HC Deb 15 March 1916 vol 80 cc2068-9

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has received from the Manchester Home Trade Association a resolution drawing attention to the position that is being created by the disallowing of claims for postponement of the calling up of men essential to business; whether this association express the view that if this policy is pursued it will lead to the closing of many businesses and great loss to national and local revenue and urge the Government to give earnest attention to this aspect of the problem, in order that the enormous financial obligations of the nation may be met, that industry and commerce should not be I unduly crippled, and that the productive power of the nation in essential industries should be maintained; and what steps, if any, are being taken to reconcile conflicting military and industrial claims?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Runciman)

I have received the resolution referred to and am in communication with the association. I may add that the instructions to local tribunals with regard to the exemption of men who are the brains of businesses essential to the national interest are now under revision with a view to fuller consideration being given to such cases.