Voluntarily-attested Single Men in Certified Occupations and Their Automatic Starring.
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Men Who Must Apply for Exemption by 1st March—The Surer Position of Voluntarily-attested Men Extracts from the List for Official Use.
By The Editor.
The progress of the Derby Scheme has been followed closely by the writer for several months. He has helped to obtain admission to the official list of " Certified occupations" (formerly "Starred occupations" and "Reserved occupations ") for commercial-motor drivers, their mates and loaders on vans, lorries or wagons and for motorbus drivers. He is himself an attestek,man, but not in a certified occupation. This further article is compiled with the object of helping both employers and employed to know—so far as it is possible to tell them with any degree of certainty—where they stand.
Do Not Forget Duty to Country.
The establishment of an official list of "Certified occupations," after extended deliberations by and conferences between the Board of Trade, the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee and the Military Authorities, was decided upon in order to provide a means of leaving, to the Minister of Munitions first of all, and thereafter to industry and production generally, essential and indispensable men. The continued manufacture of munitions of war, and the maintenance of vital industries and businesses, are of precisely the same national importance as the provision and provisioning of the armies in the various fields of war, and of the navies on the oceans, seas and inland lakes of the world-area which is affected. It has transpired, however, that sentimental local influences threaten unfairly to warp the judgment of not a few Local Tribunals under the Derby Scheme, whilst thousands of men are undoubtedly suspected of shirking the call of the country upon them, either by inventing excuses or declaring their ages and occupa
tions with elastic consciences. Such temptations must be fought. "Certified occupations" have not been scheduled to create or help means of escape for slackers. Let every man goto the war who can, and as .soon as he can. There must be many in doubt who will peruse these lines, and each reader is seriously and sincerely asked to remember that the fact of his being classed, and properly classed, in a " Certified occupation" does not, unless his trade is also marked " M.M.," prevent his voluntarily deciding to join up and serve. It is true that each man SO entitled to exemption is protected against the public reprobation of his comrades for not going to the war, and this brings me to the fact that, if genuine necessity to stay behind exists, the man who stays is serving his country as well—although in safety for his own skin—as the man who goes. If all industry and transport were brought to a standstill for want of an assured residue of workers in necessary departments, our magnificent armies must be slaughtered, and the Empire thereafter over-run by the Hun. The peace of mind-of each man, in years after the war, when he will meet the men who did go, and when he will be asked by his own family and friends how he contributed to victory, rests with the man himself, now. Let nobody be blinded by the blandishments of an easy existence, of higher earnings, and of corporeal security. The true test is : " Can I do better for the national cause by working on at my present job or by becoming a soldier? " It is practically only the men in "Certified occupations" who are left the choice.
The New Act.
Having thus disposed of the introductory and admonitory warning which I conceive it to be the duty B41 of every editor of a journal to give, it is simple to proceed to make the necessary extracts from and references to Governmental documents. Some of our supporters may care to buy their own copies. They are :— Military Service Act, 1916, post free 2d. Order in Council and Regulations, post free lid. Circular relating to the Constitution of Tribunals, post free id. List of Certified Occupations, post free id. Instructions to Tribunals as to Voluntarilyattested Men, post free lid.
The order can be sent to Wyman and Sons, Ltd., Fetter Lane, London, E.C., with remittance.
It is not incumbent upon me to deal with the Military Service Act at any length. Its principal sections are common property, thanks to their copious treatment in the Daily Press. The Act does not apply to- (a) Unattested men who were married on or before the 1st November, 1915; (b) unattested men who have completed their 41st year on the 1st March, 1916;
(c) men who had not attained the age of 18 on the 15th August, 1915;
(d) men in the Navy or Army—including Derby Recruits and other attested men, but not including Home-Service Territorials ; (e) men who have left or have been discharged from the Navy or Army (subject to any new Legislation) ; (f) men who hold a certificate of exemption under the Act, or who, on offering themselves for enlistment were rejected on some date since the 14th August, 1915; (g) certain apprentices.
It is specially important that all men who have attested voluntarily should note that they do not come within the purview of the Act.
Exemption from the Act: Some Men Must Apply Not Later than Next Wednesday.
It is important to employers of single men and the men themselves, where the men neither belong to "Certified occupations" nor have voluntarily attested, for attention to be paid to, and action taken upon, the enactment in Section 2 (1) of the Act that an application for exemption must be lodged "before the appointed date "—i.e., not later than the 1st March (next Wednesday). Applications for exemption must be made in writing on official forms, and in duplicate (two copies). The Clerk to the Local Tribunal (usually the Town Clerk, or the Clerk to the Urban District or Rural District Council, as the case may be) will supply the forms on request.
