HC Deb 15 March 1916 vol 80 cc2071-2
23. Mr. BOYTON

asked the Under-Sec-retary for War under what conditions colonels in the British Expeditionary Force, and who are also Members of Parliament, are granted leave of absence from their military duties; and whether they, as Members of Parliament, have privileges greater than other colonels?


I have often stated that leave to officers and men of the British Expeditionary Force is a matter within the discretion of the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief in France. I should be loth to believe that Members of this House would either consent themselves to receive, or, indeed, would be granted leave of absence on a more generous scale than could be accorded to their brothers in arms. I know of no reason for supposing that the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief would refuse, if military conditions permitted, to take account of special circumstances wherever they could be shown legitimately to exist.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware it was stated the other day that men who had been at the front for twelve months or more could not get leave on account of the exigencies of our Allies?


The exigencies of the Service require that leave should be granted very sparingly at the present moment.