HC Deb 13 May 1918 vol 106 c52W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War why Private Harmer, No. 79278, 3rd King's Regiment, Victoria Barracks, Cork, who voluntarily joined the Royal Air Force a fortnight ago as a mechanic, being a skilled man, and was given to understand that he would be sent to Liverpool and from there to a trade centre to pass a test, was, instead of being given a test, put straight into the Infantry; and, as there are reported to be hundreds of similar instances, will the War Office stop this practice, seeing that they have been advertising for skilled men for the Royal Air Force?


My hon. Friend the Member for Leicester has also been in communication with me about this case. Harmer is a turner by trade, there are no requirements for men of this trade at the present time, and he was therefore placed in an Infantry unit in accordance with his medical category A and age, twenty-three years. As regards the suggestion that he was entitled to special consideration as a volunteer, I am informed that men under the age of twenty-four years on the 1st January last and of the necessary medical category who voluntarily enlist are warned that they must do so unconditionally, and if they object to so doing they can return to civil life.