"The following proviso shall be added at the end of section seventy-six of the Army Act (which relates to the limit of original enlistment):—
Provided also that where a boy is enlisted before attaining the age of eighteen he shall be discharged upon a request to this effect being made by a parent or guardian if such request is made before the boy attains the age of eighteen and it is shown that the boy enlisted without the consent of the parent or guardian."—[Mr. Lawson.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ 11.34 a.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
The Committee will be aware that this Clause has been moved on several occasions and debated at considerable length. It seems to me that it is time the War Office gave very serious consideration to this proposal. As hon. Members will be aware, the age of the soldier for enlistment is 18, and in the latter part of Section 76 of the Army Act that is emphasised by reference to special 2206 cases where boys are enlisted under the age of 18. I do not think it is questioned at all that the legal age is 18. It is well known, however, that there is quite a number of boys of an adventurous type who, sometimes because they are temporarily out of work, sometimes because there is trouble at home, or because of various whims that seize boys, enlist before they are 18—sometimes indeed before they are 17 years of age. I do not think that there is any doubt as far as the War Office are concerned, that if a boy enlists under 17 years of age, apart from special categories, he is released as a rule. That is the practice. I think that I am right in saying that, almost without exception, boys who enlist under 17 years of age are released, but the War Office take a firm stand in the case of boys who enlist between the ages of 17 and 18. Last year I pointed out that, speaking as a layman, I thought that the legality of the War Office in keeping a boy under the age of 18 years in the Army was very doubtful indeed. I said then, and I repeat it now, that the War Office rely on the fact that the parents are usually too poor to go into court and challenge the legality of holding such a boy. The fact is that they do hold boys between 17 and 18 years of age. It is true that boys often give a wrong age. My hon. Friend the Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) has a new Clause on the Paper which you, Captain Bourne, have suggested might be discussed in connection with the present proposed Clause, and therefore I take it that I shall be in order in referring to it. If a boy enlists between 17 and 18 years of age, it does not make any difference even though he gives a false age; he is regarded as having attained the age when he is legally entitled to join the. Army, apart from special categories.
I am not going to plead particular cases, but I think that every Member of this House from time to time must have eases sent on to him from parents pleading that a boy has gone off and enlisted. It may be that the boy himself is not particularly anxious to be released, but that is not the question. His parents are legally responsible for him until he is 18 years of age at least. They seek his release, and the War Office refuse it. In almost every case, when parents ask for a boy's release, the point is put that he has arrived at an age when he has become of some help to the family and has begun 2207 to make a contribution. Very often there are younger members of the family, and the parents may have had a struggle to bring up their children. They are getting older, and sometimes there is unemployment so far as the father is concerned. The boy is taken away just at a time when he might be useful and of help to his parents, and naturally they expect to have him released. I know the War Office sometimes say that they take into consideration sympathetically the special conditions of the family. That may be so in theory, but in practice it does not work out, because almost invariably the War Office hold on to the boy who is between 17 and 18 years of age.
I would ask the representative of the War Office if this thing is worth while? The number of youths who enlist at this age is comparatively small and is fractional in proportion to the whole of the enlistments in a year. It is very questionable indeed whether on the whole it is worth the trouble to keep these boys, in view of the reflections that must be made by parents and by people generally in the country on the attitude of the War Office in keeping boys under 18 years of age. I know that the right hon. Gentleman who is this year representing the War Office follows the practice of previous years, and will shake a minatory finger at those boys and say that when they enlist they tell lies and so on, and that now they will be subject to this, that and the other. We will allow him to do that if he will only accept this new Clause. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to tell us how many boys enlisted under 18 years of age during the past year and how many between 17 and 18 years of age. I think that if he does so the figures will show to the Committee that it is scarcely worth while to keep these boys. My hon. Friend here suggests that, along with the figures of enlistment, we might be given the figures of the numbers of releases, particularly of boys between 17 and 18 years of age. To be exact, we ought to have the figures of those released between 17 and 18 years, because I think that I am right in saying that boys under 17 are invariably automatically released. I hope that we are to have a satisfactory answer this year upon this matter, so that the difficulty may be removed once and for all. It is really not worth while for the War Office 2208 to continue to keep these boys, and therefore I have moved the Clause which stands in my name.
