HC Deb 07 March 1917 vol 91 cc407-8W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether Private Mathew Scanlan, South Irish Horse, No, 638, served his full period of four years, for which he enlisted, and an additional year's war service as provided by the terms of his enlistment; if so, was his discharge claimed and not granted; is it contended that Section 2 of the Military Service Act, 1916, applies to Irishmen engaged in military service not ordinarily resident in Great Britain; is he aware that Scanlan, who has served in France since August, 1914, asked for an exchange to a unit of his regiment in Cahir, county Tip- perary, not very distant from his father's farm, so that he might exercise occasional supervision over the same; will he say why this application was refused; and is he aware that his father is old and infirm, with no assistance to till his land under the new Order?


I am advised that Section 2 of the Military Service Act, 1916 (Session 2), which amended Section 87 of the Army Act and Sub-section (5) of Section 9 of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act, 1907, applies to all serving soldiers and not only to soldiers who are ordinarily resident in Great Britain. No formal application for a transfer to another unit has been received from Private Scanlan, although a suggestion to this effect was made in a letter from a solicitor written on behalf of Private Scanlan. As Private Scanlan is presumably fit for service in France, he cannot. I fear, be transferred, in view of the military exigencies, to a home-service battalion.