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Ex-Service Men

Volume 154: debated on Wednesday 31 May 1922

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Temporary Civil Servants (Pay)


asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether it is proposed to make a further reduction in the pay of ex-service temporary civil servants; and, if so, will he state the reason?

The agreements governing the current rates of remuneration of the temporary clerical and manipulative grades to which the hon. Member probably refers expire today. The question of fixing appropriate rates for a further period is accordingly under discussion by Whitley procedure, but no decision has yet been reached.

Protection Certificates


asked the Prime Minister whether ho is aware that, in connection with the reduction of industrial staffs in the various Government Departments, a man who during the War received a protection certificate through the instrumentality of the Department now employing him usually ranks as an ex-service man, whilst, for instance, a man who received a protection certificate under the Ministry of Munitions, and afterwards was employed in the Office of Works on anti-aircraft work, for which he would also be entitled to a protection certificate, is not now regarded as an ex-service man by the Office of Works; whether this discrimination is in accordance with the general policy of the Government; and, if so, whether he will give instructions that all men who received protection certificates because of the importance of their work during the War, and who were therefore called upon to remain in their employment and not to join the Army, shall be treated uniformly?

The considered policy of the Government is to regard as ex-service men only those who have actually served with His Majesty's Forces. When reductions in staff are being effected, the cases of men who received protection certificates are reviewed on their merits.

Is the policy of the Office of Works in this matter similar to that of other Government Departments?

The policy corresponds in the Office of Works with that which I have described, but, as I have said in my answer, the review of certificates is on the merits of the particular case.

Souteneurs (Sentences)


asked the Home Secretary whether, since the sentence of six months' hard labour is the maximum which can be imposed in the case of men convicted for existing on the immoral earnings of the women with whom they live, he will inquire whether the magistrates regard the sentence as adequate; and will he consider the desirability of introducing legislation whenever possible to increase the penalty?

If such offenders are convicted on indictment, they can be punished by imprisonment up to two years and a whipping. My right hon. Friend does not propose to initiate any legislation for increasing the powers of Courts of Summary Jurisdiction in the matter.

Income Tax (Assessments)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the following comparative particulars for 1913, 1917 and 1921, respecting the aggregate assessment for Schedule A of the Income Tax: aggregate assessment, England and Wales; aggregate assessment, Scotland; and aggregate assessments in the County of London, in Manchester, Cardiff, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast; showing further the percentage increase in each case since 1913?

The gross income Schedule A for 1921–22 for England, Scotland, Ireland and the United Kingdom respectively was stated in my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer's reply to my hon. Friend's question on the 16th instant. Corresponding information for 1913–14 and 1917–18 will be found in Tables 102 and 11 on pages 104 and 13 of the 58th and 62nd Reports of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue respectively (Cmd. 8116 and Cmd. 502). I regret that this information is not available for separate counties or cities, except for counties including the Metropolis for 1913–14. The latter information is shown in Table 104 on page 105 of the 58th Inland Revenue Report.

Near East (Atrocities)

I have received a Private Notice question from the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor), which I think was covered in the hon. Member's speech last night.

I made no allusion to the facts which I now desire to elicit. I wish to ask the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the telegram from Archbishop Meletios, of Constantinople, stating that during the last fortnight Turkish troops, gendarmes and bands of irregulars have burned down fourteen villages in the Vilayet of Trebizond, the inhabitants being killed, women and children outraged, and houses and shops looted; also that these same Turks have attacked Livera, the scat of the Metropolitan of Rodopolis, incarcerated the inhabitants, putting under arrest the Metropolitan Kyrillos; seven Christians having been decapitated and their heads exposed for many days on spikes in the market place of Dzevizlik; and whether any action is being taken by the British Government in the matter?

Would the hon. Gentleman at the same time state whether he has received a report by two ladies of the Anatolian Mission regarding the atrocities committed by the Greeks upon the Turks, which has only just been published?

I have not seen the report referred to by the hon. Baronet, and I have only seen the telegram in question in the Press. His Majesty's Government have, however, received a report from an independent witness who has just left Trebizond, from which it is clear that acts of great barbarity are still being committed by the Turks in the Trebizond district against the surviving Greeks. The report states that by orders from Angora even little boys of Greek race are now being collected in dungeons and compounds and allowed to die of starvation. As my hon. Friend is aware, His Majesty's Government are doing all in their power to accelerate the despatch of the proposed Commission of inquiry, but no further action can be taken until the reply of the United States Government is received.

Has the attention of the hon. Gentleman been drawn to the statement of Major Jacquith, the head of the Near Eastern American organisation at Constantinople, that many of these reports are exaggerated, and to the fact that he gives a direct denial of some of the charges; and will the hon. Gentleman accept those charges with reservations until this Committee has made a formal investigation?

Will the fact that the House was unexpectedly adjourned at Eight o'clock last night, and this question was unexpectedly discussed, rule it out of to-day's Debate?

The House was not adjourned at Eight o'clock. I was here myself till 11.30.

Can the hon. Gentleman give any indication as to how soon he expects to receive the reply of the American Government? Is anything being done to hasten that reply?

I hope it will arrive to-day. It is expected either to-day or to-morrow.