§ Mr. MacVEAGH
asked the Secretary of state for war whether Irish recruits who were promised in their attestation forms that they were enrolled only until the cessation of hostilities, and not more than six months from such date, are still being Compulsorily retained in the Army, although the Military Service Act did not apply to Ireland; and whether their cases will be immediately considered with a view to the pledge given to them being fulfilled?
It is true that at one period of the War the form of attestation varied and some of the men referred to by my hon. Friend may have enlisted on the terms suggested. The termination of the present War or the present hostilities has, however, been defined by Statute, and as hostilities, though suspended, have not yet terminated, I regret that I can take no special action to release them unless they are eligible for demobilisation under current instructions. I would, however, remind my hon. Friend that they may be liable for retention under the Naval, Military, and Air Force Service Act, 1919.