HC Deb 08 June 1917 vol 94 cc510-1

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. L. J. Parkyn, who on 27th July, 1916, was granted exemption by the Hen-don Tribunal conditional upon being engaged in agricultural work and who subsequently obtained such work through the Pelham Committee and performed it to the satisfaction of his employers; and, in view of the fact that Mr. Parkyn, at the instigation of the military representative at Hendon, was called before the tribunal on 12th April, his certificate torn up by the chairman, and his exemption withdrawn, can he say on what grounds this action was taken?


I am making inquiries in this case, and will communicate with the hon. Member as soon as I have obtained the Report.


May I inquire whether the fulfilment of the terms of the exemption is any guarantee for its retention, or is there a policy of calling up men and withdrawing these exemptions, quite apart from whether they have fulfilled their obligations or not?


I cannot answer that in a specific way, but I will inform my hon. Friend.


asked the Undersecretary of State for War if, as stated by the military representative to the Carnarvon Borough Tribunal, unless they have applied to a tribunal for exemption within 30 days after the date of the notice calling them up for re-examination, rejected men who on re-examination are again rejected may later be conscribed into the Army without the right of appeal; if so, by what authority the right of appeal up to date of final calling up for service conferred on all men by Act of Parliament is being denied; and whether he will instruct his officers to discontinue breaking the law?


A man upon whom a notice under the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act, 1917, has been properly served is deemed to have been enlisted and transferred to the Reserve under the Military Service Acts, 1916, upon the "appointed date," which date is the 30th day after the date of the notice. Under the Military Service Act a man's right of application to a tribunal for exemption extends only to the appointed date. There is no Statutory right of appeal up to the date of final calling up for service. The hon. Member is under a misapprehension on this point. It has been recognied by the War Office, however, to be undesirable that when on a first examination a man has not been accepted for service his application should be considered and decided by a tribunal on a date at which he is not available to be called up for military service. It has therefore been arranged that when a first application has been lodged with a tribunal before the appointed date, but has been withdrawn after the man has not been accepted for service, or when no application at all has been lodged in a case where a man on re-examination has not been accepted for service, then if on a later date the man is again re-examined and accepted for some form of service, and has been called up for service, the tribunal should entertain an application On his behalf, although technically out of date, if such application is lodged within seven days after the date of the notice calling the man up for service. This concession is being embodied in a circular letter to tribunals, which I am informed is on the point of issue by the Local Government Board.


This is a very important matter. I understand, by the Military Service Act—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order!"] I want to put the question, because it is important. If a voluntarily attested man who has been rejected and is not treated as discharged is called up for examination, will he have the same rights under the Military Service Acts, 1916, as a man to whom notice requiring examination has been served?


The hon. Member had better put his question down upon the Paper, and then we shall all be able to see it and understand it. It is impossible to follow it in the way he is putting it.


Arising out of the hon. Gentleman's answer, may I ask what is the position of the man upon whom notice has been served, which notice has subsequently been cancelled?


If my hon. Friend will give me notice of that, I will look into it.