HC Deb 31 July 1916 vol 84 cc2091-2W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has now received a report from the military authorities at Sheffield concerning the case of Albert Dowker, formerly of 6, Robinson Road, Sheffield, and now 133, Brighton Road, Crewton, Derby, who, although holding a badge and certificate from the Ministry of Munitions, had military papers served upon him three times; whether he is aware that this serving of papers continued despite his repeated explanations that, before leaving for Derby to work under the control of the Ministry of Munitions, he took his service papers to the recruiting station and explained his position to the officer; and that, despite this, his name has been posted throughout Sheffield as an absentee under the Military Service Act, this being done without inquiry at his home or elsewhere; and will he say what action he proposes to take?


The report has not yet been received. I have telegraphed for an early answer. The hon. Member may be assured that this matter is not being over-looked.


asked the Secretary of State for War concerning No. 28,776, Private J. H. Grant, of the 13th Yorkshire Regiment, a boy of sixteen years of age, who was sent to the front in France eighteen weeks after he had enlisted, although prior to his being sent there his mother had sent a written objection to his commanding officer; if he is aware that on 30th June last Captain and Adjutant C.. Clayton Hulton wrote to the mother stating that as her son was too young for service abroad he would on no account be sent overseas until he was old enough; and whether he will instruct commanding officers to keep the promises they make to parents in regard to boys under their control?


There is no information in the War Office about this individual case, but inquiries will be made and if the facts are as stated the boy will be brought back to England.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the military authorities have ordered the Reverend Leyton Richards, M.A., until recently Congregational minister at Bowdon, Cheshire, to report himself for military service on the ground that, having resigned his pastorate, he is not excepted by the Military Service Act; whether he is aware that this is a contravention of the Act; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter?


asked the Secretary of State for War why Edward Martin, of Kilnabrack, and Patrick Fitzpatrick, South Fermanagh, have been arrested under the Military Service Act and are now in custody awaiting escort in the Enniskillen military barracks; whether he is aware that the prisoners were arrested under the same Act in April last and discharged on the grounds that they were never ordinarily resident in Great Britain and were only engaged temporarily in England as migratory labourers, their homes being in Fermanagh, to which they returned in December last; and will steps be taken to have the two prisoners released forthwith?


My hon. Friends will realise that the War Office do not and cannot possess particulars of what happens from day to day to every soldier and to persons about to or liable to become soldiers, but inquiry will be made and the results will, with the permission of my hon. Friends, be at once communicated to them by letter without the necessity of their taking any further action.