This procedure is roost necessary for single men who are not engaged in one of the Certified occupations." Any such man is allowed to apply himself, or his employer for him, or both, for the following reasons :— (a) On the ground that it is expedient in the national interests that he should, instead of being employed in military service, be engaged in other work in which he is habitually engaged or in which he wishes to be engaged or, if he is being educated or trained for any work, that he should continue to be so educated or trained ; or (b) on the ground that serious hardship would ensue, if the man were called up for Army service, owing to his exceptional financial or business obligations or domestic position ; or (c) on the ground of ill-health or infirmity ; or (d) on the ground of a conscientious objection to the undertaking of combatant service.
A man who does so apply for exemption, himself or by his employer, will not be called up until the application has been finally disposed of. Men with no claims to exemption will be placed, and called up, in age classes, as in the case of voluntarily-attested single men.
These effects of the Act, it is as well to repeat, do not concern unattested married men, if they were married not later than the 1st November, 1915. An absolute certificate of exemption may be granted for ill-health or infirmity, but the Military Authorities will examine a man claiming on either of these grounds, with a view to utilising him, according as he is fit, in one of six grades. The last two are :— Labour (road-making, entrenching, works companies, etc.); Sedentary work, clerking, etc.
Conscientious scruples against combatant service may result in a man's being allocated to the Royal Army Medical Corps.
I have, so far, dealt only—apart from my introduction—with the procedure for unattested single men who are not engaged in a " Certified occupation." A man whose marriage took place on or after the 2nd November last is treated under the Act as a single man.
Unattested Single Men in Certified Occupations.
I now piss to the ease of single men in "Certified occupations," but who have not voluntarily attested on or before the 1st prox. (Wednesday next). The Act may be applied to some of them, later on, and the fact of their not having voluntarily attested will then put them in a. position of inferiority compared with men' both married and single, who are similarly employed.
"Certified occupations" have hitherto been known as " starred " or "reserved" occupations. The list of such occupations is liable to alteration by authority, from time to time, either by curtailment or extension.
Unattested men who are already starred must. make written application, themselves or by their employers: the fact that they are already starred makes no difference in this respect. The only exceptions are " starred " men who possess, on or before the 1st prox. (Wednesday next), official certificates issued to them with Admiralty, War-Office or War-Service badges ; their exemption is absolute, and such men ordinarily have nothing to gain by applying for a certificate to a Local Tribunal. All the other unattested men who claim that their "principal and usual occupation is one of those included in the list of certified occupations," must, if they seek exemption, see that written application is made, in duplicate, on the prescribed forms, not later than next Wednesday. The forms can be obtained from Clerks of the Local Tribunals. It will be of advantage to any man who takes this course to see that his employer supplies a signed statement (in duplicate) about his work, to accompany his forms, unless the employer himself is making the application for the man to be exempted.
A Local Tribunal may, if satisfied with the written particulars, and in the absence of any objection from the military authorities, grant a certificate of exemption without any formal hearing of a case of this class. The Local Tribunal to deal with any such application is the one for the area in which the place of employment is situated, and the military authorities may require the Local Tribunal to consider—even though it be admitted that a man's principal and usual emupation is one of the "Certified occupations "whether it is necessary in the national interests that he continue in civil employment. If this last-named point is decided in the negative, a certificate of exemption will not be granted. Any certificate of exemption—even for a man in a " Certified occupation "—is subject to review. The military representative may require a case to be reviewed on the ground either— (1) That the principal and usual occupation of the man is not in fact a certified occupation (including cases in which the occupation was formerly in the list of certified occupations but has since been withdrawn); (2) That though the man is in a certified occupation it is no longer necessary in the national interests that he contitine in civil employment.
A Local Tribunal, if it find as a fact that. a., man's principal and usual occupation is one marked " M.M." in the list (which occupations are important for the production or transport of munitions), has no option : a certificate of exemption must be given. If the military. representative, wishes to question., the man's exemption he can do so, afterwards, through the Ministry of 'Munitions, who will decide the case. The Military authorities can require the certificate of any ":badged " man to be reviewed, but the decision rests with the Ministry of Munitions, and not with a Local Tribunal.
Genuine Employment in, and Reasons for Selection of, Certified Occupations.
• It is made clear that the term "principal and usual occupation" excludes those persons who may be only occasionally employed in work of a kind similar to one of the occupations, but who do not follow it in any regular fashion, and are not really qualified for the occupation in the proper sense of the word. The instructions to Clerks to Local Tribunals, in the L.G.B. circulars from the Rt. Hon. Walter H. Long, M.P., point out that the reason for the selection of the occupations included in the list is this : it is considered, after investigation, that generally speaking it is of more benefit to the country at the present time that men who are following these occupations should be engaged in them than that they should undertake military service. The instructions proceed : " It does not follow that in every particular instance the man should be retained in civil employment., and for this reason the military representative is empowered to raise a question in any case in which he considers the circumstances warrant it in order to have the matter decided."