§ 11.43 a.m.
§ Mr. TINKER
I am glad, Captain Bourne, that you have suggested that this Clause and the one standing in my name should be discussed together. We were accused of shirking the issue on the last occasion and asked why we did not bring something definite before the Committee to deal with the question. The proposition contained in the Clause of my hon. Friend has been put before the Committee many times and the same argument has been made as that which has been advanced by my hon. Friend that boys who enlist between the ages of 17 and 18 ought to have the opportunity of being released from the Army if an appeal is made by parents or guardians. We have never been able to prevail upon the Government to recognise the claim, although they have told us in debate that many boys have been released when representations have been made. Last year the Financial Secretary to the Treasury who was then at the War Office told us that we were always playing the same tune, that there was really nothing in it, that the War Office were most benevolent, and that in 99 cases out of 100 such boys were released. It is rather curious that yesterday I received a letter from one of my constituents—it is dated 27th March—bearing on the particular case that we are bringing forward this morning.
"Dear Sir,I am writing to ask you whether you can do anything for us with regard to getting the discharge of our son from the Army. The Minister "—That is the clerical minister of the place where they live—wrote in the first place and they sent a form to fill up, to apply on compassionate grounds which I did, and the minister signed it, and I also got written a guarantee of employment. I wrote a letter stating our case and also enclosed his birth certificate. He is not 18 until next November, but they refused to grant his discharge. I still think we can claim him out on account of his age, never mind about compassionate grounds, and I think we have a good case on that. He is the eldest boy of our family of eight. We have two daughters older. He enlisted last August against our wishes and got his papers signed as 18 by someone else.That shows the dodging that is done.His mother had a damaged heart before he went, and the shock of him going and 2209 being away from home so young is telling on her so much that I am obliged to apply for his discharge for her sake. He realises his mistake and would be glad to come home for his mother's sake if we can get him discharged. So will you do what you can for us as soon as possible? I am enclosing reply I have had from them, so you will see what regiment he is in, and I enclose stamped addressed envelope reply. Hoping to hear from you soon.The letter from the Army says:With reference to your letter regarding the discharge of your son "—They mention his name—I have to inform you that after careful inquiry and full consideration of the case, the Brigade Commander and the Commanding Officer are of opinion that there is no case for discharge on compassionate grounds. Birth certificate is returned herewith.That is a typical case of a lad joining up. In many cases there may be something wrong at home or the boy may be out of work. He sees a recruiting officer, who tells him all the attractions of the Army, and he joins up. He regrets his action very quickly and wants to get home. He is under 18 and he gives proof of it and yet he is not allowed to go free. We claim that the Army is a useful and decent occupation. Why then should the Army attempt to get boys under age? To me it seems ridiculous and almost a travesty of Section SO of the Army Act, which says:Every person authorised to enlist recruits in the regular forces shall give to every person offering to enlist a notice in the form for the time being authorised by the Army Council, stating the general requirements of attestation and the general conditions of the contract to be entered into by the recruit, and directing such person to appear before a justice of the peace either forthwith or at the time and place therein mentioned.All that is done to warn the recruit, and yet they miss the vital point. Why should there be any objection to saying to the recruit: "You must have a birth certificate." The Army is a good occupation and we do not want men to go in unless they are sure that they want to take up Army life. Why should they not be asked to produce a birth certificate, to clear all doubts away. It would seem as if by all means recruits must be got, and then the question comes later whether or not they should be released. I should like to quote from the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Moss Side (Sir G. Hurst), who spoke of the 2210 