HC Deb 21 October 1915 vol 74 cc1981-2

asked the Minister of Munitions whether he is aware that, in some cases in which firms engaged on the production of munitions of war have applied for the release from the Colours of soldiers who were formerly skilled workmen in their employ, the soldiers have been released but sent to different firms; and, if so, whether he will state how such action is justified?


I have no doubt that some such cases as those described by my hon. Friend have occurred. Where a firm wholly engaged on the production of munitions which are urgently required asks for the release from the Colours of a particular workman previously employed by them, that workman, if released, is returned to the firm. Bequests for the release of particular men are, however, not infrequently made by the firms which are only partially engaged on munitions work or are engaged on the less urgent types of such work. While regard is always paid to the desirability, other things being equal, of returning a man to his former employer, it must be clearly understood that all men released from the Colours must be regared as at the disposal of the Ministry for distribution according to the urgency of the work to be performed.