HC Deb 01 August 1916 vol 85 cc12-3
20. Mr. H. LAW

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the military authorities in Scotland are in some cases seeking to enforce compulsory service in respect of Irish migratory labourers not ordinarily resident in Great Britain who have signed registration forms in this country; and whether, having regard to the pledge given by members of the Government that the Registration Act' would not be used for such a purpose, and to the provisions of the Military Service Act in respect of migratory labourers and other persons not ordinarily resident in Great Britain, he will issue instructions to prevent such action in the future?


Inquiries will be made and the result will, with my hon. Friend's permission, be sent to him by letter without the necessity for him to take any further trouble in the matter.


Will the hon. Gentleman consider some system of giving passports to these labourers before they leave Ireland so that they will not be molested, because I can assure him that this is an important matter and may affect English agriculture very seriously?


Will the hon. Gentleman send instructions to the military authorities in Enniskillen to release two men who have been there for the last ten days, who were tried a fortnight ago and discharged and have not been arrested again? I put a question yesterday and got an unsatisfactory answer. I ask the hon. Gentleman now to wire to Enniskillen to release these men. One is blind of an eye and is ordered to go and serve as a military man, and he was only about eighteen months in this country altogether?


Inquiries are being made. The suggestion of the hon. Member for East Mayo will be considered.


Do I understand that the hon. Gentleman will take such action as is indicated in my question, and that he will send out instructions?


I want to make inquiries first, and as soon as the inquiries are made I will communicate with the hon. Member.


What are the Regulations with respect to registration forms? Are the men who have got those forms to carry them on their person or are they bound to keep them in their residence?


I must ask for notice of that.