§ MR. WHITEHEAD (Essex, S.E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War how many civilians and how many ex-soldiers are now employed at the works at Shoeburyness; how many have been discharged during the last two; months; whether any, and how many, further discharges are in contemplation; and what is the maximum and what the average number of years of service in Government works of the civilians so discharged.
I beg also to ask the Secretary of State for War whether ex-soldiers en- 470 titled to pensions are being retained in the Government service at Shoeburyness, whilst civilians who have served for longer periods, but have no such pension to fall back upon, are being discharged; and whether he can see his way to recognise these facts in any further adjustments.
I beg further to ask the Secretary of State for War whether before making any further discharges of civilians at Shoeburyness, he will cause inquiry to he made into the feasibility of arranging other work for the civilians who are now in risk of discharge, and whose special training may be permanently lost to the public service if they are driven to seek employment elsewhere.
§ MR. HALDANE
Thirty-six civilians and 122 ex-soldiers are now employed at the works at Shoeburyness. Nineteen civilians and twenty-eight ex-soldiers have been discharged during the last two months, and thirteen further discharges are in contemplation. The maximum number of years of service in Government employ of the civilians so discharged is nine, while the average is six and a quarter years service. As regards retentions in Government service preference is in some cases given to ex-soldiers. I am making inquiries into the point raised in the last Question of the hon. Member. The discharges are due to the completion of some considerable works in connection with the butts.