HC Deb 26 July 1916 vol 84 cc1683-4

asked the President of the Board of Trade, as chairman of the Railway Committee, if he will cause inquiry to be made into the action of the railway companies in issuing cards to all their clerks who have attested, stating that they are indispensable, regardless of the nature and value of the individual employe's work, while unattested men holding in many instances far more important posts than attested men are being released for military service; will he have special inquiry made into the action of the Cheshire Lines Committee, who have refused cards to two clerks, named Sanders and Wright, at Warrington, who have respectively sixteen and fourteen years' service with the company, while two juniors have been declared to be indispensable; and will he take steps to stop this discrimination by the railway companies?


Railway companies do not, so far as I am aware, differentiate between attested and unattested men when considering the possibility of releasing their staff for military service. As regards the two men specifically referred to, I understand that it is not the case that any junior (single men of military age and medical fitness are being retained by the railway company in the office in which they are employed.


Does the right hon. Gentleman seriously tell this House that it is not the fact that railway companies are discriminating between attested and unattested men?


I believe that the matter is settled.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some of us know of many cases?