§ Mr. Hastings
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that 355W boys of 14 years of age are accepted for Army service and, after attestation, have no option but to remain in that service for a minimum of 13 years; and whether, as the age of 14 is too young for such an important decision to be taken, he will prevent enlistment at that age.
§ Mr. Lawson
The enlistment of these boys is a voluntary act freely undertaken with their parents' consent. They become a very valuable asset to the Army as bandsmen or qualified tradesmen. I consider that it is only reasonable that they should be called upon to give a reasonable period of service after their training is completed, in view of the fact that they receive their training from the Army and are paid and maintained by the Army for a considerable period while they are being trained.