§ 54. Mr. ROWLANDS
asked the Postmaster-General whether, in a recent Post Office circular, he has laid it down that postal servants must not volunteer for military service, without permission, in any capacity with the exception of the Royal Engineers; whether he will state the number of volunteers for active service in the signal companies of the Royal Engineers and the Army Post Office; and whether it is his intention to issue a war-service button to all postal servants who are prohibited from joining the Colours?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
It has for many years been the rule that a Post Office servant may not enlist in any military or naval unit without official permission. In view of the extent to which the skilled staff of the Post Office, already heavily depleted by enlistment, must expect to be further drawn upon for the postal and telegraphic requirements of the New Armies, as well as for similar purposes essential to Homo defence, I have recently found it necessary specially to call the attention of the staff to the rule. The total number of non-commissioned officers and men enlisted from the Post Office in the postal sections of the Royal Engineers is about 2,200, and there are about 640 applications for enlistment on hand. The corresponding numbers for the signal companies of the Royal Engineers are about 1637 8,500 already enlisted and 1,100 applications for enlistment on hand. The question of issuing badges to Post Office servants from whom permission to enlist has been withheld is at present engaging my attention.