HC Deb 10 January 1916 vol 77 c1280

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War why it has been decided to allow all Home-service non-commissioned officers and men of the Territorial Force who now undertake the liability for foreign service a month's furlough, while those who undertook the same liability at the beginning of the War receive no such privilege; and whether his attention has been called to the dissatisfaction caused by the advantages in pay and conditions that have been repeatedly given to those men who have been least ready to respond to their country's call?


The explanation of any apparent inconsistency is simple. Under the voluntary system it is necessary to give inducements to men to undertake obligations to serve abroad, and, if men hold back whose services are definitely required abroad, a species of undesirable though inevitable bargaining tends to become established, which gives occasion for such comparison as the hon. and gallant Member institutes in his question. I would add that every attempt has always been made to give soldiers leave before proceeding overseas and to give them leave home, at all events from France and Flanders. The hon. and gallant Member will be aware that the First Schedule of the Military Service Bill (No. 2) has a bearing on this matter.