HC Deb 07 April 1911 vol 23 cc2667-8W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War how many messengers under twenty years of age have been discharged from the War Office for reasons other than of health or conduct, and how many have been engaged during each of the last five years; and whether he will make arrangements so that no boy be engaged unless the War Office can hold out to him, if he prove satisfactory, a reasonable prospect of permanent employment?

Colonel SEELY

The figures are as follows:—

1906. 1907. 1908. 1909. 1910.
Attained age limit 5 2 2 1 3
Resigned 19 24 10 16 16
Obtained other appointments 9 9 9 4 9
Total 33 35 21 21 28
Appointed 32 21 21 23 28

Every endeavour is made to secure employment for these lads before they attain the age limit (18) for the cessation of their employment as boy messengers in the War Office, and with this end in view evening classes have been arranged for them at which attendance is compulsory at a nominal charge. There is also in existence a War Office Boy Messengers' Friendly Society, which has been highly successful in securing employment for the boys on leaving the office. Appointments to men messengerships in the War Office are confined exclusively to Army pensioners.