HC Deb 27 February 1917 vol 90 cc1822-3

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the statements made by the military representative on the Harrow Tribunal; whether he is aware that this representative stated that many cases of incivility by exempted carmen had come to his notice and that he had notified coalowners to tell him of cases where this occurred; and that he also promised to lose no time in reviewing such exemptions and doing all in his power to get the men sent to the front; whether such a policy has the support of the War Office; and what action it is proposed to take?


I am informed that the statements of the military representative on the Harrow Tribunal were made in consequence of his having ascertained that some of the coal carters in his area were keeping bad time, and were otherwise irregular in their work, being apparently under the impression that as they were in a certified occupation they could not be made liable for military service. It was not a question of incivility, but of failure adequately to perform the work in respect of which they held exemption. Application may rightly be made for withdrawal of a certificate of exemption granted on the ground of certified occupation if the holder has a bad record in his employment. I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on the 12th instant by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade to the hon. Member for Devonport.