HC Deb 11 March 1915 vol 70 cc1562-3W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether, in order to force inoculation upon officers who object, threats are being used that they will be brought before the general officer commanding and prevented from going to the front until inoculated; whether non-commissioned officers and privates are being refused leave or only granted passes for one night, which in many cases barely gives time to go and return, whilst inoculated men in the same companies are granted several days' leave; and whether it is the settled policy of the War Office to hinder recruiting by treating as a crime and punishing officers and men in the way described, for the exercise of a legal right?


As regards the first part of the question, there is no authority for treating men who refuse to be inoculated in the manner suggested. As regards the second part, my hon. Friend will find that I explained the position in a reply given to the hon. Member for Haggerston yesterday. The inoculated men receiving leave will, as a rule, be those going to the front, and as they are going to face the risk of being killed or wounded, it is right that they should have every facility for seeing their families before they go. It is the policy of the War Office to encourage recruiting by protecting the health of officers and men against enteric fever by the means of inoculation.