§ Major HENDERSON
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Gunner Hugh B. Semple, No. 234293, 13th Sub-section, C/245 Battery, Royal Field Artillery. British Expeditionary Force, France, was passed by the Ministry 52W of Food as a pivotal man, and that his father, Mr. James Semple, 12, Pollok Street, Glasgow, S.S., who is his employer, was informed of this fact on 29th January; that Gunner Semple is at present at home on leave with instructions to return to France on 9th March; and whether, in view of the fact that the Ministry of Food informed Mr. Semple on 29th January that his son would be forthwith demobilised, he will issue instructions for this man's immediate demobilisation and obviate the necessity of his return to France?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
In view of the dissatisfaction which was occasioned in the Army by allowing men to be demobilised whilst on leave, it was decided that all men proceeding on leave from France after the 12th January must in all cases return to their units on the expiration of their leave, and they are so informed before beginning their leave. I am told that instructions concerning Gunner Semple's demobilisation have already been sent to his unit, and he will no doubt be released without undue delay, but in the meantime he must return to his unit on the expiration of his leave. This is an invariable rule for all ranks on leave from France.