advantages of Army life last year. He said:In 99 cases out of 100 a boy who wants to join the Army at 17, and takes risk in doing so, is far more likely to get enjoyment out of Army life than from the scanty means of livelihood open in many parts of England to young men of the working classes. In 99 cases out of a 100 there is no better life than Army life. In a very large percentage of cases the alternative in a poverty-stricken family at home offers utterly inferior amenities and pleasures. Instead of travel, adventure, health, happiness, open air life and exercise, it means, in many cases, a life spent in and out of employment, a life where a man only casually and precariously makes any contribution to the home, and a life in many cases devoid of brightness."—[OFFTCIAL REPORT, 11th April, 1934; col. 332, Vol. 288.]That speech shows the advantage of Army life. With all these advantages and an honourable occupation to follow, why cannot the Army say to these boys: "You are going to enjoy this occupation; it is an occupation worth following, but we must be quite sure that you are 18 years of age before we can take you." They do not do that. I cannot understand why that should be so. It is not so in other occupations. If a boy enters the Civil Service he has to produce his birth certificate. If he is entering the service of a borough council, a birth certificate must be produced. Even in connection with the coal mines we have a scale for boys under 18 years of age. When a boy is taken on in a pit in Lancashire, he signs on, but he must in the course of the week bring his birth certificate, and if it does not confirm what he has said about his age then his wages are fixed accordingly. Where there is any doubt a birth certificate ought to be required.
I would plead with hon. Members opposite. I know the old Army tradition. I have read about the times of the press gang, when it was necessary to get men into the Army. I know about conscription, when it was necessary to get men to defend the country, but to-day we are told that the Army provides a healthy, bright occupation and that the pay given to recruits is worth having. We are also told that in the Army youths are trained for any occupation they may desire to follow afterwards, and yet, despite all these attractions, the Army try to get young boys under 18 years of age. It is indefensible. I suggest that 2211 it should be an essential qualification before a boy can join the Army that the officer or the recruiting sergeant must be satisfied that he is of age. He could be attested and his birth certificate could come afterwards, but wherever it is proved that he is not 18 years of age then he ought not to be kept in the Army.
§ 11.54 a.m.
§ Mr. PIKE
It is very pleasant to hear hon. Members opposite eulogising the Army and the life that the average solidier lives, but I must ask the Committee to reject any overtures in favour of the adoption of the Clause, because the Clause is not necessary. There are already sufficient provisions and powers in the hands of the authorities to deal with such cases as have been quoted by the two hon. Members. The whole question is whether a boy is 18 or 17 and whether he has told the truth. I come from a heavy industrial area where many young boys who are unemployed and of perhaps not very comfortable home circumstances attempt to enrol in the Forces. They are subjected to every test such as a youth of over 18 would go through and if they are physically fit and pass every other qualification demanded of them they enter the Services.
Let me give hon. Members opposite a specific case. A boy of good physique enlisted at the age of 17 years and one week. He served in the army until he was two weeks short of 18 years of age and proved a very efficient soldier. He developed physically and mentally. His parents applied to me for his release on compassionate grounds, that his father had fallen out of work, his elder brother had got married, and that if they could get him home his earning capacity would greatly enhance the income of the household. Had the Minister immediately responded to that compassionate appeal what would have been the result? The boy would have gone home with no guarantee of employment, no guarantee of becoming automatically a wage earner and contributor to the household, and quite possibly he would have become a charge on the State or the local authority. In addition he would have lost completely the lessons he had gained during his eleven months of service, lost the inspiration of the service and also his value as a good citizen of the State. 2212 I am sure that hon. Members opposite do not want to see such things take place.
