HC Deb 17 June 1918 vol 107 cc22-3
29. Major NEWMAN

asked the Minister of National Service whether he was consulted in the drafting of the Proclamation recently issued in Ireland and fixing 50,000 recruits as the effort to be made by a population of 4,500,000; if so, whether he took into his calculation the number of women who could immediately be made available as substitutes for men in agriculture, and serving behind the counter especially; and will he say why the Department of National Service in Ireland has hitherto failed to avails itself of the services of thousands of women anxious to undertake some form of service?


I have been asked by my right hon. Friend to answer this question—


Might I have an answer from the Minister of National Service? I cannot see how the right hon. Gentleman can answer this question.


The hon. Member had better wait and see.


As stated last Thursday, it is intended that recruiting in Ireland should be under the direction of the Irish Government. The Department of National Service for Ireland is principally concerned with the supply of a sufficient amount of labour for agricultural work in Ireland, and this consideration was borne in mind in fixing the quota of Irish recruits up to 1st October, 1918, and the subsequent monthly quotas. A large number of the wives and daughters of small farmers and labourers are actively employed on farm work in Ireland. I am informed that the women seeking employment through the Irish National Service Department were for the most part anxious to obtain munition and clerical work.


May I ask the Minister of National Service to answer the question?


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Irish Government advised the Government when the last Military Service Bill was passing through this House that 50,000 was all that could he expected from Ireland before 1st October?


I am not aware of the advice given.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Government are prepared to afford facilities to the House for discussing the Proclamation of the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland in relation to recruiting and the policy of the Government in relation to the same subject?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Bonar Law)

The answer to my right hon. Friend's question is in the affirmative, and I propose, in the expectation that the Consolidated Fund Bill will be completed on Monday, that the discussion should take place on Tuesday of next week.