35. Mr. SHIRLEY BENN
asked the President of the Local Government Board if his attention has been drawn to the action taken by the rural district council of Cerne Abbas, who permitted their surveyor and sanitary inspector to join the Royal Army Medical Corps for the War, but declined to keep the place open for him, although 959 not asked to make any allowance in respect of salary; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I have inquired into the case of Mr. Earwaker, the officer referred to in the question. It appears that, in view of the short notice he gave the rural district council of Cerne before leaving their service, they decided not to keep his place open, but to treat the post as vacant. The Local Government Board drew the council's attention to the usual practice adopted by local authorities of granting their officers leave of absence when joining the Colours, and appointing temporary substitutes to perform their duties. I am suggesting to the council, who have made only a temporary appointment, the desirability on general grounds of offering to reinstate Mr. Earwaker on his return.