HC Deb 26 June 1917 vol 95 cc175-6

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the peculiar circumstances of Private Issy Pressman, No. 55,522, 2/6th Essex Regiment, who is under seventeen years of age and enlisted without his father's consent; and whether, in case his father succeeds in his efforts to return forthwith to Russia, the son will be released to accompany him?


Further inquiries are being made into this case.


asked the Undersecretary of State for War whether, in view of the decision given by the Central Tribunal concerning the proprietors of one-man businesses, he will consider the case of Gunner E. G. Finley, No. 223,347, 1st Reserve Battery, Royal Field Artillery, a dairyman, of 96, Holly Avenue, Jesmond, Newcastle, whose business, which has been built up entirely by his own efforts during the past nine years, is now slowly dwindling and almost entirely without guidance owing to the illness of his wife; and whether immediate steps will be taken to procure Gunner Finley's temporary release from the Army until such time as his wife is able to take charge of the business?


Inquiries are being made about this case, but I must refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given on 18th June to the hon. Member for Leith Burghs with regard to the principle underlying the decision referred to.


asked the Undersecretary of State for War whether he is aware that the military authorities are calling up for re-examination under the Review of Exceptions Act men who are in possession of a certificate of exemption on medical and other grounds issued by a tribunal, contrary to the provisions of paragraph 6 of Section 1 of the First Schedule of Exceptions under the principal Act; and whether he will issue instructions that this practice is to cease in the future?


I am not aware that any men are being called up for re-examination under the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act, 1917, who are in possession of any valid certificate of exemption. Men who were not excepted from the provisions of the Military Service Acts, 1916, are not subject to the 1917 Act at all. If, however, a man was excepted from the 1916 Acts, and had no military liability prior to the 1917 Act, any purported exemption which he held was inoperative as being an exemption from a liability to which he was not subject. To avoid possible misunderstanding, however, instructions were given to recruiting officers some time ago that certificates of exemption, although they might be in strictness invalid, were to be recognised as operative if held by attested men who had been rejected but not discharged, or by unattested men who had been rejected but had not been given a certificate marked "Rejected and therefore excepted from Military Service."