In the case of a man whose claim under the earlier instructions of the Board (issued 19th November, 1915), has been decided by the Central Appeal Tribunal, the letter conveying the decision of that Tribunal that the man is "entitled to be starred" must be accepted a's conclusive by any Local Tribunal, and a certificate of exemption granted. The certificate of exemption will, however, he open to review as in Other cases of men holding such certificates. All certificates of exemption may be absolute, conditional or temporary, and all will be open to review. Any " N.M." man, unless there are special reasons to the contrary, will receive an "absolute 7 certificate.
I now proceed to state the position of voluntarilyattested men, to whom the Military Service Act, 1916, does not apply, and who are not engaged in a " Certified occupation." The latest date for these men to have applied for exemption was the fi.t.h February-10 days after the issue of the last Proclamation calling up Groups Nos. 11 to 23. There is an exception in favour of men who may attest before the closing of the voluntary scheme (1st March) ; they may apply for a certificate of exemption not later than 10 days after the date of attestation.
New L.G.B. instructions have been issued. No application for the exemption of a voluntarilyattested man will be entertained on the grounds of ill-health, infirmity, or conscientious objection. The new instructions now supersede the old rule that only postponement of service can be granted by a Local Tribunal to a voluntarily-attested man : exemption from military service may be granted without limit of time, or temporarily, according to the judgment of the Local Tribunal, after reviewing all the circumstances of the case, and may be conditional. Any temporary exemption will be for a fixed period.
It is interesting to learn officially that "all voluntarily-attested men to whom exemption is granted will continue to be attested men, but will not be called up for service while the exemption remains in force, and that, so long as they are not called up, they will continue under civil law and have precisely the same rights as civilians."
How Those Who Are Entitled to it May Secure Automatic "Starring."
There remains the cases of voluntarily-attested men who are engaged in "Certified occupations." The Government Departments concerned have, under the authority conferred by Section 2 (2) of the Military Service Act, certified that the work of men in certain occupations is work of national importance. I have already made various references to these "Certified occupations!' All men in them, subject to certain conditions in the Regulations made by Order in Council on the 3rd February, 1916, are exempted from the provisions of the Military Service Act. Attested men are on surer ground if any '` Certified occupations" are removed from the list later on.
The new instructions now provide that a voluntarily attested man, whose principal and usual occupation is one of those included in the list of "Certified occupations," may go to the local military representative (usually the local recruiting officer), and claim that, as he is engaged in one of these occupations, he should not be called up for military service. If the recruiting officer (not the recruiting sergeant) assents, the man is forthwith automatically ' starred " in the National Register and in the records of the War Office. That means he will not be called up so long as the grounds for exemption continue, and there will be no occasion for him to go before a Local Tribunal. If the reoruiting officer (not the recruiting sergeant) does not assent, the man—either himself or by his employer—may apply to the Local Tribunal and have the matter decided.If such a man receives an individual notice calling him up, he must within seven days apply for a certificate of exemption.
A voluntarily-attested man will use forms of application (to be obtained from the Clerk of his Local Tribunal) of a different colour from a man who comes under the Military. Service Act. He must apply in duplicate (two copies), and his employer must give all the facts about the work done.
Tha Certified Occupations of Interest to Users of Commercial Motors.
I advise everybody concerned, if full details are desired, to spend 11d. on a list, as by the particulars on page 520. It must be remembered that the list is liable to variation according to (a) the way the war progresses, (b) the yield of men under the Derby Scheme, and (e) the results from the Act for Compulsory Service. If any purely commercial-motor occupation is added or removed, it will be duly and promptly noted in this journal. I now extract from a copy of the "Certified Occupations—for Official Use," the following:— 3348 ALL INDUSTRIES—GENERAL EXEMPTIONS. ENGINEMAN.—Engineinan or engine tenter. Stationary engineman ; Craneman. M.M STOKER :—Stoker or boiler fireman.
MECHANICS, ETC. :— (I) Fitter ; turner ; pattern-maker ; blacksmith ; sheet-metal worker ; tinsmith ; coppersmith. ALM.
(2) Other mechanics and similar men engaged in the maintenance and repair of plant, machinery and tools.
CARTER, LORRYMAN AND DE AYMAN (HORSE OR POWER)* :— (1) Employed by public carriers of goods by road, or by carting contractors in connection with railways, docks, wharves, and warehouses.
(2) Others, in all trades, not engaged in collecting from or delivering to private houses.
METAL ENGINEERING, AND SHIPBUILDING.
