§ Mr. NIELD
asked the Minister of National Service what is the present position with reference to the calling up of men engaged on the staff of newspapers, whether editorial or management; and whether the Army Council Instruction of 19th December, 1916, has been strengthened, or in any way modified?
§ 923. Sir AUCKLAND GEDDES
The Army Council Instruction of 19th December, 1916, referred to by my hon. Friend has been cancelled, and the question is dealt with by Army Council Instruction 923 of 11th June, 1917, which is as follows:406W
The Exemption of Men on the Staffs of Daily and Weekly Newspapers.
1. Circular letter 5 D.R./3605 of 19th December, 1916, is hereby cancelled, and Military Representatives should negotiate with the proprietors of daily papers for the purpose of arranging, if possible, an agreement as to the number of men to be released before the cases are actually submitted for the approval of. the local tribunal.
2. In reviewing newspaper staffs, it must be remembered that the efficient continuance of the newspapers is essential on public grounds, and sufficient men should be left in all departments to enable the daily newspapers to be continued. Full consideration should, of course, be given to the possibility of increasing the number of men employed who are over military age.
3. The same general principles should be applied to the exemption of men on the staffs of London and provincial weekly newspapers which have large circulations.
4. The review of certificates of exemption of men under thirty-one under A.C.I. 366A of 1917 should be proceeded with, and, except in very special circumstances. military representatives should appeal against any exemptions granted to men classified A, Bl, or Cl under thirty-one.
5. Military representatives should not consent to exemptions for longer periods than four months.