HL Deb 18 May 1916 vol 21 cc1127-8

My Lords, I beg to ask His Majesty's Government whether they will inquire into the case about a baker in Wandsworth reported in the Pall Mall Gazette of Monday, May 8, as follows: "A baker who applied at the Wandsworth Tribunal for the exemption of his son, who assisted him in his business, said it seemed very hard that he should have to close his shop when the Government allowed Germans from internment camps to come out and compete with him"; and to ask whether His Majesty's Government would take the necessary steps to prevent the baker's son being removed from his father's business.


My Lords, the man referred to is Mr. G. H. M. King, baker, of 268, Wandsworth-road, Streatham. His case was before the Tribunal on the 8th instant, for the exemption of his son on the ground that he assisted him in the business, which could not be carried on without him. He made the statement that it was very hard on English bread-bakers to be taken away for military service when Germans were being freed from internment camps to carry on the trade, and that there were two Germans on each side of him competing with him. The Tribunal adjourned the case for a fortnight, until the 22nd instant, so that King can bring definite proof of his statement and the matter be properly investigated. The Home Office have made inquiries through the Police and have ascertained that the son is a music-hall artist and does not assist in the baking. One of the two German bakers referred to is a naturalised British subject (Klotz, 9, New-road, Wandsworth), and the other is British born (Wickert, of 259, Wandsworth-road). The Home Office state that it is not the case that Germans are being released from internment camps to work for German bakers, and that if a German baker has been released it was for some special reason. The number of Germans released in the last three months has been 17; and during the same period 203 were interned.


I am much obliged to the noble Lord for his answer.

House adjourned at Eight o'clock, till To-morrow, half-past Ten o'clock.