There is not space available here, nor sufficient reason, for the reproduction of a list which includes all classes of workers. Nearly all are marked "M.M." Engineering users will be aware of their strong position. A bona-fide engineering shop in any other user's service will enjoy like exemption from any military demands; The official footnote to the engineering list reads: "Some of the occupations in this list are carried on to a small extent in other industries, but in these cases the men engaged in them are equally exempted."
PORTS, DOCKS, WHARVES AND CANALS :— Dock and wharf labourer ; man employed in warehouse and other storage premises in connection with docks and wharves.
COAL DEPOTS OR WHARVES k Depot or wharf manager ; porter and loader ; trimmer and tipper ; carman.
POST-OFFICE MAIL VANS :— Driver ; foreman.
AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY, STEAM PLOUGHS AND THRESHING MACHINES :— Attendant ; driver ; mechanic.
PUBLIC AND PUBLIC minty SERVICES. FIRE BRIGADES AND SALVAGE CORPS :— Men solely employed in connection with public Fire Brigades and Salvage Corps to be exempted if their services are declared by their chief officer to be necessary in their civil employinent OMNIBUSES : Head of department ; foreman ; motor driver.
Right of Appeal.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of a Local Tribunal, and any person generally or specially authorized to appeal from the decision of that tribunal by the Army Council; may appeal against the decision of a Local Tribunal to the Appeal Tribunal of the area. There can, with leave of the Appeal Tribunal, be a further appeal to the Central Tribunal.
*These exceptions are in addition to the exemptions of carters, lorry. men and draymen under specified trades, viz., coal depots or wharves, Boer mills, and in the home-grown timber trade. Other Points.
Voluntarily-attested men may no longer be claimed back by their employers on the following grounds, so far as I read the new L.G.B. Instructions. It appears that these bases have been revoked in favour of the others which are printed at the foot of page '520 (a) Good reason why the man is individually indispensable, and that the btisiness. in which the Man is employed could not be properly main
• tained•if the man is called up for -actual military service with his group ; (b) that the employer has made every effort temporarily to replace the man ; • (c) that the business ministers to war requirements, to essential domestic needs, or to the expert trade in such manner that the maintenance of the business is important in the national interest; (d) that the employer has given reasonable facilities for enlistment to other men (if any) in his employment.
A man, who decides to make application on personal grounds, or on grounds which are not connected wholly or mainly with his business or employment, is directed to lodge his application with the Clerk to the Local Tribunal in the area where he resides. It is now ordered that no application can be made in respect. of one and the same man to more than one Local Tribunal. An application in respect of industrial employment will take precedence over an application on personal grounds. The man concerned is, ot course, notified of the hearing of any application which may be made by his employer. Any applicant may conduct his own. application, or may be represented by any person appointed by him for this purpose. Whilst a solicitor or barrister may be employed, that course is deprecated in the L.G.B. circular. Simplicity and despatch in the proceedings are particularly desired.
The holder of any certificate of exemption, or the military representative, may at any time apply on the prescribed form in duplicate, to alf...ocal Tribunal, for the withdrawal or variation of a certificate of exemption. No certificate of exemption put.s any obligation on any man to continue service for the same employer, subject to the regulations of the Ministry of Munitions in this regard. The Status of Motor Transport.
I consider that men who are employed in any branch of motor transport should be able to show that they are rendering services which, broadly speaking, must be construed as essential to the country at the pre• sent time. They are berforming duties which it is eminently desirable should be carried on in the interests of the community. It is only when older, men or worn-en can do the work, and are available, that this plea can fail.
Men who decide to attest now, and whose groups have been called up by Proclamation, are entitled to lodge an application for a certificate of exemption within ten days of their date of attestation. That date must in no circumstances be later than Wednesday next, the 1st March. We wish to repeat this. Men who attest now are not prejudiced by their late decisions.
Starred and Badged Men.
Any man who holds a notice of assent by the military representative of his being entitled to be treated as starred" must not fail to produce the notice of such assent as evidence in any application which he may make before a Local Tribunal.
It is desirable, although a repetition may be involved, to point out that certificates in connection with Admiralty, War-Office, and War-Service badges, held on the 1st March (Wednesday next), are certificates of exemption. Men who hold no such certificates, although they may have already been starred, or may have made a previous application to be treated as starred, provided they do not hold a letter conveying a favourable decision from the Central Appeal. Tribunal, must apply for individual certificates of exemption, even though their particular and usual occupation is one of those included in the list of Certified Occupations, if they are not voluntarilyattested men.
Answers to Queries.
It affords me pleasure, in conclusion to offer to answer specifie questions by any employer or employee. 'These must be in writing. I would suggest that any such question be accompanied by a small donation (say not less than Is.) to the Campaign Comforts Fund for the men of the A.S.C., M.T. This Fund is worthy of support in such a connection.