HC Deb 06 July 1915 vol 73 cc198-9W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is aware that the special constabulary of the Metropolis contains a very large proportion of single men of military age; that in one squad numbering seventeen there are fourteen men of military age, seven married and seven unmarried; and if he will take steps to see that all physically fit men of military age are discharged from this force and men over forty substituted, of whom there are plenty willing to undertake the duties?


The bulk of the special constables were enrolled immediately after the outbreak of war. Since then the age limit for military service has been twice raised. But directions were given as far back as September to commanders not to enrol men of military age fit for service, and it is believed that this instruction has been carried out. Moreover, since their enrolment over 5,000 special constables have joined the Army, and from week to week others are enlisting. With regard to the particular squad to which the second paragraph of the question is understood to refer, I find on inquiry that half of them have been rejected as medically unfit and that most of the others are employed in Government or municipal service from which they cannot be spared.