If a boy desires to leave the Army let him leave if he has enlisted under age. He is no good to the Army if he does not want to be there, he will never make a soldier. But having enlisted in the Army it is the duty of the State to see that before they release him he has a job to go to and is not going to be a charge upon other services or funds in the State. Generally speaking I can see no difference between a boy of 18 years and one day and a boy eighteen years old, and if it is a question of justifying a compassionate appeal there is no reason why a mother who finds that her son has enlisted at the age of 18 years and one day should not appeal on compassionate grounds, and put the service to a lot of trouble and expense, any more than a mother whose son enlisted at the age of 17 years eleven months and 29 days. The whole argument is nothing more or less than an attempt to meet one or two, certainly very few, disgruntled cases. If I were moving this new clause I should ask why did the boy enlist; and what is the real object in trying to get him out of a life which is healthy, comfortable and which offers him a future. I ask the Financial Secretary before accepting the new Clause to consider carefully the grave injury which might be done to hundreds of young boys in the service who like the life, who want to continue it and to serve their country in the forces.
§ 11.59 a.m.
§ Mr. HACKING
The Bill is called the Army Annual Bill, and if I may say without offence to hon. Members opposite, their speeches are becoming annual speeches as well. The hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) hoped that they would have a satisfactory speech from the Financial Secretary on this occasion. I can assure him that they are going to hear a very satisfactory speech, the same kind of speech that was delivered 12 months ago. If I were to give a short reply to the debate it would be to refer hon. Members to the reply which was given 12 months ago to a similar question, but I am rather doubtful whether hon. Members would consider that a courteous way of replying to the debate. Therefore, if they are not disposed to 2213 be satisfied with that kind of short answer, I am compelled to repeat the case which was put against the arguments made 12 months ago. There are two classes of soldiers who enlist under 18 years of age. There are those who enlist as boys for training as tradesmen and buglers and drummers. They are not enlisted without the consent of their parents or guardians being first obtained, and this consent is actually obtained in writing. I have in my hand Army Form B.5110, in which the parents are compelled to write the name of the boy on the top of the form, and then are required to answer the questions:Do you consent to the enlistment of the above young boy in His Majesty's Army?Do you understand that he will be enlisted to fill a vacancy for a boy in the… regiment stationed at.…That form has to be signed by the parents or guardians of the boy, and finally it has to be countersigned by a witness to the signature of the parents or guardians. The witness has to certify that the answers to the above questions were made and the form signed by the parents or guardians in his presence; and the witness has to be someone of standing and authority.
§ Mr. HACKING
These are boys who are enlisted in the special class, enlisted deliberately as boys, to be trained for some trade in the Army or as buglers or drummers. There is absolutely no doubt about the consent of the parents or guardians being obtained in these cases. If there is a doubt it would simply be that the recruiting authorities might imagine that the signatories are the real parents or guardians but possibly some months later the real parents may turn up and prove that they are in fact the parents or the guardians of the youth. In those cases there is absolutely no doubt about the boy being released. So far as the case of boys is concerned, therefore, I think we may be quite happy. The other class of recruit referred to in this Clause is the one who enlists as 18 or over and mis-states his age. It is that class with which the Committee is more concerned. Let me state what is the procedure. I will quote from the "Regulations for Recruiting for the Regular Army." This is the 1934 edition, and 2214 here are the regulations which are in possession of every recruiting officer. Paragraph 73 states this:Where there is the slightest suspicion that the recruit is under the age limit full inquiries will be made before final approval.All inquiries relating to age or character should be made with the utmost promptitude to prevent a recruit being lost to the Service. He may be attested, but not finally approved, pending the result of such inquiries. If the result of the inquiries is unsatisfactory the recruit, if attested, will be at once discharged.That shows that so far as our instructions are concerned we do everything we can to ascertain the right age of these youths. Rut the attestation form itself is perfectly clear that there is a very severe punishment for stating the wrong age. The form is in the hands of the recruit, and in very black type these words appear:You are hereby warned that if after enlistment it is found that you have given a wilfully false answer to any of the following eight questions, you will be liable to a punishment of two years' imprisonment with hard labour.The very first question that comes after that notification is, "What was your age on your last birthday?"; and the second question is, "The day, the month and the year of your birth." We are succeeding every year better than we have done in previous years in stopping these boys from giving false ages. I was asked if I could give figures of discharges of boys under 17 and under 18 years of age. As far as the category of those under 17 is concerned, if application is made they are all discharged freely. The figures, therefore, are of all those discharged under 18. I do not know the numbers who join up under a false age, because quite clearly there are many of them who stay in the Army and the false age is not discovered; but I do know the number discharged for having made a wilful misstatement of age, and obviously there is some relationship in these two sets of figures.
