§ Sir J. LONSDALE
asked the Secretary to the Treasury how many barristers of military age are employed in connection with the Procurator-General's office and the Treasury Solicitor's office under conditions which secure them immunity from military service; if he is aware that there are many barristers above military age who would be willing to undertake this work; and if it is intended to apply the combing-out process to this Department?
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
I am informed that there are seven barristers of military age engaged in the Departments of the Procurator-General and of the Treasury Solicitor, apart from those medically rejected, invalided or not passed for general service. At the outbreak of war the Procurator-General had to create a department and a staff to deal with the mass of prize work which immediately devolved upon him. It was also necessary, owing to the pressure of war work, to reinforce the staff of the Treasury Solicitor, who advises and conducts the legal business of the Admiralty, War Office, Ministry of Munitions and of the majority of Departments of State. The barristers referred to are mainly engaged in prize work, for which special knowledge of the subject and of the accumulated information with regard to prize and of the persons engaged in contraband traffic is very necessary, and the Procurator-General is satisfied that to substitute inexpert for experienced men at this stage of the War would create much disorganisation. For the general advising work the Procurator-General has had the advantage for a great part of the War of the assistance of several leading members of the Bar who are above military age.