63. Mr. PULLEY
asked the Minister of National Service whether, seeing that 15th June last was the latest date on which men in agriculture under thirty-one years of age could apply for exemption on personal grounds, and the withdrawal after that date by the war agricultural executive committees of the certificates of exemption held by these men is final, and entails their joining the forces forthwith, he will instruct the war agricultural executive committees that before coming to a decision as to the withdrawal of a certificate of exemption in these cases that these committees should hear these men in person, or through the medium of a solicitor, instead of deciding the cases in their absence on information supplied by way of their filling in a form?
§ Mr. BECK
Certificates of exemption are withdrawn not by the war agricultural committees, but under the Military Service (Agricultural Exemptions) Order, 1918, issued by the Minister of National Service, and the rights of renewal on personal grounds are those prescribed by the regulations for tribunals. As regards the agricultural executive committees, they are under the jurisdiction of the Food Production Department of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, and not of this 876 Ministry, and instructions to the committees are issued by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Agriculture.
§ 64. Sir H. COWAN
asked the Minister of National Service whether it is intended to take only 5,500 farm servants from Scotland under the present comb-out; and whether his attention had been called to complaints that certain agricultural districts are being unduly depleted of labour while others are furnishing less than their proper proportion of the men required for military purposes?
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Is it the case that these men are being taken from Scotland because no men are being taken from Ireland, and that for every three men for 100 acres in Scotland there are six men for every 100 acres in Ireland?