HC Deb 03 July 1918 vol 107 cc1701-2

asked the Minister of National Service if he has received a letter, dated 25th June, from the solicitors of H. Fineberg, 64, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, pointing out that this young man has been following the studies of an analytical chemist, and in July has to undergo an examination which will last several days, and that the local tribunal, in national interests, thought he ought to be allowed to sit for such an examination, and not to be disturbed in his studies by being taken into the Army until after the examination was over; is he aware that the local National Service representative insists that the young man should join the Army at once, and states that the tribunal had no authority to grant him exemption, and that he will be arrested as an absentee if he does not respond to the calling-up notice; and whether, in the circumstances, this young man's calling-up notice will be suspended until the 20th July, in order to permit him to complete his professional examination?


The letter to which the hon. Member refers was sent to the Director of National Service of the North-Western Region, as such cases as that of Mr. Fineberg are dealt with in the regions where they arise, and in which the records of the individuals concerned are kept. I am inquiring as to the action which may have been taken by the Director of the North-Western Region, and will inform the hon. Member of the result.


asked the Minister of National Service if he is aware that notices are being sent to the late residences of men who have been dead for years, ordering them to present them-selves for medical examination; and whether, with the object of sparing the feelings of the relatives of these men, he will take steps to prevent the sending of such notices?


The sending out of calling-up notices is necessarily based on the information collected under the National Registration Act, 1915, and, although every effort is made in co-operation with the local registration authorities to check this information and keep it up-to-date, occasional errors are difficult to avoid. I much regret such mistakes, and should be grateful to my hon. Friend if he can let me know of any specific cases which have come to his notice.


Is it not possible to arrange that the local registrar of deaths should supply the information, which would prevent these notices being issued all over the country?


I hope the hon. Member is mistaken when he says all over the country. The machinery, of course, provides for this information being entered on the National Register, but I am afraid it is impossible to avoid occasional errors.