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::OUR LONDON LETTER.

MARRIED MEN CALLED UP.I

GOVERNMENT MEASURE ATTACKED…

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GOVERNMENT MEASURE ATTACKED ALL ROUND. Introduced bv Mr. Walter Long, the Gov- ernment's Military Service Bill, which was based on the information and the proposals laid before the secret session of Parliament, } was withdrawn three hours later by Mr. Asquith, because it met with no support in any quarter of the House. Mr. Long, in introducing the Bill, said it was introduced solely as a measure of mili- tary necessity. Clauses 1, 2, and 3 dealt T-7ith the extension of service of men enlisted For a limited period and whose time was ex- piring. They now proposed an extension of service till the end of the war. As soon as a man came to be eighteen years of age he would be liable to service. The Army Council took powers under another clause to have a re-examination, if they thought necessary, of men rejected as unfit who had offered themselves for service since August, 1914. The appeal courts were to be given powers to fix definite limits to exemption certifi- cates, and if an appeal tribunal varied a decision, further appeal would be made to it. Clause 5 provided for a modification of the present system of giving two months' grace after the expiration of this certificate. The modification was made with a view to securing that no man would be taken who was essential to national industry, and that no man who was not essential should escape. Clause 6 put upon employers the onus of proving that they did not know an em- ployee w$s a deserter or absentee. Regarding the Territorials, the Army Council took the same powers of transfer as applied to the Regulars. He did not pre- sent the Bill as a specific against all criti- cism, but in the opinion of the Government it was a necessary measure. The measure was attacked by Sir Edward Carson, who said he could not conceive any- thing more unfair and unreasonable. The BiH compelled men who had served their country for the whole term of their enlist- ment and a year more to serve till the end of the war. He would not shirk that if everybody else was treated in the same way. Unless this Bill was turned into a general Bill it would not receive any support from him and those who acted with him. What was the difference between compelling mar- ried men who had already served and com- pelling men who had never done a day's work for their country? The thing was in- tolerable. Regarding the bringing in of boys of eighteen, that was what Lord Kit- chener scouted a month or two ago. Why did they single out these boys for compul- sion when there were unattested married men much better able to bear the burden? Mr. Stephen Walsh, a Labour member, said that if military necessity required com- pulsion they ought to be fair all round. "Let us have the straight thing," he said- "Why temporise any longer? You are simply fooling with the whole business." The Government must present them with a straightforward scheme. After other speakers had expressed hos- tility to the measure, Mr. Asquith an- nounced that in view of the feeling cf the House as shown in the debate the Govern- ment would not press the introduction of the Bill. Sir Henry Craik asked whether this with- drawal meant that nothing could be done till May 27. Mr. Asquith: Oh, no, I did not say that. Sir R. Williams urged the immediate pas- sage of a General Compulsion Bill. Major Astor urged the Government to give them some indication of what they in- tended to do. The present position waa very humiliating. Mr. Asquith said he could not be expected ti give a categorical answ<T without con- sultation with his colleagues.

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