§ Sir WILLIAM BULL
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that certain engineers who were enrolled in the signal section of the Royal Naval Division in September, 1914, enlisted in conformity with the terms of an official form then propounded to them and containing the provision that their term of service should be three years or the duration of the War, whichever period should be shorter; whether these men or any of them were subsequently transferred to the Royal Engineers; and, if so, when, and by whose demand, recommendation, or authorisation; and if at the time of the transference the War Office was made aware by the Admiralty of the terms on which these engineers had been enlisted; and (2), the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is aware that certain engineers who, in September, 1914, enlisted in the Royal Naval Division and were assigned to the signal section of that corps were subsequently transferred to the Royal Engineers; that these men, or some of them, had been enrolled for a term of service specified as the duration of the War or three years, whichever period should be shorter; whether this contract of service has been modified or annulled and, if so, when, by whose authority, and what conditions of service have been substituted: and, if the original terms of enlistment of 108W these engineers are still valid, whether they are entitled to discharge at the end of four years' service, and will in that case be allowed re-engagement furlough on undertaking a further term of service or any corresponding leave in the event of their re-engagement being held to be compulsory under any legislation or regulations pursuant to legislation now in force?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
A certain number of men have been transferred from the Royal Naval Division to the Royal Engineers, and in two cases the conditions of service were as described in the second part of the question. No express variation of the conditions of service of the two men referred to appears to have been made at the time of transfer, but I am advised that the legal effect of the transfer by virtue of Section 179 (12) of the Army Act and Section 87 of the Army Act as amended by Section 2 of the Military Service Act, 1916 (Session 2), was that their service could be prolonged for the duration of the War. In the case of the other soldiers transferred there does not appear to have been any variation in the conditions of service. The men will not be discharged on the termination of the fourth year of service, but the two men referred to will be granted one month's furlough on re-engagement.