HC Deb 17 July 1916 vol 84 cc645-6
45. Colonel YATE

asked the Prime Minister how many men of military age who went abroad before the War or during its earliest stages, without the permission of the Government, to escape military service have been recalled; how many of these have refused to respond to the call; and what steps His Majesty's Government are going to take to impose the same disabilities on those remaining abroad as are inflicted in Continental countries?


My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has asked me to answer this question. It was not necessary, before the War and during its earlier stages, for anyone desiring to go abroad to go through any formalities which might be described as obtaining the permission of the Government, and I am unable to say how many persons may have gone abroad at that period. Equally, it is impossible to say how many of them have come back and responded to the call. Only those men who were registered on the 15th August, 1915, are being called up. If, by the latter part of the question, my hon. and gallant Friend refers to legislation, the answer is that no legislation is contemplated.

Colonel YATE

Are no steps contemplated to mark the base conduct of these men in deserting their country in this time of national peril?