HC Deb 10 July 1919 vol 117 cc2030-1W

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) if it is possible to give consideration to the claims for an early demobilisation to the men who volunteered for the Army in 1914 and 1915, prior to the Lord Derby scheme and after it coming into force, but were rejected upon medical grounds and who were only recalled for further medical examination in Angust, 1916;

(2) whether he could see his way to authorise the immediate release of Lance-Corporal H. Bates, No. 60074, Machine Gun Corps, and Acting-Sergeant A. Watson, No. 28668, 2nd Battalian Leicestershire Regiment, in view of the critical condition of their mothers, aged sixty-nine and sixty-five respectively, both of whom fulfil the conditions for the compassionate release of their sons except in that they have not two children dependent upon them?


asked the Secretary of State for War if, now that Peace has been signed, he will consider the question of returning soldiers who were in the agricultural companies to work on the land in counties such as Leicestershire, where the need for agricultural labour is great?


asked the Secretary of State for War whether, having regard to the signature of the Treaty of Peace, he can now make a general statement as to the further demobilisation of the Army?

Captain GUEST

I will answer these questions together. As my right hon. Friend has already stated, he hopes next week to publish the Memorandum he promised, setting forth the further steps which will be taken consequent on the Ratification of Peace to reduce our armed forces and to release men in the order best calculated to mitigate hardships. He does not wish this to be anticipated by partial answers.


asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that the Irish Command has issued an order that no man is to be released until a substitute is provided; and, as this order affects and prevents the demobilisation of 1914 and 1915 men, men with wound-stripes, the proprietors of one-man businesses, and men over thirty-seven years of age, will he take steps to rescind the order, so that men who are entitled to demobilisation shall not be retained in the Army?

Captain GUEST

I am not aware that such an order is in force, but I am having inquiries made, and I will inform the hon. Member of the result as early as possible.