§ Major W. MURRAY
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that application has been made to the War Office for the release on compassionate grounds of Private J. Hanby, No. 189591, Royal Army Service Corps, Mechanical Transport, Salonika Forces, and has been refused; whether he is aware that this man has a wife and two children in necessitous circumstances, and wholly dependent on him; that his wife was employed as an insurance agent, but recently lost her employment owing to the reinstatement of a discharged soldier, and that in the small village in which she lives she 353W cannot obtain further employment of this kind; that Private Hanby's eldest daughter recently won a bursary, and is anxious to remain at school, but that on this girl reaching fourteen years 4s. was deducted from the separation allowances of the family; that the total income of the family is now 26s. 6d. per week, and the annual rent of their house £9; and whether, in consideration of the circumstances of Private Hanby's family, he will have the application made on his behalf reconsidered?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I regret that the grounds put forward by my hon. and gallant Friend are not of sufficient urgency as to warrant the immediate demobilisation of Private Hanby on compassionate grounds. I may, however, add that in the case of a child who remains at school beyond the age of fourteen a supplementary allowance is issuable under the Regulations of the Special Grants Committee of the Ministry of Pensions. Application for this allowance and for information concerning other benefits granted under these Regulations should be made to the local war pensions committee.
§ Captain W. BENN
asked the Secretary of State for War whether the following grounds are sufficient to ensure a soldier's immediate demobilisation, namely, an age of forty-one and a half years; the ownership of a one-man business which is about to be closed owing to the illness of his substitute; being married, with two children; holds Territorial efficiency medal; and joined the Army in August, 1916; and, if the answer is in the affirmative, whether he can see his way to granting the immediate demobilisation of Sergeant R. B. Tainsh, No. 580182, 166th Chinese Labour Corps, British Expeditionary Force, France?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
If Sergeant Tainsh's age is as stated he is eligible for demobilisation unless his services are temporarily required for the military machinery of demobilisation. His application for demobilisation on compassionate grounds has been carefully considered, but it did not appear to be one of such extreme urgency as to warrant immediate demobilisation, and consequently could not be granted.
§ Mr. WATERSON
asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Private H. A. Jones, No. 39649, ¼th Northants Regiment, is still in the service of the Army although married and thirty-nine years of age, and that he is still in 354W Egypt attached to the M.F.P., H.Q., 54th Division; and, seeing that he is eligible for demobilisation, will he give instructions for this man's release and advise the commanding officer accordingly?
Private Jones is not registered by the War Office either as pivotal or for special release. If, however, his age is as stated by my hon. Friend, he is eligible for demobilisation and will be released as soon as circumstances permit.
§ Mr. WATERSON
asked the Secretary of State for War whether Cyclist Arthur Chapman, No. 533335, 11th Platoon, O Company, 1/9th Hants Regiment, Siberia, has been informed he is to remain; is he aware this man joined up in August, 1914, and has never volunteered for Russia; when he may be expected to be released; and when will the exigencies of the Service permit of such a release?
Arrangements are already in hand for the release of the l/9th Hants Regiment at the earliest possible moment. As this depends upon the military situation an exact date cannot yet be given. Should Cyclist Chapman have strong claims to immediate release on compassionate grounds, his case will receive favourable consideration on application being made in the manner laid down.
§ Major O'NEILL
asked the Secretary of State for War whether orders have yet been issued, and, if so, on what date, for the recall from Salonika for demobilisation of Captain J. M. Gibson, Royal Army Medical Corps, acting D.A.D.M.S. (Sanitation), at the lines of communication headquarters?
I am informed that Captain Gibson was telegraphed for on the 26th February, and a reply was received that, owing to his special qualifications as a sanitary officer, he could not be spared. A further cable was sent on the 18th June, asking whether he could now be relieved, but no reply has yet been received.
§ Mr. RENDALL
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Private R. J. Hale, No. 11023, D Company, ¼th Somerset Light Infantry, No. 2 Special Battalion, stationed at Rawal Pindi, India, a 1914 volunteer, after eighteen months in France and Belgium, and wounded there, and thereafter two years in Mesopotamia, is still detained in India; and when may he expect his discharge?355W
I regret that at present I can make no definite statement regarding the demobilisation of troops in India. If Private Hale's length of service is as stated he will be released as soon as circumstances permit.