§ Mr. R. McNEILL
asked the Undersecretary of State to the Air Ministry if he is aware that A.C.2 Cyril George Gann, No. 243998, Royal Air Force, X Balloon Repair Section, Alexandria, was notified so long ago as April,1919, that his demobilisation papers had been received, but that he is still retained in Egypt; and whether, in view of the fact that he is urgently needed by a shipping firm at home, steps will be taken to expedite his return to England?
§ Major-General SEELY
Inquiries are being made by telegram as to the position of No. 243998, Second-Class Air Craftsman Cyril George Gann, and I will communicate the result to my hon. Friend at an early date.
§ Captain BOWYER
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will inquire into the case of Private Aldridge, No. 52756, 5th Worcester Regiment; whether he is aware that in a War Office letter, No. B.M.12315/Mob. 4 (b), dated 17th July, it was stated that this man had been discharged on 4th July; and whether, in view of the fact that the commanding officer of the 5th Worcester Regiment stated, in a letter dated 1st August, that this man had not been discharged, nor that any authority for his discharge had been received, but that his brother in the 5th Bedfordshire Regiment had recently been demobilised, he will issue the necessary instructions for this man to be demobilised at once?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
It is regretted that a mistake has occurred in this case through the misreading of a report. Orders have now been issued for the release of Private Aldridge to be carried out forthwith.
§ Viscount WOLMER
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Mrs. Mabel Ball, of Figger Drive, 382W Church Crookham, Fleet, Hampshire, the wife of Private T. Ball, No. 614887, c/o Area Commandant, Lottingham, S. 35, Army Pay Office, British Expeditionary Force, France, has been seriously ill for some time; that she only receives £2 0s. 7d. separation allowance, out of which she has to pay 5s. for washing, 15s. for a woman to look after her children, and 6s. rent, and that it is therefore impossible for her to maintain her-self and her young children on this allowance; and whether, in view of the circumstances of the case, he will give instructions that her husband should be demobilised?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Private Ball's case has been carefully considered, but as it did not fall within any of the categories prescribed in the instructions governing releases on compassionate grounds, it was refused, and I regret that I am unable to reconsider this decision. If, however, the soldier is eligible under the Memorandum recently published, he will be released accordingly. It is observed that among the sums mentioned as being received by his wife there is no mention of any allotment of pay or contribution by Private Ball such as it is considered every soldier is now able to make.
§ Sir OWEN THOMAS
asked the Secretary of State for War whether it is a fact that the demobilisation Departments have been on several occasions applied to with respect to the release of the under-mentioned, namely, Sergeant H. O. Vince, No. M/305383, H.A.M.S., attached 503rd Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery, France; Gunner T. J. Nelson, No. 129180, 3rd Company, Royal Garrison Artillery, Lewis Battery, Gibraltar; and Private H. Stafford, DM/206692, Royal Army Service Corps, 62nd Divisional (Mechanical Transport) Company, France; and, as the employment of over 100 ex-Service men with the Midland Vinegar Company, Limited, Birmingham, is dependent on the release of the soldiers referred to, will he cause the matter to be investigated with a view to the early demobilisation of the men concerned?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Yes, Sir; an application was received by the War Office regarding the release of the three men referred to by my hon. and gallant Friend, and a reply was sent on the 10th July, stating that "They ware not registered either as pivotal or for special release, but 383W if they were otherwise eligible they would be released in accordance with current instructions." In the absence of full particulars of their ages and length of service, I am unable to state whether they are eligible for demobilisation, but if they come within any of the categories prescribed in the Memorandum recently published they will be released accordingly. I regret that unless they are eligible under such instructions I cannot authorise their release.