§ 13. Mr. A. SHAW
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the feeling existing with regard to the transfer to India of men who volunteered in 1914 or 1915 and were medically rejected, of men who attested under the Derby scheme, of colliery workers and others whose services have been applied for and who are required in the mines and workshops of the country, of married men with families dependent upon them, and of men whose services are required for the assistance and support of their families; and whether he can give any reassurance upon the subject?
No soldiers retained or volunteering for service under Army Order 55 are being sent to India. Only soldiers serving on regular normal engagements or enlisted for periods of two, three, or four years, are being sent to India. As I have already stated, it is, however, the case that, owing to the situation in India, all men sent for demobilisation from Mesopotamia, viâ India, have been temporarily retained in India (except in the case of men who are passed unfit for further service).
§ Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY
Will it not be possible to give priority to volunteers for India to relieve these men?
Mr. KENNEDY JONES
Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that men who have been German prisoners and have been working in the salt mines and have become physical wrecks are being sent out to India and is that the policy of the War Office?
No. The answer to the latter part of the question points out that no man who is not medically fit is sent out. If my hon. Friend will give me particulars of the cases to which he refers I will have them looked into immediately.
§ Brigadier-General CROFT
Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman give us any hope of any certain definite date when these men will be released?
This statement forestalls the statement which the Secretary of State is preparing dealing with demobilisation.