan Beauchamp. They asked if she was still publisher of “The Tribunal.” She said she was. They then asked if she was responsible for the back page of the issue of April 11th, and she replied in the affirmative. They next asked who was the editor of the paper, and this she declined to tell them, and efter warning her of the consequences of refusing information, began to search the office. In the course of their investigation, they happened upon an old newspaper cutting referring to Hubert W. Peet and a brilliant inspiration struck them – surely he was the editor? They seemed a little disappointed on learning that our comrade had been in prison nearly two years. After a prolonged search they left the office carrying with them a number of books and papers.


As our readers know, this is not the first time that Scotland Yard has found “The Tribunal” of absorbing interest. On February 9th, 1918, the Hon. Bertrand Russell, R.R.S., was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for a passage in an article which appeared in our issue of Jan. 3rd, and Miss J. Beauchamp was fined £60 and costs for publishing the same. The appeal against these sentences has not yet been heard. On the same date Miss Beauchamp was also summoned for publishing a “Guardroom Message,” which appeared in the same issue, but after hearing that witnesses to the truth of the message were to be brought forward, the public prosecutor asked that the case should be adjourned sine die.

The issue for the week following the prosecution contained an article on the “Moral Aspects of Conscription,” by Miss Joan Beauchamp. The police seized all copies they could find of this issue, and not content with that, dismantled the National Labour Press, who were at that time printing “The Tribunal.”


We know full well that there is no limit to the power of the D.O.R.A.. that there is no act of suppression or oppression which cannot be committed in her name. The press in this country is no longer free; it is bound hand and foot, and is the servile tool of those who would fasten militarism upon us. But in spite of that we still believe that the liberty of the press is as much worth struggling for, and being persecuted for, as it was in the days gone by.

We are not daunted. We shall go on with the message which we believe it is our duty to deliver. We are trying to show the world – Scotland Yard included – the vision of that new way of life in which the methods of violence have no part. We have no fear of the ultimate results of the conflict between the spirit of violence and the ideal for which we stand.


From The Tribunal April 18th 1918

This is a further update in a series of extracts from the No conscription Fellowship’s journal, published in the UK between March 1916 and November 1918
For other extracts go to:

Corder Catchpool, a Quaker C.O., has been awarded the 1914 (Mons) Star for ambulance work at the front. Catchpool joined the Friends Ambulance Unit in September 1914, and served in France and Flanders – (the latter part of the time as Adjutent), till May 1916, when he came home because he felt he could serve the cause of peace better there than at the front. He went before the Tribunals, and was given exemption from combatant service. Eventually he was arrested as an absentee on 12th January, 1917. Since that time he has divided his time between serving one sentence of 112 days in Wormwood Scrubs, six months in Exeter Prison, and a third of six months in Ipswich prison. While he was serving this last sentence the ribbon of the (Mons) Star was sent into prison for him, and the Governor of the prison sent for him and pinned it on. He is now waiting for an escort to take him to prison for a fourth time. In his statement before the District Court Martial on Thursday 26th March, he said:-

“I am a lifelong member of the Society of Friends, and am fully persuaded of the incompatibility of Christianity and War.

“Towards the close of my third imprisonment I thought out a careful defence in anticipation of the present D.C. M. On the day of discharge, when returning under escort to the Battalion, I heard of the awful struggle which has just broken out with fresh intensity in France. Words seem a mockery at such a time, and I have therefor determined not to detain the Court with a detailed explanation of my own case. There is hardly a moment when my thoughts are not with the men in France, eager to help the wounded by immediate human touch with their suffering. This I was privileged to do during the nineteen months spent at the front with the F.A.U., from October, 1914 to May, 1916, while it was still possible to give voluntary service. At times the impulse to return to the work becomes almost irresistable. May God steady me, and keep me faithful to a call I have heard above the roar of guns. In the feverish activity of my hands, i might help to save fraction of the present human wreakage; that would be for me no sacrifice. It costs far more to spend mind and spirit, if need be in the silence of a prison cell, in passionate witness for the great Truths of Peace. That is the call I hear. I believe that only spiritual influence will avail to free the world at last from war. to save our soldiers’ little ones, and confused struggling humanity itself, from all that men an women are suffering now. I honour those who, in loyalty to conscience have gone out to fight. In a crisis like the present, it would be unbecoming to elaborate the convictions that have led me to a cause so different. To-day a man must act.

I believe with the strength of my whole being that, standing here, I am enlisted in Active Service as a soldier of Jesus Christ, who bids man be true to the sense of duty that is laid upon his soul.”


From The Tribunal April 11th 1918

This is a further update in a series of extracts from the No Conscription Fellowship’s journal, published in the UK between March 196 and November 1918
For other extracts go to:


1. Every worker kept in his place.

2. Trade unionism crushed, and any attempt at combination on the part of the workers sternly discouraged.

3. The worker educated to make an efficient cog in the military machine, and taught by a servile press only what his masters consider good for him.

4. Everything in civil life decided by military necessity.

5. The yoke of conscription fastened upon the neck of labour so that by military discipline revolt shall be made impossible.

6. Large standing armies maintained; armaments piled up, and enormous Government contracts for shipbuilding, gunpowder, rifles, food, clothing, etc., assured to the capitalists.

7. Economic war between the nations continued and suspicion fostered by secret diplomacy.

8. Fresh wars sprung upon the peoples for the financiers’ benefit when enough armaments have been prepared.

In short, the world kept in bondage to fear.


