§ 42. Sir A. MARKHAM
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether, in order to carry out the pledge given by Lord Derby to married men, he will forthwith issue instructions to the tribunals, advising them that in cases where married attested men can carry out the work in reserved trades now being done by single men of military age, such married men shall if they so desire be forthwith exempted from military service to work in such reserved trades, the tribunals at the same time discharging from the reserved trades a corresponding number of single men?
§ Mr. TENNANT
It is hoped that the revision of the list of reserved occupations, which is now receiving the earnest consideration of the Government, will accelerate the substitution which my hon. Friend has in mind. I understand that under the proposed revisions far more protection is given to married men than to single men, and by this fact employers will be encouraged to allow their single employees to join the Army and fill their places with older married men.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
The right hon. Gentleman has not answered my question. I asked him last week, and I ask again this week, the question on the Paper. Have the tribunals power to act in this matter, have they the necessary legal power, and can it be done by Proclamation, or does it require legislation?
§ Mr. TENNANT
I do not think it is the tribunals who have to do it. I think it is the action of the Committee to which I have referred.
§ 45. Colonel YATE
asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that married men who have attested are being laughed at and ridiculed for doing so by other married men who have not attested, the latter claiming that they will now escape enlistment altogether; and whether he will now consider the question of treating all married men of military age upon the same footing?
§ The MINISTER of MUNITIONS (Mr. Lloyd George)
The Prime Minister has asked me to answer his questions. I cannot believe that the allegations made in the first part of the question are in any general sense true. In any case men who are doing their duty to their country have a sufficient answer to such ridicule.
§ Colonel YATE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have received copies of letters sent to the Prime Minister on the subject informing him of this; and is he also aware that the dissatisfaction on the part of married and attested men throughout the country is becoming very serious, and what steps is he going to take?
§ Mr. RUPERT GWYNNE
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the last part of the question, namely, whether he will now consider the question of treating all married men of military age upon the same footing?