HC Deb 03 March 1919 vol 113 cc15-7
69. Mr. HURD

asked the Minister of Labour whether it is a fact that men who joined up before 1st January, 1916, are being retained in the Army of Occupation, while men who joined later than that date are being released; and whether it is possible also to secure the release of men who, though they do not come within the present limits for demobilisation, are the sons of widows and the only means of support of their mothers?


Men who joined the Colours for immediate and continuous service before 1st January, 1916, are not liable to be retained in the Armies of Occupation though in some cases they may be temporarily required for the military machinery of demobilisation until they can be individually substituted or dispensed with. Men who joined on or after 1st January, 1916, are only eligible for demobilisation if they come within the special categories set out in the Army Order of the 29th January, 1919, of which I have sent a copy to the hon. Member. Under this Order men who joined the Army after 1st January, 1916, may be demobilised on extreme compassionate grounds, and applications should be made by the man concerned to his commanding officer.

General Sir I. PHILIPPS

What steps have been taken to demobilise men, especially Territorials, who joined before 1st January, 1916, and who are now serving in Mesopotamia and the East?


I must ask for notice of that question.


Is there any definition of extreme compassionate grounds?


No; there can be no definition.


What happens to men who joined the forces in 1914 as to when they will be demobilised?

Colonel THORNE

What is being done with apprentices who were serving their apprenticeship when called up, and will they receive any consideration?


If they joined the Army before 1st January, 1916, they have a certain priority.


When these men are eligible for demobilisation and there is delay in getting them back, what is the proper course to pursue, because that is a question we are constantly asked?


They should communicate at once with the Demobilisation Department.