§ 5. Mr. HORE-BELISHA
asked the Secretary of State for War whether it is the policy of the War Office to allow a boy who has enlisted under age to obtain his discharge if his parents so desire, or whether the War Office holds him to his contract?
§ Mr. SHAW
Under the Recruiting Regulations, a boy may not be enlisted 194 as such without the written consent of his parents or guardians. As regards recruits enlisting as men by means of a mis-statement as to their age, a free discharge is allowed if it is applied for before the recruit reaches the age of 17, or when there are special compassionate grounds, if the recruit is between the ages of 17 and 18. Under the Regulations it is customary to hold a recruit between 17 and 18 to his contract unless such compassionate grounds exist.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider giving instructions that in every case lads of 17 and 18 may be released?