In 1931–32 416 were discharged for having made a misstatement of age. The figures dropped in 1932–33 to 294. In 1933–34—the recruiting year ends on September 30th—255 were discharged. That works out to the total of recruits accepted as one per cent., which is a very small percentage. But if in spite of our precautions youths do enlist under age the matter is dealt with roughly 2215 on the lines stated by the hon. Member opposite. If, for example, on application being made the youth is still under 17, there is a free discharge without the slightest doubt. If the youth is between 17 and 18 years of age at the date of application a free discharge is granted if compassionate circumstances are proved, and if the soldier would be in a better position to assist his parents in civil life than if he continued in the Army.
The hon. Member for Chester-le-Street said that this is only carried out in theory. With his experience at the War Office he must realise that very full consideration is given to these cases, that very full individual attention is given to every one of these cases, and it is really something more than theory. In practice we do a great deal, and in practice we carry out those instructions very religiously. There are quite a number of cases. If we can prove those two things, which constitute grounds for discharge, there is very little dissatisfaction with regard to the way in which this regulation is administered. Then if there is less than three months' service there is a statutory right to discharge on payment of £20. Subsequent to that unless there is special training in a trade as a driver or in some other way, when there has been a cost to the State in training a man to be efficient, the amount required on discharge is £35. That amount, of course, goes up in accordance with the value of the training that the man has received at the expense of the State.
From some of the speeches to-day one might assume that those enlisting under age are without exception miserable and that they all desire to be discharged. That is far from true. I can give many examples of young soldiers who have preferred to stay in the Army rather than go back to possibly unhappy conditions at home. My hon. Friend the Member for Attercliffe (Mr. Pike) has given one example. If these youths wish to stay on and are sound in health and strong in limb—they all have to undergo a very close medical examination—I can imagine few better careers than a career in the Army. At any rate I go so far as to say that it would be wrong to compel their discharge to conditions of possible misery and poverty if they are returned to their own homes.
2216 A youth after enlistment is in our keeping, and we must study his best interests. That does not mean that we overlook the interests of the parents. We take everything into consideration, the amount of money that the youth could earn if he returned to civil life, the amount that the soldier could allot from his pay if he remained in the Army, the health of the parents, their age and their occupation, the health and the numbers and ages of the other members of the family. After weighing up all these considerations and others we reach a decision, and if a discharge is in the best interest of the parents and of the soldier a free discharge is sympathetically considered. The hon. Member for Chester-le-Street indicated that it was not legal to keep a soldier who had enlisted before he was 18 years of age. Let me quote from the Manual of Military Law, Chapter X, paragraph 27, which gives a ruling on this question:An enlistment is a valid contract although entered into by a person under 21 who by the ordinary rules of law cannot as a general rule contract any engagement.That is laid down in the Manual of Military Law. It has been disputed, and two cases are cited Rex v. Rotherfield Greys and Rex v. Hardwick. I quote those two cases because the hon. Member says that people are perhaps too poor to take a case into court, and that that is the only reason why we get away with it. In point of fact, the cases having been cited, we feel quite secure that the Manual of Military Law expresses the actual law of the land.
§ Mr. LAWSON
Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether those were cases of boys under 18? He mentioned under 21, but I should like to know whether those are cases under 18.
