§ 96. Major HUNT
asked the Minister of Munitions whether his attention has yet been called to the fact that in the Burwarton district, near Bridgenorth, Shropshire, several men passed as fit for foreign service, although refused exemption by the tribunals, have, just before being called up for service, applied to and been taken on by the Home-grown Timber Committee, a Government Department, and been given badges; and whether, as these men are now employed as unskilled labourers, he will have them taken for the Army and men of Class C or discharged soldiers put in their place?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
Five badges have been issued at the request of the Homegrown Timber Committee to men working on the Burwarton Estate, four prior to May last and one during August. If my hon. Friend will furnish me with particulars and names of the men referred to, I will cause investigation to be made. I would point out that it is always open to the local military authority to lodge an appeal through the War Office to my Department against the retention of any particular badge. If this is done the circumstances are immediately investigated and the appropriate action taken.
§ Major HUNT
Is it not a very bad plan to allow a Government Department to take 1280 young men fit for all kinds of foreign service when they have been refused by tribunals?
May I ask whether "appropriate action" means that all physically fit under the age of thirty-one are to join the Colours?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I imagine there is certain work required to be done by the Home-grown Timber Committee which cannot very well be done by people who are not physically fit. Timber is heavy stuff to move.