HC Deb 22 December 1915 vol 77 c460

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that Private Bernard D. Campion, 2/4th Leicester Regiment, enlisted when he was seventeen years of age; whether a birth certificate to that effect has been put in his possession by Mr. Campion's brother; whether a request has been made to him that, in accordance with his statements in this House, Private Campion should not be sent on foreign service; whether the officials at Lich field have replied stating that the official age of Private Campion is twenty years and three months and declining to accept the birth certificate and regard Private Campion as ineligible for service abroad; and what action he proposes to take on these facts?


I would refer my hon. Friend to the full statement I made regarding the method of dealing with these cases in an answer I gave to the hon. Member for Blackburn on the 2nd November.


Will a birth certificate be considered full evidence in all cases?


Oh, yes. A birth certificate is always regarded as full evidence of a man's date of birth, but if he has been already enlisted, and. has called himself nineteen and is over the age of seventeen, we keep him.


What does the right hon. Gentleman mean by his reference to a reply to myself? I have not the slightest recollection that he ever gave me a satisfactory answer.


I will refer the hon. Member to the OFFICIAL REPORT of 2nd November. It is a very long answer, I agree. Of course I know I am seldom so fortunate as to give satisfaction to my hon. Friend, but I explained quite clearly and succinctly the methods adopted by the War Office.