§ 58. Sir C. HENRY
asked the Prime Minister if he will state, in view of the Return made up to 1st April, what steps, if any, are being taken to secure for military service any portion of the 17,305 men in the different Government Departments, other than the Post Office, who, in so far as they have not been medically rejected, may be deemed available for military service?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
As has several times been stated, heads of Departments have from the outbreak of the War done their best to release for military service those of their servants not urgently required by reason of their training and ex- 2550 perience for the business of the Government, and have, whenever possible, substituted women and men ineligible for military service for eligible men who could be spared if thus replaced. I can assure my hon. Friend that this process continues and will continue, but I would remind him that there are obvious limits to it imposed by the additional burden which the War has placed on civil Departments, the efficient performance of whose duties is essential to the successful carrying on of the War.
§ Sir C. HENRY
Will my right hon. Friend see that, as far as possible, these men should be replaced by men beyond military age?
§ Colonel YATE
Can any man in a Government office under twenty-five years of age be considered indispensable?