HC Deb 13 June 1917 vol 94 cc966-7W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the recent Regulation by which a man is precluded from appealing to the Central Tribunal after the receipt of notice calling him up for service with the Colours without the consent of the Army Council has had the practical effect of preventing all such appeals without the consent of the military representative; and if he will inquire into the case of the one-man business of James McFarlane, of Patna, Ayrshire, with a view to enabling the county tribunal to exercise their judgment as to giving leave to appeal, notwithstanding that the man received his notice of calling up before leave to appeal had been applied for?


No recent Regulation has affected the position of a man who wishes to appeal from the decision of an Appeal Tribunal to the Central Tribunal, The Regulations provide for the lodging of such an appeal within three days after the date on which the written decision of the Appeal Tribunal has been sent to the appellant, but such an appeal can only go forward to the Central Tribunal with the leave of the Appeal Tribunal which decided the case, and there has never been any right of appeal against refusal of such leave. No consent of the Army Council is necessary in such a case, nor can the military representative fetter the discretion of the Appeal Tribunal. Tribunals have a certain discretion to rehear cases already finally disposed of, but a Regulation was made in February last, which may be the Regulation to which my hon. Friend refers, to the effect that a rehearing could not be granted by the tribunal without the consent of the Army Council, after a notice had been sent to the applicant calling him up for military service. Mr. McFarlane's case was decided by the Appeal Tribunal of Ayrshire on the 11th May. He received a calling-up notice and applied to the Army Council for consent to have his case reheard on the ground of a recent decision by the Central Tribunal in a similar case. As, however, there were no new facts which had arisen since the case had been decided on the 11th May, and as the decision of the Central Tribunal to which he referred was not a new ruling, but merely a confirmation of the principle laid down by that tribunal in a similar case decided in September last, the Army Council have not consented to the rehearing.