HC Deb 29 June 1917 vol 95 cc683-4
23. Mr. BYRNE

asked the Undersecretary of State for War what "is the cause, and under what Regulation, Irishmen who were rejected in Dublin as medically unfit for service and given certificates that they were permanently medically unfit should be called to report themselves for further medical examination in Great Britain, having been induced to leave Ireland to take temporary employment; and if he will issue instructions to recruiting officers to cease such treatment of men who obtained employment on the strength of rejection certificates issued in Ireland by the military?


If the hon. Member will supply particulars of specific cases inquiry will be made into the facts of each case, but I must refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on the 7th March, 1917, and remind him that Irishmen who come to Great Britain and enter into employment on munition work, other contracts with Government Departments, port transport work or agriculture, are considered to be resident in Great Britain for a special purpose within the meaning of the Military Service Acts, 1916, and may be provided by the Employment Exchange with a card as evidence that they are ordinarily resident in Ireland and only temporarily resident in Great Britain for a special purpose. If Irishmen come to Great Britain and enter into employment not included in the arrangement with the Board of Trade they come within the provisions of the Military Service Acts as and when they become ordinarily resident in Great Britain, unless they can show that they are resident in Great Britain for a special purpose; and an Irishman who has offered himself for enlistment since 15th August, 1915, and been rejected for service, is liable to be sent the statutory notice under the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act, 1917, as and when he becomes ordinarily resident in Great Britain. I must also remind the hon. Member that the mere fact that a man has been rejected for military service in Ireland does not necessarily mean that ho is an Irishman ordinarily resident in Ireland.