HC Deb 31 January 1918 vol 101 cc1727-8
29. Mr. LINCH

asked the Minister of National Service whether he will direct his attention to the number of exemptions granted in various WHITEhall offices, and particularly in the Foreign Office, to young men of military age enjoying good health; and whether, in view of the spirit of demoralisation which is fostered by this state of affairs, he will lay the matter before the War Cabinet with the advice that no useful one-man business be broken up or no skilled artisan be removed from essential work until WHITEhall has been cleared of embusqués?


Allegations with regard to the improper retention of young fit men in Government offices are repeatedly made in this House and in the Press. The staffs of Gover4ment offices are frequently reviewed, and I cannot find adequate basis for the allegations. If the hon. Member will assist me by supplying me with the names of ten or a dozen gentlemen whom he regards as embusqués, I shall have their cases fully investigated.


Did the right hon. Gentleman read the answer given, for instance, by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to a question of my own, that for the efficient working of his own Depart- ment he will recognise the importance of this question, which sticks in the gizzard of the ordinary person?


May I ask whether the over-nicety on this question comes from Ireland or not?