§ Mr. A. SHORT
asked the Secretary of State for War whether Private George Cooper, No. S/4/064865, 10th L. of C, Royal Army Service Corps, No. 4 Supply Depot, France, joined the Army in February, 1915; whether he is forty-five years of age; whether his services were applied for in January, 1019; and, if so, whether he will expedite his demobilisation?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Private Cooper is not registered either as pivotal or for special release, nor is there trace of any application on his behalf having been received by the War Office. The application referred to by my hon. Friend, was probably a contract offer of employment or such as to obtain his registration as a "slip" man, which does not entitle him to immediate release, but gives him a certain priority only. If his age and length of service are as stated, he is eligible for demobilisation, unless he is serving under pre-war conditions of service and his term of Colour service is not completed. If he is eligible, he will be released as soon as the exigencies of the Service permit.
§ Major HENDERSON
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that instructions for the release of Lieutenant Colin Campbell, No. 1 Reserve Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, Ban-galore, were cabled by the War Office to 594W India on 6th January; that this officer has not yet been released; and whether, under these circumstances, he will take steps to expedite the matter so as to ensure this officer's release before the commencement of the hot weather?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Special inquiries are being made in this case, and my hon. and gallant Friend will be informed of the result as soon as possible.
§ Mr. F. C. THOMSON
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Pioneer R. D. Steele, No. 406044, Royal Engineers (Signals), 1st Southern Brigade Headquarters, Rhine Army, an apprentice engineer, who was mobilised on the 4th August, 1914, and whose period of service (five years) expired last March, is still retained; and whether he will give orders for his immediate release?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Pioneer Steele is not registered by the War Office cither as pivotal or for special release. If his term of Colour service has expired he will be released as soon as the exigencies of the Service permit. I would remind my hon. Friend that personnel of the Royal Engineers, though eligible for demobilisation, are liable to be temporarily retained as part of the military machinery for demobilisation until they can be replaced, or their services dispensed with. Men so retained are being replaced as rapidly as possible by men who are not eligible for demobilisation.
§ Mr. HARTSHORN
asked the Secretary of state for War whether he is aware that S. Hyams, No. 4713, 6th Eastern Company, Non-Combatant Corps, is the sole support of his widowed mother, who is a chronic invalid and unable to work, and of his sister, who is obliged to remain at home and nurse her mother; and whether, in view of the fact that this man's former employer is willing to re-employ him and has repeatedly applied for his discharge, he will give orders for his release on compassionate grounds?
§ Mr. FORSTER
Private Hyams is not registered as pivotal or for special release, nor is there trace of any application on his behalf having been received by the War Office. If this case falls within any of the categories prescribed in the Instructions recently issued governing releases on compassionate grounds, and my hon. Friend will obtain a statement giving full facts and particulars as set out in the 595W said Instructions, it will receive consideration. I am sending my hon. Friend an extract of the Instructions referred to.