HC Deb 26 June 1919 vol 117 cc355-6W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the men who were specially enlisted in companies for road-making in France are being retained beyond the term of their enlistment; whether these companies are still employed on the French roads; and, if so, whether he will approach the French authorities with regard to the possibility of employing French civilian workmen on this work in order to secure the release of the men in the companies who have work awaiting them at home?

Captain GUEST

The terms of enlistment for men in the road-making companies were the same as regards length of service as for any other men in the Army, and they are not being specially retained. At present there are approximately 2,000 roads and quarry troops combined out of a total of 12,000 who were serving at the time of the Armistice, and it is hoped to reduce the roads personnel to about 750 by the end of July. Such men as will be retained are those not eligible for demobilisation under Army Corps 55, of 1919, and they are and will be employed in clearing-up work.