HC Deb 21 August 1940 vol 364 c1279
10. Colonel Arthur Evans

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the British Embassy at Washington have notified all British subjects in the United States of America, over 31 years of age, to remain in America for the time being; and what is the reason for such advice being tendered to those subjects who are eligible and liable for military service?

Mr. Butler

No such notification has been made by the British Embassy at Washington. His Majesty's Ambassador, in common with other of His Majesty's representatives abroad, has been instructed that passages to this country should be provided for volunteers with certain specified qualifications or experience. Those concerned must be between the ages of 18 and 55. In present military circumstances, free passages will not be provided for unskilled volunteers of military age, but these categories will be encouraged to return. His Majesty's representatives have, however, been instructed to bear in mind that in view of the desirability of maintaining British commercial and financial concerns abroad at their utmost efficiency, British subjects occupying key positions in such concerns should not be encouraged to leave. It should be remembered that British subjects domiciled abroad, although eligible, are not liable for military service under the Military Service Act.

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