HC Deb 19 April 1917 vol 92 cc1835-6W

asked the Prime Minister if he will state in outline what prac- tical results have been achieved as from 1st March last under the National Service scheme; and will he also state the numbers employed in this Department with and without salary, and the total estimated annual salary?


The Prime Minister has asked me to reply.

The practical results achieved as from the 1st March last under the National Service scheme, include the following:—

The number of voluntecrs enrolled has been raised from 92,000 to 288,000. The Agricultural Section of the Department has been able to provide sufficient ploughmen to meet all the ascertained needs of the farmers. The Trades Section has been continuously engaged upon the classification of trades in the order of their relative national importance, and orders have been issued providing for the restriction of the use of labour in certain trades. Thirty-five thousand women have registered their names and applied for forms under the scheme published by the War Office for service behind the lines in France, and 12,450 women have enrolled under the recent appeal for the Women s Land Army.

So far the placing of National Service volunteers in employment has been the duty undertaken by the Ministry of Labour, through the Employment Exchanges, but recently plans have been prepared for the National Service Department as from 1st May to allocate to employment, as well as to enrol, National Service volunteers. Concurrently arrangements have been made for the National Service Department to take over from the same date the substitution of men withdrawn from trades of national importance, for service with the Army, and good progress has been made with the establishment of officers and offices for this work.

The number employed in the National Service Department, including messengers, porters, etc., is 511 at headquarters and 120 in the country. The annual cost of this staff is £70,055, but many are only temporarily employed on enrolment purposes and their services will shortly cease. There are twenty-six officers loaned from other Government Departments, and 273 officers working as volunteers, forty-three at headquarters, and 227—principally sub-commissioners—in the country.