HC Deb 24 October 1916 vol 86 cc921-2

asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to a conference in the Isle of Wight on the proposed manpower distribution and substitution, and to the statement of Colonel C. H. Lewis that they were placing less fit men in Class W and returning them to employers, and that if there was any hanky-panky action on the workman's part the military retained the power to tell him to come back to military service and to give the employers another man; and if this represents the policy of the War Office?


No Sir; my attention has not hitherto been drawn to any statement by Colonel C. H. Lewis. Men passed to the Reserve on condition of engaging in a particular class of occupation will be in a position exactly similar to that of men holding conditional exemption on the ground of employment in a certified occupation, and the question of a man remaining in the employment of a specified employer will not arise.


Do I understand from the answer that if a workman so returned desires to change his employer he will be free to do so? I will put it in this way: If a workman who has been so returned is discharged by one employer will he be free to seek employment with another employer?


I think so, but perhaps my hon. Friend will give me notice of that question.

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