HC Deb 16 November 1914 vol 68 cc211-2
96. Mr. TOUCHE

asked what steps have been taken for the transportation from the United States of America to Europe, at the expense of the Government, of ex-Service men, being Boer War, Indian, China, and Mexican War veterans, time-expired Reservists, Special Reservists, ex-Territorials, and ex-Volunteers, who are anxious to serve in the British Expeditionary Force; does the provision made by the Government provide only for transportation from New York or does it provide the cost of medical examination in the various States and of transportation to New York; and are similar arrangements being made for the examination and transportation of the men scattered throughout the States, some of them untrained, but many of them aviators, chauffeurs, engineers, electricians, and craftsmen of all kinds, all of British birth, who are known to be willing and anxious to serve?


British subjects residing in the Dominions or in foreign countries who offer their services in the Army are accepted, provided they are physically and otherwise qualified, if they present themselves for enlistment at any recruiting office in the United Kingdom. It is impossible to undertake to pay the passage home of these men, whose fitness or otherwise for Army service can only in most cases be determined after arrival at home. Passage has, however, as an exception been paid in the case of about 5,000 men who have been certified by our Consul-General in New York to have had previous military training, to have passed a medical examination equivalent to the examination on enlistment, and to be to all appearances in every way suitable men.


Will the Government consider the question of increasing the credit to the Consul-General in New York so as to enable many of these men to come to New York or be examined where they are?


Yes. I shall be glad to consider that.