HC Deb 23 December 1915 vol 77 cc623-4W

asked the Under-Secretary for War if his attention has been drawn to the cases of Britons in the United States who are willing to serve in the Army if provision to bring them to this side be made; and if he can see his way to take steps to cause this to be done?


Arrangements were for some time in existence by which British subjects in the United States who desired to join the British Army were assisted to return to this country. It has been found necessary to suspend these arrangements, because the United States authorities instituted a prosecution against the British subjects concerned on the ground that their action constituted a breach of the neutrality laws of the United States. The prosecution resulted in the conviction of two of the accused, and an appeal has been entered. Pending the final decision of the Courts, no further action is possible.


also asked the Under-Secretary for War if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a party of forty Britons, willing to serve in the Army, were provided by the British authorities in New York with passages to this country, but that, owing to their inability to pay the cost of passports, they were not allowed to proceed beyond Brest and were compelled to return to America; and whether he will give instructions to enable these men to fulfil their desires and also to prevent a recurrence of such a happening?


Nothing is known of this occurrence at the War Office or at the Foreign Office, but if the hon. Member will furnish me with more precise details, I will have inquiries made.