HC Deb 05 February 1918 vol 101 cc2073-4
61. Mr. WATT

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the need for manpower in connection with the non-combatant as well as the combatant sections of the Navy and Army, he will see that no male of military age available for service under any Section of the Military Service Acts is engaged in any capacity in propaganda work or in any Government Department as a Press agent, or in any journalistic capacity; whether he will see that no journalists or writers are granted commissions in any of His Majesty's Forces which will enable them to escape the ordinary obligations of service so as to be employed in any of the before-mentioned work; and whether he will take steps to comb out of the Propaganda and other Government Departments men engaged on journalistic work who have obtained commissions in His Majesty's Forces, or exempt from military service to enable them to undertake such employment?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Bonar Law)

With the exception of one or two men possessing exceptional expert knowledge, I am informed by the various Depart-merits concerned that no officer of military age, who could be made available for service, is engaged upon propaganda of the nature indicated in the hon. Member's question. The Ministry of National Service periodically passes in review the personnel of the various Departments of State, with a view to releasing for military service persons who can be replaced without detriment to the public service.


Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the return or will he issue one?


What return does he mean?


Of the men whom he sends. The right hon. Gentleman says he has been informed that there are only one or two men, but has he seen the return, and, if not, will he call for it and see if his statement is true?


I will certainly look into the evidence on which this reply was given.

Sir J. D. REES

Is the right hon. Gentleman riot aware that there are several men in the. Department of the Live Stock Commissioners in Scotland who are known to be of military age and want combing out?

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