HC Deb 22 January 1942 vol 377 c402
14. Wing-Commander James

asked the Minister of Labour the defects in the administrative machinery as instanced by the case of Mr. Simon Sarch, whereby this man of military age who, in May, 1941, failed to comply to a summons to attend for medical examination, was able in December, 1941, to be living-in a country district, drawing evacuee billeting allowance upon a London County Council certificate for his family, having licensed a motor-car and obtained petrol coupons for it and having a ration card; and what steps he proposes to take to remedy these defects?

Mr. Bevin

The summons to this man to attend medical examination was returned marked "Gone away," and I regret that there was a failure for a considerable time to carry out the instructions applicable to such cases. The proper machinery was put in motion early in December, and resulted in the man being traced.

Wing-Commander James

Is not this really the case of a deserter, and does it not show an extraordinary situation, when three Government Departments were dealing with him? What steps are being taken to rectify such defective machinery?

Mr. Bevin

I have expressed regret for the failure, so far as my Department was concerned, in tracing the man. Even the most perfect machine will not always work right. I am causing inquiries to be made into what took place.