HC Deb 23 November 1916 vol 87 cc1605-7W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether men who were rejected after 15th August, 1915, and who were re-examined in response to a pink form stating that if they were again rejected for any form of military service the decision would be final, and who were rejected again on such re-examination, will not be called up for service with the Colours?


These men will not be called up again for service with the Colours unless, in view of national requirements, Parliament makes further provisions affecting such men.


asked the Secretary of State for War in regard to the new Order calling up for medical re-examination all those group and class men who have been placed in categories not being taken for active service, and who have been sent back to their homes, whether such men as, on re-examination, are found fit for any category from which Reservists are being taken for the Colours, will be given fourteen days' notice calling them up unless they possess a certificate giving them a promise of two months' notice; whether he is aware that previous to this guarantee of two months notice being printed on the medical classification cards numbers of men who were thus sent home were informed verbally that they would not be likely to be wanted, but that if they were wanted they would receive at least two months' notice; and whether the verbal promise will be respected in the same way as the written promise?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The official recognition of unauthorised oral promises is, I am afraid, impracticable.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in the recent Order calling up for medical reexamination attested men who have been rejected by medical boards, it is stated that no man who has been re-examined by a medical board since 25th May is to be called upon for the present to be reexamined under this instruction; whether he is aware that the use of the words "for the present" has destroyed all certainty as to the position of men rejected by medical boards since 25th May; whether these men were given an assurance upon the pink form W 3299, issued between June and September, that, if upon examination they were rejected as unfit for any form of military service, the decision would be final; whether he is aware that many of these men have since, on the strength of that assurance, entered into business commitments and undertaken responsibilities; and whether he can do anything to put an end to the suspense in which they have now been placed?


The pink form W 3299 is not applicable to attested men. It is applicable to men who, having offered themselves for enlistment since the 14th August, 1915, and been rejected, were required by the Army Council to present themselves for medical re-examination. There is no intention at present to call up for medical re-examination any man who, having been previously rejected, has been re-examined by a medical board since the 25th May and again rejected. If the military situation required it, however, in the future, it might be necessary to make some use of such men, but it is not considered that they are in any greater suspense than other members of the public.