HC Deb 04 November 1918 vol 110 cc1771-2
21. Major NEWMAN

asked the Minister of National Service whether, having regard to the fact that, apart from the calling-up of those attaining military age, the major portion of the work of his Ministry has been completed, he will say what reduction in the personnel of the Ministry is contemplated; and will he take steps to ensure that the position of the 3,000 officers who were lent to his Department by the War Office has not been or will not be worsened as to their future employment when they are returned from the Ministry of National Service to the War Office for disposal?


Under the Acts governing the establishment of the Ministry of National Service the complete abolition of the Ministry is contemplated twelve months after the War, or earlier if so fixed by Order in Council. In the meantime, the staff is retained at the minimum strength which will enable it to perform the duties required of it. Military officers who are serving with the Ministry have to be returned to the War Office as soon as they can be spared. Thereafter they are at the disposal and under the sole jurisdiction of the military authorities, and it is obvious that it will not be in my power to determine their position, but I shall continue to do my best to protect their interests. I hope and have every reason to anticipate that the good services rendered by these officers to the country will be recognised by the military authorities, and I am glad to take advantage of this opportunity to express my deep appreciation of the value of the work done by them while serving with the Ministry.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many of those 3,000 have been returned already?


I should require notice of that question.