HC Deb 25 October 1916 vol 86 c1109
23. Mr. BYRNE

asked the Secretary for War whether he is aware that a number of workmen who were sent from the trade unions and Labour Exchanges in Ireland to carry out work of national importance in Great Britain are being called up under the Military Service Act; and if he will cause instructions to be issued to prohibit prosecutions in cases where workmen received guarantees from trade unions and Labour Exchanges that they would not be conscripted in this country?


Instructions have recently been issued to recruiting officers that where a man claims that he is ordinarily resident in Ireland and comes to Great Britain only for some seasonal occupation, and returns ordinarily to Ireland as his permanent home, he should not be called up if he produces papers, or other satisfactory evidence, corroborating his statements. If he is unable to produce satisfactory evidence, the matter is one for a Civil Court to decide.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there has been a number of prosecutions of men who came from Ireland to this country to do work of national importance, and that the men have been put to heavy expense to defend themselves? Will compensation or law costs be allowed in such cases?


I know there have been a certain number of cases taken into Court.