§ Mr. HACKING
Under 21 would include under 18. Then the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker), in the early part of his speech, quoted a case of hardship. I think he knows, and many other Members realise, that if a case of hardship such as that is given to me, I always have the fullest inquiry made into it, and if he will hand me that particular case, I will promise to have it thoroughly looked into. Without exception I get a report, and without exception I consider the reports carefully, and I know that I have given some measure of satisfaction to Members of the House whenever they 2217 have a good case. I promise to apply the same consideration to this case as to any others.
§ Mr. TINKER
I only got the letter last night. Had I got it earlier, I would have handed it to the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. HACKING
I am not complaining of the hon. Gentleman's action, but if he will be good enough to let me have the case, I will take it as a privilege to look into it. Then the hon. Member for Leigh is very anxious that a birth certificate should be produced in every case. I am told that this was tried about 25 years ago, and was a failure then. For the same reason, probably, it would be a failure now, because most of the intending recruits could not furnish these certificates. To demand the production of birth certificates would clearly be objectionable for many reasons, each of which, I believe, would be conclusive in itself. First of all, the production of a birth certificate would involve trouble and delay and very frequently expense, especially if a copy of the birth certificate had to be purchased. Each of those troubles would put off intending recruits. If the hon. Member's desire is to reduce the number of recruits, by all means have the birth certificate.
Let me give the second reason why it is objectionable that a birth certificate should always be produced. Many men prefer to enlist under assumed names. The reasons are best known to the individuals themselves, but I think many of us can understand the real reason, and are we, by compelling the production of birth certificates in those cases, to prevent a fellow from having a second chance in life? I do not think any of us would be prepared to be so harsh as that. The third reason is that a number of recruits are the sons of parents who were not married at the time their sons were born. No Member of this Committee, I am sure, would wish to spoil their chances of making good. For those reasons, each one of which, as I say, is conclusive in itself, I would ask the Committee to resist the Clause which will be moved shortly by the hon. Member for Leigh. To conclude, surely the present system of wise discretion is better than the rigid law such as is suggested in the proposed new clause, in the execution of which cases of serious hardship might 2218 well be created, like the hardships I have already indicated. Therefore, I would ask the Committee to leave the position as it now stands, and reject this Clause, and also the Clause which, I understand, is to be moved subsequently by the hon. Member for Leigh.
§ 12.21 p.m.
§ Mr. PALING
With regard to the production of a birth certificate, I wonder if the same objections would apply in ordinary civil life. There are a number of cases in which birth certificates have to be produced in order to get occupation, and do things of various descriptions, but no one would think of using the arguments that have been used this morning; in fact, such arguments have always been held to be entirely groundless. The right hon. Member said that 25 years ago it was in operation, and that it was a failure. I venture to say that if there were any substance in that argument 25 years ago, there is none to-day. The system of registration during the last generation has been so efficient that the difficulty of getting a birth certificate is almost nonexistent. Then the right hon. Gentleman referred to the question of expense. What really is the expense connected with getting a birth certificate? Little or none. Then he said that if our idea is to stop recruiting, by all means let us have a birth certificate. The contrary argument to that is: "In order to stimulate recruiting, let us get them into the Army whether they can produce a birth certificate or not, or are 18 or not. A boy should be 18 years of age before joining the Army, but in order to get him there, we will take him as long as he is an efficient soldier."
It seems to me that the Army is trying to have the best of both worlds. There is a line of demarcation. If a boy joins at 18, the Army has certain legal rights over him, but surely if he enters under 18 the parents should have some legal right over him. But the Army does not recognise that, and will only grant that right in special circumstances. If you can prove, on compassionate grounds, that the boy is necessary at home, then the legal right of the parent will stand, but if you cannot do that, then the legal right will not stand. In spite of that fact, the Army says "He did not join until 18, and we will take him and keep him." I do not think it is quite fair to the parents to 2219 argue like that. I was interested in the argument of the hon. Member for Attercliffe (Mr. Pike), who was supported by the right hon. Gentleman. He said that one of these boys joins under 18, and then you find out that the circumstances in his home are not as good as they might be, and that the circumstances in the Army are better. Who is to judge? Not the parents of the boy. The Army is going to be the judge in that case.