1. Individual liberty for all.

2. The workers of the world united in mutual trust and helpfulness.

3. Education such that each can develop his powers to the full.

4. Freedom of choice for all, so that evey one can contribute his utmost to the common good.

5. Conscription abolished in all countries.

6. Universal disarmament, the aim of production to be for use and beauty – not for destruction and death.

7. Economic co-operation between all nations with full exchange of ideas – scientific, aesthetic, and spiritual.

8. Peace on earth, goodwill to men.

9. In short, the world cradled in freedom and learning through joy.


Quaker Activist Gathering

Saturday, November 3, 2018

at Lancaster Meeting House . “An action-focused day for Quakers who identify as activists, framed in worship. It will be a day to make connections, build common cause, deepen our action through exploring the Quaker aspect of it, and discover how we can work more effectively.” Info and booking details (book by 15th October)

UK WILPF Lobby Training Day

Saturday, September 8, 2018

with Greater Mcr and District CND 10.30am – 16.00 pm at Bridge 5 Mill, 22a Beswick Street, M4 7HR Manchester.
More info To register your attendance, please RSVP by emailing [email protected]. Find out more on the event’s Facebook page here .

Correspondence: Release or Imprisonment/

From The Trinunal March 21st 1918

This is a further update in a series of extracts from the No Conscription Fellowship’s journal, published in the UK between March 1916 and November 1918
For other extracts go to:

To the Editor of The Tribunal

Dear Comrade, – I am taking advantage of the opportunity afforded to me by the brief interval between the sentence of imprisonment which I have just completed and the one which I will begin in a few days, to impress upon the readers of the “Tribunal” the grave and urgent necessity of continuing with greater vigour than ever before the agitation and demand for the release of the absolutists.

I have just finished reading the two letters which appeared under the above heading in the issue of the “Tribunal” for February 28th, the one by Douglas Bishop, and the other by Oswald Clark. With the letter of Douglas Bishop I am wholeheartedly in agreement, and on behalf of many hundreds of absolutists C.O.‘s , as well as their relatives, I give him my sincere and hearty thanks. But with Comrade Clark’s demand that we should place “Peace” before “Release” in our programme, I cannot at all agree. The No-Conscription Fellowship is not merely a Peace Association. It is true that we earnestly desire, and are willing to work for peace, but the Fellowship did not come into existence merely as a Peace Society; it had a special object in view. The first and foremost object of the No-Conscription Fellowship is, and ought to be, as its name suggests – no conscription. Our purpose and an N.C.F. must be the defeat of conscription, and one of the surest ways to defeat conscription is to obtain the early and, if possible, the immediate release of the absolutists.

Apart from the defeat of conscription, both the N.C.F. and the Friends’ Service Committee believe in the sacredness of life. Knowing this, as I do, I am not only unhappy, as Douglas Bishop says, but I am surprised and amazed to read of the recent decision of the Friends’ Service who maintain that “it is better for absolutists to remain in prison until public opinion is in favour of their release rather than that those outside who hold similar views should demand the release of these men.” For what does that decision mean? It means this. The absolutists who are now in prison will have to remain in prison for many years to come, and at the end of that time I am afraid that many of our comrades will have passed to life beyond, and may others will be complete physical and mental wrecks. I have spent the last eighteen months in and out of prison in studying closely the absolutist question, and I do not make that statement without full and careful consideration.

What the Friends’ Service Committee ought to do, in my opinion, is not to wait until the public is in favour of their release,” but instead to make the public acquainted with the facts. For there is a large section of the public who do not know of the stand of the absolutist, so careful is the Government and Press to give publicity only to the men who accept the scheme.

There are some among our comrades whose temperament is such that prison life has little effect on them, and others who believe in suffering for suffering’s sake, but these comrades should not say “do not agitate for us,” they are only entitled to say “do not agitate for me.” If something is not done withing the next twelve monts the services of many of our friends will be last to causes of progress, but perhaps that is the object of the Government. – Yours fraternally,
Arthur L.G. Williams,
No.7 Hut, N.C.C., E2 Lines,
Park Hall Camp, Oswestry,
March 9th, 1918

NFPB in Glasgow - worship, witness and discussion

Two years on from the killing of MP Jo Cox (and when NFPB also met in Scotland), we began our meeting this June on the day of the Great Get Together , an idea of the Jo Cox Foundation. Reflecting on the theme of getting together, Friends reaffirmed the value of hearing one another, gaining insights from different perspectives but also being energised and challenged to be more than we are alone.

NFPB statement on Glasgow Arms Fair

As a body representing peace concerns of Quakers from across Scotland, as well as the North of England and North Wales, we unite with those who have already voiced opposition to the holding of the Underwater Defence Technology (UDT) event in Glasgow from 26th June. We understand that the programme has involvement of companies linked to Trident and its successor, and that these also feature as areas of discussion during the conference.

Glasgow Arms Fair demonstration

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

From 26-28 June 2018 Glasgow is hosting the Undersea Defence Technology Conference (UDT) at the SEC. There will be a demonstration at the SEC main entrance. For details:

Glasgow Arms Fair demonstration

Saturday, June 23, 2018

From 26-28 June 2018 Glasgow is hosting the Undersea Defence Technology Conference (UDT) at the SEC. This protest will be at 10:00am at the Buchanan Street steps. See:


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