HC Deb 11 March 1915 vol 70 cc1547-8
20. Mr. HOHLER

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that numbers of men employed in His Majesty's dockyards who have joined the Volunteer Training Corps have been required by the Admiralty to withdraw therefrom; and whether, having regard to the fact that the rules sanctioned by the War Office recognise that such employment is a valid reason for joining these corps instead of the Colours, the Admiralty will grant permission to those working in the dockyards to join these corps if they are desirous to do so?


As I stated in reply to the hon. and gallant Member for the Medway Division on Thursday last, instructions have been issued that applications to join the Volunteer Training Corps are to be dealt with in the same manner as applications to join the Regular or Territorial Army. These instructions were issued not on the ground that drill and instruction would necessarily interfere with the discharge of official duties, but because, under the War Office rules for recognition of Volunteer Training Corps, membership of the corps involves a contingent liability for service with the Regular or Territorial Army which only those who could really be spared for such service should be permitted to undertake. It is not considered desirable that the instructions should be cancelled.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the instruction only applies to those between the ages of eighteen and thirty-eight, and will he therefore withdraw it in respect to those outside those ages?


I will consider the matter, but I can give no undertaking about it.