§ 28. Mr. R. RICHARDSON
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that on the signing of the Armistice many Infantrymen were transferred to the postal section of the Army of the Black Sea; whether these men have had no leave since they went overseas: whether, being Derby men aand entitled to retention in the Army of Occupation, they are entitled to a period of furlough; whether the Assistant Director of Postal Services declines to sanction any leave and says he will decline absolutely to accept any allotment for leave which may be offered to him on behalf of these men although they have been overseas without leave for periods of two and a-half years and three years; and whether he will make immediate inquiries into the conditions of the men in Constantinople, Salonika, Batum, and Bucharest, with a view to the removaal of this ground for complaint?
§ Mr. FORSTER
As the hon. Member was informed by letter on the 29th August last, since the Armistice some ninety men have been transferred from the Infantry and other arms to the Army Postal Service. In some cases the men had not been granted leave since proceeding overseas, and some of them were "Derby" men and entitled to furlough. I am informed that a fair proportion of leave has been allotted to the Army Postal Service. It is, however, regretted that hardship has been imposed on some fifty of these men, but only by postponing their leave was it possible to maintain an efficient distribution of mails to this widely scattered Force.