§ * MR. O'SHAUGHNESSY (Limerick, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, seeing that enlistment under eighteen years of age is contrary to the conditions of the enlistment, and further seeing that the Commanding Officer of the 1st Royal Dragoons, Shorncliffe Camp, refused to grant the discharge from the Army of John Donovan, of Knockaderry, county Limerick, who was under seventeen years of age at the time of his enlistment in the said regiment, as a certified copy of the register of his birth sent to 174 the Commanding Officer proves, he will direct the discharge of the boy from the Army.
§ MR. REDDY (King's County, Birr)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, seeing that enlistment under eighteen years of age is contrary to the conditions of enlistment, whether he will direct the discharge from the Army of Francis Dooley, of Leabeg Frankford, Kings County, who enlisted in the Irish Guards, being at the time under seventeen years of age.
These matters are left entirely to the discretion of the local military authorities, to whom the hon. Members should address any communication they may wish to make.
§ * MR. O'SHAUGHNESSY
Is the noble Lord aware of the fact that this boy's father applied to the Commanding Officer for his discharge, and that he has replied that the matter must be held in abeyance till the close of the war; also that if the boy again applies he will be liable to be tried by a Court Martial for making a false statement as to his age. Is he aware that the boy at the time of his enlistment did not know his actual age, and will he, in view of these circumstances, order his discharge?