HC Deb 03 July 1918 vol 107 c1724
76. Major NEWMAN

asked the Minister of National Service whether, in connection with his scheme for the enrolment of war-work volunteers, he will explain why a man who has been finally refused exemption by a tribunal is not eligible for protection either as a War-work Volunteer or as a War Agricultural Volunteer; and is he aware that the complexity of the instructions that are being issued by his Department, combined with their indeterminate phraseology, are causing difficulty to those to whom they are addressed.


When a tribunal has fully investigated the facts of a case, and has finally refused an application for exemption, it is clearly impossible to reverse their decisions by giving the applicant protection from recruiting. I have no information which would lead me to think that the instructions are of so complex a character that their interpretation causes difficulty to those to whom they are addressed.


Does every man of forty-five know that if he appeals to a tribunal he cannot then become a War Volunteer or an Agricultural Volunteer?


I think, quite naturally, the hon. and gallant Gentleman a little misapprehends the state of affairs. The general Regulation is that a man actually under call for military service cannot be enrolled for this civilian work, but in order to meet the difficulty caused by the fact that a certain number of men under call had no opportunity of enlisting, they are allowed to enrol as civilian volunteers up to 6th July. But as regards tribunal cases, it would obviously be absurd for a man to go to a tribunal and then to an Appeal Tribunal and be turned down in each case and ordered to serve in the armed forces, and then, through the action of a Government Department, enrol as a civilian volunteer.