§ Mr. PIKE
The hon. Member is wrong when he says that the Army is going to be the judge, because even on compassionate grounds, if applications are made, I believe it is the practice of the authorities to make very stringent inquiries of the boy himself as to his inclination or desire to remain in the Army or go back.
§ Mr. PALING
But they do not say to the boy, "Whatever you say will decide the issue." He is allowed to state his opinion, but the Army decides what the issue shall be.
Listening to the hon. Member opposite I wondered whether he was adopting a new doctrine. We Socialists are often accused of having the intention, if we ever come into power, of elevating the State above everything, and of making the benefit of the State the deciding factor in everything. It is said by some of our opponents that we would even go the length of destroying the family. It struck me that the hon. Member as a Conservative was, himself, arguing in that direction this morning. His argument in effect was this—that whether a boy joined the Army under the age of 18 of not, whether he joined illegally or not if the State decided that he was better off, under the State, in the
§ Army than he would be in private life, then they should take him away from his home and his parents and his parents should have no rights in the matter. Talk about breaking up family life. If the hon. Member will read his speech to-morrow he will see that that appears to be the very thing for which he himself stands. Is it really asking too much to require that a birth certificate should be put in by these lads? At present if a boy, or a girl for that matter, wants to go to work—however necessary the income may be to the family, however badly off the family may be—that boy or girl is not allowed to go into employment before the age of 14, and if an employer takes on a young person under 14 he becomes liable to prosecution. That system operates in most walks of life.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
And in certain cases before a boy can get unemployment benefit, if there is any doubt, he has to produce his birth certificate.
§ Mr. PALING
It applies almost generally in civil life but it does not apply to the Army. The Army dispense with this requirement in order to get recruits. Apparently it does not matter whether they are 16 or 18 or 20 as long as they are suitable as recruits and the Army itself is to decide whether their enlistment is legal or illegal. I think the system is most unfair. The excuses which have been put up by the right hon. Gentleman do not meet the case and I wish that we could defeat the Government on this question.
§ Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 27; Noes 90.2221
|Division No. 125.]||AYES.||[12.28 p.m.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Gardner, Benjamin Walter||Lunn, William|
|Alnsworth, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||McEntee, Valentine L.|
|Batey, Joseph||Griffiths, George A. (Yorks, W. Riding)||Maxton, James|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Groves, Thomas E.||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Buchanan, George||Grundy, Thomas W.||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Daggar, George||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Thorns, William James|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dobbie, William||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Lawson, John James|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Leckie, J. A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mr. John and Mr. Paling.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks., Newb'y)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.)||Blindell, James||Browne, Captain A. C.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd)||Bower, Commander Robert Tatton||Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Broadbent, Colonel John||Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Selley, Harry R.|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Craft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Liewellin, Major John J.||Smith, Sir Robert (Ab'd'n & K'dine, C.)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Galnsb'ro)||McKle, John Hamilton||Storey, Samuel|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Stourton, Hop. John J.|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Elmley, Viscount||Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)||Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||Milne, Charles||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Goff, Sir Park||Morrison, William Shepherd||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Goldie, Noel B.||Munro, Patrick||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Grimston. R. V.||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Bilstan)||Watt, Major George Steven H.|
|Harvey, Major Sir Samuel (Totnes)||Pike, Cecil F.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles.)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Womersley, Sir Walter|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Ropner, Colonel L.||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Samuel, M. R. A. (W'ds'wth, Putney).|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Sandys, Edwin Duncan||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.||Sir George Penny and Lieut.-Colonel|
|Sir A. Lambert Ward.|