§ Amendment proposed, in page 1, line 5, after the word "reserve," to insert the words, "whose character on transfer to the Army Reserve is good."
That those words be there inserted.
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. W. ST. JOHN BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
There is not the slightest intention to take back bad characters. No man will be taken back who has not a good character.
§ COLONEL WELBY
I really hope the hon. Gentleman will accept this Amendment. My experience as an Army officer is that very often those who go into the Reserve are a very good riddance to the regiment they have belonged to, and if they are brought back it is a great misfortune to the regiment, because of the bad influence they exercise on the other men. A great many of the men who will rejoin are those who have been unable to find employment, and who have, if only for that reason, become more or less demoralised, and their return would be a serious matter.
§ MR. BRODRICK
As I have explained, it is not the intention to take back men who have not good characters. The commanding officer will have a voice in the matter.
§ COLONEL WELBY
I know as a commanding officer what that means. As commanding officer, you make your representations, but they are ignored; you have a voice, but that voice is inaudible. I do strongly urge upon the hon. Gentleman the importance of having some such clause as this in the Bill. I am not disposed to trust the War Office in this matter.
It being Twelve o'clock, the Chairman reported progress. Committee to sit again Monday next.