HC Deb 01 May 1919 vol 115 cc350-1W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the serious discontent among the Royal Engineer signallers; whether he is aware that men who have been in Egypt for four years are being retained; whether, although the telegraph work at Ismailia has fallen off 60 per cent., no signallers can be spared; and whether he will take steps to secure the release of all signallers who enlisted in 1914?


Inquiries are being made with regard to Ismailia, and I will inform my hon. Friend of the result as early as possible. As regards the remainder of the question, such men as are temporarily retained will be released as soon as their services can be dispensed with or they can be replaced.


asked the Secretary of State for War (1) whether compassionate leave has been refused to Royal Engineer signallers at Poona on the ground that quicker release would be secured through the ordinary channels, seeing that men who appealed for compassionate leave three months ago are still at Poona; whether he will cause an inquiry to be made;

(2) whether he is aware that all the Royal Engineers signallers at the signal depot, Poona, have been informed that they will be regarded as garrison troops; whether he is aware that these men volunteered for service with the forces and have had over three years' service abroad; whether he will endeavour to release the older men and the men with three years' service before the present trooping season closes;

(3) whether sixteen skilled telegraphists serving with the Royal Engineers at Poona are receiving instruction in telegraphy, despite the fact that telegraphy is their normal civilian occupation; whether these men are being retained as indispensable; and whether, seeing that they are wasting their time, he will order immediate inquiries with a view to demobilisation?


These three questions have been referred by cable to India, and a telegraphic report called for. I will let my hon. Friend know the result in due course.

Forward to