HC Deb 06 August 1919 vol 119 cc361-2
75. Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS

asked whether, now that peace has been ratified, men who enlisted voluntarily in Ireland during the years 1916, 1917, and 1918 for the duration of the War may immediately be released from military service?


As I promised yesterday, I will consider the cases to which my hon. and gallant Friend has drawn attention.

Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS

As compulsory service never came into force in Ireland, does the right hon. Gentleman not recognise that the case of these men is entirely different to that of the men who joined at corresponding dates in this country under the threat of Conscription; and, in view of the present state of Ireland, does he think it wise to break the bond on the strength of which these men joined and leave them with a sense of a burning grievance?


Will the right hon. Gentleman have regard to the fact that public pledges were given in this House, and also by advertisements circulated in every part of Ireland that these men would be demobilised immediately upon the cessation of hostilities?


I agree. I think they are in a different category, and they are at least in as good a position as the Derby men. I will go into the matter to see if anything can be done. The difficulties are enormous at the present time in dealing with these questions in the many emergencies which present themselves in our various theatres.