30. Sir F. HALL
asked the Secretary of State for War whether instructions have yet been issued for demobilisation of troops in Egypt, including the signal service of the Royal Engineers; whether he is aware that the Royal Engineers, signallers are still being retained; if so, will he state on whose authority such instructions were given and for what purpose; whether it is a fact that the civilian telegraph system in Egypt is now being maintained over military lines and is being worked by men who enlisted for service to meet the emergencies that occurred during the War; whether these men are still being withheld from demobilisation in order to deal with this work, and whether he will undertake that steps shall be taken without delay to ensure that all men over thirty-seven years of age shall be released from service at once, considering that many of them have done from three to four years' foreign service, in the majority of cases without any leave whatever?
I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer given to a similar question asked by the hon. Member for Aberdeen South yesterday. Every effort is being made to replace at the earliest possible moment any officers and men otherwise eligible for demobilisation who may be at present retained owing to the exigencies of the Service. As regards the fourth and fifth parts of my hon. and gallant Friend's question, I regret that I have no information at present. Inquiries are being made.