HC Deb 27 June 1918 vol 107 cc1212-3
92. Mr. R. McNEILL

asked the Undersecretary of State for War if his attention has been called to the case of Mrs. George Ames, of Elham. Kent; if this woman's husband, a builder with a small one-man business, died since the beginning of the War, leaving her a widow with a family of fourteen children; that her three eldest sons joined the Army by voluntary enlistment, of whom one has been killed and one wounded; that after the father's death the business was kept alive by the fourth son who was under military age until August of last year, when he became of military age; that this fourth son was then exempted from service, in view of the circumstances of his family, but has now been called up owing to the tribunal having no power to continue the exemption under the present rules; and whether, having regard to the military record of the family and the circumstances of the case, he will discharge one of the sons from the Army to enable him to carry on the business for the support of the family or, at all events, will grant him sufficient leave to enable him to make arrangements for the disposal of the business?


This case has already been carefully considered, but in view of the present urgent need for men, I very much regret that it is not possible to take the action suggested.


Does my right hon. Friend realise that the chairman of the tribunal and another member of it, a Member of this House, stated that they would have granted an exemption if it had been in their power to do so, and that they had expressed a wish that one of the other sons might be temporarily released to look after the business?


No; I was not aware of it.

Colonel ASHLEY

Will the right hon. Gentleman comb out some of the A1 men in the Government Departments?