HC Deb 25 February 1919 vol 112 c1561

asked the Secretary for War whether he will give immediate attention to the applications for the release of pivotal men from the Army in the interests of the boot and shoe industry; and whether he will release all men for whom application is made with the promise of immediate employment?


Men who have been certified by the Ministry of Labour and registered by the War Office as pivotal men before the 1st February, 1919, are being demobilised as quickly as possible. With regard to the second part of the question, I cannot undertake to entertain this proposal, unless these men are eligible for demobilisation under the recentArmy Orders making provision for the composition of the Armies of Occupation.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that 40 per cent. of the pivotal men cannot be traced owing to the Army people not having their proper addresses?


Very nearly two-fifths of the Army have been demobilised, and it is, therefore, fair to assume that two-fifths of the pivotal men must have been demobilised, and it is probably a much larger proportion. I think it would be very dangerous to reintroduce this pivotal system of demobilisation.