HC Deb 08 May 1916 vol 82 c276
24. Mr. THOMAS

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that an unattested man named Elihu Brown, of Carlisle, until recently employed in the locomotive department of the Maryport and Carlisle Railway Company, was called to the Colours under the Military Service Act, 1916, about eight weeks ago, but owing to the shortage of men was retained in the railway service; that on the 29th April he was summoned to the company's headquarters at Mary-port, and was taken by a railway official to the local recruiting officer, the latter being informed that Brown was a man who could be released from the railway service for the Army; that he was referred back to the recruiting office at Carlisle, where he was medically certified as suffering from irregular or smoker's heart, but nevertheless ordered to proceed to a certain military camp in the South of England; that the local railwaymen consider this is a pure case of victimisation of an unattested man, the railway being very short of staff and there being no fewer than four single firemen employed at Carlisle in the place of enlisted men, and who have been started since the outbreak of war, this being largely the reason why Brown did not attest; that incidents of this kind are causing apprehension among railwaymen in all parts of the country, who resent such discrimination as between attested and unattested men, more especially when the men retained on the railway are junior both in age and service to the men released; and, in view of this, whether he will at once make inquiries into the case of Brown and take such action as will effectively prevent any recurrence of such incidents?


I am obtaining a report on this case.